CHICAGO – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) is upping preparations for its Blue Door Neighborhood CenterSM (BDNC) in South Lawndale’s Little Village community on Chicago’s West Side. BCBSIL today held a groundbreaking ceremony and “Welcome Fall Fest” to help introduce community residents to all the center has to offer.
“Our Blue Door Neighborhood Centers are hubs where the community can learn, connect, and focus on their whole person health – which includes tackling the physical, mental, environmental, and social factors that can impact wellbeing,” said Steve Hamman, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. “That’s why it was important that we celebrate our groundbreaking ceremony by inviting the community to come meet our staff, learn about the kinds of programs we’re going to offer and know that we’re going to be a true partner with organizations already making a difference in the lives of those on the West Side.”
The facility will be about 9,000 square feet at 2551 W. Cermak Road. It will offer services for people whether or not they are a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois member. Programming will include low-impact fitness, health literacy, and classes on topics such as managing diabetes, behavioral health and healthy eating. It will also offer education on how to better use health insurance and connect people to other community resources, as well as feature a meeting room that can be reserved by non-profit organizations that have missions that align with the goals of the Blue Door Neighborhood Center.
“We’re inspired by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois’ commitment to invest in our community’s health,” said Luis Gutierrez, founder and CEO of Latinos Progresando, a nonprofit organization in South Lawndale. “There is a coalition of organizations here that are focused on increasing wellness, and we are excited to count Blue Cross and Blue Shield as a partner. The Blue Door Neighborhood Center will be an incredible asset and given the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on our community, this could not be timelier.”
The center will become BCBSIL’s third Blue Door Neighborhood Center. The first center opened in April 2019 in Pullman and a second center, one combined with employee workspace, opened in August in Morgan Park. All programming is currently virtual due to COVID-19 safety restrictions.
Construction on the South Lawndale BDNC is expected to be complete by the end of 2020.