New Mile Square clinic in South Shore now open

MSHC Ribbon Cutting

Community health advocates Angela Ware (far left) and Tina Lewis (far right) hold the ribbon as (left to right) Rev. Randall Harris, Dr. Robert Winn, Dr. Robert Barish, Henry Taylor, Ald. Leslie Hairston, U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, and Carl Malone celebrate the opening of the UI Health Mile Square Health Center clinic in South Shore. (Photo: UIC/Adam Biba)

The University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, or UI Health, celebrated yesterday the relocation of its community health center in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood to larger, more centrally located clinic space during a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The new UI Health Mile Square Health Center clinic in South Shore, which is located at 7037 S. Stony Island Ave., offers neighborhood patients expanded hours and a host of additional services, including immediate care, behavioral health counseling and dental care.

“We are proud to bring additional health care services to our South Shore practice, and we believe this new location will help us to better meet the needs of the men, women and families living in the neighborhood,” said Henry Taylor, chief executive officer of Mile Square Health Center, a network of 13 federally qualified health centers throughout Chicago.

The new clinic is about 1,220 square feet larger than its prior location, which was at 7131 S. Jeffrey Blvd. The new clinic first opened to patients early this year.

“Mile Square has a long legacy of providing comprehensive, affordable care to vulnerable communities in Chicago,” said Taylor, “and we believe that this investment in the South Shore clinic will help us advance that mission, reduce health disparities and improve the health outcomes of this community.”

Historically, the South Shore clinic has served nearly 3,000 patients for more than 6,500 patient visits each year. Taylor anticipates that number to increase, thanks to the new services being offered at the clinic.

Dr. Robert Winn, who oversees UI Health’s community-based clinics, says bringing expanded services to the South Shore neighborhood is one more positive step forward in the institution’s efforts to eliminate health disparities.

“Community health centers need to be about more than walk-in appointments and occasional treatments for illnesses or infections,” Winn said, “and that’s the model in which we are investing.”

“Adding behavioral health and dental care is the tip of the iceberg,” said Winn, associate vice chancellor for community-based practice at the University of Illinois at Chicago and director of the University of Illinois Cancer Center. In 2014, Mile Square Health Center became the first federally qualified health center in Chicago to offer urgent care and specialty care at its main clinic at 1220 S. Wood St.

The South Shore clinic is the first Mile Square location to offer on-site dental services, including exams, x-rays, cleanings, fillings, extractions, dentures and crowns. Students from the College of Dentistry, one of seven UIC health sciences colleges, rotate through the clinic thereby learning community-based dentistry.

“UI Health has an unparalleled wealth of educational, research and clinical expertise within its colleges, hospital and clinics,” said Dr. Robert Barish, vice chancellor for health affairs at UIC. “Mile Square Health Center in South Shore is an example of how UI Health can reach across disciplines — in this case, dentistry and medical care — to the benefit of Chicago communities.”

More information about UI Health and Mile Square Health Center is available online.