Student Helps Save Health Clinic for Homeless Men

Jennifer_Wicks_617x350Each year, Founders Day honors the people who first established Rush University Medical Center as Rush Medical College in 1837. Special awards are presented to employees — including Jennifer Wicks — who have played a pivotal role in providing the best possible care for our patients.

Henry P. Russe, MD, Award

  • Honoree: Jennifer Wicks, MD, resident, pediatrics
  • Years with Rush: 6
  • How has Rush supported your humanitarian work? “Any time I had any ideas for an event or group that I wanted to see on campus, there has been the staff available, the funding available and more than anything, the students who are able to get it off the ground.”

Jennifer Wicks, MD, volunteered at a community health clinic based in a shelter for homeless men on Chicago’s South Side while she was attending Rush Medical College. When she learned the clinic was going to be shut down, she arranged for it to be relocated to a church. This accomplishment is but one of the many contributions Wicks has made while at Rush.

During her tenure as a medical student, Wicks founded the Rush chapter of Colleges Against Cancer, which works with the American Cancer Society to conduct smoking cessation sessions and fundraising. She also founded a refugee transition program that works with refugees in Chicago’s North Side neighborhoods to teach them healthy habits. In addition, she has traveled to Haiti with Rush physicians and nurses as part of service missions.

The Henry P. Russe, MD, Humanitarian award honors the memory and humanitarian efforts of its namesake — the dean of Rush Medical College and vice president of medical affairs from 1981 to his death in 1991 — and is given to members of the Rush staff who demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the well-being of others in their work.

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