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URBANA, Ill. – University of Illinois President Tim Killeen on Monday honored 28 key leaders of the system’s COVID-19 response with the Presidential Medallion. The medallion is the highest honor that the system president can bestow.

In a ceremony at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) attended by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Killeen honored leaders behind the development of the SHIELD test-and-trace system and subsequent organizations created to expand its use beyond the system’s universities. Also honored were the leaders of clinical trials for vaccines at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), the first conducted in Chicago, and a mass-vaccination effort at UIC that has inoculated hospital staff and patients, students, faculty and, so far, tens of thousands of members of the public.