Women We Admire is pleased to announce The Top 50 Women Leaders in Medicine for 2024. While women have been medical practitioners for centuries, there’s been a recent rise in women physicians in the United States. The numbers have been steadily climbing for nearly two decades, with about 38% of US physicians being women in 2023. 

In addition to serving as physicians, women leaders in medicine have taken on administrative and executive roles, lending their skills and specialized knowledge to the field to provide better patient care. 

Among these leaders is physician and entrepreneur Avril Beckford. She’s the founder of the Pediatric and Adolescent Center, and she serves as the Chief Pediatric Officer for the WellStar Health System, a nationally recognized healthcare system.

This year’s honorees include Heather Prendergast, the Executive Director of the University of Illinois Physician Group with the University of Illinois College of Medicine. Among her achievements is the establishment of the first off-site University of Illinois Multispecialty Ambulatory Clinic in 2020.

We also extend honors to Catherine Codispoti, the SVP and Chief People Officer at Mercy, one of the 25 largest health systems in the US. Codispoti has served in multiple executive roles in medicine throughout her 20-year career.

Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Women Leaders in Medicine for 2024.

2). Reetu Singh
Chief Medical Officer, Saint Francis Health System

Reetu Singh is a highly accomplished healthcare professional with a diverse range of experiences and a passion for improving the quality of healthcare. She currently serves as the Senior Vice President and System Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for Saint Francis Health System in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Singh is responsible for overseeing system quality, medical staff, service line medical directors, and acute inpatient medicine. Her dedication to excellence and her ability to inspire and lead others make her an invaluable asset to the healthcare community.

Singh's educational background includes graduating from the University of Missouri Kansas City, where she completed her residency in internal medicine. She also holds an MBA in leadership from Baker University, further enhancing her expertise in healthcare management. Throughout her career, Singh has held various leadership roles, showcasing her exceptional skills in medical management. She has served as the medical director of hospital medicine, regional chief medical information officer, and system director of clinical documentation. These positions have allowed her to develop a deep understanding of healthcare operations and the importance of effective leadership. 

Passionate about quality improvement, physician leadership, and innovation in healthcare, Dr. Singh actively seeks opportunities to make a positive impact in these areas. She believes in the power of equitable healthcare and advocates for the rights and well-being of all patients. As a first-generation immigrant from India, Dr. Singh has a unique perspective and a strong commitment to addressing healthcare disparities.

In her current role as the SVP, System CMO, Dr. Singh is responsible for overseeing system quality, medical staff, service line medical directors, and acute inpatient medicine. Her dedication to excellence and her ability to inspire and lead others make her an invaluable asset to the healthcare community. Dr. Singh's remarkable journey and accomplishments serve as an inspiration to aspiring healthcare professionals and a testament to the importance of compassionate and innovative leadership in the field of medicine.

4). Lauren Singelakis 
VP, Laboratory Operations Department of Pathology, Molecular & Cell-Based Medicine, Mount Sinai Health System

Lauren Singelakis is currently the Vice President of Laboratory Operations, at the Department of Pathology, Molecular & Cell-Based Medicine for the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. In her current role, she has operational and financial oversight for seven hospital-based laboratories as well as multiple system ambulatory labs. Here, she strives to develop and implement innovative initiatives; delivering system efficiency and exceptional quality. 

Prior to joining the Mt Sinai Health System, Ms. Singelakis spent 9 years at Westchester Medical Center where she established and grew a revenue-generating outreach business for the lab. In addition, she and her team in-sourced Blood Bank and Transfusion Medicine; a service that was previously vendor-managed for 40+ years. Ahead of this role, Lauren dedicated 13 years of her career to Public Health, serving as the Senior Virologist for the Westchester County Department of Laboratories and Research. There, she honed her skillset in laboratory medicine.  One of her team’s most notable accomplishments was isolating a strain of Influenza that was characterized by exceptional growth properties and utilized for the 2005-2006 Northern Hemisphere vaccine & 2006 Southern Hemisphere vaccine. In addition, she led teams that worked on the creation of West Nile Virus testing and collaborated with the CDC and WHO during the 2009 H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic.

Lauren’s interest and passion for laboratory medicine began in the late 1990’s when she joined Montefiore Medical Center as a Laboratory Technologist; working on the early iteration of PCR for HIV Viral Load. Here she was not only intrigued by the science but the functionality of the laboratory as a whole.

