BIDMC employees to participate in multicultural leadership programs

Chloe Meck 617-667-7367,

FEBRUARY 12, 2018

BOSTON – Four Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) employees have been selected to participate in leadership development programs through The Partnership, Inc. and Conexión, two local organizations aimed at facilitating career growth and networking for multicultural professionals. Khalid Abdi, Angela Burgess and Ebonie Woolcock will participate in The Partnership, Inc., and Maritza Avendaño will participate in Conexión. 

“Beth Israel Deaconess was founded on a commitment to diversity and inclusion, yet we can’t rest on good intentions – we have to be intentional,” said Peter J. Healy, President of BIDMC, recognizing the 2018 participants and alumni at the annual celebration of the programs. “We are proud to invest in the professional growth and development of these talented members of our BIDMC family, and I look forward to all you will continue to bring to yourselves, your communities and this organization.” 

Since 1990, BIDMC has sponsored more than 40 employees to participate in The Partnership, Inc. This is the first year BIDMC is sponsoring an employee in Conexión, a program focused on advancing Latino leadership. Through interactive discussion, hands-on learning, networking, personal brand evaluation and small group discussions, Partnership and Conexión participants work to cross industry, racial and cultural lines. They also have access to a national network of peers, mentors, program alumni and opinion leaders. 

2018 Participants

Khalid Abdi, Division Manager of Neurosurgery in the Department of Surgery 
Partnership, Inc. Fellow

“What has impressed me the most about Khalid is his combination of desire to develop and grow the Division of Neurosurgery through providing an exceptional patient experience along with a genuine interest in those he works with,” said April Isaac Jefferson, Administrative Director of Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, who nominated Abdi. 

Since joining Neurosurgery in January 2017, Abdi has organized training for all outpatient nursing and front-end staff and reorganized administrative operations to better meet the needs of patients and physicians. 

“Through The Partnership, Inc. experience, I hope to grow professionally, individually and as part of a team, so that we can continue to make meaningful contributions toward advancing BIDMC’s mission and values,” said Abdi. 

Angela Burgess, Senior Research Administrator of Research and Academic Affairs 
Partnership, Inc. Associate 

Angela Burgess joined BIDMC in 2014 in a temporary capacity in the Clinical Trials Office and transitioned to Research and Academic Affairs in 2015 and was later promoted to her current role. 

Beth Doiron, Research Administrative Director, Research and Academic Affairs, nominated Burgess for the award because of her instinctual leadership, keen insights and collaborative problem solving as examples of her work ethic and qualification for the program. “Angela embodies the core values of BIDMC and brings respect to the workplace every day,” Doiron said. 

“I am interested in the opportunity to build relationships with professionals across industries, to gain different perspectives and adopt best practices to enhance my contributions to BIDMC,” said Burgess. 

Ebonie Woolcock, MD, MPH, Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Bowdoin Street Health Center 
Partnership, Inc. Biodiversity Fellow 

Ebonie Woolcock, MD, MPH, grew up in Dorchester and returned to the community in 2014 to work at Bowdoin Street Health Center, a community health center of BIDMC. In addition to her clinical practice, Woolcock holds various faculty appointments and serves on multiple committees, including as lead for the new BIDMC OB/GYN Committee on Diversity and Inclusion aimed at developing a diverse workforce. 

Hope Ricciotti, MD, Chief of Obstetrics/Gynecology, who nominated Woolcock, describes her as an “extraordinary physician,” noting her treatment of women experiencing complex pregnancies and work involving diminishing reproductive health disparities that affect urban minority women. 

“Through The Partnership, I want to cross aisles to effect institutional change,” said Woolcock. 

Maritza Avendaño, Practice Administrator of Cardiac Surgery in the Department of Surgery 
Conexión Fellow

Avendaño joined BIDMC in 2000 in the Internal Medicine Residency Program and was promoted through various roles that led her to her current position, where she is responsible for the overall administrative and operational functions of Cardiac Surgery. 

Avendaño is excited to be the first Conexión fellow at BIDMC. “I can’t express how grateful I am,” she said. “In the program, I look forward to learning more and representing both BIDMC and all Latinos in the United States.” 

“Maritza is in the trenches every day, but she also sees the forest through the trees,” said Yaramalies Davila, Director of Access and Patient Experience in the Department of Surgery. Davila, an alumna of The Partnership, Inc. program, nominated Avendaño and cites her exemplary energy and history of mentoring employees.

About Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center 

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School and consistently ranks as a national leader among independent hospitals in National Institutes of Health funding.

BIDMC is in the community with Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth, Anna Jaques Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, Lawrence General Hospital, MetroWest Medical Center, Signature Healthcare, Beth Israel Deaconess HealthCare, Community Care Alliance and Atrius Health. BIDMC is also clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and Hebrew Rehabilitation Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and the Jackson Laboratory. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit