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Building Health and Prosperous Communities in Cook County

Chicago, IL | 11/15/2018


Elissa J. Bassler, Chief Executive Officer, the Illinois Public Health Institute

Elissa J. Bassler, MFA, is the CEO of the Illinois Public Health Institute (IPHI).  Bassler serves as the Executive Director of the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity (IAPO), a statewide, multi-sector coalition involving more than 100 partners that is managed and convened by IPHI. Elissa holds a BA from University of California at Davis and an MFA from DePaul University.

Elizabeth Benito, Director of the Illinois Program, Corporation for Supportive Housing

Elizabeth (Betsy) Benito is the Director of the Illinois Program at CSH. She is responsible for setting the direction and annual goals for the Illinois Program, and fundraising to cover the Program’s local costs. Betsy received a Master of Arts at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration and a Bachelors of Science in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago.

Jeremiah P. Boyle, Assistant Vice President and Managing Director of Community and Economic Development, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Jeremiah Boyle is assistant vice president and managing director of community and economic development for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Community Development and Policy Studies Division. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as a master of business administration degree from North Park University in Chicago.

Chris Brown, Director of Operations, Southwest Organizing Project

Chris joined SWOP in July of 2016. He has worked as an organizer, funder, program manager, and researcher. Having grown up in Missouri, Chris is a St. Louis Cardinals fan. After eight years working at LISC, Chris joined SWOP to get back to his organizing roots. His work at SWOP covers fundraising, communications, human resources, and other tasks that support the organizing work.

Laurie Call, Director, Center for Community Capacity Development, Illinois Public Health Institute

Laurie Call serves as the director of the Center for Community Capacity Development (CCCD) at the Illinois Public Health Institute. With over 25 years of experience, she works with public health partners in strategic, program, and community health improvement planning and performance management.

Kathy Chan, Director of Policy, Cook County Health

At Cook County Health, Kathy provides leadership on policy activities and initiatives for one of the nation’s largest public hospital systems. Prior to Cook County Health, Kathy was Associate Director and Director of Policy for EverThrive Illinois, where she oversaw government relations and advocacy. Kathy graduated with a BA in English from Northwestern University and began her career as an organizer with Green Corps, a field school for environmental organizing.

Megan Cunningham, Managing Deputy Commissioner, Chicago Department of Public Health

Megan oversees the Chicago Department of Public Health’s strategy, development, and external affairs, with particular focus on implementing Healthy Chicago 2.0, a four-year, cross-sector plan to improve health and well-being throughout Chicago communities. Megan is a graduate of the NYU School of Law and the University of Illinois.

Colby Dailey, Managing Director, Build Healthy Places Network

Colby is the Managing Director of the Build Healthy Places Network where she leads strategy, national programs, and the Network’s operations and business development. Colby serves on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Prize national advisory group. She earned her Master of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley.

Angela Dowell, Chief Financial Officer, Chicago Community Loan Fund

Angela is responsible for the accounting and finance operations of CCLF. In addition, Dowell oversees investor relations, including fundraising for new capital investments and maintaining existing investor relationships. Dowell is a CPA with a Bachelor of Accounting degree from Southern Illinois University and a Master of Business Administration degree from DePaul University.

Jose Gonzalez, Vice President, Retail Brokerage, JLL

Jose is a retail broker who is responsible for overall development and execution of leasing strategies for properties in the Midwest specializing in the city and suburbs of Chicago. Mr. Gonzalez attended Dartmouth College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He is a licensed real estate broker in the state of Illinois and a member of International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

Meghan Harte, Executive Director, LISC Chicago

Meghan Harte serves as the executive director of the Chicago office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Prior to joining LISC Chicago, Meghan served as Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Deputy Chief of Staff. Previous to working in the Mayor’s office, Meghan was Vice President at AECOM. Meghan holds a B.S. degree from Vanderbilt University and received her JD from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Lena Hatchett, PhD, Director of Community and University Partnerships at Loyola University Chicago and Executive Lead, Proviso Partners for Health

Lena Hatchett, PhD is Director of Community and University Partnerships at Loyola University Chicago and Executive Lead for Proviso Partners for Health. Her research interests are focused on community-engaged approaches to reduce racial and economic health disparities. She is a graduate of the State University of New York at Stony Brook with a PhD in Social and Health Psychology.

Darlene Oliver Hightower, Associate Vice President for Community Engagement and Practice, Rush University Medical Center

Darlene Oliver Hightower, J.D., has been named Associate Vice President for Community Engagement and Practice for Rush. Prior to joining Rush, Darlene held a dual role with Public Allies, Inc., as National Vice President of Programs and Executive Director for Public Allies Chicago. Darlene holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Bradley University and a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Calvin L. Holmes, President, Chicago Community Loan Fund

Calvin L. Holmes has served as the President of Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF) since 1998. He serves on the boards of the Cook County Land Bank Authority, Chicago Community Land Trust, Community Reinvestment Fund & NMTC CDE, South Suburban Land Bank and Development Authority and the Interfaith Housing Development Corporation of Chicago. He holds a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree in African American Studies from Northwestern University.