She remains an advocate of supporting young women in STEM and served as a mentor in the “Her Honor” program founded by Judge Judy Sheindlin. Lauren is committed to educating the next generation of laboratory scientists and served on the planning and curriculum committee for the development of the Clinical Laboratory Science Master’s Program at New York Medical College; where she was also an instructor. She currently serves as a board member for the New York State Clinical Laboratory Association and the Alumni Council for Mercy University. Ms. Singelakis’ scientific knowledge coupled with her drive for operational excellence has forged her career pathways and led to her success.

Lauren earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Manhattan College in 1996 and an MS in Health Care Management from Mercy University in 2018.  She is currently pursuing certification as a Diplomate in Laboratory Management by the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

6). Janis Green, MD
Chief Medical Officer, Holy Cross Health

Dr. Janis Green is a dynamic healthcare executive and accomplished gynecologic surgeon with over 15 years of experience and double board certification in Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, specializing in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery. She is known for her visionary leadership and ability to navigate complex healthcare environments, drive positive change, and implement innovative solutions to enhance patient care and operational efficiency. 

Currently serving as Chief Medical Officer at Holy Cross Hospital, Dr. Green oversees medical staff operations, medical education programs, and clinical departments, ensuring compliance with regulatory standards and advancing best practices in patient care. Previously, as Chief Medical Officer at FHCB Health System, she spearheaded the development and implementation of the Family Lifestyle Improvement Program, focusing on managing diabetes and hypertension while addressing social determinants of health. Dr. Green is also committed to advancing medical education and research, serving as a clinical instructor and mentor, and actively participating in professional organizations. 

She holds an Executive MBA from the University of Maryland and a Medical Doctorate from Virginia Commonwealth University's Medical College of Virginia. Driven by a commitment to excellence, Dr. Janis Green is dedicated to shaping the future of women's healthcare through innovation, compassion, and leadership. Dr. Green is a native of the Washington, DC area and has three sons with her husband John.

8). Tulay Aksoy
Chief Medical Officer, Aurora Sinai Medical Center, Advocate Health 

Tulay Aksoy has graduated from Uludag University School of Medicine in Turkey. Seeking educational excellence, she moved to the US and completed her Internal Medicine training at Montefiore Medical Center, New York. As a dedicated educator and associate professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, she practiced as an academic internal medicine hospitalist for 11 years while taking on progressive leadership roles, including medical director of the Wakefield campus at Montefiore. After leading her hospital through the COVID pandemic as medical director, she joined Aurora Health Care as Chief Medical Officer at Aurora Sinai Medical Center in September 2022. Shortly after, she added Aurora St. Luke’s South Shore to her responsibilities. 

Aksoy has formal training in performance improvement fellowship at Montefiore Institute of Performance Improvement and received numerous certificates, including leadership strategies for evolving healthcare executives and healthcare financial management for physician leaders certificates from Harvard Chan School of Public Health. Aksoy is studying for an Executive MBA at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and is expected to graduate in 2025. 

She has been awarded numerous honors, including being inducted into the Leo M. Davidoff Society of Albert Einstein College of Medicine for outstanding achievement in teaching medical students, and has been featured as a national speaker. Aksoy resides in Brookfield with her husband and three children. The whole family loves watching hockey and enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures.

10). Krista Boe
Chief Clinical Officer, Acorn Health  

Krista Boe is a passionate and dedicated clinician with extensive strategic healthcare executive leadership experience. She has served diverse patient populations, across a multitude of care settings, and as a member of highly cross-functional teams for more than 15 years. She currently serves as the Chief Clinical and Compliance Officer at Acorn Health, a foremost provider of applied behavior analysis (ABA) delivering quality care for individuals diagnosed with autism across seven states. Boe joined Acorn Health from the outset in 2018 as the business poised itself to scale, and was instrumental in developing our clinical tenants and laying the groundwork for maintaining our high-quality clinical services for every client we serve. 

Boe possesses the skill set required to define, disseminate, measure/assess, and evolve a clinical product. She is extremely passionate about the role she plays in ensuring clinical quality is at the forefront of every decision made and every client served and championing the need for refinement and improvement as an organization scales. Previously, Boe served dually diagnosed individuals at an intermediate care facility, and as an independent consultant in a community waiver-based setting. Boe was a board member for the Heartland Association for Behavior Analysis, and the Nebraska Association for Behavior Analysis. She began her work with Autism Centers of Michigan (ACM), an Acorn Health Company, in 2015, as Clinical Director of Northern Michigan operations, and later served as Chief Clinical Officer. In 2018, Boe was appointed to the Michigan Autism Council, representing certified behavior analysts throughout the state.

