Hunter hosp 031521CHICAGO – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) joined Governor Pritzker and other state officials at Loretto Hospital for the bill signing of the Hospital Transformation bill Friday morning.

“I am very excited that hospitals will have the assistance necessary to help them transform to meet the needs of their communities, as the pandemic has exacerbated the struggles faced in many unprivileged communities, some of which I represent,” Hunter said. “Due to institutional racism, communities of color have been suffering from a plethora of health disparities even before the pandemic came and took the world by storm. With the proper funding and investment into these underserved communities, I am hopeful this initiative will help put an end to such barriers.”

The signing of Senate Bill 1510 authorizes the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to expend the dollars identified during the Fiscal Year 2020 Hospital Assessment Program that were targeted for health care transformation. Thus, the $60 million previously allocated will send additional funding to  Illinois through federal matching funds, resulting in a total of $150 million available for investment in improved health care and innovation.

This policy change jump starts a patient-centered approach that focuses on the needs of Illinois’ most distressed communities in a manner that is data driven and outcome oriented.  It calls for innovative solutions to complex challenges in the health care delivery system that incorporates strategies that are grounded by data, community input, and are measurable with an emphasis on outcomes.

“I am excited that this law will target vulnerable communities and allow for the funding of innovative partnerships connecting clinical care and strategies to address the social determinants of health,” Hunter said. “It is vital that we emphasize the value of collaboration between the clinical environment and community-based organizations with expertise in the areas that significantly impact health outcome – and this measure does just that.”

The measure was signed into law Friday and takes effect immediately.