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Kristina Crothers
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Susan Merel
May 20, 2024

2024 Gender Equity Awards

Congratulations to this year's recipients: Drs. Kristina Crothers and Susan Merel.
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Awards Diversity Faculty

Established in 2021, the Department of Medicine Gender Equity Awards recognize and celebrate individuals who are dedicated to supporting the success of women and gender minorities.

Congratulations to the 2024 recipients:

Mentorship Award

The Mentorship Awards honor those who have encouraged and supported women and gender minorities in their academic and professional endeavors.

Kristina CrothersDr. Kristina Crothers, professor (Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine) and section head of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the VA, has long been committed to equity issues.

As a testament to the inspiration she invokes and her steadfast dedication to those she mentors, seven out of eight of her mentees are now in academic faculty positions at the University of Washington and other academic institutions. Her remaining mentee is currently in a medical subspecialty fellowship.

Dr. Crothers has adopted an innovative approach of having her trainees mentor fellows and residents with her oversight hence serving as a multiplier effect. This practice of being a senior mentor paired with a junior mentor helps provide guidance and develop the next generation of women mentors. 

Some comments about her mentorship: 

"She is a leader and role model for women and a tireless mentor
and advocate for women, gender minorities, and others who are underrepresented in medicine."

"To say that Dr. Crothers is committed to the mentorship, career development and advancement of trainees is an understatement." 

"She dedicates substantial time and effort to support her mentees...she has a unique ability to inspire trainees to pursue passion in research, even in areas outside of her own expertise...she is a fierce advocate for her mentees...and most importantly, she is a role model of what a mentor, sponsor and friend should be."

"Dr. Crothers is truly an inspirational role model. She has managed to forge a career in which she is a leader in pulmonary medicine and a world-renowned expert in HIV-related lung disease, all while having a family, maintaining hobbies and interests and being kind, generous and endlessly supportive."

Trailblazer award

The Trailblazer Awards honors those who have blazed a trail for women and gender minorities, served as a catalyst for change that enhances the success of women and gender minorities, and/or who have made noteworthy contributions to the department, school or larger community.

Susan MerelDr. Susan Merel, associate professor (General Internal Medicine) and section head of General Internal Medicine at UWMC-Montlake, has been championing women’s issues her entire career.

She has served on the Dean’s Standing Committee on Women in Medicine and Science, the UW Hospital Medicine Gender Equity Scholarship and Advocacy Group, and in 2020, the Department of Medicine formed its inaugural Gender Equity Council with Dr. Merel as its first chair.

Under her guidance and leadership as chair of the Gender Equity Council, a gender equity lunch series and an ambassador program launched, two gender equity awards were created (and 7 awards have been given out), the LIFT (Leadership in Faculty Trajectory) program was established, a staff professional development program initiated, and focus groups were conducted to study a shared mental model for family support; the results of which were presented at a national conference.

Some comments about her trailblazing:

"Trailblazers like Dr. Susan Merel break barriers, redefine what’s possible, elevate underrepresented voices, and inspire others to reach their true potential."

"Dr. Merel is a true trailblazer for gender equity...she has catalyzed real change that has resulted in increased promotion of women in the Division of General Internal Medicine, and I am confident these gains will be realized across the department."

"Dr. Merel’s work with the Gender Equity Council and the LIFT program will have an enduring impact on the Division of General Internal Medicine and the larger Department of Medicine."

"Dr. Merel has been an unwavering advocate for women in our department and across the School of Medicine. She is an outstanding, responsive, accessible, and supportive leader who has been the first woman in several leadership roles. She is always willing to listen, learn, and offer honest guidance without hesitation."