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Illinois Governor, Israeli Foreign Minister and Sheba Medical Center CEO Partner on the Chicago ARC Innovation Center to Advance Health Equity
[March 04, 2021]

Illinois Governor, Israeli Foreign Minister and Sheba Medical Center CEO Partner on the Chicago ARC Innovation Center to Advance Health Equity

CHICAGO, March 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Gov. JB Pritzker, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Prof. Yitshak Kreiss discussed the vision between Illinois and Israel to collaborate on a health innovation hub to develop and advance health equity solutions locally and globally. It will be based on Sheba's proven health innovation model—ARC—and established on Chicago's South Side at the historic site of the Michael Reese Medical Center.

The three government leaders disclosed details of the global partnership late last week at a private Commercial Club of Chicago meeting cohosted by World Business Chicago. The leaders are committed to eliminating existing health disparities and negative outcomes—from COVID-19 hospitalizations to infant mortality, chronic disease and early death—connected to conditions where people live, learn, work and play.

Sheba Medical Center, Kaleidoscope Health Ventures (KHV) and Farpoint Development are partners in the Chicago ARC Innovation Center. The discussion focused on how Sheba's ARC model, which fosters healthcare innovation to redesign this system and make it more accessible by accelerating entrepreneurship, is extending from Israel to Chicago.

Israel to Illinois: A Fast Track for Healthcare Transformation

Healthcare transformation is one of Israel's greatest priorities but is a goal no state or nation can accomplish on its own. The Sheba ARC (Accelerate, Redesign, Collaborate) model will be executed in Chicago to enable alliances with Illinois' abundant trove of life sciences teaching and research institutions, biotechnology companies, health systems and technology startups to make fast progress toward achieving health equity. This includes implementing groundbreaking technologies with a market-driven approach adapted for the United States.

"We have learned many things from the current COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most important is that global challenges need global solutions," Ashkenazi said. "This partnership with the Chicago ARC Innovation Center and Sheba Medical Center could quite literally save lives. Together they will advance healthcare solutions, share best practice and transform health care."

"Today we are celebrating the partnership between Israel's Sheba Medical Center, one of the world's top-ranking hospitals, and Kaleidoscope Health Ventures and Farpoint Development. It is one of the many ways we have to share Israeli innovation and keep strengthening the unbreakable bond between our two nations," Ashkenazi said.

Prioritizing Health Equity in Illinois with Sheba's Help

Illinois has made health equity an overarching public health goal. Leading through a health equity lens, the state's programs, services and partnerships aim to increase parity in the social determinants of health to close health disparity gaps.

"Here in Illinois, we have some of the best research universities on the earth, one of the largest biotech talent pools in the United States, and our medical centers are among the most respected in the world," said Governor JB Pritzker. "Those assets are just one facet of why our state is ideal for a new health innovation hub. The establishment of the Chicago ARC Innovation Center both recognizes and strengthens our reputation." 

"I am so deeply grateful for Kaleidoscope Health Ventures, to Sheba Medical Center and to the ARC Innovation Complex and Farpoint Development for coming together to spur this innovation here in Illinois, bringing more collaborative health innovation, life sciences development and transformative equitable healthcare models to our state," continued Pritzker. 

In fact, Sheba's ARC model has allowed Israel to become a world leader in combating COVID-19 by shaping Israel's rapid response to COVID-19—which will see half its population vaccinated by March–and showcases Israel's use of innovative approaches to achieve health equity. With Sheba's guidance, Israel's agencies and health providers are repackaging the temperature-sensitive Pfizer vaccine for wider distribution; opening arenas and field clinics as inoculation centers; and engaging the Arab and ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in a public health campaign to overcome resistance to the vaccine, Kreiss noted.

"The outbreak of COVID-19 boosted this new enterprise and proved to all of us just how crucial it is to get ARC Chicago up and running," Kreiss said. "We have been looking for the right location and partner to bring our model to the U.S. and are very fortunate to have found this great partnership in Illinois.

"Sheba will contribute its global network of partners, its open innovation model, data and sources of technologies and startups looking to transform healthcare in the U.S," Kreiss said.  "KHV will use its experience in the U.S. market and impact investing to drive commercialization and investment success. Farpoint will help us cultivate inclusive Chicago neighborhoods, (turning them) into the U.S.A.'s first City of Health with its commercial real estate development (expertise)."

The Chicago ARC Makes Illinois a Global Investment Destination

The Chicago ARC will connect the best science, talent, technology and data to achieve health equity and justice for all through a high-touch, collaborative innovation platform.

