The Mile Square Health Center in Humboldt Park on July 24, 2023. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

HUMBOLDT PARK — A Humboldt Park health clinic that has served neighbors and low-income people for nearly a decade is shutting down next month.

Humboldt Park’s Mile Square Health Center at 3240 W. Division St., a practice of UIC’s College of Nursing that provides adult and pediatric primary health care, as well as specialized services, is closing Aug. 15, officials said in a statement.

Officials determined through a “careful evaluation” that the Humboldt Park space isn’t big enough to “accommodate a full range of Mile Square programs,” spokeswoman Sherri McGinnis Gonzalez said. The building’s landlord also plans to sell the Division Street building, McGinnis Gonzalez said.

Patrick Bader with Clb Properties, LLC, listed as the property owner in Cook County records, couldn’t be reached for comment.

The Humboldt Park Mile Square Health Center is a federally qualified health center that opened in 2014.

The clinic offers a range of services from newborn care and immunizations to HIV testing and behavioral counseling, according to its website. It saw about 1,500 patients in the 2023 fiscal year, McGinnis Gonzalez said.

The clinic is a hub for low-income people in Humboldt Park as it accepts all patients regardless of income. All Mile Square clinics use a sliding fee scale, meaning they adjust bills based on income.

There are several Mile Square clinics in the Chicago area, including outposts in Back of the Yards, Englewood and suburban Cicero.

The Mile Square Health Center in Humboldt Park on July 24, 2023. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

The impending closure in Humboldt Park has left hundreds of patients searching for medical care.

Carl Story, a 59-year-old factory worker, started going to the Humboldt Park clinic earlier this year after his employer changed insurance providers, he said.

He went to the clinic for a physical and to help manage his high blood pressure and he always left satisfied with the quality of care, Story said. He’s working on finding a new medical provider, but no other clinic will be as convenient: He lives in an apartment right behind the Mile Square clinic.

“They treat you right, it’s a good service,” Story said. “Everybody in the neighborhood practically goes to them. It’s kinda messed up that now they’re leaving.”

Similarly, neighbor Ben Clauss said he went to the clinic for a tetanus shot in the fall of 2020 after getting injured trying to separate his two cats, “and it was great having a doctor close by when needed.”

“I was able to book an appointment the next day and received the recommended care. I was impressed by the staff and the aftercare and now [I’m] just sad to see them leave,” Clauss said in an email.

The Mile Square clinic also served as a COVID-19 vaccination site during the height of the pandemic.

“There wasn’t a day that went by that the facility wasn’t fully booked and not a neighbor in the area that wasn’t able to walk over a received the vaccine,” Clauss said.

Juanita Garcia, chief of staff for Ald. Jessie Fuentes (26th), whose ward includes the clinic, said they’re trying to help Mile Square officials find another space in the community that is “compatible with the work that they do” and will update neighbors if such a plan is established.

But Mile Square doesn’t have plans to reopen the clinic elsewhere in Humboldt Park. McGinnis Gonzalez said they haven’t been able to find a space that will “meet the needs of patients.”

All Mile Square patients have been notified about the closure and referred to other locations within the UIC network, officials said. The closest is the main location at 1220 S. Wood St. in Illinois Medical District, according to the clinic’s website.

“The Mile Square Humboldt Park team remains committed to providing patients with high-quality compassionate care and service, and many of the providers will continue to offer care at other Mile Square locations,” McGinnis Gonzalez said in the statement.

Other Humboldt Park health clinics that serve low-income people include Erie Humboldt Park Health Center at 2750 W. North Ave. and ACCESS Humboldt Park Family Health Center at 3202 W. North Ave.

Help Block Club Get
500 More Subscribers!

Subscribe to Block Club now and you’ll get a free 16-by-20-inch Chicago neighborhood print of your choice, helping us reach our goal of getting 500 more subscribers before 2024. Click here to subscribe or click here to gift a subscription.

Listen to the Block Club Chicago podcast:

Logan Square, Humboldt Park & Avondale reporterrnrnmina@blockclubchi.orgnnLogan Square, Humboldt Park & Avondale Twitter @mina_bloom_