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November 2013 Issue
Erie Leading the Way in Implementing Affordable Care Act
Dr. David Buchanan Wins National Award for Expanding Medical Workforce
Grant to Expand Children's Dental Services at New Erie Sites
Full Roster of Events Marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month at Erie
Congrats to Erie Running Club!
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Dear Friends of Erie,


Lee Francis

Health care reform is here, and Erie is ready! For decades, we've collaborated with communities and partners to bring high quality care where people had little or no access to it. Now that people can apply for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), our experience is serving us well. I'm delighted to report that we are prepared to educate and enroll many Erie patients and community members who will be receiving health coverage for the very first time.


Erie has been serving as a resource for patients, partners and community members on how to implement and understand the Affordable Care Act. Last month, Erie leadership discussed health care reform for various media audiences. In August, Erie was invited to share its experiences with implementing CountyCare, Cook County's early implementation of the Affordable Care Act, with a national audience of more than 2,000 at the National Association of Community Health Centers' (NACHC) Conference. At the conference, NACHC also presented an award to Erie's Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. David Buchanan, for his work developing partnerships to address the shortage of doctors at community health centers.


More recently, in October, Erie kicked off Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In partnership with ALAS-WINGS, we held a special health and beauty event at Erie for patients and their families. Last month, Erie offered several other programs to provide women with education and support they need through every stage of diagnosis, treatment and recovery.


Finally, many thanks go to our long-term partner, Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation. Their recent grant will support our Evanston/Skokie Health Center permanent location as well as our Lake County site, scheduled to open next year in Waukegan. Their support will help ensure that thousands of children will receive preventive dental care. 

Yours in good health, 


Lee Signature Black

Lee Francis, MD, MPH 

President and CEO
Erie Family Health Center  




Erie Leading the Way in Implementing Affordable Care Act


Erie cares for newly insured patients.


Erie has been proud to serve as a leader in effective implementation of health care reform. Since February, Erie has enrolled more than 2,900 patients for health coverage through CountyCare, Cook County's early rollout of Affordable Care Act (ACA) benefits.  Also, Erie has helped communicate to the public what the ACA means for health centers and patients. Erie's leadership has appeared on WGN and CLTV and other media outlets. In addition, Erie presented the story of its success with CountyCare to a national audience at a National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) conference in August.


At NACHC, Erie enrollment agent Maria Sanchez described being on the front lines of health care reform. She emphasized how rewarding it has been to help people get health coverage for the first time, particularly since she herself did not have it for much of her young life. So far, Maria has personally enrolled more than 300 patients and takes great joy in seeing how excited and grateful they are to finally have health insurance. She sums it up: "We still have a long way to go, but each day I'm happy to help more people!" 



Dr. David Buchanan Wins National Award for Expanding Medical Workforce 


Dr. Buchanan receives his award from NACHC Chairman, Gary Wiltz. 

Congratulations to Erie's Chief Clinical Officer, David Buchanan, MD, recipient of the 2013 Health Professions Education and Training Award at the National Association of Community Health Centers' (NACHC) Community Health Institute conference in August. "No task is more critical than ensuring a steady pipeline of providers to meet the demand for care under health reform. That's where Dr. Buchanan comes in," remarked NACHC Chairman Gary Wiltz.


Dr. Buchanan has been instrumental in leveraging Erie partnerships with hospitals and other institutions to help support training programs for future primary care providers. Examples include the Northwestern McGaw Family Medicine Residency Program, jointly run by Erie, Norwegian American Hospital and Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine, as well as Erie's new collaboration with the residency program at Swedish Covenant Hospital. This work is addressing the shortage of doctors by growing the primary care workforce.


Click here for more information about how Erie is preparing the next generation of community health professionals.



Grant to Expand Children's Dental Services at New Erie Sites


Young Erie oral health patients.  
Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF) has awarded a total of $800,000 toward Erie Evanston/Skokie Health Center's permanent location and the new Erie HealthReach Health Center-Waukegan. Each center will receive $400,000 toward the build out of a new, five-chair dental clinic at both sites, along with start-up operating costs. These funds will support pediatric dental services, in recognition of Erie's preventive model of health care for children and the substantial need in these communities.

A long-term Erie partner, ILCHF has awarded funding to expand preventive oral health services at other Erie locations. This support has helped avert oral disease in thousands of children who otherwise would not have received care. Erie is grateful for the Foundation's ongoing trust and assistance. This award is part of ILCHF's Oral Health Initiative.

Erie Evanston/Skokie's new location opened on November 4. Erie Waukegan will open in July 2014. 



Full Roster of Events Marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month at Erie


A Mary Kay representative puts make up on Señora Sánchez.  


On September 27, more than 25 breast cancer patients attended the kick-off event for Breast Cancer Awareness Month at Erie West Town Health Center. The "Mobile Salon", sponsored by Erie and ALAS-WINGS, provided a selection of prosthetics, wigs and gift baskets. Mary Kay Cosmetics did make up for patients. The event had a huge impact, summed up by a woman who said, "I feel so beautiful!" Click here to see this inspiring event in action.


Other featured programs focused on the importance of mammograms and self-care during breast cancer treatment. Ongoing breast cancer support groups and behavioral support groups for depression were held throughout October. 



Congrats to Erie Running Club!   


Erie's Running Club, ready for action!    

On September 15, Erie's Running Club participated in a 5K race sponsored by the Illinois Chapter of the Peruvian Medical Society. Runners included Erie patients, doctors and staff who run for exercise, improved health and fun. Started in 2012, the club now has 35 members. Eleven-year old member and patient Jasmine Aguilar returned with her entire family for the club's second season and finished the 5K.   

"I could never visualize doing something like this before," said club member, Guadelupe Guerrero, "but now I'm running, and I'm so proud."

The Erie Running Club, started by Erie pediatricians, is a group training program that engages patients and their families, as well as our staff, in healthy lifestyles. It's an opportunity for regular physical activity in a supportive and encouraging environment.


e-Spotlight is produced by Erie Family Health Center's Development and Communications Department. For any questions or to submit story ideas please contact Rachel Krause at