June 01, 2016

Brown and Limdi selected for the prestigious Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program

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cynthia brownCynthia BrownTwo members of the School of Medicine faculty have been selected as fellows for the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® for 2016-2017. Cynthia J. Brown, M.D., MSPH, and Nita A. Limdi, PharmD, MSPH, Ph.D., both met the extensive requirements to be accepted into this elite program – two of only 54 members accepted nationwide.

ELAM is a year-long, part-time fellowship for women faculty in schools of medicine, dentistry and public health. The 2016-2017 class will be the 22nd incoming class for ELAM, which remains the only program in North America committed to preparing women for senior leadership roles in academic health science institutions.

Brown, who serves as the director of UAB’s Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics and Palliative Care and the UAB Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging, completed her medical degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She served her internship and residency in the Primary Care Internal Medicine Program at Yale University School of Medicine, where she also completed a fellowship in geriatrics and clinical epidemiology. She obtained a Master’s of Science in Public Health at UAB in 2006. Limdi, who followed her PharmD from Samford with a MSPH in Clinical Research in 2005 and a doctorate in Epidemiology in 2007 (both from UAB), is a professor of Neurology and interim director of the UAB Hugh Kaul Personalized Medicine Institute.

While already boasting professional credential rich in leadership, both saw ELAM as a means to further their professional development and cultivate new avenues for growth.

“As a relatively new division director, I recognize that I have much to learn about being a leader,” Brown said. “When I took the job as division director, I shared with my chair that being recommended for this prestigious program was on my personal wish list. The program is rich with opportunities.”

Nita LimdiNita LimdiLimdi’s sentiments are similar. “I believe that participating in the ELAM experience will shape my professional goals and give me the tools, confidence and support to achieve them,” she said. “I am a chronic student. I always say, ‘What’s next? What can I do better?’ My goals are to further advance in research and implementation, teaching and mentorship – but also to inform policy. You can’t just stay in your lab, or people who know less than you will be the ones forming policy.”

Limdi explains that she looks forward to enhancing her leadership skills. “As scientists, we tend to stay focused on the science. But we need to develop this new facet to our skills in order to get people and organizations to understand our research and see its value. It’s about how to build and challenge teams to be transformative.”

The one-year fellowship will finish in April 2017 and include online assignments, community-building activities, and three week-long in-residence sessions.  Brown and Limdi join other notable ELAM participants from UAB, including last year’s participants Robin G. Lorenz, M.D., Ph.D., assistant dean for Physician-Scientist Education and Mary T. Hawn, M.D., who is now chair of surgery at Stanford. Beyond UAB, roughly 1,000 ELAM alumnae fill leadership roles in institutions across the globe, including women who hold positions as department chairs, research center directors, deans, college presidents and chief executives in health care and accrediting organizations.