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7 UI Health Leaders Receive Presidential Medallion

Friday, August 27, 2021

7 UI Health Leaders Receive Presidential MedallionOperation Vaccine Team: From left, Mary Kate Titus, administrative fellow; Paul Gorski, senior director of Clinical Services; Dr. Janet Lin, physician and professor of Emergency Medicine; Kim Bertini, director of Nursing Excellence; and Dr. Susan Bleasdale, Chief Quality Officer.

University of Illinois President Tim Killeen on Aug. 23 honored seven UI Health leaders with the Presidential Medallion, as part of the system's COVID-19 response. 

Killeen honored leaders of clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), which were the first trials conducted in Chicago, and UI Health's mass-vaccination effort that has inoculated University of Illinois Hospital & Clinics staff and patients, students, faculty and, so far, tens of thousands of members of the public. 

Those from UI Health who received the Presidential Medallion:

  • Kimberly Bertini, director of Nursing Excellence 
  • Dr. Susan Bleasdale, Chief Quality Officer 
  • Paul Gorski, senior director of Clinical Services 
  • Jerry Krishnan, Associate Vice Chancellor for Population Health Sciences 
  • Dr. Janet Lin, physician and professor of Emergency Medicine 
  • Dr. Richard Novak, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases 
  • Mary Kate Titus, administrative fellow 

UIC has been a trial site for two national clinical vaccine trials, including the first trial conducted in the city. The trials matched the diverse demographics of the city and included strong representation of groups that have been particularly affected by the pandemic. UIC and its academic health enterprise, UI Health, led an effort that vaccinated health system workers, and opened Chicago's first mass-vaccination site in February 2021 at Credit Union 1 Arena (on the UIC campus), offering vaccines to the public and its own students, faculty, and staff. UI Health continues to provide the COVID-19 vaccine at multiple sites across the health system. UIC also is conducting ongoing research on vaccine hesitancy. 

The medallion, which is the is the highest honor that the system president can bestow, also was presented to 21 leaders behind the development of the SHIELD test-and-trace system at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).