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Erie Family Health Center


Posts Tagged ‘community health’

Erie Henson Garden Initiative Program

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Erie celebrates the first days of summer with the new Henson Garden Initiative Program

The season of summer has finally arrived here in Chicago –and Erie Family Health Center does not plan on wasting a single moment of this balmy, beautiful weather. Recently, a few Erie employees volunteered their time to help break ground on the new Henson Garden Initiative Program, a part of Erie’s Health and Wellness Program at Erie Henson School Based Health Center. This program aims to promote healthy lifestyles to children living within the North Lawndale community through education on healthy eating and the importance of physical activity.

The Henson Garden Initiative is just one facet of the Henson Health and Wellness Program. The Henson Garden Initiative, which is an after school program for the students of Henson, will help children increase their knowledge of nutrition through planting and managing a garden. Since the children will be helping to assemble the garden and grow the produce, the garden will not only serve as an opportunity for education but also as an opportunity for physical activity. Children will also be able to share the information they’ve learned about healthy living to their peers through classroom presentations. Children will be sent home with produce from the garden as well as recipes to prepare with their parents at home. Any additional produce will be donated to the emergency food pantry at Henson, which help teach the students an important lesson on giving back to their community.

There are many benefits to exposing children, especially children living in urban areas, to information about healthy eating. “Exposing children to where their food comes from, how it grows and why it’s important to eat healthy foods allows them to be informed and empowered about making healthy choices,” says Elizabeth Mendoza, an Erie AmeriCorps Health Educator. “When this information is presented at a young age, the children are then able to get a healthier start in life.”


Erie Welcomes Senator Durbin!

Monday, June 6th, 2011

On June 2, 2011, Erie Family Health Center was honored to host U.S. Senator Dick Durbin at Erie Humboldt Park Health Center. During the visit, Erie had the opportunity to share our new Family Practice Residency Program and the importance of the Teaching Health Centers funding for the sustainability of the program. Erie’s Family Practice Residency Program, which is carried out in partnership with Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and Norwegian American Hospital, is a community-based residency program that aims to train primary care physicians to meet the health care needs of the millions of Americans that will be insured through health care reform.


Erie Family Health Center’s New Memory Health Program

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Erie Family Health Center partners with Northwestern University to bring a brand new health care program to Erie patients

Erie Family Health Center promises many things to the Chicago communities it serves – quality and compassionate health care, a warm and comforting environment, and the promotion of wellness and preventative care. To continually fulfill those promises, Erie understands innovation, creativity, and above all, the ability to search continually for opportunities will lead to better serve our patients every day.

Erie Family Health Center’s new partnership with Northwestern’s Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer ’s Disease Center is a perfect example of Erie’s commitment to developing new ways to help all patients achieve optimum health – both physically and mentally. This new Erie venture is supported by a Community Partnership grant from Northwestern Memorial Hospital – La Memoria Project. The new program will provide patients with cognitive impairments with screenings, psychosocial assessments, health education, and a link to critical support services. Kristen Oshyn, a Master’s-trained social work intern will counsel patients living with dementia and their caregivers to provide them with the support and resources at Erie Family Health Center.

Dementia is an emerging public health crisis in Hispanic communities in the United States. Dementia cases among the Hispanic population are expected to increase six-fold during the first half of this century. In other words, 1.3 million Hispanics are projected to have the disease in 2050, compared to less than 200,000 currently living with the disease today. “Elderly Latinos with memory loss and dementia and their families face many barriers in the care and treatment of dementia,” says Kristen. “This grant was intended to improve the recognition of the barriers currently present for Erie families to access cognitive screening resources.”


Erie Family Health Center’s Outreach Services

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Erie Family Health Center’s outreach services bring Erie’s mission into the community

If you want to witness some of the exceptional services Erie Family Health Center provides, all you have to do is take a seat in an Erie waiting room. You’ll see patients moving in and out, taking with them a reassurance they’ve found a place that truly cares about their health. If you wander throughout the clinic, you’ll see case managers working diligently alongside patients, educators teaching about the importance of exercise and healthy eating, providers listening to patients’ stories, and support groups learning and offering guidance to one another.

The amazing thing about Erie is that these wonderful services extend beyond the Erie walls. Outreach workers travel throughout Chicago communities to schools and social service agencies, educating and informing Chicagoans about a variety of health issues. By informing others on topics such as oral health, HIV/AIDS, depression, wellness and many others, these outreach workers not only teach participants about how to improve their health, but also spread the word on how Erie Family Health Center can help guide them to a healthier life.

Lauren Ranalli MPH, Manager of Community Programs, sees Erie’s outreach program as a vital part of bringing the message of health into Chicago communities. “Outreach presentations are a great opportunity for Erie to engage with community members,” says Lauren. “They are a way for us to tell Chicago residents about the comprehensive programs and services offered at Erie.”

Outreach services also offer audiences the chance to focus on a particular topic or facet of their health. Whether it’s demonstrating the proper way to exercise, giving a cooking lesson, or using models to demonstrate the pathways of medication, presentations take a new spin on standard health lessons. “Participants at our outreach presentations can increase their knowledge on a new health topic, such as how to better manage their diabetes or protect themselves from contracting HIV. They can also gain a new skill, such as how to talk to their child about sexual health or how to read a food nutrition label,” says Lauren.


