UIC Alumni Create Scholarship to Honor Mercy Hospital Shooting Victim

Dr. Tamara O'Neal (Franciscan Health)Dr. Tamara O'Neal (Franciscan Health)

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.

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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.”

Contact Kristen Thometz: @kristenthometz | [email protected] | (773) 509-5452

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