Ribbon cutting to celebrate expanded health care options in Gage Park, West Elsdon

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will celebrate the launch of a new health collaborative partnership and the opening of the 55th & Pulaski Health Collaborative, a comprehensive clinical care center in Chicago’s Gage Park and West Elsdon communities.

The collaborative, formed with a $15 million Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives award from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, is the first of eight inaugural state-funded projects to operationalize. It brings together several partners to provide specialty care and advanced diagnostic, mental health and women’s wellness services to the city’s Southwest Side. 


Friday, May 20 
10:30 a.m. 


55th & Pulaski Health Collaborative 
5525 S. Pulaski Road 


Leaders from the University of Illinois Chicago and its health system, UI Health, will welcome leaders from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services and other partners in the collaborative. A clinic tour will follow remarks by: 

  • UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis
  • Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Assistant Director Jenny Aguirre
  • UIC Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs Dr. Robert Barish
  • Friend Family Health Center CEO Verneda Bachus
  • Alivio Medical Center CEO Esther Corpuz
  • UIC College of Applied Health Sciences Professor and Associate Head of Physical Therapy Shane Phillips
  • UIC College of Medicine Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs Dr. Heather Prendergast.  
  • UIC College of Medicine Executive Dean Dr. Mark Rosenblatt.  


The “Transforming the Gage Park/West Elsdon Community Through Partnership” project was funded by Illinois Healthcare and Family Services in July 2021. The University of Illinois Chicago purchased and began renovating a former clinical facility in September of last year. The 55th & Pulaski Health Collaborative welcomed its first patients in February and continues to expand services as renovations move forward. 

The collaborative is spearheaded by UIC College of Medicine physicians and includes three federally qualified health centers: Alivio Medical Center, Friend Family Health Center and UI Health Mile Square Health Center. Alivio, a bilingual and bicultural center, supports obstetrics and gynecology care. Friend Family provides behavioral health, mental health and urgent care services. Mile Square offers dental care. 

The collaborative also includes the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences, which provides physical therapy, occupational therapy and nutrition services, and the UIC Office of Community Engagement and Neighborhood Health Partnerships, which supports community engagement and oversees an integrated care coordination model to help address social determinants of health. 

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