McCormick Network
April 21, 2016 admin






About the Network:

Due to changes with it’s partnership with the Chicago Tribune, The McCormick Foundation has changed its grantmaking strategies from giving to individual organizations, to focusing on initiatives that leverage a network of providers to address problems in communities who need it most.   One of McCormick’s key giving areas is Health and Wellness, and geographic areas of interest are those communities on the west and south sides of Chicago where racial and economic disparities are most prevalent.  Due to this shift in it’s grantmaking strategies, the McCormick Health and Wellness Network was created to direct funds through a network of providers working in these communities doing work to further it’s mission of helping the most vulnerable populations.

Further information on McCormick’s strategies and approaches can be viewed on their website  and a letter to it’s grantees outlining these changes can be seen here.

In 2018-19, organizations previously funded through McCormick who were working in these neighborhoods, providing services directed towards Health and Wellness, were brought together and given the opportunity to give feedback on what kind of support would be most meaningful to them.  PIE Org led these consensus building efforts and it was determined that there were five main activities that would provide value to their work and would help them to fulfill their missions more effectively.

In July of 2019 PIE Org was awarded a grant to act as the convening organization for this initiative, and began to develop a plan to deliver these key services to all organizations in the network. The following activities were planned and were implemented in the 2019-20 funding year.



Shared Recruiter

One of the outcomes of the McCormick Network’s activities is to increase the recruitment and retention of culturally responsive staff in order to increase access and delivery of culturally competent care in the most vulnerable communities for the most vulnerable individuals. To achieve this goal, the network has hired Pat Belka to serve as a shared recruiter, and has been working with network organizations to source talent and provide a funnel for high quality, culturally responsive staff.

About Pat

Pat was PHR certified in 2001 by the HR Certification Institute and is a member of SHRM.  She has been a human resource generalist at nonprofits for 12 years handling full-cycle employment. Five of those years were with a domestic violence shelter and sexual assault social services organization in northwest Indiana which included clientele from Hammond and Gary.  She spent the last five years at a medium-sized social services agency in Joliet with programs including:  domestic violence shelter, DV perpetrator education, DV transitional housing, sexual assault services center, foster care, adult protective services, and an alternative school. Each program had accountability with different government funders, and the human resources department’s accountability was usually audited at least annually by either IDCFS, IDHS, ICASA, or ICDV.

University Pipelines

The shared recruiter has created a resource list that details university career services information which are aligned to the degrees most often required by social services organizations:  BSW, MSW, BA Human Services, MA Counseling, etc.  You can find that list HERE.

Besides well-known universities like the University of Chicago, Northwestern, DePaul, Loyola, U of I Chicago and Roosevelt U, the recruiter included universities with a greater percentage of bilingual students/alumni and students/alumni of color:  Northeastern U (48%), Dominican U (58%), Chicago State U (82%), Governors State U (52%), North Park U (32%), and Aurora U (39%).  As a part of the protocol for listing new job opportunities for network members,  the shared recruiter chooses from a total of 14 universities and four professional schools and submits information to their career sites to funnel candidates to Network jobs.

Other Resources

Large Group Trainings


Network Led PDs

  • 10/25/2019:  Managing Stress (materials)
  • 11/4/2019: Vicarious Trauma (video)
  • 1/22/2020: Partnering with law Enforcement to Create Trauma-Informed Interventions (materials) (video)
  • 2/11/2020: Domestic Violence: Working with Healthcare Providers (materials) (video)
  • 2/19/2020: Understanding Partner Abuse Intervention Programs: Accountability and Victim Safety (video)
  • 3/10/2020: Leadership Development – For early leaders and clinical staff interesting in pursuing a leadership career path (video)
  • 3/12/2020: Executive Skills Coaching (materials)
  • 4/21/2010: Secondary Traumatic Stress (materials)
  • 4/24/2020: Sexual Abuse Prevention
  • 4/29/2020: Cultural Competency (materials) (video)
  • 5/4/2020: Interfacing with DCFS/Law Enforcement/State’s Attorneys (materials) (video)

Covid-19 Related