Littlejohn Awards Presented for Downers Grove Campus

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May 25, 2018 | Downers Grove, IL

Recipients of the 2018 Littlejohn Awards on the Downers Grove Campus are (from left): Dr. Donna Cech, Dr. Kurt Heinking, and Eva Gairabetoff.

Midwestern University bestowed its highest honor - the Littlejohn Award - upon three deserving individuals who represent members of the University's faculty, staff, and alumni. The Littlejohn Awards are presented each year on both campuses in recognition of service and commitment to Midwestern University.

The 2018 Littlejohn recipients for the Downers Grove Campus are alumnus Kurt Heinking, D.O., FAAO, a 1994 graduate of the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine; faculty member Donna Cech, PT, D.H.S., PCS, Program Director, Physical Therapy; and staff member Eva Gairabetoff, B.A., Executive Assistant, University Administration. 

Dr. Heinking is the current Chair and a Professor of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine at Midwestern University's Downers Grove Campus. In this role, he teaches and mentors medical students, provides patient care at the Midwestern University Multispecialty Clinic, and conducts a variety of research projects related to osteopathic manipulative medicine. Dr. Heinking joined the University in 1998 and has published several textbook chapters and research articles in addition to lecturing nationally and internationally. Dr. Heinking is a fully-licensed and board-certified physician with nearly 20 years of private practice experience.

As Program Director and Professor of the Physical Therapy program, Dr. Cech teaches life-span development and pediatric physical therapy courses. Dr. Cech's research focuses on pediatric PT services, standardized assessment, and development of clinical decision-making skills in healthcare professionals. She is the co-author of the book Functional Movement Development Across the Life Span. After 23 years at Midwestern University, Dr. Cech will retire this summer and continue with disability service work in Ecuador, including the launch of a new Physical Therapy degree program at the University of Milagro (UNEMI).

Ms. Gairabetoff began her career at Midwestern University in 1996 and will retire this summer from the University. As an Executive Assistant, she provides administrative support to the Office of the President and is responsible for performing detailed work with a high level of expertise and professionalism. In addition, Ms. Gairabetoff assists the President of the University on several projects and important communications with the University faculty and staff.

The Littlejohn Awards are named after three brothers - John Martin, James Buchanan, and David Littlejohn -  who, in 1900, established the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, Midwestern University's founding college. The awards have been presented annually since 2000 by Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Midwestern University. New inductees into the Littlejohn Society are honored at the annual faculty and staff recognition dinner and are selected for their outstanding service to the community, the health professions, and the University.