YogaCare was founded through synergistic collaborations that began as a Schweitzer Fellowship service project in 2010 and grew to become the organization it is today.  

Here are key milestones in the development of YogaCare's history.  

         2010:

  • Greg Van Hyfte conducted a free 6-week course to patients, staff, and community at Chicago Family Health Center (CFHC) in South Chicago as part of the Schweitzer Fellowship project

         2012:

  • Mr. Van Hyfte and Dr. Jones partnered to receive $1,000 Seed Grant from Schweitzer Fellowship Program
  • Reinstated free Saturday morning bilingual six week yoga class at CFHC - South Chicago
  • South Chicago demographics: population of 31,060, African American (73.9%) and Hispanic (23.1%), a third (31.2%) is living in poverty (U.S. Census 2007-2011)
  • Sustained the class thereafter on a pay-what-you-can basis
  • Served 69 participants; an average of 12 students per class who donated $3.22 per person

         2013:

  • Funded for $2,000 Seed Grant from Schweitzer Fellowship/AMA Foundation
  • Sustained the Saturday class and added a Thursday evening class to meet participants’ request for an additional class
  • Expanded to a second site at CommunityHealth - Englewood clinic with Julia Pedersen and Lisa Espinoza
  • Englewood demographics: population of 29,821, African-American (98.4%), almost half are living in poverty (45.8%, U.S. Census 2007-2011)
  • Awarded $5,000 from the University of Chicago Institute for Translational Medicine for research funding
  • Conducted research study in partnership with the University of Chicago Medicine Department of Family Medicine and presented research at the Family Medicine Midwest Conference, Milwaukee, WI

2014:

  • Funded for $6,000 Seed Grant from Schweitzer Fellowship/AMA Foundation for 2014-2015
  • Presented research at the Yoga for Health and Practice conference, London, UK
  • Placed third in the University of Chicago Booth School of Business Social New Venture Challenge- YogaCare was created.
  • Placed fourth in the GoodCity IntoSomethingGood contest, being awarded $4,317.99
  • Incorporated as a non-profit corporation in Illinois and secured Board of Directors
  • Secured Fiscal Sponsor with GoodCity
  • Received 501(c)3 status
  • Received Ilene Goodman Award from Community Health
  • Socially Engaged Yoga Network (SEYN) merges with YogaCare and becomes a program under the umbrella of YogaCare

2015:

  • Piloted Yoga for All Bodies, Mommy & Baby Yoga, Yoga & Diabetes
  • Piloted co-teaching model for gentle yoga classes
  • Rolled out first Scholarship Program for Roseann Chico and Adrienne Cherry through Rich Logan at LiveWorkYoga.

2016:

  • Expanded to 4 new sites through a contract with Harken Health Center: Edgewater, Wicker Park, South Loop, Des Plaines
  • Presented at Yoga Service Conference: Developing & Sustaining Regional Yoga Service Networks
  • Presented at Schweitzer 20th Anniversary Conference: Transform Your Service to a Lasting Reality
  • Awarded $4000 from Northwestern University for capacity building
  • Rolled out second Scholarship Program for Darlene Blackburn and Yahdina U-Deen through partnership with Gabriel Halpern of Yoga Circle and Yirser Ra Hotep of Kemetic Yoga
  • Received scholarship from Mission Propelle to support scholar Adrienne Cherry to train to teach kids yoga
  • Secured partnership with Community Health to oversee yoga programs at both Englewood and West Town locations
  • Expanded and secured partnership with PCC Austin Family Health Center
  • Awarded $15,000 from VNA Foundation to deepen program service offerings and expand to the West side of Chicago in the Austin Community
    • added a Saturday morning community yoga class in the Austin community
    • delivered Self Care for Health Care workshops

2017:

  • Rolled out Yoga Therapy Group Visit model at PCC Austin by the leadership of Kelli Bosak with an interdisciplinary team of a Behavioral Health Therapist, Yoga Therapist, and Yoga Teacher
  • Awarded $1000 from the Awesome Foundation to support the growth and development of YogaCare Scholars, Darlene Blackburn and Yahdina U-Deen
  • Expanded to a new site through a contract with Harken Health Center: Skokie
  • Awarded $10,000 from Albert & Anne Mansfield Foundation to develop community partnerships in Englewood and roll out capacity building workshops
  • Rolling out pilot workshops geared to supplement 200 hour training for yoga teachers seeking to teach Community Outreach Yoga.