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Calling All Chicago Area Healthcare Professionals: HCI Launches Local Council

  by Megan Headley | Aug 19, 2016

The Health Care Institute has launched a Chicago Council. The local council supports the national organization’s mission to enhance the skills of facility management professionals and further the overall profession.

The new Chicago Council joins the Midwest Council, which reaches out to the greater Minnesota and Wisconsin areas, as a local representative of HCI activities.

The Chicago Council will provide a local focus on healthcare facility professionals by providing local meetings, educational programs, and networking events. Members also can help shape the future of the industry by participating in HCI’s research initiatives and a wide variety of education sessions. Members include hospital administrators, facility managers, design and construction professionals, consultants, vendors and students who serve academic medical centers and community hospitals, retirement facilities, specialty hospitals and clinics.

The Chicago Council is led by a board of five professionals with a diverse range of experience in serving healthcare facilities. The new board’s backgrounds in the fields of real estate services, architecture, interior design, construction and facility management ideally position the Council to serve a member base seeking to improve all aspects of healthcare facilities.

Members of the new board include:

President – Mark Johnson, executive vice president, Healthcare Services, Avison Young. Johnson specializes in the delivery of real estate services to both healthcare providers and investors across the country. He has more than 20 years of experience dedicated solely to serving the healthcare real estate industry. His extensive experience includes several leadership positions at Rush University Medical Center and national healthcare brokerage and development firms.
Vice president – Larry Arndt, general manager of Healthcare, Mortenson Construction. Arndt has a background in both architecture and engineering, with 23 years of experience in the design and construction of complex healthcare projects. He has worked on over $1.2 billion in healthcare projects, ranging from medical office buildings to replacement hospitals, and has worked with many of the leading Illinois hospital systems to advance their mission and sustain their growth. He is a regular contributor to industry publications and has worked on research teams focusing on sustainable design and construction in capital projects and entrepreneurial culture within an organization.
Program Co-Chair – Bob Anderson, vice president of business development, SMS Assist - Healthcare Support Services. Anderson is as an industry veteran in operating, developing solutions for and implementing facility management outsourcing programs. Since 1990, he’s gathered extensive experience in managing healthcare operations for healthcare systems and outpatient portfolios. Prior to his role management new business development for SMS Assist, he held positions for ISS Facility Services, Sodexo, Aramark, EMCOR and ABM Health. Anderson also has had direct account management responsibility for contract services at thousands of locations throughout the U.S.
Membership Co-Chair – Mary Basel Christopher, business development manager, strategic vertical markets, Haworth. Basel Christopher is responsible for the business development of Haworth Health Environments, educating members of the Healthier Hospitals Initiative and sharing knowledge of trends in the planning of interior healthcare spaces. She believes that knowledge empowers, and that learning leads to progress and growth of individuals and their organizations. Basel Christopher has previously been involved with the International Facility Management Association, having served as Membership Committee Vice-Chair on the Board of the Chicago Chapter of IFMA.
Secretary/Treasurer – Manish H. Shah, AIA, director of architecture, Chicago office, BSA LifeStructures. Shah has worked as an architect for more than 20 years in the Chicago market, focusing on the healthcare market for the last 13 years. He believes that building a long term relationship and trust with hospital leadership and user groups, via collaborative process and clear communication, is vital for the success of any project. He holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from UIC.
The Chicago Council was organized by Toni Gatz, senior account manager at Rieke Office Interiors, a director of the HCI board and a member of its leadership team. Gatz continues to serve an instrumental role in managing the council, and brings to it her more than 12 years of business development and leadership expertise, a high level of ambition, and a passion for improving the overall patient experience.

The organization continues to seek additional volunteers with a passion for providing education and professional development opportunities. If you’re interested in joining HCI’s Chicago Council, or in sponsoring an event, contact Gatz at 612-298-6298 or

Not a member of HCI? Join today by visiting our membership page.