2022 Women in White Coats Hero Nominees
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Listed on this page are nominees for the 2022 Women in White Coats Hero Awards.
Each woman was nominated for the extraordinary work she is doing.
Learn more about each hero and read their bio by clicking on their picture.
Then vote for the woman doctor who you think should be named the 2022 Hero of The Year
*In order to vote for the Hero of the Year, you must be a doctor, resident or medical student.
2022 Women in White Coats Heroes Voting Form
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Thank you for your interest in the 2022 Women in White Coats Heroes.
Dr. Christine Bestvina
Dr. Christine Bestvina is a thoracic oncologist at the University of Chicago Medicine. She received her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her residency at Duke University, and her fellowship training in oncology at the University of Chicago. She currently is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago in the section of Hematology/Oncology. She has published papers in several peer-reviewed journals, including Lancet Oncology and Journal of Oncology Practice.
Dr. Bestvina’s primary research interest is in the synergistic activity of immunotherapy and radiation. She is currently co-principal investigator of COSINR: Concurrent or Sequential Immunotherapy and Radiation Therapy in Patients with Metastatic Lung Cancer. She acts as the local PI on many industry and cooperative group trials. Additionally, Dr. Bestvina has interests in translational research, working with Professor Chuan He on methylation patterns of cell free DNA in lung cancer, and the response to targeted therapies and immunotherapies.
Dr. Olga Decker
Dr. Decker is board certified in internal medicine. She specializes in preventive care, women’s health, diabetes, nutrition and weight loss. She is fluent in Russian and Ukrainian.
She was named a Top Hospital Medicine Physician by the West Boca Medical Center.
Dr. Decker loves being an internist in an outpatient setting because she can create long-lasting relationships with her patients and their families. She enjoys seeing different medical conditions and hopes to make a difference every day in her patients’ lives. She is motivated to lead as an example to her children, who she hopes will grow up with the same drive to serve others.
She received her medical degree at Kyiv Medical University of UAFM, where she graduated magna cum laude and was president of the Pre-Medical Student Association. She completed a residency at Oschner Clinic Foundation and Orlando Regional Medical Center.
Dr. Decker was born in Ukraine and moved to the US after graduating from medical school. She and her husband have 3 children and enjoy taking trips to the mountains and the beach, hiking, fishing, kayaking, horseback riding and exploring new areas. She has been ice skating since she was 4 years old and now enjoys it with her children. Dr. Decker loves to read historical fiction and books by author Kristin Hannah.
Dr. Mary Kate Francis
Some of Dr. Francis’ earliest memories are of her parents rousing her from bed to watch any medical procedure on television because she had expressed being a doctor was her goal from a very young age. After graduating from Miami University and while serving her community as a licensed social worker she found herself on the opposite side of her goal in need of medical care. It was with that experience her plans to fulfill her dream solidified. The road was fraught with potholes and speed bumps but poverty and single parenting gave her own path and it’s destination much more meaning.
Spending years as an Emergency Medicine physician focused on those most in need of care she then combined that work with service as both the Assistant Medical Director and Interim Medical Director for the Ohio Department of Health. Not unfamiliar with life’s rough roads and detours managing the clinical guidance for the state of Ohio SARS-CoV-2 pandemic seemed like second nature with Dr. Francis placing Ohio on the cutting edge of the Nation’s efforts to combat COVID-19. Those efforts brought to the forefront of the pandemic fight varied reactions and emotions toward public health professionals and Dr. Francis was one who faced violent opposition to her attempts to keep Ohioans safe with her home and family life sustaining intrusion by bullets. This attempt to quell her passion only bolstered her resolve.
Dr. Francis feels every challenge and obstacle faced on our journey adds to the memories made, the lessons learned, and the increased capacity to withstand adversity. She now dedicates her service and attitude of resilience to youth in Ohio’s juvenile corrections system as Medical Director for The Ohio Department of Youth Services.
Dr. Beth R. Friedland
Dr. Friedland is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned her medical degree with honors at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Friedland received a National Research Service Award from the National Eye Institute of the NIH while completing a research fellowship in glaucoma and ocular pharmacology at the University of Florida. She completed her residency in Ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami School of Medicine.
