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Move over, Bud Billiken! Make room for several residents of Pioneer Gardens! They’ll be honored on Saturday at the inaugural Senior Citizen Wheelchair Parade in Bronzeville.

Move over, Bud Billiken! Make room for several residents of Pioneer Gardens! They’ll be honored on Saturday at the inaugural Senior Citizen Wheelchair Parade in Bronzeville.

Pioneer Gardens, a.k.a. “A Miracle on 38th Street,” is an assisted/supported living facility at 3800 S. King Dr. Led by the renowned South Shore Drill Team, the colorful wheelchair parade of golden-age seniors, all wearing red, white and blue, will begin at 9 a.m. in the parking lot of the Chicago Defender, 4445 S. King Dr., and travel north on the west side of King Dr. to 38th St. This historic event will end with a formal program on the front patio of Pioneer Gardens, complete with food, fun activities and prizes.

South Side residents – especially those in the Bronzeville community! – are especially encouraged to participate by cheering on the vibrant seniors all along the parade route and by attending the festive culminating program.

PARTNERS.jpg (left) Michael House, (right) Rev. Dr. E.R. Williams Jr.

Parade sponsors include Pioneer Gardens Affordable Supportive Living Facility, Pioneer Village Apartments, South Park Baptist Church, NBC 5, Chicago Defender, Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), state Sen. Mattie Hunter (3rd), University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago Police Dept.’s Chicago Alternative Policing Strategies Program for Seniors, Chicago Dept. of Senior Services (Atlas Center), Dr. Ron Sam, Dr. T. Shamsi and state Rep. Ken Dunkin (5th).

Pioneer Gardens is an eight-story building offering a community setting for mature adults, age 65 and older, who require some assistance with daily living activities. It represents the culmination of a three-and-a-half year quest by South Park Baptist Church, 3711 S. King Dr., to fill a critical, affordable housing gap in senior housing that had developed in Chicago’s Bronzeville community.

For more on Pioneer Gardens, visit http://www.pioneergardensslf.com, and for additional info on the Wheelchair Parade, call Deloris MeBain, (708) 533-6558 or e-mail dmebain@aol.com.

Congrats to Marie Rule Gilliam on being named the first ever executive director of The Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force, a citywide task force representing 100-plus health care organizations and more than 100 community stakeholders, advocates, faith leaders and health care professionals dedicated to reducing the Black-white disparity in breast cancer mortality in Chicago.

Gilliam__Marie_Rule.pic.jpg Marie Rule Gilliam

In her new role, she serves as a prominent leader in the Chicago health care community in an initiative that is gaining national recognition as a model for citywide collaboration to address racial health care disparities.

Gilliam, with a passion for advocacy and community activism, has more than 15 years of experience, and has held leadership positions at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Dentistry and School of Public Health, and the Chicago Asthma Consortium. She holds a master’s degree in health services administration from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and science from the University of Illinois in Urbana. She was also a Stuart A. Wesbury Jr. post-graduate fellow (1993-1994) in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

She is a versatile, senior-level health care executive with specific experience in community-based health initiatives, operations, partnerships, grant management and advocacy. Prior to joining MCBCTF, Gilliam held positions with the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Chicago Hospitals, the Chicago Asthma Consortium and the American College of Healthcare Executives.

In the four prior years, Gilliam was with UIC’s Division of Prevention and Public Health Sciences in the College of Dentistry as assistant to the dean. Other previous leadership positions include executive director of the Chicago Asthma Consortium and Project Coordinator for UIC’s Research Framework for Public Health Performance Project in the School of Public Health, a project co-sponsored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Association of Schools of Public Health.

Dr. David A. Ansell is chair of the Task Force Board and chief medical officer at Rush University Medical Center. For more information, visit http://www.chicagobreastcancer.org.


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