About Us



Founder Frances NelsonFrances Nelson was a significant figure in the history of the Champaign-Urbana community. In the 1940s when African-American children found themselves without a home, Ms. Nelson welcomed them with open arms and put a roof over their heads. She encouraged them to become outstanding members of the community.

A volunteer-staffed health center was created in the 60’s to address the issue of high infant mortality in the African-American community. It has since transformed into a health center with staff physicians dedicated to providing primary health care to the underserved in our community. This health center was named for Frances Nelson when it moved into her former home in 1969.

In 2006, the Health Center moved to its current location on Bloomington Road in Champaign. Just five years later, in 2011, the Frances Nelson Dental Center opened in the same location. In 2012, ownership of both clinics was transferred to a local entity, Promise Healthcare.

Born from a grassroots effort to create a county public health department, SmileHealthy was started in 2002. With a public health mission and the flexibility of a small nonprofit,  SmileHealthy would test and try new ways to deliver care to those who might otherwise go without. They added a mobile dental clinic program which now holds over 50 mobile clinic events a year, serves Champaign County Head Start with a permanent clinic in Rantoul, provides comprehensive education and case management, and even specialty care.

Board of Directors

A unique aspect of community health centers in the local ownership and direction under a patient majority board. Research shows that patient participation on governing boards ensures higher quality care, lower costs, and better outcomes.

Promise’s Board of Directors includes members from the community and patient representatives.

The Board provides policy and fiscal oversight and advises the overall strategic direction of Promise Healthcare.

Serving on our Board of Directors provides a unique opportunity have a direct impact on the health of our community.

We thank our volunteer board members for their hard work to enhance community health and look forward to receiving your application.

Interested in joining our board?  An overview and application can be found here.

Our Board of Directors

Scott Greenlee, Chair
Kandace Turner, Vice Chair
Ashley Buckley, Secretary
Brian Laird, Treasurer
Minnie Pearson, Ex-Officio
Julianna Sellett
Robert Lewis
Paulette Colemon Peeples
Scott Clanin
Claudia Lennhoff
Pam Bigler
Liz Perrachione

Board Member Recruitment

Leadership Team