A health equity accelerator will be an early Chicago ARC initiative, with plans to launch later this year. The Chicago ARC will partner with South and West Side community initiatives to unlock the benefits for all residents across Illinois and the United States. A life sciences incubator and data collaborative will follow in 2022, all with health equity goals.

International companies, starting with a focus on promising Israeli startups, are targeted as Chicago ARC tenants. A tailored approach with a customer-driven network will give them a U.S. foothold and make Illinois a gateway for global investment. The permanent Chicago ARC facility is set to open in 2023 as the anchor of the Bronzeville Lakefront development. Until then, it will operate out of interim space.

"On behalf of the Chicago ARC partners, we are honored to have the support of Israel's Foreign Minister and the Governor of Illinois for this transformational venture," Kaleidoscope Health Ventures Cofounder and Managing Partner S. Bob Chib said.  "We look forward to partnering with Sheba and Farpoint Development on the launch of the Chicago ARC Innovation Center."

About the Speakers

Foreign Minister Gabi AshkenaziMinister of Foreign Affairs in the 35th government of Israel, Ashkenazi served in the Israel Defense Forces for 39 years. He headed the IDF from 2007 to 2011 as the 19th Chief of General Staff, or Rav Aluf.  While in the IDF, Lt. Gen. (res.) Ashkenazi served in numerous senior capacities, including Deputy Chief of Staff and head of the Northern Command. He also restored the IDF's operative capacity in the wake of the Second Lebanon War and led a series of campaigns, including Operation Hot Winter, Operation Cast Lead and the decisive strike on Syria's nuclear reactor in September 2007. Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi holds a bachelor's degree in political science and oriental studies from Haifa University and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School's Executive Management Program, the IDF's Joint Command Course and the Officer Candidate School of the United States Marine Corps. He headed Shemen Oil and Gas Explorations Ltd. before entering the Knesset in 2019.  

Gov. JB Pritzker: The 43rd governor of Illinois is in his third year in office, obtaining bipartisan support for historic investments in education, human services and infrastructure, including $500 million in capital funding for a network of research and innovation hubs. Before becoming governor, Pritzker founded Chicago nonprofit small business incubator 1871, which has helped entrepreneurs create more than 11,000 jobs and more than 1,000 new companies. Since 1871's inception, Chicago has been named one of the top ten technology startup hubs in the world and 1871 was named the best incubator in the world. Gov. Pritzker has expanded support for new business incubators and cut taxes for hundreds of thousands of small businesses while incentivizing job creation and innovation. He also extended research and development tax credits to help manufacturing workers and businesses thrive, and he worked with the business community to create apprenticeship tax credits to promote job training.

Prof. Yitshak Kreiss:  Director General of Sheba Medical Center since 2016, Prof. Kreiss is world renowned for his research in leadership and health management based on humanitarian operations he led in the IDF. During his 25 years in the IDF, he rose from combat surgeon to IDF Surgeon General and attained the rank of Brigadier General. He earned his medical degree at the Hebrew University; completed a residency in internal medicine at Sheba Medical School; and earned a Master of Health Administration from Tel Aviv University and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University. Prof. Kreiss was cited as one of the 50 most influential Jews of 2020 by the Jerusalem Post. Under his tutelage, Sheba Medical Center has also been ranked as one of the Top 10 Hospitals in the World by Newsweek magazine.

About the Chicago ARC General Partners

Sheba Medical Center: The Chicago ARC Innovation Center will play a significant part in  Sheba Medical Center's global digital healthcare revolution.  Sheba is the largest and most comprehensive medical center in the Middle East, the only one in Israel that combines acute and rehabilitation hospitals on a single campus. Sheba is at the forefront of medical treatments, patient care, research and education, recognized by Newsweek as one of the top 10 hospitals in the world two years in a row.

Kaleidoscope Health Ventures: KHV is a venture development firm focused on social impact. It brings together world-class startups, partners, investors and talent to address socioeconomic and health issues while providing high-value services to support a new wave of life science startups and healthcare solutions. The KHV team has collectively created billions of dollars in startup venture value and served in strategic leadership as well as operational roles across startup, growth-stage and corporate entities.

Farpoint Development: Farpoint is a highly experienced team that has been successful in shaping Chicago's skyline and neighborhoods for more than three decades.  Farpoint has exceptionally strong local government ties and community relationships and has a notable track record for spurring transformative change in underserved areas locally and nationally. They continue to expand their socially responsible real estate mandate nationwide.  Farpoint is a partner in the GRIT joint venture to develop the 100-acre, $7 billion Bronzeville Lakefront site.

For more information contact:
Kelley Quinn
Purpose Brand 
(773) 879-3809

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