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Honoring Female Leaders in Healthcare

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On Saturday, September 16th, The Women Physicians’ Action Committee hosted a luncheon at the beautiful Thousand Cranes Ballroom of the Doubletree in downtown Los Angeles. “Celebration of Women in Medicine” was the first of what WPAC hopes to make an annual event.

First, Dr. Stephanie Booth discussed the life and times of Dr. Rose Talbott Bullard, whom LACMA elected in 1903 to serve as their first female president. This was a major accomplishment; in fact, it was another 90 years, before another woman would serve as President of LACMA.

After exploring Dr. Talbott-Bullard as a prime example of a predecessor woman physician leader, Patrice Harris, MD, MA, the immediate past chair of the AMA Board of Trustees, gave the Keynote Speech. She shared stories from her own past to leadership and described many of the challenges women physician leaders of today have faced on that journey. She encouraged us to appreciate how the good work we are doing today will help to ensure a better tomorrow.

During final portion of the luncheon WPAC and all the attendees recognized the honorees and their commendable contributions with huge rounds of applause.

Stacy Songco, MD Candidate 2019, David Geffen School of Medicine UCLA; and MPP Candidate 2019, Masters in Health Policy, Luskin School of Public Affairs UCLA, received an award for her early interest, activity and accomplishments in organized medicine. WPAC recognized Ms. Songco as a “Rising Physician Leadership Star.” This young woman is already leading and seems destined to become a great physician leader of the future.

Karen Miotto, MD, FASAM, clinical professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, is a psychiatrist and Addiction Medicine specialist. Early on, Dr. Miotto recognized that many physician colleagues were suffering and she became a physician advocate prior to the time most physicians knew they needed one. Dr. Miotto is a pioneer in physician wellness and recognizing and addressing physician burnout. WPAC honored Dr. Miotto for her “Excellence in Physician Advocacy.”

Sarah Pacini, JD and Cindy Belcher each received an award entitled, “Outstanding Leadership – Providing Inspiration and Support for the Women of LACMA.” Ms. Pacini is the CEO of CAP – MPT (Cooperative American Physicians – Mutual Protection Trust). Ms. Belcher is the COO and President of CAPIC (Cooperative of American Physicians Insurance Company, Inc.) and the COO of CAPIC’s parent company CAP. Ms. Pacini and Ms. Belcher exemplify outstanding women leaders in the world of medically related businesses. It is highly unusual for women to occupy top corporate leadership positions and that achievement is an enormous inspiration to women physicians. In addition, Ms. Pacini and Ms. Belcher go the extra mile to support the physicians of LACMA.

Marcy Zwelling-Aamot, MD, FACEP, has had a massive impact on organized medicine at the county, state and national levels. WPAC honored her with the “Lifetime Service to Organized Medicine Award.” Dr. Zwelling-Aamot accepted her award to a standing ovation. Ralph DiLibero MD, who flew in from Sacramento to see his longtime friend accept this award, stepped up to share highly complimentary reflections about Dr. Zwelling-Aamot’s character and service to medicine. She has been a leader in every sense of the word.

Ruth Haskins, MD, an OB/GYN from Folsom California, currently serves as the President of the California Medical Association. There had been only three female CMA presidents prior to Dr. Haskins’ election. The WPAC recognized Dr. Haskins with the “Rose Talbot Bullard Award – Woman Physician Champion and Trailblazer.” Dr. Haskins is incredibly supportive of women and serves as an outstanding role model as a woman physician leader.


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