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About Us

WHO WE ARE

Crusader Community Health is a non-profit community health center that provides primary medical, dental, and behavioral health care for more than 61,000 people in northern Illinois.

We’re committed to making high-quality health care accessible to everyone. Our providers and support staff are both knowledgeable and compassionate, making sure everyone who walks through our doors feels comfortable and cared for.

OUR MISSION

Serve the Rock River Valley with quality primary health care for all people in need.

OUR VISION

Eliminate disparities in health care while building a collaborative system that champions the needs of the underserved, regardless of their ability to pay.

A MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT/CEO

Crusader Community Health is known for providing high-quality care to anyone in need. Because of our employees’ outstanding professionalism and commitment to our patients, our community continues to choose and support Crusader – and that has allowed us to grow and serve more than 61,000 patients.  

I am grateful to our dedicated employees for providing incredible care to our patients. Their commitment, skill and compassion are consistently acknowledged when we survey our patients and employees. I am delighted to share some of our recent results.

From our patients:

From our employees:

I am proud to serve on this team, which has once again earned accreditation for Ambulatory Health Care and certification as a  Primary Care Medical Home from  The Joint Commissionfor complying with the highest national standards for safety and quality to best serve our patients.

I’m looking forward to continued growth, both in our reach and role in improving our community’s health.

Samuel G. Miller
President & CEO
Crusader Community Health

CRUSADER COMMUNITY HEALTH

EXECUTIVE
LEADERSHIP

Samuel G. Miller, MBA, CPA
President & CEO
Luis Delgado, BS
Vice President of Finance
Gary Fernando, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Liz Henning, MBA, CPA
Vice President of Decision Support & Risk Management
Kate Rich, MS, SHRM-CP, PHR
Vice President of Human Resources
Terry White, MBA
Chief Strategic & Operations Officer

CRUSADER COMMUNITY HEALTH

BOARD OF
DIRECTORS

Richard Walsh
Chair
Catherine Brown
Immediate Past Chair & Governance
Committee Chair
Janice Forrest
Leon Hansen
Kris Harden
Andrew Hendrickson
Crusader Foundation Liaison
Carol Jackson
Peter Mazanec
Quality/Operations Committee Chair
Jim Millikin
Audit Risk Management Committee Chair
David Powell
Dennis Roop
Treasurer & Finance/HR Committee Chair
David Ruffin
Vice Chair

HISTORY &
KEY DATES

Sister Catherine Francis established the first well-baby clinic in 1966 at St. Elizabeth’s social center in Rockford, in partnership with the Visiting Nurses Association. The clinic operated one day each month for just two hours.

In a few years, the need for preventative pediatric primary care grew. That’s where Crusader began. A professional board was established in 1969, and it was chartered as a nonprofit in 1970.

MORE ABOUT CRUSADER

Crusader is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b, and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n).

Crusader receives HHS funding and has Federal PHS deemed status with respect to certain health or health related claims, including medical malpractice claims, for itself and its covered individuals.  

1972

First official clinic opened its doors

The first official clinic opened its doors on July 9, 1972. The clinic began operations at 1200 W. State St., the former Muldoon High School Convent. The convent was owned by the Rockford Diocese and previously used by the Dominican Sisters who taught at Muldoon High School next door. When the high school closed, Father David Beauvais negotiated the sale of the property that housed the convent and former high school for $1.

1972

1973

The clinic grows

By June 1973, the clinic had grown to include five paid employees: two full-time doctors, a nurse, dental hygienist, and a part-time dentist. Supplementing those paid staff were several volunteers: eight doctors, six nurses, two social workers and six dental assistants. Records show the patient count in early 1973 was about 450. That number tripled before the end of 1973 to about 1,400.

About the Founders: Dr. John McHugh was the first volunteer provider with Crusader, who later founded the clinic and served on the board of directors. 
 
Barbara Roman and Joe Terranova also served on the board of directors in several capacities. They are credited with seeing Crusader become a stable entity.

1973

1974

First Administrator

In 1974, John Frana became the first clinic administrator, a position he held for 23 years until 1997. 

