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Health First Collaborative

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The Health First Collaborative (HFC) is redefining healthcare so Black, Latinx, uninsured and other disinvested communities in Chicagoland can reach and maintain healthy lives.

Our Response

Catalyzed by a response to the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and racism, the Health First Collaborative is investing in community-led, hubs of health transformation to address the root causes of racial health inequities and improve the physical, mental and social well-being of all individuals and families in the region.

The Work

Health First Collaborative aims to support demonstration pilots that can be replicated and/or scaled.

Hub 1:
Community Health Centers

South Side Population
Health Collaborative

In Black communities, less than 25% of specialty care referrals are completed making chronic disease management especially challenging. The South Side Population Health Collaborative pilot is utilizing Clinify, an Illinois-based, minority-owned health information technology platform, to integrate electronic health records from five community health centers: Beloved Community Family Wellness Center, Chicago Family Health Center, Christian Community Health Center, Family Christian Health Center and TCA Health, Inc. The platform will facilitate health management across the Health Collaborative and enable specialty care coordination at the community level, improving health outcomes and creating cost savings.

Long-Term Impacts
This pilot will demonstrate value-based care and incentives for specialists to partner with these communities, influence policy and actualize an increase in reimbursement from Managed Care Organizations.

Telehealth Microsites

Increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 by traveling to on-site appointments led CommunityHealth to create a pilot that leverages trusted community partnerships to increase access-to-care for uninsured people through the creation of telehealth microsites.

CommunityHealth is building co-located telehealth microsites within community based social service organizations in patient communities.

The microsites will be managed and staffed by a medical assistant or community health worker who reflects the needs of the community to assist with accessing telehealth visits, taking vitals and administering basic tests.

Long-Term Impacts
The pilot will design and test an integrated telehealth model that can be replicated across free and charitable clinics in urban and rural areas, making access to health easier. There is also potential to generate funding through public funds and hospital support.


Due to low Medicaid reimbursement rates, many Latinx communities are unable to access behavioral health support, despite an increased need due to the impact of COVID-19. Esperanza Health Centers’ pilot expands integrated behavioral health support for Latinx communities by broadening the volume, length and breadth of available health services. The care will be overlayed with supporting business intelligence to maximize quality and efficiency and will integrate with the City of  Chicago’s efforts to address access to critical behavioral health care.

Long-Term Impacts
This pilot will establish evidence and best practices for integrated telecounseling in all care delivery and use learnings to advocate for improved reimbursement rates to sustain services.

Hub 2:
Chicagoland Vaccine Partnership

The second hub of the Health First Collaborative is the Vaccine Corps Partnership. Vaccine Corps Partnership (VCP) is a collaboration of multiple stakeholders from across the Chicagoland community dedicated to coordinating resources and learnings to ensure all Chicagoans can access the COVID-19 vaccine while strengthening a public health workforce to pursue health equity beyond this current pandemic.

To learn more about VCP, click here.

Our Partners