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Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10

Two are better than one...If either one of them falls down, one can help the other up.

Urban Bridges Medical Mentoring Program, Student Coordinator
I AM ABEL FOUNDATION, Executive Administrative Assistant

Born and raised in Holly Springs, MS, Magnolia Oliver studied Secretarial 
Science at Rust College.   After moving to Aurora, IL, Magnolia studied Business Administration at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois.  Magnolia has been an Executive Assistant for more than 10-years where being highly organized, detail-oriented and a strong collaborator and office manager has allowed her to perform successfully for executives in the profit and non-profit sectors.  The Lord inspired Magnolia to organize and serve as the Chairperson for the Main Baptist Church Little Sister/Big Sister Conference which focuses on mentoring young girls.

Since 1989, Magnolia has fulfilled her call to global mission by serving as a Missionary in several African countries including Zimbabwe, Kenya and Nigeria. Also, to Moldova, Puerto Rico and Jamaica. 


She has also served with Uncommon Woman Ministry, Inc. (UWM, Inc.) and Singles Pleasing the Lord and Saving People’s Lives Ministries (SPL).

Essentially, Magnolia is the center piece of the foundation and keeps students, their parents and mentors well connected and informed. The foundation looks forward too many wonderful years together with Magnolia as our unofficial “Mentoring Mom.”


Magnolia seeks to be a blessing to everyone she meets.  She uses her personal talents through creating “Fresh Touch” floral arrangements and her talent for creating wonderful baked goods to provide encouragement and comfort to others.

Urban Bridges Mentoring Program
Director, "Heart Smart" Introduction to Physical Exam Curriculum

We are pleased to welcome I AM ABEL FOUNDATION Physician Mentor, Dr. Ike S. Okwuosa, MD to our leadership team!   Dr. Okwuosa is a cardiologist at Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, where he specializes in advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology.   He received his MD from Georgetown University School of Medicine. His internship and residency were both completed at Northwestern University. He went on to The Johns Hopkins Hospital where he completed his general cardiology and advanced heart failure/cardiac transplant fellowships.

He is a member of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA), and the American College of Physicians (ACP).

Dr. Okwuosa’s clinical research interests are in heart failure, cardiac sarcoidosis, and cardiac amyloidosis. He has published works examining the impact of depression in cardiovascular disease and disparities in cardiovascular disease.
Practice philosophy: “I believe that the patient and doctor are a team. As the physician, my role is to identify the goals of my patients and to deliver the best care possible and I look forward to working closely with my patients and their families in achieving their set goals.”
Dr Ike Okwuosa
Executive Producer and Host, Medicine Makers 
I Am Abel Foundation is pleased to welcome Dr Rene Roberts who will join the team of Medicine Makers beginning Season 3 as its Executive Producer and one of the main hosts.  She is a natural in front of and behind the camera and will surely bring an infusion of energy, fun and lively conversation to inspire our future physicians as well as our listening audience.  

Dr. Rene´ Roberts, aka Dr Rene´, MD, is a board-certified Family Medicine physician, speaker and former competitive figure skater.  Since 2016 she has been a physician mentor with the I Am Abel Foundation and enjoys working with high school, college and post-baccalaureate students pursuing their dreams of becoming a medical doctor.   She has recently joined the foundation as a board member as well. 

After her competitive figure skating career concluded, Dr. Rene began to pursue her passion for medicine full time.  She completed her medical degree at Indiana University School of Medicine and her residency at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chicago.  When she is not caring for her own patients, you will probably find Dr. Rene traveling the globe serving on medical missions including trips to Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Africa, and Moldova.  In her free time Dr. Rene enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling and staying active by running, figure skating recreationally and walking her dog. 
International Studies and Missions Abroad
Medical Director

Born and raised in Chicago's south suburbs, Joy Elion, MD knew from an early age that she was born to become a physician.  What she didn't know, however, is that her love for taking care of children as a pediatrician, would usher her into her true passion to serve globally by promoting the health and well being of children worldwide.  Joy received her Bachelor's of Arts in Microbiology from Miami University in Oxford, OH in 2001 before earning her medical degree from University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine in 2005.  She completed her pediatric residency at Northwestern's Children's Memorial Hospital in 2008.