1974

1985

The Crusader Community Health Foundation is formed

The Foundation formed in 1985 to provide financial support for the clinic. To date, the Foundation has provided capital and programmatic support worth millions in capital campaigns and large-scale projects.

1985

1988

Crusader starts the Healthcare for the Homeless program

Healthcare for the Homeless program started in 1988, which is now known as Community Connections. The program assists patients in finding community support and resources, in addition to access to primary health care.

1988

1989

Crusader moves

In 1989, Crusader moved from the former Muldoon Convent into the former Muldoon High School.

1989

1991

Living with HIV/AIDS program is established

The Living with HIV/AIDS program was established in 1991 with funding from the Ryan White Act to address the growing issue of HIV and AIDS in our community. The program provided primary health care and case management for anyone HIV positive or living with AIDS.

At the time, little was understood about HIV. Employees and patients have worked to help decrease the stigma surrounding this chronic condition.

1991

1995

Second location established

The Foundation launched a campaign in 1995 to renovate the First of America Bank facility and the adjoining Broadway Hotel at 7th Street and Broadway in Rockford’s Midtown District. The bank donated the location at 1100 Broadway, and it opened in 1997 as Crusader’s second clinic site. The location is still in use and our busiest clinic.  

Will Rogers was appointed President and CEO in 1998 after working more than 25 years at community health centers. 

1995

2004

Boone County Health Department Partnership

Crusader partnered with the Boone County Health Department to expand health care to the medically underserved in Boone County and opened the Belvidere clinic at 1050 Logan Ave. in 2004.

2004

2005

Eggers named President and CEO

Gordon Eggers, Jr. was named Crusader President and CEO in 2005. Eggers started at Crusader in 1985 as certified physician assistant before a promotion to Medical Director, then Vice President of Health Services.

2005

2008

New brand announced

Crusader Community Health is the new brand — announced at the 36th Anniversary gala in 2008.

2008

2011

$5.3M grant received

Crusader received a $5.3M grant to build at 6115 N. 2nd St. in Loves Park. That new clinic opened in 2011, called Crusader in Loves Park.

2011

2012

Crusader celebrates 40 years

In 2012, Crusader Community Health celebrated 40 years of caring. It honors founders Dr. John McHugh and Barbara Roman, who made substantial contributions to improving health care access for our community. By this time, Crusader had served more than 45,000 patients through its four locations.

2012

2013

Partnership with RPS 205

Crusader partnered with Rockford Public Schools to establish a new school-based health center at Auburn High School to serve pediatric patients. That clinic, called Crusader Community Health – Auburn Campus, opened in 2013. 

2013

2017

Crusader partners with South Beloit School District 320

In 2017, Crusader partnered with South Beloit School District 320 for a school-based health center at both its junior high and high school to support primary health care access. The new locations bring Crusader’s total clinic count to eight in northern Illinois.

2017

2017

Alpine location opens

The 21,000 square-foot facility at 1215 N. Alpine Road was  strategically placed to respond to community need and patient access. It opened in 2017 as Crusader on Alpine.

2017

2019

Miller becomes President

President CEO Gordon Eggers, Jr. retired in 2019; Executive Vice President Sam Miller took over as President and CEO. Miller started at Crusader in 2005 as Chief Financial Officer; he was promoted to Executive Vice President in 2018 and took over as President Dec. 31, 2019.

2019

2020

New facility breaks ground

Crusader broke ground in 2020 on a new facility – but the same location and address – as its home at Muldoon when it began in 1972. The $13M, 48,000 square-foot facility modernized the delivery of primary medical, dental and behavioral health care services for our community. Officials held a ribbon cutting in 2021. 

2020

2022

Addition to Belvidere location

Crusader broke ground on a 3,000-square-foot addition and renovation project in June 2022 at the Belvidere clinic on Logan Ave.

2022

2022

Broadway location renovation

Crusader underwent a renovation in 2022 at the Broadway clinic to open space for patients, add brighter lighting, new flooring, paint, doors and fixtures. The upgrades were made to improve accessibility and provide employees with a better working environment. 

2022