Skip Navigation


Women's Updates Newsletter


September 2020

Dear Women Faculty,

As we move into the seventh month of the coronavirus pandemic, I hope you are staying healthy and mentally well. I know this has been an extremely difficult time for so many of our women faculty. The complex family responsibilities that most of you are shouldering has created a difficult work/life interface. I am hoping by way of this update to share interesting resources and also provide personal opportunities for your individual growth and success. Hopefully you will enjoy some of these interesting sessions which are being offered, and find informative articles and links for you to view and read!

Please contact our office at with any personal questions or concerns. The OWISM is operational! Also please send any information, articles, videos or documents of interest that we can share with the group.

Please take continued care through these most challenging and difficult times.

Barbara Fivush
Senior Associate Dean of Women
Director Office of Women in Science and Medicine
Professor of Pediatrics
Division of Pediatric Nephrology

Upcoming Events and Programs

  • 2020 is the 100-year anniversary of the ratification of the nineteenth amendment. The 19th amendment guarantees the majority of all American women the right to vote. Achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle; the ratification was certified on August 26, 1920, changing the face of the American electorate forever. The Johns Hopkins University in conjunction with all of the Divisions of the University has joined together to highlight this important milestone. A JHU website has been created to share all of the events taking place across our campus and additionally to highlight many of the powerful women and suffragettes who worked to ratify the nineteenth amendment. Please visit the website at

    As part of this yearlong celebration, the SOM is pleased to announce Elaine Weiss will be the keynote speaker at the 2020 Mary Elizabeth Garrett Lecture on September 30, 2020 at 4:00pm.

    Elaine Weiss and her book.Elaine Weiss is an award-winning journalist and writer whose work has appeared in The Atlantic and The New York Times, as well as in reports and documentaries for National Public Radio and Voice of America. She is the author of The Woman’s Hour, the gripping story of how America’s women won their own freedom, and the opening campaign in the great twentieth-century battles for civil rights.

    Please put this event on your calendar and register here for this virtual event. Please see the attached invitation for more information about this event, and review the women’s suffrage resource booklet to learn more about this important movement!

  • For those in the MEG Executive leadership program, we are looking forward to our September and October sessions and are planning on continuing this course by zoom for the next few months. In advance of our sessions we will be sending out relevant information and zoom links. We are presently in touch with all of the MEG participants as we move forward; and setting up individual meetings as requested!. We are confident that the cohort will have a wonderful experience as we continue the course work and are now planning on graduating the cohort in December of 2020. We will have an in person celebration following the graduation, as soon as it is possible in 2021.

  • We have now completed the update to our LPWF (Leadership Program for Women Faculty). We have made some great changes to this leadership program. Due to the covid pandemic, we are re-discussing plans for the startup of this course in 2021. We will not begin the course in January as planned, however we will push back our restart to March 2021. We will start virtually, and move to in person sessions as soon as it is possible. The OWISM will keep you posted about the nomination and application process, and important dates to be aware of as you consider this course for 2021! As soon as the new dates are confirmed, we will share the updated brochure with you! Please consider this course if you are a senior Assistant or Associate Professor! If you have any questions, please contact the Please take a look at the brochure, and consider this course if you are a senior Assistant or Associate Professor! 

  • WWe have just completed the revisions to the EWLP for the 2021 program. We had initially anticipated that the Emerging Women’s Leadership Program would start in February of 2021. However due to the covid pandemic, we are considering a later start date, so that we can keep this course as an in person opportunity. We will be following Johns Hopkins University guidelines to make this determination as to when to begin the next cohort. Please contact the if you have any questions.

View OWISM Calendar

Hispanic Heritage Month

In this new update, I also want to acknowledge that we are entering into Hispanic Heritage month (September 15-October 15). During this time period, we honor the contributions of Latino and Hispanic communities, and highlight their diversity, culture and traditions. As such, in this update we are highlighting Hispanic women who have been promoted to Full Professor at Johns Hopkins since 1893.

Listed below are 3 extraordinary Hispanic women who have succeeded on the journey to professorship, and who have contributed to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in outstanding ways. Also please read the compelling words of Maria Oliva-Hemker!

Laurie Lee Fajardo

Laurie Lee Faradjo, MD #54 (Promoted in 1999)

Laurie Fajardo is a Professor in the Department of Radiology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Prior to this, she served as the Chair of the Department of Radiology at the University of Iowa for 10 years and as the Division Director of Breast Imaging for 3 years. Dr. Fajardo joined the JHU Department of Radiology in 1999, as Director of Breast Imaging and Vice Chair for Clinical Research. While at JHU, Dr. Fajardo completed an MBA degree in the JHU Business of Medicine program. Her research work has focused on the applications of digital imaging technology to screening and diagnosing breast cancer.

Maria Oliva-Hemker

Maria Oliva-Hemker, MD #165 (Promoted in 2011)

Maria Oliva-Hemker, M.D. is the Stermer Family Professor of Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Director of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. Cuban-born, Dr. Oliva-Hemker earned her BS degree from Georgetown University and her medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. At Hopkins she went on to complete her training in pediatrics and pediatric gastroenterology before joining the faculty. Dr. Oliva-Hemker is highly respected as an outstanding academic clinician and active educator. In 1998, she established the Johns Hopkins Pediatric IBD Center, a renowned program that has provided multidisciplinary healthcare to thousands of children with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and has been involved in numerous collaborative translational and clinical studies.

