The 2023 Christine Malcolm Symposium
Stories of Fortitude
Navigating in Uncertain Times

Stella Cao, Carol Emmott Fellow Class of 2022
MS, MPA, FACHE, Director of the Office of Managed Care at the San Francisco Department of Public Health

A Journey of Physical and Mental Health Across Oceans, Cultures, and Languages. Stella takes us on a journey through her childhood in a small village in rural China to her experiences as a young adult new to the U.S. and her eventual awakening to the physical toll of stress. She shares her personal story and the importance of treating the whole person, championing self-care, and sharing this message with vulnerable and diverse populations that struggle with a similar narrative.


Florencia Greer Polite, Carol Emmott Fellow Class of 2022
MD, Chief of the Division of General Obstetrics & Gynecology at Penn Medicine

Finding the Strength to Move Forward: A Black Physician’s Take on Fighting Racism in Healthcare. Florencia talks about her experience as a Black person working in healthcare following the murder of George Floyd. She discusses her decision to speak up and lead a small protest at the University of Pennsylvania of thousands of students, staff, faculty, doctors, cafeteria workers, and custodians.


Nicki Sandusky, Carol Emmott Fellow Class of 2021
Vice President Provider/Payer Transformation

Fortitude: How Family Experiences Led Me to Transform Behavioral Health Crisis Services. Nicki shares her personal journey and how it prepared her to lead the implementation of the Greater Baltimore Regional Integrated Crisis System.

Rahma Warsame, Carol Emmott Foundation Class of 2022
MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Associate Chair of Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity at Mayo Clinic

The Lucky One: A Doctor’s Story on Healthcare Disparities and Diversity in Caregiving. Rahma shares her personal story as a patient and a doctor, highlighting the healthcare disparities that exist in our system. As a Black woman in the medical field, she is uniquely knowledgeable about and experienced with the implicit racism that persists.

Andrea Wary, Carol Emmott Fellow Class of 2018
M.Ed., BSN, RN, Vice President of the Women & Children’s Institute at Geisinger Health System

Thriving While Surviving: A Story of Fortitude and Community. Andrea shares her story of growing up and the power of community in developing the fortitude to survive, thrive, and create. Raised by a community of friends and family while her mother underwent treatment for leukemia, she describes how her childhood prepared her to take a major leadership role in the health system’s emergency response to the pandemic.