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Donna Thompson

Healthcare executive Donna Thompson was born on January 2, 1957 in Decatur, Illinois. She graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 1975, and received her diploma in nursing from Decatur Memorial School of Nursing in 1977. She worked as a pediatric nurse at Decatur Memorial Hospital until 1980, when she became a neonatal transport nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit at St. John’s Regional Medical Center. Thompson went on to earn her B.S. degree in nursing in 1986 and her M.S. degree in nursing in 1988, both from DePaul University in Chicago. Thompson also completed the Kellogg School of Management's CEO Perspectives program in 2010.

Thompson served as the manager of the pediatric intensive care unit at Chicago’s Michael Reese Hospital from 1983 to 1991. She was then hired as the director of nursing as Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois. In 1995, Thompson became the chief operating officer of Access Community Health Network (ACCESS) in Chicago, and was promoted to chief executive officer in 2004. Thompson organized the Stand Against Cancer program in 2002, and the Pin-A-Sister/Examínate Comadre program in 2007. Under her leadership, ACCESS became one of the largest federally qualified health centers in the country, as well as the largest provider of Medicaid and Medicare managed primary healthcare in Illinois. Thompson was also a co-founder of the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force.

Thomas received numerous awards for her work in the healthcare field, including the Nursing Star Award from the Illinois Association of Visiting Nurses in 2003, the Chicago Athena Award from Athena International in 2007, the Outstanding Leadership in Continuous Quality Improvement Award from United Way of Metro Chicago in 2009, and the National Medical Fellowship Leadership in Healthcare Award in 2015. She was also named as “One of Chicago's Most Influential Women” by N’Digo Magazine in 2009. From 2003 to 2006, Thompson served as a Robert Wood Johnson executive nurse fellow. Thompson also served as a board member for Access DuPage, and chaired the board of directors for The Chicago Network. She was also a co-founder of the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force.

Thompson and her husband, Robert, have two children.

Donna Thompson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 4, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.091

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/4/2018

Last Name

Thompson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Oakland Elementary School

Stephen Decatur High School

Woodrow Wilson Junior High School

Decatur Memorial Hospital School of Nursing

DePaul University

First Name

Donna

Birth City, State, Country

Decatur

HM ID

THO28

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Brazil

Favorite Quote

Stay In The Game.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

1/2/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Sushi

Short Description

Healthcare executive Donna Thompson (1957 - ) served as the chief executive officer of Access Community Health Network, the largest primary care provider for minority patients in Illinois.

Employment

Decatur Memorial Hospital

St. John's Hospital

Michael Reese Hospital

Christ Hospital

Access Community Health Network

Favorite Color

Pink

Felicia Middlebrooks

Chicago radio journalist Felicia Middlebrooks was born May 29, 1957, in Gary, Indiana, to a teacher and a steelworker. Middlebrooks graduated from Gary's West Side High School in 1975; over the next seven years, she worked as a steelworker to finance her B.A. degree in mass communications at Purdue University, which she earned with honors. While pursuing her degree, Middlebrooks gained radio experience at four separate Northwestern Indiana stations.

Middlebrooks was hired as a full-time employee at WBBM news radio in 1983; for the next eighteen years, she worked as co-anchor of WBBM's Morning Drive, part of a lineup that toppled WGN's thirty-year streak as Chicago's top-rated morning station. The first woman and first African American to co-anchor Morning Drive, Middlebrooks was involved in numerous creative ventures; she served as the CEO of her own company, Saltshaker Productions. As a regular panelist on the Total Living Network's Chicago Newsmakers, Middlebrooks addressed spiritual issues; her written work appeared in a prestigious literary anthology, Souls of My Sisters. Middlebrooks contributed her time and talents serving as a trustee for the Children's Home and Aid Society, and was a member of the board of directors of WINGS, an organization founded to assist victims of domestic violence. Middlebrooks received the Associated Press Best Reporter Award for her insightful series of reports on domestic violence; the African American Leadership Council and the Urban League are among the many other organizations that honored her achievements.

When Middlebrooks left the air following a contract dispute in 2002, the Reverend Jesse Jackson and her fans intervened, and her needs were swiftly met. A longtime mentor to aspiring journalists, Middlebrooks continued working with young people in a teaching position at Purdue University's Calumet campus. In her spare time, Middlebrooks also wrote and published a novel.

