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Thorndyke receives Carole J. Bland Phronesis Award from AAMC

  Luanne Thorndyke, MD

Luanne Thorndyke, MD

Luanne Thorndyke, MD, has been honored by the American Association of Medical Colleges Group on Faculty Affairs with its 2016 Carole J. Bland Phronesis Award. The award honors members of the faculty affairs community who exemplify the spirit of phronesis—acting for the welfare of others without thought for the self; seeking and enabling heroically the development and success of others. It was established to commemorate the service legacy of Dr. Bland, who from 1974 until her death in 2008, devoted her professional career to serving health sciences faculty at the University of Minnesota.

"It is a tremendous honor to receive an award bearing the name of Carole J. Bland, a ‘founding mother’ of the practice and scholarship of mentoring in academic medicine,” said Dr. Thorndyke, vice provost for faculty affairs and professor of medicine.

“This award represents the culmination of many years of work and the combined efforts of strong and effective teams that I have been able to bring together to accomplish specific goals and to achieve tangible outcomes."

Thorndyke leads the Office of Faculty Affairs with oversight for faculty development; academic affairs; leadership development; and gender and equity issues.

A board-certified internist and geriatrician, Thorndyke is a graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Medicine and completed her internal medicine residency at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, where she also established a community-based clinic and provided primary care to inner city residents. She subsequently served in numerous academic, clinical and administrative roles at Pennsylvania State University, culminating in her 2002 promotion to associate dean for professional development

Since joining UMMS in 2010, Thorndyke has continued to innovate, mentor, teach and lead—all criteria for the Bland Award.

Thorndyke is especially proud of the Junior Faculty Development Program, which she created at Penn State and brought to UMMS, along with co-developer Robert Milner, PhD, associate vice provost for professional development and professor of neurology. The Junior Faculty Development Program has become a recognized model for faculty development, mentoring and program evaluation nationwide.

“Our faculty development work has stimulated others to create their own programs for junior faculty,” said Thorndyke. “To realize this type of impact is indeed gratifying and humbling.”

Other innovative initiatives spearheaded by Thorndyke at UMMS include development of the Faculty Scholar Award, which enables individuals to continue or initiate research during a period of increased family-care responsibilities. In 2012, UMass received a prestigious $250,000 grant for its innovative work in career flexibility for academic faculty from the American Council on Education and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

“For the past 20-some years, I have been working with faculty—and especially women faculty—to help us ‘be all that we can be.’ I believe that faculty are both the promise and the fulfillment of academic medicine, and are most worthy of investment to provide opportunity, nurture careers and facilitate advancement,” Thorndyke said when she accepted the award on July 16.

This is Thorndyke’s second honor from the AAMC, whose Group on Women in Medicine and Science Leadership awarded her its individual Leadership Development Award in 2013. She has also been recognized by the American Medical Women’s Association with the Elizabeth Blackwell Award in 2012, and in 2016 received the Outstanding Mentoring to Women Faculty Award from the UMMS Women’s Faculty Committee.

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