Boe earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Biology from Central Michigan University and a Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University.

12). Sally Boeve
Chief Medical Officer, Easterseals Blake Foundation

With over 14 years of experience in direct care and leadership for mental health organizations across Southern Arizona, Sally Boeve, MD is the Chief Medical Officer of Easterseals Blake Foundation in Tucson, Arizona. Easterseals Blake Foundation provides exceptional services, education, outreach, and advocacy so that people living with and without disabilities can thrive in their communities. 

She has helped multiple organizations implement and grow psychiatric services for children, adolescents, and adults. She has served across inpatient, crisis, substance use, private, public, and academic settings. Dr. Boeve has helped to close the gap in services for children with substance use disorders and continues to support both adults and children at Easterseals Blake Foundation and Cope Community Services with medication-assisted treatment to support sobriety. She has significant experience in working with and supporting other providers who work with children in the Birth to Five population, and children, adolescents, and adults with neurodiversity and developmental disabilities. She is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) in adult and child psychiatry and also incorporates broad-based integrative tools to treat the whole person in her psychiatric practice. 

Dr. Boeve has nearly two decades of experience. Before joining Easterseals Blake Foundation, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona. Before that, she held Chief Medical Officer Positions at Intermountain Centers for Human Development and Pasadera Behavioral Health. Earlier in her career, she completed her Adult Psychiatry Residency and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at the University of Arizona. Dr. Boeve earned her Bachelor of Science at the University of Washington and her Medical Degree at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine in the Chicagoland area. 

14).  Deb Halligan
Chief Clinical Officer, Nudj Health

Deb Halligan is the Chief Clinical Officer and Co-Founder of Nudj Health, a unique virtual company that partners with physician practices and hospital systems to coach patients through lifestyle modifications to improve and reverse their chronic health conditions.  

With a team of lifestyle experts, Nudj Health meets patients where they are to create and maintain their new habits, offering one-on-one coaching, group classes, and virtual cardiac rehab. Nudj Health patients are improving their quality of life, both mentally and physically, as evidenced by clinically validated assessment scores and other objective data such as blood pressure, weight reduction, and lab values. The current healthcare system does little to address remission and reversal of chronic conditions, and it is Halligan’s mission to extend this model of care into every corner of the country.

Before Nudj, Halligan was an early adopter of remote monitoring of cardiac devices, which led to publications in EP Lab Digest and presentations at the Heart Rhythm Society. She joined the executive team at Geneva Health Solutions and scaled their remote monitoring business from 8,000 patients to 90,000 patients. With 23 years of in-hospital nursing experience ranging from critical care, cardiology, and electrophysiology, she observed the gaps in the current healthcare system, allowing her to design and oversee virtual clinical operations to extend the care of patients outside the walls of the clinic and the hospital.

View the complete list of awardees.

16). Catherine Codispoti
Senior VP & Chief People Officer, Mercy

Catherine Codispoti joined Mercy as SVP and Chief People Officer on Dec. 1, 2023, with a focus on hiring, recruiting, and retaining co-workers for the health system’s multi-state region.

Prior to joining Mercy, Catherine served as chief people officer at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC, where she led compensation, benefits and well-being, learning and development, labor relations and compliance, talent acquisition and more for a team of 8,500.

Before Children’s National, Catherine served for more than 13 years in a variety of financial and operational leadership positions at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, including director of corporate financial planning, director of clinical planning and financial management, and vice president of human resources.

Catherine earned her master’s in health administration at the University of Oklahoma and a bachelor’s degree at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

17). Lynette Scherer
CEO, Surgical Affiliates Management Group 

Lynette Scherer is the Chief Executive Officer of Surgical Affiliates Management Group. She first joined the group in 2013 as Chief Medical Officer. Surgical Affiliates is the leading surgical hospitalist company focused on improving surgical quality and performance in trauma care, acute care surgery, orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, and urology. Their hospital partners recognize the need for dedicated in-house surgical teams so patients with emergency surgery always have access to the highest quality of care.

Before joining Surgical Affiliates, Scherer served as Professor of Surgery and Chief of Trauma and Emergency Surgery. She also assisted the Air Force in training trauma surgeons to treat soldiers wounded on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as traveled to Afghanistan for on-site evaluation as part of this assignment. 

