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2023 Immigrant Integration Forum

Collaboration Best Practices
to Strengthen Health Care as
Pandemic Supports End

June 27, 2023
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Our annual immigrant forums are interactive gatherings of non-profits, philanthropists, educators, businesses, and government to discuss collaborative solutions to advance an equitable future for immigrants and refugees in the region.

This is a time of both great risk and great opportunity for immigrants regarding health, health care and health care coverage. As pandemic supports are reduced, new coverage opportunities are available, attention and awareness of Medicaid redetermination is heightened, and collaboration between community and health care providers is increased. However, the disadvantages of language barriers, coverage eligibility barriers, bias, proximity to care, oppressive medical debt, and more, remain.


Communities are collaborating in new ways, with new tools - both virtual and face-to-face, to ensure that everyone has optimal health and well-being, with no disadvantage on the basis of immigration status, race, ethnicity, culture, or language.


This year we are looking forward to the robust conversation around collaborative best practices to strengthen health care as pandemic supports end.

We would like to express our appreciation to the Illinois Department of Human Services, Office of Welcoming Centers for Refugee and Immigrant Services for providing funding for this forum.

Post-Forum Survey

Please help us to fulfill our reporting obligations by completing a brief survey if you have not done so already.  The survey takes less than five minutes and will help us greatly.

Legislative Update

Luvia Quiñones, MPP will be providing a policy and advocacy update regarding healthcare and immigrants, including drivers license for undocumented, medical debt prevention, funding/resources for recent arrivals, and ongoing advocacy for health benefits for adults and seniors (HBIS/HBIA).

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Luvia Quiñones, MPP

Senior Director of Health Policy 
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights

Luvia Quiñones serves as the Health Policy Director at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). In this role, Luvia oversees the Immigrant Health Care Access Initiative and in collaboration with ICIRR's members develops ICIRR's health policy agenda with a special focus on access to health care for uninsured. Luvia has a Master in Public Policy (MPP) from the University of Chicago and a BA in International Studies from DePaul University. She is the daughter of Mexican Immigrants from Durango, Mexico and is an active community member in her parish, St. Sylvester. Currently, she serves as a board member of the Illinois Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (IAFCC) and Thresholds.

Panel Presenters

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Sara Phalen


West Chicago City Museum

Sara Phalen is an attorney, community organizer and arts administrator. She is the Board Chair for the Mexican Cultural Center DuPage and the Executive Director of People Made Visible, a nonprofit in West Chicago overseeing cultural and social initiatives. Since 2016 People Made Visible has been the fiscal agent for Healthy West Chicago, a collaboration of community leaders in local government, education, healthcare, social services, faith-based congregations, businesses, and non-profit organizations who have organized to increase nutrition and physical activity in the City of West Chicago.

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Kara Murphy


DuPage Health Coalition

Kara Murphy, MS, is the President of the DuPage Health Coalition, which coordinates safety net health services for low income and uninsured residents of DuPage County. DHC’s longest running program, Access DuPage, has provided comprehensive healthcare to more than 69,000 individuals since the program began (2002).  Passionate about health equity and collective impact, Ms. Murphy is chair or board member for a host of community leadership council and boards, including Impact DuPage, DuPage Health Equity and Access Response Team (HEART), Northwestern Medicine Institutional Review Board, and DuPage Federation.  Ms Murphy received her undergraduate degree from Grinnell College (Psychology) and her MSMOB from Benedictine University.

Kara Murphy


DuPage Health Coalition

Fred Tsao is the Senior Policy Counsel at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.  In this position, he provides technical support, trainings, and presentations on immigration-related topics to service providers, immigrant community organizations, and others who work with immigrants. He also provides updates and analysis of changes in immigration policies and procedures to ICIRR members and allies, and assists with the coalition's legislative advocacy efforts. A self-described “recovering attorney,” Fred practiced law at the Rockford office of Prairie State Legal Services, where he worked after receiving his law degree from the University of Michigan. He has also worked with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, the

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Nancy Garcia Guillen

Civic Engagement Organizer
Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project

Nancy is the Director of Civic Engagement at Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project (SSIP), a social justice organization in Bolingbrook, IL. Nancy oversees the implementation of initiatives to promote the civic engagement of her community through non-partisan voter registration, access to legal representation and community education work.

Nancy has been active in her community over the last 15 years ranging from providing interpretation services for families at her local food pantry to being a mentor. Nancy currently serves as a trustee at Joliet Junior College.

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Cary Rositas-Sheftel, Ph.D. 

Assistant Director 
Highland Park Public Library 

Dr. Cary Rositas-Sheftel is the Assistant Director of the Highland Park Public Library. She leads the public services division which includes the adults, youth, media and membership services and outreach departments. For the past 20 years, she has worked in higher education and social services organizations. She coauthored the book "Salud Emocional para Mujeres Migrantes" (Emotional Health for Migrant Women) in partnership with the school of social work at Loyola University and the department of psychology at Universidad Iberoamericana, México.

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