NorthShore’s Community Investment Fund names recipients of $4 million total in grants


Daily file photo by Seeger Gray

For the second year, NorthShore gave grants to Chicago- and Evanston-based health organizations via its Community Investment Fund.

Ella Jeffries, Development and Recruitment Editor

Nine Chicago and Evanston health organizations received a total of $4 million in funding from NorthShore University HealthSystem’s Community Investment Fund.

The fund, which was formed last year, has awarded about $6 million to seven initially selected organizations, which will continue to receive funding in 2023 in addition to the nine new groups. The goal of the fund is to create or expand programming that promotes overall community health needs, such as access to health care, behavioral health care and prevention and management of chronic conditions and diseases. 

This year’s recipients include groups that serve the LGBTQ+ and Latine communities, as well as ones that provide mental and behavioral health services. 

PEER Services and Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities, two organizations receiving grants, both focus on providing Northern Cook County residents with treatment and recovery services for drug and alcohol addictions.

With a $1 million grant, distributed over the next three years, PEER and TASC will partner to create a program connecting individuals within the criminal justice system to substance use prevention and treatment services, according to Anne Brown, development director for PEER services.

“PEER and TASC have been working to identify what’s needed in the community,” Brown said. “We just haven’t been able to meet that need before due to the pandemic when the court system was closed.”

She said the new program will allow TASC to have a full-time case manager at the Skokie courthouse who can connect clients to PEER and other substance use treatment resources in the community. TASC operates primarily in Chicago, but Brown said the grant will help bring its work to Northern Cook County.

Bradley Bullock, director of operations for TASC’s adult criminal justice and treatment services division, said the two organizations have worked together to address issues in the past, including the ongoing opioid epidemic. 

Bullock said he hopes the new program will be up and running by September. 

“It’s awesome because it’s two organizations working side by side, really looking at a vulnerable group of people to address needs on the ground level by getting them linked to the immediate services that they need,” Bullock said. 

Howard Brown Health, which provides healthcare services for the LGBTQ+ community, also received a grant from NorthShore this year.

Wren O’Kelley, communications manager at Howard Brown, said the center plans to use the money to fund a new two-year project within their behavioral health department. 

She said the project will allow the staff to perform two types of advanced trauma therapy: eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy. 

“The idea is to enhance the behavioral health team’s ability to track and treat complex trauma, rather than just having a couple specialized team members equipped with these skills,” O’Kelley said. “The overall goal is to reduce health inequities and disparities and drive impact on the communities we serve.” 

Both O’Kelley and PEER Services Executive Director Noy Frial-Lopez emphasized that the goal of each of their programs is to improve treatment for their clients. 

As recipients of the fund, the groups are also part of NorthShore’s goal to form meaningful and lasting partnerships through their community impact efforts, according to NorthShore’s press release. 

“We’re very happy and honored to receive the grant,” Frial-Lopez said. “I think we’ll be able to reach a good number of folks that really need support.”

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @ellajeffriess

Related Stories: 

YWCA Evanston/NorthShore shelter to reopen in April 

NorthShore University HealthSystem postpones all non-emergency surgeries

EPL, Howard Brown Health host STI and HIV screening events