medical care

Our Mission: Provide a high quality, patient-centered, integrated system of care for all.
Our Vision: Achieve the best health outcomes for the individuals, families and the communities we serve.

History

From its launch in 1997 to its present network of community health centers, Friend Health has provided primary health care services to the vulnerable and medically underserved populations in a manner that is accessible, affordable, comprehensive, and culturally appropriate. Friend Health ensures that patients have access to a full-range of primary and preventive health care services as well as the necessary supplemental services which are either delivered directly or through established arrangements or referrals.

Friend Health was developed by the Friend Family Foundation through funding from the Michael Reese Health Trust, which enabled the merger of two University of Chicago clinical practices – the Woodlawn Infant Clinic and a clinic housed at Friend Health’s current flagship location on the University of Chicago campus. In 1998, Friend Health became a federally qualified health center (FQHC) and soon after expanded its services to additional Chicago communities. A significant number of the census tracts within its service area are designated as Medically Underserved Areas (MUA) and Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA), which are characterized by insufficient numbers of health care providers.

In December of 2017, Human Resources Development Institute, Inc. (HRDI) merged into Friend Health. Founded in 1974 by Dr. C. Vincent Bakeman and Mrs. Doris M. Lomas, HRDI is a leading provider of behavioral health services in Chicago addressing alcohol and substance abuse, mental health, youth and family services, community health, case management, HIV/AIDS, and gambling addiction. Since 2003, HRDI has also provided services to adult individuals with developmental disabilities in Alabama.

Executive Committee

Friend Health’s governing board provides leadership and guidance in support of the health center’s mission. A majority of our board members are served by the health center and, as a group, represent the patients we serve.

Sean Harden, Chairman
Carlos Meyers, Vice-Chairman
Arshele Stevens, Treasurer
Maria McManus, EdD, Secretary
Joanne Glenn, RN

Tommie Arnold, Jr.
Dr. Clifford Claiborne
Chandra L. Holts
Judy Juarez, PhD
Glenn Landmesser

Ethel Hall-Langworthy
Regina Moffett
Sabrina Patch, Esq.
Dr. Andre Rawls
Jewel Thompson
Bernie Wiley

Executive Leadership Team

Verneda Bachus, MA, MBA, Chief Executive Officer

Verneda Bachus has served as CEO of Friend Health since July 2013. Ms. Bachus previously served as President/CEO of Swope Health Services (SHS), a federally qualified health center located in Kansas City, Missouri.
Prior to joining SHS/SCE, Ms. Bachus served as president of a management consulting firm specializing in business consulting, human resources management, professional development training/coaching, and executive placement.

Ms. Bachus holds an MBA and MA from Webster University of St. Louis, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Washburn University. Ms. Bachus is a Certified Senior Professional in Human Resources and a Certified Compensation Professional.

Dr. Kamaljeet Girn, Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Girn joined Friend Health as Chief Medical Officer in 2018. Dr. Girn previously served as Chief Medical Officer at North Shore Health Center in Indiana. Dr. Girn is a graduate of Jagiellonian University, School of Medicine and completed his residency at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois. Dr. Girn also practices family medicine with Friend Health, and has practiced for more than 15 years.

Terrell Anderson, Chief Operating Officer

Terrell joined Friend Health in June 2018,and has more than 20 years of experience. Mr. Anderson previously served as Chief Operating Officer for NextLevel Health, an Illinois Medicaid Managed Care Organization. He also has an extensive finance background, having worked with BMO Harris Bank and serving as COO at Shorebank/Urban Partnership Bank. Terrell holds a Bachelor of Science from Central Michigan University, and a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management./

Benjamin Ghess, Esq., General Counsel

Joel Johnson, Executive Vice President of Behavioral Health

Mr. Johnson joined Friend Family Health Center in December 2017 as the Executive Vice President, Behavioral Health, and President of HRDI.
Mr. Johnson previously served as CEO of HRDI, which became a wholly owned subsidiary of Friend Health in December 2017. He currently serves on the boards of the Illinois Health Practice Alliance and Illinois Partner for Human Services. Prior to HRDI, Mr. Johnson served as Chief Operating Officer of SOS Children's Villages Illinois, and served as Midwest Region Director of Child Welfare League of America.
Mr. Johnson holds both a Masters of Education and a Bachelor of Science from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.

Sabrina Moore, Chief Financial Officer

Sabrina G. Moore has served Friend Health since October 2005. Prior to joining FFHC she worked at the University of Chicago, Biological Sciences Division Dean’s Office leading the projection and analysis of patient care revenues, and departmental budgeting. Ms. Moore received her B.S. from Eastern Illinois University in 1980 and is a registered certified public accountant with almost 15 years of experience in primary health care financial management.

Wendy Thompson, Chief Officer, Strategy and Development

Wendy Thompson joined Friend Family Health Center in May 2016. Wendy previously served as Deputy Chief Officer at Chicago Public Schools and spent more than ten years in finance with Aon Corporation, and Goldman Sachs. Wendy holds a Master of Business Administration, as well as a Bachelor of Arts, Economics from the University of Chicago. With over 20 years of experience, she has a keen ability to evaluate risks and opportunities as well as manage complex organizational systems