Drexel ELAM Leadership Team Announces Expansion

Drexel ELAM Leadership Team Announces Expansion

Photo by Markus Winkler from Pexels

Message from Nancy D. Spector, MD, of Drexel University College of Medicine:

I am pleased to announce that the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) program has expanded its leadership team to include three nationally recognized leaders in their fields. Erika Brown, PhD, (ELAM 2015) has been appointed Associate Director of ELAM, and Sara Jo Grethlein, MD, MBA, (ELAM 2007) has been appointed Associate Director of Executive Leadership in Health Care (ELH), ELAM’s new program for women leaders with aspirations to executive-level health system roles. Donna N. McNelis, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry at Drexel University College of Medicine, Associate Dean for Professionalism and Continuing Education, and Director of Behavioral Healthcare Education, has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer for ELAM and ELH. Mary Anne Delaney, MD, (ELAM 2008) will retire from her role as Associate Director of ELAM at the end of 2022.

Dr. Brown is the Dean of Faculty Affairs at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. She previously held faculty and administrative appointments at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM). Prior to joining Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, she held leadership roles as an Inaugural Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Development and promoted to Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Professional and Academic Development. Dr. Brown also held a faculty appointment as Professor of Pathology and Anatomy, having started her career as a biomedical researcher studying breast cancer and DNA repair pathways, and has received multiple awards for her research, teaching, administrative roles, and community service. Dr. Brown has been an active member of the AAMC Group on Faculty Affairs and served on its Steering Committee from 2018–2021. She is a nationally recognized expert in faculty affairs and professional development and a highly sought speaker and consultant. She has nearly 10 years of experience in this field and nearly 20 years of experience in academic medicine.

Dr. Grethlein is the Executive Medical Director of the Swedish Cancer Institute, overseeing cancer care across the multiple Providence-Swedish hospitals, clinics, and facilities in the Puget Sound. She leads a robust research enterprise which includes the Paul G. Allen Research Center. Dr. Grethlein joined Swedish in 2021, coming from Indiana University, where she held numerous positions, including medical director of Cancer Services at the Simon Cancer Center — a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center — and the Joe and Shelly Schwarz Cancer Center. Dr. Grethlein previously served as Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education at SUNY Upstate Medical University and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education at Indiana University. She has decades of experience as a medical oncologist, researcher and organizational leader.

ELAM, now in its 28th year, is the only national, longitudinal leadership program for women faculty in schools of medicine, dentistry, public health and pharmacy. Its nearly 1,300 graduates hold positions at 300 institutions around the country. 75% of women deans of medical schools are alumnae of ELAM. The ELH program is built upon ELAM’s unique fellowship model to include the concepts, tools and skills that will enable women leaders to bring their full potential to health care organizations. The two programs enjoy numerous opportunities for cross-learning and networking. In 2023, ELAM and ELH will expand their class size to accommodate the rising demand from applicants and institutions. ELAM will run two cohorts of 48 fellows each, and ELH will run one cohort of 48 fellows.

Dr. Brown, Dr. Grethlein and Dr. McNelis bring innovative leadership and professional development skills to ELAM and ELH, and we are thrilled to have them join our leadership team. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Brown, Dr. Grethlein, and Dr. McNelis to their new roles.


Nancy D. Spector, MD
Professor of Pediatrics

Betty A. Cohen Chair in Women’s Health
Senior Vice Dean for Faculty
Executive Director, Lynn Yeakel Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership (IWHL)
Executive Director, Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) and Executive Leadership in Health Care (ELH)

Drexel University College of Medicine