Jennifer O’Toole, MD, professor in the departments of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, and program director of the Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency Program, is the 2021 recipient of the Emerging Leadership Award for an Individual from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Group on Women in Medicine and Science (GWIMS).
The award honors O’Toole, who also holds a Master’s of Education in curriculum and instruction, for her work in contributing to women’s advancement and gender equity, mentoring and sponsoring women to become leaders, influencing other leaders in the recruitment, retention and promotion of women and improving the educational and professional environment for sustaining women in academic medicine and science.
“There is a lot of energy around gender equity and promoting women in medicine at the College of Medicine. We have very active WIMS organizations at both the college and Cincinnati Children’s that are full of smart, passionate and innovative women and men who are actively working to make our academic health center a more equitable and friendlier place, regardless of one’s gender identity,” O’Toole says. “I want to see the work of this group continue to flourish and spread. Strong leadership support and resources to help advance change will be critical for our success moving forward.”
O’Toole, who is also program director for the IMSTAR (Internal Medicine Scholars Training for Academic Research) Medical Education Fellowship within the Department of Internal Medicine, was nominated for the award by Leslie Applegate, MD, assistant professor, Danielle Clark, MD, assistant professor, and Eric Warm, MD, Richard W. and Sue P. Vilter Professor of Medicine, in the Department of Internal Medicine, and Ben Kinnear, MD, associate professor, and Danielle Weber, MD, assistant professor, Department of Pediatrics.
Her nominators praised O’Toole’s strong efforts to mentor junior faculty and residents. They also noted her extensive advocacy for women through her involvement with local and national groups and how she leads by example.
“She does not simply talk about gender equity; she takes action to promote and create gender equity. Dr. O’Toole has taught countless of our male faculty members how to be more effective allies, helping our male faculty members grow into better mentors and sponsors for women at our institution,” her colleagues wrote in their nomination letter.
O’Toole is the founding chair of the steering committee for ADVANCE PHM, a national organization that promotes the advancement of women and gender equity in pediatric hospital medicine. The organization last week held its inaugural symposium, “Achieving Gender Equity in Hospital Medicine Through Allyship: We Can’t Do It Alone,” which was chaired by O’Toole.
“Women have been doing work in the space of gender equity for years. We will never be able to move the needle until we engage male allies. This symposium was trying to reach out to those allies and give them the skills and tools to make a difference,” O’Toole says.
“Receiving this award is a huge, huge honor,” O’Toole added. “This has provided even more fuel for my passion of promoting gender equity in medicine. There is a lot of energy nationally, here locally at the college and Children’s, and in my specialty of Hospital Medicine around efforts to achieve gender equity in medicine, so this award has given me a boost to keep moving forward with this work.”
O’Toole will be celebrated by AAMC GWIMS during a virtual celebration Nov. 5.