Erie  Evanston/Skokie Health Center, 1285 Hartrey Ave., will be able to expand, thanks to a grant from NorthShore University HealthSystem.                  RoundTable photo

NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) has pledged $900,000 to Erie Family Health Center to go in part to Erie’s planned expansion of its health center in Evanston.

Erie Evanston/Skokie Health Center has grown from a start-up clinic operating out of the City of Evanston’s Civic Center in October 2012 to serving 7,500 patients. Its state-of-the-art facility at 1285 Hartrey Ave. has 15 patient exam rooms and five dental suites.

About 41% of Erie Evanston/Skokie Health Center’s patients live in Evanston, 17% are from Skokie, 14% from Rogers Park, and the balance from other neighborhoods in Chicago or other suburban areas. The health center serves patients, regardless of their ability to pay.

The gift will enable Erie to add 7,000 square feet of new clinical and support space to the clinic, doubling the number of exam rooms from 15 to 30 and multiplying Erie’s capacity to serve the community. When Erie established its facility on Hartrey Avenue, it acquired a right of first refusal on space which connects to the existing facility. The expansion is expected to take place within the next two years.

NorthShore’ gift includes a capital grant of $700,000 to support expansion of the Erie Evanston/Skokie Health Center, and an additional $200,000 for uncompensated costs of providing ongoing preventive and primary care services to patients, as well as other support services. This is on top of the more than $2 million in support NorthShore has provided to Erie that helped it plan for and open the permanent health center on Hartrey Avenue in 2013, and provide services in the ensuing years.

“NorthShore made a commitment four years ago to support Erie Family Health Center and the vital health services it provides to underserved patients, and we are pleased to extend this important community partnership,” said NorthShore Chief Operating Officer J.P. Gallagher. “It is another example of NorthShore’s mission to be engaged with the communities we are privileged to serve.”      

Erie Evanston/Skokie Health Center serves as a “medical home” where individuals and families can receive key health services in one location – from one trusted provider – throughout their lives. The health center offers a full spectrum of services, including internal medicine, oral health care, family medicine, women’s health, pediatrics, and behavioral health as well as referrals for specialty care, said Erie in a prepared statement.

In addition to the contribution from NorthShore, Erie also received a leadership gift of $1 million from the Finnegan Family Foundation to support the expansion of its Evanston/Skokie Health location.

“It is exciting to see the growing impact that Erie Evanston/Skokie Health Center has had on the health of the community. However, we know there is still a great unmet need for primary care services,” said Dr. Lee Francis, Erie President and CEO. “We are grateful to NorthShore University HealthSystem and the Finnegan Family Foundation for their investment in our mission, which will enable us to double the number of patients we are able to serve.