MLK dinner in Palatine to focus on health care equity

  • Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, left, watches as Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, chief operating officer of the Cook County Department of Public Health, talks about the new Boost Up Cook County campaign. Hasbrouck will be recognized Saturday at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance Dinner.

      Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, left, watches as Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, chief operating officer of the Cook County Department of Public Health, talks about the new Boost Up Cook County campaign. Hasbrouck will be recognized Saturday at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance Dinner. Steve Zalusky | Staff Photographer

  • Avis Proctor, Harper College president

    Avis Proctor, Harper College president

  • Abdelnasser Rashid

    Abdelnasser Rashid

  • Delia Ramirez

    Delia Ramirez

  • Nabeela Syed

    Nabeela Syed

  • Esiah Campos

    Esiah Campos

  • Members of the city of Aurora's inaugural nine-member LGBTQ Advisory Board: Adam Pauley, Zachary Bishop, Brittney Borowicz-Keller, Sean Li, Briana Moss, Ivan Quinones, Paulene Spika, Michael Vargas, and Frederick Yanos.

    Members of the city of Aurora's inaugural nine-member LGBTQ Advisory Board: Adam Pauley, Zachary Bishop, Brittney Borowicz-Keller, Sean Li, Briana Moss, Ivan Quinones, Paulene Spika, Michael Vargas, and Frederick Yanos. Courtesy of City of Aurora

 
 
Posted11/14/2022 5:30 AM

The 53rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance Dinner will be held Saturday at the Cotillion Banquets in Palatine.

This year's event will focus on "Heeding Dr. King's Call for Health Care Equity."

 

During a 1966 meeting in Chicago, King addressed health care inequities experienced by Blacks. Those disparities persist today in communities of color and were accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic, said Chris Mier, MLK dinner chairman.

"The enormous disparity in experience in the delivery of medical services whether through public or private (health care providers) is considerable," Mier said. "The continuous exposure to trauma is really creating an urgent national mental health crisis (in) communities of color."

Featured speakers include Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of Washington, D.C.-based American Public Health Association, who will deliver the keynote address, and Timothy Killeen, president of the University of Illinois System.

Organizers will honor Harper College President Avis Proctor and Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, chief executive officer for the Cook County Public Health Department, for their roles in advancing health care equity during the pandemic.

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Many local hospitals draw heavily from the Palatine college's nursing program graduates to fill jobs, Mier said.

And during the pandemic, Hasbrouck advised Fortune 500 companies on virus mitigation and safe reopening strategies. He previously served as executive director for the National Association of County and City Health Officials, which represents 3,000 local health departments.

The MLK dinner is organized by the Illinois Commission on Diversity and Human Relations. Roughly 700 people are expected to attend.

Election firsts

A slew of candidates from minority communities were elected to offices statewide on Nov. 8. And there were many firsts among them.

State Rep. Delia Ramirez became the Illinois delegation's first Latina in Congress, after winning the 3rd Congressional District seat; state Rep.-elect Hone Huynh became the first Vietnamese American member of the Illinois General Assembly; and state Rep.-elect Abdelnasser Rashid is the first Palestinian American to be elected to the state legislature, representing the 21st House District.

Also, 23-year-old Palatine native Nabeela Syed became the first Indian American woman and one of the first Muslims, along with Rashid, to be elected to the General Assembly. Syed will represent the 51st state House District.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Esiah Campos of Round Lake Beach became the first Latino and youngest member of the Lake County Board. He will represent District 16, which centers on the four Round Lake communities that are heavily Hispanic in west central Lake County.

Muslim achievers

The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago is celebrating 30 years of serving the region's more than 400,000 Muslims at its annual gala, set for 6 p.m. Saturday, in the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency O'Hare, 9300 Bryn Mawr, Rosemont.

During the event, organizers will present the Muslim Achiever Award to four community leaders for their contributions in various fields. Award winners are:

• Dr. Sameer Vohra, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. Vohra is a general pediatrician and a cross-disciplinary leader in state and national health policy formulation. He now is focusing efforts on improving health outcomes in Central and Southern Illinois.

• Naheed Qureshi, formerly of Libertyville, head of policy partnerships for Instacart and a member of President Joe Biden's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. She was a co-founder and later deputy director of Muslim Advocates, a national civil rights advocacy organization.

• Rashad Hussain, ambassador-at-large for the Office of International Religious Freedom. Hussain leads efforts to monitor religious freedom abuses, persecution and discrimination globally. He was appointed by former President Barack Obama to serve as his special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, special envoy for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, and deputy associate White House counsel.

• Fatima Abueid, founder of Chicago-based Sanad Community Services & Sanad Food Pantry, will receive the Dr. Bambade Shakoor-Abdullah Award for Civic Engagement. She was honored in 2021 as the Chicago Woman of the Year for Human Services for helping communities on the city's Southwest Side.

The council is made up of more than 60 member organizations, including mosques, Islamic schools and community groups. For more information, visit ciogc.org.

LGBTQ advisory board

The Aurora City Council last week appointed inaugural members to the city's new Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Advisory Board.

"It's been a long journey we've all been on, but we are here and going to do a great job with this," said Adam Pauley, 21, the youngest board member.

Appointees to the nine-member advisory board include Zachary Bishop, Brittney Borowicz-Keller, Sean Li, Briana Moss, Ivan Quinones, Paulene Spika, Michael Vargas and Frederick Yanos. It will advise the city concerning the needs of Aurora's LGBTQ community, as well as:

• Organize, support or promote events recognizing June as Pride Month.

• Encourage the education, advocacy, and community involvement of LGBTQ youth.

• Help promote greater awareness and cross-cultural understanding of the LGBTQ community.

• Recommend measures to enhance overall quality of life for the LGBTQ community.

• Coordinate and participate in educational programs for the LGBTQ community.

The board will be managed through the Mayor's Office of Community Affairs, which leads the city's equity and inclusion initiatives.

Business gala

The Arab-American Business & Professional Association of Illinois will host its annual gala Friday at the Esplanade Lakes by Doubletree, 3500 Lacey Road in Downers Grove.

The reception begins at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. It will feature some of the country's leading Arab American civic, business, and entertainment leaders.

Special guests include ABC 7 Chicago anchor Diane Pathieu, a Syrian-Lebanese American; Palestinian American comedian Amer Zahr; Palestinian American mixed martial artist Belal "Remember the Name" Muhammad, who competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight division; Al Bawadi Grill owner Khalil Ismail; Talat Othman, Grove Financial Inc. president and founding president of ABPA; and ABPA President Rush Darwish.

The gala will benefit the association's new Economic Development Center. The association will launch the center and a Community Retail Association in January to benefit the local community and minority-owned businesses. The association also will be launching a new Middle Eastern/North African-owned business registry website, weMENAbiz.com, in the new year.

• Share stories, news and happenings from the suburban mosaic at mkrishnamurthy@dailyherald.com.

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