Author: Jennifer A Sweet, MD
This past October, after an extremely successful year, the AANS/ CNS Joint WINS Section transitioned in leadership from Ann Parr, MD, Ph.D., Chair of the Section from 2017-2018, into my hands, where I hope to continue the impressive growth and forward trajectory of our Section. I am fortunate to be joined by an amazing team of leaders, including Chair-Elect, Martina Stippler, MD; Secretary, Ellen Air, MD, Ph.D.; Treasurer, Sarah Woodrow, MD; and Executive Committee Members -Sheri Dewan, MD; Alia Hdeib, MD; Maryam Rahman, MD. We are also privileged to have the continued support of past leadership, as well as increasing interest and involvement by faculty, residents, and medical students alike.
The mission of WINS is to educate, inspire, and encourage women neurosurgeons to realize their professional and personal goals, and to serve neurosurgery in addressing the issues inherent to training and maintaining a diverse and balanced workforce. In the spirit of this, WINS has taken an active role in leadership, mentorship, and education within organized neurosurgery, and has benefited from the support of such efforts from our parent organizations. Listed below are some highlights from the past year:
- Expansion of the Section membership since 2017 by nearly 13%!
- WINS held an extremely well-attended Satellite Symposium, in conjunction with the Spine Section Meeting March 16, 2018, hosted by Drs. Ann Parr and Marjorie Wang and sponsored by Medtronic. Guest speaker, Gae Walters, discussed the Psychology of Leadership.
- The launch of an impressive WINS Mentorship-Match Program, organized by Dr. Maryam Rahman.
- Hosted Angela Duckworth, Founder, and CEO of Character Lab and author of a 1 New York Times bestseller, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, as the Louise Eisenhardt Speaker during the AANS 2018 meeting. She gave a phenomenal lecture, preceded by a compelling interview with Dr. Ann Parr during the Louise Eisenhardt Breakfast.
- Partnered with the CNS on the inaugural International Women's Think Tank Summit meeting, during the CNS Annual Meeting. The event, which was sponsored by Stryker, served to discuss obstacles and opportunities for women neurosurgeons across the globe.
- Presented the annual WINS/Greg Wilkins-Barrick Chair Visiting International Surgeon Award (VISA) to Dr. Idoya Zazpe from Spain, through the generosity of Toronto neurosurgeon Mark Bernstein, MD, as well as the Sherry Apple Resident Research Award to Dr. Charuta G. Furey, who presented an oral abstract on her research-both during the 2018 CNS Annual Meeting.
- Established the Shelly Timmons Honor Your Mentor Fund for Leadership and saw the continued growth of the Karin Muraszko Honor Your Mentor Fund for Leadership, both with the aim recognizing and showing gratitude to true leaders in our field.
Looking forward, WINS hopes to have additional success in our membership and involvement, and we hope to continue to serve an important role in organized neurosurgery. Here are some initiatives on the horizon:
- WINS is launching a BRAINPOWER "button campaign" fundraising effort, led by Dr. Martina Stippler, to show support for women neurosurgeons. The pin can be purchased by contacting WINS via our website, www.neurosurgerywins.org.
- WINS will host a reception at the upcoming Pain & Spine Section Meeting on March 13, 2019, in Miami, Florida, great for networking and building collaborations between WINS, Pain, and Spine Section members who will be in attendance.
- At the AANS and CNS 2019 meetings, the WINS program will continue to expand its educational content for men and women neurosurgeons at all stages of their careers, pertaining to our mission of Mentorship, Leadership, and Education in an ever-changing environment and will continue to host our distinguished named lectures, awards and our Mentorship- Match Program,
- Lastly, 2020 will mark the 30th Anniversary of Women in Neurosurgery. This anniversary will also coincide with Dr. Karin Muraszko's Presidency of the Society of Neurological Surgeons, and she will be the first woman president of the SNS. As such, WINS will be planning a special celebration with our parent organizations during the annual meetings to recognize and honor these momentous events. Please stay tuned for further updates, which will be found on our website and through our bi-annual WINS Newsletter.