Salem Academy and College to Host Second Health Leadership Forum

Salem Academy and College to Host Second Health Leadership Forum

Press Release For Immediate Release
January 24, 2023
HLF 2022 - Dr. Varkay on stage with President McGee

Keynote Address and Panel Discussions to Highlight the Work of
Women Health Leaders Who Are Widely Recognized Experts and Innovators

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (JANUARY 24, 2023)—Salem Academy and College will hold its second annual Health Leadership Forum on Friday, April 14, 2023. The Health Leadership Forum, which is free and open to the public, will feature a selection of women in health leadership roles who are widely recognized as experts and innovators in their fields.

The Health Leadership Forum’s keynote address is being presented as a Katherine Graham Howard C’ 1917 lecture. The Katherine Graham Howard fund was established for “visits to Salem College by distinguished leaders in public and international affairs.” Howard served in federal agencies during the Eisenhower administration. The lecture fund was established from estate gifts Howard bestowed on Salem.

The Katherine Graham Howard C’ 1917 keynote address will be given by Patrice Harris, MD, who is Chief Executive Officer of eMed and who was the first African American president of the American Medical Association. Her body of professional work focuses on diversity and health-related inequities and disparities.

Salem Academy and College is exclusively focused on developing tomorrow’s health leaders and change agents. Our second annual Health Leadership Forum will feature women health leaders who exemplify the range of opportunities and possibilities for aspiring future leaders who seek to make the world a better, healthier, and more equitable place,” Salem Academy and College President Summer J. McGee, Ph.D., CPH said. “We invite our alumnae and community to join us at the Forum to discuss emerging local and global health issues as well as gain a better understanding of the power, importance and impact of health in our society.”

Salem’s Health Leadership Forum begins at 9 a.m. on April 14 with the Katherine Graham Howard Lecture.

Following the keynote address and a question and answer session, the first morning panel begins at 10:05 a.m. and will feature a discussion about women’s reproductive rights and LGBTQIA+ rights. Moderated by a Salem alum, panelists will include Avery Belyeu, Principal at Health Management Associates, based in Fort Worth, TX and a noted expert in LGBTQIA+ rights, and Kelly Blanchard, MS, President of Ibis Reproductive Health, based in Cambridge, MA, and a highly respected expert in women’s reproductive rights.

After the first morning panel at 10:45 a.m., the Health Leadership Forum will present a Fireside Chat with Salem President Summer J. McGee called Women Working Together for a Healthier World and Local Community.

The second morning panel begins at 11:10 a.m. and will focus on environmental issues. Featured panelists include Cordelia Heaney, Executive Director of Market Umbrella in New Orleans and an expert in food insecurity; Crystal Dixon, MPH, MA, Assistant Professor of Practice in Health and Exercise Science at Wake Forest University and founder of Mango Consulting, who is an expert in environmental justice; and Annie Peyton, Associate at Urban Design, WXY Architecture in New York City, who is an architectural designer and urbanist and an expert in built environment, public space as a catalyst for promoting social equity.

Salem’s Health Leadership Forum will feature closing remarks by Vanessa Northington Gamble, MD, Ph.D., University Professor of Medical Humanities at The George Washington University, who is a widely respected expert in the history of American medicine, racial and ethnic disparities in health care and public health ethics. The Health Leadership Forum concludes with a networking luncheon in Salem’s Corrin Refectory dining hall from 12:45 to 1:30 p.m.

For additional information and to register for the Health Leadership Forum, please visit

About Salem Academy and College

Salem Academy and College is the nation’s oldest educational institution for girls and women in the United States. Salem College provides a liberal arts education with a distinctive focus on health across the curriculum and co-curriculum, preparing students to make the world a better, healthier and more equitable place. Salem College is the only national liberal arts college exclusively focused on developing the health leaders of tomorrow. Salem Academy has an intentional focus on STEAM to transform students’ education through the holistic integration of academic and co-curricular experiences.

For over 250 years, Salem Academy and College has empowered and prepared girls and women from all around the world to effect change, shatter expectations and lead. Salem Academy and College is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a vibrant educational community known for arts and innovation. For more information about Salem Academy, please For more information about Salem College, please visit