Dr. Friedland founded Park Ophthalmology, a private ophthalmology and ocular surgery practice in the Research Triangle Park and Raleigh, NC in 1984. This practice merged with UNC Ophthalmology in March 2020, helping the Ophthalmology Department to establish a satellite clinic in North Raleigh, now hosting 3 ophthalmologists.
She has published for nearly 50 years in peer reviewed journals, has been a frequent guest lecturer and moderator at national and international meetings, and is a co-inventor on patents to treat open angle glaucoma and tear dysfunction.
Dr. Friedland has mentored and taught premedical, medical students, and ophthalmology students for 38 years, not counting peer to peer tutoring and mentoring as a medical student herself, both locally and nationally. She is the recipient of the Triangle Business Leader Woman Entrepreneur Award and since 2010 has been recognized as one of America’s Top Ophthalmologists by the Consumer Research Council of America.
Dr. Friedland is a senior fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and a Diplomate of the American Board of Ophthalmology.
She is dedicated to excellent, exceptional patient care and service, and has been a volunteer with Eye Care America, Boy Scouting and within her faith community. Dr. Friedland even makes house calls to homebound patients who cannot come to clinic locations, and developed a portable eye examination care system.
Dr. L’Issa L. Gates
Dr. L’Issa L. Gates is one of the preeminent physicians in the Greater New Orleans Metropolitan area. She is a native New Orleanian who practices pediatrics and preventive medicine and is the first African American Partner at Westside Clinics, AMC now Ochsner Westside where she delivers outstanding healing services with a caring, nurturing approach.
Dr. Gates is an alumna of the Committee for a Better New Orleans/Bryan Bell Metropolitan Leadership Forum and is a member of the Delgado Community College Care & Development of Young Children Board of Advisors because of her keen expertise in child care and commitment to quality, affordable healthcare. In actuality, her influence extends far beyond medicine because she makes a difference in the lives of countless young people by being a staunch advocate for children and abuse prevention, serving as a positive and visible role model in the community; participating in the American Medical Association Doctors Back to School (STEM) program; her commitment to lifelong learning and social justice; serving as a Junior Achievement Volunteer and her willingness to educate our youth about healthy lifestyles and choices. Because of her efforts and philanthropy, she has been a recipient of East Baton Rouge and Jefferson Parish Presidential and New Orleans Mayoral and City Council, Louisiana House and Senate as well as congressional commendations. Data News Weekly named her a 2013 Trailblazer, New Orleans Magazine named her a Top Female Achiever and Gambit Weekly featured her in their 40 Under 40 review. New Orleans City Business Magazine also listed her in their Ones to Watch and Women of the Year highlights and lauded her as a Healthcare Hero. Further, the West St. Tammany YMCA named Dr. Gates a Northshore Hero, the Arnold P. Gold Foundation presented her with its Gold Doc Award, Minority Access, Incorporated named her a National Role Model and the Young Leadership Council named her a Role Model. The National Coalition of 100 Black Women also named her a Torchbearer, the National Minority Quality Forum named Dr. Gates a 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health Award recipient and Character.org named her a National Character Awardee.
Dr. Gates is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree Magna Cum Laude in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. She earned a Doctor of Medicine Degree from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans. She is licensed by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners as well as the Louisiana Department of Education and is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Medical, Beta Beta Beta Biological, Phi Lambda Upsilon Chemical, Alpha Epsilon Delta Premedical, Delta Omega Public Health, Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership and Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Theta Kappa, Alpha Kappa Mu, Mortar Board and Phi Sigma Theta Scholastic Honor Societies. Further, Dr. Gates is also a member of the American Medical Association and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and her name is synonymous with all things medical.
Dr. Sonia Gupta
Dr. Sonia Gupta is the Senior Medical Director of Rad AI and an Abdominal Radiologist at Radiologist Associates of Florida. Dr. Gupta has consulted for Google, IBM Watson Health, and GE with former faculty appointments at Harvard Medical School and Temple University School of Medicine.
Dr. Gupta was the co-founder of the SheRads Women’s Radiology Group at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. This group was created to address gender parity in the specialty and provide mentorship for women medical students, residents, and fellows.
