Cook County Commissioner Monica Gordon Honors Dr. LaMenta ‘Sweetie’ Conway as 5th District ‘Unsung Heroine’

Cook County Commissioner Monica Gordon Honors Dr. LaMenta "Sweetie" Conway as 5th District 'Unsung Heroine'
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Cook County Commissioner Monica Gordon Honors Dr. LaMenta ‘Sweetie’ Conway as 5th District ‘Unsung Heroine’ (Cook County, IL) — Women’s History Month is a time to recognize the many women who make contributions to society, past and present. In Cook County, they are called “unsung heroines.”

Every year, 18 women–one from each district of Cook County and one countywide–are given the Peggy A. Montes Unsung Heroine Award to highlight “the powerful impact women have had throughout history on the development of our social, cultural, economic and political institutions.”

One of this year’s recipients is Dr. LaMenta “Sweetie” Conway, who was trained in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Illinois. Practicing medicine for over 25 years, most of her career was spent training doctors at some of the top teaching hospitals in the Midwest. Currently, Dr. Conway is the deputy chief of medicine for the Illinois Department of Corrections, where she and her team are responsible for the medical care of more than 30,000 inmates in the state’s prison system.

Dr. Conway who suffered through the shootings and murder of two teenage cousins, six months apart, started the I Am Abel Foundation as a way to inspire and mentor the next generation of doctors. The foundation touches the lives of more than 1,000 students each year through camps and conferences. In the past two years, 15 students have started on career paths in medicine. This year, the foundation saw its students receive the highest number of acceptances from the nation’s top 10 medical schools since the program started.

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“There are so many extraordinary women doing extraordinary things throughout Cook County,” said Commissioner Gordon. “Women’s History Month is a perfect opportunity to showcase their accomplishments.”

Dr. Conway’s nickname, “Sweetie,” was given to her as a child and has followed her throughout her career. Most of her pre-med mentees affectionately call her “Dr. Sweetie.”

Peggy A. Montes served as chairperson of the Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues. A champion of women’s issues and rights, she was the driving force behind the very first Unsung Heroine Award for the women of Cook County, which bears her name since March 16, 2010.

Cook County Commissioner Monica Gordon Honors Dr. LaMenta ‘Sweetie’ Conway as 5th District ‘Unsung Heroine’

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