International Health Experts to Speak at Women’s Forum

The Women’s Forum at the ATS 2023 International Conference will offer twice the inspiration and career insights as it welcomes two accomplished international scientists as featured speakers.

Refiloe Masekela, MD
Refiloe Masekela, MD

Refiloe Masekela, MD, and Mina Gaga, MD, PhD, will share their experiences at the annual forum, which recognizes the achievements and supports the advancement of women in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine and research.

The event is scheduled for 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m., Monday, May 22, in the Potomac Ballroom (Ballroom Level) at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown. There is a $30 registration fee.

“This year, our hope is that the women we have brought together will be able to highlight the ways in which women have led public health efforts, and as such, shaped the health of nations,” said Meshell Johnson, MD, chair of the ATS Membership Committee. The forum is organized and presented by the committee and will be hosted by Dr. Johnson and Vice Chair Alexandra Noel, PhD.

Drs. Masekela and Gaga bring international perspectives to the Women’s Forum.

Mina Gaga, MD, PhD
Mina Gaga, MD, PhD

Dr. Masekela is a National Institute for Health and Care Research global health research professor, as well as an associate professor and the head of the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health at the University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban, South Africa. Her area of research interest is asthma epidemiology, including access to affordable medicines in children, as well as pulmonary function testing and improving access to pulmonary diagnostic tests in Africa.

She also is vice chair of the Pan African Thoracic Society, which is a member of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies along with the ATS. She is passionate about research capacity strengthening in Africa and is the current co-director of the ATS Methods in Epidemiology, Clinical, and Operational Research flagship program in Africa.

Dr. Gaga serves as the alternate minister of health in Greece. She was previously an assistant professor at Athens University and director of the 7th Respiratory Medicine Department and Asthma Centre at Athens Chest Hospital, as well as the medical director of the hospital with a dual clinical and educational role. She has served as secretary general and president of the European Respiratory Society, secretary of the European Board of Accreditation in Pneumology, and advisor to the World Health Organization.

She has been actively involved as the principal investigator in multiple clinical trials and has been active internationally in guideline development for several asthma and lung cancer screenings. Dr. Gaga has published extensively in these research areas.

Elizabeth A. Rich Award

The 2023 recipient of the Elizabeth A. Rich Award, Lorraine Ware, MD, will also give remarks during the Women’s Forum. Dr. Ware is a professor of medicine in the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine within the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

The Elizabeth A. Rich Award is presented to an outstanding woman in the ATS who has made significant contributions in the fields of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine.

Dr. Ware has been a featured speaker at the Women’s Forum, and Dr. Johnson said she has been an inspiration to women, trainees, and early career faculty throughout the field.

“Her legacy in the fields of ARDS and lung injury is immeasurable and still being written with her continued work in these areas,” Dr. Johnson said. “Her leadership is stellar, especially within the ranks of the ATS, and her mentoring is phenomenal, not only in its breadth, but in its depth as well.”

Register for ATS 2023

Register today for the ATS 2023 International Conference! Don’t miss this opportunity to take part in the in-person conference, May 19-24 in Washington, DC. Join your colleagues to learn about the latest developments in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine.