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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



Pritzker administration awards nearly $95M to equity-focused healthcare
--From a press release

This article shared 819 times since Thu Jul 1, 2021
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SPRINGFIELD — Governor JB Pritzker today announced $94.3 million will be awarded in the state's inaugural round of Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives funding. The Department of Healthcare and Family Services will administer the awards to eight innovative partnerships across the state with the goal of reorienting healthcare in Illinois to reduce healthcare inequities, improve health outcomes, address social determinants of health, and remedy persistent difficulty for underserved communities to access quality healthcare.

The missions of funded programs include improving healthcare access and outcomes on Chicago's South Side, realigning healthcare delivery and improving quality of life across Metro East, expanding culturally responsive healthcare on Chicago's West Side, and improving mental and physical healthcare and substance use disorder treatment across Southern Illinois. Additional funding opportunities may be available in the coming months. For more information on all funded partnerships please see below or visit

"This pandemic exacerbated inequities in the healthcare system that existed long before there was a COVID-19, and the Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives are a key asset in the fight to build a better normal for all Illinois residents," said Governor JB Pritzker. "These funds allow some of our most distressed communities to decide exactly what they need — and how to get there — when it comes to whole health. Healthcare is a right for all people, and I'm proud that these partnerships will take us one step closer to truly honoring that right as a state."

After Gov. Pritzker signed the historic, equity-driven healthcare and hospital transformation plan, the eight awardees demonstrated how they plan to bridge gaps in the delivery of healthcare and increase access to community-based services in areas of the state that could benefit from new innovative approaches. With support from federal matching funds, Illinois may invest up to $150 million annually. The administration anticipates announcing an additional round of awards in the fall.

"When we launched this initiative, our goal was to use our investments to stimulate innovative approaches that reimagine the way our investments could help improve people's lives," Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Theresa Eagleson said. "The collaboratives receiving funding in this first round demonstrated real, innovative visions and presented solutions that also address social determinants of health which heavily impact health outcomes. The best part is, we're just getting started. We are continuing to evaluate submissions from this spring and are looking forward to receiving more applications for the next awards cycle."

HFS set several priorities in making these awards. Prioritization was given to collaborations that included safety net hospitals, critical access hospitals, as well as to those that included minority and women owned business participation and community-based organizations majorly governed and managed by minorities. Projects that improve specialty care or develop workforce in underserved communities were also prioritized. In this awards round, every successful application includes a safety-net hospital or critical access hospital.

Additional priority was given to proposals to fill healthcare gaps in Illinois communities that are high on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's social vulnerability index. Many of these partnerships will target underlying health conditions in communities that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

"Transformation will help hospitals and community organizations partner to eliminate health disparities across Illinois," said Majority Leader Greg Harris (D-Chicago). "We can use these new models to help us reimagine healthcare delivery for currently underserved populations."

"As we continue to fight through COVID-19 across the state, making sure that the most vulnerable populations in my District have access to quality healthcare is a priority. We know the statistics regarding the inequities and systemic racism within the healthcare system and how this has impacted Black Illinoisans who have been shown to be disproportionately affected by the hardships of not only the pandemic, but from a lack of access and the availability of adequate healthcare. I thank the Governor and I am excited to know that Touchette Hospital will be working to provide the necessary preventative care and outreach for our community," said Rep. Latoya Greenwood (D-East St.Louis).

Funding for this round of awards was provided in the state's FY21 budget.

The eight awardees that comprise the first round of funding are:

Chicago North Side Collaborative: A proposal to mitigate barriers to specialty care and increase health equity among the communities it serves. Submission details

Participating Entities:

Swedish Hospital

Erie Family Health Centers

Heartland Health Centers

Hamdard Healthcare

Asian Human Services Family Health Center

Howard Brown Health

Medical Express Ambulance Service, Inc. d/b/a MedEX Ambulance Service

Collaborative Bridges: A plan to improve behavioral health and other health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs by creating an unprecedented continuity of care between hospital and community. Submission details

Participating Entities:

Community Counseling Centers of Chicago

Habilitative Services, Inc.

Humboldt Park Health

Hartgrove Hospital (UHS)

The Loretto Hospital

East St. Louis Health Transformation Partnership: A proposal to affect large scale realignment of the health delivery system and improve the life circumstances of those living in the East St. Louis Metro Area. Submission details

Participating Entities:

Touchette Regional Hospital

SIHF Healthcare

SIU School of Medicine

Hoyleton Youth and Family Services


Memorial Medical Group

ConferMed Weitzman Institute

Washington University

Comprehensive Behavioral Health Center

Zade, Inc

Integrated Hub: A collaborative to enhance quality of care for adult Medicaid beneficiaries with behavioral health, substance use disorder, and physical health needs. Submission details

Participating Entities:

Egyptian Health Department

Eldorado Rural Health Clinic

Gallatin County Wellness Center

Harrisburg Medical Center

Ferrell Hospital

Southern Illinois Healthcare

Fairfield Memorial Hospital

SIU Multicultural Center

The Prison Emergency Early Release Response (PEERR) Network: A model approach to care coordination and social determinants of health for men and women released from incarceration returning to Cook County. Submission details

Participating Entities:

Safer Foundation

Heartland Alliance Health

Cook County Health

Healthcare Alternative Systems, Inc. (HAS)

KAM Alliance

Transforming Reentry Services/MWPM

Get To Work Illinois

Smart Policy Works

Legal Council for Health Justice

South Side Healthy Community Organization: A collaborative dedicated to fundamentally advancing healthcare access, including to specialty and obstetrics care, and improving health outcomes for Chicago's South Side residents. Submission details

Participating Entities:

St. Bernard Hospital

Advocate Aurora Healthcare

Beloved Community Family Wellness Center

Chicago Family Health Center

Christian Community Health Center

Friend Family Health

Jackson Park Hospital and Medical Center

Near North Health

Roseland Hospital

St. Bernard Hospital

Sinai Chicago

South Shore Hospital Corporation

TCA Health

The University of Chicago Health System

TARGET Health: A collaboration with culturally and linguistically competent approach to improve access to a wide range of healthcare services and improve the health and wellness of individuals in two communities. Submission details

Participating Entities:

UI Health Physician Group (UIPG)

Mile Square Health Center

Alivio Medical Center Primary

University of Illinois College of Applied Sciences Depts of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Nutrition

West Side Health Equity Collaborative: A plan to increase convenient access to culturally responsive healthcare, supporting the unique and changing socio-economic needs of individuals and families. Submission details

Participating Entities:

Access Community Health Network

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Bobby E. Wright Comprehensive Behavioral Health Center, Inc

Cook County Health

Habilitative Systems, Inc

Humboldt Park Health

The Loretto Hospital

Medical Home Network

Rush University Medical Center

Sinai Chicago

West Side United

Two additional collaboratives have been advanced for further consideration and potential funding:

Medicaid Innovation Collaborative: A collaborative coordinating complex, novel strategies that incorporate innovation, analytics, and new digital technologies to improve quality and access to care.

The New Roseland Hospital Transformation Proposal: An initiative featuring strategies and initiatives that will provide the most positive impact on its community, in terms of health, wellness, access and equity.

For more information about Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives and to learn more about applying for future funding rounds, visit

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