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March 2015 Issue
New Behavioral Health Model Speeds Patient Access to Quality Care
Erie Recognized as Health Center Quality Leader
Eriedescence 2015 Raises Fun and Funds for Health Education Programs
Erie Auxiliary Council Seeking New Members!
Save the Date! 2015 Annual Luncheon
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Lee Francis

Dear Friends of Erie,


On behalf of Erie's Board of Directors, I want to express heartfelt gratitude to all who helped Erie make a tangible positive impact on people's lives over the past year. In this issue, I'm delighted to share our FY2014 Annual Report, Leading Change, Transforming Care. It highlights initiatives that brought ever-higher levels of quality care to thousands more patients - thanks to your support.

One of the initiatives I'm excited to tell you about is the new model for integrating behavioral health into Erie's holistic primary care setting. I'm also proud to report Erie's recent designation as a Health Care Quality Leader by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, further validating our leadership in providing the best care to those who need it most. We'll also introduce you to one new mom who has benefitted from Erie's popular Centering Pregnancy program.

Finally, we're sending out a big thank you to everyone who braved the frigid weather on February 19 to attend Eriedescence 2015!  It was a great evening of fun and fundraising for Erie's health education programs.

Please come join us at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago on Friday, May 15, to celebrate health care champions and innovators at Erie's Annual Luncheon. We look forward to seeing you there!


Yours in Good Health, 


Lee Signature Black

Lee Francis, MD, MPH 

President and CEO




Erie FY2014 Annual Report Now Available



Click here  for your copy of Erie's FY2014 Annual Report, Leading Change, Transforming Care.



New Behavioral Health Model Speeds Patient Access to Quality Care



Erie's Behavioral Health Department has undergone a significant redesign to seamlessly integrate services into Erie's comprehensive model of care. The expanded model will ensure that patients receive faster, more efficient and consistent access to care for psychosocial problems and behavioral needs.

Untreated behavioral health issues are all too common in the communities Erie serves. Now, when an Erie primary care provider screens a patient for depression, anxiety, grief, anger, substance abuse or other behavioral health issues, the provider is able to provide a same-day, in-person referral to an Erie on-site Behavioral Health Consultant for targeted interventions. Follow-up and tracking of each patient's care and progress is built into the system, ensuring that patients receive the care and treatment they need, when they need it.

Currently, Erie's Behavioral Health Consultants are on staff at Erie West Town, Erie Division Street, Erie Humboldt Park, and Erie Foster Avenue. Each consultant is a fully licensed, bilingual clinician. More clinicians will be added as needed. The new behavioral health model is funded in part by a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.



Erie Nationally Recognized as Health Center Quality Leader


In December, the Health Services Resources Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognized Erie as a "Health Center Quality Leader." Erie's quality measures placed us in the top 2% of nearly 1,200 community health centers across the country. The ranking is based on Erie's performance in several areas such as diabetes management, hypertension control, and ensuring regular PAP smears.

As a Health Center Quality Leader, Erie was awarded Affordable Care Act funding at a level reflecting its quality performance relative to its peers. Erie received the highest funding award in Illinois, and the 24th largest in the U.S.      



Moms Give High Marks to Centering Pregnancy Program

Katherine Garcia (second from the right) was impressed by the quality of care she received when participating in Erie's Centering Pregnancy program with other young and expectant mothers.


As soon as Katherine Garcia learned she was pregnant, she felt determined to have a healthy baby. For advice, she turned to her trusted church pastor, Priscilla McClain, an Erie nurse. Soon, Katherine was enrolled in Erie's Centering Pregnancy Program. Directed by Women's Health Promoter Alejandra Ortiz, the popular program provides young expectant mothers with education and support for healthy pregnancies and childbirth, breastfeeding and newborn care, in a unique group setting.


"I felt like I had a whole team of experts on my side every step of the way," says Katherine, who gave birth to a healthy son in October. "Alejandra gave us all the right information and was always there for us. I was able to choose my Erie doctor and the hospital I wanted. And the moms in the group supported each other, too."


Katherine's positive view is overwhelmingly shared by young mothers who participate in the program at Erie West Town and Humboldt Park locations. On a scale of 5, it ranks 4.75 for patient satisfaction. "I would definitely participate again," says Katherine. "I learned so much, and there's always something new to learn."




Eriedescence 2015 Raises Fun and Funds for Health Education Programs



On February 19, 260 guests defied frigid temperatures, kicked off their winter boots and slipped into their party shoes to celebrate Eriedescence at Galleria Marchetti. Guests enjoyed hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, conversation and dancing. They lined up to bid for silent auction items including spa packages, sporting event tickets, jewelry and much more. Raffle prizes included a resort package in Oaxaca, Mexico. A Mystery Wine Grab sold out long before the evening was over.

Over $51,000 was raised to support Erie's holistic health education programs, including prenatal support groups, healthy cooking classes, Erie's Running Club and other programs that give Erie patients the tools they need to take control of their health and improve their lives.


Check out our Facebook album to see more photos!

Erie's Auxiliary Council hosted the annual event. Sponsors included: Lead sponsor, Power Gen Renewable Energy; Emerald sponsors, Agati Furniture, Brian and Michele Marsella and Walgreens; Sapphire sponsors, IlliniCare Health, Leal Associates, Lee Francis, Legat Architects, Northwestern Memorial Health Care, Prime International Trading and Procured Health; Dessert sponsor, More Cupcakes.

Erie Auxiliary Council Seeking New Members!


Would you or a colleague like to join other young professionals who share a desire to give back and grow their social and professional network on Erie's Auxiliary Council? The Council is welcoming new members to enhance and expand the reach of Erie Health Center's mission through service, advocacy and financial support. To learn more about joining this dynamic group of engaged advocates, contact Kate Birdwell at or 312-432-7440.  



Save the Date!




Erie's Annual Luncheon celebrates the role of community health centers, and honors leaders and innovators in the health care field who have made a difference in the lives of Erie patients and our community. 


We are proud to welcome Christopher G. Kennedy, Chairman of Joseph P. Kennedy Enterprises and past president of Merchandise Mart Properties, as our Keynote Speaker. In addition to his prominent role as a business and civic leader, Mr. Kennedy is the Founder of Top Box Foods, and a champion for access to health care, nutrition and education. His volunteer work has shown his commitment to improving the lives of those in need.


For tickets or more information, contact:



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