Rush Honors Group for Role in Disability Education

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

November 16, 2016

An extraordinary group of volunteers were honored in October for the invaluable education they have provided Rush Medical College students and Rush family medicine residents for more than 15 years.

Larry Biondi, Gloria Nichols, Tim Sullivan and the late Barbara Wesolek, the recipients of Rush’s 2016 Eugene J-M.A. Thonar, PhD Award, have committed themselves to educating tomorrow’s health care professionals about the personal struggles of people with disabilities.

“The most important thing that people need to understand about folks with disabilities is that we’re just like you,” says Sullivan.

This year’s honorees have crafted learning experiences grounded in disability culture, including home visits, simulated patient encounters, small group sessions and panel discussions to affect generations of Rush students and residents. They are all members of ADAPT, a national grassroots organization that organizes disability rights activists to engage in civil action to assure people with disabilities live in freedom.

The Thonar award is given each year to a person who has made outstanding contributions to the Rush community and enabled the institution to further its commitment of offering opportunities to individuals who are determined to turn a disability into a possibility.