Chrischilles named fellow in national leadership program

Published on May 20, 2015

A portrait of Elizabeth Chrischilles of the University of Iowa College of Public Health
Elizabeth Chrischilles

Elizabeth Chrischilles,  professor of epidemiology in the University of Iowa College of Public Health, has been selected as a 2015-2016 Fellow of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) Program at Drexel University College of Medicine. Chrischilles is also the Marvin A. and Rose Lee Pomerantz Chair in Public Health and director of the Health Effectiveness Research Center.

This is the 21st incoming class for ELAM, the only program in North America dedicated to preparing women for senior leadership roles in academic health science institutions, where they enhance institutional leadership diversity while contributing to organizational strategy and innovation. The one-year, part-time program combines three week-long in-residence sessions with distance learning, designed to take the leadership lessons gained from the classroom to practice in the Fellows’ institutions.

“This is a very diverse and talented group of leaders selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants,” said Diane Magrane, MD, director of Drexel’s International Center for Executive Leadership in Academics, which supports the program. “Over the course of the year they will enhance and practice skills in strategic finance, organizational change, and leadership skills that build capacity for their leading organizational change in the dynamic environment of academic medicine, dentistry, and public health.”

Each Fellow is supported by the dean or other senior official of her institution in her nomination for the program and continued mentorship. One aspect of this relationship is the curricular requirement to conduct an Institutional Action Project, developed in collaboration with the senior leadership. These action projects are designed to address a strategic institutional priority. Magrane explains, “The work of the Fellowship not only helps them understand the challenges facing academic health centers and the skills a leader must possess to address these challenges, but also often result in concrete, positive changes at their institutions.”

Upon completion of the one-year Fellowship in April 2016, the 54 members of this class will join a community of over 900 alumnae – all highly accomplished women serving in a variety of leadership positions around the world, including department chairs, research center directors, deans and college presidents, as well as chief executives in health care and accrediting organizations.

The work for this incoming class begins in June with online assignments and community building activities that continue through the end of the program in April 2016. Fellows begin the first of three week-long, in-residence sessions when they meet for the first time at the ACE Conference Center in Lafayette Hill, Penn., on Sept. 26, 2015.

ELAM is a core program of the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, Penn. The Institute continues the legacy of advancing women in medicine that began in 1850 with the founding of the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania, the nation’s first women’s medical school and a predecessor of today’s Drexel University College of Medicine. For more information on the ELAM program curriculum, faculty, and participants, visit