Amy O’Brien-Ladner MD Innovation Award

Amy O'Brien-Ladner


2015 Honoree Announced

Carol Fabian, M.D., Professor of Medicine, University Distinguished Professor, the Morris Family Endowed Chair in Cancer Prevention, and the Director of the Breast Cancer Prevention Center. Co- leads the Cancer Prevention and Survivorship Program for the University of Kansas NCI designated Cancer Center and co-lead for the Survivorship Committee in the Southwest Oncology Group

Award presentation to Dr. Fabrian

August 20, 2015, L-R: Dr. Amy O'Brien-Ladner, Dr. Carol Fabian, Dr. Christine Daley

Dr. Fabian's  professional life has been dedicated to innovations of study,k patient care, and assistance to women with high risk breast cancer. In In particular, her innovation of risk stratification through fine needle aspiration revolutionized the diagnosis and treatment for these women. She is an internationally and nationally recognized leader in risk assessment and prevention trials for breast cancer. Carol leads the Cancer Prevention and Survivorship Research Program and is the Principle Investigator for a number of ongoing prevention trials in breast cancer funded by the National Cancer Institute. She previously served as the Medical Director of the Clinical Outpatient Cancer Center and
currently serves as the Director of the Breast Cancer Prevention Center and the Breast Cancer Survivorship Center, both of which she founded. Dr. Fabian also teaches a module on Breast Cancer Risk Assessment and Prevention, and authored a module, of the same name, for the American Society for Clinical Oncology. Her innovative work has made significant and positive differences in the lives of thousands of women during her many years as a practitioner and researcher and teacher.


The Amy O'Brien-Ladner Innovation Award was named to honor Amy's innovation in beginning and serving as the first KUMC Women in Medicine and Science (WIMS) President in 2002, and for securing the endowed Joy McCann Professorship during her tenure. It was her innovation that set in motion a structure that would impact a positive change for years to come. This distinguished award was initiated by and initially sponsored by the Joy McCann Professorship for Women in Medicine & Science. Today, this distinguished award is sponsored in full by the University of Kansas Medical Center Women in Medicine and Science (WIMS). The 2015 honoree was selected by the Joy McCann Professor and the WIMS recognition committee.

KU Women in Medicine and Science (WIMS) was formally organized within the School of Medicine in 2002 to provide women physicians with the tools and the opportunity to succeed in academic medicine. During the WIMS "founding years," 1999-2002, the founding president, Amy O'Brien-Ladner, MD put forth effort to create and establish the organization while she served as the American Medical Women's' Association (AMWA) faculty advisor. Dr. O'Brien-Ladner assumed the role of WIM president in 2002, ending her term in 2004. Simultaneously, during her term as president, Dr. O'Brien-Ladner also served as a member of the AAMC Women's Leadership Organization (WLO). In 2002, Dr. O'Brien-Ladner entitled the organization Women in Medicine (WIM) which was aimed solely at supporting women physicians in the School of Medicine.  The name was later changed to WIMS, adding the "S" for science to include women faculty colleagues in the basic sciences.

In addition to founding what today is called WIMS, Dr. Ladner was instrumental in acquiring the endowed gift for the Joy McCann Professorship for Women in Medicine and Science, given December 12, 2002, from the Joy McCann Foundation. Today, there are only four professorships in the United States. Dr. O'Brien-Ladner gave two national presentations regarding the acquisition of the McCann endowment:

  1. Surviving and Thriving During Change Presented at the Women in Medicine Regional Leadership Conference: Successful Strategies for Women in Academic Medicine, Memphis, Tennessee, September 2003.
  2. Providing Faculty Development Programs on a Shoe String.  Presented at the Association of American Medical Colleges Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, November 2003.

Amy O'Brien-Ladner, MD, is a Professor and Acting Chair in the Department of Internal Medicine who also currently serves as their Division of Pulmonary Diseases and Critical Care Medicine Director. She is an active mentor and role model for men and women and was also instrumental in helping to create her department's faculty mentoring program. In addition to her many accomplishments, Dr. O'Brien-Ladner places a high value on family life and believes women can achieve great things without sacrificing their personal or family life.

More details of Dr. O'Brien-Ladner's career are available on her bio page.

At the WIMS Annual Dinner on August 16, 2012, Dr. O'Brien-Ladner was presented with a crystal bowl to commemorate the award in her honor. Dr. Susan Pingleton made the presentation. The inscription reads, "The Amy O'Brien-Ladner, MD Award for Innovation was established in 2012 by the Joy McCann Professorship to honor and recognize Dr. Lander's extraordinary innovation that has positively change our culture."


To acknowledge women faculty in the KU School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and the School of Health Professions  whose innovation in any area (e.g. clinical, educational, science, etc.) improves the environment for women in the professions of medicine and science on the KUMC campus. The award honors Dr. O-Brien-Ladner and is presented to to deserving women faculty who demonstrate Dr. O'Brien-Ladner's innovative initiative to influence change. It is given each year at the annual WIMS Awards Dinner in August. The award was created August 16, 2012 by the Joy McCann Professorship.


Female faculty in the KU School of Medicine, School of Nursing, or School of Health Professions


The candidate must exhibit evidence of:
  • Professional excellence in the individual's career
  • An innovation initiative to influence change regarding the careers of women faculty on the KUMC campus
  • Involvement in WIMS programs and initiatives (preferred)


  • One award presented per year
  • Amount: $1,500 (for personal use and/or professional development)
  • Award sponsor: Women in Medicine and Science (WIMS)

Nomination process

Self-nomination or nomination by KUMC colleague.

  • Submission of candidate nomination package in a single .pdf document via email to Debra Brogden (, WIMS Recognition Admin Support and Executive Officer, Executive Vice Chancellor's Office.
    • Complete Award Nomination Form with candidate contact information
    • Letter from the nominator stating why the candidate is deserving, specifically addressing the criteria listed above, 2 pages maximum.
    • Three letters of reference, specifically addressing applicable criteria listed above (minimum of one letter from outside of KUMC).
    • Candidate's updated full-length CV.

Evaluation process

  • The WIMS Recognition Committee, Dr. O'Brien-Ladner and the McCann Professor will review the nomination materials and will rank candidates.
  • After final approval vote on the winner by the committee, the Recognition Committee will report the winner to the WIMS Executive Committee.
  • All candidates will be notified of the decision by the committee before the annual WIMS fall dinner in August, where the award is presented.


  • August Annual WIMS Dinner - the honoree is formally recognized.

Award presentation

The award winner will be a guest at the annual WIMS Awards Dinner in August to receive their award.

Award Recipients

Carol Fabian, MD 2015  Carol Fabian, MD, Professor of Medicine; University Distinguished Professor
Jo Halverson 2014 Jo Halverson, Director, Office of Faculty Affairs and Development
Barb Lukert 2013 Barbara Lukert, MD, Professor Emeritus
Amy O'Brien-Ladner 2012 Amy O'Brien-Ladner, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Chair, Department of Internal Medicine

Last modified: Nov 06, 2015