May 9, 2022
PCC Community Wellness Center is breaking ground on a new $19.5 million
Primary Care Pavilion in support of Lightfoot’s Invest South-West Initiative
New expansion to create jobs, enhance COVID-19 services,
and offer care coordination to local residents
Chicago, IL -- PCC Community Wellness Center (PCC) is breaking ground on a new Primary Care Pavilion estimated at $19.5 million. The new building is a collaboration between the Cook County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA), PCC, and Alderman Emma Mitts (37th Ward). It will be in support of Mayor Lori Lightfoot's Invest South-West Initiative to address the social determinants of health on the greater west side of Chicago. The new pavilion will offer primary care, integrated behavioral health, care coordination and substance use treatment. The plan includes ways to stimulate economic growth for the Austin community by creating new jobs in specific allied health and administrative professions.
"We are pleased to partner with PCC, the Mayor’s Office, the City of Chicago, and the Cook County Land Bank Authority on this project. It has always been my mission to build a healthy community on the West Side. Bringing a program of this magnitude to the people in this community will restore hope, health, and the economy," said Ald. Emma Mitts.
“We understand that health is wealth. The PCC Primary Care Pavilion represents our vision for improving the medical care rendered to the communities we serve,” PCC’s Board Chair, Dr. Carolyn Fitzpatrick, said.
Austin is one of many South and West Side communities participating in the Invest South-West Initiative. The new facility will be located in Austin on the south side of Lake Street, between Lotus and Pine, and will span five parcels of land from the CCLBA. The projected buildout will be approximately 36,525 square feet and will offer affordable coordination and team-based care, and reduced-cost plans to Austin residents. Health care services at the proposed campus include primary health care, integrated behavioral health, dental, and specialty services identified as high need in the community.
In collaboration with other Austin community organizations, the clinic will offer wellness programs such as a community garden/urban farm, a lifestyle center with exercise equipment and classes, and workforce development programming. In addition, the facility will expand access to COVID-19 services to Austin residents.
The new building will be WELL-certified, a certification program offered by the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™). WELL is an integration of scientific and medical research and literature on environmental health, behavioral factors, health outcomes, and demographic risk factors that affect health with leading practices in building design, construction, and management. IWBI invited PCC to pilot its most impactful program and become one of the country's first WELL-certified campuses.
In addition to the Well certification, PCC upholds its longstanding commitment to green buildings by pursuing a dual certification through the Green Globes program, administered by the Green Building Initiative (GBI). WELL buildings support increased productivity, higher engagement, overall occupant happiness, and a substantial reduction in energy use and water consumption.
"At PCC, one of our core values is our commitment to remain patient-focused. This center is our way of providing high-quality culturally sensitive care that is compassionate and driven by the needs of the communities we serve," said Toni Bush, President and CEO of PCC.
The entire project will cost around $19.5 million with more than half of the funding coming from the PCC Foundation. The project is also eligible for the New Markets Tax Credit program, and additional government and private funding.
Supporting partners include 37th Ward Ald. Emma Mitts, 37th Ward, Rep. La Shawn K. Ford (8th), Congressman Danny K. Davis (D), Toni Bush, President and CEO, PCC Community Wellness Center, Eleanor Gorski, Executive Director, Cook County Land Bank Authority, and Darlene Dugo, Deputy Director at the Cook County Land Bank Authority.
“The opening of a new community healthcare center in the Austin community is another example of the continuing use of public resources being used in our communities across the nation to bring healthcare to the people. Congratulations to PCC for its sterling leadership in healthcare resources to the community. PCC has been an outstanding entity in the health community for many years and I look forward to the continuation of its great work,” said Congressman Danny K. Davis.
“The Cook County Land Bank Authority is delighted to partner with PCC and the City of Chicago to transform vacant parcels of land into high-quality healthcare facilities for West Side communities. CCLBA enables impactful land development that meets the needs of the surrounding community and we are excited to help PCC care for more patients in Austin,” said Eleanor Gorski, Executive Director of the Cook County Land Bank Authority.
The PCC Primary Care Pavilion will commence with an official groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, May 16, 2022, at the PCC Austin Family Health Center, 5425 West Lake Street (Lotus and Lake), at 11 a.m. The event is open to the community.
