Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, and Sheba Medical Center Director General Yitshak Kreiss discussed the Chicago ARC Innovation Center, an open collaboration venture between Illinois and Israel. ARC stands for accelerate, redesign, and collaborate. With a proven and repeatable model based on Israel’s “Startup Nation” approach, and a market-driven strategy adapted for the U.S., the venture will fast-track health innovation and equity in Illinois, the nation, and internationally.
The recently announced Chicago ARC Innovation Center is a joint venture between Israel’s national hospital Sheba Medical Center, Kaleidoscope Health Ventures (KHV), and Farpoint Development. This initiative was engineered by Chicago-based KHV, a national health-focused venture development firm. The center will anchor the $7 billion, 100-acre Bronzeville Lakefront development on the historic site of the Michael Reese Medical Center.
Participants discussed how Illinois and Israel can fast-track groundbreaking research and innovation; foster collaboration between academic institutions, government, startups, and corporations to advance health equity and social justice; and spur inclusive economic development. COVID-19 has exacerbated health disparities and highlights the critical need to improve the U.S. healthcare system — especially in Chicago, which has the largest life-expectancy gap between two low- and high-income neighborhoods across 500 cities in the U.S.
On January 26th, the Commercial Club hosted a webinar on the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Chicagoland area. The panel featured Dr. Allison Arwady, MD, MPH, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health; Dr. Kevin Ban, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Walgreens; Sol Flores, Deputy Governor for the State of Illinois; and Dr. Julie Morita, MD, Executive Vice President at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Former Member of the Biden Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board.
Commercial Club President Kelly Welsh started the program by introducing the panel. Each speaker provided a brief presentation to detail the work being done on each level -- federal, state, city and the private sector. Following these presentations, Commercial Club chair Jenny Scanlon moderated a virtual fireside chat.
Information regarding the vaccines continues to be updated on a daily basis, so please continue to monitor the news and public health officials to stay up to date on the most current information. Below you will find some key takeaways from our panelists that we anticipate will remain true for some time, as well as links to the websites that were mentioned during the program.
Jenny Scanlon closed the program by thanking all of our speakers for their time and thoughtful discussion as well as their efforts in dealing with the next phase of this pandemic.
We greatly appreciate all the continued efforts being made across our City, State, and Country as we move on to the next phase of tackling this pandemic. As we work together during this time, we strongly encourage all partners to maximize distribution and inoculation across all populations.