Our History, Leadership and Providers

Frances 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, serve Champaign County Head Start with a permanent clinic in Rantoul, provide comprehensive education and case management, and even specialty care. 

As part of the 50th Anniversary of the Frances Nelson Health Center, Promise Healthcare created the blog site to share essays, stories and images.  You can find more here.  If you have something to add, send us an email.  

Board of Directors

Pamela Bigler, President

Joe Guyette, Vice President

Scott Greenlee, Secretary

Kandace Turner, Treasurer

Brice Hutchcraft, Past President

Claudia Lennhoff, Assistant Secretary

Minnie Pearson, Executive At Large

Cesar Alburez, DDS

Chifan Cheng, DDS

John Lammers

Robert Lewis

Stacey McKeever

Martin Nieto

Paulette Colemon Peeples

Judy Rubenacker

Emily Wee


Leadership Team

Promise Healthcare Primary Care Providers

Omar Al-Heeti, MD

Renu Bajaj, MD

Marisol Chirinos, PA-C

Carlos Bocanegra Cordova, PA-C

Melonie Richardson, NP

Kristen Erickson, NP

Sonja Hansen, MD

Carrie Keenan, PA-C

Corinne Kohler, MD

Ryan Minier, PA-C

Alina Paul, MD

Shelly Tangen, NP

Jiayi Tao, PA-C

Jenny Daab, NP

Carle Illinois Family Medicine Residents for OB and pediatrics
Carle Illinois Internal Medicine Residents 
Archana Chopra, MD
Feiteng Su, MD
Hang Sung Yang, MD
Carle Illinois Psychiatry Residents 
Mental Health Therapists
Shae Ellington, LCSW
James Hamilton, LCPC
Cindy Lam, LCPC
Lisa Sink, MSW
Promise Healthcare Dentists
Arshita Patel, BDS
Carlos Pirela, DDS

Our Mission

Promise Healthcare, dedicated to improving the health of the community through treatment, prevention, and education.

This health center receives HHS funding and has Federal PHS deemed status
with respect to certain health or health-related claims, including medical malpractice claims, for itself and its covered individuals.

Documentos en Español

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