Dr. Everett Vokes honored three faculty from the Section of Infectious Diseases & Global Health (IDGH) with the Distinguished Service Award for their outstanding work and dedication to the Department’s tripartite mission, but in particular their extraordinary efforts and leadership during the COVID crisis. Drs. David Pitrak, Kathleen Mullane, and Emily Landon were announced as the recipients of the award at a virtual award ceremony on September 15, 2020.
David Pitrak, MD, Professor of Medicine has served the Department as chief of the Section of IDGH since 2002 and is responsible for its amazing growth to currently 17 faculty. He continued his remarkable work during the during the COVID-19 pandemic in leading the section while continuing to maintain its 4 outstanding consult services to ensure optimal and timely management of patients with serious infectious disease. As a clinician, he has managed his patients ( HIV) with incredible care and compassion. As a mentor, Dr. Pitrak has mentored innumerable students, residents and fellows. With his guidance and support many have achieved positions from high levels of governmental epidemiology to large and small academic institutions across the country. He has always encouraged his fellows to pick their own path and has supported them in launching their careers.
Dr. Pitrak is very dedicated to his patients and to his mentees. For that, he has acquired a long line of Infectious Diseases physicians who carry on his example of aiming to be the triple threat: being outstanding and empathetic clinicians, educators and researchers.
Kate Mullane, DO, Professor of Medicine is an outstanding clinical investigator who focuses her efforts on clinical trials development and execution. The Department of Medicine and the institution as a whole have been very fortunate to have a clinical trials expert of Dr. Mullane’s stature when the SARS COVID-19 pandemic emerged. She was tasked with designing, implementing, and executing clinical trials for investigational antivirals and other novel therapies. Remdesivir was clearly in her sights. She and her team have worked tirelessly, individually screening every patient admitted and enrolling as many eligible patients as possible. She is passionate about using clinical trials to further enhance patient care at UCM by making new therapies available to our most vulnerable patients. It is evident that through her dedication and effort that she has saved many lives with through the Remdesivir trials.
Emily Landon,MD ,Associate Professor of Medicine has served as one of the key individual on the HICS team and a key contributor to pandemic planning and implementation for the medical center. The Department of Medicine and the institution as a whole have been very fortunate to have an epidemiologist with Dr. Landon’s expertise when the COVID pandemic began. She quickly became the face of the medical center’s messaging ( and the state of Illinois ) on COVID . Her words at Governor Pritzker’s March 2020 conference in support of the stay at home order “drew praise for their clarity and sense of empowerment while still conveying the urgency of the moment” and managing expectations, reported The Washington Post. Dr. Landon’s dedication and contributions have kept us safe since March 2020.