Improving Health


The health and wellness of the American people reflects the health of our nation, physically but also financially. Health care costs are increasing at a rate that is making it hard for families and businesses to keep up. And it’s getting in the way of our ability to compete as a nation in an increasingly global economy. Prescription drug costs and insurance premiums are squeezing families and leaving more Americans without adequate health coverage. I am committed to improving the health of our country now and in the years to come.

Rep. Ford’s Priorities to Improve Health

  • Supports the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Illinois to expand access to affordable medical and mental health care
  • Agrees with the 2004 Health Care Justice Act, which states it is the policy goal of the State of Illinois to insure that all residents have access to quality health care at costs that are affordable
  • Promoting Blood Donation
  • Promotes Improved Care and Housing for Persons with Mental Illness
  • Advocates for improved discharge procedures at the Illinois Department of Corrections so persons have adequate medications and follow-up care
  • Working to decrease childhood obesity
  • Working to decrease violence as a public health problem
  • Making it easier to screen for HIV and to get persons with HIV the care they need

Rep. Ford’s Actions to Improve Health


A Leader in Legislation Related to HIV/AIDS

  • Introduced landmark legislation that became law which makes it easier and less intrusive for patients to be routinely tested for HIV in health care settings while preserving the rights of those being tested (Public Act 095-0007)
  • Introduced legislation that became law to update state statutes so the most up to date supplemental testing is done to confirm a preliminary positive HIV test (Public Act 097-0244)
  • Introduced legislation that became law so all CD-4 counts and HIV viral loads are reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health to improve the care of patients with HIV (Public Act 097-0550)
  • Introduced legislation that became law which protects the privacy of students who have HIV by repealing a 20 year old law which required public health departments to notify the principal if a student had HIV (Public Act 98-0353)
  • Introduced and passed House Resolution 0065 (96th GA) urging the Department of Public Health to establish a comprehensive plan to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS
  • Discussed public policy issues with experts at 2008 International AIDS Conference, Mexico City


A Leader in Improving Nutrition and Exercise

  • Introduced legislation that became law establishing the Farmers’ Market Technology Improvement Program Act, which helps people use their LINK cards (Food Stamps) at Farmers’ Markets (Public Act 096-1088)
  • Chief House Sponsor for successful legislation that amends the Local Food, Farms and Jobs Act to establish an electronic database to facilitate the purchase of fresh produce and food products by schools (Public Act 096-1095)
  • Chief House Sponsor for legislation that became law requiring the State Board of Education to develop and maintain a nutrition and physical activity best practices database (Public Act 096-1223)
  • Introduced legislation to ban trans fats in foods served by food facilities in 97th GA, passed the House, lost in the Senate; re-introduced in 98th GA (HB77) passed House, to be reintroduced
  • Since 2008 for eight consecutive years on the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, has sponsored the Family Health Challenge honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for elementary and junior high students in efforts to combat childhood obesity – more than 400 students participate.  Has been held in Chicago, Berwyn and Oak Park.
  • Sponsors community health fairs in conjunction with Circle Family HealthCare Network, Concerned Organization Who Cares, and local aldermen
  • Sponsored “What’s Killing Us?” Community Health Fair during Black History Month in association with American Heart Association, Circle Family Health Care Network, Loretto Hospital, TACTS, Black Nurses Association, American Cancer Society, ChildServ, Chicago Department of Health, and IDPH
  • Promoted Healthy Eating as part of Black History Month at a local grocery store, Leamington Foods Member of Community Action Team for Healthier Kids (CATH-K), a coalition of 20 organizations working to decrease childhood obesity in Oak Park, River Forest, and Forest Park
  • Speaker, “Update on LINK cards at Farmers Markets”, Green Town 2011, Oak Park
  • Active with Building a Healthier Chicago, promoting and participating in the Walk Across Austin, 2011
  • Featured Panelist, Illinois Action for Children Community Forum on Childhood Obesity, 2011, Broadview
  • In 2012 & 2013 sponsored Annual Heart and Sole Community 5K Family Run and Walk in August in Lafollette Park, Chicago, with Circle Family HealthCare Network and Austin Weekly News
  • Member of the External Advisory Board for Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC)


Other Health-Related Legislation

  • Introduced legislation which has established the Violence Prevention Task Force, with the Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health as Chair (Public Act 98-0194)
  • Chief House Sponsor for legislation that became law requiring the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to establish the Long Term Acute Care Hospital Quality Improvement Transfer Program, to improve quality in hospitals (Public Act 096-1130)
  • Introduced legislation that became law establishing the Lupus Education and Awareness Program within the Illinois Department of Public Health (Public Act 096-1108)
  • Founded the Lupus Legislative Caucus
  • Leader in the successful fight to continue state funding to support University of Illinois-Chicago Sickle Cell Anemia Clinic
  • Early in the debate about national health care reform, introduced and passed House Resolution 0565 (96th GA) urging the President and Congress to enact comprehensive health care reform
  • Went to Washington, D.C. in July 2009 to lobby Illinois’ congressional delegation to advance health care reform efforts
  • Went to Atlanta in August 2013 to meet with other legislative leaders throughout the country on issues of healthcare in rural and underserved areas
  • Sponsors blood drives in Chicago, Oak Park and Berwyn, partnering with LifeSource, St. Martin de Porres Church, the Southeast Oak Park Community Organization, and the Combined Veterans of Berwyn
  • Sponsors Austin Holiday Food Drive, collecting 10,000 items for local food pantries in 2010
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Circle Family HealthCare Network Community Health Center, Chicago
  • Member of the Governing Board, West Suburban Medical Center, Oak Park
  • Member of the Board of Directors, Loretto Hospital
  • Named to the Cook County Health and Hospitals System African American Advisory Council

Health Events