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Founded in 1993, the Institute was designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a vanguard National Center of Excellence in Women's Health in 1996. The Institute continues the medical school's over 160-year commitment to pioneering programs for women in medicine and beyond. The Institute for Women's Health and Leadership functions as a department within the College of Medicine and its director, Lynn H. Yeakel, who holds the Betty A. Cohen Chair in Women's Health, serves on the Executive Committee of the Faculty. It is the only Institute recognized in the medical school's faculty bylaws.

With the overall theme "Making a World of Difference," the Institute pursues its mission to "honor the past, enrich the present and shape the future." It does this by building local, state, national and international relationships that help women lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.


Director's Center for Education and Special Programs

  • Conversations About Women's Health are fast-paced and interactive expert-led discussions. The panel of doctors — moderated by Lynn Yeakel — answer a wide variety of questions from the audience. These informative and lively programs have resulted in numerous life changing testimonials and have improved the health of women (and the men who love them).
  • The Marion Spencer Fay Award is presented in honor of Marion Spencer Fay, PhD, dean and president of Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania from 1946 to 1963. The National Board for Women in Medicine established an award in her name in 1963 to recognize her pioneering leadership.
    The 2015 honoree is Katherine Knight, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology and co-founder of the Infectious Disease and Immunology Institute at Loyola University Chicago. The award will be presented on Thursday, November 19, at 4:30 p.m. Learn more about the Marion Spencer Fay Award.
  • Vision 2020 is a national coalition of organizations and individuals united in their commitment to achieve women's economic and social equality. Vision 2020 does this by advancing an overdue national conversation about the value of women's equality to benefit all and by accelerating shared leadership among women and men to reach a new dimension of American excellence by the year 2020.
  • The Woman One Award and Scholarship Fund honors annually a woman of outstanding leadership and raises medical scholarships for talented under-represented women at Drexel University College of Medicine.


The International Center for Executive Leadership in Academics, or ICELA at Drexel®, works to increase the number and impact of women in academic leadership positions through two innovative programs:

Participants in these one-year, part-time fellowships enhance their capacity for leadership and innovation through training in four essential dimensions of leadership:

  • Personal and professional leadership effectiveness to address strategic, operational, and relational challenges.
  • Strategic finance and resource management to enhance the missions of academic organizations.
  • Organizational dynamics to provide strategies for leading, executing, and managing change initiatives.
  • Communities of leadership practice to sustain leadership development beyond the fellowship year.

The Legacy Center: Archives and Special Collections

The Legacy Center is the repository for the records and heritage of Drexel University College of Medicine and its predecessor institutions, including Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania (W/MCP) and Hahnemann University.

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