First visit to Peoria as U of I President

By Anna Yee

October 17, 2012 Updated Oct 17, 2012 at 6:34 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- The University of Illinois President made his first visit to Peoria on Wednesday since becoming president.

Dr. Robert Easter recognized the importance of Peoria, since it is home to multiple U of I institutions, like the U of I College of Medicine at Peoria, or UICOMP.

More than 150 medical students and 240 residents train at UICOMP each year, and the majority of them end up working in the Peoria area.

"We see this as a way that the educational programs offered by the University of Illinois as very directly serving Peoria and the region that surrounds it," said Dr. Easter.

"I think as Dean, our major accomplishments are our cancer research facility and our upcoming Jump Trading simulation education center," said Dr. Sara Rusch, the UICOMP Regional Dean, "which are two buildings that are going to create programs that I think will change health care in Peoria, across the state, and potentially across the world."

The Jump Trading Simulation and Education Center will train thousands of healthcare professionals each year and is expected to open in April on the OSF Saint Francis Medical Center campus.

UICOMP is looking to hire additional faculty at the Cancer Biology department.

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