Formed in 2013, the Illinois Community Health Foundation, Inc. (ICHF) promotes the health care welfare of medically underserved communities throughout the State of Illinois. Funding opportunities are provided to Illinois based state-wide Associations whose members are comprised of at least 90% federally qualified health centers, or community health centers. The ICHF Board of Directors is comprised of 3 members.
Illinois Community Health Foundation, Board of Directors – Chair is currently vacant.
Robert Klutts, Secretary
Robert Klutts has 45 years of health care experience in rural, urban and international health settings. He served over 22 years as a local health department administrator at Fulton county Health Department and East Side Health District, both in Illinois; 14 years as CEO of Touchette Regional and Kenneth Hall Regional Hospitals.
During the final 22 years of his career, he served as CEO of Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation, Inc. (SIHF), which is a large Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) funded Health Center. Under his leadership tenure, the Foundation grew from 27 employees to over 1,400 including the ownership of two hospitals.
Under Mr. Klutts’ strong leadership and vision for the future, Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation grew to be the 12th largest employer in the Metro East with 1,350 employees including 200 participating providers that service more than 230,000 patients per year with 6,000 hospital admissions and an operating budget of nearly $100 million.
Klutts held many leadership positions over his career at the local, state and national levels. During his retirement, he continues to serve on the CQuest and CQuest Foundation Boards. Klutts has a strong commitment to community based health care. His career included success in integrating health care with public health departments, community health centers and hospitals. He has significant experience in developing patient home models. Under his tenure with SIHF, the organization was selected as one of the top five Models at Work programs in the United States.
Mr. Klutts has been making his mark in community health for many years, and has worked tirelessly to ensure that the residents of southern Illinois have access to quality health care. He believes that the key to health care is getting jobs for patients and their families. Therefore, in 2003, he and the SIHF Board of Directors, launched ArchView Communities Economic Development Corporation, which spurred job creation, business retention and attraction, improvement of education and housing, and community collaboration. SIHF has also partnered with the community to develop and operate a 75-unit apartment complex for low-income seniors, and recently received a grant to construct a second complex.
Klutts received a Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education from SIU-Carbondale and a Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan, School of Public Health. He conducted Post-Masters Graduate Study from Western Illinois University and Sangamon State University and Extensive Continuing Studies from the University of Wisconsin. From humble beginnings Mr. Klutts inspired, motivated, and built one of the fastest growing health care organizations in the regional area. Mr. Klutts contributions cannot be understated; he was a driving force behind the success of Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation.
Virgil Tolbert, Treasurer
Virgil Tolbert has decades of health care experience in urban and suburban health settings. Before retiring, he served for many years as the CEO of Christian Community Health Center (CCHC). CCHC is a large Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) funded Health Center. Under his leadership, CCHC grew and expanded clinic operations.
Throughout his professional career, Tolbert held many leadership positions at the local, state and national levels. During his retirement, he continues to serve on the CQuest and CQuest Foundation Boards. As one of the Foundation founders, Virgil believes that it is important for the Foundation to always live up to its mission to contribute to IPHCA, and if successful, to individual health centers.
According to Tolbert, “As former CEOs of community health centers, we are able to recognize challenges that other foundation decision makers might not understand. We know the business and speak the health center language.” Tolbert has a strong commitment to community based health care. His career included success in collaborating with local organizations, community health centers and hospitals.
During his health care leadership, Tolbert received many awards. In 2002, he received the Illinois Primary Health Care Association George M. O’Neill Leadership Award, which recognizes visionaries who empower and inspire their employees every day. Virgil’s active involvement on the county, state, and national levels helped CCHC expand services in the community and grow as an organization.
Tolbert’s leadership skills also helped set the standard for future leaders. Pamela Harris, former Patient Care Coordinator for Christian Community Health Center, said, “Mr. Tolbert has a strong vision for the health center, and a sincere desire to see the organization impact residents in the community. His love and compassion for people has been shown not only to the staff, but to the people in the community as well. Mr. Tolbert encourages the personal and spiritual growth of all the staff by sharing his experiences one on one, through staff devotions, and by his character.”
Virgil Tolbert is a proven successful leader and an advocate of team leadership. His encouragement of unity creates a strong family atmosphere among those individuals with whom he works. He brings this level of commitment to the Foundation board.