Given annually at the Faces of Hope Gala, the Spirit of Hope Award recognizes an individual, business, or organization that embodies the spirit of hope upon which Association House was founded in 1899.

This year’s awardee, Dr. Marina Del Rios, Director of Social Emergency Medicine at the University of Illinois-Chicago, is a fierce voice for health equity. Her work over with Illinois Heart Rescue Project has dramatically increased the survival rate of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims in Chicago, especially in low-income minority communities. During the pandemic, Dr. Del Rios served on the front line treating COVID-19 patients and became a well-known advocate for Latino communities hardest hit by the pandemic. In April, she partnered with other medical professionals to create the Illinois Latino COVID-19 initiative known as Illinois Unidos, which has worked to address the economic and health disparities exacerbated by the pandemic. On December 15, 2020, Dr. Del Rios, became the first person in Chicago to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Since then, she’s continued to champion the safety of the vaccine, the need for equitable access, and the imperative of addressing underlying health disparities in low-income communities.

Like Association House of Chicago, Dr. Del Rios believes in holistic care that addresses immediate needs as well as root issues while centering the community’s voice. Those we serve have been and continue to be directly impacted by her advocacy work. That is why we are proud to present Dr. Del Rios with our 2021 Spirit of Hope Award.

Previous Spirit of Hope honorees include David R. Casper, President and Chief Executive Officer, BMO Harris N.A. and Group Head, Commercial Banking and the Adtalem Global Education Foundation.

Faces of Hope 2021 will be held virtually on Thursday, June 3.

Be sure to mark your calendars and purchase your tickets here.