Accession Number

A2003.064

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/3/2003

Last Name

Middlebrooks - Hill

Maker Category
Schools

Daniel Hale Williams Elementary School

Ivanhoe Elementary School

Edison Middle School

Purdue University

West Side Leadership Academy

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Felicia

Birth City, State, Country

Gary

HM ID

MID01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Indiana

Favorite Quote

You'll never change that which you can tolerate.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

5/29/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Mexican Food, Popcorn

Short Description

Production company chief executive and radio news anchor Felicia Middlebrooks (1957 - ) is the co-anchor of WBBM's Morning Drive in Chicago.

Employment

WLTH Radio

WBAA Radio

WJOB Radio

WGVE Radio

WBBM TV

Saltshaker Productions

Favorite Color

Charcoal Gray

DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10806">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Felicia Middlebrooks interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10807">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Felicia Middlebrooks's favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10808">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Felicia Middlebrooks describes her family history</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10809">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Felicia Middlebrooks remembers her father</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10810">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Felicia Middlebrooks discusses her father's profession, part I</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10811">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Felicia Middlebrooks remembers her mother</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10812">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Felicia Middlebrooks recalls her family's migration North</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10813">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Felicia Middlebrooks shares the sights, smells and sounds of her childhood home</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10814">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Felicia Middlebrooks describes her childhood personality</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10815">Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Felicia Middlebrooks recalls her early school years</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10816">Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Felicia Middlebrooks discusses her family's involvement in the church</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10817">Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Felicia Middlebrooks recalls her high school years, part I</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10818">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Felicia Middlebrooks discusses her father's other jobs</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10819">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Felicia Middlebrooks recalls her high school years, part II</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10820">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Felicia Middlebrooks recalls famous African Americans from Gary, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10821">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Felicia Middlebrooks discusses her early interest in radio/television</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10822">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Felicia Middlebrooks remembers influential teachers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10823">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Felicia Middlebrooks recalls having to leave college to work in the steel mill</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10824">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Felicia Middlebrooks discusses her early professional radio experience in Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10825">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Felicia Middlebrooks describes her first jobs in Chicago, Illinois, at CBS Channel 2 Television</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10826">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Felicia Middlebrooks describes getting her first on-air job as a radio reporter in Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10827">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Felicia Middlebrooks considers her skill set as a journalist</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10828">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Felicia Middlebrooks discusses the development of her career</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10829">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Felicia Middlebrooks describes her award-winning news coverage</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10830">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Felicia Middlebrooks discusses the undertakings of her production company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10831">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Felicia Middlebrooks discusses her payrate negotiations with WBBM, Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10832">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Felicia Middlebrooks shares advice for aspiring journalists</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10833">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Felicia Middlebrooks discusses her volunteer activities</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10834">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Felicia Middlebrooks expresses her hopes and concerns for the black community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10835">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Felicia Middlebrooks considers her legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10836">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Felicia Middlebrooks shares reflections on her career</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10837">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Felicia Middlebrooks considers how she'd like to be remembered</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10838">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks with Bill Cosby after a taping of 'The Cosby Show,' New York, New York, ca. 1990</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10839">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks's parents, 1994</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10840">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks with other celebrities before a Starlight Foundation ball, 1993</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10841">Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks's fifth grade school portrait, Ivanhoe Elementary School, Gary, Indiana, ca. 1968</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10842">Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks in a Purdue University choir, West Lafayette, Indiana, 1970s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10843">Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks in her high school band uniform after a parade, Gary, Indiana, 1970s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10844">Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks's seventh grade school portrait, Thomas A. Edison Middle School, Gary, Indiana, ca. 1970</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10845">Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks dresses as Wonder Woman for a high school masquerade party, Gary, Indiana, ca. 1971</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10846">Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks with her parents upon her high school graduation, Gary, Indiana, 1975</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10847">Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks with his