Two faculty members selected for prestigious national executive leadership programs

UC Davis School of Medicine faculty members accepted to fellowships aimed at expanding the national pool of influential women leaders in academic medicine


Two UC Davis School of Medicine faculty members have been selected to participate in the prestigious Drexel University national Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® and Executive Leadership in Health Care programs.

Melissa Bauman and Debbie Aizenberg standing next to each other smiling
Melissa Bauman (left) and Debbie Aizenberg (right)

Melissa Bauman is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and associate director of the UC Davis MIND Institute Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center and the UC Davis Conte Center. She was accepted into the 2022-2023 class of fellows in the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) program for women. Debbie Aizenberg, clinical professor of otolaryngology - head and neck surgery and associate chief medical officer for ambulatory care, was selected as one of the inaugural fellows for the parallel Executive Leadership in Health Care Program (ELH).

Both programs are prestigious year-long fellowships aimed at expanding the national pool of outstanding women candidates for leadership in academic medicine, dentistry, public health and pharmacy. New this year, the ELH program will run concurrently with ELAM, with a tailored focus for executive health care leaders.

“Dr. Bauman and Dr. Aizenberg are dynamic leaders and an inspiration to their colleagues and trainees,” said Susan Murin, interim dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine. “The need for innovative leaders in academic health care has never been greater, and it speaks to the high caliber of our medical school’s faculty that two of our professors were selected to participate in these highly competitive and prestigious national programs.”

Bauman selected to ELAM program

Established in 1995, the ELAM program has been specially developed for senior women faculty at the associate or full professor level who demonstrate the greatest potential for assuming executive leadership positions at academic health centers within the next five years. While attaining higher levels within academic health centers’ executive ranks is the program's primary focus, ELAM encourages its graduates to pursue the full diversity of roles that offer opportunities for leadership within their organizations.

A professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Bauman is also a faculty member of the MIND Institute. Her research program uses preclinical models to evaluate risk factors and develop novel therapeutic interventions for neurodevelopmental disabilities . Her current research focuses on understanding how changes in the prenatal environment, in particular the maternal-fetal immune environment, may increase the likelihood of autism, schizophrenia and other neurodevelopmental conditions.

As the director of the UC Davis Women in Medicine and Health Sciences (WIMHS) program, she has a strong commitment to advancing women's careers in science and medicine.

“I am honored to be selected for this prestigious leadership fellowship,”Bauman said. “I look forward to honing my leadership skills further and using this opportunity as a springboard to create more leadership opportunities for others at UC Davis Health.”

Aizenberg selected to ELH program

The ELH program is targeted to rising women leaders who have institutional-level leadership responsibilities and aspirations in the next five years to lead at the executive level within a health care organization. Throughout the program, ELH fellows will work to enhance their leadership behaviors to effectively address strategic, operational and relational challenges.

As the associate chief medical officer for ambulatory care at UC Davis Health, Aizenberg is responsible for improving the quality, safety, efficiency, and access to UC Davis Health’s ambulatory practices. In addition to this role, Aizenberg has been appointed as interim executive director of the UC Davis Medical Group, effective October 1, 2022. She is committed to developing patient-centered care systems and enhancing clinical efficiencies, focusing on health system growth, strategic partnerships, and innovative solutions.

In addition, Aizenberg provides direct patient care with a focus area of pediatric otolaryngology and participates in research and scholarship in the field of practice management and gender diversity. She has been recognized with institutional awards for excellence in service and compassion. Aizenberg has also demonstrated leadership and commitment to academic medicine, the school of medicine and health system, and to advancing the careers of women in medicine and health sciences. 

Aizenberg is a previous WIMHS Fellow and is the director for the UC Davis Women in Otolaryngology Interest Group, which aims to inspire and encourage women otolaryngologists to achieve their personal and professional goals.

“I am delighted to be accepted into the inaugural class of ELH fellows and to represent UC Davis School of Medicine in this prestigious program," said Aizenberg. “I am thrilled to join this remarkable group of leaders that are collaboratively working to diversify leadership across the field of academic medicine and health sciences.”

Since ELAM’s inception 27 years ago, more than 15 UC Davis Health faculty have completed or are currently participating in the program.