Meet Our Award Winners: Anne C. Evens - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Meet Our Award Winners: Anne C. Evens

August 2, 2022

Lifetime Achievement Award
Anne C. Evens

Anne Evens, M.Sc., Ph.D., is the Chief Executive Officer of Elevate, a nonprofit organization based in Chicago. Elevate works to promote universal access to clean, healthy, safe, and affordable heat, power, and water for people in their homes and communities — no matter who they are, or where they live.

“When faced with the many significant failures of justice in this country, it can be difficult to decide on which to focus one’s attention. However, these issues do not exist in silos,” Anne says. “Health and housing are inextricably linked, as a person’s ability to live a healthy, meaningful life is predicated on the right to a safe and healthy environment. From lead service lines and leaky gas stoves to global climate change, public health touches every element of Elevate’s mission scope. The essential work lies in understanding and addressing the intersectionality of issues.”

Elevate assists people in removing lead from and improving the indoor air quality of their homes, childcare centers, and environments. “Creating a truly equitable world does not just mean trying to alleviate the harm that has already been done; it also means actively deconstructing the systems that perpetuate the flow of health and housing resources to communities of higher wealth,” Dr. Evens, who has worked for more than thirty years in both the nonprofit and governmental sectors to advance public health and economic development in the United States and southern Africa, shares.

Elevate designs and implements programs that reduce costs, protect people from the health effects of climate change, and ensure that the benefits of clean and efficient energy use reach those who are most in need: “This movement requires deference to these communities and their lived experiences; more than anyone else, they possess the knowledge and skills to apply those resources to best fit their own needs. The work of dismantling such deeply embedded systems can be messy, slow, and frustrating, but it is also the only way to restructure the unjust scaffolding around us and begin redirecting those resources towards the communities that need them most.”

Dr. Evens has acted as lead researcher of the Chicago Climate Action Plan and the Regional Energy Plan for the Chicago Metro Agency for Planning (CMAP). She also is an adjunct faculty member of the University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health and serves on the boards of Health Alliance International and the Rebuilding Exchange.

Dr. Evens holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University, Master of Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois Chicago. She is an alumna of the Harvard Business School’s program in Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management, and Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses program.

“I am truly honored to be selected as a recipient of the 2022 Health & Medicine Policy Research Group Lifetime Achievement Award. It is deeply humbling to be in the company of the other honorees, Sharon Gates of Rush University Medical Center and Sista Yaa Simpson of The Association of Clinical Trial Services. As a longtime supporter and admirer of Health & Medicine’s mission and work, I am so grateful to accept this honor and will continue striving to advance equity in health.”