September 15, 2023

Are You All In?

We are leading the fight for access.

CommunityHealth hosts the All In event series every year.

With events based in education, thought leadership, and networking, All In offers spaces for corporate partners, community leaders, industry professionals, students, and you to join the conversation.

Your voice matters.

CommunityHealth celebrates 30 Years of Care throughout 2023 and so we took All In to the next level by expanding events across the summer from May to September.

Starting with the 9th Annual All In Breakfast Summit and concluding a successful year with the 30th Anniversary Gala, each event focused on generating solutions to ensure all Chicagoans have access to the right health care, at the right time, in the right place.

As the largest volunteer-based free health clinic in the nation, serving comprehensive care to the underserved and uninsured in their native languages of English, Spanish, and Polish for 30 years, All In is an extension of CommunityHealth’s devotion to Quality Health Care For All and proves to be one of many fundamentals that make us More Than A Free Clinic.

Join the Conversation!

CommunityHealth asks you if you are All In… but what does it mean to be All In?

To more than understand but to truly be All In, we have to understand where it all started.

In 2014, the Affordable Care Act was fully implemented, shifting the focus of the health care safety net from simply securing access to enrolling people who were eligible into new health insurance options that became available.

Before 2014, when Medicaid expanded in many states and a health insurance marketplace was created, health insurance was often unavailable or unaffordable.

These circumstances previously empowered advocacy such as the Week of the Uninsured hosted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

If you did not receive health insurance through your employer prior to 2014, coverage proved prohibitively expensive to secure on your own.

And if you had a preexisting condition, you may not have been eligible to purchase insurance at all. 

The Affordable Care Act paves way for access for all.

The Affordable Care Act provided opportunities for more people to receive insurance through diverse avenues.

However, CommunityHealth recognized at the time that there remained a significant gap of people who still were not eligible for any of the insurance options.

While the health care industry was focusing primarily on enrolling newly insured people, CommunityHealth chose to shine the light on the people who were still not eligible for insurance policies by creating programming that focused on access to health care… and it all started with a white board.

Laura Starr, the then Development Manager and now current Director of External Affairs, joined the then Director of Development to brainstorm in a conference room with a wall completely made of white board.

The emphasis of the session highlighted that “we want to be the ones leading the charge on these conversations; we want to be the ones where people go.” However, the brainstorm also  balanced the fact that “we believe in collaboration and that everybody has a role to play in making that access possible.”

The two filled the entire wall with ideas of engaging events, targeted audiences, potential sources of revenue, and, most importantly, the populations that the events would advocate for.

The needs are constantly changing and so are the key players.

With an intention to expand events from just fundraisers to direct programming, CommunityHealth designed All In to continuously evolve just as access to health care continues to evolve.

Although proceeds from events always go directly to supporting programming for access, some All In events do not raise funds, as exemplified with this year’s The Next Generation of Leadership as well as Redefining Access to Health Care.

 CommunityHealth recognizes that profit stems beyond money and into education, thought leadership, and networking to build resilient communities.

The All In series launched with the first Breakfast Summit in 2015, featuring the leading health care strategist David Axelrod of President Obama’s staff and alumni of our community partner at University of Chicago.

The Breakfast Summit was hosted solely in tangent with the annual Gala until 2018 where our founder, Dr. Serafino Garella, celebrated his last event with CommunityHealth.

In the spring of 2019, All In truly started the conversation with a full event series with 8 events hosted in the span of one month.

As CommunityHealth adapted to the pandemic of 2020, All In also evolved with the changing times and took place virtually until 2022 when hybrid programming prevailed again, featuring Jennifer Welch, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood of Illinois, as the key note speaker of the 8th Annual Breakfast Summit.

To properly commemorate 30 Years of Care, 2023 is the first year back fully in person as well as the first year that All In has spanned across a series of months.

The biggest takeaway is that we can.

Through the launch of the All In event series, the expansion of hyperlocalized care at our microsites, and the mobile care units deployed during the ongoing migrant crisis, the brilliant staff at CommunityHealth have learned that we have ideas, we can do something about them, and we just have to figure out how… but we are given the opportunity, space, and privilege to try.

Beyond education, thought leadership, and networking, All In has had the honor of hosting patient-centered events such as the Run for Health and Community Gardening at Just Roots, two events that we are excited to host again this upcoming season.


With goals to offer All In events throughout the entire year as well as to be the main place where others come to engage in these conversations, CommunityHealth is in a very different place than it was 10 years ago, and we are just getting started.

“We at CommunityHealth cannot singlehandedly serve everyone who is uninsured. But if we work together with all of these different systems and people, we can create a process that serves everyone.” – Laura Ciresi Starr (Director of External Affairs)