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Portrait of Dr. Damon T. Arnold

May 6, 2010

SIU Med School to Graduate 68 New Physicians

Commencement exercises for the 36th graduating class of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine will be held at noon Saturday, May 22.  Sixty-eight physicians and six graduate students are receiving degrees.  The ceremony is held in the Sangamon Auditorium at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

The commencement speaker is Dr. Damon T. Arnold, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the agency responsible for prevention and control of disease and injury in the state.  Arnold was named IDPH’s 16th director in October 2007.  He previously was the medical director for bioterrorism and preparedness for the Chicago Department of Public Health. [Note: Dr. Arnold was unable to speak due to a death in the family.]

Arnold has served in the Army National Guard for 23 years, holds the rank of colonel and, currently, is the guard’s commander of the Joint Task Force Medical Command in Springfield and the Illinois State Surgeon.  He received his medical and master’s of public health degrees from the University of Illinois and has completed law courses at DePaul University College of Law.

During the ceremony, Sumer Allensworth, class chair from Hamilton, will deliver remarks on behalf of the graduates.  Dr. J. Kevin Dorsey, Ph.D., dean and provost, will award diplomas to the medical students.  SIUC Chancellor Samuel Goldman, Ph.D., will confer the degrees.

The new SIU physicians will begin residency training in their chosen specialty fields in July.  Established in 1970, SIU School of Medicine is this year celebrating the 40th anniversary of its founding.  Based in Carbondale and Springfield, the medical school is specifically oriented to educating new physicians prepared to practice in Illinois communities.  Since 1975, 2,268 physicians, plus the 2010 graduates, have earned SIU medical degrees.  The medical school’s Web site is www.siumed.edu.

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