Jain’s career comes full circle

Shikha Jain
Shikha Jain

By Sam Hostettler

Shikha Jain is back where she began.

Following completion of a three-year residency in internal medicine at the University of Illinois Hospital nearly 10 years ago, Jain left to complete her hematology and oncology fellowship and treat patients at several other medical centers. She has now returned, having been named assistant professor of hematology/oncology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

Jain most recently served as assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Cell Therapy at Rush University Cancer Center, where she also was physician director of media and communications.

“As a medicine resident at UIC, I was trained by some of the most hard-working, passionate and brilliant physicians I have ever met,” said Jain, who also will serve as director of communication strategies in medicine and associate director of oncology communication and digital innovation. “My time in training at UIC helped make me into the physician I am today, and it’s where I realized hematology/oncology was the right specialty for me. I am incredibly excited to be coming back to where my professional career began, and work with the dedicated faculty and staff at UIC to give back to the communities that are most in need.”

In her new role, Jain will utilize digital innovation and communication strategies to address health care disparities and improve access to care, as well as optimize communication to UI Health’s patient populations.

“We will work to find new ways to deliver high-quality care to our most vulnerable populations and work towards fixing the disparities we see amongst our patient populations,” said Jain, who also will be a member of the University of Illinois Cancer Center.

A board-certified hematology and oncology physician specializing in cancers of the intestinal tract with a special interest in neuroendocrine tumors, Jain created the neuroendocrine tumor board at Rush and completely revamped the health system’s neuroendocrine program, moving it from an inpatient to an outpatient setting. Along with neuroendocrine tumors, her research interests include immunotherapy, colorectal and pancreatic cancers, hepatocellular carcinoma advances in cancer therapy, and the impact of social media and healthcare.

In 2019, Jain was named one of Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Emerging Leaders, a group of health care providers, researchers and executives under the age of 40 who have made significant contributions in the areas of health care administration, management or policy early in their careers. This year, Jain was appointed to the 2020 American Society for Clinical Oncology Women’s Networking Center taskforce, and appointed to the Council on Communications and Membership Advocacy and the COVID-19 advisory group for the Illinois State Medical Society. She also is a co-founder and chief operating officer of IMPACT, a COVID19 action and advocacy group.

Prior to her tenure at Rush, Jain had appointments at Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Lurie Cancer Center and at Whakatane Hospital, Whakatane, New Zealand. A native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Jain received a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences from the University of Chicago. She performed postgraduate work at Drexel University’s Interdepartmental Medical Sciences Program and received a medical degree from Michigan State University.

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