Berglund Intern leverages opportunity to join St. Bernard Hospital

Rashaad Williams outside the Ambulatory Care Center which is under construction on the St. Bernard Hospital campus.

Rashaad Williams outside the Ambulatory Care Center which is under construction on the St. Bernard Hospital campus.

When Rashaad Williams began his internship at Berglund Construction, his supervisor told him he’d be doing a lot of paperwork.

With an eye toward studying business and administration in college, Rashaad was ready to learn the professional office skills required for that type of career. What he didn’t realize, though, was that he’d also learn the skills required to find a great part-time job that will help support him when he starts college classes.

“If I don’t have any emails or paperwork I have to do, I go into the field and start working,” he said.

Rashaad has been assigned to a high-profile Berglund project since he graduated from Englewood High School and began his internship in June of 2015: the construction of a new three-story, 70,000-square-foot Ambulatory Care Center at St. Bernard Hospital. In February, he will begin his new part-time job in the hospital’s cafeteria as he begins general education classes at Kennedy King College. His work on the hospital’s new construction project played a direct role in helping him land the new job.

“I’m learning a lot from all the foremen and everything,” he said. “It’s a good learning experience.”

Savan Hines, Berglund’s veteran laborer foreman on the project, has taken the lead in ensuring Rashaad learns what it takes to maintain an efficient work area.

“We talk about work ethic,” Savan said. “We talk about life stuff in general.”

Rashaad’s office duties required that he arrived to the project at 7 am every day. Savan told Rashaad that in order to be a dependable employee, he shouldn’t arrive on time. He should arrive early.

“I told him that if you have a job that’s starting at 7 am, I need you to be there at least at 6:15 to get yourself together,” he said.

Following Savan’s lead, Rashaad began setting his alarm for 5 am and fought through the yawns to develop the habit of getting into work earlier.

Chris Phelan, a Berglund project manager, has mentored Rashaad on developing the business management skills that he will use when he begins classes. Rashaad’s office duties have included updating the project drawings, tracking production, coordinating the equipment schedules, documenting progress and performing safety and quality control audits.

“We’ve stressed to him that it’s not how quickly you get a task done, but how correctly you get a task done,” Chris said.

Whether he’s working with Savan in the field or working with Chris in the office, Rashaad is grateful for the knowledge and skills he’ll take with him in his future endeavors.

“These are a good group of people to work with,” Rashaad said. “They give me advice every day and I take it and I learn from it. They always tell me to do better and keep up the good work and I always tell them thank you.”


Youth advocate receives Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award

0115161305 (1024x628)

Michael Tidmore (front) is flanked by St. Bernard Hospital officials. Hospital CEO Charles Holland is at far right.

Michael Tidmore wants young people to know “That they can make a difference in their lives and a change in the world,” he says. On the 87th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and St. Bernard Hospital held its 19th annual celebration honoring the life and legacy of the civil rights champion. This year’s honoree, Michael Tidmore, is a restorative justice advocate in Englewood, who has become an example to at-risk youth that they can turn their lives around.

Mr. Tidmore served nearly 10 years in prison for his role in an armed robbery and murder that was committed when he was 18 years old (1979 – 1989). While incarcerated Mr. Tidmore became a peer counselor for other inmates and has continued his work to mitigate violence and provide access to opportunity for young people. He has been certified as community mediator to deescalate issues in the community by the United States Department of Justice (2000).

Perry Gunn, executive director of Teamwork Englewood, where Mr. Tidmore is employed as the program coordinator for youth programs, says, “Mr. Tidmore has done outstanding work with youth in the Englewood community.” He has spent the past seven years mentoring youth, and teaching them effective strategies on how to avoid violence. As part of the Restorative Justice Program Mr. Tidmore has performed duties such as leading peace circles that help youth develop effective conflict management and communication skills, as well as avoid bullying.

“Since leaving prison Michael has served as a positive role model and mentor for hundreds of Englewood youth,” says Gunn. Mr. Tidmore coordinated Teamwork Englewood’s African American Male Initiative, which operated for five years until funding was cut. The Initiative targeted young men 10-18 years old that were vulnerable to gang recruitment and dropping out of school. Despite the end of the program, Mr. Tidmore maintains his relationship with many of the young men today.

Michael Tidmore and young men he has mentored

Michael Tidmore and youth he has mentored

As program coordinator for Youth Programs at Teamwork Englewood, Mr. Tidmore continues his impactful work with the youth. He assists in facilitating the Youth Asset Development Project, a program that supports high school youth with academic support and mentoring; 50-60 youth participate in this program each year. Additionally, Mr. Tidmore is co-facilitator of the Englewood Codes program, which teaches youth how to build mobile phone applications as well as design websites.

