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Meet the 2019 Plenary Presenters

Friday Opening Plenary: Is Addressing Food Insecurity Part of Health Care?

Evelyn Figueroa, MD, Professor, UIC Department of Family & Community Medicine; Program Director, UIC Family Medicine Residency 
Director, UI Health Pilsen Food Pantry
Dr. Figueroa earned her medical degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and subsequently completed her residency training in Family Medicine at Lutheran General Hospital.  She is board certified in family medicine and focuses her primary care practice in vulnerable populations work, such as reproductive justice, LGBTQIA* health, substance use disorders, maternity care, and the care of children. Dr. Figueroa presently devotes substantial energy to social determinants of health work, education, and activism. She does this through the direction and coordination of service learning programs in homelessness and food justice in addition to leading bias in healthcare educational sessions for her department. For her social justice teaching and advocacy, Dr. Figueroa has been honored with multiple awards, such as the 2012 Illinois Academy of Family Physicians Teacher of the Year, the 2014 UIC-COM Rising Star in Family Medicine Award, the 2015 Urban Health Program Social Justice Award, the 2017 Health and Medicine Research Policy Group Medicine Award, and the 2019 STFM President’s Award. Dr. Figueroa founded and directs the UI Health Pilsen Food Pantry, serves as volunteer medical director for the Pacific Garden Mission homeless shelter medical clinic, and was recently inducted as a fellow into the Institute of Medicine-Chicago. In addition, Dr. Figueroa is the Executive Co-Director of the Figueroa Wu Family Foundation, a non-profit organization whose work focuses on social medicine outreach. The Foundation recently supported a 2017-18 medical social brigade in remote southwest Puerto Rico and, since January 2018, has administered the UI Health Pilsen Food Pantry, which services a large undocumented immigrant population and has distributed over 400,000 pounds of food. 

Saturday at Noon (student plenary session):  Brandi Jackson, MD and Brittani Jackson-James, MD 

Meet "The Twin Docs," twin sisters and practicing medical doctors, originally from Twinsburg, Ohio (really, that's not a joke) and now based in Chicago, IL. Brittani is a family medicine doctor and Brandi is a psychiatrist and both are graduates of UIC Residency programs. They are both passionate about caring for the underserved and making the path towards becoming a doctor easier for the next generation. They created the online pipeline program called Med Like Me as a resource for aspiring doctors from all walks of life.  Their focus is on recruitment, retention and advancement of diversity and inclusion for both medical institutions and medical schools. Compelled by the growing shortage of minority doctors and its direct correlation to health disparities in medically underserved and low income communities, the Jackson twins have taken upon the mission to encourage students to pursue a career in medicine, empowering them to become agents of change and the next generation of doctors who serve their own communities.

Their story and endless enthusiasm caught fire in Chicago.  They were featured on the local Chicago news magazine TV show "Windy City Live" in an episode focusing on exceptional twins.  That led to coverage in the Chicago Tribune and NBC Nightly News (you can view the media clips here) and even a surprise appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.  They'll share their amazing journey to successful physician careers and also field questions to help our student attendees find their own journey to where they wish to go in medicine.  

Saturday Plenary:  Innovating Towards Inclusiveness, Diversity and Health Equity
Jennifer Edgoose, MD, MPH, University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.

Dr. Edgoose is the Director of the Office of Community Health and the Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. She is a nationally recognized leader in diversity and inclusion, is a local leader in community outreach, and is an innovator in the field of family medicine, having created tools like "BREATHE OUT" to aid in working with challenging patients.  As a member of the STFM Foundation Board, Edgoose is part of the Underrepresented in Medicine campaign to promote development and scholarships for underrepresented minority faculty, residents and students. She also served as a core member of the Health Equity Team for ​Family Medicine for America’s Health​ a national strategic planning body shaping the future of family medicine nationally.  Learn how her personal journey led her to develop and share best practices for providers to be more inclusive and sensitive in caring for all patients.