Scherer is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and is an active member of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma. She has published work in the Annals of Surgery and has also published sentinel works related to surgical models – both in academic and private hospital settings. She is a graduate of UC Davis Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine.

19). Alison Flynn Gaffney
President, Healthcare Division - National, JLL

Alison Flynn Gaffney is the President of the National Healthcare Division for JLL, a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. 

In this role, Gaffney leads and inspires a national team of professionals across JLL to become the preeminent healthcare workplace solutions partner. She supports JLL’s brand, purpose, culture, and values while focusing on team, patient, and family experience, mitigating risk, enhancing safety, and driving financial performance for healthcare clients through real estate, project and development services, and facilities solutions. 

Previously, Gaffney served as the Interim chief operating officer at the University of Utah Health. She was also the senior vice president of strategic initiatives at GNYHA Ventures and the SVP and healthcare practice lead at Giuliani Partners. Earlier in her career, she worked with Beth Israel Medical Center as a project manager for infection control. Gaffney earned a graduate degree and an undergraduate degree in Health Care Administration and Management from Iona College.

20). Luxme Hariharan
Pediatric Ophthalmologist & Global Health Specialist, Nicklaus Children's Health System 

Luxme Hariharan is a Pediatric Ophthalmologist within the Division of Pediatric Ophthalmology at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. As an accomplished global researcher and child health advocate, Hariharan has a passion for international health that is deeply rooted in her own background. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and she has written textbook chapters on childhood blindness prevention. Hariharan’s life and career passion is to create and scale effective programs and policies to prevent, diagnose, and treat childhood vision disorders both locally and abroad. Specifically, she has experience in policy, advocacy, and governance, working with ministries of health on the implementation of childhood blindness prevention programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, as well as with the United Nations’ World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

As part of the University of Wisconsin’s competitive medical scholar program, Hariharan majored as an undergraduate in biology, as well as Spanish and Caribbean studies. She earned her medical degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison. She completed a residency in ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania/Scheie Eye Institute in Philadelphia, followed by a fellowship in pediatric ophthalmology at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine/Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. Hariharan then pursued an additional fellowship in pediatric cornea, cataract, and glaucoma with an emphasis on international health at the University of Southern California Gayle and Edward Roski Eye Institute at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. 

She also holds an MPH with an emphasis on global and child health policy from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. Hariharan is board-certified in ophthalmology. She is a member and serves on several committees within the American Academy of Ophthalmology, The American Academy of Pediatric Ophthalmology, and Strabismus; and sits on the board of directors of Combat Blindness International.

22). Jamie Engel
Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon, Parkview Medical Center

Jamie Engel is an Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon at Parkview Medical Center. Her clinical interests include polytrauma, complex fracture care, periarticular fractures, nonunions, and pelvic/acetabular fractures. Engel’s experience is primarily within clinical and biomechanical research with national and regional presentations, as well as multiple publications of peer-reviewed articles and a book chapter.

Engel currently serves on committees in the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society, the Orthopaedic Trauma Association, and the ACGME. She is passionate about orthopedic education and research and the advancement of women in orthopedics. Previously, she served as an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and sports medicine, where she was responsible for covering trauma calls, operating on complex fractures, teaching residents and medical students, and conducting research. 

Engel graduated from Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo with an MD and from the University of Notre Dame with an undergraduate degree in science professional studies.

23). Avril Beckford
Chief Pediatric Officer, WellStar Health System

Avril Beckford is a pediatrician who founded the Pediatric and Adolescent Center in 1993 in Atlanta Georgia and is the Chief Pediatric Officer of the WellStar Health System, as well as a member of the WellStar Board of Trustees. She has an unmatched passion and unwavering commitment to the children, adolescents, and multi-professional team she works with. Their goal is to serve every patient and family as if they are their very own and as if they were the only ones that they serve. They believe overarching is the commitment to up to current best practices and evidence-based medicine.

Beckford is the past president of the Georgia Chapter of the Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the National Nominating Committee of the Academy of Pediatrics. She is passionate about pediatrics and pediatric advocacy and has served on several other volunteer boards, including that of The Lovett School, The Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education, The 1998 Society of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and Camp Kudzu for Children with Diabetes. 

She has authored three books, a parenting book titled Allow Your Children to Fail If You Want Them to Succeed, and two children's books, I Love You 65 Bulldozers and The Tooth Fairy, as well as writing the forward of Typecast and a chapter in a major Pediatric textbook. She enjoys public speaking and has given presentations internationally. Beckford graduated from the University of Cape Town with an MD in Pediatrics.

