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Thorndyke wins national award for advancing women in medicine

March 14, 2012
  Luanne Thorndyke, MD

Luanne Thorndyke, MD, vice provost for faculty affairs and professor of medicine, has won the2012 Elizabeth Blackwell Award from the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA), given annually to an honoree who has made the most outstanding contribution to the cause of women in the field of medicine. Among the criteria for AMWA's highest honor is a demonstrated commitment, originality, innovation or creativity in the honoree’s field of medicine.

Dr. Thorndyke will receive the award at the AMWA's 97th Annual Meeting, April 13-15, in Miami.

In her role at UMMS, Thorndyke has led programs in faculty development, mentoring, leadership and advancement of women, and faculty competencies. She has extensive experience in educational planning, program implementation and facilitating initiatives in professional development and mentoring, women's leadership development, equity and diversity. She established a junior faculty development program that has become a recognized model for faculty development, mentoring and program evaluation. In her current role, she is responsible for all matters related to faculty, including professional and leadership development, academic affairs (promotion and tenure), recruitment/retention/satisfaction and diversity/gender and equity issues.

Prior to joining UMMS, she was associate dean for professional development at the Penn State College of Medicine, and also served as assistant dean of continuing medical education, responsible for post-graduate educational programming for physicians, nurses and allied health personnel. A graduate of Duke University and the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, she is a board-certified internist and geriatrician. Her clinical interests lie in the areas of menopausal health, osteoporosis and geriatrics. Following residency training, she launched her career by establishing a community-based, primary care medical practice in Philadelphia that has continued for more than 25 years.

"Luanne Thorndyke embodies the spirit of Elizabeth Blackwell, and AMWA is happy to acknowledge her major contributions. Countless young women physicians may have been positively influenced by her in her various roles—from her private practice in Philadelphia as a young physician to her present position as a recognized national leader," said AMWA Awards Committee Chair Nancy R. Church, MD.

Thorndyke will present a talk at the meeting, "Take Charge of your Career! Mentoring and Other Tools for Your Professional Development Toolbox." The Elizabeth Blackwell Award will be presented to her during the 97th Anniversary Gala, featuring keynote speaker Gloria Steinem.

Also at the gala, alumna Pamela Lipsett, MD, MHPE, professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, will receive the AMWA’s 212 Woman in Science Award, which is presented to a woman physician who has made exceptional contributions to medical science, especially in women's health, through her basic and/or clinical research, publications and leadership in her field.