About PCC Community Wellness Center
PCC Community Wellness Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center that operates 14 locations primarily serving the Chicago Westside communities of Austin, Belmont-Cragin, Dunning, East Garfield Park, Hermosa, Humboldt Park, Logan Square, Montclare, North Lawndale, Portage Park, West Garfield Park, and West Town and the near west suburbs of Bellwood, Berwyn, Cicero, Maywood, Melrose Park, and Oak Park. PCC provides comprehensive primary care services as well as behavioral health and oral health services. In Fiscal Year 2021, PCC served over 47,000 patients providing over 175,00 patient visits. To learn more, visit pccwellness.org/locations.
About Cook County Land Bank Authority
PCC Community Wellness Center’s Board of Directors Appoints New CEO
Oak Park, IL — PCC Community Wellness Center announced that its current COO, Toni Bush, MPH, assumed the role as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective August 1. The announcement came just one month after former CEO Robert Urso retired, on June 30, 2021, after serving PCC for more than 30 years. Dr. Paul Luning, PCC’s Chief Medical Officer, served as interim CEO and will continue as the CMO.
“We are pleased to have Toni transition to the role of CEO,” said Dr. Carolyn Fitzpatrick, PCC’s Chairwoman of the Board. “Toni has done a tremendous job for PCC over the years. Her extensive healthcare background and business operations acumen will help strengthen PCC and continue expanding its services on the Greater West Side of Chicago. We also believe her strong leadership experience will help PCC remain committed to its mission of providing exemplary healthcare to the communities it serves.”
Dr. Luning said: “Having had the pleasure of working with Toni for the last 13 years, and seeing her grow with increasing responsibility in the organization, I can say that very few people match her enthusiasm, positivity, and dedication. We are fortunate to have someone of Toni’s caliber and character as our new leader.”
With over 13 years of service to PCC, Bush has worked in various leadership roles throughout the organization, including Director of Development, Office Manager, and Clinic Administrator. As Chief Operating Officer, Bush provides leadership and management oversight of PCC,
ensuring all procedures and systems are in place for the effective growth of its clinics. She is also responsible for keeping all 14 clinics running proficiently while integrating PCC’s strategic plan to ensure its financial strength and operational efficiency to carry out its vision.
“As a child from Altgeld Gardens (Chicago Housing Authority public housing project) who became a mother at the age of 16, and single parent at the age of 19 due to community gun violence, I am truly honored and humbled to serve as the next President and CEO of PCC. As my passion for PCC grows stronger and stronger each day, likewise, my joy for serving the community grows as well. I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to lead PCC in an even greater capacity while working together with my PCC family,” Bush said.
Before her role as COO, Bush served as the Regional Director of Clinical Operations, where she managed PCC’s Steinmetz health clinic in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood and directed PCC’s employee safety and infection control programs. In addition, Bush is known for motivating staff to raise the bar in service excellence to provide the highest level of care to PCC’s patients.
A servant leader and former Chicago Albert Schweitzer Fellow, Bush is committed to working in medically underserved communities. In October 2016, she was awarded the Ramona Lopez Community Health Center Employee Award from the Illinois Primary Health Care Association for her outstanding commitment to underserved medicine.
Bush maintains a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Care Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and a Master’s in Public Health from Northern Illinois University.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, we want to thank Dr. Luning for serving as interim CEO. He did an incredible job managing PCC’s executive leadership team and overall operations during our search for the new CEO. He ultimately made the transition of roles quite seamless,” Dr. Fitzpatrick said.
Oak Park, IL – PCC Community Wellness Center is deeply grieved by the killings of eight people, including six Asian American women, on March 16. This incident has highlighted the recent increase in violence towards Asian Americans. While we recognize that hatred and racism are systemic in American society, we are outraged by every act of violence, every abuse, every injustice.
We stand in solidarity with Asian Americans, both in the communities that we serve and throughout our nation. We mourn with the families and friends of the eight people who were killed last week: Daoyou Feng, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Hyun Jung Grant, Paul Andre Michels, Sun Cha Kim, Soon Chung Park, Xiaojie Tan, and Yong Ae Yue. Their deaths are a painful reminder that systemic racism continues to have a devastating impact on Asian Americans, and all people of color, in this country.
