in collaboration


June 2021 News

Racial Equity Workshops

Here is what we know to be true: Health equity is inherently tied to racial equity. In our roles as convener and educator, the Foundation seeks to provide our partners with opportunities to listen, learn and engage—together. After soliciting feedback from our grantees, the Foundation is providing a series of Leadership Institute offerings aimed at introducing key concepts around racial equity; providing grantee organizations with a customized racial equity assessment tool; and implementing racial equity principles within organizational culture and operations.

Workshops will be facilitated by Janine Hill of Soar Strategies, and will be conducted via Zoom. The series will continue throughout the summer and early fall, and are an important step in our ongoing journey to both understand and eliminate racial inequities in our communities.

Greg DiDomenico, Nan Silva, Ro Ortiz, Lisa Derezinski, Beth Murin, Tom Fuechtmann

Meet our New Team Member, Ro Ortiz!

We are pleased to welcome Ro Ortiz to our staff team! Ro joins us as a self-described “administrative assistant extraordinaire”. She has experience in office management and graphic design, but says she is most proud of her role as mom to three wonderful boys. She looks forward to engaging with our grantees and community partners. You can reach her at

Welcome, Ro!

YC2 Students Award $30,000 to Four Local Nonprofits

The Foundation is honored to celebrate the accomplishments of our YC2 changemakers! Sixty budding philanthropists from Hinsdale Central High School, Lyons Township High School, Nazareth Academy and Riverside Brookfield High School have participated in CMF’s youth philanthropy program and ultimately awarded grant funds totaling $30,000 to four local organizations (Alivio Medical CenterThe Community HouseMetropolitan Family Services Southwest, and Oak Park River Forest Infant Welfare Society). Together these organizations are working to increase health equity and provide mental health support throughout our communities.

We are grateful to our schools, our students and their families, and our funding partners — The Burjan Family, Moira & Paul Naffah, and Corlyn & Jeff Simmons — for making this program possible.

YC2 students reflect on their program experience

Trusted Messengers: Year 2 Learnings of Community Health Worker Pilot in Suburban Cook County

Community Memorial Foundation and Healthy Communities Foundation have jointly supported a Community Health Worker (CHW) pilot since 2018. The pilot aims to improve access to culturally competent care and advance health equity in the region.

Coordinated by Health & Medicine Policy Research Group and evaluated by Sinai Urban Health Institute, it has made a significant impact, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pilot organizations include Aging Care ConnectionsAlivio Medical CenterBEDS PlusHealthcare Alternative Systems, and Mujeres Latinas en Acción.

Read more about the accomplishments of our CHWs in our Year 2 outcomes report.

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