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In This Issue: Erie Clemente Opening • Funder Feature Meet Our AmeriCorps Volunteers • Illinois Budget Crisis

spot light 2009 ERIE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OFFICERS: William G. Kistner, Chair Northwestern Memorial Hospital Daniel J. Tounsel, Vice Chair Northwestern Memorial Hospital Eric Mayeda, Treasurer The Chartis Group Angelica Gomez, Secretary Association House DIRECTORS Matthew Aaronson, The Boston Consulting Group Rosalie Alicea, Associated Bank Celeste Castillo Michael Cole, UnitedHealthcare of Illinois Linda Cushman, Hewitt Associates Pilar Gonzalez Maria Hernandez Marcelo Jarmendia, Brazil in Chicago, Inc. Luis Leon Amelia Madrigal Brian P. Marsella, Aetna, Inc. Michael O’Connor, Aon Corporation Rev. Edward Sarden, Christian Church Center Jill Simon Svoboda Ana Maria Soto, National-Louis University

Erie Opens New Center at the Roberto Clemente Community Academy The opening of Erie Clemente Wildcats Student Health Center marks another milestone for Erie Family Health Center. Located on the second floor of Roberto Clemente Community Academy, 1147 North Western Avenue, Erie Clemente features three exam rooms, a counseling room, lab, office space and a number of other state-of-the-art amenities, including an electronic health records system. The center is open to provide care to the 2,700 students at the high school. The center is staffed with a licensed physician assistant, behavioral health specilaist, nurse practitioner and case managers. Erie Clemente bilingual staff provides the following services: acute care, chronic disease management, school and sports physicals, immunizations, lab services, rapid HIV testing, reproductive health services and counseling services. “Our goal is to remove any barriers to health care,” said Tiosha Goss, School Health Coordinator. “We will provide health care to students without interfering with their education by having Erie providers onsite. Students are encouraged to make appointments at the beginning and end of day, lunch time and in-between passing periods,” added Goss. An added benefit to students utilizing Erie as their healthcare provider is the long-term connection with the organization. Once an individual becomes an Erie patient they can visit any of the other centers. In the case of Clemente students, they are automatically a part of the Erie family and can utilize the adult patient care centers. With the electronic health records system implemented at Erie sites, patients can visit any center and providers will have access to their information. This provides individuals with continuity of care. A $130,000 grant from Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation helped to support the creation of Erie Clemente. Please see the Funder Feature on page 2 to learn more about the Foundation.

Darryl Tom, Gonzalez, Saggio &Harlan, LLC Humberto Uribe, Malcolm X College Katherine Wilson Deborah B. Wright-Powell, Hinsdale Central High School Julie Zerwic, University of Illinois at Chicago

view the Clemente video @

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2 SUMMER 2009

A Message from Erie’s CEO and President, Dr. Lee Francis

I have my eyes on the landscape; horizon, future, big picture. All hands are on deck around here because the sea is rough. The current landscape is one of chaos in our state capitol where Illinois lawmakers struggle to reconcile a $9 to $11 billion budget gap. The repercussions for health centers and other community agencies should not go without saying. Those most in need will have fewer services in the future, in some cases significantly less. But not here at Erie Family Health Center. Although we are absorbing at least $800,000 of state budget cuts-- and that is painful-- we are moving forward. We are in innovation mode, using the current landscape to create opportunities. And you will read of these opportunities in this issue of Spotlight.

At Roberto Clemente Community Academy in the heart of our neighborhood, Erie Clemente Wildcats Student Health Center opened its door under our management on July 1st. With our new fully electronic health record system and Erie’s 20 plus years of experience in adolescent health care, we will bring innovative primary care services to the 2,700 high school students in the school. There is a new spirit of volunteerism at Erie as we celebrate the accomplishments of our four talented AmeriCorps volunteers. These volunteers provide extensive outreach to the community in oral and adolescent health programs. Meanwhile, beginning August 17th we will launch eye care services for the first time at Erie to serve high risk diabetic patients and those living with HIV/ AIDS. We are excited to offer this service to our patients. Look for more details on this service in the August e-newsletter.

Many organizations plan for the future by doing an analysis of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis). Too much time is spent analyzing what is already known—their strengths and weakness, giving short rift to the understanding of opportunities and threats. In the current landscape we need to turn this on its head. At Erie Family Health Center, TOWS will be the order of business from now on. We will emphasize an understanding of threats on our landscape and the opportunities created as a result. In the year ahead, Erie Family Health Center will provide a record number of patient visits, deliver the healthiest babies ever and reach out to the most challenging patients in our community. We do this with your generous support— now more critical than ever—and we thank you.

