Dr. Thembi Conner-Garcia serves as assistant professor of medicine and residency research director in the Department of Internal Medicine for the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. She has built her research career on a strong foundation in clinical medicine and has excelled as a physician scientist and educator.
Conner-Garcia has been the principal investigator for numerous clinical research studies and has presented her results at national scientific meetings. With her membership on the Institutional Review Board, she has acquired knowledge and experience that informs the ethical conduct of her own clinical trials. In addition, she has been a role model and mentor to medical students and resident physicians-in-training.
Conner-Garcia’s research is designed to ameliorate healthcare disparities for the citizens of central Illinois, a root cause of which is low health literacy. In collaboration with other investigators at the University of Illinois, she received two research awards from the National Institutes of Health to study the causes and improve the outcomes related to low health literacy. These awards have brought more than three million federal research dollars to benefit the patients of Illinois and support the hiring of additional research personnel.
Distinguished not only by her professional accomplishments, Dr. Conner-Garcia has set herself apart through her volunteer service. She chairs the committee that organizes performances of Storming the Gates, a documentary film that chronicles the struggles of African Americans, Latinos and American Indians in higher education in the state of Illinois. In addition, she served as host and facilitator for performances of the film at UICOMP and for the Tomorrow’s Scientists, Technicians and Managers program. She has also served on the Health Advisory Board for Peoria Head Start.
Conner-Garcia frequently serves as a lecturer and motivational speaker at a variety of public events. She has been a presenter and guest speaker at the Women’s Lifestyle Show, the Central Illinois Black Expo, Bethel United Methodist Church’ annual Women’s Health Conference, the Be Healthy lecture series at the City of Refuge Worship Center, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority TOTAL Summit, Martin Luther King Freedom March and Peoria Christian School.
Through her professional and volunteer commitments, Dr. Conner-Garcia addresses health disparities and promotes healthy lifestyles in the community, continually striving to make central Illinois a better place in which to live and work. iBi