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Mercedes Falciglia, MD, (right) and Marta Render, MD
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Mercedes Falciglia, MD, (right) and Marta Render, MD
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Publish Date: 05/03/12
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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Two From UC Awarded Fellowships With Prestigious Leadership Program

Mercedes Falciglia, MD, University of Cincinnati associate professor and an endocrinologist with UC Health and the Cincinnati Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Stella Davies, MBBS, PhD, UC professor of pediatrics and director of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Immune Deficience at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, have been named fellows in the class of 2012–13 Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women.  

The ELAM Program was established in 1995 and is sponsored by Drexel University College of Medicine. ELAM is a one-year intensive leadership training program with networking and mentoring opportunities for women in medicine, dentistry and public health. The program has nearly 700 graduates, many in leadership positions (from department chair to president) at academic medical centers and universities across the country.

Davies received her MBBS from the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in England in 1981 and her PhD from the same institution in 1989. She completed her pediatric fellowship at the University of Minnesoate from 1989 to 1993. She is currenlty Jacob G. Schmidlapp Endowed Chair and professor in the UC Department of Pediatrics.

"Dr. Davies is a charismatic leader in developing and implementing bone marrow transplantation for pediatric cancer and immunodeficiency patients," said Arnold Strauss, MD, Rachford Professor and Chair of the UC Department of Pediatrics, director of the Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation and chief medical officer at Cincinnati Children’s. "ELAM will provide her with contacts with other women leaders in medicine and help her develop further her considerable administrative leadership talents.”

Falciglia, a 1997 graduate of UC’s College of Medicine, developed and leads the Diabetes Now program at UC Health University Hospital, a multidisciplinary inpatient initiative formed in 2006 to improve the care of hospitalized patients with diabetes and high blood glucose (hyperglycemia)—from admission to discharge and beyond.

Falciglia’s leadership of Diabetes Now parallels her research efforts. Her National Institutes of Health-funded research on hyperglycemia during acute illness has garnered her recognition as an expert in her field. Falciglia serves on various national committees and task forces—work that has resulted in tangible contributions, such as participation in writing the Department of Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense Diabetes Clinical Practice Guidelines.

Falciglia says her acceptance as an ELAM fellow was made possible because she’s been able to carve her own path—an opportunity afforded by an academic medical center like UC’s.

"I see our center as a future leader in optimizing the health of those with diabetes—in part through progressive and financially sustainable models of care that ideally are generalizable across and beyond our region,” says Falciglia.

"Leading the development of such programs requires multidisciplinary collaboration across a vast landscape of health care—throughout our medical campus, the university, community organizations and initiatives, payer groups and corporations.”

"I been privileged to know and work closely with Mercedes Falciglia over the past 15 years," says Gregory Rouan, MD, chair of the UC Department of Internal Medicine. "Her ability to innovate, collaborate and communicate effectively has been integral in her leadership of the University Hospital glycemic management program. ELAM will allow her additional mentorship opportunities and thereby fully realize her leadership potential at our academic medical center."

Falciglia also plays a key role in the education of medical students, residents and fellows. She says the experience offered to fellows and residents working with the Diabetes Now team ultimately benefits the community as these trainees carry what they’ve learned into positions within UC Health or at other area health systems.

"Having the possibility to align our education and research missions with forward-thinking clinical programs that anticipate changes in health care delivery is pretty exciting.”

Falciglia was awarded an ELAM fellowship through the program’s highly competitive application process. To learn more about the ELAM program, visit www.drexelmed.edu/elam.

ELAM Graduates

Eleven other current UC faculty, many with appointments at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, have previously been named ELAM fellows. Following is a list of ELAM graduates currently on faculty at UC and/or on staff at Cincinnati Children’s. Some have provided details on their ELAM experience.

Evaline Alessandrini, MD, (ELAM Fellow 2011–12)
assistant vice president of outcomes systems, James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence at Cincinnati Children’s and UC professor of pediatrics

Sandra Degen, PhD, (1997–98 ELAM fellow)
former UC vice president for research, currently interim chair of the UC Department of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry and Microbiology and associate chair for academic affairs in the pediatrics department

  • "I learned that in my cohort of 40 or so women, I had the same skills they did. It was empowering to know I had the ability to be a leader. I needed training, but I felt empowered to do whatever I wanted to do.” --Excerpt from Cincinnati Children’s "Building Leaders” brochure honoring ELAM fellows.

