Two prominent neuroscientists were among nearly 90 faculty and physicians of the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria honored for their dedication to teaching and service to the community at the Celebration of Excellence on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017.

Longtime community staple to child and family welfare, Children’s Home, and a physician who has worked to make Naloxone interventions available in the community to decrease the number of drug overdose deaths, Dr. Tamara Olt, both were recognized with the 2017 Community Health Awards.

View photos from the Celebration of Excellence on Facebook.

Faculty of the Year

Dr. Ken Fukuchi has a national reputation and exceptional funding record, including a long list of scientific discoveries in the area of Alzheimer’s Disease. He has authored 78 publications and has multiple funded research projects by the National Institutes of Health, including

Dr. David Z. Wang is a clinician scientist who leads national efforts in early stroke recognition, treatment access and treatment efficacy. He is the Medical Director of the OSF HealthCare Illinois Neurologic Institute Stroke Network and Comprehensive Stroke Center, a 24-hospital network encompassing 26 counties in Illinois. A leader in stroke research, his work has advanced medical knowledge in stroke care and led to changes in how physicians treat patients with stroke.

2017 Community Health Awards

Dr. Tamara Olt is a board certified obstetrician-gynecologist in private practice. She lost her 16-year-old son Joshua to an accidental heroin overdose in 2012. Since then, she has devoted her time to advancing harm reduction practices. She and her husband, Blake, started Jolt Foundation which focuses on awareness of the opiate epidemic and overdose prevention. Jolt’s naloxone distribution program has distributed 4,500 naloxone kits throughout 20 counties in Illinois with multiple overdose reversals. Dr. Olt also is the medical director for several law enforcement department’s naloxone programs in Illinois.

Children’s Home Association of Illinois has been caring for the children in central Illinois for 151 years. Operating from six locations in the Peoria area, the staff of 400-plus professionals are committed to community-based, family-focused programs that provide counseling, education and support to more than 1,700 children and families each month. Programs for children and youth include: residential care, group homes, foster care and adoption, supervised independent living, private school, crisis intervention, mental health assessment, homeless services, in-home counseling and family preservation.

Among the Faculty Award Recipients

UICOMP Outstanding Research

  • Michael D. Tarantino, MD
  • Andrew J. Tsung, MD
  • Kiran K. Velpula, PhD
  • Krishna K. Veeravalli, PhD

UICOMP Outstanding Service

  • Ryan D. Finkenbine, MD
  • Harleena K. Kendhari, MD
  • Channing S. Petrak, MD
  • David M. Pinson, DVM, PhD

UICOMP Outstanding Teaching

  • Julius C. Bonello, MD
  • Stephen M. Lasley, PhD
  • Larry S. Lindahl, MD

UICOMP Outstanding Clinical, Technological, or Scholarly Achievements Applied to Medical Research

  • Matthew T. Bramlet, MD

UICOMP Outstanding Teaching and Service for Community-Based Faculty

  • Charles J. Aprahamian, MD
  • Teresa J. Lynch, MD
  • Kirk D. Moberg, MD, PhD

Curriculum Innovation Award

  • Elsa L. Vazquez-Melendez, MD

Outstanding Senior Scholar

  • Stanley, M. Bugaieski, MD

Golden Apple

  • Krishna K. Veeravalli, PhD
  • Benjamin R. Pflederer, MD
  • Matthew J. Mischler, MD

Read comments about the award winners.