Salud and the City Pictures

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Erie Beats

Erie Family Health Center would like to thank everyone who attended Salud and the City on February 24, 2011. Because of your support, Erie was able to raise funds to support all of our programs! If you were able to join us for the event we hope you had a great evening at LaSalle Power Company and enjoyed the live band, South of 80! If you missed the event don’t worry, we have you covered. Click here to check out photos on Flickr!

Loyola University’s Health Justice Project

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

A Partnership between Loyola Chicago School of Law and

Erie Family Health Center

Erie Family Health Center aims to provide affordable, accessible, high quality care – care that sometimes extends beyond health care. We understand that every aspect of a person’s life can affect their overall health. At Erie, our mission extends beyond caring for just the patient’s physical well-being.

Erie recognizes that as a community health center, we have a unique opportunity in the lives of our patients. We listen to their frustrations, hold their hands through pain, and work with them to find solutions to the challenges they face. Erie Family Health Center is excited to announce a program that will provide another opportunity to be an additional pillar of support for all patients. Erie has recently partnered with the Health Justice Project at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. The Health Justice Project is a medical-legal partnership clinic in which Juris Doctorate (JD) students train community health care providers of low-income individuals and families and help them identify social and legal issues that negatively impact the health of their patients. Under this partnership, Erie staff will be able to identify social and legal issues that contribute to the health conditions of Erie patients. Once identified, Erie providers will be able to refer patients to JD students or pro bono attorneys participating in the Health Justice Project. Patients will then be able to receive brief advice, representation and resolution.


Erie Teen Center

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Erie Teen Center’s Comprehensive Approach and New Walk-In Services

Not many will argue that teenage years can be a very confusing time in a person’s life. No longer a child, but not quite an adult, teens consistently performing a balancing act between these two worlds. Peer pressures from the media and social groups also can become an obstacle in a teen’s life. For teens in need of somewhere turn, Erie Teen Center becomes a haven of support and information for adolescents trying to mull their way through this challenging time.

Erie Teen Health Center has been in operation for over 25 years. It is the only freestanding, comprehensive teen health center in the Chicagoland area. While most adolescent sites only offer family planning services or care for young women, Erie Teen Center offers a multitude of services for young adults ages 12 to 24, including reproductive care, well child care, school and sport physicals, behavioral health services, health education and case management. The response from the teen patients has been overwhelmingly positive and most patients hear about Erie Teen Center through word-of-mouth. Last year alone, Erie Teen Center provided over 6,000 patient visits.

While adolescents and teens tend to be a healthy population in general, they also are a group who is more likely to participate in high risk behaviors—yet teens have the lowest rates of accessing preventive health care. “This is a critical point in their development, and many adolescents are not seeking care,” says Amy Valukas, site director of Erie Teen Center. “Studies have found that preventive, primary, reproductive and behavioral health services that are matched to teens, with a focus on reducing high-risk behaviors, have the potential of improving the health of young people.” From the moment teens enter Erie Teen Center, everyone from the front desk staff, to the nurses, medical assistants and providers are educating these teens about reducing risk behaviors and promoting good self care.


November E-Spotlight

Monday, December 6th, 2010



Erie Beats

While we all know presents are lovely, there are some gifts you can’t pick up at a store downtown Chicago. This holiday season, help your community and bring Joy to Erie by giving the gift of health. You can directly assist members of the Chicago community by making a donation. Every dollar given helps bring an extra ounce of joy into the lives of low-income Chicagoans all year around.

Want an excuse to get out and about the city? Be sure to save the date for Erie’s upcoming event, Salud and the City, being held Thursday, February 24, 2011 at LaSalle Power Company! Join Erie to help make Chicago healthier. Check out the exclusive video here or buy your ticket today!

Another way you can change the lives of Erie patients is by following us on Facebook! Simply click the ‘like’ button and an anonymous donor will give Erie $5 for every new fan! Ask your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors… the more fans we get the more money Erie raises to help those in need this holiday season.

Still can’t get enough of Erie? Be sure to follow our blog, Beats Per Minute, for the latest happenings, events and news at Erie and in our community. All this and more can be found in November 2010 E-Spotlight!










Erie Named Chicago Tribune Top 100 Workplaces!

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Erie Beats

Erie Family Health Center was named one of the Top 100 Workplaces by the Chicago Tribune! Erie staff members and board chair Brian Marsella attended an event hosted by the Tribune on Tuesday, November 9 at the Chase Auditorium to be recognized for this honor. The group also have the opportunity to meet and speak with Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz.

Watch a special video message from Erie’s President and CEO Dr. Lee Francis or read our company profile online! Be sure to pick up your copy of the Chicago Tribune today for a special feature magazine!

Aetna Foundation Grant Will Help Support Erie Henson School-Based Health Center

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Erie Beats

This month Erie was presented with a check for a grant we received from the Aetna Foundation for the Henson Wellness Program at Erie Henson School-Based Health Center. The support from Aetna will allow Erie to provide the Henson Wellness Program to directly help reduce childhood obesity through three types of innovative programs: 1. BodyWorks afterschool program, 2. Building Active Lives Around Nutrition Centered Education (BALANCE) classroom-based curriculum and 3. Henson Garden Initiative.

The BodyWorks program will provide obese or overweight girls with the tools/strategies to improve eating and exercise habits. The BALANCE program will help children incorporate good nutrition and physical activity into their daily lives. The launch the Henson Garden Initiative will increase knowledge of nutrition while engaging children in physical activity by planting and maintaining a garden at Henson Elementary. All three of the programs are important to help children live healthier, happier lives. Thank you Aetna!