The Brain Trust on Health for Underserved Black Communities of Illinois aims to reduce student loan debt burden, empower community-based Black medical professionals with $5,000 grant
Springfield, IL – Following last month’s successful legislative conference, the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation (ILBCF) is proud to announce its new Brain Trust on Health initiative, which will include a $5,000 grant opportunity for 11 qualified Black medical professionals, along with in-depth, collaborative efforts to eliminate systemic barriers to equitable healthcare facing Black communities across Illinois with both immediate and long-term solutions to ensure improved health outcomes.
“I recognize that the position of creating solutions that will rectify issues which have created systemic barriers for the underrepresented minority communities of Illinois is a critical one. I look forward to working to improve the health and wellness of all Illinoisans through this collaborative approach. I am so proud of ILBC and the ILBCF for staying focused on the health issues in the poor, black, and brown communities across Illinois.” As I always say, “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have much else!!!” – says Representative Camille Lilly
Building upon the healthcare portion of the Caucus’ landmark omnibus legislative package called the Four Pillars to End Systemic Racism, the ILBCF has dedicated itself to reinforcing the healthcare-related needs of underserved Black communities in Illinois through a series of policy think tanks featuring public health experts, elected officials and leading medical professionals.
The ILBCF will produce content and engage in discussions on systemic challenges to the health of Black communities in Illinois, including the lack of representation in the health field. The Brain Trust will analyze how informed policy could positively influence the health of black communities in the future. “I am looking forward to discussing initiatives to expand health care access and more solutions addressed in the Health Care and Human Services Pillar of the Legislative Black Caucus Agenda,” “The formation of the Brain Trust will be another step in helping to eradicate racism in our state.” – says Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago)
The work of the Brain Trust on Health, and the Four Pillars in totality, is centered upon setting the state of Illinois on a path of corrective actions to remedy longstanding inequities, and also having broader policy implications nationwide. Considering the recent Supreme Court overruling of Roe vs. Wade, sessions will initially focus on the ramifications of this decision on healthcare and reproductive health issues of Black women. “The ILBCF, through this Brain Trust programming, aims to position itself as a thoughtful leader to achieve inclusive solutions for the concerns that are plaguing Black Illinoisians culminating in synergistic policy development that will improve the quality of life for all.” – says ILBCF Executive Director Tiffany D. Hightower.
The legislative and community chairs for this Brain Trust are as follows:
State Senator Mattie Hunter, Majority Caucus Chair
State Representative Camille Lilly,
Dr. Anthony Williams, Staff Scientist at the University of Chicago, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Circulogix.
“Although I am a cancer biologist focused on understanding the biology of cancer health disparities African-Americans experience, I understand the importance of producing a comprehensive solution to this problem that includes, among other issues, aggressive policy reforms that deconstruct systemic barriers for African-Americans and other underrepresented minorities to true health equity. I’m honored to serve as a Co-Chair for the Health and Human Services Pillar of the ILBCF’s Brain Trust with IL State Senator Mattie Hunter and Rep. Camille Lilly and share in their commitment to this endeavor.” – says Dr. Anthony Williams. The brain trust will be moderated by Tiffany D. Hightower, Executive Director, ILBCF.
$5,000 Health Grant for Black Medical Professionals
The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation (ILBCF) is also offering a total of 11 grants of $5,000 each to support African American students who have completed a medical degree and are working as medical providers or practicing in a medical residency program. “We understand the critical impact medical school debt has on graduates, and we want to help relieve some of that burden.” – says ILBCF Executive Director Tiffany D. Hightower. The recipient may put the grant towards previous academic debt. The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation fully funds this grant.
Its goal is to provide educational resources and financial opportunities for African American students throughout Illinois. Since its inception, the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation has successfully awarded over $1,000,000 scholarships/grant support to deserving students.
Since its inception in 2002, the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation has been dedicated to protecting, developing, and advancing black communities around Illinois. For more information on the ILBCF and the 4 Pillars, follow @ILBCF on Meta/Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and https://www.ilbcf.org/; https://illinoissenatedemocrats.com/ilbc-pillars.