25). Heather Sojourner
Community Medical Director, WellBe Senior Medical

Heather Sojourner is a board-certified family physician and a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Sojourner is on a mission to help patients lead meaningful lives and improve access to care for the highest-risk populations. After 16 years of creating and owning a thriving five-physician privately owned medical practice in Utah and being the former US medical director for an international digital health technology company, she is now focusing on making healthcare easier for Utah’s highest-risk Medicare population as the WellBe Senior Medical Utah Medical Director. As an advocate for digital healthcare and other innovative care models,  Sojourner is proud to work within the WellBe care model, providing concierge-level home-based primary care to patients struggling with the traditional models of care. She believes in an interdisciplinary team approach to healthcare, so leading the Utah WellBe team of nurse practitioners, social workers, pharmacists, and other clinicians is a natural fit for her leadership.   

Sojourner was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, where she attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville for her undergraduate degree and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock for medical school. She then completed the Virginia Commonwealth University Riverside Regional Family Medicine Residency Program in Newport News, Virginia. Sojourner moved to Utah in 2005, where she happily resides with her husband, kids, and three dogs.

Sojourner currently serves on the American Academy of Family Physicians Commission for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness and the Utah Academy of Family Physicians Board of Directors. Other notable roles for Sojourner include a four-year term as the Intermountain Medical Center Department of Family Medicine chairperson, Salt Lake County Medical Society president, and an active member of both the American Medical Association and Utah Medical Association.

View the complete list of awardees.

26). Deborah Gilboa
Founder & CEO, Ask Doctor G

Resilience expert Deborah Gilboa teaches individuals, teams, and companies some of the most valuable skills they need to learn – how to transform fear, stress, and anxiety into resilience, productivity, and innovation. Gilboa is a popular TV guest and a board-certified family physician who frequently appears on top television programs, including TODAY, Good Morning America, and The Doctors. She is also a contributor to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Huffington Post, Forbes, and other print and digital outlets. Gilboa is the author of five self-development books, which include From Stressed to Resilient: The Guide to Handle More and Feel It Less. 

Popularly known in the wellness world as “ G.,” Gilboa helps companies foster resiliency in the workplace by teaching professionals how to develop the skills they need to cope with difficult events, daily pressures, and trauma they may face on the job or at home. She collaborates with a broad range of brands that include Westinghouse, the Young President’s Organization, Boy Scouts of America, and the Foundation for Alcohol Responsibility.

A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine and Carnegie Mellon University,  Gilboa serves a highly diverse, multilingual population in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the Squirrel Hill Health Center. She is also a clinical associate professor for the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and has received many awards for clinical excellence in teaching, including the Alpha Omega Alpha Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award. Fluent in American Sign Language, Gilboa’s work with the Deaf community has received national recognition, as well as being the focus of her service as an Albert Schweitzer Fellow. An alumna of Second City Improv Theater in Chicago, she has a great sense of humor that has earned her the appreciation of audiences and patients alike. Past clients note her ability to positively impact corporate culture, help them navigate change without pain, and cut through complex subjects clearly and entertainingly.

28). Heather Prendergast
Executive Director, University of Illinois Physician Group, University of Illinois College of Medicine

Heather Prendergast is the Executive Director for the University of Illinois Physician Group with the University of Illinois College of Medicine. As a physician-leader, Prendergast led the efforts to establish the first off-site University of Illinois Multispecialty Ambulatory Clinic in 2020. She also spearheaded the submission to the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services for the Inaugural Healthcare Transformation Initiatives Collaborative on behalf of the University of Illinois Physicians Group, with a subsequent award of $17.2 million. This award established the 55th and Pulaski Healthcare Collaborative, the second off-site University of Illinois Multispecialty Ambulatory Clinic. 

Prendergast is a physician-scientist and leader recognized for developing high-quality medical programs and creating strategic alliances while fostering positive hospital, physician, and community relationships. She has successfully increased engagement through effective retention strategies that focus on developing and mentoring staff, faculty, and students. Prendergast's passion and focus have been on minority cardiovascular health, particularly for individuals seeking care within the emergency department, together with community engagement. Her research has been well funded, most notably she has been the recipient of continuous funding since 2007. She currently serves as the principal investigator for the first Randomized Clinical Trial funded by NHLBI focused on addressing asymptomatic undiagnosed/uncontrolled hypertension in a predominantly minority population being discharged from the emergency department.

