"Be worthy to Serve the Suffering" Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society Key Background

Locate a Member

Enter the first part of a member's last name to search


New Member Registration

Search this Site

Contact Information

National Office
12635 E. Montview Blvd., Suite 270
Aurora, CO 80045
P: (720) 859-4149
F: (720) 859-4158
E: info@alphaomegaalpha.org

Fellow in Leadership

Past Recipients:

2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014

Download the announcement and checklist

2021 Alpha Omega Alpha Fellows in Leadership

Alpha Omega Alpha is pleased to announce its 2021 AΩA Fellows in Leadership:

Jay M. MacGregor, MD, FACS
Deputy Chief of Staff of the VA Eastern Colorado (Denver) Healthcare System

Jay M. MacGregor, MD, FACS —(AΩA, University of North Dakota School of Medicine, 2010, Resident), is the Deputy Chief of Staff of the VA Eastern Colorado (Denver) Healthcare System. Dr. MacGregor is board certified in General Surgery and Colorectal Surgery and has served in a variety of senior leadership roles within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). He completed a yearlong detail as the Acting Chief Surgical Consult where he oversaw the surgical care provided to more than 440,000 Veterans in the Midwest Healthcare Network. Dr. MacGregor is a member of the rural and ambulatory care Surgery Advisory Board where he serves as a subject matter expert for the VHA National Surgery Office. He is currently the President of the North Dakota Chapter of the American College of Surgeons and is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Dr. MacGregor is the first VA physician selected as an AΩA Fellow in Leadership. His mentors, who will help him as he undertakes his year-long project, Perioperative Near Misses, include Michael Kilmer, C. Lee Parmley, MD, JD, Ronald Robinson, MD, MBA, MPH (AΩA, University of Texas McGovern Medical School, 1993) and 2015 AΩA Fellow in Leadership, and Robert P. Sticca, MD.

John P. Riordan, MD, MSc
Vice Chair for Clinical Operations and Medical Director of the Emergency Department at the University of Virginia Health System

John P. Riordan, MD, MSc —(AΩA, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, 1992), completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at the Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte N.C. He was an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia which is where he completed a Master of Clinical Research. Dr. Riordan is currently the Vice Chair for Clinical Operations and Medical Director of the Emergency Department at the University of Virginia Health System. His year-long project will be, Expanding integration of Entrustable Professional Activities into a restructured post-clerkship phase of the medical school curriculum at The University of Virginia, and his mentors for the project will be Robert E. O’Connor, MD, MPH, and Maryellen Gusic, MD (AΩA, Penn State College of Medicine, 2002, Faculty).

Rachel Marie E. Salas, MD, MEd, FAAN, FANA
Professor in the Department of Neurology at Johns Hopkins Medicine

Rachel Marie E. Salas, MD, MEd, FAAN, FANA —(AΩA, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2020, Faculty), is a Professor in the Department of Neurology at Johns Hopkins Medicine with a joint appointment in the School of Nursing. She is board certified in Sleep Medicine and Neurology. She is the Chair of the Undergraduate Education Subcommittee for the American Academy of Neurology and is an appointed member of the Alliance for Clinical Education. She is the director of the Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice for the School of Medicine and a Co-Director for Interprofessional Teaming for the High Value Practice Academic Alliance. Dr. Salas is also the founder and Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Osler Apprenticeship Program (in Neurology), a medical education research program for senior medical students. Her year-long project is, Becoming the Jedi Master: The Health Professions Educator Leadership Program, and her mentors for the project will be Jessica Bienstock, MD, MPH (AΩA, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2003, Faculty), Charlene Gamaldo, MD (AΩA, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2019, Alumni), Richard Milter, PhD, and Toni Ungaretti, PhD.


To recognize and support the development of outstanding mid-career physicians aspiring to be future leaders.


Leadership in medicine, medical education, and health care is more complex in the 21st century than ever before. The medical profession and the country are in need of leadership that is inspiring, insightful, engaging, and humble—leadership that both understands and represents the needs of patients, physicians, medical educators, and trainees.

