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A New Beginning for Chicago’s Michael Reese Hospital

24th January 2021

Israel-based Sheba Medical Center, world-renowned for its innovation model known as ARC (Accelerate, Redesign, Collaborate), has signed an official deal led by Kaleidoscope Health Ventures. Sheba, together with Kaleidoscope and Farpoint Development, are entering a joint venture to develop, execute and lead the Chicago ARC Innovation Center based on a shared vision for the transformation of health care.

The JV unites the successful ARC open collaboration model—a repeatable prototype that exemplifies Israel’s “Startup Nation” mindset—with a market-driven approach adapted for the U.S. The center will be an anchor for the $7 billion, 100-acre Bronzeville Lakefront development on the historic site of the Michael Reese Medical Center.

The Chicago ARC will give international companies a U.S. foothold, develop health disparity solutions, incubate health innovation startups, collaborate on data science initiatives, and be a gateway for global investment.

Chicago ARC Innovation Center Is Unique, With Many Firsts

The Chicago ARC aims to create billions of dollars in value and dramatically accelerate the successful adoption and adaptation of disruptive technologies. Under the leadership of the JV team, the Chicago ARC will foster new capabilities that grow health ventures through access to data, experienced operators, customers and capital. Focus areas include precision medicine, big data and artificial intelligence, virtual reality, telehealth and medical technologies. The Chicago ARC model includes:

Mission-driven health innovation anchored by diversity, equity and inclusion that promotes better health outcomes across all communities.

A Chicago-based, nationally focused open collaboration platform centered on a cross-industry global partner network.
A unique pipeline of targeted startups sourced from top American, Israeli and other global markets.

A validated innovation framework engineered to amplify the impact of domestic and international life science and health technology startups for U.S. market growth.

A gateway for local and foreign investment in one of the nation’s most promising, geographically advantageous Qualified Opportunity Zones, offering investors long-term tax incentives.

Chicago Is Ground Zero for Global Health Innovation

Illinois has all the ingredients to create better health outcomes. It is among the nation’s top producers of STEM degrees and is home to the third largest medical and life science economic engine in the nation. World Business Chicago reported that the Chicago region generates approximately $72 billion in economic output and supports almost 700,000 employees annually. As one of only four U.S. cities with three tier-one research universities, Chicago area institutions amassed over $900 million in National Institutes of Health-funded research and development funding as of 2019.

“The Chicago ARC will enhance our incredible reserve of STEM talent, expand our next generation life sciences ecosystem and attract further capital to accelerate growth, while also serving as a transformational epicenter geared toward creating healthcare equity across our city’s South Side communities,” Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot said.

“Given these assets, and the extensive preexisting global partnerships brought by ARC to Chicago, this new venture sets the stage for the development of a new global innovation model. It will be a model that fuels the kind of transformative and collaborative change every life sciences innovation hub should aim to create—a model from the start that is focused on inclusion and designed to use assets across communities, states and countries,” P33 CEO Brad Henderson said.

This announcement comes on the heels of recent announcements that demonstrate Chicago’s goal, and ability, to become a global innovation destination. “We’ve already been recognized for our leadership in quantum science and in startup exit value,” Henderson said. PitchBook just recognized Chicago as the top U.S. city for exit value fueled by VC investment in 2020.

“We’re focused on building transformative partnerships that improve economic growth and equity in our city, and Sheba’s first physical U.S. innovation center gives us a tremendous opportunity to further this goal. Given our depth of talent and entrepreneurial spirit, Chicago will be able to serve as the epicenter for their North American partnerships and help create a world class healthcare innovation hub,” World Business Chicago Interim President & CEO Michael Fassnacht said. “We welcome Chicago ARC’s vision and the JV team’s expertise in innovation and inclusivity to carry on the legacy of the former Michael Reese Medical Center.”

Healthcare Equity Is the Underlying Mission

“Our primary purpose goes beyond turning scientific discovery into financial returns; it’s about turning scientific discovery into scalable innovation that drives health equity for all. The Chicago ARC redesigns the way healthcare innovation is done to achieve this commitment. It’s an especially critical goal in Chicago because there’s a 30-year life expectancy gap between the city’s poorest and wealthiest ZIP codes,” Kaleidoscope Co-founder S. Bob Chib noted.

“Tackling pressing health challenges through a collaborative platform will bring solutions to the market faster that not only generate significant financial returns but also enable health, social and economic justice throughout our state and nation,” Kaleidoscope Co-founder Ken Bahk added.

“The Chicago ARC is an ideal catalyst for the Bronzeville Lakefront development, which we envision as a healthy neighborhood of the future. We plan to break ground in mid-2021. In the interim, the Chicago ARC will operate from a nearby space and move to the Bronzeville Lakefront site when the 500,000-square-foot facility is completed in Q4 2023,” Farpoint Managing Principal Scott Goodman said.

“The Bronzeville community has been a center of medical innovation for more than 125 years. Dr. Daniel Hale Williams performed the first successful open-heart surgery here in 1893 at Provident Hospital, the nation’s first nonsegregated hospital –which he also founded in 1891. It’s fitting that Sheba’s ARC Innovation Center will anchor, with an equity lens, the anticipated Bronzeville Lakefront development on the former site of the historic Michael Reese Hospital. It will continue our community’s consequential legacy in developing life science solutions with global impact,” Alderman Sophia King (4th) said.

Israel and Sheba Are Committed

“The ARC Innovation Center aligns with one of Israel’s greatest priorities—the transformation of health care. COVID-19 has reinforced how important it is to address and achieve health equity, making new and smarter healthcare approaches even more urgent and pressing,” Sheba Deputy Director General, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Innovation Officer Dr. Eyal Zimlichman said.

“Transforming health requires more than a single institution or nation, which is why global collaboration is so important. Israel, and Sheba as its national medical center, started the journey long ago to disrupt health care through groundbreaking technology. The Chicago ARC Innovation Center will expand our efforts in the largest global market,” Sheba Director General Prof. Yitshak Kreiss added.

“With Sheba’s expertise in healthcare innovation, the leadership of Chicago and a pioneering joint venture, this partnership will help drive health equity and economic growth throughout the entire city and beyond for decades,” Chicago’s Israeli Counsel General Aviv Ezra noted. “The Consulate’s partnership with Kaleidoscope and this initiative has been one of our main focuses during my time as Consul General in Chicago. It’s a win-win for everyone."