Last November, Dr. Tamara O’Neal was shot killed after her ex-fiance confronted her outside Mercy Hospital, where she worked as an emergency room doctor and volunteered her time to teach clinical residents.
Chicago police Officer Samuel Jimenez and pharmacy resident Dayna Less were also killed in the shooting.
“Tamara leaves behind a legacy of promoting diversity in medical education and a passion for serving underserved communities,” said O’Neal’s friend Chisalu Nchekwube in a statement.
To honor O’Neal’s legacy, a dozen UIC College of Medicine alumni have established the Tamara O’Neal MD Scholarship Fund. O’Neal graduated from UIC College of Medicine in 2014 and was a 2017 emergency resident graduate.
More than $68,000 has been raised so far by UIC alumni, who hope to generate even more funds so they can create an endowed, ongoing scholarship.
The scholarship will offer support to a first-year medical student in the Urban Health Program, which offers a variety of programs and services for students who are underrepresented in medicine. O’Neal was a participant in the program’s post-baccalaureate and summer pre-matriculation programs, according to UIC. If funding allows, the scholarship will also offer support to a fourth-year medical student who will complete their residency in emergency medicine.
“Tamara made it her mission to expose underrepresented minority students to medicine as a potential career, and as a way to load the pipeline with minority physicians who would go on to treat patients of color,” Nchekwube said.
For more information about the scholarship or to make a donation, visit the UIC College of Medicine giving page. To make a donation to the fund, select the drop-down menu for “Select Class or Alumni Scholarship Fund” and scroll down to the “Tamara O’Neal MD Scholarship Fund.”