Civic Consulting Alliance:  Smart work.  Great city.  

FY 2014




Looking back at 2014

On June 30, our 2014 fiscal year ended. During fiscal 2014, we and our partners invested, collectively, $15 million in pro bono services that will benefit residents of our region for years to come. 

Last year's major achievements are listed on our 2013-2014 Scorecard. Highlights include: 

  • Helping 95,000 vulnerable adults enroll in CountyCare, gaining access to primary and preventive healthcare through the Cook County Health and Hospitals System's Medicaid program
  • Developing a site recommendation for The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, helping attract to Chicago a next-generation cultural icon 
  • Supporting at the City Colleges of Chicago a doubling of the graduation rate, to 13%, and a plan to double the rate again over the next four years
  • Creating pathways that allowed students from five early college STEM schools to begin earning college credit while in high school 

To achieve these results, 42 pro bono partner organizations, 44 funders, and hundreds of individuals worked together through our unique partnership. We extend our heartfelt thanks and also congratulations to the companies who invest these pro bono resources, to our funders who make the finances work, and to our clients who make the difficult decisions every day. Collectively, we do what no one organization or even sector could accomplish alone.

Thank you, one and all, for another great year,



Brian Fabes

Chief Executive Officer


Data matter for Chicago's youth 

For the hundreds of organizations that serve Chicago's youth, opportunities are missed every day because data are not shared. 


Imagine a boy in high school who stops coming to class. A teacher from the school calls his home, but his parents are at work and do not pick up. However, the boy is still attending a sports program at his local YMCA, though his teachers do not know this. If the adult in charge of the sports program knew that the boy had stopped attending school, could that adult intervene to get the boy back on track?


A year ago, schools and other youth-serving organizations did not share information on the children they served. Efforts to share student information had been stymied by legal challenges and other obstacles. Today, for the first time, Chicago Public Schools and eight nonprofit organizations are piloting an effort to share real-time data (with a guardian's consent) between schools and youth-serving organizations. These nonprofit organizations will receive daily updates on student attendance, grades, and many other kinds of data, allowing them to flag potential problems and intervene - and to better understand whether interventions are working and adjust accordingly.



Pro bono lawyers from DLA Piper analyzed other cities that had launched similar collaborations. Having shown that it was possible to share student data, they drafted legal agreements to launch the pilot. Meanwhile, pro bono consultants from McKinsey & Company and Deloitte LLP identified twelve central use cases to specify the data that were truly critical to share. 


The project was part of Thrive Chicago, a collective impact initiative that Civic Consulting Alliance has supported over the past year. This data-sharing effort, and other collaborations facilitated through Thrive, are increasing the number of Chicago youth who graduate from high school, earn credentials of economic value, and go on to successful careers.


"It has been incredible to work on a project that will help more kids stay in school, graduate on time, and lead successful lives," said Katie Jahnke Dale, Associate at DLA Piper LLP. "Thrive is changing the way that youth-serving organizations and government work to build a better future for our youth."


For more information, please contact Brian Battle.


Planning a new future for Cook County's public health system  

What happens when one of the largest public hospital systems in the country starts getting paid to keep patients healthy, not just to respond to the sick? The Affordable Care Act required the Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS) to adjust to this new funding paradigm. To meet this challenge, CCHHS used federal funding to bring healthcare coverage to low-income Cook County residents. CCHHS then enrolled more than 95,000 adults in its new health plan (CountyCare) and built an extensive network of healthcare providers to serve them. 


Despite this progress, hard decisions remained about where to focus and how to adjust to new funding pressures. In 2014, a team of CCHHS executives looked at different populations, financial scenarios, external perspectives, and the best models across the country. 



Civic Consulting Alliance, along with partners from Strategy&, Deloitte LLP, The PrivateBank, and University of Illinois at Chicago, convened a series of monthly workshops with the CCHHS leadership team to drive important decisions for the future of the system.


"These deliberations played a substantial role in organizational priorities articulated in our fiscal year 2015 budget," said CCHHS CEO Dr. John Jay Shannon. "We commit as an institution to focusing on action to bring [Civic Consulting Alliance's] work with us to life."


For more information, please contact Asheley Van Ness.


Emerging Civic Leaders Fellowship concludes inaugural year

Last month, the inaugural class of Emerging Civic Leaders attended an end-of-fellowship reception, hosted by Civic Consulting Board Liaison David Narefsky from Mayer Brown. Thirteen fellows from the private and public sectors participated in the year-long fellowship program. These leaders spent the year developing new relationships and deepening their understanding of the organizations and individuals who make up Chicago's civic infrastructure. They enjoyed unique opportunities for hands-on learning - it's one thing to read about government, but quite another to visit the public hospital's emergency department and speak with its CEO. We are looking into improving the fellowship for the coming year - stay tuned for more to come!


For more information, please contact Brian Battle.



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 Wally Hilke with your idea.