Doctor wants to make UIC among the best
Dr. Joe "Skip" Garcia plays a dual role at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the vice president for health affairs and vice chancellor for research.
"We are here to provide the very best quality of care for the folks of Illinois but with a particular focus for underserved populations, not only Chicago but throughout the state," Garcia said.
Dr. Garcia oversees a $343 million enterprise encompassing all 15 of UIC's colleges and schools.
"Our research is designed specifically to think of better ways of treating Latino and African Americans that live right around us, but our mission is very clear that we are going to directly address the staggering health care disparities that exist particularly in our city," he said.
Garcia is internationally recognized for his expertise on genetic lung disease along with the prevention and treatment. As a child working alongside farm workers picking strawberries, he discovered lung disease was prevalent among migrant farm workers.
"It is right there," he said. "I decided I wanted to do medicine to be an arch for some of those strategies that make a difference."
Garcia has a reputation of getting things done. He said when he left John Hopkins he made sure the institution was the best. During his tenure at the University of Chicago, his department was awarded $80 million in funding and rose from a national ranking of . 25 to No.12. He plans to do the same with UIC.
"To do that you need to set ambitious goals and inspire people to get on board with moving in that direction," Garcia said. "We have the patient population that needs our help and we are going to do it."
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