Erie Family Health Center Logo
October 2014 Issue
Erie Patient Comes Home to a Healthier Life
Reach Out and Read Boosts Literacy in Youngest Erie Patients
Grants Brings Behavioral Health Care Closer to Home for Erie Patients
Erie Celebrates National Health Center Week
Save the date for Eriedescence 2015!
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Dear Friends of Erie,


Lee Francis

In this issue you will read about some of our programs that put patients of all ages on paths to healthier, more productive lives. For example, La Vida Sana and Erie's Running Club assist adults like Wendy Aguirre in preventing chronic diseases like diabetes and improving physical fitness. And last year through the Reach Out and Read program, Erie's own health care providers donated 7,660 books and promoted literacy in young patients, ages six months to five years.


Erie is not stopping there. We are expanding our behavioral health services - thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - which enables us to incorporate assessments and care for patients with untreated depression, anxiety and other behavioral health issues as part of primary care. Integrated behavioral health is just another step toward enhancing our delivery of holistic, patient-centered care. We are thankful for the opportunity to provide this service to our patients.


In August, we were delighted to share our accomplishments as part of National Health Center Week, an event to raise awareness about the work being done by health centers across the country. At Erie, we showcased our facilities and staff, and hosted forums that were attended by federal, state and local officials.


Finally, be sure to mark your calendars and save the date for Eriedescence on February 19, 2015. Our annual fundraiser is hosted by hosted by our Auxiliary Council, and will benefit Erie's health education programs like La Vida Sana and many others. I look forward to seeing you there!

Yours in Good Health, 


Lee Signature Black

Lee Francis, MD, MPH 

President and CEO
Erie Family Health Center




Erie Patient Comes Home to a Healthier Life 

Wendy Aguirre, an Erie patient who has taken charge of her health through the
La Vida Sana program.



Last spring, Wendy Aguirre moved back home to Chicago after living in Texas for 10 years. One day, while exploring her new West Town neighborhood, she passed by Erie. She stopped. She had a lot of questions about her health.


Just then, Outreach Coordinator Sally Goodman exited the building. They struck up a friendly conversation and suddenly Wendy knew where to go for answers and the care she needed.


Since then, she has been visiting Erie's health educators two to four times each month. She has lost 15 pounds by learning how to prepare and eat healthy foods through the La Vida Sana program. "I used to eat whatever was in front of me. But coming to Erie really helped. I'm proud that I've changed the way I eat," Wendy said.


She has also become more active by participating in Erie's Running Club where patients and staff train side by side for a 5K race. "I like everything about Erie. I feel more proactive in seeking answers to my questions. I think that if I wouldn't have come, I would probably be diabetic by now."






Reach Out and Read Boosts Literacy In Youngest Erie Patients




Erie is a partner with Reach Out and Read, a national program to give low-income children a head start on reading. Last year, Erie's own health care providers at every Erie location distributed close to 8,000 children's books to patients from six months to five years old.


The program helps ensure early development of reading proficiency by linking it with pediatric care for young Erie patients whose families don't have access to books or libraries. At every well-child visit, Erie providers give each patients five years and younger a new book that is developmentally and culturally appropriate. Parents receive advice about the value of reading to their children, which includes building crucial language skills and creating a strong parent-child relationship. In addition, Erie's waiting room is stocked with its own library of books for young patients.


Since most of Erie pediatric patients are from low-income families, the Reach Out and Read program is an important tool to help them overcome the risks of life-long reading difficulties that can lead to poor literacy and poor health.


To donate books or learn more about Erie's Reach Out and Read program, contact Ana Cesan, Director of Community Programs.


Grant Brings Behavioral Health Care Closer to Home for Erie Patients




Thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Erie will now be able to screen patients for behavioral health issues during medical visits. Coordination of behavioral health care services within our primary care model will enable Erie to continue to support the whole person in achieving and sustaining good health.


Behavioral health consultants at Erie Foster Avenue, Humboldt Park and Division Street locations will help patients struggling with untreated depression, anxiety and other behavioral concerns. Consultants will work with doctors, nurses, medical assistants and care management staff to help patients achieve wellness through quick intervention, coordinated treatment plans, follow-up and referrals to community resources. This model is already working for our pediatric patients at Erie West Town with the support of Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation.



Erie Celebrates National Health Center Week



Dr. Francis greets Illinois Senator Dick Durbin prior to a roundtable discussion about integrated oral health care at Erie's Evanston-Skokie community health center location.


State and national officials visited Erie sites to celebrate National Health Center Week, August 10-16. At Erie Evanston/Skokie, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin participated in a forum on community-based oral health care, sponsored by the American Dental Association. U.S Representative Jan Schakowsky and Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin-both long-time supporters of Erie Evanston/Skokie-also visited the site.


Also during the week, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley was on hand to help celebrate the one-year anniversary of Erie Foster Avenue. The week was capped off when National Public Radio broadcast an interview with Erie President and CEO, Dr. Lee Francis, who talked about the importance of the health center movement.


Erie is one of 1,200 health centers nationwide, providing care to close to 22 million patients. One of every 15 people living in the U.S. and one of ten in Illinois gets care from a health center like Erie. We are honored and proud to be part of the solution for providing affordable high-quality health care to all.










Save the date!



Thursday, February 19

6 - 9 p.m.

Galleria Marchetti

825 West Erie Street


Mark your calendar for an evening of cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, dancing, a silent auction and more!


All proceeds from Eriedescence 2015 will support Erie's holistic health education programs. These health and wellness programs help every member of the family stay healthy and active from infancy through adulthood, and enable patients to take control of and manage their own health, decreasing their reliance on frequent, expensive, or emergent care.


Hosted by Erie's Auxiliary Council.


Individual tickets: $65

Sponsorship packages: starting at $650


For more information, visit:

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