Victory: Cicero and Berwyn ICIRR Leaders Win Commitment from Cook County Commissioner Tobolski To Expand Access to Health Care in the Area

Wed May 02 2018

Amanda Varela

After Chicago,  Cicero and Berwyn has the highest concentration of uninsured individuals in Cook County. Two years ago, ICIRR's health care collaborative know as Healthy Communities Cook County (HC3) won the establishment of a direct access program know as Carelink. Carelink provides very low cost  access to  a medical home and preventative care for uninsured people in Cook County.

Throughout the winter months of 2017, Cicero and Berwyn leaders engaged over 100 residents to learn from the community about how the program has been going. Through this process, the leaders found that 95% of the residents had not heard of the program. The Cicero and Berwyn ICIRR chapter, now known as the Cicero and Berwyn Community, decided to hold a meeting with Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski to demand that the county play a more active role in outreach and enrollment in the area, and ensure that the thousands of residents who could benefit from the program are informed about it. 

Leaders from the Cicero and Berwyn Community met with Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski to push for more awareness of Carelink. Commissioner Tobolski committed to:

  • Host  community outreach events throughout Cicero and Berwyn to sign people up for the program.

  • Work with the ICIRR chapter and the Cook County Health and Hospital System (CCHHS) around ways to increase the capacity of the Carelink program by expanding medical services beyond CCHHS's hopsitals and clinics.

  • Attend a community townhall organized by ICIRR in June to publicly  solidify his commitments to expand outreach and enrollment in to the program in the  Cicero and Berwyn area.

  • Meet regularly with the Cicero and Berwyn Community to collaborate on the improvement and expansion of the Carelink program.

This will help thousands of people in the Cicero and Berwyn area gain affordable access to healthcare, including a medical home and coordinated care, who otherwise would not have access to these services.

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