Senator Gillespie holds a piece of paper and speaks into a microphone while on the Senate floor.SCHAUMBURG — In recognition of her work to improve health care access and quality for Illinois residents, the Illinois Primary Health Care Association named State Senator Ann Gillespie a 2023 Community Health Center Champion.

“Serving over a million Illinoisans annually, community health centers play a vital role in making quality health care accessible,” said Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights), who chairs the Senate Appropriations – Health and Human Services Committee. “Working to ensure our health care system supports both patients and providers has been one of my priorities as a senator, and it’s an honor to be recognized by IPHCA for these efforts.”

Gillespie has introduced legislation to expand access to behavioral health services at federally qualified health centers. This spring, Gillespie passed legislation establishing a state-based health insurance marketplace, which will help uninsured Illinoisans acquire the coverage they need. She was also instrumental in the historic passage of Illinois’ first rate review legislation that protects consumers and small businesses from unfair health insurance premium rate increases.

“IPHCA is incredibly thankful for Senator Gillespie's commitment to improving health care access for underserved communities," said Ollie Idowu, IPHCA president and CEO. "Under her leadership, Illinois is increasing its investment in community health centers so they are better able to meet the needs of those they serve, especially in regard to growing behavioral health care service capacity.”

IPHCA’s Community Health Center Champion award is presented annually to leaders who demonstrate support of community health centers and underserved populations.