Colleen Flynn, Director of National Programs, Build Healthy Places Network

Colleen oversees program and project implementation and partnership development at the Network. She brings more than a decade of experience crafting community development strategies that address health disparities. She holds a bachelors in Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a masters in Urban Planning from the University of Texas, Austin.

Susan Frank, Executive Vice President, Business Development, Cinnaire

Susan Frank joined Cinnaire in March 2014. She serves as Executive Vice President, Business Development, and directs the company’s business development strategy and activity over Cinnaire’s nine state footprint including community development initiatives, equity and debt. Susan earned her B.A. from the University of Delaware.

Steven Kuehl, Economic Development and Wisconsin State Director, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Steven W. Kuehl is the economic development and Wisconsin state director for the community development and policy studies division of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. He currently serves on the American Bar Association’s Forum Committee on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law. Steven holds a B.S. in finance and economics from Carroll University and a juris doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Gabriel Lara, Community Economic Development Consultant, Proviso Partners for Health

Gabriel works with community residents to identify opportunities for the creation and sustainability of worker-owned cooperatives in the Proviso Township. He is part of an effort to establish a Co-op development incubator called New Hope Rising. He worked for six years as the Coordinator of Families Learning to Teach program at Universidad Popular in Chicago and as the Director of Quinn Community Center for six years in Proviso Township.

David Lewis, Director & Assistant Treasurer, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

Mr. Lewis is Director & Assistant Treasurer at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago where he is responsible for the day-to-day management of the hospital’s $1.5 billion long-term investment program. Mr. Lewis holds a BBA in Finance from Ohio University and an MBA from University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Jess Lynch, Program Director, the Illinois Public Health Institute

Jess’ work focuses on advancing health equity and social justice. She is currently the lead staff for the Alliance for Health Equity, a collaborative of over 30 hospitals, 6 public health departments and regional and community partners working together to address population health priorities in Chicago and Suburban Cook County. Jess holds a BA from Northwestern University and an MCP and MPH from UC Berkeley.

Julie Morita, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Public Health

Dr. Julie Morita was appointed as commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) in early 2015. Previously, Dr. Morita served as CDPH’s Chief Medical Officer leading the city’s response to the pandemic influenza outbreak and the city’s efforts to prevent the introduction and spread of the Ebola virus. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical School.

Christine Raguso, Senior Vice President, Professional Services, Saint Anthony Hospital

Christine Raguso joined Saint Anthony Hospital in 2011. Ms. Raguso oversees the ancillary functions of the hospital, the creation and implementation of our new clinic model, and the development of a replacement Saint Anthony Hospital on the Focal Point community campus. Ms. Raguso holds an MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management at DeVry University and a BA in political science from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Mary Sajdak, Chief Operating Officer, Integrated Care Services, Cook County Health

Mary Sajdak serves as Chief Operating Officer, Integrated Care Services, at Cook County Health, one of the largest public health care systems in the United States. Previously the Senior Director of Integrated Care, Ms. Sajdak launched programs and services to support access and continuity for patients. Ms. Sajdak holds a MS in Community Health/Family Nurse Practitioner from Rush University and a BSN from the University of Delaware.

Joanna Trotter, Sr. Program Officer, Economic & Community Development, The Chicago Community Trust

Joanna Trotter is the senior program officer in economic and community development for The Chicago Community Trust. Prior to joining the Trust, Trotter served as director of neighborhood development for the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement where she guided and coordinated University investments largely in the Woodlawn and Washington Park communities. Trotter holds a M.A from the University of California Los Angeles in Urban and Regional Planning.

Tonya Wells, Vice President, Social Impact Investing & Community Development, Trinity Health

Tonya Wells is Vice President, Social Impact Investing & Community Development at Trinity Health, one of the largest Catholic health systems in the country. In this role, Ms. Wells leads place-based investing efforts to revitalize community infrastructure, and leverages investment dollars to improve social determinants of health in the communities served by Trinity Health. Ms. Wells earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from the University of Michigan, Roskeuhls School of Business.

Gretchen West, Executive Director, Healthy Homes, Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Gretchen serves as the Executive Director of Healthy Homes, a nonprofit housing organization and collaboration between Community Development for All People and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Gretchen earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science as well as her Master’s of City & Regional Planning from The Ohio State University.

Julie Willems Van Dijk, Senior Scientist and Director, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps

Julie is a Senior Scientist and Director of the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. She earned a PhD in nursing from the University of WI-Milwaukee and is also a graduate of the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows Program, and the National Public Health Leadership Institute. Julie was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing in 2016.