sisters and father at her Miller Beach home, Gary, Indiana, 1998</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10848">Tape: 4 Story: 16 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks conducts a radio interview at WLTH-AM, Gary, Indiana, late 1970s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10849">Tape: 4 Story: 17 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks early in her tenure at WBBM-780 AM, Chicago, Illinois, 1982</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10850">Tape: 4 Story: 18 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks with winemaker, Robert Mondovi, at a wine tasting event</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10851">Tape: 4 Story: 19 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks represents WBBM-780AM, Chicago, Illinois, at a March of Dimes fundraiser, 1988</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10852">Tape: 4 Story: 20 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks welcomes guests to "Hollywood Comes to Chicago" event, Chicago, Illinois, 2000</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10853">Tape: 4 Story: 21 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks with her cousin and sister outside of her childhood home, Gary, Indiana, ca. 1967</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10854">Tape: 4 Story: 22 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks and her older sister, Gary, Indiana, 1957</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10855">Tape: 4 Story: 23 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks with Chicago radio personalities at an awards luncheon, Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10856">Tape: 4 Story: 24 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks and colleagues represent WBBM AM-780 in a Christmas parade, Chicago, Illinois, 1983, part I</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10857">Tape: 4 Story: 25 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks at lunch with her mentor and two reporter colleagues, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10858">Tape: 4 Story: 26 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks and colleagues represent WBBM AM-780 in a Christmas parade, Chicago, Illinois, 1983, part II</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10859">Tape: 4 Story: 27 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks with her former co-anchor in the WBBM AM-780 studio, ca. 1992</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10860">Tape: 4 Story: 28 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks's mother while pregnant, 1956</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10861">Tape: 4 Story: 29 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks with her sisters on a family outing, early 1960s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10862">Tape: 4 Story: 30 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks at her sixth birthday party, Gary, Indiana, 1963, part I</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10863">Tape: 4 Story: 31 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks and her sister with their Christmas presents, ca. 1963</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10864">Tape: 4 Story: 32 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks at her sixth birthday party, Gary, Indiana, 1963, part II</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10865">Tape: 4 Story: 33 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks at her twelfth birthday party, Gary, Indiana, 1969</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10866">Tape: 4 Story: 34 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks on Memorial Day, Gary, Indiana, 1970</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10867">Tape: 4 Story: 35 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks, her sisters and her mother on Easter Sunday, Gary, Indiana, 1970</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10868">Tape: 4 Story: 36 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks's maternal grandmother and aunt, Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10869">Tape: 4 Story: 37 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks and Dan Rather in the WBBM AM-780 newsroom, Chicago, Illinois, 1997</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10870">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks with guest Tony Bennett, WBBM AM-780, Chicago, Illinois, 2000</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10871">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks's family portrait, Gary, Indiana, early 1960s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10872">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks with Patti Labelle, 2000</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10873">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks is awarded the key to the city of Gary, Indiana by Mayor Richard Hatcher at an NAACP dinner, 1989</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10874">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks's mother presents her husband with a birthday present, late 1970s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10875">Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks with her sisters, mother and maternal grandfather, early 1960s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10876">Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks and friends at her sixth birthday party, 1963</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10877">Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks with her sisters and her paternal grandfather, Bessemer, Alabama, early 1960s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10878">Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks's mother with her three daughters in the family home, Gary, Indiana, February 1963</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10879">Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks and her sisters before Sunday School, Gary, Indiana, early 1960s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10880">Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks with her mother and sisters on the steps of the library in Birmingham, Alabama, early 1960s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10881">Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks watches her mother barbeque, Gary, Indiana, 1960s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10882">Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks with her Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. sisters, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, late 1980s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10883">Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks's high school senior portrait, West Side High School, Gary, Indiana, 1975</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10884">Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Photo - A portrait of Felicia Middlebrooks and her sisters, ca. 1980</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10885">Tape: 5 Story: 16 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks's youngest sister, 1990s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10886">Tape: 5 Story: 17 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks attends Homecoming at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, 1978</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10887">Tape: 5 Story: 18 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks and other contestants at the Voice of Democracy competition, sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, 1970s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10888">Tape: 5 Story: 19 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks emcees the Starlight Foundation ball, ca. 1992</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10889">Tape: 5 Story: 20 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks on the cover of Chicago, Illinois weekly N'Digo, 2002</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/10890">Tape: 5 Story: 21 - Photo - Felicia Middlebrooks included in a feature on women in media, ca. 1988</a>