Log in

IOMC Launches State of Health of Chicago 2020 - Announces Theme for 2020-2021: Collaboration for Systemic Change in the Time of a Pandemic: We Can Do Better

18 Sep 2020 11:01 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

Virtual Convening

Chicago—From September 2020 through June 2021, the Institute of Medicine of Chicago (IOMC) will host fully online virtual learning sessions to promote the "State of Health of Chicago 2020-2021 (SOHOC)." In its 105th year, IOMC announces the theme for 2020-2021 Collaboration for Systemic Change in the Time of a Pandemic: WE CAN DO BETTER. The focus is on the extreme socioeconomic challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic crisis we face in Cook County, surrounding collar counties, the State of Illinois, and global conditions today. All are welcome—complimentary admissionno fee to attend event or sessions.


The Grand Convening, Fri., Oct. 23, 2020, starts with a series of virtual sessions in the weeks preceding the signature event and following the election. The full year-long series leads to creating a set of actions for systemic change speaking directly to the inequity of access to healthcare, and promoting wellbeing for all people, including people of color, the elderly, and the vulnerable in Cook County and surrounding collar counties.  

“Collaboration for Systemic Change in the Time of a Pandemic : WE CAN DO BETTER” approach launches IOMC's learning forums to unlock new ways of thinking about gaps in care in Cook County and its collar counties. We have designed our virtual sessions into two phases, pre-election and post-election, to emphasize the acuity needed today.

"The early concept of this learning series and Grand Convening is based on the immense challenges individuals, families, and communities face living in Chicago, Cook County, and collar counties pre and now in a pandemic. The imagined successful life is fleeting for many people or canceled now. We want to change it and thrive," stated IOMC President Cheryl Rucker-Whitaker, MD, MPH, FACP, formerly Chief Executive Officer of NextLevel Health. 

With 112 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people and varying positivity rates in Cook County and several already vulnerable Illinois communities (ILDPH ), we are at risk. The State of Illinois has 259,000 reported cases and the numbers are growing (9.11.2020). We must identify our needs and transform how our wellbeing is impacted by this pandemic and attend to structural barriers and systemic change without delay.  

IOMC has designed over fifteen (15) virtual sessions addressing the Social Determinants of Health (SODOH), racism, COVID-19, and the impact on the new realities of how we live today.  We will evaluate how the State of Illinois and its agencies are doing, and provide a constructive report card before and after the November presidential election as part of SOHOC 2020-2021. 


Our SOHOC 2020 virtual sessions include: 

September 25, 2020 

Pre-Election Focus Group – Collaboration for Systemic Change (Foundations, Funders, & Investors)

Sponsored by the Portes Foundation and the Michael Reese Education and Research Foundation

October 8, 2020 SOHOC 2020 Kick-off Plenary Virtual Sessions

Pre-Election NO Wealth-NO Health: Where Do We Go From Here? Understanding the Wealth Gap Helps Us Better Understand SDOH and Health Disparities

Grand Convening October 23, 2020

Pre-Election Opening Plenary—State of COVID-19 in Illinois: State Director of Public Health

Pre-Election The Importance of Integrated Care in the COVID‐19 Environment 

Pre-Election Maternal Morbidity and Mortality and COVID-19: Managing Worsening Disparities

Pre-Election  Immunization Strategy and COVID-19: What Do We Know Now?

Pre-Election  Well-Being Trust Initiative Status Report

Pre-Election  Response Panel

Pre-Election  After Party-Networking

December 4, 2020

Post-Election Healthcare and the Next Four Years: Medicare, Medicaid, and the Exchange

Invited: Senator Dick Durbin 

Post-Election What Needs to Change? COVID 19: The Legislative Response: How Do Disparately Impacted Communities Recover?

Invited: Congresswoman Robin Kelly

December 10, 2020 Holiday Event

Virtual Holiday Event 2020 in review: Progress Made to Closing the Health Equity Gap: Successes  & Lessons Learned

SOHOC 2021 Virtual Sessions

Post‐Election Implicit Bias-Recognition, Impact, and Training to Close the Health Equity Gap

Post‐Election From Fee for Service to Managed Medicaid: The Promise of Care Coordination For Children in  Foster Care

Post‐Election The Prison Industrial Complex & Impact on Community Stability in Chicago

Post‐Election Racial Inequity in Healthcare

A diverse set of thought leaders and speakers will boldly challenge our current system since our old ways and thinking do not work in our community. We need to make systemic changes to build stronger, safer, accessible communities for all. By addressing the social determinants of health and committing to health goals, we can reduce health inequity, racism, and worsening disparities. Our system was imperfect before, and now there is greater urgency to develop actions to change it. We are failing with the burden of COVID-19.  

We are pleased Madhura Mansabdar, MD, MMM, FACP, CPE, Chief Clinical Integration Medical Officer, MidMichigan Health; and Soma Stout, MD, MS, Executive External Lead for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Cambridge, Massachusetts are speakers in the fall of 2020. Also joining us are Dr. Helene Gayle, CEO of The Chicago Community Trust; Professor Greg Fairchild, University of Virginia-Business Darden School and other notable leaders are speakers at SOHOC 2020. 

IOMC involves many disciplines and professions involved in community health and health care delivery—physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, social workers, public health specialists, researchers, community advocates, lawyers, hospital leaders, health insurance and for-profit health industry leaders. All who play a role in the transforming healthcare field and Cook County, collar counties, and our great State.    

Your participation is necessary to create change. From our focus groups, speakers, and our attendees' involvement, we will define a set of actions to change barriers and thinking for the people of Cook County and the collar counties at the closing of the Grand Convening SOHOC 2020.  

Let us take this epic moment in history with the COVID-19 pandemic and intentionally address equity and wellbeing for all. It is evident that conditions where people live, work, play, and learn have a significant role in our wellbeing, health, and response to pandemics such as COVID-19. 

A sustained, successful life is within our grasp if we work together and create systemic change. 

We can do better. We cannot stand by as observers only and hope wishful thinking will make it better. We need systemic change, and as leaders, we must create actions for change. Our efforts should build opportunities for all, create safe environments, and promote wellbeing and health.  

For information on Sponsorships, contact us at 312.310.7353. 

About IOMC

The Institute of Medicine of Chicago (IOMC) is an independent 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. Visit www.iomc.org.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software