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2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

Mark Shields, MD, MBA

It is with great pleasure and honor to present Dr. Mark Shields, Billings Society Fellow, with the IOMC  2021 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient. This award was presented at the 2021 Annual Meeting on June 25, 2021. 

Dr. Shields has been a Fellow of IOMC for over 20 years and has served on the Board of Governors since 2013. He is an Accomplished Leader in Academics, Patient Care, Advocacy, Administration, and Committed to Health Equity.

Recently, Dr. Shields served as the Advancement Committee Chair, and a committee member of the Planned Giving Committee while serving on this year’s Board of Governor’s. He was an integral member of the Wellbeing Trust Grant research project funded by the Portes Foundation and the Michael Reese Research and Education Foundation. He served on the Management Implementation Committee member since 2019. Read the full announcement here. 

2021 The Henry P. Russe MD Citation for Exemplary Compassion in Healthcare Award 

Melissa Simon, MD, MPH 

Dr. Simon is a critical leader in ensuring health equity is embedded into medicine and healthcare. She leads one of the Chicagoland area’s largest and deepest commitment and footprint to promoting health and well-being for all – with her 15 years of dedicated commitment to all medically underserved women who touch communities across the Chicago area. Dr. Simon is a Fellow of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago. This award was presented at the Leadership Summit on December 17, 2021. 

Dr. Simon is the George H. Gardner Professor of Clinical Gynecology, Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She is also the Founder and Director of the Center for Health Equity Transformation and the Chicago Cancer Health Equity Collaborative and the Co-Program Leader for Cancer Control and Survivorship for the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. Housed in her Center for Health Equity Transformation, she has an unparalleled portfolio of research funded across seven NIH Institutes and this past year during the pandemic, she rose to the 4th highest NIH funded OBGYN in the country- with her entire portfolio of research focused on minority and medically underserved populations partnered with community clinics and organizations across the Chicago area. 

2021 Innovation in Health Care & Health Care Delivery Award

Angela Moss, PhD, RN 

Dr. Angela Moss is a national expert on nursing academic-practice partnerships. Under her strategic leadership she built over 30 health equity-focused academic-practice partnerships. Her strategic partnership development is most often with community-based organizations such as: transitional supportive housing and shelters, government agencies, church groups, and advocacy groups who provide social services to an underserved population. Under her leadership, the academic practice partnerships have grown over 550% in the past 4 years. This award was presented at the Leadership Summit on December 17, 2021. 

Dr. Moss and has demonstrated unparalleled dedication to the care for the underserved population– people of Chicago, people without citizenship, experiencing homelessness, formerly incarcerated, suffering from mental illness, substance use disorder, victims of domestic violence, and children with nearly 90% of the patient population self-identifying as racial or ethnic minorities. The majority earning below the federal poverty line, and without access to reliable, quality healthcare. Together these partnerships, with faculty and students, work side-by-side filling critical care delivery gaps. In beginning of the pandemic 2020, Dr. Angela Moss worked with her community partners developing tailored COVID-19 plans, touching over 10,000 lives. In partnership with Chicago Department of Public Health, she established the City's only isolation facility for COVID-19 infected people experiencing homelessness.  She created a vast network of nurse faculty clinicians providing primary care in 20 Chicago shelters, serving 150-200 guests each week. 

2021 Humanitarian Global Health Award

Neli Vazquez-Rowland

Ms. Vazquez-Rowland has become a fearless and passionate champion for America’s most vulnerable population—the homeless. Her organization, A Safe Haven, has moved more than 130,000 people, from social and economic crisis to independent living and self-sufficiency with their pride and purpose restored. The innovative, comprehensive approach provides individualized, community-based, state-licensed food, shelter, substance abuse treatment, healthcare, education, job training, placement, and phased-housing programs, all administered under one umbrella organization. Their services include phased housing in more than 40, award-winning transitional, supportive, and affordable independent living facilities for veterans, single mothers, seniors, and individuals from the re-entry and recovery populations. They also place more than 1,000 people a year in jobs within A Safe Haven’s social enterprise businesses—catering, landscaping, and staffing services. Ms. Vasquez-Rowland is a Billings Society Fellow of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago. This award was presented at the Leadership Summit on December 17, 2021. 

Since its inception, ASH has served over 130,000 homeless people including adults, youth, families with children and military veterans. Most recently, under her leadership, ASHF also led the effort to open up a COVID-19 Medical Respite Isolation Space for the COVID-19 positively diagnosed unsheltered and doubled up populations in partnership with RUSH Medical Healthcare Systems and the Chicago Department of Public Health. The COVID-19 Medical Respite opened a 100-bed space on April 11, 2020 and been a resource for over 900 COVD-19 positive individuals. 

2021 IOMC Special Award for Public Service 

The IOMC Award for Public Service is usually presented to a Chicago, Cook and Collar counties area healthcare professional who has a longstanding history of highly valuable public service. Such service should have enhanced the health of residents of the Chicago, Cook and Collar counties area.  The healthcare professional need not be a Fellow of the IOMC.

The past year and a half has been not normal and required exceptional efforts by many professionals in health care and public health due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. With this in mind, IOMC proudly awarded the Chicago, collar counties, and the State of Illinois public health leaders the IOMC Special Award for Public Service due to their outstanding dedication in serving their communities during this unprecedented time. We salute their efforts and commitment in protecting the health of our communities and thankful for their long hours and dedication to serving others.  We are honored to call them our colleagues. The Special Award for Public Service was bestowed to the recipients at the 2021 Annual Meeting (virtual) held on June 25, 2021. 




Please join with IOMC in honoring the commitment, expertise and dedication of these outstanding public health professionals ! 



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