Dr. Gupta is the Chair of the Guerbet AI Advisory Board and is an Advisor for MassMutual Ventures Southeast Asia. She is a board member of the American Board of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine and an editorial board member of Applied Radiology’s Medical Industry Section. Dr. Gupta is passionate about the possibilities of AI in radiology and mentoring residents/fellows.
Dr. Nishita Kothary
Dr. Nishita Kothary is a Professor of Radiology, Division of Interventional Radiology at Standford University in Palo Alto, California. She is a Physician Scientist with clinical and research interests in healthcare economics, minimally invasive therapies and technology. She has a strong interest in healthcare economics, the device industry, and device development. Her specialties include process improvement and operations strategy, device development, and technological advances.
Dr. Jessie Mahoney
Dr. Jessie Mahoney is a board-certified pediatrician, a certified life coach, a yoga and mindfulness instructor, and a physician wellness leader. She currently uses her 18 years of experience as a physician wellness leader to support struggling colleagues to discover and enjoy a life of simplicity, peace, alignment and connection. As well as coaching full-time, she shares a special blend of yoga for healers with physicians weekly on zoom and leads wellness retreats in spectacular natural locations.
Dr. Mahoney is on the executive board of the Mindful Healthcare Collective. She is one of the co-hosts of the Mindful Healers Podcast. She is an Assistant Volunteer Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at UCSF and the Chair of the SF Marin Medical Society Task Force on Physician Wellness.
Dr. Mahoney graduated from Dartmouth College, UCSF Medical School, and the Life Coach School. She practiced Pediatrics and was a Physician Wellness leader at Kaiser Permanente for over 17 years. She lives in San Francisco with her husband of 29 years. She has 3 sons who are 16, 21 and 25.
Dr. Kimberly A. Meyer
Dr. Kimberly Meyer has owned Meyer Family Dentistry, her general dental practice located in Northwood, NH, for over 23 years where she works with two associates, at her multilevel office focusing on comprehensive restorative, cosmetic procedures, orthodontic, myofunctional therapy and implant services for the whole family. Part of this multilevel office is also dedicated to the TMJ Sleep Therapy Center of NH, which has been in operation since 2015 perfecting the art of healing those with sleep apnea and TMJ disorders.
In 2019, she opened the Boston Center for Sleep and TMJ, located on the very busy Commonwealth Ave in Boston, MA. Dr. Meyer is currently also working on coordinating a “Heal Humanity, One Airway at a Time” campaign for 2022 across the United States and then the globe.
Education has been an integral part of her life’s work. She began by graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry at UNH 1993, followed by a Doctorate of Dental Medicine with Honors from Tufts School of Dental Medicine, Boston in 1998. She attended a mini-residency in orthodontics in 2001 with the Mid American Orthodontics Society with Dr. John Witzig, followed by an additional orthodontics mini-residency with Dr. Derek Mahoney. It was at this mini-residency with Dr. Mahoney where she became interested in early interceptive orthodontics and airway issues. In 2011, she completed a Sleep Related Breathing Disorders/OSA mini-residency at Tufts.
In 2012, she started the study of Craniofacial Pain through the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain and in 2013 acquired her Fellowship in Craniofacial Pain. She received her Diplomate of the American Board of Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine in 2017. Subsequently, achieving her Diplomate for CranioFacial Pain later that same year. In 2016, she also attended a mini-residency in pain at UCLA. She obtained a Fellowship in the American Implant Association in 2013, then quickly obtained Mastership and later Diplomate status in 2016.
Additionally, she has completed the training of the ALF appliance and the Facial Beauty Institute. She has completed the Mastery Program I and is presently taking the Mastery Program II in the AADSM and holds a position on the Board of the New Hampshire Sedation Committee.
She holds several memberships: The American Dental Association and the New Hampshire Dental Society memberships since 1998. D.O.C.S. since 2012. The American Academy of Implantology and American Academy of General Dentistry. She has been a member of the IAO since 2016 and the American Academy of Facial Aesthetics all since 2013. Dr. Meyer is on the Board of Directors of the AACP as well as the Chair of the Membership Committee.
She participates in multiple courses for further development; Darren Hardy, Hero’s Journey, Women in White Coats, and American Association of Women Dentist. All this, while she raises her 4 beautiful children, and young grandson. She lives in Hampton, NH where she enjoys the grounding effects of the ocean and all its magnificence. She is an inspiration to those who know her.
