In conjunction with September’s “Women in Medicine Month” created by the American Medical Association (AMA), the UICOMP Women in Medicine and Science Council solicited nominations of faculty members who work to support gender equality and the advancement of women in medicine. The Council recognizes these women:
Tiffany Abrego, PhD – Psychiatry
Dr. Abrego has been a key faculty member in a broad range of activities for the Department, University, and our community. In addition to her work as a leader in clinical service and education with Autism, she directs our psychological assessments services, resident CBT clinic, and is an advisory member of the Center for Wellbeing. She was recently named the departmental Scholarship Director in which she oversees and coordinates all research activities for more than 25 individuals. Finally, as the Director of Faculty Development, she organizes educational and skill-building activities for the faculty.
Stephanie Kok, MD – Emergency Medicine
Dr. Kok is a 2011 UICOMP graduate, completed her Emergency Medicine Residency here, serving as Chief Resident, and has been an EM faculty member ever since 2014. She is an enthusiastic and patient teacher, consistently receiving high praise from learners. She is also a highly regarded and trusted mentor – frequently taking time out of her busy schedule to meet with and advise residents. She was recently named the new Assistant Program Director – an honor well deserved! She is a leader of the program, FemInEM, a group of women residents and attendings who meet regularly to discuss issues facing female physicians. She embodies everything you want in a faculty member, teacher, and supporter of women in medicine.
Jane Maksimovic, DO – Radiology
Dr. Maksimovic is an inspiration for strong work ethic, positivity, a commitment to helping others, and a passion for medicine. Upon completion of her UICOMP radiology residency and neuroradiology fellowship, she joined Central Illinois Radiological Associates and the UICOMP faculty. She later accepted the role of Residency Associate Program Director. In 2021, she was awarded Faculty of the Year for her innovative teaching, taking education to the next level, and her expectation of radiology residents in delivering service excellence. She mentors residents not only about the field, but also about the clinical, interpersonal, and collaboration skills that women can uniquely bring to medicine. Her colleagues elected her to office where she is instrumental in the business operations for a large practice with over 100 radiologists.
Denise Mammolito, MD – Surgery
Leading by example and leaving a legacy of excellence, Dr. Mammolito has dedicated her career to the health and wellness of women within the UICOMP and broader Peoria communities. She has been on UICOMP faculty for 28 years, and served as interim Chair of Surgery during an important transition year for the surgical residents from 2020 to 2021. She has taught and influenced countless years of OB-GYN and surgical residents as an academician and skilled surgeon. She chaired and participated in Peoria’s Annual Breast Cancer Symposium for 13 years, and has served on the Susan G. Komen Board of Directors. She donned a pink wig for the recent Komen fundraiser with record results. Dr. Mammolito works across disciplines to deliver old school medicine: she cares about her patients personally, manages them comprehensively, and follows them longitudinally. In summary, Dr. Mammolito serves as a stellar example of leadership, personal commitment and work life balance for all women in our community.
Sidney Stewart, MD – Internal Medicine
Dr. Stewart has been a long-standing member of the Internal Medicine program leadership and is now the Program Director for the Transitional Year. She has taught innumerable students across UME and GME courses including DOCS, core cases, clerkship lectures, morning reports, quality improvement sessions, and program curricula development and clinical teaching. She strives to develop the individual by learning about their skills and interests and tending to their individual needs for professional development. Recently, she has helped design a new rotation in Wellness for the Internal Medicine Residency Program. She assists in the scheduling of three residency programs as well as the UHATS service schedule. She serves as a mentor and a quiet leader who is always at the ready and available for her learners and colleagues. She does not seek out recognition yet is integral to the function and design of so many things. She is more than deserving of recognition as an outstanding Woman in Medicine.
Neelam Verma, MD – Obstetrics & Gynecology
Dr. Verma is the epitome of a strong, female academic physician. As a teacher, she consistently goes out of her way to interact and teach the medical students and residents. Not only covering content specific information, but also going above and beyond to spend additional time imparting leadership skills and serving as an excellent role model for residents and medical students, especially to women. She is also the kind of physician women look for, both as a doctor and as a role model – always advocating on their behalf. She is a natural leader and inspires others to become compassionate advocates for women’s health.