Chancellor Presents 2012 Award for Advancement of Women to Three

By Lisa Cisneros

Vice Chancellor Renee Navarro, left, with Alissa Perrucci, Sue Carlisle and Heather Logghe, recipients of the 2012 Chancellor's Award for the Advancement of Women, stand with Patricia Robertson, chair of the selection committee and 2011 award winner, and Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann.

A leader at UCSF who has a long record of fostering the professional success of faculty, a manager who has transformed a clinic into a national model for abortion services and a medical student whose own story as a survivor of domestic violence has improved interprofessional training were recognized on March 28 for their efforts to support women.

UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, and Renee Navarro, MD, PharmD, vice chancellor for Diversity and Outreach, awarded three members of the campus community for their efforts to advance women at UCSF and beyond. The winners of the 2012 Chancellor’s Award for the Advancement of Women are:

  • Sue Carlisle, MD, PhD, associate dean and professor of medicine and professor of clinical anesthesia at the UCSF-affiliated San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (SFGH),
  • Alissa Perrucci, PhD, MPH,counseling and administrative manager for the Women’s Options Center at SFGH, and
  • Heather Logghe, a fourth-year medical student.

Sue Carlisle

Sue Carlisle, MD, PhD

Sue Carlisle, MD, PhD

Carlisle is being recognized in the faculty category for her longtime commitment to elevating the status of women within the UCSF and SFGH community. During her 21-year career at UCSF, she has demonstrated a distinguished record of advancing the admission, recruitment, and upward mobility of women at UCSF as evidenced by her intentional and thoughtful appointment of women to visible and important leadership positions.

After training in internal medicine and anesthesia at UCSF, Carlisle quickly rose through the academic ranks, starting as an assistant professor in 1990 and reaching professor rank by 1999. She was chief of anesthesia and perioperative care at SFGH from 1999 to 2006 and was appointed associate dean for SFGH in 2004. Through the years, she has shown her ability to work constructively with a diverse group of leaders, faculty, students and staff by building consensus, supporting professional development and enforcing equity. Carlisle ensures that all perspectives are expressed and considered in a busy urban hospital where there can be conflicting agendas and priorities.

She is known for engaging and supporting issues and programs important to junior faculty and for her continued mentorship of both her women and men colleagues navigating their careers through UCSF. Carlisle is known for fighting for the fair treatment of faculty, students and staff and for pressing others to ensure a diverse pool of applicants in the hiring process. When women are appointed to leadership positions, Carlisle continues to provide them with mentorship and support, offering them strategic advice about negotiating for space and other resources.

Committed to creating and sustaining a workplace culture that supports women's work-life balance, Carlisle has served on several UCSF committees that are related to climate, including the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Childcare and the Department of Anesthesia's Committee for Women's Issues.

Demonstrating a calm and nurturing leadership style, Carlisle provides strong and thoughtful leadership at a critical teaching hospital for UCSF and important safety-net resource for San Francisco where many poor and often immigrant women and their families get compassionate and cutting-edge health care.

Alissa Perrucci

Alissa Perrucci, PhD, MPH

Alissa Perrucci, PhD, MPH

Alissa Perrucci is being recognized in the staff category for her commitment to advancing the status of women by cultivating empathy and understanding for women seeking pregnancy termination and her vision and effort that has made the Women’s Option Center at SFGH a national model for abortion counseling.

Perrucci draws upon her educational and employment background, her PhD degree in psychology and her MPH degree, along with her experience in research design and past work as an abortion counselor to improve counseling for patients, especially those troubled by ambivalence or moral and spiritual conflict.

She tirelessly guides trainees and visitors through the counseling techniques, for which she has drawn national interest, and ensures they understand the many challenges the patients face. Perrucc extends that training to the wider community and has managed to reach out beyond SFGH and UCSF. In fact, her thoughtful work with patients and staff trainings informed her book about abortion counseling that will be published this spring.

Perrucci also provides inspiring mentorship and fosters an atmosphere that encourages staff to maximize their performance while simultaneously seeking ways to advance their careers. She schedules staff in a way that allows them to purse advanced degrees and two counselors that she has mentored are applying to medical school. And she supports work-life balance ensuring that staff with wide-ranging goals and values can thrive in an inclusive culture she has created in the clinic.

She is recognized for her commitment to provide low-income women with care commensurate with that received by women with greater resources and has revamped counseling and educational materials to better serve those patients with low-literacy skills.

Heather Logghe

Fourth-year medical student Heather Logghe is recognized in the student/resident/postdoctoral scholar category for her commitment to educating and mentoring tomorrow’s physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, and physical therapists about how they can best meet the needs of sexual and domestic violence survivors and shares her own traumatic experience to effect positive change.

In numerous ways, Logghe contributes to the development of future leaders in women’s health, and her teaching and presentations have produced thousands of health care professionals better prepared to improve the climate for women in the health care professions and to also improve women’s health care. 

For example, Logghe applied for and was selected by the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) to host a week-long national institute for medical and dental students on leadership and health disparities. The institute focused on significant issues in primary care, leadership development, curricular reform, and health policy. Under her leadership, the institute proved to be a huge success, a true testament to her ability to promote collaboration and teamwork for UCSF faculty and administrators and students from around the country.

During the forum, Logghe delivered a heart-felt presentation to the 40 students about her own experiences, as a victim and survivor of domestic violence, and guided them, gently, to understand how each of them could make a difference tosurvivors by offering sensitive, informed care. The audience was captivated as she shared her powerful story, including her series of encounters with the health care system during the ten years following her assault. Every medical and dental student who attended the institute was mentored by her, individually and as a group.

Logghe started her career in women’s advocacy as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. When she first began healing from the sexual assault, she quickly realized the impact that her stories had on the people. This realization inspired her to create “Silent Crimes, Outspoken Voices,” a peer-education program in which survivors of sexual violence used their personal stories to teach other students about the experience, consequences, social causes, and prevention of sexual assault. They also guided men to realize their role and tremendous influence in ending men’s violence against women.

In addition to awareness and prevention, these presentations also included advocacy for changing a loophole in Wisconsin state law, which prevented sexual assault survivors from pressing charges in cases that involved alcohol. Eventually the bill they advocated for was passed, giving survivors their rightful avenue to pursue justice. In all, the presentations improved the education climate for women, prevented further violence, and changed policy to achieve justice.

Logghe also founded a student group, Men Making a Difference, a pro-feminist, anti-racist, gay-affirmative student organization that focused on primary prevention of sexual violence. As the leader of this organization, she planned and hosted the 28th Annual National Conference on Men and Masculinity, “Gender, Violence, and Power: Making the Connections,” which fostered a dialogue on the essential role of men in ending violence against women.

Top photo by Susan Merrell