Four distinguished Weill Cornell Medicine physician-scientists – Drs. Silvia Formenti, Barbara Hempstead, Lisa Newman and Laura Riley – have been selected as Crain’s Notable Women in Health Care in New York City.
The Weill Cornell Medicine awardees are part of a list of 100 women chosen by Crain’s New York Business for outstanding professional and philanthropic achievements in New York City, as well as proven commitments to mentorship and the promotion of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Dr. Silvia Formenti, an accomplished radiation oncologist, serves as chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology and associate director of radiation oncology at the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine. She is also radiation oncologist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. A leader in radiation oncology and breast cancer research, Dr. Formenti’s work focuses on use of radiation therapy for cancer treatment, demonstrating the efficacy of combining radiotherapy with immunotherapy to control cancer cell growth in tumors. She is leading six investigator-initiated clinical trials of immunotherapy and radiotherapy.
“I am proud to be at Weill Cornell Medicine because we take to heart that a diverse faculty helps ensure that every patient – here and abroad – receives access to quality care,” said Dr. Formenti, who is also the Sandra and Edward Meyer Professor of Cancer Research at Weill Cornell Medicine. “Each one of the Crain’s Notable Women is a star – it’s fantastic and a true honor to be recognized with them.”
A distinguished neuroscientist and hematologist, Dr. Barbara Hempstead, dean of the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, has a long history of institutional leadership, advancing the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology as its co-chief, and mentoring Weill Cornell Medicine faculty in her prior role as associate dean for faculty development. Most recently, Dr. Hempstead led the institution’s academic medicine program as senior associate dean for education. In her current position as dean of the graduate school, she is committed to recruiting and promoting diversity and inclusivity among students, trainees and faculty members.
“It’s wonderful being a part of Crain’s list of Notable Women in Healthcare. I also think it’s important to recognize that at Weill Cornell Medicine, we are in an environment that really nurtures and supports women,” said Dr. Hempstead, who is also the O. Wayne Isom Professor of Medicine and a professor of neuroscience in the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute. “Success in a leadership role really rests on the interactions with many others – highly collaborative administrators in other academic missions, deans within the graduate school, program directors, our highly talented students, dedicated faculty, staff members and everyone who helps a program thrive.”
Dr. Lisa Newman, a renowned surgical oncologist, serves as chief of the Section of Breast Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medicine, with a clinical and research practice dedicated to breast cancer management. She currently oversees a team of breast surgeons providing patients with comprehensive breast cancer care through a multidisciplinary approach. She also supervises the Breast Surgical Oncology Program at NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Queens, where she extends that multidisciplinary approach to breast cancer treatment so patients across the boroughs receive the same high-quality care. Dr. Newman’s research focuses on ethnicity-related variation in breast cancer risk and outcome, and the evaluation and management of high-risk patients.
“This is certainly such a huge honor, especially as a native New Yorker who has recently returned to New York. I’m thrilled to have my work recognized in my new community,” said Dr. Newman, who was appointed to her current role in 2018. “I truly wake up every single day feeling that I am going to best job in the world.”
Dr. Laura Riley, an esteemed obstetrician who specializes in obstetric infectious disease, is chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Given Foundation Professor in Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medicine. She is also obstetrician and gynecologist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. In this role, Dr. Riley will lead the NewYork-Presbyterian Alexandra Cohen Hospital for Women and Newborns, which will be able to accommodate 7,000 deliveries a year and is set to open in 2020. She also oversees and leads a team of physicians at NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Queens. Her research focuses on maternal immunization and immunology as well as racial and ethnic disparities in maternal mortality.
“The number of female chairs in obstetrics and gynecology is small – much smaller than you would anticipate for a women’s health specialty,” said Dr. Riley, who is dedicated to mentoring and to ensuring that more women attain leadership positions in academic medicine. “If we want to solve some of the really thorny issues in healthcare, it will take a diversity of opinion, which includes having women at the top.”