Because of their unique knowledge of, and experience in caring for patients based on medicine’s core professional values, physicians are ideally suited to serve as leaders in this unprecedented period of change.

AΩA Fellows will spend one year learning about themselves and leadership while experiencing being a leader with educators, coaches, role models, mentors, and liaisons. They will have the opportunity to reflect and learn about:

  • Leading from within—Creating access to a broader range of ways of being, thinking, and acting to become more effective in dealing with the challenges for which the usual solutions are inadequate. Unlike most existing programs that teach leadership by imparting someone else’s knowledge (a third-person approach), this Fellowship emphasizes creating leaders using a first-person “as-lived/lived-through” methodology.
  • Servant Leadership—Based on specific core values, ideals, and ethics, effective, sustainable, and excellent leadership is based on core professional and personal values and a commitment to servant leadership through competence, caring, integrity, trust, and trustworthiness.

The components of the AΩA Fellow in Leadership include:

  1. Self-examination, the "inward journey," leading from within;
  2. A structured curriculum taught by nationally recognized AΩA faculty and focused on topics related to reflective leadership, including an understanding of the relationship between leadership and management;
  3. Mentors and mentoring that includes institutional leaders, AΩA faculty, Fellowship alumni,peers, and others who will support the Fellow through a successful experience in leading and leadership;
  4. Experiential learning to broaden the perspective and understanding of leading and leadership as it relates to medicine and health care; and
  5. Team-based learning, and developing communities of practice.


Mid-career physicians who demonstrate outstanding leadership potential within their organizations. Applicants must be active members of AΩA. The Applicant’s mentors, and all AΩA members in the application packet who are AΩA members must have active status.

Nominations must be made by the senior executive of the physician’s organization and must confirm support of the Fellow and commitments by the Fellow and the Fellow’s organization to the AΩA leadership award.

The Fellowship

Recipients will receive $30,000 funding to be used for further development of their leadership skills through a specific year-long project. The fellowship may not be used for salary support for either the Fellow or institutional mentors. AΩA does not pay indirect costs. The award may be used for attendance at leadership development courses and resources related to the Fellow’s project, or other expenses related to leadership development approved by AΩA.

Application and Submission Requirements

Applications must be submitted to the local AΩA Chapter Councilor or to a Chapter Association chair if affiliated with a medical school. If the applicant’s organization has no affiliation with a local medical school, the applicant may upload the submission packet using the Submit Application button below.

Applications must be submitted electronically using the Submit Application button below, by March 9, 2021, and must include a completed checklist (see attached).

  • A nomination letter from the senior executive (e.g., the Dean, CEO or equivalent) in the medical school or organization. The senior executive is expected to serve as one of the two mentors for the candidate, and thus his/her role in mentoring should be noted in the nomination letter. The nomination letter (maximum two pages) should include:
    • The nominator’s reasons for nominating the applicant;
    • The applicant’s personal and professional qualifications for the nomination, including specific examples emphasizing leadership; and
    • The nominator's role in mentoring the applicant.
  • Description of a leadership experience/project that will broaden the applicant’s perspective on leadership related to health care and medicine. The project should provide the applicant the opportunity to define a problem or need, identify barriers to addressing the problem, and design, implement, and complete an achievable plan. Sustainability of projects will be important in the evaluation process. Preference will be given to scalable projects with the potential for a broad impact on medicine, medical education, health care, or other important challenges.
  • Designation of at least two mentors who will assist the applicant in completing his/her project, serving as role models, offering advice as needed, and introducing the Fellow to key individuals either within or external to the organization.

    At least one mentor must be at the senior leadership level of the applicant’s organization. This may be a Dean, Chief Executive Officer, or the President of an association/organization that has a regional or national presence. Mentorship must be ongoing throughout and after the year.

    Mentors should provide the Fellow access to high-level administrators and leaders. Mentors should commit to the mentoring plan and to allocating time to support the Fellow’s ongoing leadership opportunities after completion of the Fellowship.

