Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton Launches Illinois Healing-Centered Task Force

Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton Launches Illinois Healing-Centered Task Force
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Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton Launches Illinois Healing-Centered Task Force (University Park, IL) — Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton launched the Illinois Healing-Centered Task Force (IHCTF) this morning at Governors State University in University Park, Illinois. The Task Force’s work will provide a thorough blueprint to move Illinois towards becoming a more trauma-informed and healing-centered state. These efforts will be guided by collaborations with community stakeholders.

Created by Senate Bill 646, the IHCTF will coordinate existing projects, identify the impact of intergenerational trauma to develop preventative solutions, and facilitate broader community engagement. This work will be used to inform legislators on applying trauma-informed principles to the policymaking process.

“Healed people heal people, and as a restorative justice practitioner, I know how critical it is for communities experiencing trauma to receive support in recovery,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “By working with advocates and experts in trauma-informed strategies, we are identifying ways that policy can make a positive impact on our most vulnerable communities.”

The first board meeting took place following a press conference and included experts who have been instrumental in shaping Illinois’ trauma-informed work. SB 646 was signed by Governor Pritzker in 2023, with Lt.  Governor Stratton to serve as Chair of the Illinois Healing-Centered Task Force.

“We are excited to celebrate the launch of the Illinois Healing-Centered Task Force. At Governors State University,” said Governors State University President, Cheryl Green. “We firmly believe in the power of community to promote healing by coming together, embedding wellness practices into our curriculum, and empowering students to lead wellness activities.”

“The comprehensive approach brought forth by the task force aims to recognize that each and every person is unique, with different needs, strengths, and trauma. It aims to address not just their intellectual needs but also their physical health, emotional well-being, and social development,” said Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford. “By taking a trauma-informed, healing-centered approach, we are empowering people to reach their full potential, contributing positively to society and leading fulfilling lives.”

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“Through our work in communities across the state of Illinois, we understand the only way to properly care for our patients is to address the whole person, including physical and mental wellbeing, through a trauma-informed lens,” said President and Chief Executive Officer of Aunt Martha’s Health and Wellness Center, Raul Garza. “Aunt Martha’s is pleased to be involved in the launch celebration of the Illinois Healing-Centered Task Force and we look forward to the Task Force’s impact in the year to come.”

“The launch of this task force represents a crucial step for Illinois to build on a twenty-year history of collaboration among committed stakeholders from public agencies and community partners in human service sectors to promote awareness of the potential negative impact of trauma on individuals, families and communities,” said Executive Director at the Center for Childhood Resilience, at Lurie Children’s Hospital, Dr. Colleen Cicchetti. “The focus will be creating policies and practices that aim to prevent exposure to these experiences, address disparities of exposure and promote healing across the developmental lifespan.  This innovative approach will further Illinois’ reputation as a role model nationally for developing and adopting best practices to promote collective care and thriving communities.”

“You cannot think your way into a better way of living, you have to live your way into a better way of thinking,” said Executive Director of GRO Community, Jerry Davis-El. “The Illinois Healing-Centered Task Force demonstrates the State’s commitment to investing in our communities and youth. I am grateful to be a part of such significant work.”

“I am absolutely delighted to be a part of work that will undoubtedly change the trajectory of the lives of so many students, families and communities,” said Executive Director at Partnership for Resilience, Kristine Argue-Mason. “Resilience has its foundation in the ability to heal, embrace, and build upon the strengths that we all have.”

The Lt. Governor was joined by:

  • Governors State University President, Cheryl Green
  • Illinois Senate Majority Leader, Kimberly Lightford
  • First Deputy Chief of Staff to Chicago’s Mayor, Cristina Pacione-Zayas
  • Illinois State Representative, Justin Slaughter
  • President and Chief Executive Officer of Aunt Martha’s Health and Wellness Center, Raul Garza
  • Executive Director at the Center for Childhood Resilience, at Lurie Children’s Hospital, Dr. Colleen Cicchetti
  • Executive Director of GRO Community, Jerry Davis-El
  • Executive Director at Partnership for Resilience, Kristine Argue-Mason

Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton Launches Illinois Healing-Centered Task Force

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