Civic Consulting Alliance:  Smart work.  Great city.  

FY 2014
YTD totals




Partner perspective: Larry Wojcik and Katie Jahnke Dale, DLA Piper

Larry Wojcik
 DLA Piper LLP (US)

Katie Jahnke Dale


Summer 2012 was particularly violent in the City of Chicago.  It was tragic to see the city we love in turmoil. Fortunately for us, we felt like we were able to do something about it.


In 2012, our staff worked with Civic Consulting Alliance staff, McDonald's and Xerox to help the City of Chicago and Cook County overcome the legal and technical challenges to sharing data that would facilitate youth involvement in already-existing and under-utilized programs - and ultimately reduce violence. This project was our introduction to what has become an ongoing and exciting partnership with Civic Consulting.


Since the first data-sharing project, we have both leveraged what we learned to get involved in additional Civic Consulting projects. Larry is currently working with the Cook County criminal justice system to create a roadmap for exchanging data. Katie is now working with the Thrive Chicago initiative to create a centralized data structure that will improve services for young Chicagoans. Beyond our project work, Larry is serving on the Civic Consulting Leadership Council and Katie is participating in the inaugural Emerging Civic Leaders Fellowship Program.



Having both been heavily involved in pro bono work throughout our careers, we can honestly say that CCA is a true gem and a terrific pro bono partner, with a model that allows Chicago's professionals to do something about some of the biggest and most important issues facing our beloved City.
For more information, please contact Katie Jahnke Dale.

CCHHS transformation continues through period of transition 

Pro bono partners:

"I have never seen people come together to make change happen like the last two years at CCHHS," said Dr. Ram Raju, CEO of the Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS). In January, Dr. Raju was named the next CEO of New York's public hospital system by Mayor de Blasio. Reflecting on his time in Chicago, Dr. Raju said, "Business leaders, civic leaders, religious leaders and advocacy groups have joined hands.  It has been truly extraordinary."


"On my transition, the leadership team and Board affirm their commitment to the transformation underway and to the partnerships vital to it. Our transformation has been predicated on Civic Consulting's partnership."


CCHHS is the centerpiece of the region's healthcare safety net. The billion-dollar system serves hundreds of thousands of residents, and is integral to the financial stability of surrounding health systems. Since 2013, CCHHS has built the region's largest coordinated healthcare network for low-income adults, financed by an Affordable Care Act demonstration project. CCHHS is building on this network towards its vision of becoming an integrated provider, payor, plan and population health manager that fosters healthy communities.



Along with CCHHS leadership and our partners, Civic Consulting teams have designed a new senior leadership structure; produced a data-driven senior leadership forum to manage initiatives; launched a leadership training academy for middle managers; and piloted patient access improvements.


"CCHHS is very serious about changing its culture. We have been given the tools and techniques to begin change not only for the patients but also for the employees we manage," said outpatient nurse coordinator Stephanie Winder-Robinson of the training academy.


What are some of the results? The new senior team has provided 70,000 previously uninsured adults early access to insurance and with it, primary, preventative, and behavioral healthcare. At the same time, the local tax subsidy to the system has decreased by $76 million. A focused effort on patient access has introduced language translation in 200 languages and halved unanswered phone calls.

For more information, please contact Shruti Jayaraman.

Zeno Group helps Civic Consulting communicate its vision



The Civic Consulting Alliance website recently added a new slide show developed by Zeno Group. After auditing our communications materials to develop an organizational narrative, Zeno created the scrolling slide show for the homepage.  Paired with eye-catching visuals, the messaging is designed to give visitors better insight into who we are and what we do.


Zeno team members Lyndsey Slawkowski, Aaron Conn and Joanna Krupa led the project, describing the design elements as a new challenge outside the realm of their typical work.




"This project was a valuable opportunity for the professional growth of our team members," said Slawkowski.

"While Zeno has worked with Civic Consulting in the past as a private sector partner for public sector projects, the chance to work directly with Civic Consulting to help tell the organization's story was especially rewarding because it allowed us an inside look at the organization that brings us all together to make the greatest impact in Chicagoland communities," said Conn.
Zeno previously worked with Civic Consulting on a communications plan for the Cook County Health and Hospitals System as well as messaging for the Community Antiviolence and Restoration Effort.
For more information, please contact Asheley Van Ness.

In other Civic Consulting news...  


In wake of success, Chicago sets new, higher goal of 55 million annual visitors by 2020


Mayor Rahm Emanuel delivered his "State of Tourism" address at the Museum of Science and Industry on January 22. In the address, he highlighted the formation of Choose Chicago as one of two major reforms in tourism since 2011. Civic Consulting staff and our partners led the work of creating Choose, which included setting a public goal for tourism in Chicago. In 2013, Chicago had its highest hotel occupancy rate ever, at over 75%, equating to 9.9 million room-nights filled. In light of this success, the City has set a new, higher visitor goal - 55 million visitors by 2020 - which will create an additional 30,000 jobs.


For more information, please contact Liz Coon.


Participation in CPS-CCC Early College program triples


More than 2,300 students are expected to earn college credits while still in high school by the end of the current school year through Early College and Dual Enrollment initiatives between Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges of Chicago. This enrollment is three-fold increase since the program launched in School Year (SY) 2010-11, and puts Chicago on track towards a goal of 4,000 students enrolled by SY 2015-16. These programs enable college-ready high school juniors and seniors to gain exposure to college-level coursework and earn credits towards a college degree.  In 2011 and 2012, Civic Consulting staff and a Bain & Company fellow worked with City Colleges of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools to expand these programs, and our current involvement with five Early College STEM Schools has furthered that work.  


For more information, please contact Brian Fabes.


Skills for Chicagoland's Future featured at White House summit


Last month, Marie Lynch, former Civic Consulting Associate Principal and current Skills for Chicagoland's Future CEO, took part in a series of events at the White House to explore innovative approaches to helping reduce long-term unemployment.  The Skills model was featured throughout the day as a particularly effective approach.  While at Civic Consulting, Marie helped to create and then launch Chicago Career Tech, which evolved into Skills as part of our work merging three regional workforce boards.  Partners from Mayer Brown and Accenture were instrumental in the merger and development of both Career Tech and Skills.


For more information, please contact Rose Fealy.



Join us as a guest writer

If you've worked with us in the past as a partner or client and would like to share your perspective in an upcoming newsletter, please email Jason Li with your idea.