University Leader’s Path Shines Bright

Dr. Tami Hendriksz Helps Chart Touro’s Future as Interim Chief Academic Officer for the Vallejo Campus

March 20, 2024
A photo shows Dr. Tami Hendriksz as she poses for a photo with Student Doctor Grace Hwang after the Veterans Day ceremony in The Grove on the Touro University California campus, Friday, Nov. 10, 2023.
Dr. Tami Hendriksz, right, poses for a photo with Student Doctor Grace Hwang after the Veterans Day ceremony in The Grove on the Touro University California campus, Friday, Nov. 10, 2023.

A key leader on the Touro University California campus is shining a spotlight on the importance of women not only on the Mare Island campus, but within the medical profession and throughout society.

Dr. Tami Hendriksz (DO 2006) is the Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Interim Chief Academic Officer of Touro University California.

“I strongly believe in the importance of women leaders on our campus. Diversity in leadership brings varied perspectives, innovative solutions, and fosters an inclusive environment where all voices are heard and valued,” Hendriksz says. “Women leaders serve as role models for aspiring professionals, inspiring confidence and breaking barriers in traditionally male-dominated fields.”

Women Play Vital Roles in Society

Hendriksz notes the vital role women play in today’s society.

“Recognizing the contributions of women during Women’s History Month and throughout the year is paramount,” Hendriksz says. “It's an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women in various fields, acknowledge their resilience, and honor their invaluable contributions to society. By highlighting their accomplishments, we promote gender equality and empower future generations to strive for their goals without limitations.”

Hendriksz views Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States, as a personal hero.

“Her determination and perseverance in overcoming societal barriers paved the way for countless women in medicine,” Hendriksz says.

Blackwell was born Feb. 3, 1821, in the United Kingdom. Her family moved to the U.S. in 1832. She graduated in 1849 from medical school at Geneva College in rural New York, overcoming what the National Women’s History Museum describes as discrimination and other obstacles to finish first in her class. Along the way, she earned the admiration of her professors and classmates.

She later trained in hospitals in Europe, and upon returning to the U.S. faced and overcame similar gender-based barriers as she began to practice medicine in New York City. She opened a clinic in 1857 whose mission in part was to hire female physicians, and in 1868 opened a medical college in New York City before returning to London, where in 1875 she became a professor at the new London School of Medicine for Women.

Blackwell died May 31, 1910, in the UK at the age of 89.

“Dr. Blackwell's legacy serves as a constant reminder of the importance of courage and resilience in pursuing one's dreams despite adversity,” Hendriksz says. “She continues to inspire me and countless others in our journey to advance health care and education.”

Hendriksz’s Skills Evident Early in Medical Career

Hendriksz was a rising star while at Touro, earning the Student DO of the Year Award in 2004 and The Bernard Zelliger Service Award in 2006.

She graduated from the College of Osteopathic Medicine with a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree in 2006. She completed her Pediatric Internship and Residency at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, where she earned the General Pediatrics Clinic Award in 2007, and then the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Chief Residents’ Award and the General Pediatrics Clinic Award in 2009.

Hendriksz returned to her alma mater in 2009 to serve as a faculty member and to work with the local underserved pediatric population.

Continued Success While Serving Alma Mater

Hendriksz advanced quickly within the College of Osteopathic Medicine, serving along the way as Vice Chair of the Primary Care Department, Assistant Dean of Clinical Integration, Associate Dean of Clinical Education, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, and now as Dean.

She also serves as a Professor of Pediatrics and is a five-time recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award between 2011 and 2016 on the Mare Island campus: four times for the Primary Care Department and once for the Basic Sciences Department.

Her other accolades since returning to Touro include the 2018 Innovation in the Development of Enduring Educational Materials Award from the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine; the 2018 Inspiring Faculty Award from the Touro College & University System; the 2021 Champion of Humanistic Care Award from The Arnold P. Gold Foundation; and the 2021 Student Organization Adviser of the Year Award here at Touro University California.

She is a past president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and currently serves as an Ex-Officio Officer of the Board.

Hendriksz was named Interim Chief Academic Officer of the University in 2023 while retaining her roles as Dean and CAO of the College of Osteopathic Medicine.

She specializes in adolescent/pediatric health, and clinical medical education.