Pictured above is Dr. Shellie Williams, Assistant Professor of Medicine. Dr. Williams has been selected to receive the BSD’s Distinguished Community Service and Advocacy Award. Dr. Williams has consistently been a strong advocate for older adults with dementia and their caregivers. By using her clinical platform to draw attention to the presentation, stages, and treatment of dementia and related illnesses, she has worked relentlessly to address disparities in access to health care and education for this vulnerable population. She has long encouraged the community to consider patients’ psychosocial and financial needs, highlighting how these factors can impact decision-making, care goals, and the health of caregivers. She has served as a core faculty educator for the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program, as well as the Southside Healthy Aging Resource Experts (SHARE) Network. Presently, she is starting an innovative program in local churches entitled “The Dementia Resource Champions (DRC) in the Faith Community”. Her section chief describes her as “a selfless and humble physician who is most deserving of this award.”

Pictured above is Dr. Deborah Burnet, Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, has been selected to receive the BSD’s Distinguished Community Service and Advocacy Award. Dr. Burnet is an active member of our Faculty Diversity Committee and a Facilitator in the Foundational Leadership Program. Her peers describe her as “an exceptional candidate for this award!” To address childhood obesity epidemic, Dr. Burnet has built partnerships with a number of community organizations, including the South Side YMCA, the Hyde Park Coop Markets, Chicago Public Schools, and Woodlawn Community School. She also designed and implemented the NIH-funded Reach-Out diabetes prevention program and the Power-Up after school program. Alongside Pilot Light, a nonprofit organization of Chicago’s elite chefs who address childhood obesity, Dr. Burnet leads the C3 network (Chicago Consortium for Community Engagement) of Chicago CTSAs to promote city-wide community-engaged health research. Since 2012 she has dedicated her efforts to advancing the careers of women and physicians of color, leading workshops on Negotiations, Assertive Communications, and other leadership-oriented topics.

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