From the CEO

A lot to be proud of this June

It’s been a busy two months in the District since our last issue, with the worst of the pandemic behind us, so many partners are eager to get back to face-to-face events, reuniting with old and new friends, and the events calendar is filling up quickly.

On April 18, I was honored to speak at the unveiling of a new mural at the Cook County Professional Building, and on April 26 I attended the CCAC Luminary Award Dinner celebrating their mission to protect children. On May 3, IMD staff attended the Chicago Hope Academy 2023 Luncheon, and if you haven’t already, I encourage you to watch their 2023 valedictorian Noah Padilla’s inspiring story. Congratulations to Noah and to all graduates of the class of 2023! May was a month for firsts in the IMD, starting with the grand opening of The Lydian on May 4, a ribbon cutting for EmVenio Research on May 23, and the IMD’s first annual Art Fair on May 24. Also in May, I was honored to be named one of the women healthcare CEOs to know by Becker’s Hospital Review. We also started the new month with a flower planting on June 2, joined by volunteers from around the District.

CEO and Executive Director Allyson Hansen with Toni Preckwinkle, Israel Rocha Jr, others, standing in front of large colorful mural

CEO and Executive Director Allyson Hansen with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Health CEO Israel Rocha Jr., and others at the new mural unveiling on April 18, 2023

Our bike and pedestrian safety action plan is full steam ahead, collecting community feedback and coordinating with District and community stakeholders. Please visit the website to learn more and sign up to get involved. We’re also beginning our wayfinding and signage work with Confluence and Cardosi Kiper Design Group. The wayfinding and signage master plan will create design standards for interior and exterior signage on IMD buildings, directional signage for easier navigation around the District, and recommendations for our gateways and community gathering spaces. We will be engaging the public for feedback in the coming months to make the process as inclusive as possible for surrounding communities, so stay tuned for more.

June is a month for celebration, and I wish all dads and parents an early Happy Father’s Day! We’re also honored to support and participate in Juneteenth Illinois, celebrating Black liberation and equity in education, criminal justice and healthcare. There is a packed calendar of Juneteenth events that begins June 16, so check their website to learn more and register. I also wish all our LGBTQIA+ friends, family and colleagues a happy Pride month! Commemorating the Stonewall riots that occurred in June 1969, today Pride month is a time to celebrate the LGBT community across the world and the tremendous progress made to create a more equitable world. We are proud to have organizations like the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center as our neighbor, established in 1998 as a partnership between Cook County Health and Rush University Medical Center, it has grown to become a national leader in HIV care that treats thousands of patients annually. Across the District, our hospitals and nonprofit partners are prioritizing LGBT health services and are repeatedly named some of the best places for LGBT people to work and receive care in the country. The IMD is a neighborhood where everyone is welcome — no matter who you are or who you love.

Allyson Hansen with marker and name written on brick exterior wall with graffiti

CEO and Executive Director Allyson Hansen adds her mark to the graffiti wall at the first annual IMD Art Fair on May 24, 2023

I’m happy to welcome our new summer intern to the IMD team, Lauren Marshall. Lauren is attending Howard University as a rising junior pursuing a degree in Life Sciences and is from the southside of Chicago. We look forward to adding her experience and enthusiasm to the team for the next eight weeks, so if you see a new face be sure to give her a warm IMD welcome!

I look forward to seeing many of you at events over the summer and cannot wait to share more in August about all the good things happening in the IMD.


Allyson Hansen

CEO and Executive Director

In The District

2023 Chicago Lighthouse Rise to Shine Run & Walk, Growing Solutions Farm

2023 Chicago Lighthouse Rise to Shine Run & Walk

Outside day street with runners in neon shirts

Tim Paul, who is blind, participates along with his guide in the 2022 Rise to Shine Run & Walk in the IMD


Sunday, October 22, 2023


8 a.m.


Hastings & Wood Street in the Illinois Medical District

Registration is now open for the 2023 Chicago Lighthouse Rise to Shine Run & Walk 10K/5K/1M.

Tim Paul, who works as a medical scheduler at The Chicago Lighthouse, has run in more than a dozen marathons, including the Boston Marathon four times, and countless 5Ks and 10Ks. But it wasn’t until last year that Tim, who is blind, ran in a race that put a priority on accessibility for him and other runners with disabilities.

“I always run with a guide, and this race was no different, but knowing there were so many others with disabilities participating made me feel less conspicuous,” Tim says. “It was great to be surrounded by so many others who were demonstrating all that people with disabilities can do.”

Alderman Burnett Jr. along with CEO and Executive Director Allyson Hansen help to kick-off the 2022 race

Alderman Burnett Jr. along with CEO and Executive Director Allyson Hansen help to kick-off the 2022 race

The Illinois Medical District is proud to support the second annual “Rise to Shine” Run & Walk, which prioritizes accessibility for people with disabilities while promoting health, inclusion and community in our area. This year’s 10K/5K/1 Mile run, walk and roll, presented by The Chicago Lighthouse along with the Chicago Central Lions Club will take place on Sunday, Oct. 22, at 8 a.m., and will be followed by a free Fitness Fest for All, with a kids’ race, food, entertainment, fitness challenges and accessibility demonstrations.

