Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl went to Washington Thursday for a series of meetings on behalf of the city’s application to create a Federally Qualified Health Center in the Evanston.

The center would be managed by Erie Family Health Care in partnership with the city.

The mayor, accompanied by Erie CEO Dr. Lee Francis and City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz, met with Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Sen. Dick Durbin.

Schakowsky and Durbin have previously supported the city’s application and pledged to continue efforts on its behalf. Tisdahl praised what she said was the lawmakers’ outstanding support for the project.

“Both took time from a very busy schedule of votes before the House and Senate to meet with us and strategize how best to advocate for our FQHC start-up application.”

The Mayor also met with representatives from the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services that administers the health center program, who confirmed that the city should receive a decision on its application in early August.

A Federally Qualified Health Center in Evanston would deliver health care to over 5,000 patients through over 18,000 patient visits who live in households earning under 200 percent of the Federal poverty level.

The proposed federal grant of $600,000 would help provide initial operating costs for the center for three years.

Top: Erie Family Health Center CEO Dr. Lee Francis and Mayor Tisdahl with Sen. Durbin in his Washington office.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Potential misuse of local taxpayer money

    At a recent meeting – Wally stated they were holding the space in the basement of the Civic center for their new health center. 

    Why should we taxpayers fund  a federal center.  a few interesting issues.  There is no zoning that supports this use, in the Civic center other than the city putting it in the building.  Are neighbors going to be given the chance to question this?

    Is the basement space even proper for the use of a health clinic?  The city of Evanston is one of the biggest slum landlord in town, they do not up keep their property.  So the current space in the basement we all know is not going to be proper for a new clinic regardless if they used it in the past of their so called clinic – which by the way was not a clinic.

    Who is going to pay for all this?  'why isn't the city interested in putting this facility over at the vacant shopping center on the west side at Dodge and Dempster?

    What amount of staff time is now bing used on this effort? 

    How much will local tax payers have to put into this effort?   Who paid for the junket to Washington of Wally and the Mayor? 

    too many questions,  I remember some years back a staff member admit to me, that they had to move the township out of the civic center since some of their clients were creating problems in the  building,

    Will we have to be paying soon to hire security guards at the civic center?  Does the building have adequate parking?

    Far to  many unanswered questions here, its interesting Wally has a long lists of services he is looking to shut down and he is in Washington – looking to open up a new service.

    – Wally seems to be sending us mix messages – shut down libraries open up a clinic, shut down the animal shelter open a clinic, shut down an art center open up a clinic, shut down a recreation facility open a clinic, shut down the ecology center open up a clinic.  

    Alot of Mixed message here were broke by Wally has time to go to washington – to look for new ways to spend our money.


  2. Begging for our own money

    We send money in the form of taxes to the bureaucracy in the District of Columbia, then we have to send someone there to beg to get a fragment of it back, and no doubt it will come with strings attached. Wonderful system we have.

    1. Washington wants their cut

      Congress and the Executive branch want the money coming in so they can spend it and make their voters think they are doing it for their good—i.e. anything they send back is 'free money.'   Look how Evanston spends this 'free money'—the Council thinks it is theirs to spend and must be spent even—and they always seem to spend it on 'extras' like little children do.

      Anyone who worked for a big company knows that all revenue goes 'upstairs' where the exec. take their share [in good times it is all because of their work, in bad times the employees fault] and then send a little of it back in bonus money but not before each level of management takes their cut.   Congress wants us to think we owe them [votes] for being so generous.

      Of course if a city/state is really liberal they would not want any tax money returned—they would want it to go to poorer states. The poorer states would in turn say send it to poorer countries.  i guess a real test of 'liberal.'

  3. More taxes to pay

    The grant would pay for the center for three years. After that, guess who pays for it?

    That's right, taxpayers. As if we don't pay enough in local taxes already. 

    Didn't the city close a health center in budget cuts? Now it wants to open a BIGGER ONE!!!

    Next year, baby. It's out with the old and in with the new.

    We need sensible leaders in our city and state.

    1. guess what?

      Well guess what? we already pay for it.  Who do you think pays for the uninsured who get sick and show up in the ER?  Who do you think is paying for all the uncontrolled diabetics or heart attacks or sick kids who didn't get their vaccines?  We are!!   Yes our health insurance premiums go up because of them, our taxes go up, etc. It sucks having to support the uninsured and underemployed. Unfortunately, we can save ourselves a lot of money if we help to prevent problems and work with hospitals and health care workers to provide cost effective health care.  It is cheaper to supply a diabetic with nutritional counselling and insulin than to pay for a prolonged hospitalization due to complications related to their diabetes. It is also better to have a healthy population who can work and be productive (and maybe even eventually getting health insurance through an employer) than someone who ends up losing kidneys or a foot for something that is totally preventable.

       Furthermore, it won' t affect city taxes.  It is a FEDERALLY QUALIFIED HEALTH CENTER (FQHC), they receive federal grants and then are supplemented thereafter by medicare/medicaid (which are federal and state monies).  They will probably also continue to receive federal grants later.  Let's all hope bad luck doesn't befall us and leave us without insurance.  If it does, at least we know we will be care for by an FQHC.

      1. Evanston will pay money for this proposed low-income clinic

        Hey Guess What,

        Read the second sentence of this story.

        "The center would be managed by Erie Family Health Care in partnership with the city."

        Key word – partnership. That means they're not asking us to run it – they're asking us for our money. And since I already paid higher premiums on my health insurance I don't need to pay higher taxes.

        Besides Obamacare is suppose to take care of all of us. So why does Evanston need to get in on the act?

        St. Francis in Evanston provides millions every year in charity care. Rogers Park has a federally qualified healthcare clinic run by Access.

        We're in a recession and governments including the City of Evanston need to cutback not grow and raise taxes.

        1. Not oppose to the clinic oppose to the use of our local taxes

          Those who think this will cost us nothing are not looking too closely as to what is going on.  Wally during et the recent budget hearing stated ever where he could make cuts, but when it came to the clinic he stated the city was going to support it.

          What is interesting here Wally has not presented a number to the council on our cost.  Very typical for the level of waste we have here.  No one on staff knows whats going on.

          Of course the council and the Mayor are just as incompetent, they should have a number they are dealing with  in the over all budget.  Isn't great Dick and Jan are giving us money. great photo op for us, lets figure out later who is going to pay.

          This smells alot like 311 – real costs not presented, no real approval – start to see the pattern here of how the city is being managed.

  4. Stroger Hospital

    Cook County already has an extensive health care system designed for the indigent with its Stroger Hospital and satellite clinics located around the county.  How would this Evanston clinic not duplicate services already in place?  It's a very simple trip via the Purple Line and Blue Line trains to Stroger, so I can't see that accessibility would be the reason.

  5. Not time to add on more to the city

    This is not the time to add on services from the city, even if they are funded for 3 years.  The city can't afford to keep open what it has, much less add on more services!

      We need new leadership in this town.  Leadership that brings in business and leadership that uses resources wisely.  I do not view my tax dollars as a donation to Tisdahl's charities of choice.     I expect at least some services back in return for the $14,000 I pay each year in property taxes.   Right now, I get fees for garbage collection, fees to plow my own alley, and extra fees to use Wilmette facilities for my kids since Evanston buildings are falling apart. 

       If Tisdahl wants to use her own money to fund yet another health clinic, she should do so with her own money, not with mine.  Enough is enough.


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