Work begins on new Mile Square Health Center facility

Dignitaries at the Mile Square groundbreaking ceremony

Dignitaries at the Mile Square groundbreaking ceremony include (L-R): Mile Square board member John Bolden, executive director Henry Taylor, board member Edna Pearce, U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares, President Bob Easter, Vice President Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, board president Rev. Randall Harris and 29th Ward Ald. Jason Ervin. Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services


University, government and community leaders came together Monday to break ground for a new Mile Square Health Center facility several blocks from the UI Hospital.

“Mile Square is Chicago’s oldest community health care clinic and has been providing care to the medically underserved communities for 40 years,” said Henry Taylor, executive director of Mile Square.

The five-story, 121,750-square-foot facility at Roosevelt Road and Wood Street was designed by Moody-Nolan Architects, the largest African American architectural firm in the U.S.

The center will offer mammography and pharmacy services, with an onsite medical laboratory for faster results of patients’ medical tests.

An urgent care center will be located on the first floor. The second floor will house Mile Square’s primary care practice, including family medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology. There will also be an area for mental health services. Other programs, including community-based research, will be located on the upper floors.

University President Bob Easter thanked everyone who helped make the new Mile Square a reality.

“This is a tremendous day,” said Easter. “It takes many hands on the plow to plow a difficult field.”

Mile Square’s $22 million portion of the $44 million project will come from $12 million in federal funding, a $7 million commitment from the Office of the University Vice President for Health Affairs Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, and a loan for the balance from the university.

UIC took over Mile Square from the city in 1991. This year at its current home, 2045 W. Washington Blvd., the clinic will provide an estimated 75,000 patient visits by more than 24,000 individuals, many with incomes below the federal poverty level. Most of its patients are on public insurance or uninsured and the center provides services on a sliding fee basis, including free care.

The center has 11 additional sites: primary care clinics in the South Shore, Back of the Yards, Englewood and Cicero areas; four school-based health centers associated with the School of Public Health; and three College of Nursing clinics that provide primary care for patients with chronic mental illness.

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