As a community health center, PCC is committed to providing high-quality, affordable health care services to people of all ethnicities, especially those in underserved areas. We recognize that racism impacts health care, so we will continue to advance health equity. Our desire is that all individuals will have the means to attain the best health possible.
Achieving optimal health has been challenging for many people during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this has been compounded by racism. When the health and safety of even one person is threatened, it affects the well-being of us all. As we work to end the pandemic, we will work to Stop Hate against Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and all people of color. We are inspired by our compassionate concern for the wellbeing of all communities of color, and all those who may feel invisible. We recognize how deeply interconnected we are, so we strive to ensure whole, healthy communities within our service area.
CHICAGO, IL – PCC Community Wellness Center (PCC) is partnering with Rush and the Protect Chicago Plus (PCP) initiative to vaccinate 1,200 residents in the Austin community every Sunday beginning Sunday, March 14 through Sunday, April 18, 2021, at Catalyst Circle Rock Charter School, 116 N. Central Avenue. Healthcare volunteers will administer vaccinations from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. The PCP program is a city-wide strategy initiated by the Chicago Department of Public Health to get vaccine supply and necessary resources to neighborhoods that have been most troubled by the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency collaborates with community healthcare clinics and hospitals, Federally Health Qualified Centers (FQHCs), local officials, stakeholders, and community-based organizations in these vulnerable areas to organize vaccination sites and ensure residents are registered to receive the vaccine. Shots are given in two doses, with three weeks of the first doses followed by three weeks of the second doses. The Austin initiative is sponsored jointly by Rush and Loretto Hospital. Partners include Alderman Emma Mitts (D-37th Ward), Alderman Jason Ervin (D-28th Ward), Alderman Chris Taliaferro (D-29th Ward), Rush, Loretto Hospital, PCC Community Wellness, Austin Coming Together, and The Catalyst Schools. z"We are pleased to participate in the Protect Chicago Plus - Austin initiative to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus," said Dr. Paul Luning, chief medical officer at PCC Community Wellness.
According to the City's most recent COVID vulnerability index (CCVI) report, of the 26 neighborhoods listed as the most affected by COVID, 15 are in the top tier. Districts are ranked by highest susceptibility during the pandemic and often linked to low socioeconomic status, high COVID hospital admission rates, and high rates of COVID deaths. West Side communities on CCVI's high vulnerability list include Austin, North and South Lawndale, Belmont Cragin, and East Garfield Park. Belmont Cragin was a pilot site and completed its event with 2,000 residents vaccinated each weekend. PCC was a partner in that event as well.
"This is an enormous collaborative effort by organizations across the Greater West Side of Chicago. We are honored to work with our fellow healthcare providers to improve the health of the communities we serve," said Dr. Luning.
Shots are by appointment only. No walk-ins accepted. Individuals must register for the vaccine, be 18 years of age or older, and live in the Austin community. Austin residents interested in receiving the vaccine can register at www.rush.edu/austin or call 312-563-0767. To learn more about Protect Chicago Plus, go to www.chicago.gov.
CHICAGO, IL – August 13, 2020 – Lieutenant Governor Julianna Stratton met with CEO Robert Urso and members of PCC’s leadership team last week to learn about its comprehensive chemical dependency treatment program and the plethora of ancillary services offered to individuals suffering from substance use disorders. “We were very pleased and honored to have Lt. Gov. Stratton at PCC. This was a great opportunity for us to get the word out about the work PCC is doing in an effort to help address the opioid epidemic, as well as for us to share our vision, mission, and programs we have in place to help resolve the social determinants of health in the communities served by PCC,” Robert Urso said, president and CEO of PCC Community Wellness Center.
As members and leaders from many of Chicago’s healthcare organizations addressing the disproportionate black and brown mortality from the COVID-19 pandemic, we say without hesitation that Black Lives Matter.
No person of decency can look at the images of George Floyd’s killing without feelings of rage, horror, shame and grief. The deaths of Mr. Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor — and too many others — are unjust and unconscionable.
