KU, medical center’s leader recognize outstanding women

Barbara Atkinson said her 10-year vision of growing life sciences in Kansas relies on forming partnerships.

That includes big ones like a proposed teaching and research affiliation between the Kansas University Medical Center and St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Mo.

“Some have questioned this wisdom of this path : believing instead that the status quo is acceptable,” Atkinson, executive vice chancellor of KUMC, said to those attending KU’s Women’s Recognition Program on Tuesday night.

She also said it relies on smaller partnerships, such as those from the women honored Tuesday night at the Kansas Union by KU’s Emily Taylor Women’s Resource Center.

“I invite you to enlist with me in this cause,” Atkinson said.

Atkinson, the only woman in the United States to serve as a dean for a school of medicine and an academic medical center, was the keynote speaker for the KU Women’s Hall of Fame induction.

She lauded Kansas as the state that many influential women have come from or represented, ranging from Amelia Earhart to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

“These remarkable pioneers : stand as a reminder to the significant contributions women in Kansas have made,” she told a crowd of about 150 in the Big 12 Room of the Kansas Union.

She was also an inductee into the Women’s Hall of Fame.

Three others were inducted: Helen Alexander, a professor in the department of ecology and evolutionary biology; Joan Hunt, a professor of anatomy and cell biology, and Marynell Reece, civic leader.

Outstanding women awards

¢ Alma Poehler Brook Awards – Shannon Didier, Amy Ferrell, Tiffany Knearem¢ Outstanding Woman Student in Athletics – Chelsea Pryor¢ Outstanding Woman in Community Service – Bridey Maidhof¢ Outstanding Nontraditional Woman Student – Jennifer O’Neill, Deidre White Man¢ Outstanding Woman Student in Leadership – Ellen Stolle¢ Outstanding Woman in Partnership – Stephanie Gomez¢ Outstanding International Woman Student – Cristina Fernandez¢ Ethel Bohning Single Mother Award – Cynthia Lynn¢ Outstanding Woman Educator – Elizabeth Friis¢ Outstanding Woman Staff Member – Dorothy Knoll¢ Pioneer Woman – Martha Peterson