This past summer, he worked with the Hoops in the Hood basketball program that served boys and girls ages 10-19. This sports program has served approximately 100 area youth with weekly basketball games and skill development, but also included a violence prevention component. In addition, he served as a mentor for the Englewood Police Youth Baseball League, where he led a series of life skills workshops for 100 baseball league participants.

About the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Service Award

Celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Humanitarian Service Award is presented by the Community Relations Committee of St. Bernard Hospital to honorees whose efforts preserve the ideals of Dr. King – dignity, education, employment, fairness and justice for all people. The award shines a spotlight on people and organizations that are actively involved in improving their communities. St. Bernard’s annual award has been presented to social service agencies, legislators and community advocates serving the South Side of Chicago.

Walk-in Clinic Opens

Walk-in Clinic (800x450)St. Bernard Hospital opened The Walk-in Clinic on Tuesday, January 5, 2016. Located in the Hospital at 326 West 64th Street in Chicago, The Clinic offers patients non-emergent medical care on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. There are plans to extend the hours and days of The Clinic when it migrants to the Ambulatory Care Center that is under construction at the corner of 63rd Street and Stewart Ave.

“The Walk-in Clinic provides easy access to medical care for people who cannot afford to take time off work to see a physician,” says Yolanda Penny, director, nursing services. “Appointments are not necessary.” Services are available for the entire family, and include school, sports and employment physicals, childhood immunizations from mumps to chickenpox, flu shots and treatment for allergies, colds, diabetes, high blood pressure and other common ailments.

St. Bernard’s Community Health Needs Assessment (2012), identified the need for walk-in services as important to the communities served by the hospital. The Clinic is expected to reduce trips to the emergency room. In 2013, St. Bernard Hospital received the highest number of Chicago Fire Department Emergency Medical Service runs citywide. St. Bernard’s emergency department serves over 45,000 patients annually, and the demand for emergency services continues to rise. “There’s a tremendous need for non-emergent care in our community,” says Penny.

Patients can expect a wide-range of services at The Clinic, as well as access to St. Bernard’s many specialist practices such as Women’s Wellness, the Dental Center, Orthopedics and state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging. For more information on The Walk-in Clinic, please visit or call (773) 896-2577.

Honoring State Rep. Esther Golar

Delta Dental Foundation Awards Dinner 2014

Illinois State Representative Esther Golar (center, holding check)
was a staunch supporter of St. Bernard Hospital.

The Board of Trustees of St. Bernard Hospital
in recognition of

The Honorable Esther Golar
State Representative of the 6th District of Illinois


WHEREAS the Honorable Esther Golar, State Representative of the 6th District of Illinois has been a staunch supporter of St. Bernard Hospital and the Englewood community; and

WHEREAS Representative Golar dedicated many years of her life to community advocacy;

WHEREAS for more than 10 years Representative Golar worked as a public servant on behalf of the marginalized and underserved;

WHEREAS Representative Golar has raised awareness and understanding of the need for access to healthcare to empower communities; and

WHEREAS Representative Golar has fought for the rights of those at the margins of society to be treated with dignity, equality and justice;

WHEREAS Illinois State Representative Esther Golar has represented the 6th District of Illinois with honor, compassion and total commitment, as well as tirelessly supplied her support for a better future for all Americans;

NOW, THEREFORE, WE, The Board of Trustees of St. Bernard Hospital, do hereby recognize the Honorable Esther Golar for her legacy of passionate service to the communities she represented and contributing to a better society for us all.

Gregory Whitehead
Chairman, Board of Trustees
St. Bernard Hospital

To donate in memory of Illinois State Representative Esther Golar click below.
Donation Form – In Memory of State Rep. Esther Golar

The Battle Against Budget Cuts

A St. Bernard Hospital employee signs the petition to save Illinois’ safety-net hospitals.

A St. Bernard Hospital employee signs the petition to save Illinois’ safety-net hospitals.

Last week, St. Bernard Hospital collected over 500 signatures from employees, patients and visitors urging Gov. Rauner and state lawmakers to protect patients and save safety-net hospitals. If the governor’s proposed Medicaid cuts are implemented, St. Bernard and other safety-net hospitals could lose many of their key services. This would leave patients with few options for health care and place enormous stress on our already overburdened Cook County Health System.

The fact is that safety-net hospitals like St. Bernard, which has provided health care for South Side communities for 110 years, and whose patients primarily rely on Medicaid, simply cannot sustain continued, drastic reductions in funding. These cuts put the health and wellbeing of millions of Illinois citizens at risk. Not only would access to primary care be reduced, these cuts could also lead to the elimination of specialty services — chronic disease education and treatment, dental care, mental health and addiction treatment, as well as access to emergency care — that our communities depend on.