We must double down on our efforts. Systemic racism is a real threat to the health of our patients, families and communities. We stand with all of those who have raised their voices to capture the attention of Chicago and the nation with a clear call for action.
The health centers and hospitals we represent are deeply woven into the fabric of the communities we serve, live and work in, and we stand united as frontline staff against racism, injustice and inaction.
June 10, 2019 — PCC Community Wellness Center announced Toni Bush, MPH, as their new Chief Operating Officer. With nearly 12 years of service to PCC, Bush has served in a variety of leadership roles throughout the organization, helping expand health care services across Chicago’s West Side and near west suburbs.
April 8, 2019—PCC Community Wellness Center will host its ninth annual fundraising gala on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park. The Sweet Home Chicago-themed event begins at 6 p.m. and will include cocktails, dinner, entertainment, a raffle, and complimentary valet parking. Wayne Messmer—best known for performing the National Anthem for Chicago’s sports teams—will serve as the evening’s MC.
April 2, 2019—PCC Community Wellness Center recently opened its twelfth health clinic, PCC Parkside Family Health Center, expanding affordable health care access to more residents on Chicago’s West Side. The new clinic, located at 115 North Parkside Avenue in Austin, offers family health care, women’s health and prenatal care, pediatrics, behavioral health and substance use treatment, as well as referrals to dental care at nearby PCC sites. Like all of PCC’s clinics, PCC Parkside accepts all patients regardless of their ability to pay.
February 20, 2019—PCC Community Wellness Center will continue to operate its PCC Melrose Park Family Health Center, despite the recent announcement regarding Westlake Hospital’s proposed closure. The clinic, located within Westlake Hospital’s Professional Office Building, has proudly served the Melrose Park community since 2012. While PCC does not yet know whether they will be able to continue to lease space in their current location over the long-term, operations will continue as is through at least June 30, 2019. If Westlake Hospital closes, as proposed, PCC is committed to finding new space for the clinic in the Melrose Park community.
November 20, 2019—Dr. Carolyn Fitzpatrick was recently named Chairperson of the Board of Directors for PCC Community Wellness Center. PCC is a Federally Qualified Health Center with a network of 11 community health centers serving residents of Chicago’s West Side and west suburbs. available at PCC’s Chemical Dependency Clinic.
September 5, 2018—PCC has become aware of an increase in opioid overdoses due to the striking increase in patients presenting to West Suburban Medical Center for opioid reversals. PCC encourages people struggling with opioid use to enter treatment. Treatment is readily available at PCC’s Chemical Dependency Clinic.
August 16, 2018—On Tuesday, PCC Community Wellness Center hosted an open house at the PCC Austin Farm. In partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers, PCC participated in National Health Center Week to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers.
July 30, 2018—Dr. Penny White, pediatrician at PCC Community Wellness Center (PCC) is accepting new patients at two PCC health centers in Chicago’s Austin area. As a pediatric physician, she can care for babies, children, and teens. Services include well child exams, immunizations, treatment for minor or chronic illnesses, lead screening, and school physicals.
CHICAGO, Ill. – Many school children are just beginning their summer break. But it is not too early to schedule physical exams for their return to school in the fall. PCC Community Wellness Center (PCC) provides low-cost school physicals at PCC Austin and PCC Lake Street Family Health Centers.
May 21, 2018—The PCC Austin Farm Stand is excited to begin its eighth year of selling low-priced, organically grown fruits and vegetables in the Austin community. The produce is harvested locally, from the PCC Austin Farm. Beginning June 5, visitors can choose among a variety of seasonal items, including tomatoes, okra, garlic, lettuce, cucumbers, and mustard and collard greens.
Chicago, IL – PCC Community Wellness Center (PCC) is being honored at The Boulevard of Chicago’s 2018 gala: Homelessness, A Health Issue. The gala will take place on Friday, June 1, at 6 p.m. with cocktails, dinner, a program, and dancing at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park, 200 N. Columbus Drive, Chicago, IL.
Chicago, IL – PCC Community Wellness Center (PCC) is tackling the opioid epidemic with its unique treatment program. In PCC’s program, the treatment of heroin, prescription drug abuse, alcohol, tobacco and other substances is offered right in the doctor’s office.
