Just as President Kennedy rallied the nation to dream big and set audacious goals 50 years ago, The Kennedy Forum in Illinois is working toward lasting change in the way mental health and addictions are considered and treated.


A future where all persons are treated with dignity and receive the person-centered mental and physical care and support they need to thrive and achieve their goals; with a health system that fully recognizes that the brain is part of the body.


End stigma against mental health and substance use disorders. We are focused on changing both attitudes and practice.


  • Elevate and improve the quality of the public discourse and mass media coverage of mental health and addiction;
  • Ensure equal access and coverage of mental health and substance use disorder care;
  • Advance integration and coordination of behavioral health care and prevention into the general primary care medical system;
  • Leverage innovation and technology to advance and improve mental health/addiction interventions and integration;
  • Give children the best chance to succeed in life by addressing brain health at an early age.

Leadership Council

Heather Alderman
President, Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation

Michael Arkes
Helping Hands Partners

Lindsey Artola

John Atkinson
Managing Partner, Willis Towers Watson

Norman R. Bobins
Chairman, ThePrivateBank; Norman Bobins Consulting, LLC

Marca Bristo
CEO, Access Living; President, United States International Council on Disabilities

Justice Anne Burke
Illinois Supreme Court Justice, Illinois Supreme Court, 1st District

Dr. Patrick Corrigan
Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology

Dr. John Csernansky
Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich
Archdiocese of Chicago

Rich Daniels
Musical Director, City Lights Orchestra/Local 10-208 Chicago Federation of Musicians

Michael Darcy
President, Gateway Foundation (retired)

Hon. Tom Dart
Cook County Sheriff

Paul Dillon
Vietnam Veteran, Dillon Consulting Services

Jay Doherty
President, City Club Of Chicago

John Edelman
Head of Global Citizenship, Edelman

Tim Egan
President & CEO, Roseland Community Hospital

Michael Englehart
President & CEO, Presence Health

Judy Erwin
Managing Director, Kivvit

State Representative Sara Feigenholtz
Assistant Majority Leader, Illinois House of Representatives, State of Illinois, 12th District

Mark Frey
President & CEO, AMITA Health Medical Group

State Representative Robyn Gabel
Illinois House of Representatives, State of Illinois, 18th District

Dr. Teresa Garate
CEO, Anixter Center

Dr. Larry Goodman
President & CEO, Rush University Medical Center

Ron Grais
Director, Threshholds; Of Counsel, Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Hammer LLC

Christie Hahn
Behavioral Health Clinical Liaison, Aetna Better Health

Bill Heffernan
CEO, Employee Resource System

Reverend Dennis Holtschneider
President, DePaul University

Grace Hou
President, Woods Fund of Chicago

Mark Ishaug
CEO, Thresholds

Alexa James
Executive Director, NAMI Chicago

Erica Jeffries
Director, Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Dr. Robin Jones
Illinois Medical Director, Aetna Better Health

Dr. Larry Kroll
Family Guidance Centers

Dr. Anand Kumar
Department Head and Lizzie Gilman Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Psychiatry

Connie Lindsay
Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Global Diversity & Inclusion, Northern Trust

Patrick Magoon
President & CEO, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

Brandon Marshall
Executive Chairman & Co-Founder, PROJECT 375; NFL wide-receiver

Terry Mazany
President & CEO, The Chicago Community Trust

Theresa Mintle
President & CEO, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

Steve Moore
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Mark Mroz
Strategic Development Director, MADO Healthcare

Laurence Msall
President, The Civic Federation

Peter O’Brien
President, MADO Healthcare

Heather O’Donnell
Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy, Thresholds

Samantha Olds Frey
Executive Director, Illinois Association of Medicaid Health Plans

Kerry Peck
Managing Partner, Peck Ritchey, LLC

Dr. Paul Pendler
PsyD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine

Daniel Perlman
Partner, Kirkland & Ellis

Congressman Glenn Poshard

Linda Price
Senior Managing Director, Insurance Services, Mesirow Financial

Jorge Ramirez
President & CEO, Chicago Federation of Labor

Dr. Lorrie Rickman Jones
Visiting Research Professor, Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois; President, Behavioral Health Innovations

Beth N. Rom-Rymer, Ph.D
Illinois Licensed Clinical Psychologist; President, Rom-Rymer and Associates

Jo Ann Rooney
President, Loyola University Chicago

Jesse Ruiz
Partner, Drinker, Biddle & Reath

John Jay Shannon, M.D.
CEO, Cook County Health and Hospitals System

Elizabeth Simer

James Skogsbergh
Advocate Health Care

Andrew Smith
President & Co-Founder, Impact Advisors

Diane Swonk

Karen Teitelbaum
President & CEO, Sinai Health System

David Vitale

Ross Westreich
Market Vice President, Humana

Dr. Cheryl Whitaker
CEO, NextLevel Health Partners, Inc.

Dr. Eric E. Whitaker
CEO, TWG Partners, LLC

AJ Wilhelmi
President & CEO, Illinois Hospital Association

Donna Zarcone
President & CEO, The Economic Club of Chicago

Justice Kathryn Zenoff
Illinois Appellate Court, 2nd District