Campus Alert: Find the latest UMMS campus news and resources at

Search Close Search


Leadership development conference prepares women faculty leaders for executive roles

EMPOWER Summit is capstone project of Joy McCann Professor Tiffany A. Moore Simas, MD, MPH, MEd

By Ellie Castano

UMass Medical School Communications

March 07, 2017
  Tiffany A. Moore Simas, MD, MPH, MEd

Tiffany A. Moore Simas, MD, MPH, MEd

When Tiffany A. Moore Simas, MD, MPH, MEd, was named the Joy McCann Professor in 2014, she launched a project to empower women in mid-level to senior academia posts to pursue executive leadership roles. In March, her project will culminate with a two-and-a-half day summit bringing together women from across the Worcester and Baystate campuses to engage in an immersive, interactive, leadership development opportunity that will enhance their skills for leadership positions.

The summit is the capstone project of Dr. Moore Simas’s EMPOWER (EMpowering PrOfessional Women for Executive Roles) initiative, which she developed in fulfillment of her role as the Joy McCann professor.

“Women clinicians and scientists bring unique perspectives, strengths and opportunities to academic health centers,” said Moore Simas, associate professor of obstetrics & gynecology, pediatrics and psychiatry. “But women have yet to achieve leadership positions proportional to the numbers being trained. The EMPOWER Summit will prepare women faculty leaders—new and aspiring—for executive leadership roles.”

Moore Simas is co-sponsoring the summit with the Office of Faculty Affairs. Fifty-one participants are scheduled to attend the summit—the largest number of women clinicians and scientists to ever gather at a women’s leadership development event at UMMS.

The EMPOWER Summit, which takes place March 16-18, will include sessions on a wide-range of topics, including leading with purpose in dynamic times; self-assessment of leadership strengths and weaknesses; building resilience for leadership; vision setting, strategic planning and change management; business of health care and health care systems; and influence, negotiation and conflict resolution, among others.

Summit speakers include Ora Pescovitz, MD, senior vice president and U.S. medical leader at Eli Lilly; Mary Parish, MA, president of MVP Associates; Charlene Maria Dewey, MEd, MD, co-director of the Center for Professional Health and assistant dean for educator development at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine; Laura Schweitzer Gruenthal, PhD, interim dean of the School of Public Health and vice president for health sciences and biomedical initiatives at the University of Albany; Michele Streeter, executive vice president and chief operating officer of UMass Memorial Medical Group; John Lindstedt, associate vice chancellor for finance and administration at UMass Medical School; and Barry Dorn, MD, MHCM, associate director of the Program on Health Care Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at Harvard School of Public Health.

Summit participants will take part in round-table discussions, team exercises and workshops and will have dinner with UMass Medical School Dean Terence R. Flotte and other leaders from the UMMS–UMass Memorial community.

For more information about the summit, visit the EMPOWER website

The three-year Joy McCann Professorship, established at UMass Medical School in 2005 by an endowment from the Joy McCann Foundation, 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).

EMPOWER Summit Leadership

Course Director
Tiffany A. Moore Simas, MD, MPH, MEd

Advisory Board
Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Graduates

Vivian Budnik, PhD
Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research Chair
and chair and professor of neurobiology
Joanna Cain, MD
professor of obstetrics & gynecology,
vice chair of faculty development
and director of talent management in the Office of Faculty Affairs
Deborah DeMarco, MD
professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology,
senior associate dean for clinical affairs
and associate dean of graduate medical education
Ellen Gravallese, MD
the Myles J McDonough Chair in Rheumatology,
professor of medicine
and chief of the Division of Rheumatology
Julia Johnson, MD 
chair and professor of obstetrics & gynecology
Jean King, PhD
professor of psychiatry, radiology & neurology;
vice provost for biomedical research;
and director of the Center for Comparative NeuroImaging
Mary M. Lee, MD
the Stoddard Chair of Pediatrics,
chair and professor of pediatrics
and physician-in-chief of UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center
Michele P Pugnaire, MD
professor of family medicine & community health,
senior associate dean for educational affairs
and executive director of the Interprofessional Center for Experiential Learning & Simulation
Katherine Ruiz De Luzuriaga, MD
UMass Memorial Health Care Chair in Biomedical Research;
professor of molecular medicine, pediatrics and medicine;
vice provost of clinical and translational research;
and director of the UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science
Gyongyi Szabo, MD, PhD
Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research Chair
and professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology
Luanne Thorndyke, MD
professor of medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine
and vice provost for faculty affairs