Clara Bliss Hinds Society for Women in Medicine and Health Sciences

Female researcher in lab
From left to right: Dr. Rebecca Lynch, Dr. Chavon Onumah, Dr. Victoria Shanmugam, Dr. Nadine Mbuyi, Dr. Lisa Schwartz, Dr. Kirsten Brown, and Dr. Kat Ogle

A Message from Dr. Victoria Shanmugam

Chair of the Clara Bliss Hinds Society for Women in Medicine and Science at GW


The Clara Bliss Hinds Society is the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences Group on Women in Medicine and Science. It is a great honor to serve as the Chair of the society and to introduce the other members of the executive committee:


Dr. Chavon Onumah, Assistant Professor of Medicine

 Vice Chair

Dr. Rebecca Lynch, Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine


Dr. Nadine Mbuyi, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Department of Rheumatology


Dr. Kat Ogle, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine

Member at Large

Dr. Lisa Schwartz, Associate Professor of Biomedical Laboratory Sciences

Member at Large

Dr. Kirsten Brown, Associate Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology

Member at Large


The overall aims of the Clara Bliss Hinds Society are to:

  • Facilitate career & leadership skill development; mentoring; and networking
  • Enhance the work environment for women
  • Promote equity in promotion, tenure, and recognition

for women throughout George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

The Clara Bliss Hinds Society hosts face-to-face meetings monthly on topics of interest to members, including presentations by women leaders and skill development workshops. Membership in the Society is open to regular full and part-time faculty of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. To become a member of the society please click here.


History of the Clara Bliss Hinds Society for Women in Medicine and Science

In July 2018, SMHS Dean Jeffrey Akman formed a task force charged with providing recommendations to address the needs of women faculty. Led by Dr. Jean Johnson, former dean of the GW School of Nursing, the task force included faculty from the basic, clinical and health sciences. A major recommendation was the formation of a Chapter of the AAMC Group on Women in Medicine and Science to oversee programs and services to support women faculty, including planning and offering regular meetings and an Annual Women in Leadership Event.

A planning group was convened to develop the chapter, draft bylaws, develop meeting ideas, and name the group. The society was named the Clara Bliss Hinds Society, after the first woman to graduate from GW. Dr. Clara Bliss Hinds graduated from the School of Medicine in 1887. She forged the way for women at GW, and we are proud to name this society in her honor.


Clara Bliss Hinds Society Events






October 17, 2019

Ross 117


Public Speaking for Women in Medicine and Sciences

Dr. Jean Miller

Assistant Professor of Communication

GW Columbian College

November 21, 2019

Ross 117


Promoting Yourself – CV and Letters of Recommendation Workshop

Drs. Kate Chiappinelli and Rebecca Lynch

December 12, 2019

Ross 227


Self-Care and Wellness

Dr. Kaylan Baban (invited)

February 20, 2020



Dean’s Address

Dean Barbara Lee Bass

March 19, 2020





April 16, 2020





May 21, 2020





June 18, 2020



Annual Women in Leadership Event



Useful Resources for Women in Medicine and Sciences

Gender Bias in Letters of Recommendation

Papers outlining the scope of the issue:

Influence of Gender on Surgical Residency Applicants' Recommendation Letters

Gendered Differences in Letters of Recommendation for Transplant Surgery Fellowship Applicants

Useful tips for avoiding Gender Bias in Letters of Recommendation:

Avoiding gender bias in reference writing            

                Gender-bias calculator


AAMC GWIMS Toolkits:

This series of presentations is designed to provide practical guidance on a variety of topics relevant to women faculty in academic medicine. Each presentation provides an overview of the topic, relevant best practices, tips on implementation, and useful references for more information.    

CHAPTER 1: Managing through Teamwork for Maximum Performance (Judy Weber)

CHAPTER 2: Crafting a Fundable Grant (Emina Huang)

CHAPTER 3: Workshop Preparation and Presentation (Carla Spagnoletti, Rachel Bonnema, Melissa

McNeil, Abby Spencer, & Megan McNamara)

CHAPTER 4: The Art of Successful Nominations (Jocelyn Chertoff)

Preparing Successful Award Nominations (Elizabeth Travis)

CHAPTER 5: Part-time Faculty in Academic Medicine, Individual and Institutional Advantages (Linda

Chaudron, Susan Pollart & Aimee Grover)