October 6, 2021
As this holiday quickly comes to close, we’d be remiss if we didn’t participate in the ritual of recognizing the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture and achievements of the United States. NCH would like to introduce you to a special leader who is co-chair of NCH’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council.
Henry Dominicis, M.D.
Physician Director of Ambulatory Services, NCH
Co-Chair of NCH Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council
My childhood: I was born in Miami and grew up in rural Minnesota. As a child I was drawn to helping others and became interested in medicine thanks to the first-aid classes I took. I worked as an EMT during college, and I never considered any other discipline since high school. I graduated from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota with a biology major and a Spanish minor.
My parents: My parents immigrated to the United States from Cuba in the 1960s to flee the communist takeover. My dad started washing cars at Miami International Airport and eventually became vice president of the international division of National Car Rental based in Bloomington, Minnesota. My mom was a Spanish teacher for 35 years in Florida, California and Minnesota, and she started the Spanish program at St. Francis Catholic School in Lake Zurich.
My mentors: My parents were my first mentors. Also, the family doctor in town invited me to go with him on medical mission trips to care for the poor in Mexico. These experiences developed my commitment to service.
My work with the underserved in our community: I had the privilege to care for under resourced pregnant women at an NCH clinic in Palatine with the help of Pastor Ron Buck with the Vista Clinic. When that closed, NCH partnered with Greater Elgin Family Care Centers to open a clinic in Wheeling. Two colleagues and I provided obstetrical care. Since then, I’ve had the honor to work with the NCH/Cook County Clinic obstetrical program.
My DEI efforts: As co-lead of the NCH DEI Council, I have come to appreciate the vast need for healthcare equity. The health of our community – of any community – depends on our ability to serve all its members. This may not be easy, but it is vital for creating an equitably healthy community.