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History and Mission of Mile Square

Community Needs  & Vision


It All Started with an Exceptional Idea
In the mid-1960s, the medical needs of Chicago's public housing residents often went unmet. Services were targeted to those who lived in the Henry Horner Houses, and subsequently, residents of ABLA and Rockwell Gardens. Today our main location stands where the Henry Horner Houses used to be, 2045 West Washington Boulevard. In 1990, Mile Square became part of the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System. As part of the University, Mile Square offers medical education programs for physicians, nurses, certified nurse midwives, and pharmacy students.

Mile Square has always been committed to serving Chicago's disenfranchised communities. Our patients are predominantly minority; many of which are at or below the Federal Poverty Level and have public insurance or are uninsured. The Mile Square system provides comprehensive primary care for children and adults. The system includes primary care clinics, as well school-based health centers and nurse-practice sites that provide health care for people with severe and persistent mental illness.

Over the last 50 years we our primary service area has grown to covers most of the west and south sides of Chicago, and includes almost 25% of the City's population, while extending additional services to a site in the suburb of Cicero. With an annual budget of about $13.2M, and a 150 member staff, Mile Square will provide about 74,000 encounters to more than 24,000 patients this year.


The mission of Mile Square Health Center is to provide holistic, quality health services in the midst of an underserved, urban community.  The concept of holistic services includes not only actions to restore health, but also to prevent disease, promote healthy life styles and provide personalized support to individuals and families. Community education, outreach, advocacy and caring involvement are important attributes of our mission.  To achieve these goals, we acknowledge that our practice arena extends well beyond a "building" and into the heart of the community.

We acknowledge our responsibility to treat all we serve with dignity and respect regardless of worldly status, race, ethnicity or individuality.  We further acknowledge our obligation to care in a manner that is free of racial or cultural bias and accepting of differences among and within culture.

We believe that in unity there is strength.  Therefore, our mission directs us to engage in a dynamic, empowering relationship with the community.  This partnership requires a commitment to collaboration, personal involvement and professionalism.

We accept this responsibility to actively participate as a center for mentoring health professionals, young citizens and our colleagues.  As a team, we believe that each of our members must act as both a leader and a follower in executing this mission.

Finally, we have accepted the challenge to excel in this endeavor.  We recognize that to do so requires commitment to excellence, flexibility in mind and spirit, and clarify in communication.