Garcia named to Institute of Medicine

UIC News
October 19, 2011

Joe G. N. “Skip” Garcia, university vice president for health affairs and UIC vice chancellor for research, was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, considered one of the highest honors in health and medicine.

The institute is an independent organization that provides objective information on health to decision makers and the public. Up to 65 members are selected each year by current members for achievement in medical science, health care and public health.

Garcia, the only new member from Illinois, is an internationally known physician-scientist in the genetics, prevention and treatment of inflammatory lung disease and pulmonary edema.

“It is an honor to be joining the Institute of Medicine, an organization recognized as the nation’s premier adviser on issues relating to biomedical science, medicine and health,” Garcia said.

“Membership in the IOM certainly represents the pinnacle of academic recognition in my field.

“More importantly, however, is the opportunity to share at the national level the expertise that we have at the University of Illinois for translating research-driven insights into disease toward the delivery of better health care, particularly to those who experience significant health care disparities.”

University President Michael Hogan called Garcia “a visionary when it comes to charting the future for health care.”

Since Garcia was named vice president for health affairs, he has worked “to expand the Univesity of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System’s visibility and effectiveness in delivering state-of-the-art health care to citizens in Illinois and beyond,” Hogan said.

“Dr. Garcia’s election to the Institute of Medicine is confirmation of our belief that he is an extraordinary leader who sees what health care can be in the 21st century and has begun to build the infrastructure for that vision here,” said Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares, an Institute of Medicine member since 2004.

Garcia joined the UIC faculty in February 2010 as vice chancellor for research and the Earl M. Bane professor of medicine, pharmacology and bioengineering. He was appointed university vice president for health affairs in February.

Since then, he has led the refocusing of health care services into a university-wide “clinical enterprise”: the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System.

Author of 370 peer-reviewed publications, he is widely recognized as a leading National Institutes of Health-funded scientist with a boundary-crossing approach to both science and medicine.

The Institute for Human Genetics, the Institute for Health Informatics and the Institute for Minority Health Research — all specifically designed to improve the medical management of disease — have been launched since he joined UIC.

Garcia was chair of medicine at the University of Chicago, where the department rose into the top 10 NIH-funded departments of medicine. At Johns Hopkins University, he was director of pulmonary and critical care medicine, professor of biomedical engineering and environmental health sciences and director of the Center for Translational Respiratory Medicine.

Priorities throughout his career have included increasing the number of under-represented minorities in medicine and science and protecting the quality of care for the medically underserved.

Institute of Medicine 2011 New Members Announcement Link