Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation Announces COVID-19 General Operating Grants

Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation Announces COVID-19 General Operating Grants

(Oak Brook, IL) – September 8, 2020 – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating impact upon the operations and financial strength of all safety-net healthcare providers throughout the state, Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF) has awarded nearly $1,100,000 in total funding to 22 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) working to improve the health of Illinois residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. This investment completes a collaboration initiated by Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation (DDILF), in which DDILF awarded $50,000 grants to 20 FQHCs earlier this year, resulting in the funding of all 42 FQHC applicants and a total investment of $2.1 million.

“FQHCs, the backbone of our healthcare safety-net, provide healthcare services to the most vulnerable children and families throughout Illinois. Serving 1.4 million Illinois residents annually at 390 sites across the state, it is estimated that since the start of the pandemic the state’s FQHCs have lost more than $180 million in revenue,” said Heather Higgins Alderman, President of ILCHF. “These grants will help mitigate some of damage we are seeing throughout the state,” added Alderman. 

“This opportunity was made possible through our tremendous partnership with DDILF,” said Bob Egan, the Foundation’s Senior Program Officer for Oral Health.  “Shortly after the pandemic struck, DDILF invited ILCHF to partner in this initiative to provide $50,000 general operating grants to FQHCs. DDILF committed $1 million and in April, our Board of Directors also committed $1 million to this effort.”  DDILF awarded its grants in June.  42 FQHCs applied for funding and in order to fund all of them ILCHF increased its available funding from $1 million to $1.1 million. “They were all strong applications and rather then decline two FQHCs our Board agreed to increase our funding by $100,000,” said Egan.  

“These FQHCs sorely need this funding to keep providing much-needed oral and overall health care to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lora Vitek, executive director of the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation. “We are partnering with these centers as part of our mission to help our community get through this health crisis together.” 

“The dedicated teams at these FQHCs are saving lives on the frontlines every day. We are deeply grateful for their continued efforts and for the opportunity to support their work in this small way. We are also grateful for DDILF’s leadership in this initiative and the opportunity to partner with them. We are hopeful that the life-changing work of our state’s FQHCs will inspire others to support them as well.” added Alderman.

Grants will fund a variety of activities including pediatric services, oral health services, education and outreach, COVID-19 testing, behavioral health services and telehealth. Funded organizations are from across the state and include: 

AHS Family Health Center, (Chicago)
Funding will allow them to continue providing needed dental services to their children and high-risk adults in an efficient manner and maintain their COVID testing capabilities in the current climate.

Access Community Health Network (ACCESS), (Chicago)
Funding will support additional outreach and education regarding continued access to pediatric services, education about COVID testing and expanding pediatric behavioral health services.

Alivio Medical Center, (Chicago)
Funding will support the salaries of screeners for pediatric patients and their families who manage all entrances at three comprehensive clinics to ensure social distance. 

Aunt Martha’s Health and Wellness, (Olympia Fields)
Funding will be used to hire a full-time health outreach and education worker to engage churches and schools regarding medical services available on their mobile unit.

Beloved Community Wellness Center, (Chicago)
Funding will be used to employ a creative arts therapist as a member of their multidisciplinary health care team. 

Cass County Health Department, (Virginia)
Funding will be used to purchase equipment and supplies to safely continue to provide services to children during the pandemic.  

Chestnut Health System, (Bloomington)
Funding will be used to offset staff salary costs and support their youth behavioral health services.

Christian Community Health Center, (Chicago)
Funds will be used to support Chief Medical Officer and pediatrician. Direct costs will support efforts to schedule pediatric appointments ad to administer immunizations.

Community Health Partnership of Illinois, (Harvard)
Funding will be used to hire an additional pediatric provider to address to expanded need brought on by the pandemic.

Esperanza Health Centers, (Chicago)
Primary funding will be used for telehealth system to continue to provide mental health services.  

Family Christian Health Center, (Chicago)
Funding will primarily be used to assist the dental department in operating more safely and maintain optimum standards of care and follow recommended guidelines. 

Heartland Community Health Clinic dba Heartland Health Services, (Peoria)
Funding will support salaries for the continuation of services at their clinic.

Heartland Health Centers, (Chicago)
Funding will support pediatric care delivery across its community and school-based patient populations and offset revenue losses sustained as a result of COVID-19.

Henderson County Rural Health System DBA, Eagle View Community Health System, (Oak Park)
Funding will be used for a new HVAC system for their Stronghurst Dental Clinic.

Lawndale Christian Health Center, (Chicago)
Funding will support the organization in safely, continuing to provide medical and dental services for children during the pandemic. 

Near North Health Service Corporation, (Chicago)
Funds will support their children’s oral health programs by providing services via mobile van for families with young children.

PCC Community Wellness Center, (Oak Park)
Funds will be used to offset cost to follow recommendations to provide oral health services in a safe manner.

Rural Health, Inc., (Anna)
Funds will be used to cover a portion of the costs associated with the influx of dental patients as a result of the suspension of services as a result of the pandemic.

Shawnee Health Service and Development Corp., (Carterville)
Funds will support the purchase equipment to make dental clinics safe from the transmission of viruses.  

TCA Health, (Chicago)
Funds will support the purchase of equipment and supplies to safely provide medical services to children during the pandemic.

Whiteside County Community Health Clinic, (Rock Falls)
Funds will support the purchase of various equipment and supplies used during pediatric dental visits to keep patients safe.

Will County Community Health Center, (Joliet)
Funds will be used to offset dental staff and improve air filtration for their dental van. 


About Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation

The Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF) has a single vision: Every child in Illinois grows up healthy. Working through grantee partners across the state, the Foundation focuses its grant making on identifying and funding solutions to the barriers that prevent children from accessing the ongoing health care they need. ILCHF is the only statewide private foundation focused solely on improving the health of all children in the State of Illinois. ILCHF was created in December 2002 through an action of then Attorney General Jim Ryan and an Illinois insurance carrier. This action and a settlement of approximately $125 million established the Foundation’s endowment. From 2002 into 2020, Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation has awarded nearly $100 million in grants that has been invested in programs aimed at improving children’s overall health in Illinois, with a focus in oral health and mental health. For more information, go to

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