Dr. JoAn Monaco
Dr. JoAn Monaco is a native New Yorker trained in plastic and reconstructive surgery with advanced fellowship training in aesthetic surgery. Her practice focuses on facial, breast and body rejuvenation. She also served as the Program Director of the prestigious Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship for seven years, training up and coming plastic surgeons in facelifts, rhinoplasty, eyelift surgery and all breast and body contouring surgery.
Dr. Monaco graduated magna cum laude from Lehigh University where she also completed a Masters of Science degree in neurobiology. She earned her medical degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine and is the first female to graduate from the prestigious integrated plastic surgery residency at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She was also awarded a two-year training fellowship at the National Institutes of Health where she conducted extensive bench research in immunology in the lab of Dr. Anthony Fauci. She has presented her research at numerous national and international meetings on the body’s defense against disease. During Dr. Monaco’s residency, she was awarded numerous honors for her teaching, compassion, professionalism and commitment to patient care. Dr. Monaco served as Chief Resident during her sixth year of training.
After completing a six year residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery, Dr. Monaco did an additional year of aesthetic training at Lenox Hill Hospital with time spent at Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Division of Lenox Hill Hospital where she learned the latest techniques in face lifting, short scar face lifting, eyelid rejuvenation, breast lifts, breast augmentation and body contouring to name a few of her favorite procedures. During her fellowship, she worked closely with numerous nationally recognized plastic surgeons to learn the most current techniques in cosmetic surgery, which she now currently practices. She continues to work closely with these plastic surgeons in training residents from Northwell Health, and the aesthetic surgery fellows of Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital.
Dr. Monaco believes in making a patient feel relaxed and at ease during the initial consultation to help best understand a patient’s goals. Dr. Monaco is fully committed to providing the best possible care for each of her patients and spends ample time creating an appropriate plan to meet each of her patient’s needs. She personally consults with each of her patients and is involved in every aspect of her patients care.
Dr. Sarah Rosanel
Dr Rosanel is finishing her Cardiology Fellowship this year. She is joining the ACC women in cardiology (WIC) leadership council as one of the 16 members. Throughout her cardiology training as a fellow, she became the Fellow in Training (FIT) Representative and joined the FIT Chapter Reps Network.
Her passion for women’s rights and equality drew her to the NYACC Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force as a member. She is involved at her local chapter in NY as the Communication liaison and served as a liaison to the Chapter leadership on behalf of the state’s cardiology trainees on the NYACC board meetings.
She volunteered her time being a member of the Grading committee for ACC young scholars program Grading high school and college scholars for the 3rd Annual Young Scholars Program at ACC.21. She is part of the ACC Geriatric Cardiology Workgroup as well. She has been selected to participate in the ACC Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Section’s pilot mentorship program. She was also selected for Vice President of Virtual Strategy at the AHA Cardiovascular Fellows Society of Greater New York Area.
Being a graduate of Yeshiva University Stern College for Women, she wanted to give back to the institution that opened its arms for her. She participated actively as a mentor in the YU MVP mentoring volunteer program (mentorship and networking platform) to help college students and guide them in the path of medicine. She recently joined as Associate Professor of Biology teaching Biology of Women’s health.
She is an active member of the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. She has written numerous articles on multiple topics. In addition, she has given hundreds of local and national lectures and has served as an editor/reviewer for several scientific journals.
Dr. Aarti Singla
Dr. Aarti Singla is triple Board-certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Pain Medicine, and Independent Medical Examinations and is an integral member of the Beacon Spine care team. Dr. Singla embraces a comprehensive approach to patient care, customizing each treatment plan to her patients’ specific needs. Her practice is mainly referral generated from primary care providers, specialists, and patients. At her disposal is a wide variety of options, including interventional pain procedures, regenerative treatments, medications, therapy, bracing, and patient education.
Dr. Singla has additional board certification in Independent Medical Examinations from the American Board of Independent Medical Examiners. She conducts independent medical examinations, serves as an expert witness, and reviews records. Medico-legal findings can be provided by report, testimony, or through consultation.
