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Focus Group-Collaboration for Systemic Change

  • 4 Sep 2020
  • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Virtual Meeting


  • RSVP only
  • RSVP and donation. All donations are greatly appreciated as they help us with future programs and initiatives.

By Invitation Only 


Sept. 4, 2020 

9:00 A.M.- 12:00 P.M. CT

Virtual Meeting

On behalf of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago (IOMC), we want to personally thank you for your interest and commitment to making the Cook and collar counties a welcoming community for all. In these uncertain times, all of us need to leverage opportunities to make our future better. We invite you to join us in convening thought leaders to forcefully confront the economic and racial inequities that people of color have for far too long experienced. 

You’re invited to participate in the first series of virtual meetings leading up to an October 23, 2020 State of Health of Chicago. Your participation in the Friday, September 4, from 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. meeting is the first of two focus groups aimed to garner your needs as a coalition, funder for not-for-profit, or data gatherer and analyst or as an observer with these groups. Download agenda here.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Madhura Mansabdar is an internal medicine physician, with a special interest in diabetes and population health. She has been a part of MidMichigan Health for 19 years and currently serves as its Chief Clinical Integration Medical Officer. Additionally, she is the Medical Director of MidMichigan Health Network, MidMichigan Collaborative Care Organization and ConnectCare, its self-insured health planDownload information on keynote speaker here.


These are challenging times for our city and the country. The impact of the virus on the everyday lives of individuals, communities, and particularly people of color is devastating and unprecedented. The economic consequences have been catastrophic with the increasing rise in homelessness, missed rent, unpaid bills, foregoing medical care, lack of food—the list goes on.

The public call for action against systematic racism has added urgency and clarity, requiring decisive and bold action. A neutral convener is needed to ask uncomfortable questions and gather experiences that met or failed to reach those at risk regarding COVID-19 or future pandemics.  


The Institute of Medicine Chicago (IOMC) has and continues to have a long-standing interest in and a commitment to addressing the health inequities and disparities that exist in our region. IOMC, over the past two years, has examined ways in which social determinants of health (SDOH) are addressed in various communities; what interventions have made a difference; and, what could possibly be launched in the Cook and collar counties to address these root causes.  

We propose gathering the community and thought leaders to explore tough questions regarding the root causes of economic and racial inequalities and to explore what can be done to improve the efforts currently underway which would, if implemented, make a difference in the wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities during the current pandemics (COVID-19 and mental health) and future pandemics.


IOMC is leading the convening through a series of focus groups, webinars, and panel discussions by gathering coalitions, community and thought leaders, academics, health systems, health payers, the public and private sectors, business, and philanthropic organizations to participate. Our goal is to identify specific concrete steps that provide a road map for addressing, in an efficient, effective, and sustainable manner, strategies for addressing this pandemic and potential others. It is a new day! New thinking is required! Bold action is called for! 

Together, we must seize this moment to make a difference by focusing on initiatives that address these systematic injustices. Doing so will produce tangible results upon which hope for a brighter future can be built.


IOMC, along with those listed below, and our facilitating partner Rush University, will host two focus group meetings (September 4th and 25th). Your voice is needed to continue this incredible work going forward. Two representatives from your organizations are invited to be active participants in the first meeting on Friday, September 4, from 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.


Cheryl Rucker-Whitaker, MD, MPH, President and Chair, Institute of Medicine of Chicago

AJ Wilhelmi, President & CEO, Illinois Health and Hospital Association

Raul Garza, Vice-President, Chief Executive Officer, Aunt Martha’s Health and Wellness

Cheryl Larson, Chief Executive Officer, Midwest Business Group on Health (MBGH) 

 and Jason Parrot, President of the Board of MBGH and Vice President, Boeing Senior Manager Global   Healthcare & Well Being Strategy

Howard Nochumson, Executive Director, Washington Square Health Foundation

This opportunity is funded by the Portes/Michael Reese Education and Research Trust Foundations. 

If you have any questions, please contact Cheryl Irmiter, PhD, Executive Director, IOMC at infostaff@iomc.org.


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