As the designated state drop-off location for mental health patients from Lake Michigan to Western Ave. and from 47th Street to 87th Street, St. Bernard’s service area includes nearly 700,000 residents. The hospital has the distinction of receiving the most EMS (ambulance) runs in the city of Chicago (2014). Additional cuts to funding will severely impact our ability to receive and treat these patients. There will be little or no alternatives for them to receive care they desperately need.

With the state’s fiscal situation, tough decisions have to be made. But what greater responsibility do our elected officials have than to ensure that our most vulnerable citizens have access to health care? $1.5 billion in cuts means lost health services in our communities. $1.5 billion in cuts would eliminate thousands of jobs and economic development. Convincing lawmakers to prevent these cuts is vital to the families who depend on safety-net hospitals.

To help fight this issue, please visit The website allows you to send an automated letter to your state legislators asking them to stop cuts to Medicaid. Your voice matters; use it.

Charles Holland
President and CEO
St. Bernard Hospital

Keeping It Alive Brings Smiles to Children

Easter Basket GiveawayChildren at St. Bernard Hospital received a treat on Friday, April 3 when members from the Keeping It Alive Foundation dropped off 15 Easter baskets filled with candy, toys and art supplies. The Keeping It Alive Foundation honors the memory of Dakia Wilson, who passed away from a heart condition at the age of 16. “She had a beautiful spirit and we want to keep it alive,” says Wilson’s aunt and president of the Foundation, Lenora Payton.

Keeping It Alive provides gifts for children with illnesses and those in need, primarily focusing on children in hospitals. “[Dakia] spent a lot of her time in the hospital,” says Payton. “We want to bless other children who may be struggling.”

St. Bernard Hospital was selected for this year’s giveaway because of its work in the Englewood community. “A lot of times people forget about small hospitals…,” says Payton. The Foundation plans on making this an annual tradition and hopes to extend donations to shelters in the future.

“We are very grateful for the Easter baskets we received,” says Evelyn Jones, vice president, nursing services. “The children’s faces lit up as soon as they saw them. We appreciate Keeping It Alive for thinking of our families.”


Courageous Crossing Guard Receives King Humanitarian Service Award

2015 King Award Honoree

Honoree Yolanda Gray (center) with Chief Radiologist, Dr. Henry Wiggins (far left), CPD Deputy Chief Leo Schmitz (left), Alderman Toni Foulkes (second from right), and St. Bernard CEO Charles Holland (far right) with members of the St. Bernard Hospital Community Relations Committee.

St. Bernard Hospital’s 18th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Service Award was presented to Yolanda Gray, a courageous and dedicated Englewood crossing guard. The Humanitarian Service Award is presented each year by the Community Relations Committee of St. Bernard Hospital, which selects candidates whose efforts reflect the values and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through action in the community. The 18th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Service Award and Celebration was held in the chapel of St. Bernard Hospital January 16.

This year’s honoree, Yolanda Gray, was selected by the Committee because of her unwavering dedication to improving the Englewood community — particularly to serving its children. As a crossing guard she is known for remaining on the job beyond her regular hours to ensure that children are safe on the streets she patrols. Encouraging children to stay in school, on a number of occasions Ms. Gray has used her own modest means to help children she sees in need, purchasing necessities they need for school. She has even gone so far as to wash their clothes for them. She says it is because she loves the babies.

A diligent observer of the activities taking place around the Englewood neighborhood where she lives and works, she has reported alleged criminal activity and paid a price for speaking out. Ms. Gray has endured the personal expense of having her car vandalized, its windows smashed and sides scratched by street gangs. She has suffered the indignity of gang members urinating on her vehicle, and the pettiness of them blocking her driveway so that she must park away from her home. Despite these troublesome issues and the personal risk to her safety, she has persevered. Ms. Gray still finds it in her heart to participate in the Extended Anti-Violence Initiative of the 7th District Police Department. There she speaks to gang members, encouraging them to stop the violence and to promote hope.

St. Bernard Hospital’s annual tribute to Dr. King is a special event that brings together many South Side community members to honor Dr. King’s legacy and his philosophy of non-violence. Former recipients include Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins, an avid supporter of social issues; and 2014 recipient Loretta Espeut of Family Focus Englewood whose work champions the success of young families.




A Groundbreaking Wednesday in Englewood

St. Bernard Hospital Ambulatory Care Center Groundbreaking. Photo credit: Hurley Green III.

CHICAGO – When summer 2016 arrives, residents on the South Side of Chicago will have access to St. Bernard Hospital’s three-story, 70,000-square-foot Ambulatory Care Center at the corner of 63rd Street and Stewart Avenue.

