Celebrating Progress at Our Change for Good Luncheon

September 29, 2015

Last week, we had the pleasure of hosting 300 guests—including HSC board members; individual and corporate donors; partner organizations and agencies; and school and parent leaders—at our Change for Good luncheon. We were honored to welcome U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy as our keynote speaker.

The luncheon is an important opportunity to share a vision for the health and success of all Chicago students; gain an important national perspective; celebrate outstanding local parents, teachers and principals; and hear about successes and challenges in transforming school food, student fitness, schoolyards and classrooms in Chicago.

Surgeon General Murthy spoke about how organizations such as Healthy Schools Campaign can help fulfill the promise of this country. “These programs are what’s going to lead us to a stronger and brighter future,” he said. Murthy also wanted everyone in attendance to know that he stands with them as a partner. “As a citizen and a fellow American, I want to tell you that I deeply appreciate what you have done. And as Surgeon General, I want to tell you that my commitment to you is to stand with you, to support you and to work with you every step of the way,” he said.

Murthy had the opportunity to meet our parent, teacher and principal award winners, who were recognized for their work in creating healthy changes at their schools and within their communities. The 2015 Change for Good Leadership Awards were presented in honor of Sue Gin, last year’s Change for Good Luncheon chair and founder of Chicago-based Flying Food Group who passed away last September. Ms. Gin was a revered civic leader and entrepreneur who was tirelessly dedicated to the health and success of Chicago’s children.

Here are our 2015 Change for Good Leadership Award winners:

  • Outstanding Parent Leader: Liliana Hernandez, Eli Whitney Elementary School
  • Outstanding Principal/Parent Team: Jose Luis Illanes (Principal), Madero Elementary School, and Maria de Jesus Cristobal (Parent)
  • Outstanding Teacher: Lori Klein Blazek, Jungman Elementary School
  • Outstanding Principal: Michael Beyer, Morrill Elementary School (former); Ogden International School (current)

Change for Good is our comprehensive plan to support the health and wellness of children by improving the quality of school food, physical activity, schoolyards and the classroom experience for all students in Chicago. We have successfully partnered with Chicago Public Schools to implement innovative programs, and we have advocated for health-promoting changes to policies and practices that have positively impacted the district’s 400,000 students and their families.

But this is just the beginning. With chronic health issues like asthma and obesity affecting so many children in Chicago and across the country, particularly in low-income communities of color, more needs to be done to support the long-term health and success of our next generation. We are committed to doing this work and addressing the significant health and education disparities that create an uneven playing field for children across this nation.

The event was generously hosted by luncheon chair Connie L. Lindsey, Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Global Diversity & Inclusion, Northern Trust, along with HSC’s Civic and Business Advisory Committee and co-chairs Sandra Bruce, president and CEO, Presence Health, and Terry Mazany, president and CEO, The Chicago Community Trust.

Check out our photo album of the event on Facebook.