Dr. Lee Francis joined Erie Family Health Centers in 1991 and has served as President and CEO since 2007. Dr. Francis is charged with leading Erie’s operations and strategy to grow and sustain its role 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 over 72,000 patients. During his tenure, Dr. Francis has overseen 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 residency and medical training programs. In addition to other training partnerships, 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, recognition as a Health Center Quality Leader, designation as a Top Chicago Workplace 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 Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Francis received a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry from Amherst College, 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 a member of the University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health Executive Advisory Board. He also is a Board member of Alliance Chicago, the Otho S.A. Sprague Memorial Institute; Physicians for Social Responsibility Chicago Chapter; and the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. Dr. Francis is a Fellow of the Leadership Greater Chicago Class of 2000.