Dr. Singla grew up in Cincinnati. She attended an accelerated program for undergraduate and medical school at Northeastern Ohio Medical University and completed her residency in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Dr. Singla further advanced her training and education by completing a fellowship in Pain Management at the University of Kentucky. Previously, she worked for a private practice orthopaedic group in St. Louis and Cincinnati, and served as Medical Director of an inpatient rehabilitation unit prior to joining Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine.
Dr. Natalie Stevens
Dr. Natalie Stevens received her Education and Training at Texas Christian University – B.S. Biology/Chemistry, Texas Tech HSC – MSc in Medical Microbiology, St. Georges University SOM – Doctorate of Medicine, Lenox Hill Hospital – Residency and Chief Resident in OB/Gyn, ABOG – FACOG.
She is very passionate about medical education, and plays and active role in resident education and mentorship program at Lenox Hill Hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is very honored to be a clinical assistant professor with Hofstra University. She feels it is our responsibility to prepare future physicians for today’s healthcare system.
After delighting in the delivery and supervision of over 3,000 births, she was also saddened that this took away from the precious time that she spent with patients. After careful consideration, she realized the only way to regain individual attention was to focus on office gynecology. While she was sad to give up the miracle of childbirth, she enjoys this new phase of personalized care that she can give each patient.
She is honored to be a member of the administrative team of Northwell Health in the position of Director of Patient Safety for Lenox Hill Hospital Department of Ob-Gyn. In this role, she has fostered the development of many quality improvement initiatives, such as implementing a hospital safety officer program and twice daily obstetric multidisciplinary rounds. Recently, she has been involved in implementation and education of COVID-19 protocols for visitation and provider safety. A few of her responsibilities include acting as chair for a monthly quality improvement meeting for the department, holding RCA meetings, participating in obstetric and gynecology improvement workgroups, and involvement in system wide and hospital specific PICG meetings.
When she’s not in the office or hospital, she enjoys spending as much time as possible with her husband and son. Whether it’s exploring the activities of NYC’s Upper East Side, Hoboken or spending time at the Jersey Shore, her energetic son keeps her going full speed ahead!
Dr. Pamela Wible
Dr. Pamela Wible is a family physician born into a family of physicians who warned her not to pursue medicine. She soon discovered why—to heal her patients she first had to heal her profession. Fed up with assembly-line medicine, Dr. Wible held town hall meetings where she invited citizens to design their own ideal clinic. Open since 2005, Wible’s community clinic has inspired Americans to create ideal clinics and hospitals nationwide.
In between treating her own patients and helping doctors launch community clinics, Dr. Wible devotes herself to medical student and physician suicide prevention. She has investigated nearly 1,300 doctor suicides and her extensive database and suicide registry reveals highest- risk specialties—and solutions. Dr. Wible runs a free doctor suicide hotline and has helped countless medical students and physicians heal from anxiety, depression, PTSD, and suicidal thoughts so they can enjoy practicing medicine again.
Dr. Wible speaks widely on health care delivery and physician suicide prevention. She is the bestselling author of Human Rights Violations in Medicine: A-to-Z Action Guide, Physician Suicide Letters—Answered and Pet Goats & Pap Smears: 101 Medical Adventures to Open Your Heart & Mind. Her blogs have been picked up by major media such as The Washington Post and Time Magazine. She has delivered two TED talks, an award-winning NPR interview, and is a subject in the new documentary, Do No Harm: Exposing The Hippocratic Hoax.
An inspiring leader and educator of the next generation of physicians, Dr. Wible has been named one of the 2015 Women Leaders in Medicine by the American Medical Student Association and TEDMED calls her the “Physicians’ Guardian Angel.”
Dr. Maryam Zia
Dr. Maryam Zia is a hematologist/oncologist, currently working at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. She grew up in Saint Louis, Missouri, where she also attended college at Saint Louis University, on a full scholarship and graduated magna cum laude. She then matriculated to the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine and went on to complete her internal medicine residency and hematology/oncology fellowship at the University of Illinois-Chicago, where she was awarded the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award.
Upon graduation, Dr. Zia worked at the Markey Cancer Center at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky for two years before returning to Chicago, where she is also an assistant professor of internal medicine at Rush University. Aside from her clinical care, she is interested in global health, completing two missions in Arequipa, Peru, as part of Health Volunteers Overseas.
Dr. Zia participates in the teaching of medical students, residents, and fellows, research, service, and quality improvement initiatives.