  • A letter of commitment from the Chief Executive Officer of the applicant’s institution detailing the institution’s explicit commitment to the Fellow (maximum four pages). The letter must include:
    • A commitment to provide protected time of at least 20% for the applicant to complete the Fellowship activities. Protected time must include AΩA’s orientation and leadership course to be held in July; bimonthly AΩA teleconferences, and time for the Fellow to meet with his/her AΩA mentor. Institutions must commit to providing full coverage for the Fellows’ duties during this time, in addition to the ongoing protected time.
  • A letter of recommendation from the applicant’s direct supervisor (maximum two pages) that comments on the applicant’s qualifications for the Fellowship, including leadership qualities and potential. The letter must acknowledge the institution’s commitment to protected time and transfer of specific responsibilities to allow the applicant to complete the Fellowship. Letters that indicate matching funds and a clear career path leading to greater leadership responsibilities will be considered evidence of strong institutional commitment.
  • A proposal from the applicant (maximum six pages) laying out the applicant’s plans to fulfill the essential components of the Fellowship:
    • Self-examination;
    • A structured curriculum focused on topics related to leadership;
    • Mentor(s) and why they were selected; and
    • A project proposal detailing how the project will advance the applicant’s understanding of the principles of leadership and what leadership skills the project will enhance. The project must be related to medicine and/or health care, but may be on any topic, issue, idea that is of interest to the Fellow, or it may be a project that is important to the Fellow’s institution or one of their CEO’s/Dean’s priorities.
  • A personal statement from the applicant (maximum two pages) that summarizes:
    • Prior leadership experiences, including specific personal examples (successes, challenges, and failures) and lessons learned;
    • The applicant’s goals for the Fellowship;
    • The applicant’s leadership goals following the Fellowship and long-term; and
    • How the applicant envisions making a difference in the profession of medicine through leadership.

  • The applicant's biosketch (maximum four pages).
  • A letter from each mentor (maximum two pages each) outlining:
    • A commitment of time for mentoring, and support for ongoing leadership opportunities after the Fellowship is completed;
    • The mentor’s reasons for wishing to mentor the applicant; and
    • The mentor’s assessment of the applicant’s leadership qualities, with specific examples.

  • The mentors' biosketches (maximum four pages each).
  • Recommendation letter from the Chapter Councilor or Association Chair, if applicable.

    Only one nominee will be accepted from a Chapter, private/community hospital, or organization. A list of Chapters and associations with contact information is available online at http://alphaomegaalpha.org/Leadership.html.

    If an AΩA Councilor applies for this award, the dean of the medical school must appoint another AΩA member from the Chapter to manage the nomination process to avoid any potential conflict of interest. The Dean and Councilor must notify the AΩA national office of the temporary appointment.

    Requirements for Fellows and their Mentors

    • Fellows are required to attend a four-day Fellows’ orientation meeting in Denver, Colorado in July 2021.
    • At least one of the Fellows’ mentors is required to attend the orientation Sunday through Tuesday.
      • Travel expenses including lodging and meals for Fellows and mentors will be covered by AΩA.
    • Fellows will be required to attend the AΩA Board of Directors annual meeting in October 2022 to present their projects and experiences. Travel expenses including lodging and meals will be covered by AΩA.
    • Fellows must participate in a defined and structured curriculum focused on topics related to leadership in medicine, such as AAMC Executive Development, the Harvard Macy program, ELAM® at Drexel University College of Medicine, AMA Health Systems Science Scholars Program, hiring a personal executive coach, or other options approved by the AΩA Executive Director. The cost of the leadership training will be paid from the Fellow’s $30,000 award.
    • During the fellowship year, Fellows will be encouraged to create a community of practice with each other, as a vehicle to encourage peer-to-peer mentoring and sharing of experiences.


    March 9, 2021 Deadline to Submit Application through the AΩA website
    May 7, 2021 Announcement of AΩA Fellows in Leadership
    July 1, 2021 Program begins
    July 2021 AΩA Fellows in Leadership Orientation, Denver, CO

    Online Submission
    Submit Application

    Questions about this program should be directed to Libby Appel at libby@alphaomegaalpha.org or 720-859-4149.

Updated on June 21, 2021.