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

humorous monologues and speaking engagements and she serves as a Sunday School teacher for adolescent girls and boys.  She also works closely with a mentoring program at her local church.

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

Magnolia seeks to be a blessing to everyone she meets.  When not working with the students and the foundation, she uses her personal talents through creating “Fresh Touch” floral arrangements and her wonderful baked goods to provide encouragement and comfort to others.  Essentially, Magnolia is the center piece of the foundation and keeps students, their parents and mentors well connected and informed. The foundation looks forward to many wonderful years together with Magnolia as our unofficial “Mentoring Mom.”  

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. 

In addition to these areas of expertise, Magnolia has built coalitions in diverse work settings to create a positive experience for clients and associates.

Magnolia has been spreading the Gospel as a Facilitator for the “Masterlife Discipleship Series.”  She delivers the word through 

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.”
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."
Urban Bridges Medical Mentoring Program, Program Coordinator

Born and raised in Bellwood, IL, Kiara Wallace is an aspiring Pediatrician. She attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. where she obtained her Bachelors of Science in Biology and volunteered as a Student Ambassador. She also became a member of Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity and graduated Magna Cum Laude in May of 2016. Kiara has a passion for global health and humanitarian outreach.

In 2016, after returning from Argentina she became a student affiliate in the I Am Abel Foundation where she not only worked on her own goals of becoming a physician, she served as a mentor and tutor for high school students in the foundation who were looking to do the same.

She was selected by Dr. Conway to become a Redcross certified instructor of First Aid/CPR/AED and now teaches this skill to students all across the city. Her impressive academic career and history of volunteer and service earned her a full scholarship to participate in the foundationʼs six week language and medical immersion experience in Grecia, Costa Rica as an Urban Bridges International Scholar in 2017. Kiara also works for the foundation as Program Coordinator where she works closely with our new students and programs. It will be hard to see her leave us but it is for the best possible reason – Kiara will put on her own white coat as a 1st year medical student at Ross University School of Medicine.
100 Hearts, Director, CPR Instructor
"In The News" Correspondent

Corey is a recent graduate of Purdue University  in West Lafayette where he majored in Linguistics and Spanish.  He was raised primarily in the Chicagoland area and spent time living in Indianapolis 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.  While in college, he decided to focus on broadening his experiences globally and lived and studied extensively abroad.  His experiences in global medical missions served to fuel his passion for medicine and he is currently studying post baccaulaurete course as he prepares for medical school.   His is fluent in Spanish and also speaks some French and creole and is tackling Polish as well. 

He has a passion for fitness as well as enjoys the bodybuilding lifestyle.  Corey has come on board as a certified CPR Instructor and Director of the 100 Hearts Initiative.  The foundation's 100 Hearts initiative means a lot to him.  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.  He therefore truly enjoys teaching inner city students the importance of "having a heart" and is excited about the upcoming all Chicago city wide 100 Hearts Blitz where we will teach CPR to 100s of high school aged students in vulnerable populations of our city.  Corey also conducts many of our interviews when we travel abroad and even locally.  He truly "does it all."  It's a pleasure to have him on our team and we expect great things !
Urban Bridges Medical Mentoring Program Coordinator,
Academic Advising

Patricia Lutcher is the owner and founder of A Ram in the Bush, an in-home child day care service, in Broadview, IL. She is a 2011 graduate of Ashworth College in Norcross GA, where she earned an on-line Child Day Care Certification with honors.

Before starting her child day care service, Pat held several medical administration positions during her 30 year career at Edward Hines Jr., V.A. Hospital in Hines IL; including Secretary for the Department of Radiology, Secretary to the Chief of Staff and Administrative Assistant for the Performance Improvement Department until 2009, when she retired.

Patricia is a family centered woman with a strong devotion to God.  Her love of music allows her to be a faithful long time member of the Neighborhood United Methodist Church choir, The Voices of Praise,  she has served as choir secretary for the past 10 years.  Her hobbies include computer technology and studying Spanish.

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