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Essential Women’s Leadership Academy

Gender disparities in hospital executive leadership have changed little over the past few decades. Women make up the majority of health care workers and half of all medical students, but representation decreases higher up the organizational ladder — few hospital CEOs are women.

The Essential Women’s Leadership Academy seeks to boost women’s confidence, improve their leadership competencies, and provide the necessary tools and support to elevate their careers. The program aims to transform organizational culture to decrease the gender gap in executive-level positions at essential hospitals.

The Essential Women’s Leadership Academy is a 10-month leadership development program designed to build a community of confident and empowered women executives who lead essential hospitals in meeting the challenges of our nation’s most vulnerable populations.

Program Goals

  • Increase participant’s confidence and strengthen the leadership skills needed to succeed as a women executive
  • Provide the necessary tools and support to help advance participant’s careers
  • Build a community of women executives at America’s Essential Hospitals

Program Components

  • Leadership development training: The program comprises three highly interactive in-person classroom sessions that include case studies, group work, and presentations from essential hospital leaders and subject matter experts.
  • Self-assessment and coaching: The program includes career path consultations with a professional coach. Each participant also will have the opportunity to assess their leadership strengths and weaknesses.
  • Mentorship: Each participant will be paired with a mentor to work collaboratively via monthly check-in calls and in-person sessions to develop the mentees’ career path.
  • Site visit: Mentees will complete an in-person site visit to their mentor’s organization.
  • Networking: The program includes extensive networking opportunities with colleagues who share a similar mission. The program ultimately aims to build a nationwide network of women essential hospital leaders who share the same mission and challenges.

Who Should Participate?

The Essential Women’s Leadership Academy is open to all members. It is specifically designed for women leaders in the manager or director position who are highly interested in career advancement and have at least five years of experience in health care.

Key Dates

  • September 9, 2022 — Applications open
  • November 18, 2022 – Applications close
  • December 2022 — Applicants will be notified of acceptance
  • February 1 – 3, 2023 (Washington D.C.) — Session 1
  • June 13 – 14, 2023 (Chicago) — Session 2
  • June 14 – 16, 2023 (Chicago) — VITAL2023
  • November 28 – 29 (Washington, D.C.) – Session 3

Program Cost

Tuition is $13,500, which includes three in-person sessions, access to leading health care experts and member CEOs, coaching, curriculum materials, and some meals. Each participant’s sponsoring organization is responsible for travel and lodging expenses.

America’s Essential Hospitals covers mentor’s costs.

Refund policy: Participants will be accepted to the class and invoiced in December 2022. Tuition fees are nonrefundable within 30 days before Session 1. Refunds will be given for unplanned events and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.


Applications are now closed. To submit interest in the next program or our other leadership development programs, use the form below.

Leadership Development Request for Information
Please use your work email address.
Which member do you work for?



Each applicant must be nominated by the organization’s CEO. If the applicant is accepted, America’s Essential Hospitals and the participant’s sponsor will agree to form a partnership to optimize the benefit of the program to the participant and her sponsoring organization. The sponsor can be the organization’s CEO or another senior leader. Each sponsor will sign a letter of commitment to support each participant’s participation in program activities and meet with their participant before the first session and after each session to discuss program progress.


Download the Essential Women’s Leadership Academy informational flyer

Any questions? Please contact Manager of Education Vashon Coehins at or 202.585.0100.


If you are a EWLA alumnus, please consider joining our private LinkedIn group.

Join the EWLA group on LinkedIn »

Interested in Becoming a Mentor? 

Essential Women’s Leadership Academy mentors are clinical or administrative leaders in a C-suite or vice president position who are committed to the success of women leaders at essential hospitals. Mentors must be willing to:

  • dedicate approximately 40 hours over a 10-month period to mentoring at least one mentee and host a site visit at your organization;
  • participate in mentor trainings and group discussions;
  • engage in one-hour monthly mentee check-in calls;
  • serve as a role model and assist in the enhancement of career development activities; and
  • be open and honest with mentees about career challenges and struggles and provide helpful and timely feedback.

If you would like to submit your interest to serve as a mentor for the 2023 class, please email Vashon Coehins at

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