In the News

May, 31, 2017 –

Two of the largest, longest-running, and most respected organizations in the western suburbs—Pillars and Community Nurse Health Center—are currently exploring the possibility of a merger or some other form of enhanced partnership. Pillars is the largest nonprofit provider of mental health and social services in the western and southwestern suburbs. The agency serves 10,000 people each year through 30 different programs across Mental Health, Addictions, Domestic and Sexual Violence, and Child and Family Services (including a Head Start program). Pillars dates back to 1928 through predecessor agencies. Community Nurse is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that provides medical, psychiatric, behavioral, and dental care as well as health education and eligibility assistance for over 5,000 low-income residents of the western suburbs. The organization dates back to 1921.

The health care environment is changing quickly at the state and federal level, and both organizations have committed to innovating ahead of these changes. Several other affiliations or mergers of this type have already occurred nationally and in Illinois, for the same reasons Community Nurse and Pillars are exploring partnership.

“We anticipate that enhanced collaboration would allow us to serve more people in the western suburbs, give our existing patients access to a larger array of services, and produce better health outcomes,” says Angela Curran, JD, LLM, president and CEO of Community Nurse. “The breadth of such an organization should also make it easier to generate more forms of revenue and attract funders, which would help sustain both organizations into the future.”

Community Nurse and Pillars have a long-standing collaboration. Currently, Pillars runs one of its 15 mental health programs out of Community Nurse in La Grange. Community Nurse provides medical services at Pillars’ domestic violence shelter, Constance Morris House.

“The integration of primary medical care and behavioral health care is ideal, as it means people with overlapping needs can be addressed with a continuity of care,” says Ann C. Schreiner, AM, LCSW, president and CEO of Pillars. “Integration of our two organizations would create an expanded organization with an impressive breadth of outpatient services.”

As an example, if integrated, patients with both depression and diabetes could be treated for both issues by providers with shared access to health VEENDS and the ability to coordinate care more closely. Such an integration could also have the effect of reducing stigma around mental illness, addiction, domestic violence, and other issues, as it would put treatment for such issues side by side (sometimes even in the same building) with primary care issues.

Negotiations are in progress and a final decision has not yet been made. Leaders from both organizations will be meeting through mid-July, when it is anticipated that a recommendation on enhanced partnership or potential merger will be presented for consideration to both organizations’ boards of directors. We will keep our supporters, staff, clients, and other stakeholders informed as this process continues.

LOBSTER BAKE 2017 ~ September 23, 2017

LOBSTER BAKE 2017 ~ September 23, 2017

Join us for a night of fun and friendship, and celebrate the work of Community Nurse with neighbors and friends. For more information, click logo (above) for the event page.

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Contact Info

Community Nurse Health Center
23 Calendar Ave.
LaGrange, IL 60525
(708) 352-0081
Community Nurse Health Center is a Health Center Program grantee under 42U.S.C.254b, and a deemed Public Health Service Employee under 42 USC233(g)-(n). Community Nurse Health Center is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois.