Hugh P. McCormick Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer
Why did you decide to join Johns Hopkins Medicine?
I decided to join Johns Hopkins Medicine because of the excellent scientific mentorship and the opportunity to combine molecular endocrinology with population science through collaborations between the schools of medicine and public health. I also have a passion for caring for the underserved who have diabetes. Thus, the East Baltimore community was a natural fit for all of my interests.
Why have you decided to stay at Johns Hopkins Medicine?
I have decided to stay at Johns Hopkins Medicine for the rich scientific and clinical environment and the opportunity to work with such outstanding trainees and students at every level. Working with young future scientists and clinicians and developing them is a way for me to give back to the Johns Hopkins community that contributed so richly to my own professional development. I also have the opportunity to now contribute as a leader to furthering the Johns Hopkins Medicine mission.
If you don’t take risks, it will be more difficult to pursue your dreams.
Please tell us about how you reached your leadership position.
For a number of years I led the Johns Hopkins Hospital Glucose Management Program and the Inpatient Diabetes Management Service. This gave me insight into hospital operations and how to implement clinical policies and systems changes. I learned that I loved clinical operations in addition to being a physician-scientist. These program-building and scientific experiences prepared me to successfully compete for the RFA for the position of executive vice chair of the Department of Medicine, a role that I have held for the past three years. I am now feeding all of my passions.
Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of at Johns Hopkins Medicine?
As executive vice chair, I am most proud of having collaborated with leaders in nursing and administration in my department to launch a Civic Engagement Initiative to enhance our connection to our surrounding Baltimore community and to enhance employee engagement in our department. This initiative was launched in response to the Freddie Gray Riots in 2015. I was also extremely honored when the Johns Hopkins Inpatient Glucose Management Team and I received an inaugural Innovations in Clinical Care Award in 2015. And of course, being the 198th woman professor was a very proud moment!
What advice would you give a woman who is aspiring to grow in her leadership responsibilities?
My advice is to determine what your passions are and make sure that you are spending time and gaining skills to pursue and lead in those areas. Don’t be afraid to FAIL – First Attempt In Learning. If you don’t take risks, it will be more difficult to pursue your dreams. Also, tell other leaders who are your mentors what your goals are – this will allow them to sponsor you. Finally, be certain to maintain the proper priorities – family, friends and well-being are extremely important. This means that you may need to choose the timing for leadership that dovetails with your life stage.