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Dr. Judith Stitt Woman Faculty Scholar Grant


The purpose of the Dr. Judith Stitt Woman Faculty Scholar Grant is to provide more women the opportunity to reach leadership positions in academic medicine where they can contribute to scientific study to benefit the health of women. The $50,000 grant is awarded every other year and presented at the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation’s annual Women’s Health Research Luncheon.

This award is named in memory of Dr. Judith Stitt, Sue Ann Thompson’s radiation-oncologist. Dr. Stitt was a leader in women’s health, played a vital part in Sue Ann’s recovery from breast cancer, inspired her to start WWHF and was an original Board Member. Dr.Stitt fought many battles for equity in women’s health issues, but lost her final battle to bone marrow cancer.

Why are more women needed in academic medicine leadership roles?

Historically, major advances in women’s health research have been initiated by female academic leaders. Yet, the number of women entering leadership roles in academic medicine remains disproportionately small even through almost half of all medical students are now women. The Dr. Judith Stitt Woman Faculty Scholar Grant addresses the need for better representation of women in academic medicine.

  • Leaders in academic medicine set the nation’s medical research agenda – Women’s life experiences are different from men. Women researchers offer new perspectives that inspire new avenues of research.
  • Leaders in academic medicine inform policymakers – Policymakers consult deans, chairs, and professors where women are strikingly under-represented. Policymakers need to hear about the experiences of women whose voices have not traditionally been heard at decision-making tables.
  • Leaders in academic medicine are trailblazers for others to follow – Nationally, there are a very limited number of women chairs of medical school departments or deans of medical schools. Providing support to women junior faculty enables them to work on research and achieve decision-making positions. Once promoted to this level, these women can mentor other women seeking opportunity and growth within women’s health issues, and influence healthcare policy.