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Cedars-Sinai's Ilana Cass, MD, Selected for Academic Leadership Program for Women

Los Angeles - May 23, 2012Ilana Cass, MD, vice-chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai and a prominent specialist in gynecologic cancers, is one of only 50 physicians internationally accepted to a program that prepares exceptional women faculty for senior leadership positions at academic health centers.

She is the first candidate from Cedars-Sinai to be nominated and the first accepted to the year-long Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine fellowship. Sarah Kilpatrick, MD, PhD, the current chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, completed this executive leadership program in 1998.

“Dr. Cass is the ideal candidate as she has already exhibited excellent leadership efforts that have aided both the department and the medical center,” said Kilpatrick, the Helping Hand of Los Angeles Chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology. “This elite program will advance her skills and highlight Cedars-Sinai as one of the premier academic medical center in the United States.”

The program, part of Drexel University College of Medicine’s International Center for Executive Leadership in Academics, develops the professional and personal skills required to lead and manage in today’s complex healthcare environment. It pays special attention to the unique challenges facing women in leadership. Almost 700 women have participated in the program since 1995; alumnae make up 25 percent of the executive positions in academic medicine held by women.                                                                            
To be accepted into the program, each fellow must be nominated and supported by senior leadership of her institution and exhibit leadership in healthcare practices, strategic initiatives and administrative responsibilities.  

“Dr. Cass is an exceptionally dedicated and talented leader,” said Shlomo Melmed, MD, senior vice president of Academic Affairs, dean of the Medical Faculty and the Helene A. and Phillip E. Hixon Chair in Investigative Medicine at Cedars-Sinai.  “We are delighted that Dr. Cass was chosen to participate in this program, which will advance her contribution to academic health institutions and, ultimately, help us better meet the healthcare needs of society.”

Cass, a faculty physician and specialist in gynecologic cancers at Cedars-Sinai’s Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, has received numerous grants from the American Cancer Society, the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation and other national organizations for her primary research interest, genetic alterations in ovarian cancer cells. She is a member of professional organizations such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists.

She earned her bachelor’s from Brown University and her medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Yale/New Haven Hospital and a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center.