The Women in Medicine and Science Council at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria has selected four women physicians to highlight this month as part of Women’s History Month.


Dr. Joyce Wise

Dr. Joyce Wise graduated from the University of Illinois in Champaign in 1969, where she was a James Scholar, and from UICOMP in 1973. She arrived to Peoria when the college of medicine first opened as a third year medical student, the only female student at the time, and was the first female to graduate from UICOMP. She received the Ross Award for Excellence in Pediatrics in 1973. Dr. Wise went on to pursue a Pediatrics Residency and Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, as well as a Pediatric Endocrinology fellowship at Duke University Medical Center, where she remained to teach before returning to Peoria. She joined the UICOMP pediatrics faculty in 1980 and was appointed as Co-division Head of Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2008. Throughout her career she remained active in research, receiving several grants and publishing several journal articles and book chapters focused on the treatment of diabetes in children. She was the recipient of many awards and recognitions including the YWCA Outstanding Professional Achievement Award, the American Diabetes Association’s Outstanding Diabetes Educator, OSF St. Francis Medical Center Family Practice Teaching Award, High Score Pediatric Grand Grounds, and Best Doctors in America in 2008 and 2009.


Dr. Lynne Jalovec

Dr. Lynne Jalovec is originally from Summit, a Chicago suburb, and moved to Peoria to attend Bradley University where she was a cheerleader. She loved attending the basketball games! She is a 1982 graduate of UICOMP and went on to complete her General Surgery Residency in Peoria as well. In 1999 she decided to limit her practice to Breast Surgery, a decision she never regretted. To the good fortune of the Central Illinois community, she involved herself with many of the advancements in breast cancer surgery and in working with excellent colleagues here in Central Illinois to bring state of the art breast cancer care to the area. She was active in the American College of Surgeons at both the state and local levels across her entire career. She served as Cancer Liaison Physician for UnityPoint Health Methodist Peoria and as a Board Member of the Susan G Komen Foundation Memorial Affiliate. Dr. Jalovec retired from a distinguished and compassionate career of exceptional service improving breast cancer care in 2022. She now spends her time travelling and spending time with friends and family.


Dr. Mary Ward

Dr. Mary Ward originally studied English earning a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in 1979 and Master’s degree from Wellesley College in 1977. She embarked on her career in medicine in Peoria a few years later and is a 1986 graduate of UICOMP and recipient of the University of Illinois Alumni Association Student Leadership Award. She went on to complete the UICOMP Transitional Program Internship at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in 1987 and an Emergency Medicine Residency at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN in 1990. She then returned to Illinois, where she served at both OSF Department of Emergency Medicine and the Cook County Trauma Unit before transitioning to PromptCare. She was well-loved and respected by colleagues and known for her humility, compassionate care, and positivity.


Dr. Jessica Hanks

Dr. Jessica Hanks is a 2003 UICOMP graduate and completed her residency training in Medicine-Pediatrics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she served as Pediatric Chief Resident before returning to Peoria as faculty. Here at UICOMP, she has received numerous teaching and service awards, including Introduction to Clinical Medicine Preceptor of the Year, Ambulatory Faculty Teaching Award in Internal Medicine, and a three-time recipient of the Internal Medicine Pediatrics Residency Program Teaching Award. She previously served as the Associate Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program at UICOMP, Course Director AIM Supervisor at Heartland Health Services on Armstrong, college-wide Course Director of the Longitudinal Synthesis Course in Phase 1 curriculum, and as Assistant Dean of Preclinical Curriculum and Evaluation at UICOMP. Dr. Hanks is now the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs where her extensive experience and expertise with curriculum, clinical education, and her familiarity with the needs and interests of both faculty and learners is invaluable in providing leadership for this department that is foundational to our medical students.