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Amber Barnato Graduates from Prestigious Leadership Program

The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth is pleased to announce that Amber Barnato, MD, MPH, MS, the John E. Wennberg Distinguished Professor in Health Policy and Clinical Practice and director of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice at Geisel, graduated from the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM®) program on April 27, 2023.

A core program of Drexel University College of Medicine, ELAM is a yearlong, part-time fellowship dedicated to preparing women for senior leadership roles in academic health science institutions. It is focused on developing the skills required to lead and manage in today’s complex healthcare environment, with special attention paid to the unique challenges facing women in leadership positions.

This year’s class included 72 ELAM fellows and 24 fellows of the inaugural class of Executive Leadership in Health Care (from a total of 81 institutions) for the program, which held its graduation activities and annual leader’s forum recently in Philadelphia. They join a diverse alumnae community that now totals more than 1,300 highly accomplished leaders who represent nearly 300 academic health centers worldwide.

Amber Barnato
Left to right: Amber Barnato, MD, MPH, MS, Erika Brown, PhD, Duane Compton, PhD.

“Participating in ELAM has been the most important faculty development experience of my 22-year academic career,” Barnato explained. “The didactic and experiential content was terrific, ranging from building an anti-racist action plan for your organization to practicing the art of negotiation. The Ann Preston School of Medicine case on strategic finance and the organizational dynamics simulation were paradigm-shifting for me. But the best part was spending time with some of the most exceptional women in academic health sciences and healthcare delivery. With these leaders poised to take on greater roles nationally, I am optimistic about the future of our field.”

Prior to the graduation ceremony, the leader’s forum brought together the fellows and their deans (or other senior officials) for a series of leadership meetings and featured a poster symposium highlighting the fellows’ Institutional Action Projects (IAPs).

Conducted with senior leaders at their home institutions, the IAPs are designed to address an organizational need or priority. Details on Barnato’s IAP, “Building on the Legacy of the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care to Advance Health Equity,” can be found here.

She was joined by Dartmouth colleagues Duane Compton, PhD, dean of Geisel, who along with Joanne Conroy, MD, president and CEO of Dartmouth Health, served as her ELAM sponsors, as well as Erika Brown, PhD, dean of faculty affairs at Geisel and associate director of ELAM.

Sharing his experience at the ELAM Leaders Forum, Dean Compton said, “I was incredibly impressed with Dr. Barnato’s presentation. She is tackling some of the thorniest issues in organizational change management with integrity and skill. In building on the legacy of the Dartmouth Atlas, she is poised to advance the Dartmouth Institute’s impact on healthcare policy to improve health equity. To have Dartmouth represented by Dr. Brown on the dais as a member of ELAM leadership also made me very proud of our institution.”

Barnato joins a distinguished list of past ELAM fellows at Geisel and Dartmouth Health that includes Erika Brown, PhD, Ilana Cass, MD, Jocelyn Chertoff, MD, MS, Sonia Chimienti, MD, Kathleen Clem, MD, Joanne Conroy, MD, and Barbara Jobst, MD.

Commenting on the value of participating in the ELAM program, Brown, who was an ELAM fellow in the class of 2014-15, said: “ELAM is one of the most prestigious and impactful leadership development programs for women aspiring to levels of senior leadership in academic medicine and healthcare. The lessons that I learned while participating as a fellow were life-changing and pivotal in the trajectory of my career as an administrator in academic medicine.

“Furthermore, the networking opportunities that are cultivated by being an ELAM fellow are unmatched—the professional relationships that we establish as a fellow and by remaining engaged after completion of the program as an “ELUM” allow us to have connections at almost every medical school in the U.S. and an appreciable number of those that are international.”

Founded in 1797, the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth strives to improve the lives of the communities it serves through excellence in learning, discovery, and healing. The Geisel School of Medicine is renowned for its leadership in medical education, healthcare policy and delivery science, biomedical research, global health, and in creating innovations that improve lives worldwide. As one of America’s leading medical schools, Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine is committed to training new generations of diverse leaders who will help solve our most vexing challenges in healthcare.