With the shortage of mask covers, it’s really neat to see people sewing them & donating them! Seeing a need and filling it!
Our school district created a micro pantry at the school for those in need. Anyone can go in and get what they need or drop off items to fill the shelves.
Our neighborhood is doing a Chalk the Walk this weekend. People are encouraged to write or draw encouraging messages at the end of their driveway so that when people go for a walk they have uplifting messages to read to hopefully brighten their day! 🙂
Every COVID-19 stay-at-home day, I get to be with my 6-month old daughter, and nothing could make me happier. Every day, I get to read to her as I study, play with her, and enjoy her laughter and “singing” as she learns about her voice. We get to go on adventures outdoors together, keeping our safe distance from others, hiking in the woods and jogging on the trails. I will cherish these moments I did not think I would have with her and am so grateful for them.
Class of 2021
“Thank you to the entire IT Department – for going above and beyond in these difficult times. Sure we need technology to do our job, but most of all we need each other; it’s teamwork! I appreciate your expertise; I appreciate your patience; I appreciate each and every one of you! Thanks for making sure I had the technology to do my job!
The camaraderie I’ve shared with my Program Coordinator cohort has been fun and meaningful. We share, we help, we encourage, we raise each other up, we laugh. In these times, that means a lot.
It is absolutely remarkable and inspiring how much progress can be made when we all work together to solve a problem. None of us expected to be responding to a global pandemic, but together UICOMP and other local organizations have come together with compassion, integrity, and a collaborative spirit. For this I am genuinely grateful.
My senior citizen neighbor walks every day and always stops to say hi and pet my dogs when we are outside. Since I’ve been working from home, she asked if she could walk my dog. I have an older dog and a younger dog – who is still a crazy puppy. Since I couldn’t let her walk the crazy puppy because she would drag this poor woman around town, I offered to go with her. We’ve walked my two dogs together almost every day this week. We’ve talked and gotten to know each other and since she is a widower, I think she probably really appreciates having the company. It’s been awesome to get outside and get some sunshine and exercise. Not only is it good for us neighbors, it’s great for my dogs! I don’t think we would have ever ventured out together if not for this current situation so I am considering it a blessing.
I am just a civil service employee doing admin support for the Pediatrics department. What I’ve seen from the physicians that I support has been nothing but awe-inspiring. They are steadfast and focused in a time of constant unknowns, circumstances that change by the hour, and undoubtedly incredible stress. It gives me an immense sense of confidence that our area will weather this storm with dedicated people like these medical professionals looking out for us.
I went home for dedicated Step study and now have more time to spend with my family and to pursue my other interests outside of medicine.
Suzy W. is awesome and professional but during this time she is extra special being kind and at work for all of us that need laptops and connectivity, etc. She is on the front lines and we are so appreciative of her!!!
Internal Medicine Fellowships
Lisa C. is always taking care of the coordinators but during this time, she has her hands especially full! Nonetheless, she still tends to every little thing we need so that we can work from home while SHE is still in the office, grinding away in unchartered territory. We don’t express our appreciation for her enough. Thank you so much, Lisa, for always being awesome!
Internal Medicine Fellowships
Dean Aiyer is a bright light! Thank you for all you do!!
I want to give a big shout out to the staff of Positive Health Solutions. Our staff has rallied together to make sure our clients/patients are taken care of during this crisis. We have an amazing staff that goes above and beyond for each other as well!! We always say, we are like a “family”. We will weather this storm and come out on top!!!!
Positive Health Solutions
I want to give a huge shout out to my co-workers at Positive Health Solutions. This has been a trying time for all but especially so for many of the patients we serve. For many, PHS is the lifeline they seek for answers on a daily basis. The reassurance they need at this time has increased ten fold. This has put an extra burden on all, but everyone has stepped up to do what they need to do. From our medical staff to our support staff and medical case managers, thank you for doing what you do! Thanks also goes out to management who have worked tirelessly to provide a “new normal” to both the patients we serve and staff as well. We see the hard work you have put forth in keeping all safe while still providing the necessary service to those we care for. You are all wonderful people and I am very proud to be part of this amazing team!