After residency Dr. Elion worked as a pediatric hospitalist at Ingall's Memorial Hospital and later joined a private practice in Harvey, IL.  She later served the underserved communities of Chicago's south side in a federally qualified health center.   Throughout residency and her professional career, the need and love to serve our poorest and most vulnerable has never been far from Dr. Elion's heart.  Her medical missions have included Tanzania, Kenya, Jordan and countless others.  She has traveled to Haiti 7 times already and is heading back soon.  

In early 2016, Dr. Elion allowed her passion to guide her and she left her work in Chicago to follow her passion full-time.  In the year to come, Dr. Elion will spend considerable time "on the ground" in Haiti.  It is an honor to have her bring her wealth of experience to the I AM ABEL FOUNDATION as Medical Director for International Studies.   Working closely with our International Director of Studies Abroad and our local and world partners, she will help develop outstanding scholarly programming for our International Medical Scholars Programs and will help coordinate our service efforts abroad for medical missions.   She has devoted her life to self-less service and will help I AM ABEL FOUNDATION Scholars identify their pathway which will hopefully include some service on an international scale.  Dr. Elion remains an outstanding and living example that "when you've been blessed there is but one thing left to do and that is to "pass it on."
100 Hearts, Director, CPR Instructor
"In The News" Correspondent
Corey is currently a student at Rosalind Franklin University of medicine and Science and is pursuing his medical doctorate. He was raised primarily in the Chicagoland area and spent time living in Indianapolis and Lafayette, Indiana as well. Going into college he achieved all-state honors for track, and was also awarded several scholarships to run at Division 1 schools. 
 Instead of sports, he went to Purdue University on a nearly full academic scholarship. He is fluent in Spanish and also speaks some French Creole and is tackling Polish as well.  Corey is the lead spanish CPR instructor and plays the role of co-host and producer of the show Medicine Makers. After losing a cousin to southside gun violence and another to paralysis after gun shot injury to spinal cord, Corey knows all too well the importance of promoting life conscientiousness to our inner city youth.  
Urban Bridges Medical Mentoring Program Coordinator,
Academic Advising
Patricia is a native of the Lawndale are of Chicago's Westside.
Patricia dedicated over 30 years of service to the Department of Veterans Affairs, holding several medical administrative positions; including secretary for the radiology department, secretary to the chief of staff and executive administrative assistant to the performance improvement department. She retired in 2009.  
Pat  received her Child Care Certification with honors from Ashworth College in Norcross, Georgia in 2011 and  is  the founder and owner of A Ram in the Bush In-home Child Care Service in Broadview, Illinois.
Pat’s love of music has allowed her to be a faithful, long time member of the Neighborhood United Methodist Church choir,  Voices of Praise, in Maywood, Illinois and she has served as choir secretary for 15 years.  Her hobbies include computer technology and studying Spanish.
An invaluable resource for the I AM ABEL Foundation. Pat’s responsibilities include but are not limited to, timekeeping, supply inventory, maintaining budgeting spreadsheets; assisting in managing the physician mentors/foundation mentees advising schedules; planning and coordinating CPR training schedules in both English and Spanish with the support of 5 busy premed school instructors; creating and managing on-line training classes; marketing private CPR training sessions for facilities such as daycare centers and providing free CPR training sessions offered to Chicago high schools students. 
Pamela Meadows , staff and partners
Urban Bridges Medical Mentoring Program,
Pre-Med Student Advisor

Pamela A. Meadows, MEd serves as the Assistant Director of Recruitment and Retention for the College of Education. With 30 years in higher education administration, she has expertise in academic advising and career development from various educational institutions, including the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA), Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago. Prior to this role, Pamela held the multiple positions in the University of Illinois College of Medicine Urban Health Program office (COM-UHP), advising premedical and medical students. Pamela received her BA from Grinnell College, and her MEd from UIC College of Education.

Advising Philosophy, Style | “Straight No Chaser”

In the realm of advising and counseling students, my methods involve compassion, empathy, and personal support. I guide advisees towards greater self-awareness of themselves as life-long learners, so they may pursue their aspirations with confidence. My goal is to have students not only see but claim their greatness within that I see in them.  Advisees have described my advising style as “real, raw, and encouraging.”  I will tell students #facts and frame that information for advisees to navigate through their journey successfully.   I believe strongly in developing students to be accountable, enlightened, empowered individuals, doing the “good hard work” to achieve their goals.  Let’s GO!

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