Published on January 14, 2022

Former Joliet Police Chief Proud to Be Helping through Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission

Most of former Joliet Police Chief Mike Trafton’s service on the force was dedicated to working the city’s East Side.

Mike Trafton
Mike Trafton

During that time, he saw how environment and economics, often unequal to that of the West Side of the city, created disadvantages for East Side residents and often resulted in police showing up at someone’s door, maybe more than once.

So, when he was asked to join the Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission Board of Directors, he jumped at the chance.

“It was a no-brainer,” said Trafton, now retired from police work. “On the commission board, I would be helping people on the East Side who didn’t have the same opportunities as many on the West Side. We would be providing grants to organizations and scholarships to disadvantaged youth. What could be better than that?”

Founded in 2008, the Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission is a community-based organization committed to creating a stronger, healthier future by providing support for education, workforce development training, and enrichment activities for youth, to improve the quality of life for the communities they serve.

In addition to helping fund an Aunt Martha’s community health care center, and veteran’s housing and medical care on the former Silver Cross campus in Joliet, the Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission also has awarded scholarships and helped organizations in low-income areas award scholarships as well.

When he came on board, Trafton said his police work already had fostered ties with many of the commission’s community partners, which include Alpha Kappa Alpha – Tealight Foundation; Coalition of Black Trade Unionists; Community Services Council of Will County; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; Forest Park Community Center; Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana; Harvey Brooks Foundation; Lebanon Baptist District Association; NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People); National Hook-up For Black Women; Play for Rings, Inc.; Redeemed Connection; Senior Services of Will County; Spanish Community Center; and the University of St. Francis.

“As a board member, I’ve gotten to go out to visit the groups that have applied for grants and see first-hand what they do. Then, we make our recommendations to the board.

“The Healthy Community Commission gives people an opportunity, a fighting chance, where they might not have had it otherwise. With my background, I remember seeing that not everyone had a mother or a father at home. Or maybe one of them was in jail. None of this was the kid’s fault; they didn’t pick their parents.

“With grants and scholarships, we and/or our community partners can give them something they’re missing, and then see the good they can do. I’m proud to be a part of that.”

Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care. These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.