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America’s Essential Hospitals Introduces 2020 Essential Women’s Leadership Academy Class


WASHINGTON — America’s Essential Hospitals this week welcomed its third and largest class to a novel program that aims to decrease gender disparities in hospital leadership by building on the knowledge and skills of rising women executives.

The association’s Essential Women’s Leadership Academy (EWLA) this year welcomes 16 rising women leaders from 13 health systems. They came to Washington, D.C., today to kick off the 10-month EWLA program.

“Essential hospitals are committed to closing the gender gap in the C-suite,” said Kalpana Ramiah, DrPH, MSc, vice president of innovation and director of Essential Hospitals Institute, the association’s research, education, and leadership development arm. “The EWLA complements and supports that work by fostering mentorship outside the hospital with a cohort of women leaders who can meet and learn from each other.”

Designed for women leaders, EWLA works to develop a cohort of confident, competent, and transformative women leaders through both classroom and virtual training. Each participant is paired with a volunteer mentor — hospital CEOs and other senior leaders from the association’s membership. EWLA mentors serve as a role model and career coach, lead monthly check-ins, and host a site visit for mentees at their organization.

America’s Essential Hospitals welcomes the following essential hospital leaders to its 2020 EWLA class:

  • Cynthia Bass, Erie County Medical Center
  • Amy Brandon, East Alabama Medical Center
  • Catina Brimmer, Harris Health System
  • Amy Carta, Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital System
  • Amanda Clarke, California Healthcare Safety Net Institute
  • Kimberlee Daniels, University of Virginia Medical Center
  • Jodie Donovan, St. Luke’s Health System
  • Shanna Doucet, Harris Health System
  • Michele Ebbers, St Luke’s Health System
  • Heather Jordan, Valleywise Health
  • Tanya Kilts, Hennepin Healthcare System
  • Terri Knight, Hennepin Healthcare System
  • Tricia Madden, Harborview Medical Center
  • Mary Maples, University Hospital
  • Andrea Turner, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center
  • Amanda Valentine, Howard University Hospital

The following essential hospital leaders have volunteered to serve as mentors:

  • Kathleen Becker, UNM Hospitals
  • Emily Blomberg, Hennepin Healthcare System
  • Susan Cooper, Regional One Health
  • Christy Neuhoff, St. Luke’s Health System
  • Michelle O’Keefe, Eskenazi Health
  • Jannienne Jones Verse, Northern Arizona Healthcare
  • Kate Walsh, Boston Medical Center
  • Wendy Wilcox, NYC Health + Hospitals

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About America’s Essential Hospitals

America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the vulnerable. We support our more than 300 members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education. Communities depend on essential hospitals to provide specialized, lifesaving services; train the health care workforce; advance public health and health equity; and coordinate care. Essential hospitals innovate and adapt to lead the way to more effective and efficient care. Learn more at

About Essential Hospitals Institute

Essential Hospitals Institute is the research, education, dissemination, and leadership development arm of America’s Essential Hospitals. The Institute supports the nation’s essential hospitals as they provide high-quality, equitable, and affordable care to their communities. Working with members of America’s Essential Hospitals, we identify promising practices from the field, conduct research, disseminate innovative strategies, and help our members improve their organizational performance. We do all of this with an eye toward improving individual and population health, especially for vulnerable people.


Carl Graziano


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Dedicated staff at America's Essential Hospitals work together to produce high-quality, reliable content. Please view the about section for more details about staff.

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