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 and discrimination against people with mental health and addiction challenges. Our aim is not just to change the conversation, but to change the system.


  • 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
President, Helping Hands Partners

Lindsey Artola
Vice President, Sage Health Strategy

John Atkinson
Managing Partner, Willis Towers Watson

The Honorable Patricia Bellock
Assistant Minority Leader, Illinois General Assembly, House of Representatives (R- 47th District)

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

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

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

Carey Carlock
Chief Executive Officer, Riveredge Hospital

Patrick Corrigan, Psy.D.
Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology

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

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich
Archdiocese of Chicago

The Honorable Lee Daniels
House of Representatives (R-40th & 46th Districts, Retired); Attorney and Owner, Lee Daniels & Associates, LLC

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

Michael Darcy
Retired President and CEO, Gateway Foundation

The Honorable Tom Dart
Cook County Sheriff

Paul Dillon
Vietnam Veteran; Owner, Dillon Consulting Services

Jay Doherty
President, City Club Of Chicago

Reverend Scott Donahue
President & CEO, Mercy Home for Boys & Girls

The Honorable Jim Durkin
House Minority Leader, Illinois General Assembly, House of Representatives (R-82nd District)

Bernard Dyme
President & CEO, Perspectives Ltd.

John Edelman
Head of Global Citizenship, Edelman

Tim Egan
President & CEO, Roseland Community Hospital

Michael Englehart

Judy Erwin
Managing Director, Kivvit

The Honorable Sara Feigenholtz
Assistant Majority Leader, Illinois General Assembly, House of Representatives (D-12th District)

The Honorable Kim Foxx
Cook County State’s Attorney

Mark Frey
President & CEO, AMITA Health Medical Group

The Honorable Robyn Gabel
Illinois General Assembly, House of Representatives (D-18th District)

Dr. Teresa Garate
Vice President, Strategic Partnerships & Engagement, Gateway Foundation

Mary Garrison
Professor, Millikin University

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

Ron Grais
Director, Thresholds; Of Counsel and Pro Bono Director, Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Hammer LLC

Christie Hahn
Population Health Specialist Lead, Aetna Better Health

Pastor Christopher Harris
Pastor, Bright Star Church Chicago; Founder, The Urban Resilience Network

The Honorable Karen Hasara
Former Mayor of Springfield, Illinois

Bill Heffernan
CEO, Employee Resource System

Reverend Dennis Holtschneider
Executive Vice President & COO, Ascension Health

Mark Ishaug
CEO, Thresholds

Alexa James
Executive Director, NAMI Chicago

Erica Jeffries

Dr. Robin Jones
Medical Director, Harmony Health Plan, Inc.

Dr. David Kemp
Co-Medical Director of Behavioral Health Service line, Advocate Health Care

Dr. Larry Kroll
President & CEO, Family Guidance Centers

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

The Honorable Lou Lang
Illinois General Assembly, House of Representatives (D-16th District)

Mimi LeClair
President & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago

Dr. Harry Leider
Chief Medical Officer & Group Vice President

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

Mary Lou Mastro
President & CEO, Edwards-Elmhurst Health

Terry Mazany

Earl Melamed
Partner, Neal, Gerber, & Eisenberg LLP

Steve Moore
Co-Chair, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention; Partner, Rowland & Moore LLP

Rock Marasco
Senior Advisor, Liberty Advisor Group

Mark Mroz
Vice President of Strategic Development, MADO Healthcare

Laurence Msall
President, The Civic Federation

Peter O’Brien
President, MADO Healthcare

Heather O’Donnell
Senior 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

Paul Pendler, Psy.D.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine; Vice President, JPMorgan Chase

Daniel Perlman
Partner, Kirkland & Ellis, LLP

Linda Price
Executive Vice President at Alliant/Mesirow Insurance Services

Jorge Ramirez

Dr. Lorrie Rickman-Jones
President, Behavioral Health Innovations

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

Jesse Ruiz
Partner, Drinker, Biddle & Reath

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

Gina Sharp
President, Linden Oaks

Elizabeth Simer

Andrew Smith
President & Co-Founder, Impact Advisors

David Snyder
Chief Operating Officer, Chicago CRED

Dr. Shastri Swaminathan

Diane Swonk
Founder & President, Diane Swonk Economics

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

A.J. Wilhelmi
President & CEO, Illinois Hospital Association

Donna Zarcone
President & CEO, The Economic Club of Chicago

The Honorable Kathryn Zenoff
Appellate Court Justice 2nd District, Illinois