October 11, 2018

Gala draws capacity crowd of 350 to support access to primary care on city’s North Side

Over 350 people attended Heartland Health Centers’ 3rd annual From the Heart Gala on Saturday, October 6 at Venue West.  Thanks to the incredible generosity of so many, we raised over $147,000!

Thanks to all those who participated in the wheel, silent auction, live auction and paddle raise at the Gala.  We appreciate your generosity as well as the friends and businesses who donated to the silent and live auctions.

Support raised by the gala helps underwrite dental care, social work, nursing care and language interpretation services–essential elements of Heartland Health Centers’ high-quality “healthcare from the heart” that are not reimbursable by Medicaid and Medicare or only partially covered by public sources.

CEO Gwenn Rausch thanked the audience for their support. She noted Heartland Health Centers seeks to be transformational in its holistic approach to caring for patients, both through the range of services the agency provides and its integrated approach to care.

For that reason, planners of the gala sought out similarly transformational leaders and partners to honor at the event: Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly M. Foxx, Melanie Ginn, president & CEO of the Ginn Group Consulting & Architect of the SMART™ Model of school-based healthcare, and Mark Ishaug, CEO of Thresholds.

“These transformational leaders push the envelope and create possibilities beyond what is obvious,” Rausch told the audience. “They were selected because of the transformational nature of their work in healthcare, educational success or justice.”

Foxx spoke to her own personal transformation — from growing up in Cabrini Green to becoming an elected official in Cook County. Noting her work is fundamentally about “insuring we live in healthy and safe communities,” she recognized the essential need to guarantee primary care for all people.

Ginn thanked Rausch and Heartland for years of partnership in delivering SMART Model health support that insures students succeed in school. Heartland partners with her organization to deliver care using the model at Gale, Hibbard and Kilmer elementary schools and Sullivan High School. She also recognized CVS Health for their legacy sponsorship of $150,000 to establish the  model 5 years ago, and ongoing support.

Ginn also thanked her husband for his support of her vision for school-based health. She noted the couple do not have children of their own: “SMART is my baby, and my kids are really in the clinics … (along with our very well documented and photographed dogs)!”

The third honoree of the evening, Ishaug, recognized Heartland’s work delivering primary care to Thresholds members. The agency provides health, housing, and other services to people with mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

“I knew right away that Thresholds and Heartland would be great partners together,” he said. “You make our members feel welcome and help them believe they can be healthy.” Ishaug also noted the continued need to advocate for care of people with serious mental illness, who still die 25 years younger than other people in large part due to lack of access to quality health care.

Also recognized at the event were three Sullivan High School students who have interned with Heartland Health Centers school-based health clinics as part of the Chicago Public Schools Career Technical Education, CTE, program: Jasmine Aguiler, Jovan Roberts, and Anacletus Masalu.

The event was held at Venue West in the West Loop neighborhood. Sponsors included: Heartland Alliance, CVS Health SMART Model, BlueCross BlueShield, Thresholds, Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare, Sally Bleeks and Janet Syverson, Richard and Gwenn Rausch, Rush College of Nursing, Swedish Covenant Hospital, US Bank, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Dr. Shaheena Ahmed, MDT Architects, David Campbell, Dr. Laurie Carrier, DeLauter Inc., Doug King and Bob Dybas, Genoa, Lab Corps, Letty Sargant and Mark Rinnan, Mutual of America, NextLevelHealth, and Pharmacy One Plus.