Foundation celebrates 10th anniversary with Excellence in Service Awards

Recognizing organizations working to improve the health of underserved residents, the Healthcare Foundation of Northern Lake County announced the recipients of its first Excellence in Service Awards at its 10th anniversary event on September 7.

The honorees are the Antioch Area Healthcare Accessibility Alliance, Community Youth Network, Lake County Crisis Center (A Safe Place), Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center, Mano a Mano Family Resource Center, Nicasa Behavioral Health Services, PADS Lake County, Waukegan Public Library, YWCA, and the Lake County Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center.

“We are thrilled to recognize organizations that are improving our healthcare system,” said Ernest Vasseur, the Foundation’s Executive Director. “Our award recipients are not only dedicated to increasing access to healthcare, but are devoted to improving their own infrastructure and sustainability for long lasting impact.”

In its first year, the Excellence in Service awards honor organizations that are both actively building capacity of the overall healthcare system of northern Lake County and actively building their program effectiveness. The awardees must have an established history of HFNLC funding and be headquartered in northern Lake County. Evidence of an organization’s ability to implement successful program models and strategies, strengthen their board of directors, and leverage limited resources to gain efficiencies were among the criteria used to select the honorees.

Over the past 10 years, HFNLC has provided $16 million to 74 organizations. “Over the years, the foundation and its partners have significantly increased the number of entry points into healthcare for Lake County residents,” said Vasseur. “More children are receiving school physicals and dental care, more adults are getting lifesaving disease screenings and more recent graduates from medical schools are establishing careers in Lake County.”

Incorporated on June 6, 2006, the HFNLC strives to improve the health status of uninsured, underinsured, and medically underserved residents. It was funded with the proceeds of the sale of Saint Therese Medical Center and Victory Memorial Hospital that provided a range of innovative healthcare services to Waukegan and surrounding communities. The Foundation funds initiatives in five areas that are key to improving access to healthcare for the uninsured and underinsured in northern Lake County:

  • Clinical care: It invests in high-quality, comprehensive, and coordinated primary health services—including medical, dental, vision, mental health, and case management.
  • Linkage to care: It supports programs that improve health literacy, provide screenings, and connect people to medical homes.
  • Scholarships: It awards scholarship funds to post-secondary educational institutions that are increasing the number of qualified healthcare professionals practicing in the community.
  • Organizational capacity building: It partners with its grantees to help them develop the resources, leadership, skills, and tools they need to achieve their mission.
  • System capacity building: It encourages the organizations that it funds to explore partnerships, collaborations, and innovations to improve the healthcare delivery system.


Take a look at our Facebook page to view photos from the event.

The Foundation is located at 114 South Genesee Street, Suite 505, in Waukegan. For more information visit: or call: (847) 377-0525.