The countdown to the opening of the new building began Wednesday, October 29 with a groundbreaking ceremony. Local officials and community members gathered to celebrate the special occasion.

When the doors open, residents can expect new and existing services like outpatient pharmacy, orthopedics and radiology. The Center will also house the Prenatal Women’s Wellness Clinic, specialty clinics like the Pediatric Asthma Clinic and Diabetes Clinic, and a walk-in clinic for non-emergent health care.

“We’ve worked very hard to bring this project to our community,” said Charles Holland, president and chief executive officer at St. Bernard Hospital. “Our endeavors to reach this milestone were not achieved alone. We have been fortunate to have city and community partners working with us at each juncture along the way.”

The ceremony opened with a prayer from Rev. St. John Chisum of Gifts from God Ministry and closed with a blessing from Rev. William Grogan, Vicar for Health Care of the Archdiocese of Chicago. The Johnson College Prep Choir and St. Bernard Hospital Choir performed for guests.

Present at the ceremony were United States Congressman Bobby Rush and 20th Ward Alderman Willie B. Cochran. Both remarked how pleased they were to see so many developments underway in Englewood.

“For 110 years St. Bernard Hospital, has served this community and we are very grateful for the support we have received from our residents without whom we could not exist,” said Gregory Whitehead, chairman of the board of trustees for St. Bernard Hospital.

“This facility continues our mission to serve this community not only as a health care provider, but as an important economic, job producing engine in the Englewood community,” said Mr. Holland.

New health care services coming to Englewood

St. Bernard Hospital Ambulatory Care Center

CHICAGO – St. Bernard Hospital will break ground on its new Ambulatory Care Center on Wednesday, October 29 at 10 a.m., at the corner of 63rd Street and Stewart Avenue in Chicago. The project, which was approved by the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board earlier this month, has been welcomed by area residents and business groups.

Located in the heart of the South Side, the Ambulatory Care Center will offer new and existing services in an expansive and modern environment. The three-story, 70,000-square-foot building will include services like outpatient pharmacy, orthopedics, and radiology. It will also house the Prenatal Women’s Wellness Clinic, specialty clinics like the Pediatric Asthma Clinic and Diabetes Clinic, and a walk-in clinic for non-emergent health care. Construction is expected to take approximately 18 months with a projected completion date set for summer 2016.

The hospital’s Community Health Needs Assessment, which was completed in 2012, identified the health care needs in the area. In addition, many area residents have to travel outside the community for outpatient and specialist services. “The need for additional health care resources in our community has been recognized for some time,” says Charles Holland, St. Bernard’s president and CEO. “The Ambulatory Care Center is an exceptional opportunity for us to expand access to preventive medicine for thousands of people.” He said.

The vision for the Center is a one-stop health care facility with a patient friendly environment. After studying the Community Health Needs Assessment and in response to initiatives of the Affordable Care Act, Mr. Holland and his senior team developed a strategy to improve community health outcomes. “People should be able to access health care services close to their homes,” says Holland.

The new structure will provide spacious and modern clinics and offices. Having exhausted the capacity to expand in their current buildings, Mr. Holland noted that “This new facility will not only help St. Bernard Hospital meet many current service demands, but provide the opportunity to bring additional services online in the future as we adapt to the quickly changing landscape of health care.”

In 2013, the emergency department at St. Bernard received the highest number of Chicago Fire Department Emergency Medical Service runs citywide. Currently serving over 42,000 patients annually, the demand on emergency services has steadily increased. A walk-in clinic has long been needed to provide access to non-emergency immediate care for which emergency departments have been inappropriately used. A walk-in clinic will provide greater access, as well as lower the cost to our overall healthcare system.

St. Bernard Community Fair September 20

St. Bernard Hospital to Host Community Fair on September 20

St. Bernard Hospital will host a community fair on Saturday, September 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the hospital’s parking lot at 326 West 64th Street in Chicago.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to bring their children for free physical examinations and vaccinations provided by the St. Bernard Hospital Pediatric Mobile Health Unit. Shot records must be presented in order to receive vaccinations.

There will be free health screenings for adults, free food, and giveaways from various vendors. Seniors citizens will have a special tent for activities like BINGO and health seminars. Children can enjoy face paintings, balloon animals, and free school supplies.

St. Bernard also plans to honor new mothers at the community fair. The first 100 women to arrive, who delivered at the hospital within the last year, will receive a congratulatory gift basket. Additionally, there will be free massage, basic manicures, haircuts (hair must be washed in advance) and makeup consultations.

For more information on this event, please contact Christina Clayton at (773) 896-2586 or visit