This event is a great way to promote our IMD community as a place to live, work and play. Register as an individual or form a team with friends, family and/or coworkers.

Sign up today here.

Growing Solutions Farm Now Open

Fresh vegetables and flowers on table for purchase

Growing Solutions Farm from Urban Autism Solutions now open


May 24 – October 2023


Wednesdays: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Fridays: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.


2200 W. Campbell Park Drive, Chicago, IL 60612

Growing Solutions Farm, from Urban Autism Solutions, is a 1.2-acre produce farm located in the Illinois Medical District where Chicago public high school transition students (16-22 years old) with autism and related challenges gain vocational skills as they work at the farm.

Produce grown at the farm is sold at weekly on-site farm and community stands and to restaurants and wholesalers. The farm also offers an eight-box CSA subscription. Proceeds from these sales directly support the vocational programming at the farm.

Shop local, eat healthy and support a fantastic cause! For more information, visit their website here.

IMD hosts first annual Art Fair

Chicago sidewalk with people standing around large plywood piece covered in colorful graffiti art

Attendees create graffiti art at the first annual IMD Art Fair on May 24, 2023

On May 24, 2023, the IMD Arts Council hosted its first annual Art Fair. Local artists and District partners gathered on a beautiful sunny day to support the artists and learn more about what’s happening around the District.

Outside table with orange drape and people talking in front of graffiti wall

Attendees learned more about IMD partners like Snow City Arts at the first annual IMD Art Fair

The Art Fair was open to the public, and attendees were able to participate in a graffiti demonstration, enjoyed live music, tacos, and listen to a panel discission with local graffiti artists. The event also served to highlight the new graffiti art installation at the site.

Person in front of table where tacos are being made

Tacos from Masa Brothas kept attendees energized at the first annual IMD Art Fair

Thank you to everyone who attended and all our volunteers and participants including:

Urban Prairie Waldorf School/River Birch Charter School, Chicago Center for Arts and Technology (ChiCAT), Road Home Program at Rush, Snow City Arts, Urban Autism Solutions, Chicago Lighthouse, S.H.E. Gallery, DS Luxury, Masa Brothas Tacos. DJ Alex Miura and of course the artists!

EmVenio Research opens new community research site in the IMD

CEO and Executive Director Allyson Hansen with IMD Commissioners and EmVenio leadership team at ribbon cutting of bus

CEO and Executive Director Allyson Hansen and IMD Commissioners join EmVenio Research leadership team at the ribbon cutting on May 23, 2023

On May 23, 2023, CEO and Executive Director Allyson Hansen joined by Commissioner O’Brien, Commissioner Gorski, and Commissioner Kalayil took part in a ribbon cutting for a new community research site in the IMD from EmVenio Research at 2023 W. Ogden Ave.

IMD is 1 of 10 locations in the U.S. where EmVenio is operating community research sites. Its sites challenge the traditional model of clinical research studies that result in findings that do not often reflect the demographic makeup of the whole population.

Two people talk inside medical bus

Commissioner O’Brien is given a tour of the EmVenio bus

“We’re excited to welcome EmVenio to the IMD,” said Allyson Hansen, CEO and Executive Director of the Illinois Medical District Commission. “The IMD is the largest urban medical district in the United States, with the most diverse patient population. Now with the addition of EmVenio, we continue to expand the range of clinical research being conducted by our partners in and around the IMD, a win-win for sponsors and patients alike. EmVenio’s commitment to hire locally also brings much needed job creation to the traditionally underserved communities that surround the IMD.”

Learn more about EmVenio Research here.

Welcome home: The Lydian grand opening

Allyson Hansen speaks on The Lydian rooftop with microphone and blue sky

CEO and Executive Director Allyson Hansen speaks at The Lydian grand opening on May 4, 2023

On May 4, 2023, CEO and Executive Director Allyson Hansen was honored to speak at the grand opening of The Lydian in the Illinois Medical District at 513 S. Damen Ave.

With 279 units and rising 22 stories, The Lydian is the second building constructed in a three-phase development by Marquette Cos. The firm completed the first phase in 2021 with the 18-story, 272-unit Atrio. Units measure from 446 to 1,234 square feet, and amenities include a 24-hour door attendant, fitness center, yoga studio, pet spa, sundeck, outdoor pool and rooftop lounge.

The Lydian apartment interior with floor to ceiling windows, couches, tables and chairs on bright sunny day

The Lydian interior

If you work or study in the IMD, remember to ask about special employer and IMD discounts when you contact them.

For more detailed pricing and other information, click here.