The University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria (UICOMP) is pleased to announce that Dr. Larry and Evelyn Jennings of Mt. Carmel made a substantial contribution to support UICOMP’s expansion to a four-year medical school.

Dr. Larry Jennings, a 1980 graduate of UICOMP, has been in private practice in Mount Carmel providing primary care for more than 30 years. Doctor and Mrs. Jennings were recognized for their contribution during a ribbon cutting ceremony held recently at the school where they were presented with a plaque now on display.

“Dr. Jennings is an advocate for rural communities and rural healthcare, and we are both grateful and honored by this generous gift to support medical education,” said Dr. Sara Rusch, UICOMP Regional Dean. “This expansion is a historic moment, not just for the medical school, but for downstate Illinois as we continue to recruit, train, and retain physicians for Illinois.

The UICOMP expansion brought 60 first-year medical students to Peoria in August 2017. Prior to the expansion, Peoria medical students spent their first year on the Urbana-Champaign campus. Campus construction and renovations for the expansion included a new technology-rich classroom, an anatomy laboratory for cadaver dissection and technology-assisted training, and student oasis. Now, medical students in Peoria will spend all four years of medical school on the Peoria campus. Total enrollment in Peoria grew to about 240 students annually.

Dr. Jennings received the Best Doctors in America Award in 2009, the Rural Physician of Excellence Award in 2008 from the Illinois Rural Health Association, and in 2007, he was named the Distinguished Alumni Award recipient by the Peoria Medical Alumni Council. In 2016, in recognition of his many contributions to resident education and rural healthcare, Dr. Jennings was named a Master of the American College of Physicians, an honor given to very few internists.

The University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria (UICOMP)

UICOMP educates about 240 medical students and nearly 300 resident physicians annually. Located in downtown Peoria, the College of Medicine is home to the Cancer Research Center, the Center for Outcomes Research, and a collaborator in Jump Simulation.