Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) has officially opened the Blue Door Neighborhood Center, the first-ever neighborhood-based center for BCBSIL. The center is aimed at improving community health by addressing common health challenges with wellness classes, connections to social services and customer engagement.
“For more than 80 years, we’ve been focused on improving healthcare quality and patient outcomes,” said Maurice Smith, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. “The Blue Door Neighborhood Center builds on our commitment to driving healthier outcomes in the communities we serve in a way we haven’t done before—putting us in the heart of one of our communities, where we can best serve others.”
The center will be open to everyone—BCBSIL members and non-members—and will offer no-cost programming focused on whole-person health: physical, mental and social. There will be classes and programming targeting chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease, behavioral health, as well as parent and child wellness. Visitors can enjoy fitness classes, learn how to better use health insurance and be connected to community resources that provide access to food or transportation.
“At the Blue Door Neighborhood Center, we want to be a hub for health and help to all members of the community,” said Laron Taylor, director of the Blue Door Neighborhood Center. “We’ve been hosting town halls and meeting with people to learn how we can be a helpful resource and best empower them to make a positive difference in their lives and their health. We’re not a clinic, but we’re looking at ways to improve the health of our communities beyond the walls of hospitals and physician offices.”
BCBSIL announced the neighborhood center, located at 756 E. 111th Street in Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood, last December. The facility occupies 3,700 square feet of space in the 111th Street Gateway Retail Center, which was developed and built by Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, a nonprofit community development organization.
“The new Blue Door Neighborhood Center is the latest milestone for the historic Pullman neighborhood which has undergone a renaissance since the development of the Whole Foods Distribution Center, Pullman Park, Gotham Greens, Method, the Pullman Community Center and more that are yielding benefits for our community and the city of Chicago,” said 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale. “Thanks to our community partners like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, I’m confident we will continue moving forward and creating opportunities like the one we celebrate today that will improve people’s lives and build a brighter future.”