Chancellor to Present Advancement of Women Award on March 22

A physician whose career demonstrates a lifelong commitment to women’s health, an effective mentor who works with girls from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds and a graduate student who helps guide the career success of a new generation of graduate students, will receive the Chancellor’s Award for the Advancement of Women on Monday, March 22.

Chancellor Sue Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, will present the award to the three members of the campus community at noon at a ceremony in Toland Hall on the UCSF Parnassus campus.

The winners of the 2010 Chancellor’s Award for the Advancement of Women are:

  • Philip Darney, MD, MSc, professor and Chief of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH), co-director, Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health;
  • Judith Young, MPH, supervisor, National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health (CoE) and
  • Lauren Booth, a fifth-year graduate student in the Tetrad program in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology.

Philip Darney

A member of the UCSF faculty for nearly 30 years, Darney’s contributions to research, health policy, advocacy and patient care have improved the health of women far beyond the University. He has made key contributions to the science of contraception, education and clinical care of women around the world.

As co-director and founder of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, Darney leads a cutting-edge interdisciplinary policy research and advocacy group with more than 150 researchers. The Bixby Center was formed in 1999 to address the health, social, and economic consequences of sex and reproduction through research and training and strives to develop preventive solutions to the most pressing domestic and international reproductive health problems.

As an obstetrician gynecologist (ob-gyn) at SFGH, he has served as chief of the Department of Ob-gyn and Reproductive Health Sciences for the past 10 years. His career demonstrates a life-long, passionate commitment to the health of women, particularly the poor and disadvantaged, through advancing the field of family planning and reproductive health. Darney initiated family planning and abortion training for UCSF residents, a program that is now the national model and that has been replicated in more than 40 institutions. 

With great foresight and determination to ensure that future providers were equipped with the necessary skills, Darney developed the first Fellowship in Family Planning in 1991. The fellowship has been expanded to 19 medical schools throughout the US and laid the foundation for a new ob-gyn subspecialty in family planning. 

Among his numerous initiatives are the New Generation Health Center, the evaluation of the State of California’s FamilyPACT (family planning services for low-income women and men), and the Women’s Options Center at SFGH. 

Darney also supported Jody Steinauer’s establishment of the national organization Medical Students for Choice. His courageous efforts to ensure the availability of not only comprehensive family planning services for low-income families, but also safe and accessible abortion are emulated worldwide. His key interest is mentoring the next generation of leaders in the field, many of whom are women.

In addition, Darney co-leads the new Center of Expertise on Women’s Health and Empowerment, an initiative that is part of the newly launched UC Global Health Institute, which aims to harness the expertise of UC faculty across the 10-campus system to address the needs of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Judith Young

As manager in the National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health (CoE), Young supports academic-community partnerships across the nation, tackling issues such as domestic violence in rural North Dakota, post-hurricane stress in New Orleans, preteen obesity in Michigan and the health of disabled women in Oregon. At the 2009 American Public Health Association meeting, UCSF’s presentation on this academic-community partnership program earned the highest score of all abstracts submitted to the Women’s Caucus.

Aside from her efforts to disseminate knowledge on women’s health, Young is a dedicated and effective mentor particularly interested in introducing girls from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds to health career options they may never have considered possible. Her efforts to give undergraduate interns the opportunity to work alongside her are unparalleled and have quickly established a coveted and competitive program. Based on her exceptional mentoring passion and skills, she was offered and agreed to assume the leadership of the CoE Internship Programs for Young Women. 

Young’s wealth of experience, both personal and professional, makes her accessible to diverse groups, and her positive receptiveness reassures the success of budding professionals. Her leadership at UCSF and its surrounding community exemplifies the best of community-university partnerships aimed at improving and advancing the health of the public.

Lauren Booth

The face of graduate health science students at UCSF has changed in the past decade to one of predominately women studying, conducting research and working in an environment that a decade ago was overwhelmingly male. As a graduate student, Booth noticed that despite the high proportion of women in graduate school and in postdoctoral positions, women are significantly under-represented in faculty positions.

To address the challenges facing this new generation of graduate students, Booth has led the resurrection of Women in Life Sciences (WILS), a registered campus organization that is dedicated to supporting women graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at UCSF by organizing networking, mentoring, and career-building activities. She reestablished this group as a magnet for women graduate students and postdoctoral scholars helping them find support during their tenure at UCSF and transition into the professional or academic world. WILS hosts monthly meetings with panel discussions, talks by speakers, and mentoring opportunities with topics ranging from career paths to the nuances of interviewing and negotiating for academic positions. Men are welcome to join any of these activities.

In providing this structure and support, Booth has formed a community for women at UCSF, helping to improve academic retention and satisfaction. These activities are above and beyond her scope as a graduate student, and she successfully balances her work and leadership roles with the rest of her full life, thereby modeling a healthy and balanced work-life for others.

A natural leader, Booth joined the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) in 2008 to contribute to the UCSF campus environment for her peers. Booth has since served as chair of Women and Minority Advocacy for GSA and has been appointed to the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women and serves on its mentoring subcommittee.

Related Links:

New Center Focuses on Women’s Health and Empowerment on Global Scale
UCSF Today, December 28, 2009

Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health

National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health

Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women

UCSF Diversity website