Rosalyn Richman: Empowering Leaders in Medicine
September 6, 2023
When Rosalyn Richman began working at Hahnemann University in 1992, she didn’t consider herself an “advocate for women.” But by the time she retired in 2013, she was an integral part of a program committed to advancing the careers of women who were changing the face of medicine.
For nearly 20 years, Richman worked as part of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) program, first as associate director, before serving as the program’s co-director. ELAM is a year-long part-time fellowship for senior women faculty in schools of medicine, dentistry, public health and pharmacy. The program is dedicated to developing the professional and personal skills required to lead and manage in today's complex health care environment, with special attention to the unique challenges facing women in leadership positions.
“I love the program because it prepares women for higher level positions in healthcare and beyond,” says Richman. “ELAM’s approach to leadership is broad enough that it not only expands the role of women and gives them more opportunity for growth, but ultimately, it enhances the organizations that they serve or lead.”
With more than 1,200 alumnae in leadership positions at institutions around the world, ELAM graduates have gone on to hold a range of positions, including college and university presidents, as well as leadership roles at universities, foundations and government agencies, according to Richman.
It didn’t take long for Richman to see the undeniable value of the program and its potential for even greater impact. As she neared retirement and began planning for her own financial security, she believed deeply that preparing for the future also meant supporting organizations that she wanted to continue to thrive. In 2014, Richman did just that, establishing a charitable gift annuity that would ultimately benefit the ELAM Founders Fund.
“My decision to invest in ELAM was easy because it had less to do with the fact that I was working in the program and a whole lot more to do with my admiration for the goals of the program,” she says.
While Richman’s belief in the program is apparent, her gift is more than a public show of support — it’s a way to recognize the achievements of the program’s participants and honor the contributions of the leaders who developed the program.
“I want to support organizations whose principles speak to me,” Richman adds. “I admire what these women are doing, and I believe their work is important — important enough to put my dollars there.”