Mile Square honored by American Lung Association

Impact Award Winners

Dr. Kevin Kovitz (left), chair of the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago Local Leadership Board, presents 2017 Impact Award to (left to right) Dr. Robert Winn, Karriem Watson and Henry Taylor of Mile Square Health Center / Photo: American Lung Association in Greater Chicago

Mile Square Health Center is one of two organizations honored by the American Lung Association for exceptional work to improve lung health and prevent lung disease in Chicago.

The Impact Award, given to organizations and people that have made the most impact on the association, was presented to Dr. Robert Winn, associate vice chancellor for community-based practice at the University of Illinois at Chicago and director of the University of Illinois Cancer Center, on Aug. 10 during a reception at Holland & Knight.

“At UIC, we have a mission to provide care to all people and to reduce health disparities that we simply cannot accomplish alone,” says Winn. “To change lives, it is vital that we work as a community and with organizations like the American Lung Association. We need to meet people where they are, in their communities, and this award tells me we are on the right path.”

The association honored Mile Square, a network of federally-qualified health centers operated by UI Health, specifically for its efforts to build community-based smoking cession and lung cancer screening programs.

To date, the center’s patient outreach and navigation team has screened 80 patients for lung cancer, resulting in 12 diagnoses, of which half were diagnosed at early stages.

In 2015, Mile Square partnered with the Lung Association’s Illinois Tobacco Quitline to form the “Mile Square Smoking Cessation Program,” which has helped hundreds quit smoking.

“Mile Square has a unique responsibility to serve Chicago’s most vulnerable communities, and these are just a few examples of the good work we do every day,” said Henry Taylor, CEO and president of Mile Square Health Center.

“It is an honor to be recognized and we are grateful for partnerships, like the one we have with the American Lung Association, that support us and the opportunities they bring to improve outcomes and reduce health disparities,” Taylor said.

“These awards highlight individuals and organizations who help make a positive difference in the air we breathe every day and our lung health,” said Kristen Young, executive director of the Lung Association in Greater Chicago, in a press release. “Whether it’s volunteering, participating in a fundraiser event, or providing health services to the community, these awardees help save lives.”

Northwestern Medicine and firefighter Richard Gray, of the North Riverside Fire Department, also received Impact Awards.

The University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System is a public, academic medical center committed to providing the highest quality care for all patients and reducing health disparities. Located in the Illinois Medical District on Chicago’s West Side, UI Health is a leader in patient care, research and education, and serves as the primary teaching facility for the UIC College of Medicine, the largest medical school in the U.S. The system includes seven health sciences colleges, a 495-bed hospital, the 101-bed Children’s Hospital of the University of Illinois, an outpatient care center and 12 federally-qualified Mile Square Health Centers located throughout Chicago, including the Mile Square Urgent Care Center.

More on UI Health and the American Lung Association.