NorthShore University HealthSystem, including Swedish Hospital and Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH), today announced it has awarded $2.6 million to be distributed to seven organizations across Lake and Cook Counties through its Community Investment Fund. As a prominent feature of their recently finalized merger, NorthShore and Edward-Elmhurst Health each committed $100 million to their respective communities, for a combined total of $200 million. These funds will generate millions of dollars annually to enhance health and wellbeing, advance health equity and support local economic growth. Edward-Elmhurst Health expects to solicit proposals and announce awardees in the coming months.
“These relationships will go far deeper than the funding. Our aim is to be a true catalyst for change—putting our talents, unique capabilities and resources to work by collaborating with likeminded local organizations for the benefit of our communities,” said J.P. Gallagher, NorthShore – Edward Elmhurst Health President and CEO. “Through an intentional model focused on impact, outcomes, engagement and partnership, we’re doubling down on what vibrant, community-connected care looks and feels like. The more we connect with and invest in our communities, the better we all become. We’re just getting started, and the potential is tremendous.”
Community organizations were selected based on alignment with NorthShore’s current Community Investment Fund objectives, including health equity, social determinants of health and community economic security. NorthShore’s first partner organizations are all working to address priority areas of need including mental health services for the underserved, help for survivors of domestic violence, economic and career development, support for those with food insecurity and mobile services outreach. Partner organizations include:
- Rosalind Franklin University’s Community Care Connection ($682,000): Expand mobile medical outreach services throughout Lake County that aim to improve health equity and better long-term health outcomes among Lake County’s underserved communities through increased health literacy and access to important health services.
- Highwood Public Library & Community Center ($578,000): Provide bilingual preventative health and mental health education, case management and counseling to underserved families in Lake County.
- The AUX ($500,000): Support the creation of a brand new hub for start-ups and small businesses centered around holistic wellness, uplifting Black entrepreneurs and generating local job creation in Evanston.
- Between Friends ($300,000): Expand domestic violence support and educational programs aimed at ending the cycle of abuse in our communities, including a 24-hour helpline and counseling services.
- ASPIRE Community Workforce Development Program ($200,000): Support the city of Evanston’s launch of a new workforce development partnership that creates a pipeline for students and young adults in Evanston and surrounding communities to explore careers in healthcare. Working together with community partners, the program aims to provide a breadth of opportunities including early exposure to healthcare roles, job shadowing, internships, financial support, certification programs and more. To magnify and accelerate these efforts, the city of Evanston matched NorthShore’s contribution from their American Rescue Plan Act funds ($200,000), which was then matched with a generous donation from the Finnegan Family Foundation ($200,000).
- The Friendship Center ($200,000): Support food insecure populations via facility enhancement to create a flexible, lower-stigma client choice pantry, increased mobile outreach and improved connection to resources for Chicago’s northwest side neighbors in need.
- Partners for Our Communities ($116,300): Support increased access to a variety of community resources in the northwest suburbs for immigrant populations and low-income residents.
The Community Investment Funds will build on an established, enduring commitment to community. Combined, in the last five years alone, NorthShore and Edward-Elmhurst Health have delivered over $2 billion to service area communities. In that time, NorthShore, NCH and Swedish Hospital have delivered more than $1 billion in charity care, subsidized health services, educational programs, and local health and wellness initiatives. NCH and Swedish Hospital offer robust programs addressing food insecurity, interpersonal violence, access to care and mental wellness.
To learn more about NorthShore’s Community Investment Fund and commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, click here.