Urbana, IL – Educators from Carle Illinois College of Medicine and Knox College in Galesburg are teaming up to create free teaching tools to help future health care workers across the globe learn about women’s health issues.

The multidisciplinary team – led by Carle Illinois College of Medicine Assistant Professor Dr. Samar Hegazy – will create a suite of open-source teaching materials that pull together the latest scientific information on the female reproductive system and women’s health. “These resources will serve as a hub for learning about the conditions affecting the female reproductive system and women’s health throughout the lifespan from different perspectives, including anatomy, physiology, pathology, gynecology, obstetrics, social determinants of health, preventive medicine, and medical humanities,” Hegazy said.

Hegazy says a shortage of anatomy donors, especially those with intact female reproductive organs, makes it difficult to allow students to learn with real human anatomy. This grant provides the tools to produce 3-D printed models that provide a richer, higher fidelity method for students to learn about both normal anatomy and pathologies that affect women.

The new materials will bolster the curricula at Carle Illinois College of Medicine and Knox College, with the potential for broader impact in training health care professionals at all levels. “The Female Reproductive System and Women’s Health Through a Multidisciplinary Lens,” will include text, diagrams, videos (with subtitles), 3D printed models for teaching, and interactive assignments. “The materials can be adopted in medical colleges curricula (undergraduate and postgraduate residency training) and college-level STEM courses,” Hegazy said.

As an Open Educational Resource, the collection will be accessible online to anyone for free, through Open Illinois hosted by the Consortium for Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI). CARLI originally received $1.08 million from the U.S. Department of Education’s Open Textbooks Pilot Program under the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE) for Illinois SCOERs (Support for Creation of Open Educational Resources). Through Illinois SCOERs, this project and eight others were awarded subgrants to create access to open textbooks and personalized learning tools for courses in high-demand related to the theme of The Human Condition: Care, Development, and Lifespan. In May, the Consortium (CARLI) was notified it will receive an additional $1 million and will be conducting a second round of subgrants.

3-D printing equipment will allow a multi-disciplinary team to create models that help students learn about the female reproductive system. Team members and administrators from Carle Illinois College of Medicine received the new equipment from on July 25, 2022. Front row L-R: Ann Fredricksen, Samar Hegazy, Janet Sinn-Hanlon, Peg Burnette, Wessam Ibrahim
Back row L-R: Carle Illinois College of Medicine Dean Mark Cohen, Olivia Coiado, Margaret Chambers (Consortium for Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois), Sol Roberts-Lieb, George Mejicano, Carle Illinois College of Medicine Assoc. Dean for Academic Affairs


The Carle Illinois College of Medicine/Knox College team will use the $60,000 in grant funds to create 3-D printed models that can be used in simulations and teaching, to help students with different learning styles and at different educational levels understand how the female reproductive system works. “The flexible instructional design makes it feasible for educators to adapt and adopt into their own courses whatever content aligns with their curriculum goals and objectives,” explained subgrant coordinator Peg Burnette, Medical & Biomedicine Librarian at the University Library at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Team members include Dr. Samar Hegazy (Assistant Professor, Carle Illinois College of Medicine, Pathology Core Discipline lead, Subgrant Principal Investigator and subject matter specialist), Peg Burnette,  (Associate Professor, University Library & Biomedical & Translational Sciences; Subgrant Coordinator and librarian), Dr. Wessam Ibrahim (Assistant Professor, Carle Illinois College of Medicine; subject matter specialist), Olivia Coiado, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, Carle Illinois College of Medicine and Bioengineering; subject matter specialist), Professor Judith Thorn (Associate Dean for Curriculum and Assessment and Professor of Biology at Knox College; subject matter specialist), Imanni Sheppard, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, Co-Director of the Bioethics and Medical Humanities Thread), Dr. Valerie Jennings (OB Hospitalist, Program Director, Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency, Carle Health, Carle Illinois College of Medicine), Sol Roberts-Lieb, Ed.D. (Teaching Assistant Professor, Carle Illinois College of Medicine; 3D-printing coordinator), Janet Sinn-Hanlon (Medical Illustrator, 3D Modeler, University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine, iLearning), Sara Benson (Associate Professor, Scholarly Communication and Publishing, University Library; copyright coordinator), Emily Forbes (Instructional Designer, Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning, UIUC), Ann Fredricksen (Disability Specialist Coordinator of Accessible Media Services; accessibility coordinator), and Michael Joseph (Assistant Librarian for Research and Instruction, Knox College; proofreader).

July 27, 2022