Peoria, Illinois,
17:45 PM

OSF HealthCare and UIC award inaugural Community Health Advocacy Grants

Community Health Advocacy image

Peoria, Illinois-based OSF HealthCare is partnering with the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) to award eight grants totally more than $700,000 to support projects that remove barriers to care, particularly in low-income, under-resourced communities; enhance health and wellness education, and leverage technology to improve training and community outreach.

These are the first-ever grants awarded under the Community Health Advocacy (CHA) program. OSF HealthCare has committed $1 million for each of the next five years and UIC will match the OSF gift with a mix of royalty income and in-kind contributions to provide about $2 million in grants annually to support multidisciplinary projects.

The efforts will leverage grants and additional resources available from local, state and federal dollars focused on improving health equity.

“These programs are under development to provide new prototypes to do better outreach to our communities; to serve people where they are with their current medical conditions and to really advance that care,” said Dr. John Vozenilek, vice president and chief medical officer, OSF Innovation and Digital Health.

John Vozenilek, MD, vice president and chief medical officer for OSF Innovation & Digital Health

Our focus is on health care outcomes, but we’re also emphasizing equity and ensuring every patient has the advantage of a thorough diagnosis, excellent treatment and good information about ways of managing their health.

John Vozenilek, MD, vice president and chief medical officer for OSF Innovation & Digital Health

“We were thrilled to see so many impressive projects proposed by the teams of UIC researchers and OSF clinicians,” said UIC Vice Chancellor for Innovation, TJ Augustine. “This first round of CHA funding is just the start of an impactful partnership between UIC and OSF that will help improve the health and wellness of urban communities.”

Highlight Project-Using iPads at Homeless Shelters in Chicago

This project will use tablets embedded in kiosks at three homeless shelters to easily assess the social barriers that are leading to poor health for the homeless population in the Chicago metro area. The kiosks will help shelter residents with prescription drug management as well as offer connections to local resources. Read the full story here.

Here are summaries of the full list of grant awards and projects 

Video clips with Dr. John Vozenilek, vice president and chief medical officer, OSF Innovation and Digital Health

View Dr John Vozenilek-Grants strive to improve health care access and equity-
Dr John Vozenilek-Grants strive to improve health care access and equity-
View Dr John Vozenilek-Grants will improve health equity
Dr John Vozenilek-Grants will improve health equity

OSF HealthCare is an integrated health system owned and operated by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, headquartered in Peoria, Illinois. OSF HealthCare employs nearly 24,000 Mission Partners in 150 locations, including 15 hospitals – 10 acute care, five critical access – with 2,098 licensed beds, and two colleges of nursing throughout Illinois and Michigan. The OSF HealthCare physician network employs more than 1,500 primary care, specialist and advanced practice providers. OSF HealthCare, through OSF Home Care Services, operates an extensive network of home health and hospice services. It also owns Pointcore, Inc., comprised of health care-related businesses; OSF HealthCare Foundation, the philanthropic arm for the organization; and OSF Ventures, which provides investment capital for promising health care innovation startups. More at

Jump Simulation, a part of OSF Innovation, is a collaboration between University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria and OSF HealthCare. The center replicates a variety of patient care settings to ensure novice and seasoned clinicians can practice handling medical situations in a life-like environment. Boasting six floors and 168,000 square feet, the center is one of the largest of its kind and provides space for conferences, anatomic training, virtual reality and innovation. For more information, visit

OSF Innovation, launched in 2016, is a multidisciplinary innovation center focused on internal and external innovation to solve the largest health care challenges. More at

University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) is a hub of innovation and cutting-edge research with a commitment to discovery and solving real-world problems. UIC is the city’s largest university and only public research institution with 16 colleges and more than 33,000 students. UIC is recognized as one of the most ethnically rich and culturally diverse campuses in the nation, a leader in providing access to underrepresented students. With one of the largest colleges of medicine in the nation, and colleges of dentistry, pharmacy, public health, nursing, social work, and applied health sciences, UIC is also the state’s principal educator of health professionals and a major healthcare provider to underserved communities. More at