Prendergast has received several awards for her work. She received an MD degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and completed a residency in emergency medicine at the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore. She received her MPH, Master in Clinical and Translational Science, and MHA from the University of Illinois School of Public Health. She received her MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago Business Liautaud Graduate School.

29). Haley Parker
Director of Clinical Operations, Virginia University of Integrative Medicine​​

Haley Parker is a state board-licensed acupuncturist and herbalist in VA, DC, MD, NJ, and GA. She is a New Mexico State Board Doctor of Oriental Medicine, and a Diplomat in Oriental Medicine certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. 

Haley received her master’s degree in The Science of Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her background as a Division 1 athlete contributed to her successful strategy of working with student-athletes on sports-related psychology, competitive performance, and nutritional aspects of their athletic training. Haley’s passion for athletics and physical fitness continued to serve her as she worked as the resident acupuncturist at the prominent El Gancho Racquet and Fitness Club in Santa Fe, New Mexico before she joined Princess Cruise Lines to travel the world for 5 years. Over this time, she became extremely proficient at teaching acupuncture to guests and jump-starting their healing while they were on vacation.

For the past 5 years, Haley worked for Palmercare Chiropractic in two locations in Northern Virginia. She onboarded and coached the newly hired acupuncturists into the company and helped them transition into their businesses. Her passion for teaching was ignited, and she joined the Virginia University of Integrative Medicine in 2021 to teach the practice management and clinical communications curriculum. She is currently serving as the Director of Clinical Operations for the University, overseeing the VA, NJ, and GA locations.  

Haley is a board member of the Acupuncture Society of Virginia lobbying for acupuncture advocacy, The NCCAOM Professional Ethics and Disciplinary Committee, and the Acupuncture Advisory Board for the Virginia Board of Medicine. She has worked to represent acupuncturists, as well as the community, in the healthcare system. She is passionate about the acupuncture movement across the legislative and integrative healthcare systems. She is inspired to become more informed and involved through her work with her colleagues in the state and wants to continue to encourage professional networks and group representation across the state, nation, and even further. 

31). Daniela Ferrara
Principal Medical Director of Ophthalmology, Genentech 

Daniela Ferrara received her medical degree summa cum laude from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, one of the most prestigious universities in South America. During medical school, she joined a research group from the Biophysics Institute and conducted laboratory research projects on macromolecular metabolism. She completed a surgical internship and ophthalmology residency at the same University, followed by a Master’s degree in Ophthalmology. Ferrara completed her training at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, achieving a PhD in Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. Ferrara moved to the US in 2006 to complete a research fellowship in Medical Retina at the Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital affiliated with New York University, and since then she has been working on multimodal imaging analysis for clinical trials on retinal diseases. Ferrara’s training and career are shaped to bring together basic research and clinical challenges. 

Ferrara’s major research interests include imaging of the posterior segment of the eye, and multimodal imaging analysis on pathological conditions of the vitreous, retina, and choroid. As assistant professor of ophthalmology at Tufts University School of Medicine, Ferrara is currently involved with the Optical Coherence Tomography Team at the New England Eye Center, a multidisciplinary group that promotes the scientific contribution in a clinical setting between retina specialists and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

As Principal Medical Director in the Clinical Science team of Genentech, one of the largest biotech companies worldwide, Ferrara participates in the development and execution of clinical initiatives within the Clinical Ophthalmology group. She is a key contributor in building an integrated plan for late product development, providing support and clinical guidance, and assessing future opportunities to advance the science and address unmet needs in ophthalmology.

32). Samira Ummat
Medical Director, Longevity Medical Clinic & Bellamedica

Samira Ummat is a regenerative medicine specialist in Kirkland, WA, with over 20 years of experience in transforming the way people age. She is currently the Medical Director of Longevity Medical Clinic and Bellamedica, an upscale age management practice with several locations in the Puget Sound area of Washington State. She believes in empowering her patients and others with knowledge and tools to transform their health on her popular weekly radio show Leading Edge Medicine and Beautiful You. Ummat has also appeared on the TV show New Day Northwest with King 5 in Seattle to discuss aging and hormonal balance. 

After obtaining her medical degree from a renowned school, she then completed her residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation, a field of internal medicine dedicated to helping people heal after injuries, strokes, and complicated medical setbacks. Her goals changed after several years of practice to focus on prevention and well-being and proactively reduce the risk and progression of many diseases. She is certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the American Academy of Regenerative Medicine.  

