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Chicago ARC Venture Collaborative Adds Partners

The Chicago ARC, a venture collaborative focused on health equity, has added new members and tightened its focus to the management of chronic diseases and access to quality behavioral health services, including those for substance use disorder.

Chicago ARC builds upon the ARC model (Accelerate, Redesign, Collaborate) of Sheba Medical Center in Israel. New partners include OSF HealthCare, Americare Senior Living, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), Insight Hospital and Medical Center, and Illinois Tech. Founding healthcare partners are the University of Chicago Medicine and Sinai Chicago.

Chicago ARC said that its partners aligned on a vision to create a community of health innovation in Chicago and across Illinois and the Midwest, accelerating community-relevant innovation, technology, and partnerships, as well as positioning the region as a destination for innovators and startups looking to transform healthcare and impact society.

Chicago ARC partners will share best practices through workshops and exchanges, collaboratively developing and evaluating new approaches, and serving as a network to pilot and scale innovative solutions. By doing so, the partners will create replicable models to improve access, quality, and cost of care, and address health inequities and social determinants of health.  

“Chicago ARC brings together the best global technology, startups and care models with the health equity needs of healthcare providers and the communities they serve” said Chicago ARC Executive Director Kate Merton, Ph.D., M.B.A., in a statement. “Today, we are able to share incredible progress toward defining collaboration priorities where, together with our partners, we can drive equitable innovation to transform healthcare in Chicago, Illinois, and across the Midwest. And, by focusing on real-world needs that represent urban and rural communities across the U.S., we will bring technologies to market significantly faster than the traditional incubator and accelerator approaches.”   Chicago ARC’s Healthcare Partners will define health equity market needs, contribute best practices, and serve as pilot sites and customers for technologies that meet defined solution requirements.

Stephen K. Klasko, M.D., M.B.A., former president of Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of Jefferson Health, and North American Ambassador for Sheba Medical Center and ARC, noted “Chicago ARC is taking radical collaboration to the next level by bringing together the amazing traditional healthcare ecosystem in Chicago and fourth industrial revolution technologies to bring population health, social determinants, and health equity from philosophic and academic exercises to the mainstream of clinical care in Chicago and beyond.”   UIUC and Illinois Tech became the first institutions to join as Founding Innovation Partners, which means they have formalized a commitment of their expertise and capabilities to support the success of health systems and startups.

“Partnering with the Chicago ARC will help the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign harness our groundbreaking research, entrepreneurship-focused education, and statewide connectivity to lead the way in technology-inspired care,” said Robert J. Jones, UIUC chancellor, in a statement. “Working together with the Chicago ARC and fellow partners we can advance health equity and economic development in Illinois while building the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, and healthcare professionals.”  

“OSF HealthCare, with a 168,000-square-foot simulation and education center, eight innovation labs, and a full-scale digital health division, continues to break ground on using technology, innovation, and collaboration to provide outstanding care across Illinois and Michigan,” said OSF HealthCare CEO Robert Sehring, in a statement. “Partnering with the Chicago ARC enables OSF to access clinically proven global startups, use technologies to serve our rural and urban communities, and collaboratively build the future of technology-enabled care with a diverse group of leading institutions.”

The Chicago ARC will be the centerpiece of a $3.8 billion health-focused Bronzeville Lakefront development along the shore of Lake Michigan.

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