John F. Benjamin Exceptional Service Award

John F. Benjamin Exceptional Service Award

The John F. Benjamin Exceptional Service Award was created in 2021 in memory of John F. Benjamin, who dedicated six decades of service as a devoted board member of both Michael Reese Hospital and Michael Reese health Trust. The award is given annually to a person or organization exemplifying John’s philanthropy character, his generosity towards others, his intelligent approach to problem-solving and his lifetime desire to make the work a healthier and more humane place.

2023 Event Details

Save the Date to honor Chief Homelessness Officer for the State of Illinois, Christine Haley.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023
8:15am – 11:00am
LM Studio, 808 S. Michigan Ave. 

This year’s event will feature a free breakfast, networking and discussion on the state of homelessness in Illinois.

About Christine Haley

As Chief Homelessness Officer, Christine works with 16 state agencies to implement a strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness for Illinois residents. Christine chairs the Illinois Interagency Task Force on Homelessness and co-chairs the Community Advisory Council on Homelessness.

Before joining the state, Christine was the Director of Housing for Cook County Health (CCH), one of the nation’s largest public safety-net health systems. Together with Housing Forward, she was the clinical administrator of a 19-bed medical respite center in Oak Park. Before joining CCH, Christine worked as an administrator in the housing sector with the CSH, Housing Opportunities for Women and Heartland Alliance.

She previously served in health equity positions within the Massachusetts and Cleveland Departments of Public Health. She was the founding Executive Director of the Chicago Torture Justice Center.

Christine holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University. Christine lives in Chicago with her husband Peter and three children.

Previous John F. Benjamin Exceptional Service Award Honorees

2022 Honoree // Dr. Ngozi Ezike

2022’s honoree was Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Immediate Past Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health and current President and CEO of Sinai Chicago. Dr. Ezike was honored for her unwavering courage and leadership to the state of Illinois throughout the first three years of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Dr. Ezike is the second woman and the first Black woman appointed to lead the nearly 150-year-old state agency. In this leadership role, Dr. Ezike guided the state and its 12.7 million residents through the worst pandemic in its history, while simultaneously working to promote health equity, particularly within communities of need.

Dr. Ezike is a board-certified internist and pediatrician, who worked at Cook County Health, serving for more than 15 years in various direct patient care and administrative roles, including medical directorships at the Austin Health Center and Juvenile Detention Center.  She also delivered inpatient care at Stroger Hospital and primary and preventive care in community and school-based clinics.

She is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and Diplomate of both the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Pediatrics. She is the recipient of honorary doctorates from Southern Illinois University, Rosalind Franklin University, and Knox College.

2021 Honoree // Dr. Larry Goodman

The inaugural John F. Benjamin Exceptional Service Award was given to Dr. Larry Goodman who, at the time, had recently  retired as the CEO of the Rush System and as the CEO of Rush University Medical Center, positions he had held since 2002. Since that date, he also served as the President of Rush University.  Dr. Goodman is currently serving as CEO of Rush once again.

Before his appointments as CEO, Goodman served as senior vice president of medical affairs and dean of Rush Medical College. From 1995 to 1998, he was the medical director of Cook County Hospital (now the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County).   Dr. Goodman is a 1976 graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School, and he completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in infectious disease at Rush University Medical Center. During his fellowship he served as chief medical resident before joining the faculty.

During his tenure the University has more than doubled in size with numerous programs attaining national recognition; RUMC has been recognized for nursing excellence with five consecutive Magnet designations; overall quality has been ranked #1 in the nation by Vizient; Rush has revitalized its facilities with the new butterfly-shaped bed tower and new out-patient facilities; the Rush System was formed; and Rush adopted a new approach to partnerships to better address health care inequities on the West Side which led to the formation of West Side United.

From 2002 to 2019, Goodman served on the Board of The CORE Foundation, a model public-private venture between Cook County and Rush University Medical Center that established The Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center, which cares for approximately 7,000 patients with HIV/AIDS. He is currently a board member of the Civic Consulting Alliance, which provides pro bono consulting services to the City of Chicago and Cook County in areas of greatest public need.

Sign up for our newsletter to ensure you stay up to date on all that’s going on at Michael Reese