Black History Spotlight

Dr. Javette Orgain

Dr. Javette OrgainIn Javette’s early childhood and currently, she lives on the south side of Chicago. However, she was born at Cook County Hospital and has spent much of her life living, working, and going to school on the West Side of Chicago. Living in South Lawndale and K-town, attending St. Mary Catholic for her high school diploma, and the University of Illinois at Chicago for everything else. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, Doctor of Medicine degree, and Public Health degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Javette has been involved in community organizing in the ABLA homes on Racine and Roosevelt on the near West Side of Chicago. In the early 80’s, she ran a food co-op for the ABLA-CHA residents because there was no major grocery store. She wrote health articles for a community newspaper and tutored math at the local YMCA.

Javette entered UIC College of Medicine through the Medical Opportunities Program/MOP and graduated via the Urban Health Program (UHP), the program for which she now serves as assistant dean. As a medical student in the UHP, there was/is a well developed student-to-student peer support network that included the Student National Medical Association and there was/is a mentor program from physician members of the National Medical Association local society, the Cook County Physicians Association (not to be confused with Cook County Hospital).  So, it was at this level that she began an early foray into organized medicine.  Javette went on to serve as an officer/president of the Cook County Physicians Association.  She then became the 100th president of the NMA in 2000.

After graduation from medical school, she completed her residency training in family medicine at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chicago on north Lake Shore Drive.  “We were fortunate that the chair of the department felt it important that all residents be members of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). So, the department paid our membership dues and thus began my relationship with the AAFP and the state society, the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians (IAFP) in 1982.” 

In 2008, Dr. Javette Orgain made history being elected the first African-American president of the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians.  The IAFP is the organization representing family medicine in the state.  Family Physicians care for families (children, youth, and adults) in their offices, in community health centers, in hospitals, in nursing homes, and in patient homes.  They volunteer in the inner-city free clinics, rural health centers and in medical missions around the world.  Family physicians know their patients and know what must be done to make this nation healthier again.  “We are always educating ourselves to become better physicians, to practice smarter, and to help our patients take better care of themselves. We are reinventing the family medicine practice, through the patient-centered medical home, while remaining true to our mission to care for families… the entire person… from cradle to grave.”

Here at UIC Javette is currently serving as Assistant Dean for the College of Medicine Urban Health Program, Associate Professor of Clinical Family Medicine in the Department of Family Medicine and co-chair of the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Blacks.  She is a non-compromising, dynamic, beautiful African-American vital to the Chicago community that she has always served. 

 


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