The Arc of Illinois Family-to-Family Health Information Center works with families and professionals to assist with questions and concerns related to the health of children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) under the age of 22. We put our extensive parental and professional experience to work to help other families access resources, communicate with medical providers, and raise children at home in their communities.
We understand how challenging healthcare systems can be, which is why we focus on sharing the most thorough, up-to-date resources regarding health insurance options, government benefits, youth transition concerns, and much more. Together, we help your child to thrive in their community.
We share knowledge and know-how to make health-related decisions and raise children at home.
We empower families to become family leaders, affording opportunities to develop and enhance leadership skills on the local, state, and national levels.
We help families connect with local, regional, statewide, and national partners for support, information sharing, and skill building.
As health care coverage options become more complex and costly, we continue to keep abreast of the latest program and policy information, sharing it with families and providers throughout Illinois.
The Family-to-Family Health Information Center aims to:
From K’s parents: “We are thrilled that K’s Medicaid was approved. Our heads are spinning with the speed at which your contacts accomplished this task. We are very grateful.”
Guide informed decisions
through accurate, current information and resources for all types of public and private health coverage.
between families and professionals for easy-to-navigate support systems.
in overcoming systemic barriers to appropriate care together with our professional partners.
for changes regarding public policies specific to CYSHCN issues and challenges.
We are part of a national network of Family-to-Family centers across the United States, funded by the federal government. We are also the State-Affiliated Organization (SAO) for Family Voices, Inc. Our caring, knowledgeable staff members are parents and family members with extensive personal and professional experience in this field.
Mary has served as the Director of the Family-to-Family Health (F2F) Information Center since December 2020, assisting families of children with disabilities/chronic illness up to age 22 and the professionals who serve them, through one-to-one assistance and virtual/in-person trainings on health insurance -public and private -pediatric waivers, and health care programs from Early Intervention to waiver services for children/teens enrolled in Medicaid with complex behavioral needs. She is an attorney with prior criminal justice experience in state court, and extensive policy experience, having served as the ACLU of Illinois’ Director of Health Justice Policy and State Legislative Director since 1992. She has a Bachelors Degree from Purdue University, a J.D. from Valparaiso University School of Law and a Certificate in Health Disparities Research through the School of Public Health, UIC. As a Ligas Family Advocate for The Arc of Illinois, from 2018 to December, 2020, Mary shared information with families about the options available through the Medicaid Home and Community Based Waiver for Adults with I/DD. Mary has personal experience as the mother of two young adult sons whom she assisted in accessing necessary education and health resources throughout their lives.
Need help? The Family to Family team is here for you.