Zelia Maria Correa

Zelia Maria Correa, MD, PhD #272 (Promoted in 2019)

Dr. Correa is a Professor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute. She specializes in intraocular and conjunctival tumors with particular interest in ocular melanoma, retinoblastoma, ocular metastasis, and conjunctival melanomas. She has been recognized for her research in the field of ocular oncology and is part of the steering committee of the Collaborative Ocular Oncology Group, currently the largest NIH funded prospective study in Uveal Melanoma. She is the Director of the Echography Service at the Wilmer Eye Institute. Her clinical interests also include radiation therapy to the eye, vitreoretinal diseases and surgery, fine needle aspiration biopsy of ocular tumors, retinal detachment and ophthalmology.

Please read a personal message from Maria Oliva-Hemker!

Starting a new life in the United States, after being exiled from our homeland of Cuba, I was raised in a household with parents who exemplified resilience, moral integrity and determination. They instilled in my brother and me a deep appreciation for the value of an education. My parents taught us that although all of your material possessions can be taken away, no one can “take away what is in your brain.”

I am honored and humbled to be only the second Hispanic woman to make it to the rank of Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Hispanic/LatinX Americans have a rich, multiracial culture and are the second-largest ethnic group in the United States. We have so much to share but are woefully underrepresented in the medical profession. AAMC studies have revealed that less than 1% of all professors are Hispanic women, and that the proportion of Hispanic women in U.S. medical schools has not really changed in the last ten years.

I have appreciated working with so many wonderful colleagues at Johns Hopkins and I am grateful to being given multiple opportunities to make an impact on the institution, my profession and the lives of my patients. I am heartened to see the School of Medicine increasing its commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity. Aspiring to a career in the world of academic medicine, where none of the people I met along the way looked like me, instilled in me the importance of mentoring and of having role models you can relate to in positions of leadership. My hope is that these stories of women professors and leaders at Hopkins will inspire and empower our students, trainees and junior faculty to see themselves as full professors and future leaders in medicine.

A Woman's Journey

A personal message from A Woman's Journey National Chair, Kelly Geer Ripken...

Take an extraordinary journey in these extraordinary times. Register now for A Woman’s Journey, September 16, for a special program from 10-11:30 a.m. via Zoom from the comfort of your home or office.

Three Johns Hopkins Medicine experts will share up-to-date health information about compelling issues. Physicians include internist and epidemiologist Lisa Maragakis who will offer the latest information about COVID-19 and its persistent threat; neurologist Mona Bahouth who will review new research into the relationship between infections and stroke; and oncologist Josephine Feliciano who will detail the alarming rise of lung cancer among women who have never smoked. Take this opportunity of be a part of this virtual event and have the opportunity to pose questions for the speakers in real time. Register now and receive a token of our appreciation!

Read further and learn about this month’s complimentary webcast, Conversations that Matter, and podcast, Insights that Matter. As always, we are including two news stories and answers to questions you have submitted for our experts.

Be well,

Kelly Geer Ripken
National Chair

Faculty Resources and Articles of Interest

Next-Gen Cholesterol Drug Works Fast After a Heart Attack to Lower ‘Bad’ Cholesterol

Within a month following a heart attack, people are at increased risk for a second one. As a result, physicians treat these patients with medications to rapidly reduce cardiovascular risk factors for another event. Although statins are designed to reduce the risk from one underlying problem, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or "bad" cholesterol, they often aren’t able drop it to recommended levels within 30 days.

Read the Full Article

Think Twice About Following Food Trends

Kale, chia seeds and quinoa: They’ve all received their fair share of media buzz over the last few years. Because they’ve been touted as doing everything from lowering cholesterol to preventing cancer, it makes sense that you’d want to try these healthy foods.But is going out of your way to find the latest superfood, giving your kale a massage to make it tender or trying to figure out how to make quinoa taste good worth it? Not really, says Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H., director of clinical research at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease.

Read the Full Article

Additional Articles and Videos of Interest

Kudos to the Faculty

Firstly the OWISM wants to acknowledge and recognize all of our women faculty who are key in our response to the treatment of COVID 19. This has been a pandemic of enormous consequence and your hard work, dedication, flexibility and compassion are so appreciated and critically needed. Your efforts will make the difference in how we come through this emotional and unprecedented time. Thank you!

Congratulations to Flora Kisuule , Associate Professor of Medicine, was recently appointed to division chief for the Hospital Medicine at Bayview.

Kudos to Helen Hughes, Assistant Professor in the Division of General Pediatrics, she has been named Medical Director of Pediatric Telemedicine and Assistant Medical Director for Johns Hopkins Medicine Office of Telemedicine.

Please send me any other acknowledgments so that the next update can recognize many of you for your remarkable achievements.


See Past Updates

Several times a year, an update is sent to all women faculty to advise them on upcoming events, programs, articles of interest and acknowledge them for their outstanding accomplishments.

If you'd like to see past editions of Women's Updates, please contact the office at

back to top button