FUNDER FEATURE The Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF) has a single vision: to ensure that every child in Illinois has the opportunity to grow up healthy. Working through grantee partners across the state, the Foundation focuses on identifying and funding solutions to the barriers that prevent children from accessing the ongoing health care they need. This past year, the ILCHF awarded Erie Family Health Center with a grant for Erie Clemente Wildcats Student Health Center. The funding from this grant aided the center in purchasing equipment for the exam rooms and supporting existing IT staff. The assistance from ILCHF is currently helping Erie provide high quality health care services by aiding in the cost for our electronic health system to better monitor and evaluate the health status of the 2,700 high school students. The ILCHF allocates most of its grant dollars toward three specific areas: improving oral health of Illinois’ children, addressing the mental health needs of children and increasing the incidence of developmental screening in young children. In 2007, ILCHF announced a major initiative in its grant making efforts to more directly target oral health improvement. At least $20 million will be focused over the next five years on efforts related to three overall strategies.

3 SUMMER 2009

spot light Leading by Example: Erie’s AmeriCorps Volunteers

Erie’s 2008-09 AmeriCorps Volunteers (from left to right): Mary Pawlak, Meggan Leary, Erica Stringfellow and Rita Lewis


Learn or develop a new skill Be part of your community

Motivation and sense of achievement

New experiences Boost your career options New interests and hobbies Meeting a diverse range of people

Send a signal to others

Volunteering your time to help others has a significance all of its own. For the volunteer, it provides more than a chance to help; it offers experiences, opportunities and adventures beneficial in a number of ways. Each year Erie Family Health Center opens its doors to several AmeriCorps volunteers, an organization encompassing thousands of service opportunities with non-profit organizations throughout the country. For 200809, Erie selected Meggan Leary, Rita Lewis, Erica Stringfellow and Mary Pawlak. MEET MEGGAN Meggan Leary has served two years as a volunteer. Her education background is in journalism, with her bachelor’s degree from the University Wisconsin at Madison. Erie was a good fit because she was looking for a host site specializing in community health education programming, and Erie provides teen pregnancy and STI prevention classes within the community. “With the prevalence of sexual content in the media and within our current culture, I believe it is important for young people to have access to complete, medically accurate information about sexual health,” Meggan says. After her experiences at Erie, Meggan will pursue a career in public health. MEET RITA When interviewing with host sites, Rita Lewis was looking to work with youth while utilizing her background in health education from her undergraduate work at the University of Michigan. “Erie was a great fit with my previous experiences, and for the experiences I wanted to gain,” says Rita. “To make the most out of my impact on community health, I wanted my endeavors to be broader than a personal level.” This fall, Rita will continue on the path to achieve her goal by pursuing her Master’s of Public Health at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. MEET ERICA Erica Stringfellow was looking for a service organization that would give her the opportunity to work with students in a school environment and teach them about nutrition, physical activity and how to make healthy food choices. “Kids do not always receive this information at home or through the media,” says Erica. “The most important part of my service was making personal connections with students.” Erica’s experiences at Erie have reaffirmed her dedication to volunteering in her community and will be attending Loyola University Chicago this fall for her Master’s in Elementary Education. MEET MARY Mary Pawlak knew when interviewing at Erie she want to be a part of the organization. “I was looking for a host site that would give me exposure to public health and the opportunity to work in the community,” she says. “I was able to reach members of the community by producing and distributing health information such as newsletters, health fairs and classes in schools, communities and clinic groups.” With a biomedical engineering degree from Marquette University and a medical degree from University of Wisconsin, Mary has deepened her interest to increase her public health knowledge. With ten months of service behind them, these four AmeriCorps volunteers are on the path to continue to make a difference. For those following in their steps here at Erie, Meggan Leary offers this piece of advice: “Remember and appreciate the little moments, like the expression on a student’s face when you have taught them something new. It is those moments that make service worthwhile.”

4 SUMMER 2009

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The State Budget Crisis: Erie Looks Forward Times are tough for many Illinois organizations that provide services to those in need. The State of Illinois has been struggling to pass a budget since late May, with social services and other health care programs at risk of being cut. As of July 16, the General Assembly passed an FY10 budget that still includes cuts to state government and state grants. Despite the passage of a new budget, Erie Family Health Center has experienced funding reductions from the State impacting several of our programs, including: Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening, Healthy Families Case Management, Family Planning, Domestic Violence Services, Oral Health, School-Based Health, Teen Parenting

Erie Family Health Center, Inc. 1701 West Superior St., 3rd floor Chicago, IL 60622 RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED

and Teen Pregnancy Prevention. For families who are already struggling to make ends meet, reducing such services can have devastating effects on the health and vitality of our communities.

the care we provide—that having a place to go like Erie makes all the difference in the world to a new mom, a recently laid off dad and a child who has lost his first tooth.

Erie Family Health Center is committed to looking head, continuing to grow and providing the best care possible to our patients. Our budget has been realigned in order to meet this need. Erie is now positioned to move forward as a strong, viable community health care resource.

Looking ahead, Erie will engage more individuals in the work we do because our patients deserve the absolute best when it comes to their health.

We will provide quality care to over 30,000 patients this year through new programs and advanced technology. But now, more than ever, Erie realizes we must rely more on the support of individual donors like you. You understand the importance of


Spotlight: 2009 Summer Newsletter  
Spotlight: 2009 Summer Newsletter  

Check out Erie highlights from summer 2009