Dr. Michael Toney is the executive Director of the Urban Health Program (UHP) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. UHP’s mission is to recruit, retain, and graduate students from traditionally underrepresented populations (specifically Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans) in the health sciences degree programs at UIC that lead to careers in healthcare. Through the efforts of UHP, UIC has graduated nearly 5,000 minority healthcare providers during the 30-year history of the program. Dr. Toney has been a major part of UHP for many of its 30 years, starting as a recruiter in the 1970s and returning as the Director of Student Programming in 2003 and then taking on leadership of the program for the past three years.
Dr. Toney’s entire career has been dedicated to serving students. He has held leadership positions in a variety of regional and national professional associations that advocate for or provide opportunities to minority students who want to pursue post-secondary education. He is currently the chairman of the Illinois Committee on Black Concerns in Higher Education (ICBCHE) and the Illinois Council for College Attendance (ICCA), co-chair of the Illinois African American and Latino Higher Education Alliance (IALHEA), and the Illinois delegate to the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education (AABHE), among others.
Hundreds of minority professionals and leaders across the state and the country will eagerly recount how it was Dr. Toney who made the difference in getting them in college or helping them get through college to earn degrees. He takes a personal interest in all students with whom he comes in contact, but he also sees the bigger picture, working with pipeline programs and other initiatives, including Urban Health’s Early Outreach Program, to make sure that traditionally underrepresented students at all grade levels are encouraged to do their best and to prepare themselves for the next step in their lifelong learning journey.
Dr. Toney has a more than 30-year affiliation with the University of Illinois system, starting as a UIC student and including stints in the Educational Assistance Program (EAP), the College of Engineering, and the Urban Health Program here at UIC and serving as Assistant Dean and Director of the Chicago satellite admissions office for UIUC. Dr. Toney has a long history with CCSB as well, having played a role in the group’s formation at UIC many years ago, and serving as its chairperson or co-chairperson several times.