By Warren Ribley, Executive Director of the Illinois Medical District

The Illinois Medical District (IMD) consists of 80 health, education, public safety, social service and technology organizations, two medical universities and four major medical centers as a single entity. An extraordinary economic resource in the heart of Chicago, the full potential of the District’s collective 560 acres has for too long remained unrealized. Eighteen months ago, when I accepted Governor Quinn’s appointment as Executive Director, as ratified by a renewed and reinvigorated IMD Board of Commissioners, this began to change with a new vision of the IMD that acknowledges the District as whole is much more impactful than its individual units.

The new Commission’s first priorities are to restore our financial integrity, re-engage with our core partners and develop a strategic plan with specific steps to make our vision a reality. After exhaustive research, aided by a private sector Advisory Council, we are focused on four priorities: community health, translational research, clinical data and infrastructure development.

Next month, we will share the results of an economic development impact study, which will highlight the IMD’s $3.4 billion impact on the Chicago region, the state and the country (see info graphic below). The study, conducted by the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs and sponsored by the ISTC, illustrates the IMD’s irreplaceable value.

We have also had a major win for our infrastructure development priority. On September 17, the Commission unveiled plans for the IMD “Gateway Center,” a $162 million mixed-use development that will include a 200-room conference center hotel, 75,000 square feet of mixed-use retail space, a 200-unit residential high-rise for professionals and 105,000 square feet of laboratory and medical space with space for a life sciences incubator. The development at 2020 W. Ogden Avenue will be a game changer. It is designed to become the focal point of the District and the central hub of the healthcare and biosciences sectors throughout the entire region.

This exciting progress is just the beginning. Within the next 10 years the District will generate as many as 4,500 new permanent jobs, spur healthcare, education and research activity resulting in $300 million in new revenue, drive research and innovation and improve healthcare for the entire region. There are opportunities for many more people to be a part of it. From the healthcare industry to the investment community; government leaders to patient advocates; and developers to physicians; we will continue to partner with those who share our vision to become a recognized leader in healthcare and biotechnology sciences—an innovation hub and a District against which others will be measured.


Did You Know? 

Watch and Listen:

IMD Executive Director, Warren Ribley, speaks at City Club

The Illinois Medical District Commission shines a spotlight on the IMD


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