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Physician Support for Pilsen Clinic

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To the Administration of the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center: As a health care practitioner affiliated with the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center, I am a strong proponent of our institutional commitment to supply high-quality care to an Urban Population. As a individual provider, I have an implicit commitment to the principles of access to treatment espoused by the medical code of ethical conduct. As an educator I have a responsibility to help instill these principles in my students and prepare them to serve the diverse Chicago community. Subsequently, I strenuously object to the closing of the Center for Women and Family Health in Pilsen. If the University ceases to provide care for the vulnerable population served by this clinic, it will be sending a strong message in direct contradiction to the stated goal of building healthy communities put forth in the University's Campaign for Brilliant Futures. The Center for Women and Family Health provides essential services to a population of patients who, despite their close proximity to the University, remain woefully underserved. In addition to its responsibility for the health of its current patients, it is critical for the University to set an example of ethical and compassionate behavior to the students who train here. Closing the Center for Women and Family Health would suggest to students that the University's longstanding policy of commitment to diversity may not extend beyond the narrow confines of the classroom. I believe it is important that students have the opportunity to train in a wide variety of clinical settings, and closing this clinic would deprive them of a valuable educational experience. Dr. Sonia Oyola's work at the clinic led to her nomination for the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award and is a direct reflection of her passion for service and the social and interventional aspects of medicine. Refusing to fund her clinic suggests to students that the administration does not share her values and the values of the nurses and midwives who staff the clinic. If the University closes the Center for Women and Family Health, it would be a loss not just to the patients served by the clinic but to faculty and students. I ask that the University administration make a concerted effort to avoid closing the clinic and in doing so reaffirm its commitment to the principles of excellence and humanism in medicine. Sincerely,


Doctors and affiliates of UIC
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