BRONZEVILLE — Bronzeville residents got a chance Tuesday to weigh in on a proposed outpatient clinic slated for the neighborhood, with some urging Northwestern Medicine to make sure there’s mental health support and ample parking offered.
It was the second community meeting hosted by the Northwestern Medicine and Ald. Sophia King (4th), part of an ongoing “listening tour” where residents can offer their input.
The 100,000 square-foot facility would be built on the vacant lot in the 4800 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue and offer a range of services, from primary/specialty care to behavioral health and preventative care. It will also have an onsite lab and pharmacy, with ground floor space set aside for retail and community programming, respectively.
Similar clinics are in the works for Irving Park and Lincoln Square. The health care provider also plans to make its Northwestern Medicine Scholars program available to neighboring high schools. Though the total cost of the project is still unknown, it will be fully funded by the organization.
Northwestern Medicine is working with several community partners, including Bright Star Church, the two organizations collaborating on wellness initiatives for the last eight years. The project is also championed by King, who spent the last year fighting to keep Mercy Hospital (now Insight Hospital and Medical Center) open.
After a brief presentation, dozens of residents were divided into breakout rooms where a facilitator fielded questions to the group to better assess the community’s needs. Mental health support — specifically for people who have experienced trauma — was at the top of the wishlist for a few participants.
Some were also concerned about parking issues, which Northwestern Medicine hopes to resolve with a “structured parking to fully support the parking demand the facility will create,” said Charlie Cloutier, director of planning and construction for the organization.
Cloutier promised that the clinic’s design would reflect the spirit of the community.
“We’re not going to be flipping the building for a profit as part of an exit strategy. We’re going to own this building for the next 50 to 100 years, so we will build the highest quality materials available,” said Cloutier.
More community meetings are being planned in the coming months.
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