CHICAGO – Courtney Kammer, MHA, has been selected for the 2020 class of the Carol Emmott Fellowship, which aims to decrease the disparities in upper level leadership by women throughout the health care field. Kammer — the vice president of provider services and recruitment and interim vice president of talent management at Rush University Medical Center — is among 21 fellows who were announced on Nov. 22.
Though women dominate the lower and midlevel health care workforce and comprise half the enrollment in medical schools in the United States, they are underrepresented in senior executive and board-level positions in health. This inequity deprives the fields of health and medicine of the full range of talents, skills and perspectives that gender parity affords. Research has shown that leadership and mentoring help women reach more senior positions and can close gaps in pay as well.
To help shape a growing network of remarkable women in the top ranks of leadership, Rush University Medical Center is among the sponsors of the Emmott Fellows.
"At Rush, we know that diversity is needed at every level of the organization in order to best represent the communities we serve and provide the highest quality care," says Dr. Omar Lateef, CEO of Rush University Medical Center. "We are proud to be a founding sponsor of the Carol Emmott Fellowship and will continue to work toward greater gender diversity in leadership roles."
In addition to being a sponsor of the Emmott Fellowships, Rush’s initiatives to advance the role of women include the Center for the Advancement of Women in Health Care at Rush, the Rush Women Mentoring Program, and the Office of Women's Professional Advancement.
A health care professional with more than 21 years of experience, Kammer has been at Rush since 2006 serving in roles focused on the faculty recruitment, onboarding and retention programs. In 2019, she was appointed interim vice president of talent management in the human resources department. Kammer completed the Master of Healthcare Administration Executive Program at University of Minnesota and currently serves on the executive board as the treasurer of AAPPR (Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment).
She held several executive leadership roles in the Illinois Staff Physician Recruiters association and has participated in numerous committees, and she looks forward to enhancing her leadership skills among the Emmott Fellowship’s progressive group of female executives.
Making an impact
Fellows are nominated by their sponsoring organization and compete for acceptance into the program with a proposed impact project that transcends their current role to advance an area of health. During the 14-month fellowship program, fellows continue to work for their organizations as they implement their impact projects. Kammer’s project aims to implement a talent management mechanism across Rush University System for Health to ensure the System is providing opportunities for the advancement and development of women and under-represented minorities.
"There is an opportunity to develop a network of leaders specifically targeting a highly qualified, diverse and female population, promote development and growth, and track retention," Kammer says. "Committed leaders are central to successful integration, demonstrating organization support and infusing a cohesive vision and culture across system entities and throughout all levels."
"Engaging physicians, clinicians and staff in leadership roles is key to the design, implementation and operationalization of system integration across organization boundaries, competing ideologies, and longstanding protocols and processes," she adds.
Kammer joins other women leaders at Rush as Emmott fellows, including Cynthia Boyd, MD, MBA; Richa Gupta, MBBS, MHSA (class of 2017), Monica Kogan, MD, and Haimanot (Monnie) Wasse, MD, MPH (class of 2018) and Sheila Dugan, MD (class of 2019). The program fills a crucial unmet need in overcoming gender disparity by accelerating the leadership capacity and impact of women leaders in health.
"When women are underrepresented in leadership roles, the fields of health and medicine are deprived of the full range of talents, skills and perspectives that gender equity affords," says Christine Malcolm, executive director of the Carol Emmott Fellowship and CEO of the Carol Emmott Foundation. "Failing to act to reverse this historical pattern undermines the organizations upon which we all depend to protect and enhance our health and well-being."
The fellowship reflects the life work of Carol B. Emmott (1946-2015), who throughout her 40-year career in health policy and executive search was instrumental in and dedicated to the rise of women to the upper echelons of the health sector.
"I am thrilled to be offered this opportunity to further develop my leadership skills and advance my career path," Kammer says, "But even more so to acknowledge the impact this fellowship experience can have on my organization’s physician and staff satisfaction, the opportunities it will provide women and underrepresented minorities, the accelerating effect it can have on the Rush system integration initiative and the subsequent enhancement of the quality of patient care delivery and the improvement in community health."
A full list of the 2020 fellows is available on the Carol Emmott Fellowship website.