My bright spot has been making face masks for our health care workers. This is a good use of all the fabric, thread and other materials I have in my sewing room to use “some day.” As I sew, I think of those who are going to wear them and say a prayer for them. I think of my grandma who taught me to sew and how thrilled she’d be by this project. (Her mantra was the New England motto, “Use it up, wear it out. Make it do or do without.”)
Kudos to our amazing CIS Team on our Peoria campus, and, within the UIC family…and, especially, my local go-to person, Ben Lebron. The UIC team made sure that I had a functioning laptop and have continued to answer every question or address any concerns. I appreciate ALL in every department, who have had to pause, consider, take a deep breath, assist, and assure each of us in our “new” home offices. I am ever grateful.
We have a neighbor who has been a great support for us over many years. She has always been there for us whether that meant lending a tool, letting us use her pool, or watching our kids when we had no one else to do so. Right now she is ill and needs transportation to and from medical appointments. With all of us home, this act of service is easy to perform. I am so happy that we are able to be there for her when she needs it the most.
I’m spending some of my free time as an M4 babysitting the 3-year-old daughter of an attending while she is at the hospital. Usually this 3-year-old says silly mildly insulting things like “How did your arms get SO long? Were your legs THAT long when you were a little girl?” But the other day, she told me she wants to “grow into a doctor just like you and my mommy.” I didn’t have the heart to tell her I’m still just an M4 at the moment.
I love seeing the positive messages and fun sidewalk games as I take a daily walk through my neighborhood … Inspirational messages like “the world came together as the people stayed apart” … on multiple driveways and windows.
Our nurses have been amazing as always, especially our nurses caring for our COVID-19 suspect and COVID-19 confirmed patients. These nurses have taken on additional responsibilities in patient rooms. They have formed a team of experts to go educate nurses on other floors when they get a COVID patient and are unsure what to do. They provide almost the sole source of support and encouragement to the patients and their families for this very isolating disease. They are working tirelessly, taking on more and more without complaint. There are very few who realize the added workload that this illness has brought to the nurses; when there is a job that no one else wants to do, they take it on and complete it diligently. They are soldiers in this fight, and they do not get the gratitude and the glory that they so greatly deserve. They are tremendous and we are blessed to have them caring for our patients and for us in the way that they do.
Dr. Teresa Lynch
The Student Lounge now features a baby grand piano thanks to Dr. D.M. Pinson. This generous donation will provide a beautiful outlet for the musical talents of our students providing them with great joy, connection and entertainment for years to come. On behalf of the students, faculty and staff of UICOMP, we extend our deepest gratitude to Dr. Pinson for this kind and generous gift.
When I learned of the continued need for handmade facemasks at UICOMP, I shared it on my personal Facebook page. Within a couple of hours, a 17-year-old family friend/former babysitter quietly left a zippered plastic bag filled with 65 masks she had been sewing this month. Last month, she donated 75 she made to OSF. She left them on our porch without a word, not seeking any praise or thanks. Her gift of service and selfless giving was touching and appreciated.
As a MedPeds chief I have the privilege of observing and working with residents on both sides of the life spectrum. As a medical student I recall being told that an important quality in a resident was flexibility. All medical students also know that patient care is above all else. During this pandemic I have seen firsthand how our residents (MedPeds, internal medicine and pediatrics) have all come to these callings and been exemplary role models. As the pandemic started and we were all preparing for the unknown, trying to learn lessons that places like Seattle and NYC were providing, we got to work on surge schedules in order to provide excellent care to our patients but also keep our residents healthy and safe. We pulled residents from electives and off planned vacations in order to allow this to happen and they all stepped up to the occasion… we all worked together to completely change the way we schedule residents across IM and pediatric services.
During these times we had residents reaching out saying they were there to help however they could. While on service, residents provided direct feedback from the front lines as to how to better care for patients. It was a time of compassion and collaboration. We saw residents go above and beyond to provide care to patients and their families as the hospital was forced to implement strict visitor policies to keep the hospital safe.
This has been a time in which I have been reminded of why we do medicine and of the remarkable individuals we get to know, work with, and form friendships with. It reminds us of our fragile humanity yet of the strength of the spirit within us all. I learned that at times we get sick before we start feeling better.
