Rush University Medical Center oncologist Dr. Shikha Jain has been named one of Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Emerging Leaders in 2019, a group of health care providers, researchers and executives in their 30s who have made significant contributions in the areas of health care administration, management or policy early in their careers.
“We are very excited to announce this year’s Top 25 Emerging Leaders, who are not letting moss grow under their feet,” said Aurora Aguilar, editor of Modern Healthcare. “This next generation of health care leaders knows that the challenges facing every sector of the industry demand action now. Modern Healthcare's Top 25 Emerging Leaders bring an entrepreneurial spirit to problem solving,”
Jain, an oncologist and hematologist who focuses on cancers of the intestinal tract and neuroendocrine cancers, has emerged as a national leader in identifying and disrupting gender disparities in health care. She was recently received the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Rising Star award and co-founded and co-chairs the annual Women in Medicine Summit, a national meeting focused on achieving equality for women who work in health care.
Jain also co-founded the new Center for the Advancement of Women in Health Care at Rush, which will serve as an incubator, thought leader and advocate for solutions that eliminate the gender equity gap throughout all levels of our nation’s health care workforce. At the national level, she helped launch the gender moonshot, a national initiative created this year to build bridges and work towards national change in the gender equity space
“Equity is at the foundation of the excellence at Rush,” said Susan Crown, chairman of the Rush University Medical Center Board of Trustees. “Women having an equitable presence in research labs, exam, operating and board rooms will improve the health of every patient. We are proud that Dr. Jain is being recognized for adding to the Rush legacy of identifying health care disparities and then working even harder to eliminate them.”
Addressing gender imbalance will benefit patients
Jain writes frequently about the need to address gender inequities. In a recent op-ed piece in U.S. News, she cited a growing body of evidence showing women physicians continue to be paid at a lower rate than their male counterparts despite providing excellent patient care and participating in rigorous academic pursuits.
Jain noted that it is essential that gender imbalances in medicine are rectified at a national level. “These inequities have a significant influence, not only on the physicians, but also on patient care and the science of medicine,” she said. “To shatter this glass ceiling in health care, it is essential to change the system and mentor future leaders, encourage young women to reach for opportunities they may not otherwise consider, and nominate women for awards and leadership positions.
“I am honored to be recognized by Modern Healthcare, a strong voice in advocating for women in medicine,” Jain continued. “Working towards gender parity in health care is not only important for the physicians, but ultimately important for the patients we care for.”