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Sandra Wong and Christine Finn Selected as Fellows in Prestigious National Leadership Program

Sandra Wong, MD, MS, the William N. and Bessie Allyn Professor of Surgery at Geisel School of Medicine, and Christine Finn, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry at Geisel, have been accepted into the 2023-2024 class of fellows in the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) program and the Executive Leadership in Health Care (ELH) program at Drexel University College of Medicine.

ELAM®, the only longitudinal program in North America dedicated to preparing women for senior leadership roles in schools of medicine, dentistry, public health, and pharmacy, develops the skills required to lead and manage in today’s complex healthcare environment. The ELH program is designed for senior-level women leaders interested in advancing in hospitals and healthcare systems to positions such as CEO, CMO, CNO, and CFO. ELAM and ELH alumnae number more than 1,300 and serve in leadership positions at over 300 academic health centers worldwide.

In a highly competitive selection process, Wong was one of 96 fellows and Finn one of 45 fellows accepted into this year’s ELAM and ELH classes, respectively, from the largest pool of applicants in the programs’ history.

Sandra Wong, MD, MS
Sandra Wong, MD, MS

“I’m excited to participate in ELAM and join a tremendous learning community,” Wong says. “A big bonus is being able to work on a capstone project which will benefit Dartmouth Health.”

Wong, who serves as chair of the Department of Surgery at Geisel and Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) and a professor of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice at Geisel, is a surgical oncologist specializing in the management of soft tissue sarcomas, melanoma, and non-melanoma skin cancers. She is among the most widely recognized health services researchers in academic surgery, with an extensive record of research funding and well over 250 peer-reviewed studies to her credit.

Wong has held leadership positions in several prominent professional organizations including the Society of Surgical Oncology, the Society of University Surgeons, and the Society of Surgical Chairs. She is also an editorial board member of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons and the Journal of Surgical Oncology, a deputy editor for Annals of Surgical Oncology, and an associate editor for Annals of Surgery. Wong has been honored with numerous medical student and resident teaching awards.

“I’m honored to be chosen to participate in ELH and thank Joanne Conroy, MD, for her sponsorship of me for the program,” says Finn. “I believe the experiences this year will help me expand my foundational leadership skills, as well as provide me with peers and mentors to learn with and from. I look forward to applying my new knowledge in my leadership roles at DHMC.”

Christine Finn, MD
Christine Finn, MD

Finn, a psychiatrist, serves as medical director and vice chair for clinical services as well as director of the emergency psychiatry and telepsychiatry services in the Department of Psychiatry at DHMC. She has twice been recognized as an Engagement Champion for her leadership at DH.

Under Finn’s leadership, DHMC has significantly expanded its psychiatric consultation and crises services, providing badly needed mental health expertise and support to hospitals in the region. Previous to her clinical administrative leadership roles, she served as the vice chair for education and resident director in psychiatry. In 2014, she was recognized as the institutional Program Director of the Year. Finn was also selected to serve on the Executive Council of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training.

Beginning this summer and continuing through the end of the program in April 2024, individuals selected for the ELAM and ELH programs will engage in a variety of assignments and community building activities including an action project at their home institution, developed in collaboration with the fellow’s dean or other senior official.

“We are extremely excited to see the impact these women will have on their institutions as they work through the ELAM and ELH curriculum and develop their action projects,” says Nancy Spector, MD, executive director of ELAM and ELH. “The projects the fellows conduct not only help them understand the challenges facing academic health centers and the skills a leader must possess to address these challenges, but also often result in concrete changes at their institutions.”

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

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.

Dartmouth Health, New Hampshire’s only academic health system and the state’s largest private employer, serves patients across northern New England. Dartmouth Health provides access to more than 2,000 providers in almost every area of medicine, delivering care at its flagship hospital, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH, as well as across its wide network of hospitals, clinics and care facilities. DHMC is consistently named the #1 hospital in New Hampshire by U.S. News & World Report, and is recognized for high performance in numerous clinical specialties and procedures. Dartmouth Health includes Dartmouth Cancer Center, one of only 51 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation, and the only such center in northern New England; Dartmouth Health Children’s, which includes the state’s only children’s hospital and multiple locations around the region; member hospitals in Lebanon, Keene and New London, NH, and Windsor, VT; and Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire; and more than 24 clinics that provide ambulatory and specialty services across New Hampshire and Vermont. Through its historical partnership with Dartmouth and the Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth Health trains nearly 400 medical residents and fellows annually, and performs cutting-edge research and clinical trials recognized across the globe with Geisel and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT. Dartmouth Health and its more than 13,000 employees are deeply committed to serving the healthcare needs of everyone in our communities, and to providing each of our patients with exceptional, personal care.