Blake Wood
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The University of Illinois Springfield and the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation (ILBCF) Speaker Series will discuss “Creating an Equitable and Inclusive Health Care System in Illinois” during a Zoom virtual event from 5:30-7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022.

The fifth session in the speaker series will focus on Pillar IV of the Caucus’s policy pillars, which is the health care and human services pillar and concentrates on equity and inclusion in our health care system in Illinois. The session dialogue will increase awareness about what exactly is included in Pillar IV and how Pillar IV will improve the current issues in our health care system in Illinois.

The event will begin with a welcome from Tiffany Hightower, executive director of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation, and Molly Lamb, executive director of the UIS Center of State Policy and Leadership.

Following the welcome, a fireside chat featuring Illinois House Speaker Emanuel "Chris" Welch, State Senator and ILBCF Chairwoman Mattie Hunter and State Representative Camille Lilly will take place with Hightower serving as moderator.

Next, panelists will answer important questions, tell relatable stories and ignite energy to take actionable steps as a citizen toward a more equitable and inclusive health care system. Members of the panel include LaKeshia Coleman, manager for aftercare and community engagement at Mid-America Transplant; Tim Egan, president and CEO of Roseland Hospital; Jordan Powell, senior vice president of health policy and finance at the Illinois Health and Hospital Association; Brigid Leahy, senior director of public policy at Planned Parenthood Illinois Action; Dr. Damon Arnold, medical director Blue Cross Blue Shield and Illinois State Board of Health Member; and Dr. Audrey Tanksley, president of the Cook County Physicians Association and addiction medicine physician at Mathers Recovery and the medical director of Salaam Community Wellness Center. The discussion will be moderated by Tiffani Saunders, equity, eiversity and inclusion consultant at Memorial Health System.

The goal of this series is to educate the citizens of Illinois on critical societal issues resulting from social determinant factors impacting historically marginalized populations. 

Registration for the Zoom webinar is required.

The first-of-its-kind speaker series embodies principles of equity, diversity and inclusion and promotes social change with a concentration on the reform pillars of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.

For more information, contact Molly Lamb, executive director of the UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership, at 217-206-8622 or

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