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Women’s Faculty Awards spotlight excellence at UMass Chan Medical School

Seven honored for achievements in science, health care, education and community service

By Sandra Gray

UMass Chan Medical School Communications

May 24, 2022

The 22nd annual Women’s Faculty Awards honoring women in science and health care for achievements in early career development, clinical service, mentoring, science and health, education, and community service at UMass Chan Medical School, were presented on Tuesday, May 24.

Payal Modi, MD, MPH, assistant professor of emergency medicine; Anna Luisa Kuhn, MD, PhD, assistant professor of radiology; Vivian Budnik, PhD, the Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research Chair I and chair and professor of neurobiology; Eustathia Lela Giannaris, PhD, associate professor of radiology; Ann Marshak-Rothstein, PhD, professor of medicine; Elizabeth Keating, MS, APRN-BC, assistant professor of nursing; and Melanie Gnazzo, MD, assistant professor of family medicine & community health, were honored.

The awards are sponsored by the Office of Faculty Affairs and the Women’s Faculty Committee of the Diversity and Inclusion Office. New this year is the inaugural Christine K. Cassel MD’76 Faculty Scholar Award, which is endowed by Dr. Cassel, a distinguished alumna who is a nationally recognized pioneer and innovator in geriatric medicine, medical ethics and quality care.

Chancellor Michael F. Collins congratulated the honorees and welcomed Cassel to the proceedings.

“Our awardees exemplify the excellence of our faculty and breathe life and vitality into our institution,” he said. “It’s a very fitting day that we continue to recognize our best women faculty and are joined today by pre-eminent alum and titan of academic medicine Dr. Christine Cassel to today’s ceremony.”

Tiffany A. Moore Simas, MD, MPH, MEd, delivered the keynote address “Lemons, Pearls and Chocolate.” Dr. Moore Simas, the Donna M. and Robert J. Manning Chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology and chair and professor of obstetrics & gynecology, was named the fourth Joy McCann Professor for Women at the Women’s Faculty Awards in 2014 and is a fellow of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program for Women at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. She discussed developing “EMPOWER: Empowering Mid-Career Professional Women for Executive Roles Summit,” her capstone project for the professorship. The EMPOWER Summit will return to UMass Chan in 2023 in a combined event in collaboration with UMass Chan fellows of ELAM.

In her presentation “Highlighting Women’s Achievements at UMass Chan Medical School,” Mary Ahn, MD, vice provost for faculty affairs and professor of psychiatry, shared statistics on the rising proportion of female faculty in leadership positions at UMass Chan. The Medical School now exceeds national averages in some categories. For example, women number 50 percent of assistant, associate and vice chancellors; 80 percent of vice provosts; and 55 percent of assistant, associate and vice deans as well as two out of three deans.

“It is in all of our interest that we maximize the talent potential of all our faculty. I’m always humbled at this event by your tremendous accomplishments,” said Terence R. Flotte, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor, dean of the T.H. Chan School of Medicine and provost and executive deputy chancellor of UMass Chan Medical School. “Congratulations to our award winners!”

Women’s Faculty Committee Awards Subcommittee co-chairs Amy Costigan, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine, and Wendy Marsh, MD, MS, associate professor of psychiatry, presented these awards:

Payal Modi, MD, MPH

Christine K. Cassel MD’76 Faculty Scholar Award
Payal Modi, MD, MPH

Anna Luisa Kuhn, MD, PhD

Early Career Achievement in Science and Health Award
Anna Luisa Kuhn, MD, PhD

Elizabeth (Beth) Keating, MS, APRN-BC

Excellence in Clinical Service Award
Elizabeth (Beth) Keating, MS, APRN-BC

Vivian Budnik, PhD

Outstanding Mentoring to Women Faculty Award
Vivian Budnik, PhD

Eustathia Lela Giannaris, PhD

Sarah Stone Excellence in Education Award
Eustathia Lela Giannaris, PhD

Ann Rothstein, PhD

Women in Science and Health Achievements Award
Ann Marshak-Rothstein, PhD

Melanie Gnazzo, MD

Outstanding Community Service Award
Melanie Gnazzo, MD