The South Side Healthy Community Organization (SSHCO) Board of Directors today announced the appointment of Kimberly Hobson as its first Chief Executive Officer. SSHCO is a not-for-profit organization made up of 13 healthcare entities – Safety Net Hospitals, Health Systems and Federal Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) – working together to better connect existing healthcare organizations, increase the access to care, addressing some of the toughest health issues facing its communities, and ultimately ensuring stronger, healthier communities in South Chicago.
SSHCO is one of eight collaborations across the state to receive significant health transformation funding from the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services in July 2021. The state funds are the result of the Hospital and Health Care Transformation Bill that unanimously passed the Illinois Legislature in January 2021 and has been signed into law. The bill dedicates $150 million each year for the next five years to health equity by sustainably improving access and outcomes.
For decades, the 900,000 residents of Chicago’s South Side have experienced health disparities ranging from significantly higher incidences of diseases and comorbidities to significantly lower life expectancies. Health disparities reflect a history of racial inequality and underinvestment – both of which contribute to a fragmented health care delivery landscape with limited resources.
Based on extensive community engagement and feedback shared in virtual town halls, small group listening sessions, a community-wide survey and more, SSHCO is focused on improving access to primary and specialty care, preventive and chronic care management, care coordination and management, provider collaboration, ongoing community engagement, and connected digital and technology infrastructure.
Hobson has deep roots in healthcare and is familiar with the health disparities experienced in Chicago’s South Side, having served as Executive Director of SouthSide Healthcare’s Strategic and Collaborative Affiliations for the University of Chicago Medicine and having held leadership positions at Advocate Health Care, Mercy Hospital and Human Health Plan. She most recently served as CEO of JourneyCare, Illinois’ largest hospice and hospice nonprofit organization, where she rebuilt the organization to drive greater financial and operational sustainability, leading to its $85 million sale in February 2022. Hobson earned his MBA from Purdue University and graduated from the Chicago Management Institute at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
“Kimberly has the leadership skills and passion to carry out this critically important healthcare transformation mission,” said SSHCO Chairman of the Board, Rashard Johnson, President of Advocate Trinity Hospitals and South Suburban. “After decades of devastating inequities, it is truly remarkable that our health care organizations are coming together in a coordinated, collaborative and, above all, sustainable effort to improve the health of our South Side residents. Our goal was to find a CEO who shared our drive for change, had a strong background in healthcare, and knew the South Side of Chicago — at Kimberly, we found all three.
SSHCO plans to hire additional primary care physicians, community health workers and nurse care coordinators; increase access to specialists; building community partnerships around social determinants of health such as access to food and transportation; establish a community advisory board and begin developing a technology platform that will connect all South Side healthcare providers.
In fact, hiring is currently underway for the first phase of what will be up to 48 community health workers as well as 20 nursing coordinators by the end of 2022 who will eventually be distributed among the 13 members of the organization, including Advocate Trinity Hospital, Beloved Community Family Wellness Center, Chicago Family Health Center, Christian Community Health Center, Friend Health, Jackson Park Hospital, Near North Health, The New Roseland Community Hospital, St. Bernard Hospital, Sinai Chicago – Holy Cross Hospital, South Shore Hospital, TCA Health, and the University of Chicago Medicine.
The SSHCO is governed by a board of directors made up of one member from each of the 13 health partners and three community leaders. In her new position, Hobson will become the 17e and last member of the Board of Directors.
“I’m ready to get started, building on the solid foundation laid by the SSHCO Board of Directors who built this transformative organization with tremendous financial support from the state,” Hobson said. “I am honored to play a part in this life-changing work for South Side residents, as we strive to close the health equity gap that has existed for far too long. »
To learn more about SSHCO, visit: www.southsidehealthycommunity.com