Avicenna Leadership Retreat Chalks out Strategy for 2016-17

About the Retreat

Volunteers gathered on Saturday morning to make a strategic plan

The overall goal of the Avicenna Leadership Retreat 2016 was to benchmark current progress, take stock of historical trends, and strategize a road-map for the next calendar year, with a 5-year outlook.  The Avicenna Dream Team and special invitees from the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District and community members came together on a lovely spring morning on May 21 for an all-day stimulating and creative ideas discussion.  Specific retreat goals included: a) benchmark current progress, b) identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities, and c) develop a strategic road-map for 2016-17.  

The breakout sessions, involved i) marketing and publicity (and communication); ii) outreach and information dissemination; iii) quality control/process improvement; iv) clinical operations; v) development (budget, revenue generation, grant-writing); and vi) volunteer recruitment- involving healthcare providers, students, and community members.  

Avicenna Dream Team members included board members: including President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Associate Medical Director; Executive Director; Lifestyle Management and Nutrition Services Director; Pharmacy Director; Case Workers/Managers; current and outgoing clinic and operations managers; outreach coordinators; interns and other invited volunteers.  Among the dream team members were University of Illinois faculty and students, some of whom were recent winners and finalists of several University of Illinois campus and community recognition awards.

Avicenna vision, mission, and values were re-articulated as:


  • Each individual should have easy access to quality healthcare.
  • To be the leading clinic in east central Illinois by taking a systems approach in providing high quality culturally competent integrated preventive and curative healthcare to the uninsured residents of Champaign County; while concurrently providing hands-on training platform to the technologically-savvy next generation healthcare workforce.


  • To provide healthcare for the uninsured and underinsured
  • To engage in preventive healthcare through community health screenings
  • To promote health awareness through education and information dissemination


  • We endeavor to help save human life, improve quality of life, and be mindful of our neighbors’ needs
  • We treat others with dignity, and be treated in a dignified manner
  • We believe that compassion is the glue, which keeps a community together; we will continue to promote compassion-care

Affordable Care Act and Avicenna

Avicenna Dream Team members specifically discussed implications for Avicenna of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was launched for enrollment by the US Department of Human and Health Services in Fall 2013, to provide healthcare insurance to the uninsured citizens in the US.  However, from the data presented by the Avicenna Research Unit (ARU) and Clinical Operations Team (compiled from the Weekly Clinic Report (WCR)); except for a partial dip in the number of patients accessing clinic services in 2014; the numbers were gradually climbing back up in 2015-16.  

These could be attributed to a host of factors, such as- i) it had become difficult for the newly-insured to sustain high insurance premiums available in the marketplace; ii) to find a primary care physician when they need it; iii) not yet aware of the opportunity to sign-up with ACA.  Avicenna has over the last two years held booths/sessions during clinic hours for its patients to sign-up for insurance coverage under ACA.  

Local Statistics

In the past year alone: Avicenna has provided healthcare services to 140  NEW patients, who otherwise would have had to turn to many other means including visit to ER to find care, including not seeing a provider at all.

In the past year alone, Avicenna has provided healthcare services to 426 total patients and provided about 132 discounted labs that patients would have not been able to easily get without Avicenna; these labs are crucial for our patients as they help us provide quality care and diagnose our patients, and contribute to a healthy and productive individual and the community.

It was therefore, determined that Avicenna’s unique integrated preventive and curative healthcare services are still needed in the community, and in the foreseeable future too. Healthcare disparities in our community cannot be handled singled-handedly by clinics like Avicenna; however, together through strategic partnerships such as academic-community-business we can help address the challenges.  On Avicenna’s part, according to estimates Avicenna has Saved the Community ~$400-600K in ER Visits Alone.  Avicenna’s Research Unit and GIS Analyst presented data showing that Avicenna patients not only were coming from Urbana, Champaign, Savoy, but also from Danville, Rantoul, Philo, Tuscola, and even as far as Effingham on the South and Chicago on the north.

Moving Forward

Avicenna will continue to strive to offer high quality patient-centric preventive and curative healthcare, through continuous improvement in its process flow and quality control, utilizing the upcoming deployment of commercially-available EMR.  It will promote its services through community outreach and through strategic partnerships.  A suggested framework was submitted by the newly appointed Executive Director.  Avicenna Annual Benefit Dinner is on July 23, 2016 at the I-Hotel at the University of Illinois Research Park, Champaign. Support the Avicenna Dream Team by joining the activities.


Irfan Ahmad, PhD
Board Member

Imad Rahman
Board Member

Mehmood Rasheed, MD
Associate Medical Director
Board Member

Katie Magerko
Board Member
Clinic Manager Emeritus
MD/PhD Scholar

Samuel Logan, APN
Board Member
Clinic Manager Emeritus