Ummat integrates evidence-based interventions with a comprehensive and proactive approach to patient care. Her specialties include disease prevention, women's and men’s health, hormone replacement therapy, nutritional and metabolic therapy, and exercise physiology. She combines cutting-edge, age management treatments with her mind-body philosophy in patient management. She emphasizes the importance of preventive medicine, focusing on early detection and intervention to address potential health issues before they become more serious. By identifying risk factors and implementing personalized preventive strategies, Ummat aims to delay the onset of age-related conditions, addressing the unique needs of each individual to help them achieve their goals and enjoy a fulfilling life. 

34). Christie-Michele Hogue
CEO & Founder, Mouth Mirrors

Christie-Michele Hogue is a dental clinician, researcher, educator, and author. She has devoted over a decade of service to our nation’s veterans as a dental clinician with the VAMC. She previously served as a dental research investigator at the Miami VA Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center. Hogue's research focuses on cultural competence and health literacy for minority veterans to address oral health disparities. Her areas of interest include oral health and frailty, preventative/behavioral dentistry, dental ageism, oral health literacy, oral health disparities, health equity, and cultural competency. As a dental clinician, she is passionate about patient education and sharing the correlation between oral and systemic health. As a dental researcher, she hopes to enhance and innovate interactive models of care to empower patients to participate in their healthcare through knowledge and behavior modifications. 

She is the CEO and Founder of Mouth Mirrors LLC, an online education company, established to help bridge the gap through knowledge and education with an interdisciplinary approach to learning. The overall goal is to encourage health professionals to render compassionate, competent, comprehensive care for the oral health of our most vulnerable older populations.  Hogue is also the host of the Aging Pearls Podcast. 

Hogue is a distinguished fellow of the American Geriatric Society. She completed an advanced fellowship in geriatrics focusing on geriatric research, education, and clinic care at Bruce W. Carter Miami VA. She completed her general practice residency in her hometown of Detroit, Michigan at the John D. Dingell Veteran Affairs Medical Center. She graduated from Howard University College of Dentistry earning a Doctor of Dental Surgery. She completed her undergraduate studies at Tennessee State University graduating with a Bachelor of Science.

35). Kenna Stephenson
Physician, Primary Care, Northern Arizona VAHCS

Kenna Stephenson, a native Texan, graduated with honors from The University of Texas at Austin, joining the estimated 3% of children orphaned at birth who hold university degrees. At age 5, she declared her desire to become a physician. As a teen she worked in cotton fields, excelled in fast food, and following her 18th birthday, she eagerly became a certified nurse’s aide. She received her last nurse’s aide paycheck on graduation day from medical school. A human artist with an eternal passion for patient care, she thrives on helping others achieve well-being and has cared for over 100,000 patients in diverse settings: on a Marae in rural New Zealand, under triple canopy jungles of Guatemala, inside a mobile unit traversing East Texas minefields, and on a Paramount Pictures’ set.

Stephenson received a Doctor of Medicine with Research Honors from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and completed a student clinical research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. Her residency at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center culminated with the Resident’s Resident Award. She is board-certified in Family Medicine, a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, and a member of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners. 

Her career has spanned private practice, community medicine, the creation of a health center for female veterans, employee health, academic medicine, and global health. She has practiced in underserved areas of Texas, Arizona, Belize, Guatemala, Southeast Asia, and New Zealand. Her research has been featured in Family Practice News, Cardiology News, OB/GYN News, Medscape, and UK News Digest, and she is an award-winning science educator in radio and television. Stephenson currently practices medicine in Northern Arizona and is an associate professor of family, community, and preventive medicine at The University of Arizona College of Medicine. Her book, The Gospel of Women’s Health: Awakening Athena Again has received international acclaim. 

View the complete list of awardees.

37). Diana Chavkin
Physician, Pacific Fertility Center Los Angeles

Diana Chavkin is a double board-certified reproductive endocrinologist and an infertility specialist who is passionate about helping people build their families. She sees patients at Pacific Fertility Center Los Angeles. For over 30 years, people have been choosing the Pacific Fertility Center of Los Angeles, one of the leading fertility clinics in the world. With success rates that are among the best in the nation, they have been a part of over 13,500 happy, healthy births, creating families, and making dreams come true all over the world.