Maria Britto, MD, (ELAM Fellow 2005–06)
UC professor of pediatrics and director of the Center for Innovation in Chronic Disease Care and assistant vice president for chronic care systems at Cincinnati Children’s.

  • "The work I do is all about leading by encouragement and persuasion. I felt that optimizing my skills in those areas would be important to moving the work forward and becoming more effective. I learned a great deal in the ELAM program, but leadership skills are a collection of experiences, of incremental learning and practicing. It still continues today.” --Excerpt from Cincinnati Children’s "Building Leaders” brochure honoring ELAM fellows.

Jannette Collins, MD, (ELAM Fellow 1999–00)
Ben Felson Professor and Chair of Radiology and professor of medicine at UC

  • "ELAM introduced me at a young stage in my career that I could become a chair of a radiology department. It provided an opportunity for me to interact with high-level academics from different specialties. From this I gained a new perspective about the global health system. My assessment of my own abilities and potential was molded by the stories told by other ELAM participants.”

Melanie Cushion, PhD, (ELAM Fellow 2010–11)
UC professor and associate chair for research, UC Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases.

  • "The ELAM experience was important on a number of levels.  First, it provides a voice to women by the interactive learning methods and discussions held throughout the year of training.  Women often have different styles of leadership and interactions and the sessions provide a platform and recognition of these differences. Second, it introduces basic and nuanced techniques of leadership and what works with different personality types. The exercises where these different styles were teased out and illustrated was dramatic and an eye-opener for me. Once you recognized these qualities in yourself and those around you, it was easier to navigate committees by using these different styles to accomplish tasks. Third, the lessons in finance were essential for understanding the trying times higher education, and especially the colleges of medicine, are undergoing today. Lastly, ELAM creates a network of women that can be called upon for various professional favors, insights, and advice that are essential for professional development. It was also exciting to see the various projects that were developed as a requirement of the training. These projects, "Institutional Action Projects,” were to be taken back to the sponsor college/university and implemented. The Office for Research supports my project, the Ready, Set, Go! series of workshops for faculty development that have run from October to July 2012.”

Shuk-mei Ho, PhD, (ELAM Fellow 2009–10)
Jacob A. Schmidlapp Chair and Professor of the UC Department of Environmental Health

Gurjit Khurana Hershey, MD, PhD, (ELAM Fellow 2009–10)
Kindervelt Endowed Chair in Asthma Research and director of the Division of Asthma Research at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, director of the Medical Scientist (MD/PhD) Training Program at the UC College of Medicine.

  • "ELAM was an outstanding experience designed to explore the art of successful leadership. I also developed friendships with amazing women that span all aspects of medicine." 

Uma Kotagal, MBBS, (ELAM Fellow 2001–02)
UC professor of pediatrics and Cincinnati Children’s senior vice president for quality and transformation and director of health policy and clinical effectiveness

Ardythe Morrow, PhD, (ELAM Fellow 2000–01)
director of the Cincinnati Children’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Human Milk and Lactation and professor of pediatrics at UC

Lori Stark, PhD, (ELAM Fellow 2000–01)
director, Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology at Cincinnati Children’s and UC professor of pediatrics

  • "Just having a title doesn’t make you a leader. The key is how you work with people to make your common vision come through and keep everyone going in the same direction.” --Excerpt from Cincinnati Children’s "Building Leaders” brochure honoring ELAM fellows.

Laura Wexler, MD, (ELAM Fellow 1999–00)
professor medicine and cardiology at UC, former senior associate dean of student affairs and admissions, current associate program director of internal medicine residency program at the Cincinnati VA.

  • "The ELAM program provided some very practical training: how to deal with big budgets, organizational politics, diversity training, negotiating with difficult employees ... but the most valuable part was assessing my strengths and weaknesses as a leader. I learned to be more decisive, less concerned with being loved all the time, more focussed on the product (a successful, innovative organization), and, as a deeply ingrained introvert, much more appreciative of the unique contributions of extroverts!"


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