A Message to Our Community
Dear Members of the UIC Community,
In the aftermath of the senseless violence that occurred yesterday at Mercy Hospital, the UIC community joins the City of Chicago and our colleagues at Mercy as we mourn the lives that were taken.
Among those who did not survive the attack was Dr. Tamara E. O’Neal, a member of the UIC family. Dr. O’Neal was a 2014 MD graduate and 2017 Emergency Medicine Resident graduate from the University of Illinois College of Medicine here in Chicago. Upon completing this training, Dr. O’Neal had been working in the emergency department at Mercy for two years, where she continued to teach some of our clinical residents in a volunteer capacity. Dr. O’Neal will be remembered for her infectious smile and her commitment to social justice, as she often raised money for disadvantaged children and led her church choir.
In addition to Dr. O’Neal’s death, others who will be mourned during this time include Chicago police officer, Samuel Jimenez, and a Mercy pharmacy resident, Dayna Less, who was participating in a UIC College of Pharmacy resident teaching program.
Gun violence is an epidemic that deeply affects the lives of families, neighbors, and communities in Chicago and across the nation. This is certainly not the first time it has touched our UIC community and we must continue working together to ensure that we take every possible measure to protect the safety of our students, faculty, researchers, staff and patients while on our campus.
As you gather together with your families this week, we hope that you will carry in your hearts the spirit of compassion, service and joy that characterized Dr. O’Neal throughout her short life. The best collective way to honor her memory is to remain steadfast in our commitment to building stronger communities through education and health care delivery for all.
If you are experiencing distress related to this event, please consider accessing the resources available to our campus community, including the UIC Counseling Center, the Employee Assistance Program, or the Campus Advocacy Network.
Michael D. Amiridis
Robert A. Barish
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs