Raul Garza is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Aunt Martha’s Health & Wellness, leading a $86 million system of integrated health care, community wellness, and child welfare services with more than 35 locations, including 26 community health centers. With locations in nine counties and over 800 employees, Aunt Martha’s reaches nearly 120,000 patients and clients, and impacts the lives of children and adults in some 600 communities across Illinois.
Aunt Martha’s Health & Wellness is the only Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Illinois that is also a state-licensed child welfare provider.
Mr. Garza became Aunt Martha’s CEO in 2009, and was named the organization’s President and CEO in 2013. In the years since, Aunt Martha’s has invested more than $30 million to develop its integrated care model incorporating primary care, mental health, and substance abuse treatment. The agency was the first FQHC in Illinois to be certified as a Primary Care Medical Home (2014), and have twice been recognized as a Health Center Quality Leader by the Health Resources and Services Administration (2017 & 2018).
In April 2020, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced Aunt Martha’s most recent innovation in integrated care. With the Children’s Quarantine Center (CQC), Aunt Martha’s will offer an innovative, comprehensive and totally unique response to the needs of DCFS youth impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Intentionally designed to serve as a place for youth to quarantine in a safe environment, the CQC will provide the infectious disease control protections of a health care facility within a home-like setting.
Under Mr. Garza’s leadership, the agency has embraced the concepts of value-based care, entered and thrived under shared-risk, shared-savings arrangements, established collaborations to serve special populations, expanded its partnerships with hospitals, and emerged as a recognized leader in integration and care coordination.
“Integration is at the heart of everything we do. It drives our staff to engage with patients, with partners, and one another. As a result, we see our patients’ health improve while the cost of care is driven down. That’s the definition of value, and that’s our focus.”
At his core, Mr. Garza is a passionate advocate for underserved and vulnerable individuals and communities. In a rapidly changing health care environment, and an ongoing period of tumult for Illinois’ human service providers, he continues to be an outspoken proponent of value-based care and cross-sector collaboration.
Raul’s leadership extends well beyond his role at Aunt Martha’s, and its impact is felt throughout Illinois. In addition to his full-time responsibilities as Aunt Martha’s President and CEO, Raul’s commitments include:
- Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago
- Member of the Board of Directors of Cook County Health
- Member of the Board of Directors of Instituto del Progreso Latino
- Member of Illinois’ Medicaid Waiver Advisory Committee
- Member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Collaboration on Youth
- Commissioner on the Illinois Latino Family Commission
- Commissioner on the Chicago Plan Commission
- Appointed Fellow on the Institute of Medicine Chicago
- Member of the Cook County Health and Wellness policy committee
- Member of Lurie Children’s Hospital Policy and Advocacy Advisory Council
- Family First Prevention Services Act Implementation Leader
- Family First Data and Performance Committee Organizer
- Member of the Medical Home Network
- Member of the State of Illinois Telehealth Taskforce
- Member of the Illinois Primary Health Care Association
- Member of Governor Pritzker’s Healthy Children and Families Transition Committee (PAST)
- Member of the Community Leadership Board of Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center (PAST)
- Treasurer, Board of Managers of the Together4Health care coordination entity (CCE) (PAST)
- Vice President, Better Health Network accountable care entity (ACE) Lurie Children’s Hospital Advisory Board (PAST)
- Member of the Board of Directors of Roseland Community Hospital (PAST)
Mr. Garza joined Aunt Martha’s in 1993 after serving 10 years in the United States Air Force as an Executive and Budget Officer. He worked as the organization’s Chief Financial Officer from 1993 to 2002 when he transitioned into the role of Chief Operations Officer. His educational background includes a Master’s of Science degree in Management Communications from Northwestern University; an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth Graduate School of Business; and a Master’s of Science degree in Public Service from DePaul University. That work has been bolstered by his completion of the Managing Healthcare Delivery (2011), Emerging Issues in Healthcare (2013) and Value Measurement for Health Care (2014, 2017) programs at Harvard University Business School.
Allison Van Gerpen is the Senior Executive Administrator. In her role, Allison works directly with the Executive Leadership team to support Aunt Martha’s critical organizational initiatives. She has previously served as the Executive Assistant to the President & CEO for 4 years, prior to her previous role in the Behavior Health Operations as a Project Manager. Before joining Aunt Martha’s in 2016, she worked within the Presence Hospital System specializing in Children’s Behavioral Health serving as a mental Health Counselor. Allison is a graduate of Iowa State University where she earned her Bachelors of Science Degree in Child, Adult, and Family Services. Allison holds a Master of Science in Communication Degree from Northwestern University.
Corey Portell is the Interim Executive Assistant to Aunt Martha’s President and CEO and the Executive Administrative Assistant to Aunt Martha’s Chief Legal and Administrative Officer. Corey joined the Aunt Martha’s team in July 2020 after spending seven years managing international internship and community development programs at Northwestern University. She holds a Master of Science in Communication from Northwestern and a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University Chicago.
Corey would be happy to assist with any inquires.
Phone: (708) 825-3132