Celebrating new Pilsen clinic

Pilsen clinic ribbon cutting

University and community leaders attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony at UI Health’s Pilsen clinic. From left: artist Alejandro Romero; Robert Barish, vice chancellor for health affairs; Ald. Danny Solis, 25th Ward; UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis; Avijit Ghosh, UI Health CEO; Carlos Jimenez Macias, Consul General of Mexico; Ald. George Cardenas, 12th Ward and chair for the Chicago Committee on Health and Environment Protection; and Robert Winn, associate vice chancellor for community based practice and director of the University of Illinois Cancer Center. Photo: Vibhu S. Rangavasan

Nearly 100 university staff and community members gathered at the Pilsen Family Health Center Lower West Dec. 7 to celebrate the opening of UI Health’s second community-based clinic.

UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis opened the event.

“Today we formally recommit the university and our health care mission to making a significant improvement in the lives of the people of Pilsen by bringing our health care expertise and our services back to the community,” Amiridis said.

“We remain true to the Hippocratic oath,” he said. “We treat everyone. We are not asking who you are, or what you do, or where you come from. We treat all patients and we will continue to do that. This is one of the core values of the University of Illinois at Chicago and our health care system.”

The Pilsen center, which opened in October, provides families and individuals of all ages with comprehensive and bilingual health care services from immunizations and physical exams to prenatal care and complex medical care. The 6,400-square-foot renovated facility features nine exam rooms and a laboratory for blood draws and basic testing.

Speakers at the event included Robert Barish, vice chancellor for health affairs; Robert Winn, associate vice chancellor for community based practice and director of the University of Illinois Cancer Center; Alderman Danny Solis, 25th Ward; and Alderman George Cardenas, 12th Ward and chair for the Chicago Committee on Health and Environment Protection.

“I want to thank UIC and their system, especially the hospital and the chancellor,” Cardenas said. “This is, I think, a great moment for Pilsen, a great moment for the Latino community here in Lower West.”

Barish said “health is personal” and affirmed UI Health’s commitment to compassionate, accountable, respectful and high-quality care.

“It is our commitment to keeping our patients’ individual needs and diverse backgrounds at the center of our mission that brings us here today,” he said.

Solis, whose ward includes the Pilsen neighborhood, said the clinic will be good for the community, thanks in part to its strategic location near the intersection of Ashland Avenue and 18th Street.

“If you put a pin here and drew a radius around us, you could hit Chinatown, Little Village and Back of the Yards,” he said.

The center has eight full-time employees and bilingual, board-certified family medicine physicians. Clinical staff have expertise in primary care, preventive care and women’s health — including prenatal care and delivery — and the care of newborns and children.

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