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Work on Black Caucus’ health pillar draws new CEO

Kimberly Hobson
Kimberly Hobson

The south side of Chicago has some of the most severe health inequities in Illinois, including greater incidence of infant and maternal mortality and occurrence of heart disease. Fixing the disparity with health outcomes for the state’s Black communities was a priority of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.

Last year, to increase health equity, Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation that allocated $150 million in state and federal funds each year for five years to eight new health collaboratives throughout the state. One, on the south side of Chicago, is dubbed the South Side Healthy Community Organization. The organization is composed of 13 entities ‑- including safety net hospitals and health systems. Its board recently hired Kimberly Hobson as its CEO.

Hobson previously served as executive director of the South Side Healthcare Collaborative and Strategic Affiliations for the University of Chicago Medicine and also had leadership positions with Advocate Health Care, Mercy Hospital and Humana Health Plan. Her most recent role was CEO of JourneyCare, the largest non-profit hospice and palliative care organization

Maureen McKinney interviewed Hobson to learn more about what the collaborative will do for the 900,000 residents of the south side.

Maureen Foertsch McKinney is news editor and equity and justice beat reporter for NPR Illinois, where she has been on the staff since 2014 after Illinois Issues magazine’s merger with the station. She joined the magazine’s staff in 1998 as projects editor and became managing editor in 2003. Prior to coming to the University of Illinois Springfield, she was an education reporter and copy editor at three local newspapers, including the suburban Chicago Daily Herald, She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s degree in English from UIS.