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55th & Pulaski Health Collaborative Ribbon Cutting

Health Collaborative leadership cutting a large red ribbon in front of the facility

Bringing Health Equity to Chicago’s Southwest Side

UI Health formally inaugurated the 55th & Pulaski Health Collaborative with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, May 20, 2022. Participating in the celebration were key stakeholders and dignitaries from UI Health, the community, and state and local government, including Illinois Lt. Governor Julianna Stratton and the Assistant Director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS). The Health Collaborative is the first of many Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives funded by HFS last year.

In September of 2021, UIC purchased and began renovating a former clinical facility, and in February of 2022 the 55th & Pulaski Health Collaborative welcomed its first patients. The collaborative promotes health equity in Chicago's Gage Park and West Elsdon communities by providing comprehensive specialty healthcare services, and by addressing social and structural determinants of health.

The project was spearheaded by physician leadership at UIC's College of Medicine, and brings together seven community partners, including three federally qualified health centers: Alivio Medical Center, Friend Family Health Center, and UI Health Mile Square Health Center.

The collaborative also includes the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences, which provides physical therapy, occupational therapy and nutrition services, and the UIC Office of Community Engagement and Neighborhood Health Partnerships, which supports community engagement and oversees an integrated care coordination model to help address social determinants of health.

“There are so many people to thank for making this a reality, and what this partnership has achieved is truly remarkable,” said Dr. Robert A. Barish, UIC Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs. “The Health Collaborative is innovative and impactful because of the range of expertise that has been brought together. To thrive, community members need healthy homes and a diverse and culturally competent set of experts delivering comprehensive care, and that’s exactly what the 55th & Pulaski Health Collaborative delivers.”

Learn More: Services at the Health Collaborative

Photos from the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Heading link

  1. Sebastian Ortiz/UIC
    Attendees, including Nancy Tartt from the Office of Community Engagement & Neighborhood Health Partnerships, were excited to celebrate alongside community partners.
  2. Sebastian Ortiz/UIC
    Speakers: Dr. Mark Rosenblatt, Executive Dean, College of Medicine; Jenny Aguirre, Asst. Director, Illinois Dept. of Healthcare and Family Services; and Dr. Robert A. Barish, UIC Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs.
  3. Sebastian Ortiz/UIC
    Speakers: Verneda Bachus, CEO of Friend Health; Shane Phillips, Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, UIC College of Applied Health Sciences; and Heather M. Prendergast, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, College of Medicine.
  4. Sebastian Ortiz/UIC
    Speakers: Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar, Illinois State Representative, 22nd District; Silvana Tabares, Alderman for Chicago's 23rd Ward; and Alma Anaya, Cook County Commissioner.
  5. Sebastian Ortiz/UIC
    Speakers and other stakeholders cutting the ribbon to formally inaugurate the Health Collaborative. Left to right: Sandi McCullough, Nancy Tartt, Pilar Carmona, Commissioner Alma Anaya, Shane Phillips, HFS Assistant Director Jenny Aguirre, Rep. Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar, Dr. Heather Prendergast, Dr. Jorge Cavero, Alderwoman Silvana Tabares, Dr. Mark Rosenblatt, Dr. Robert Barish, HFS Deputy Director Kim McCullough and Friend Health CEO Verneda Bachus.

About the 55th & Pulaski Health Collaborative Heading link

Speakers at the Ribbon Cutting Heading link

00:00 – Dr. Mark Rosenblatt, Executive Dean, College of Medicine
03:40 – Video presentation about the 55th & Pulaski Health Collaborative
09:35 – Jenny Aguirre, Asst. Director, Illinois Dept. of Healthcare and Family Services
13:08 – Dr. Robert A. Barish, UIC Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs
15:27 – Verneda Bachus, CEO of Friend Health
17:24 – Shane Phillips, Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, UIC College of Applied Health Sciences
19:02 – Heather M. Prendergast, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, College of Medicine
22:40 – Illinois Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton
24:39 – Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar, Illinois State Representative, 22nd District
27:38 – Silvana Tabares, Alderman for Chicago’s 23rd Ward
29:07 – Alma Anaya, Cook County Commissioner
31:58 – Final remarks from Dr. Mark Rosenblatt

logos of the various partner organizations

UI Health extends its gratitude to the above organizations for their partnership in making the 55th & Pulaski Health Collaborative a reality.