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College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign Welcomes Acting Dean Janet A. Jokela
Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Dr. Janet JokelaThe University of Illinois College of Medicine is pleased to announce that Janet A. Jokela, MD, MPH, FACP, FIDSA, has been appointed as the Acting Regional Dean of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign effective February 16, 2017 pending approval of the Board of Trustees. As the College of Medicine continues its curricular transformation, the Urbana regional site remains committed to ensure that the highest quality academic, clinical, and research opportunities remain available to our medical students. We are certain that Dr. Jokela will bring enthusiasm and expertise to the service of the students, faculty, and staff at the College of Medicine in Urbana. The College would like to thank Michele Mariscalco, MD, FCCM, FAAP for her dedicated and passionate service as the Urbana Regional Dean for the past three years and welcome her to Chicago as she begins a new position in UI Health executive leadership with the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, Dr. Robert Barish.

Dr. Jokela joined the faculty at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Urbana in 2000. At the College of Medicine, she has served in multiple roles, including Director for the first year medical school course Introduction to Human Disease, Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program, and Director of Continuing Medical Education.  She is a member of the University of Illinois College of Medicine’s Core EPA Team, representing the Urbana campus.  She currently serves as Head of the Department of Internal Medicine at the College in Urbana. 

The author of multiple peer-reviewed publications and numerous regional and national presentations, she is a respected scholar and sought-after speaker.  She is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Teaching Excellence Award from the College of Medicine in Urbana, Cornerstone Award from the Internal Medicine Residency Program for outstanding and sustained contributions to residency education, the Laureate Award from the American College of Physician (ACP) Illinois Chapter Downstate Region, and the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.

A 2015 Fellow of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women, Dr. Jokela was one of 54 women in academic medicine from across the country selected to participate in this leadership training program.  She is also a Fellow of the ACP and the Infectious Disease Society of America.  She has served on numerous national ACP committees, including the Scientific Program Planning Committee, Education and Publications Committee, and the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors.  She currently serves as Governor of the ACP Downstate Region of the Illinois Chapter, and was recently elected to serve on the ACP Board of Regents, the fiduciary body of the ACP.     

Dr. Jokela attended the University of Minnesota where she earned her bachelor degree (graduating Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude) and her medical degree. She served as an intern and resident in internal medicine at Boston City Hospital in Boston, MA.  She completed her infectious disease training at the Harvard Medical School Longwood Area Program, at Beth Israel and Brigham and Women's Hospitals, and received an MPH from Boston University.  After her fellowship training, she worked at the Massachusetts General Hospital-Revere HealthCare Center, and served on the faculty of Harvard Medical School precepting residents and students in the clinic and on the wards, as Unit Chief of Adult Medicine, and as Director of Public Health for the city of Revere. 

Additionally, the College would like to recognize Dr. Mariscalco’s commitment to the service of our students, faculty, and staff at the College of Medicine in Urbana since her arrival in March 2014. Her achievements in Urbana include the development of a Simulation Center; the growth of a team of Information Technology staff; the hiring of new clinical and basic science faculty; increasing opportunities for inter-professional education with partners in nursing and social work; and enhancing educational-focused priorities such as refocusing M1 and M2 course expected competencies, implicit bias training for students, faculty and staff, and training in the areas of diversity, inclusivity and the social determinants of health. Through the engagement of new leaders and strategic planning, student satisfaction with their education and NBME pass rates in Step I, Step II CK, and Step II CS are all improving.  Furthermore, in response to community needs, Dr. Mariscalco also organized an ACGME approved psychiatry residency program within two years of her arrival in Urbana alongside health system partners including Carle Foundation Health System, Presence Covenant Health System, and the VA Illiana Health Care System.

Dr. Mariscalco has played an important role in the restructuring and consolidation of the College of Medicine’s campuses from four to three. In concert with colleagues in Urbana, she has helped create well-formulated plans for the students based upon their educational and career goals. During this process the needs of the students have always been her top priority. She has also worked closely with leadership at the Urbana campus and UIC to begin the transition plans for each faculty and staff member during this consolidation.

Finally, Dr. Mariscalco has always led by example. As a lifelong learner, she completed the Clinician Executive Maters in Healthcare Administration (CEMHA) in December 2016. During this period she also remained active academically as a senior editor for the journal Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, a grant reviewer at the NIH, and national faculty for the Pediatric Critical Care and Trauma Scientist Program.

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