Medicine and Dentistry Faculty Honored with Achievement Awards
Cassie Williams Jones
University Public Affairs
Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Medicine and School of Dentistry recently recognized two faculty members with the 20th Annual Women in Science, Dentistry and Medicine (WISDM) Professional Achievement Award.
The award, which is presented during the annual WISDM conference, recognizes those women who have served as strong role models and mentors for the professional development of women faculty.
This year’s honorees are Therèse M. Duane, M.D., associate professor and vice chair for quality and safety in the Department of Surgery, associate director of the Surgical Critical Care Fellowship and assistant medical director of the Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit (STICU), and Sharon K. Lanning, D.D.S., associate professor in the Department of Periodontics.
Duane, recipient of the School of Medicine Award, joined VCU in 2003 and advanced to the title of associate professor in only five years. As vice chair for quality and safety, she has created multiple practice guidelines for infection control with multi-disciplinary involvement of STICU staff. She also is chair of the VCU Medical Center Infection Control Committee and received the 2010 Shining Knight Award for Excellence in Trauma Care. She’s a member and leader in several medical councils and societies, including the 11 VCU Health System and School of Medicine committees she currently serves.
Duane has more than 50 peer-reviewed publications in all of the specialties she practices – trauma, critical care and emergency general surgery – and has collaborated on dozens of oral, paper and poster presentations developed with numerous colleagues in a wide range of disciplines.
As a teacher and mentor, Duane received numerous awards, including multiple Outstanding Teacher of the Surgical Clerkship and Faculty Medical Student Teaching awards. To improve teaching in the STICU, she created a weekly conference called "Breakfast and Bullets," in which each member of the STICU team is assigned a topic or questions that came up on rounds that week to research and present to the rest of the group at the end of the week. She also played a pivotal role in establishing a national Mentorship Program for Early Career Women in Surgery through the Association of Women Surgeons.
“It is with a humble heart that I accept the WISDM 2012 award,” wrote Duane in an acceptance statement read by a colleague in her place. “I look forward with great anticipation for what the women at VCU hold in the future.”
Lanning, who received the School of Dentistry award, was appointed chair of the Curriculum Committee in 2010 and since that time has transformed a historically reactionary committee into a proactive, visionary group with a school-wide leadership role. She also is a faculty mentor within the VCU Center for Teaching Excellence mentorship program. She has served as an officer and a past-president of the Virginia Society of Periodontists.
Lanning had taught numerous courses in periodontics at the pre-doctoral level, as well as within the graduate periodontics residency and master’s program. She also has been a guest lecturer in many other dental and dental hygiene courses in a variety of topic areas. She’s the recipient of several awards and recognitions, including the Instructor of the Year Award, given to her by the students at the University of Michigan, where she taught before coming to VCU in 2004.
As a researcher, Lanning has been published in many peer-reviewed journals, including in areas of study such as periodontal disease, communication skills, simulated patients and curricular assessment. She has presented her work in both poster and workshop format at the local, state and national levels. In 2005, she was awarded a Program to Stimulate Innovation in Dental Education grant from the American Dental Association Foundation, which provides funding to support the development of a peer teaching program to enhance instruction on communication skills.
“I think the biggest part of this honor is to be in the company of the talented, accomplished women who have received this award before me,” said Lanning, as she addressed the audience and accepted the award.
The WISDM Professional Achievement Award is presented annually by the Women in Science, Dentistry, and Medicine Faculty Organization, VCU School of Medicine, MCV Campus. The award was established in 1993 to acknowledge the special contributions and accomplishments of women faculty in the School of Medicine and to recognize those women for their special contributions, dedication, leadership, mentorship and accomplishments in the schools of Medicine and Dentistry.
“Every year, we are so amazed at the letters and accolades we get about the women faculty in medicine and dentistry,” said Dr. Amelia Grover, assistant professor of surgery and president of the WISDM Faculty Organization.
Themed “Making a Difference: The Meaning of Service,” this year’s conference keynote speaker was Anne Parker Maust, Ph.D., founder of New Visions, New Ventures, a Richmond-based non-profit that helps women start businesses. She presented “Leading by Serving: How You Can Bring Change to Your Community,” which allowed participants to explore the meaning of servant leadership and identify the processes and vehicles associated with obtaining it.
In addition, participants were involved in numerous workshops and viewed exhibits on various aspects of leadership and service in health care.
The WISDM faculty organization solicits nominations annually. For more information, visit http://www.womeninmedicine.vcu.edu/APAA.html.