Doris H. Merritt, MD Lectureship in Women's Health

The 2013 Doris Merritt, M.D., Lectureship

Judith A. Monroe, M.D.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013, 8:15 - 10:00 am 
Joseph Walther Auditorium (R3, 203)
980 W. Walnut St., Indianapolis 


The IU National Center of Excellence for Women's Health is proud to welcome Dr. Judith A. Monroe.

Judith A. Monroe, MD, is the deputy director for state, tribal, local, and territorial support efforts at CDC. In her role, she focuses on establishing a systems approach that supports integration and collaboration among public health professionals and translating science to practice to increase the capacity and performance of public health agencies. To strengthen relationships and communication with health officers, Dr. Monroe has instituted a biannual orientation for and established direct communication channels with all US health officers. Under her leadership, several national initiatives have been implemented. She conceptualized the National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health in which multidisciplinary teams consisting of healthcare, public health, and local leaders apply their training to a community health improvement project. The National Public Health Improvement Initiative delivers powerful improvements in efficiency and effectiveness within its grantee agencies and supports national accreditation.
Before her current role, Dr. Monroe served as Indiana State Health Commissioner from 2005 to 2010, focusing on health promotion and prevention, preparedness, preventing medical errors, and quality improvement. Partnering with Purdue University, she led the Indiana Public Health System Quality Improvement Project, designed to increase local public health capacity, improve infrastructure, and strengthen overall public health system performance. She has also served as president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), chaired the ASTHO Preparedness Policy Committee, and was vice president of the Board of Directors for the Public Health Accreditation Board.
Dr. Monroe received her undergraduate degree from Eastern Kentucky University and medical degree from the University of Maryland. She completed her residency in family medicine at the University of Cincinnati. After residency, she fulfilled a four-year National Health Service Corps commitment practicing medicine in rural Appalachia where her work was recognized on a national documentary by former Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Koop. She also served as a faculty member in the Department of Family Medicine at Indiana University and directed the Family Medicine Residency Program and Primary Care Center at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis.
Dr. Monroe’s expertise, reputation, and experience has resulted in her being sought out to serve on numerous strategic committees across CDC and nationally. She chairs several national committees addressing the intersection of healthcare and public health and was recently appointed to the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Population Health.

About the Doris H. Merritt, M.D., Lectureship

Doris H. Merritt, M.D.

"A mentor is really somebody who takes you in hand and says, 'I'm going to help you with your career and I'm going to advise you every step of the way when you need help and I'm going to put you in touch with the people and things that you might need.'"  - Doris H. Merritt, MD

Doris Merritt may have had no idea that she was describing herself and her role in the lives of countless friends, colleagues and co-workers when she gave this definition of a mentor.  Without conscious effort, she makes each person with whom she comes in contact better by having known her.  Dr. Merritt is a wellspring of ingenuity and caring concern and her insightful guidance hits the mark each time.

In 1961, Dr. Merritt joined the Indiana University faculty, bringing with her the experience she gained in her pediatric training at Duke University and four years spent with the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  She became the first Associate Dean for Research in the School of Medicine where she was also a Professor of Pediatrics.  In 1971, she was appointed the first IUPUI Dean of Research and Sponsored Programs and in 1978, the first woman to chair the Board of Regents of the National Library for Medicine at NIH.  During this initial tenure at Indiana University, she played an instrumental role in attracting more than $55 million in grants for new construction on campus. 

Between 1978 and 1998, Dr. Merritt held several positions with organizations both inside and outside Indiana University, including: NIH, the National Center for Nursing Research, the Institute of Medicine, and IUPUI.  Specific to IU, she served as Associate Dean in the School of Medicine, Special Assistant to Presidents Tom Ehrlich and Myles Brand, and to Chancellor Gerald Bepko.  In 1995, Chancellor Bepko called upon her to act as the Dean of the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, the first woman to hold the position.  When she retired in 1998, she was serving as the first acting incumbent of the newly created position of Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education-IUPUI, and simultaneously, Acting Assistant Vice President for Research-IU. 

Doris Merritt has played a catalytic role in helping creative investigators attain the necessary funding to support their goals and accomplish the tasks at hand - all this with grace, style and genuine care for the future of the institutions for which she had worked.  It is with great honor that the IU National Center of Excellence in Women's Health hosts this lectureship series in her name. 

550 North University Boulevard, Room 2440 | Indianapolis, IN 46202 | Ph: (317) 944-8609 | Fax: (317) 944-7417