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Illinois Tech joins Chicago ARC as founding i


Illinois Tech Joins Chicago ARC as Founding Innovation Partner in Pursuit of Innovative and Equitable Health Care

image: Illinois Tech joins Chicago ARC.
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Credit: Chicago ARC

CHICAGO—December 7, 2022—The Chicago ARC and founding innovation partner Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech) announced today that they will come together to focus on equity in the management of chronic diseases and access to quality behavioral health services, including those for substance use disorder, as the first priorities for action using market-driven, community-informed solutions and the attraction of startups. Innovation and health care partners, which represent nearly 750 health care delivery and training locations across Illinois and neighboring states, gathered this week to set the strategic direction for the Chicago ARC venture collaborative at its first meeting.

Illinois Tech and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are the first institutions to join the Chicago ARC venture collaborative as founding innovation partners, with a formalized commitment of their expertise and capabilities to support the success of health systems and startups. 

“Illinois Tech is an established leader in offering a distinctive education and unique research program focused on using science, technology, and design thinking to address current and emerging human health issues,” says Illinois Tech Interim Provost Kenneth T. Christensen. “We’re thrilled to join the Chicago ARC collaborative venture as a founding innovation partner to tackle health care inequities through market-driven, community-informed solutions and to foster health technology innovation to support the region’s underserved.”

Chicago ARC partners have 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 global destination for innovators and startups that are looking to transform health care and impact society. Chicago ARC partners will create collaboration and impact in the initial health care focus areas by sharing best practices through workshops and exchanges, by collaboratively developing and evaluating new approaches, and by 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 will address health inequities and the social determinants of health.  

“Chicago ARC brings together the best global technology, startups, and care models with the health equity needs of health care providers and the communities they serve,” comments Chicago ARC Executive Director Kate Merton. “Today, we are able to share incredible progress toward defining collaboration priorities where, together with our partners, we can drive equitable innovation to transform health care 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 health care partners will define health equity market needs, contribute best practices, and serve as committed pilot sites and customers for technologies that meet defined solution requirements. 

Stephen K. Klasko, the former president of Thomas Jefferson University and former CEO of Jefferson Health and a North American Ambassador for Sheba Medical Center and ARC, notes “Chicago ARC is taking radical collaboration to the next level by bringing together the amazing traditional health care 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.”

“The Chicago ARC and its network of leading partner organizations creates the ideal way for Sheba to translate our learnings and best practices to the U.S. health care market. The commitment, collaboration, and expertise of the partners at the table demonstrates why the Chicago ARC model and this region are the perfect place for Sheba and our startup network to focus in the U.S.,” adds Professor Eyal Zimlichman, the deputy director general, chief transformation officer, and chief innovation officer at Sheba Medical Center.

Working together with Chicago ARC, Illinois Tech, as a founding innovation partner, will seek to accelerate needs-driven solution development, commercialization of new innovations, and ensure that new solutions and enabled care models benefit all patients.

“Illinois Tech is committed to liberating the collective power of difference to advance technology and progress for all,” says Illinois Tech President Raj Echambadi. “As the only technology-focused university in the global city of Chicago, Illinois Tech brings a purpose-driven focus to education, research, and innovation while serving as an engine for opportunity and economic mobility. We are excited to partner with Chicago ARC to empower health system partners and startups in their mission to innovate and solve some of the most pressing challenges facing health care today.”

“Making Chicago the preferred destination for groundbreaking startups is a top priority for World Business Chicago,” says World Business Chicago CEO Michael Fassnacht. “The Chicago ARC and its significant network of health care and innovation partners are delivering on the vision for Chicago and Illinois as the global hub for health equity innovation. The resulting collaborations and approaches will move the needle on equitable health care locally and create replicable models that scale across the U.S.”


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