The University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria and UnityPoint Health – Methodist have expanded their existing partnership to include Proctor and Pekin hospitals.

The revised affiliation agreement, which governs the relationship between the two entities, reflects the recent growth in enrollment at UICOMP and the greater need for additional clinical experiences and physician mentors for medical students in Peoria. The expanded partnership also reflects the growth of UnityPoint Health among three Peoria-area hospitals, Methodist, Proctor, and Pekin.

“UICOMP and Methodist have a long history of collaboration going back to the formation of the medical school in Peoria,” said UICOMP Regional Dean Dr. Sara Rusch. “This revised affiliation agreement expands the clinical opportunities medical students have in Peoria, and in turn adds to our ability to attract and retain future physicians in central Illinois. It also provides teaching and academic opportunities for interested physicians at Proctor and Pekin hospitals.”

Total enrollment this year is 244 students, the largest in UICOMP’s 48-year history. In August, UICOMP welcomed its largest-ever incoming class of 67 students. In addition to the growth, UICOMP also instituted a new, early immersion program last year, which imbeds medical students into a primary care setting during their first two years of medical school to better prepare them for the rigors of medicine.

“UnityPoint Health is proud of our long history with the University of Illinois College of Medicine – Peoria. We are excited to grow our affiliation and provide more opportunities for future physicians,” said Debbie Simon, President and CEO of UnityPoint Health – Methodist.

UnityPoint Health – Methodist merged with Proctor Hospital to form one health system in September 2013. Pekin Hospital joined the UnityPoint Health affiliation in January 2017.