From the chief resident perspective, I love how incredible the residents have been through all the multiple changes that have been thrown at them. They are a resilient group of residents and many have consistently asked for and offered to help. It just highlights what a great group of amazing people we are surrounded by and how we can all come together in some of the most stressful times in history.
I am grateful to be working with such a talented group of residents, fellows, faculty and staff during these challenging times. The dedication, collaboration and can-do attitude that they all exhibit has enabled us to weather the storm of the pandemic. But the pandemic isn’t the only enormous challenge that we face. The pandemic places a spotlight on the racial health inequalities that exist in our society. The constant danger of being Black in America was once again laid bare by the brutal deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others at the hands of police and racist vigilantes. These things together have sparked a global movement against the centuries old system of racism that has been built up to facilitate these inequities. We face the Herculean task of dismantling this system. I attended the White Coats for Black Lives protest on June 9th. As I knelt in the rain for 8 minutes and 46 seconds I was filled with despair at the idea that someone could devalue another’s life so much that they could kneel on their neck as they begged for their life. As we stood and I witnessed our residents leading the protest and sharing their stories, as well as, the larger medical community standing together in solidarity that despair transformed into hope that we can do the hard work necessary, pride in our residents, and my redoubled desire to do my part to end systemic racism. Words cannot express how much I appreciate you all.
Francis McBee-Orzulak, MD
Associate Dean of Graduate Medical Education and Designated Institutional Official
The Pediatric Residency is so proud of the Class of 2020! This has been an amazing class that has formed the strongest bonds in the midst of everything life has thrown at them. It has been an honor and privilege to be a part of their training! Here is a short video dedicated to the UICOMP Pediatric Residency Class of 2020: https://youtu.be/w5GjQH1k7D4.
Bhavana Kandikattu, MD
Pediatrics Residency Program Director
As a family medicine core faculty, we recently reflected on our experiences and “lessons learned” thus far during this pandemic. One consistent theme emerged: our gratitude and admiration for this resilient, innovative, caring group of family medicine residents. Public health crises such as COVID-19 highlight the critical importance of full-spectrum family physicians in the care of our community. Our residents rose to that challenge by pivoting quickly to virtual outpatient visits and didactics, developing inpatient protocols and surge planning, adapting to new practices on Labor & Delivery floor while advocating for equitable care of moms and babies, supporting quarantined and at-risk peers, volunteering to launch an innovative Ambulatory COVID Care Team to remotely monitor local COVID-positive patients, and even getting involved in the UnityPoint Health – Methodist Incident Command Center. While we look forward to celebrating our graduating PGY-3 residents next weekend, we are also pausing to appreciate every individual resident and their accomplishments during this academic year.
Kari Beth Watts, DO
Department of Family and Community Medicine
A huge thank you to all of the residency/fellowship coordinators, staff and the GME Office Staff for working hard to find new ways to get things done, collaborating, meeting deadlines and requirements! Also, a shout out to CIS, Printshop and so many others for working with us to help us overcome hurdles with working from home and no access to everyday resources. You found ways to help us keep things moving and flowing! UICOMP has a great team! Thank You All!
I would like to thank Diana Farrar for giving of her time and talents to make beautiful handmade masks for our students, faculty and staff. Her attention to detail is second to none. Diane comes to campus once a week with a smile and a bag of masks. Many of you likely are wearing a mask that she has made. Let’s give a big shout out to her!
Social isolation and financial insecurity caused by the pandemic are a perfect recipe for increased child abuse and neglect. I am so proud of how the Pediatric Resource Center staff have continued to provide outstanding, child-friendly medical services to central Illinois children and have demonstrated resiliency, innovation and compassion. With the help of CIS, they have embraced technology to keep PRC’s multidisciplinary services going while ensuring social distancing. PRC staff and the PRC fundraising board are using novel ways to raise much-needed funds during the pandemic through a virtual 5K and Zoom trivia contests. As other community programs reduced their services, PRC staff hosted 133 people for an online training on how to better recognize child abuse. Even now, they are preparing for an expected increase in referrals as Illinois moves into Stage 4. UICOMP has a great team in PRC!