Berwyn, Ill. – PCC Community Wellness Center (PCC) hosted the American Association of Birth Center’s (AABC) “How to Start a Birth Center” workshop on April 14-15 at the Double Tree Hotel in Rosemont. The two-day workshop addressed the many issues that need to be considered when exploring the development of a birth center.
Chicago, Ill. – PCC Community Wellness Center (PCC) is excited to partner with the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) to provide free legal services for their patients that are low and moderate income renters.
Berwyn, Ill. – Together with the American Dental Association, PCC Community Wellness Center (PCC) is excited to celebrate National Children's Dental Health Month in February. This year’s campaign slogan is “Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth for a healthy smile.” This month is the perfect time to schedule oral exams for children to ensure healthy smiles.
PCC provides convenient access to oral health services in a state-of-the-art facility located in one of our largest sites, PCC South Family Health Center. Our dental providers offer preventive screenings, sealants, topical fluoride, oral prophylaxis, nutritional counseling, and health education.
Chicago, IL – PCC Community Wellness Center (PCC) recently opened its third health center in West Suburban Medical Center. PCC Community Wellness Center at West Suburban is located inside the hospital’s professional office building at 1 Erie Court, Suite 7140, Oak Park, IL 60302.
The health center is accepting new patients and offers primary care, behavioral health care, and support services. It is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. You can call PCC Community Wellness Center at West Suburban at 773-537-0020 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Chicago, IL – PCC Community Wellness Center (PCC) has received certification from the Illinois Department of Human Services' Division of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse (IDHS/DASA). IDHS/DASA administers a network of community based facilities that provide alcohol and other drug treatment programs.
Chicago, IL – There is still time to shop for local produce at the PCC Austin Farm Stand. The PCC Austin Farm will continue to offer fresh vegetables, harvested locally until Tuesday, October 31. Visitors can choose among a variety of seasonal items, including spinach, cabbage, sweet potatoes, kale, mustard, and collard greens.
The farm stand will be open Tuesday, October 24 and Tuesday, October 31 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., as well as this Saturday, October 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Located at 330 N. Lotus Avenue in Chicago, the stand accepts various payment methods, including cash, credit/debit, LINK, Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program vouchers and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) farmers’ market coupons. Double value incentives are available for LINK and WIC purchases.
Chicago, IL – PCC Community Wellness Center joins Norwegian American Hospital and other local agencies to welcome evacuees from Puerto Rico needing assistance finding community and health care services. They are welcoming evacuees in the Humboldt Park Field House’s Hurricane Relief Center. PCC has a welcome table set up, ready to provide evacuees with referrals for primary care, oral health care, behavioral health care, and healthy housing. Staff from PCC West Town Family Health Center will be in the relief center on Mondays and Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until December 19.
Oak Park, IL – On October 8, the PCC Foundation hosted its Annual Fundraising Gala, “Some Enchanted Evening.” Held at the beautiful Oak Park Country Club, the evening began with a cocktail hour, during which time guests had the opportunity to win numerous treasures in an impressive raffle. The social hour was followed by dinner and live music. The salad course was fully harvested from the nearby PCC Austin Farm. The banquet hall was filled with the soothing sounds of local songstress, Melody DeRosa, also known for entertaining at the II Vicolo Trattoria in Oak Park.
Chicago, IL – The Birth Center at PCC and New Moms will co-host “Women’s Night Out,” a free community event where women can enjoy an evening of fellowship. Women’s Night Out events foster community, model self-care techniques, and introduce health concepts such as nutrition or physical activity for women and mothers. This month’s event will be held on Thursday, June 29, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at New Moms at 5317 W. Chicago Avenue in Chicago.
Chicago, IL – For the seventh year, the PCC Austin Farm Stand will sell low-priced, organically grown produce in the Austin community. These fresh vegetables are harvested locally, from the PCC Austin Farm. Beginning June 6, visitors can choose among a variety of seasonal items, including lettuce, scallions, garlic, kale, and mustard and collard greens.
Chicago, IL – On May 16, 2017, PCC Community Wellness Center (PCC) participated in “On the Table,” an annual forum designed by The Chicago Community Trust to elevate civic conversation, foster new relationships, and inspire collaborative action across the region.