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Grant to Help UIC Health Sciences Campus-Rockford Inform Youth of Health Careers

The University of Illinois at Chicago’s Health Sciences Campus-Rockford received a grant for nearly $18,000 that will help to create a Health Careers Pathway Initiative to educate area high school and college students about health care careers. The grant was awarded by the Dr. Louis & Violet Rubin Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois’ Community Grants Program.

The Health Careers Pathway Initiative will involve four one-day seminars on the UIC Health Sciences Campus-Rockford at 1601 Parkview Ave. for area high school students; visits from UIC health professions students to area high schools; and a Health Careers Open House on the campus for high school and college students. These efforts will be led by a team from the College of Medicine consisting of Sam Pope and Paul Chastain, both research assistant professors in the Department of Health Sciences Education; Lori Keener, assistant director of admissions; Brenda Fisher, assistant director of student development for the Urban Health Program; and Vicki Weidenbacher-Hoper, grant development specialist.

“We want to stimulate interest in health careers and encourage the pursuit of those careers in northern Illinois,” says Alex Stagnaro-Green, dean of the UIC College of Medicine Rockford, which is leading the project through its Department of Health Sciences Education and Urban Health Program. “This grant will help us pilot some programming to determine activities that we can use to continue to build a pipeline of students interested in and able to pursue careers in these in-demand fields.”

The UIC Health Sciences Campus-Rockford offers graduate-level education programs including the Doctor of Medicine Program, Master of Science in Medical Biotechnology Program, Doctor of Pharmacy Program, Doctor of Nursing Practice and others. By educating students early in their academic careers about these options, they may have more interest in pursuing these fields and better prepare themselves during high school and college to be able to pursue degrees in medicine, pharmacy, nursing and medical research or other health careers.

Program events will begin in April 2020 and will be held throughout the next year. For more information about the program, contact Vicki Weidenbacher-Hoper at (815) 395-5669.

About the UIC Health Sciences Campus-Rockford

The UIC Health Sciences Campus-Rockford has grown from the College of Medicine that started in 1971 in Rockford to now also include programs and research projects of the College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy and the Crawford Library of the Health Sciences. Learn more at

About the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois:

The mission of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois is to serve as a catalyst for giving in order to attract, preserve, and grow an endowment for current and future needs of Northern Illinois. Since its founding in 1953 CFNIL has granted more than $73 million for charitable purposes. Learn more about CFNIL’s grantmaking and commitment to endowment at