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Our Founding Story

A message about our early days from our founder, Quentin D. Young, MD (1923-2016) whose legacy of activism and education remains an inspiration to all of us at Health & Medicine.

June2008 103

In 1981, a small group of health care and policy professionals formed the Health & Medicine Policy Research Group as an independent, not-for profit research and advocacy institute with a focus on Illinois public health and care for the poor and under-served.

We decided at that time to remain independent of any and all institutions, public and private, knowing that doing so would ensure our poverty, but mindful that it would also guarantee our freedom to take on unpopular causes and to advance heretical ideas. Of our poverty we are not so proud, but of our independence we are very proud indeed. It has enabled us to become a respected consensus-builder, educator, and broker of policy ideas in the community, in the state legislature, and in the state’s major academic institutions.

As we have grown, we have taken on a wider variety of issues – women’s health, prison health, welfare reform, and long-term care reform – but our commitment to our founding values – a world where every citizen has access to affordable, quality health care – has never wavered.

I hope you will spend some time on our website and see what we have been up to; and I hope, too, that you will share your good ideas with us. We can never have too many of those.


Dr. Quentin Young
Quentin D. Young, MD


Listen to Quentin Young’s WBEZ interview on his 6 decades as a physician activist.

Listen to the August 11, 2008 WBEZ interview with Quentin Young: "A Doctor’s Recollection of ’68"

Purchase a copy of Quentin Young's memoirs: "Everybody In, Nobody Out: Memoirs of a Rebel Without a Pause".