It is with mixed emotion that EverThrive Illinois announces the departure of Sheila Sanders, Director of Community Engagement, as she and her family relocate to the East Coast. Sheila has been a fixture of EverThrive IL for more than 16 years, bringing expertise, personality, and passion to progressive community outreach and engagement roles. We are incredibly grateful to Sheila for her years of dedication and wish her and her family the best in their exciting new chapter!
Sheila’s contributions to EverThrive Illinois and the field are unmatched. Some key highlights from her tenure include:
- Coordinating outreach workers to provide evidence-based information about vaccination and connect folks to immunization clinics on Chicago’s south and west sides, reaching tens of thousands of people over her tenure;
- Launching Maternal and Child Health Family Councils and Expert Advisory Subcommittees to foster long-term partnership with people with lived experience to inform, advise, and provide accountability on programs and policies for EverThrive Illinois, state agencies, and our partners; and
- Working with EverThrive IL’s partners AllianceChicago and Northwestern University to develop and facilitate a community engaged research project for the Chicago Collaborative for Maternal Health, through which we recently surveyed more than 200 individuals living in communities with high rates of maternal mortality.
Sheila’s departure will certainly be felt by people who worked with her across the state, but EverThrive IL remains as committed as ever to our community engagement strategy. We will continue to center communities, always working in solidarity with and accountability to those most impacted by health injustice. Our community engagement team will continue to nurture existing relationships, expand our partnerships, and ensure community members are key advisors in our work. As Sheila loves to say, “Teamwork makes the dream work” and we are grateful for our team who will step in to fill her big shoes.
Sheila’s last day at EverThrive Illinois will be Friday, September 17. We are seeking our next Community Engagement Director, please help us to spread the word by sharing the job posting.