March 1, 2024

The Future of Health in Illinois

Health Care Council of Chicago (HC3) hosted “The Future of Health in Illinois” on January 25th, 2024, at Nixon Peabody with a panel of revolutionary leaders from Third Horizon Strategies, Planned Parenthood of Illinois, Equality Illinois, CommunityHealth, and Illinois State Deputy Governor Grace Hou.

Leaders discussed the impacts of collective changes in the national ecosystem on personal experiences with health care such as access to abortion, anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation, the ongoing migrant crisis, the cessation of the pandemic’s Public Health Emergency (PHE), and more.

 The panel examined the value of collaboration between community-based centers to ensure every intersection of the health care safety net is supported with compassion, integrity, and respect.

Chief Executive Officer, Steph Willding, MPA, reflected on the past four years of crisis and how CommunityHealth has effectively “placed access points in the community because of one crisis” that “now serve patients in a new crisis” by “challenging ourselves as an organization to think differently about where we place ourselves to be there for the community.”

“One of the beautiful things about free clinics is that we structure our staffing to be more nimble, more flexible, and, in this case, really be on the front lines and so, in a crisis, be able to do something we have never done before.”

For example, considering CommunityHealth primarily serves immigrant populations, Steph highlights the clinics’ migrant crisis efforts to empower “our elected officials and our leaders to ensure that health care is integrated into every phase and place in this humanitarian crisis.”

Learn more about how organizations are meeting communities where they are at with reflexive strategy and inclusive advocacy on “The Future of Health in Illinois.”