50 Notable Alumni

Dr. Eric Helfer

Department of Urology, Christie Clinic, Champaign, Illinois

Classes 1992-1993

After graduating from Central High School, Eric was unsure of what career he wanted to pursue. With encouragement from his family, he took the aptitude test offered in Parkland’s Career Center and much to his surprise the test indicated he should be in a medical field.

Eric enrolled at Parkland that following spring and went on to earn his Bachelor of Science degree in 1996 and his Doctor of Medicine in 2000, both at the University of Illinois. From 2000-2006, he was at the University of Missouri for his Urology residency, and in 2008 he became a Diplomat of the American Board of Urology.

In Eric’s undergraduate studies, he was on the Dean’s List for all six semesters and a member of the Alpha Epsilon Delta – the Premedical Honor Society - serving as President in 1994-1995. He is also the founding President of the Carbondale chapter of the American Medical Association and created a student-to-student tutoring program. While in Medical school, he received academic honors in Urology, Surgery, Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Psychiatry, and Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Since 2006, Eric has been in the Department of Urology at Christie Clinic. A current member of the Christie Clinic Board of Directors, he has also served on numerous committees for Christie Clinic, Presence Hospital, and Carle Foundation Hospital. Professionally, Eric is affiliated with the American Medical Association and the American Urological Association.

Eric’s memory of Parkland is that “(It) was a great foundation for my core curriculum of pre-med before attending the University of Illinois. I had a very good understanding of biology, chemistry, and physics and the ratio of teachers to students for classes and labs allowed for attentive instruction from the faculty. Parkland was a great transition for me between high school and the University of Illinois that allowed me to mature and prepare for the UI.”