Five months after Jordan Powell was appointed as the Illinois Primary Health Care Association’s acting president and CEO, the board of directors selected him to permanently serve in that role. Powell is the fourth CEO in the organization’s 36-year history and the first African-American to hold that title. He previously served as IPHCA’s senior vice president of public policy and governmental affairs.

“Since being asked to lead our organization in July, Jordan has provided steadying leadership amid various challenges,” said board chairman Larry McCulley, president and CEO of SIHF Healthcare. “His enthusiasm is infectious and he brings both a mission-driven focus and genuine passion for the work we do. We are excited about what this means for the future of IPHCA.”

IPHCA represents 48 Federally Qualified Health Centers that operate nearly 400 clinics across Illinois, which provide more than 1.4 million people with access to quality health care.

Powell has dedicated his career to public service and has worked for IPHCA since 2013. His passion for service is rooted in Illinois, where he was raised by a single mother who has battled Multiple Sclerosis and cancer, illnesses she has been able to manage and overcome, thanks in large part to the health care she received.

“I often see myself in those we serve,” he said. “I’ve been in their shoes. This is my opportunity to give back and defend the vulnerable. My mom is alive today because she had access to quality health care, and it is my job to ensure that our members have the resources they need to provide that same access to everyone we serve.”

During his tenure with IPHCA, he has worked closely with the Illinois General Assembly and United States Congress to advocate for policy initiatives and funding needs on behalf of health centers, positioning them as the provider of choice in their community. That work has resulted in more than $920 million in federal funding for members and, recently, $20 million in state funds for capital construction needs, which will lead to the construction and expansion of health care facilities. Also this year, he helped to secure passage of three legislative initiatives that bolster provider reimbursement and increase continuity of care for patients.

His new role will allow him to carry out strategic initiatives that include increasing public awareness of the needs of community health centers and positioning IPHCA as the state’s leading health care trade association.

A 2007 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, he is pursuing an MBA from Washington University’s Olin Business School in St. Louis. Jordan was previously named one of Springfield Business Journal’s Forty Under 40.