“Race and Health Equity Awards” Recognizes Healthcare and Community Leaders’ Contributions

Habilitative Systems, Inc., will recognize outstanding individuals Dec. 9 for their work and contributions in tearing down the barriers to equal access and quality healthcare at the HSI Board of Directors’ inaugural “Race and Health Equity Awards” reception. The event will honor healthcare executives and community leaders who are committed to eliminating inequities within the African-American community. The awards presentation will take place from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9, at the Union Club of Chicago, 65 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago. The event is free; register at https://bit.ly/3rs7y2Q.

“Continued support as a corporate sponsor for this event will help sustain the vital services provided to those most impacted by race and health inequities and create pathways to healthcare careers by supporting Community Health Worker (CHW) students,” said Cynthia Washington, Chair, Fundraising Committee. “We are looking forward to the professional networking, appetizers, cocktails and learning more about what can be done to narrow the healthcare gap.”

Individuals who will be honored are:

  • Donna Thompson, the CEO of ACCESS since 2004, who has been on the front lines of patient care delivery for more than 35 years.
  • Herbert C. Buchanan, Jr., Regional Operating Officer for AMITA Health, a 15-hospital system in Chicago and the suburbs, and President and CEO of St. Joseph Joliet Medical Center.
  • Kimberly E. McCullough-Starks, Deputy Director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, and an experienced executive in legislative initiatives, policy development, regulatory reform, human resource management, budget, procurement, and diversity & inclusion programs.
  • Helen Davis Gardner, M.D., Medical Director of Behavioral Health for Government Programs for HCSC and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Loyola University.

To ensure safe practices during the pandemic, guests are requested to provide evidence of  vaccination and masks will be optional. For more information, please visit www.habilitative.org or contact Della Akres at 773-854-8313, drakres@habilitative.org.

When it comes to illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Covid-19, HIV and access to quality healthcare, communities of color fare worse than white areas. While this is unsettling, HSI has had a significant impact in Chicago for more than four decades. This year, HSI joined forces with major health care institutions in Chicago to launch the Westside Health Equity Collaborative, which was formed to address critical race and health inequities. The organization also is an integral partner in the Collaborative Bridges effort to address rising behavioral health needs and suicide in the African-American community.

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