Illinois Physicians Recognized for Outstanding Contributions

Illinois State Medical Society announces inaugural award winners in three categories

CHICAGO – The outstanding contributions and commitment of five Illinois physicians are being recognized by the Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS) during its annual meeting this weekend. The doctors are recipients of awards created to celebrate the achievements of Illinois physicians in the fields of medicine, education, advocacy and volunteering. This is the first year of the awards program and we are pleased to have received so many quality nominations.

Physician of the Year
Recognized for his extraordinary contributions as a primary care physician devoted to providing expert medical care to his patients in central Illinois, Rodney S. Alford, MD, MBA, of Watseka, is the recipient of the first-ever ISMS Physician of the Year award. Dr. Alford is also a leader in his community and has focused on providing medical care to underserved and rural areas of the state.

Physician Leader of the Year
As a doctor with strong leadership skills who goes above and beyond in service to the public and the medical profession, Amy J. Derick, MD, of Inverness, is the recipient of the inaugural ISMS Physician Leader of the Year award. Dr. Derick is the founder and CEO of Derick Dermatology, LLC, a business she started as a solo practice in 2006 that now has almost 20 locations and 450 employees. She has held numerous leadership roles with ISMS, the Illinois Dermatology Society and the Illinois State Medical Disciplinary Board.

Volunteer Physician of the Year
Three ISMS members have been recognized for their long-time volunteer activities that use innovative ways to improve public health.

Eve D. Bloomgarden, MD, an endocrinologist in NorthShore University Health Systems in Bannockburn, is chief operating officer and co-founder of the Illinois Medical Professionals Action Collaboration Team, (IMPACT), a nonprofit organization of healthcare professionals fighting medical misinformation and advocating for science-based policy solutions. She is also the current chief operating officer and chief development officer for the nonprofit Women in Medicine.  

Terri L. Dallas-Prunskis, MD, an anesthesiologist and interventional pain management specialist, is the co-founder of the Illinois Pain and Spine Institute and the Regenerative Stem Cell Institute in Elgin. She is the founder of the Let’s Move Elgin 5K/10K Race and the Heal Elgin Free Clinic. The annual two-day clinic provides free dental, medical, ophthalmologic and counseling care to hundreds of patients without insurance in the Chicago area. She has also served as a mentor to high school, college and medical school students throughout her career as a physician.  

Ashok A. Jagasia, MD, an otolaryngologist practicing at Christie Clinic in Champaign, has a long history of volunteer work and community service locally and internationally. He started a service to provide ear, nose and throat (ENT) care to homeless communities in Chicago, as well as rural counties of central Illinois and the Dominican Republic. His efforts resulted in the establishment of the Center for Underserved at Rush Medical Center ENT (CURE). 

ISMS will be recognizing physicians in these award categories every year at its annual meeting for members. These awards were created as a way to recognize and show appreciation for individual Illinois physicians for their commitment to serving their patients and community.  If you know of an Illinois physician who should be nominated for a future award, please contact

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