Neli Joins IOMC Board


A Safe Haven President, Co-Founder Neli Vazquez-Rowland Joins Board of Institute of Medicine of Chicago

(Chicago, Illinois) July 3, 2020—Neli Vazquez Rowland, president and co-founder of A Safe Haven, a 25-year-old 501©3 nonprofit dedicated to helping the homeless, joins the board of directors of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago (IOMC) for the 2020-2021 year.

The IOMC Board of Governors role is to lead its membership and efforts in promoting health care and wellbeing equity for all in Chicagoland. Founded in 1915, this nonprofit is an independent organization of distinguished leaders in the health field who collaborate to improve the health of the public. Rowland has been an IOMC fellow for a year.

“Joining this prestigious board is exciting because it is another validation that what we do at A Safe Haven is considered part of the healthcare continuum of care,” she said.

Under Rowland’s guidance, A Safe Haven has grown to be a nationally well-known social enterprise that helps people aspire, transform and sustain their lives as they transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency with pride and purpose. A Safe Haven provides the tools for each individual to overcome the root causes of homelessness through a holistic and scalable model.

IOMC Board of Director Michael Favia nominated Rowland to this prestigious position.

“I’ve known Neli for a long time and her dedication to helping the homeless,” Favia said. “I’ve witnessed Neli’s ability to serve and lead in difficult times and on the pressing and growing issues of the opioid epidemic, the rise of the homeless numbers growing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and behavioral health issues. She does her work with integrity and excellence. She will be an asset to our board.”

For 105 years, IOMC has a legacy of advocacy in population health management and community wellbeing creation. IOMC’s accomplishments include partnerships with the City of Chicago, Institute of Public Health, Portes Foundation, Michael Reese Education and Research Foundation, healthcare systems, businesses, numerous coalitions and foundations.


A Safe Haven (ASH) is a social enterprise that provides a comprehensive and vertically integrated approach uniquely designed to address root causes of poverty and homelessness for social and economic development to achieve sustainable self-sufficiency. Populations served: Individuals, Adults, Families with children, Youth, Veterans and non-violent re-entry.  ASH Services: Individualized case management, shelter, food, treatment, education, job training, access to employment & affordable housing. Partnership network: public/private/corporate/foundations and other entities to provide a network that can help deliver a seamless continuum of care, housing and employment and/or resources including funding to achieve financial stability & sustainability. Impact Goal: improved return on investment, efficiencies and results for all stakeholders.

About the Institute of Medicine of Chicago (IOMC)

The Institute of Medicine of Chicago is an independent organization of distinguished leaders in the health field who collaborate to improve the health of the public. Drawing upon the expertise of a diverse membership and other regional leaders, the IOMC addresses critical health issues through a range of interdisciplinary approaches including education, research, communication of trusted information, and community engagement. With the health of the public at its core, IOMCis building new programs and services to meet the needs of its members and the Chicagoland community. IOMC is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. Visit our website at