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America’s Essential Hospitals Introduces 2023 Essential Women’s Leadership Academy Class


WASHINGTON — America’s Essential Hospitals today welcomed its fourth 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 17 rising women leaders from 13 health systems. They gathered in Washington, D.C., today to kick off the 10-month EWLA program.

“Gender disparities persist in the hospital C-suite—we’re committed to changing that,” said Kalpana Ramiah, DrPH, MSc, vice president of innovation and director of Essential Hospitals Institute, the association’s research, education, and leadership development arm. “This program not only elevates women leaders, but it also can transform organizational culture to close the gender gap in executive-level positions.”

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.

“The mentorship model is so important,” says Institute board member and EWLA mentor Susan Cooper, MSN, RN, chief integration officer and senior vice president at association member Regional One Health, in Memphis, Tenn. “Hands-on support from experienced women leaders adds tremendous value to this program.”

America’s Essential Hospitals welcomes these essential hospital leaders to its 2023 EWLA class:

  • Stephanie Adamek, Hennepin Healthcare.
  • Tanvi Bhakta, MSN, RN, San Francisco Department of Public Health.
  • Elizabeth Brewer, MSN, RN, Harris Health System.
  • Isabel Briones, University Medical Center.
  • Emily Briton, MHSA, MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
  • Alexis Davis, MA, NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County.
  • Jori Davis, MBA, Valleywise Health.
  • Krystle Gandhi, MSN, RN, JPS Health Network.
  • Suzette Graham-Hill, MD, NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County.
  • Elizabeth Hall, MBA, UVA Health.
  • Vivian Ho-Nguyen, MBA, Harris Health System.
  • Jessica Lanney, MSc, Boston Medical Center.
  • Komal Lodaria, MA, NYC Health + Hospitals.
  • Susan McBride, RDN, UW Medicine – Harborview Medical Center.
  • Shayda O’Hara, MSN, RN, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma
  • Natalie Rodriguez, MS, Parkland Health.
  • Danielle Scheurer, MD, Medical University of South Carolina.

In addition to Cooper, these essential hospital leaders have volunteered to serve as mentors:

  • Carolynn Jones, JD, Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance and Risk Officer, Harris Health System.
  • Katrina Lambrecht, JD, MBA, Chief Operating Officer, MU Health Care.
  • Michelle O’Keefe, MA, Chief Communications Officer, Eskenazi Health.
  • Shannon Sale, MHA, Chief Strategy Officer, Grady Memorial Hospital.
  • Deborah Visconi, MS, President and CEO, Bergen New Bridge Medical Center.
  • Deborah Wilson, President and CEO, Lawrence General Hospital.


About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading association and champion for hospitals dedicated to equitable, high-quality care for all, including those who face social and financial barriers to care. Since 1981, America’s Essential Hospitals has advanced policies and programs that promote health, health care access, and equity. We support our more than 300 members with advocacy, policy development, research, education, and leadership development. Communities depend on essential hospitals for care across the continuum, health care workforce training, research, public health and health equity, and other services. Essential hospitals innovate and adapt to lead all of health care toward better outcomes and value.

About Essential Hospitals Institute
Essential Hospitals Institute leads research, education, dissemination, and leadership development for America’s Essential Hospitals. To advance the quality, equity, safety, and affordability of care at essential hospitals, the Institute identifies promising practices in the field, provides professional development training, promotes practice improvements, and disseminates innovative approaches to care. It does this with an eye toward improving individual and population health, especially for underrepresented and marginalized people and communities.

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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