Having struggled with infertility, Chavkin knows the value of a compassionate, transparent, and effective medical team. She offers personalized care with exceptional outcomes. Her approach is holistic and thoughtfully individualized to each patient. She has empowered thousands of families and individuals through fertility treatment and fertility preservation.

Chavkin graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University with a degree in psychology and history. She earned her medical degree at New York University and completed her obstetrics and gynecology residency and her reproductive endocrinology and infertility fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. 

38). Alexis Anvekar
Concierge Physician, Internal Medicine, The Leela Integrative Medicine Center

As the founder of The Leela Integrative Medicine Center, Alexis Anvekar is a Concierge Integrative Medicine Doctor with a solo medical practice in Pasadena, California. She is board-certified with the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine, the American Board of Internal Medicine, and the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons. 

Anvekar was raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was not allowed to attend college due to her gender, so she left home at age 18 and financed 100% of her room, board, and education. She recalls many nights sleeping in her car for the first couple of years and states that her inspiration came from famous quotes of people who were once struggling like her. She told herself every single day, “I’m giving it 110% today because I’m quitting tomorrow.” Anvekar graduated with honors from UC San Diego, obtaining degrees in biochemistry and cell biology with a minor in psychology. She graduated from the USC School of Medicine and was the sole student in her medical school class selected into USC’s highest secret honor society. As a senior at the medical school, she was invited, along with the top 0.01% of graduating seniors to complete a coveted leadership fellowship called the USC Presidential Fellowship run by USC's Marshall School of Business. 

Anvekar was very active in leadership roles throughout college and medical school, including roles as student body president, student body VP, editor-in-chief for the college newspaper, co-editor-in-chief of the medical school newspaper, co-founder of Student Organization for the Medical Awareness of AIDS, delegate for American Medical Association and American Medical Women's Association (AMWA). She received a national leadership award with AMWA given to the most promising female physician-in-training in the country.

40). Aenor Sawyer
Director, University of California, Space Health; Dir. Skeletal Health Service, University of California, San Francisco

Aenor Sawyer has more than two decades of experience in the development and evaluation of health technologies, telemedicine, and remote medical management. Her experience in remote medical management includes 15 years as an Expedition Medic and Medical Advisor for extreme ocean rowers. She also conducts research with the Australian Antarctic Division on remote medical monitoring. Additionally, she has expertise in remote care and Space Health/Medical management as the Director of the UC Space Health Program and previously served as the Chief Health Innovation Officer for the Translational Research Institute for Space Health, a NASA-funded program.

Sawyer is a member of the UCSF IT Governance Committee, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the UCSF Center for Advanced 3D+ Technologies, Co-Founder of the Center for Digital Health Innovation, and a UCSF HEALTH HUB board member. Her external roles also include chair of the MCRI HealthTechnology Advisory Board, advisor to UCSF Invest Fund, advisor to ANDHealth, External Advisory Board Member of the Scripps Translational Sciences Institute, and prior associate editor of Nature’s Digital Medicine Journal.

As a UCSF Orthopedist, she is the Founder and Director of the Skeletal Health Service, where she combines her background as an orthopedic surgeon, physical therapist, and exercise physiologist enabling pediatric to geriatric patients to optimize their bone health across the lifespan. Her career includes 10 years as a Physical Therapist, after, which she received an MS in human physiology and her MD from the University of California, Davis. Upon completion of her orthopedic surgery residency at Stanford University, she completed fellowship training in pediatric orthopedic surgery and pediatric/adolescent sports medicine, both at Boston Children's Hospital and in the Harvard Orthopaedic program.

43). Sacsha T.M. Sanders 
Physician Consultant & Territory Manager, Vikor Scientific

 Sacsha T.M. Sanders made history when she became the first African American from Portage County, Ohio to earn an MD. As a modern-day renaissance woman, she empowers other female physicians to branch into the business of medicine, fostering physician-owned and operated hospitals, pioneering physician-developed medical devices and products, as well as drawing focus to the impact of the intersection of biotechnology and medical diagnostics. 

Sanders believes that innovation and entrepreneurship are the driving forces to setting this generation of female physicians apart. Her transformational leadership and commitment to philanthropy have had an international and local impact. 

She has participated in missions focused on small islands in the Caribbean, as well as serving underprivileged communities in Ohio through various Christian charities and organizations, including Emmanuel's Mission, which she co-founded with her mother, and the Miss Universe Organization, which she holds the title of Miss Ravenna, USA. 

View the complete list of awardees.