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President Summer McGee and Board Chair McDara P Folan

Announcing The President’s Advisory Council

Dear colleagues,

An important aspect of the RISE Strategic Plan is the engagement of corporate partners and community leaders to help us expand our relationships and opportunities for collaboration and student opportunities in health and in STEAM. As Salem moves forward with implementing its transformation, it is critical that we engage leaders, champions for gender equity, and community partners to serve as thought leaders and relationship builders for Salem. These partners can help guide the current and future work of Salem, identify potential individuals who may be interested and willing to help Salem’s successful transformation, participate in events like our Health Leadership Forum, and create leadership, experiential and learning opportunities for Salem students and alumnae.

I am pleased to share that the President’s Advisory Council, an initiative of Salem’s 2022-2025 Strategic Plan, has been established. The Council is one key way in which Salem is engaging with leaders and partners on these topics.

Motivated by Salem’s more than 250 years of leadership in educating women and its bold pivot to focus on STEAM and Health Leadership, the following leaders have committed to participating on the Council and lending their support to Salem:

Jennifer Byrne
Mary Jo Cagle
Cone Health
Ruth Davis
Director, Call for Code
Laura Gerald
Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust
Chere Gregory
Senior VP and Chief Health Equity Officer
Novant Health
Patrice Harris
CEO of eMed
Barbara Rimer
Dean Emeritus UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
Prathibha Varkey
Mayo Clinic Health System

The Council will meet two times a year, aligned with major campus events like the Health Leadership Forum and Founders Day. Members will serve two-year terms. While the Council has just kicked-off, our Council members are already making an impact. For example, as a direct result of engaging with these leaders, Salem is exploring potential new partnerships with the Gillings School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, an internship program with Mayo Clinic, health leadership training with Novant and more. Many of these Council members have agreed in the last year or in the future to participate in our Health Leadership Forum and other campus events as well. They have also been essential advisors on new programs and initiatives like Salem’s leadership development programs, the Health Leader In Residence Program, and other activities we anticipate launching this academic year.

I look forward to Salem Academy and College working closely with this intelligent, accomplished, diverse group of women leaders to support our efforts as we move forward. If you have ideas about how these leaders might contribute to your work on campus, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or Tonya Deem (who is supporting the Council) with ideas and questions. We would be happy to connect them with you in the vital work that you are doing inside and outside the classroom as well as across our community.


Summer J McGee's signature

photo of President McGee
Summer J. McGee, Ph.D., CPH
Salem Academy and College
601 South Church Street
Winston Salem, NC 27101

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