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The Institute of Medicine of Chicago is an independent non-profit organization of distinguished leaders in the health field who collaborate to improve the health of the public. Drawing upon the expertise of a diverse membership and other regional leaders, the IOMC addresses critical health issues through a range of interdisciplinary approaches including education, research, communication of trusted information, and community engagement.

With the health of the public at its core, IOMC is building new programs and services to better meet the needs of its members and the Chicagoland community, its counties and the State of Illinois. 

2022 — From the president's Desk 

Letter from the IOMC President  Raul Garza


September/October 2022

Dear Institute of Medicine Chicago (IOMC) Community,

In my last letter, I shared information regarding IOMC’s two-year strategic focus areas (2022-2024) to address the address the physical, mental and social crises that continue to plague our communities, including maternal and child health, homelessness, nursing home reform, telehealth, and the DCFS Placement Crisis for youth in psychiatric hospitals beyond medical necessity. I also discussed our need to directing our efforts on health equity.

As we are finally coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must renew our focus on health equity in the communities we serve and also renew our focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion within the organizations we lead. To be clear, the pandemic did not create the health inequities that run rampant within our communities of color. The pandemic merely highlighted the health inequities that have always existed and continue to exist today.

We must not only make a commitment to address health equity issues in words. But as providers, as leaders, we must hold each other accountable to take meaningful steps that will bring about necessary change. And in order to do that, we must have individuals who are representative of the communities we serve at the table, guiding the process, and making the decisions. It is my commitment as President, that IOMC’s work over the next two years, no matter the topic, will be approached through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

I am also pleased to share that IOMC will be hosting a number of events over the next several months, including our December Leadership Summit and Holiday Party, which will focus on the DCFS Placement Crisis for youth in psychiatric hospitals beyond medical necessity. The December event will feature a panel of experts within the child welfare arena, including the Director of the Department of Children and Family Services, Marc Smith. I have also invited Dana Weiner, Ph.D., a Senior Policy Fellow at Chapin Hall and the Director of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation initiative to participate.

I will be sharing more exciting details about the December 15th Leadership Summit and Holiday Party in the coming weeks. I look forward to the great work we have planned for the remainder of 2022 and into the future.

Best wishes, 

Raul Garza

President, Institute of Medicine of Chicago   

 2022-2023 Board of Governors 

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