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Moore Simas named Joy McCann Professor for Women in Medicine

Focus will be empowering mid-career professional women for executive roles

By Mark L. Shelton

UMass Medical School Communications

May 13, 2014
Tiffany Moore Simas, MD, MPH, MEd, FACOG
Tiffany A. Moore Simas has been named the next Joy McCann Professor for Women in Medicine.

Tiffany A. Moore Simas, MD, MPH, MEd, FACOG, associate professor of obstetrics & gynecology and pediatrics and director of the Division of Research in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, has been named the next Joy McCann Professor for Women in Medicine.

Established at UMass Medical School in 2005 by an endowment from the Joy McCann Foundation, the three-year professorship identifies and rewards female faculty leadership in medical education, research, patient care and community service. Previous recipients of the professorship are Linda F. Weinreb, MD, professor of family medicine & community health and pediatrics (2005-2008); Patricia Franklin, MD, MBA, MPH, associate professor of orthopedics & physical rehabilitation (2008-2011); and Julia Andrieni, MD, associate professor of medicine (2011-2014).

“Through her many career achievements and mentoring abilities, Dr. Moore Simas embodies all of the values that the Joy McCann Foundation wishes to have reflected in its recipients,” said Chancellor Michael F. Collins. “She has demonstrated a particular commitment to and talent for mentoring women as they navigate careers in medicine and leadership within an institution.”

Dr. Moore Simas was recently selected to participate in both the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology National Leadership Development Program and UMass Memorial Health Care’s Physician Leadership Development Program; she also recently participated in the Association of American Medical Colleges Mid-Career Development Program. These programs have significantly impacted her development and contributed to her vision for the Joy McCann Professorship, which is to nurture, inspire, recruit, prepare and advance the next generation of women leaders by addressing issues relevant to mid-career faculty women at a time when they are at risk of leaving the institution or face obstacles in advancement. These issues include confidence, prudence in position pursuit and selection, authenticity of approach, and, importantly, attainment of necessary skills and experiences for success.

Moore Simas’s proposal is to use the Joy McCann Professorship as an opportunity to create a project focused on mid-career women and leadership: Empowering Mid-career Professional Women for Executive Roles (EMPOWER). Her goal is to better understand the leadership development needs of mid-career women. Using her unique combination of training strengths, expertise and experience, she will use a needs assessment to identify gaps in the current positions of mid-career women and their goals and the processes needed to advance. The result will be a program designed to enhance UMMS mid-career women’s capabilities and increase the pipeline for leadership positions in academic medicine.

Moore Simas’s own research has focused on reproductive health issues, including weight gain, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and post-partum depression, and has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the March of Dimes and the American Diabetes Association. She is currently studying the effectiveness of a storytelling intervention to increase rates of prenatal care utilization among Latina women (with Jeroan J. Allison, MD, professor of qualitative health sciences); and examining mechanisms of adipose tissue development and function in gestational diabetes (with Silva Corvera, MD, professor of molecular medicine).

“It is particularly notable that Dr. Moore Simas is a graduate of this medical school and our own residency program in obstetrics & gynecology,” said Terence R. Flotte, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education, executive deputy chancellor, provost and dean of the School of Medicine. “Her leadership skills and her enthusiasm for supporting her own academic community are excellent examples of our values.”

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