Dr. Lee Francis joined Erie Family Health Centers in 1991 and has served as President and CEO since 2007. Dr. Francis is charged with enacting Erie’s strategic vision of serving as a national leader in the provision of community-based health care.
Under Dr. Francis’ leadership, Erie has undergone tremendous expansion, adding three new school-based sites and four new primary care centers, more than doubling Erie’s service capacity to nearly 70,000 patients. In addition, Dr. Francis oversaw the successful implementation of electronic health record systems at all of Erie’s health centers; the expansion of oral health services; and board development and diversification to assure adequate reflection of Erie’s patient population. He also continues to develop and leverage partnerships with local hospitals to assure seamless services for Erie patients, and with academic institutions to implement Erie’s Teaching Health Center program. Erie is one of the original 11 Teaching Health Centers in the country – and the only one in Illinois – that is part of a federal effort to transform family medicine residency programs by training physicians to practice primary care in a community-based setting.
Erie has received national and local recognition for these groundbreaking efforts, including accreditation by the Joint Commission, achievement of women’s health quality outcomes among the top 10 percent in the country, designation as Top 100 Chicago Workplaces by the Chicago Tribune a total of five times, receipt of the Chicago-wide Alford-Axelson non-profit management excellence award and numerous local and national awards for oral health, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other innovative programs.
In addition to his executive responsibilities, Dr. Francis is a board-certified internist and cares for adult patients at Erie. He also is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Francis received a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry from Amherst College in Massachusetts, and his medical degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. Dr. Francis earned a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. He completed his medical training in primary care internal medicine at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County.
Dr. Francis is Board Chair of the Illinois Primary Health Care Association (IPHCA) and a member of the University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health Executive Advisory Board. He also is a Board member of the Alliance of Chicago Community Health Services, the Otho S.A. Sprague Memorial Institute; Physicians for Social Responsibility Chicago Chapter; and Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. Dr. Francis is a Fellow of the Leadership Greater Chicago Class of 2000.