Joy V. Cunningham to Be Installed as First African-American Woman President of The Chicago Bar Association

Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Embraces New Role as 131st President of Largest Metropolitan Bar Association

Jun 07, 2004, 01:00 ET from Northwestern Memorial Hospital

    CHICAGO, June 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Joy V. Cunningham, senior vice president
 and general counsel for Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Northwestern
 Memorial Hospital, will be installed as the first African-American female
 president of The Chicago Bar Association (CBA) on June 24, 2004.  Cunningham
 has had a distinguished and varied career, including service as a Circuit
 Court Judge.
     During her one-year term, Cunningham -- also the first corporate counsel
 to be president -- will focus her energy on several projects, including
 advocating for mandatory continuing legal education for Illinois lawyers and
 sponsoring a judicial seminar for state and federal court judges in an effort
 to improve the Administration of Justice.  She is also committed to serving
 the public by expanding public service and consumer education programs;
 creating a program called "Computers for Clergy," which will solicit law firms
 to donate working computers to Chicago-area clergy; and the implementation of
 regular programming at the William C. Goudy Elementary School, adopted by the
 CBA in 2003.
     Cunningham currently brings her experience from the bench to Northwestern
 Memorial, where she's committed to developing proactive strategies to avoid
 hospital risk while continuously underscoring the importance of quality
 initiatives.  "Joy demonstrates exceptional leadership ability and a
 propensity for forward thinking," said Gary Mecklenburg, president and CEO of
 Northwestern Memorial HealthCare.  "These traits, combined with her legal
 talents, have made her a tremendous asset to our senior management team and I
 am sure she will serve the CBA with equal success."
     "Whether as a judge during a jury trial or as a volunteer working with
 children, Joy Cunningham's knowledge of the law and commitment to justice is
 an inspiration," Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said.  "Joy is making
 history by becoming the Chicago Bar Association's first African-American woman
 president.  More importantly, she has been making a difference in people's
 lives for a long time, and I know she will continue to do so."
     African-American lawyers were not admitted to the CBA until November 1945
 and minority numbers in bar associations didn't start growing substantially
 until the mid-1980s and 1990s.  That's part of why Cunningham feels a moral
 obligation to serve as president of CBA.
     "As the legal profession becomes more diverse, I believe it's important
 the leadership reflects that," said Cunningham.  "I have a responsibility to
 do the very best I can in this position, because young black lawyers need to
 recognize that they can be included in the infrastructure of the legal system
 and have the power to bring about change."
     Cunningham grew up in New York and worked as a nurse before going to law
 school in the early 1980s.
     "Ms. Cunningham has proven credentials in the legal and medical
 communities and her selection as president of the Chicago Bar Association is
 well-deserved.  She will be a great asset in her new post," offers Illinois
 Comptroller Dan Hynes.
     Before joining Northwestern, Cunningham most recently served as a judge of
 the Circuit Court of Cook County, where she had a diverse assignment including
 jury trials.  She also has served as associate general counsel for Loyola
 University and Loyola University Health System and was the first African-
 American woman to serve as an attorney with the law firm of French, Rogers,
 Kezelis & Kominiarek.  She has also served as Assistant Attorney General and
 as a judicial clerk to Illinois Appellate Justice Glenn Johnson.
     Cunningham has served on the CBA Board of Managers almost continually
 since 1995, as a member (95-97), secretary (97-99), treasurer (01-02), second
 vice president (02-03) and first vice president (03-04).  She also serves on
 the Board of Directors for the Chicago Bar Foundation and worked for many
 years with The CBA Judicial Evaluation Committee.
     She has authored professional publications and is a member of a number of
 professional associations, including the American Bar Association, the
 American Health Lawyers Association and the Women's Bar Association of
 Illinois.  She has been recognized for her volunteer service to several
 community organizations including the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, The
 Constitutional Rights Foundation and the Chicago Association for the Education
 of Young Children.  She is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, the
 Chicago Network and is a board member of the Center for Conflict Resolution.
     Cunningham earned her Juris Doctor degree from John Marshall Law School in
 Chicago, and her Bachelor of Science degree from the City University of New
 York.  She is admitted to practice law before the Illinois, New York, Federal
 and the Federal Trial Bars.
     Cunningham and her husband, Vance du Rivage, have a son, Jeremy Keith.
 They reside on the northside of Chicago.
     Cunningham will be installed as CBA President at The CBA Annual Meeting,
 Thursday, June 24, 2004, at the Standard Club.  A reception will begin at
 11:30 a.m., followed by a 12:15 p.m. luncheon in the Grand Ballroom.  The cost
 to attend the luncheon is $50 per person and $500 for a table of 10.  To make
 a reservation, call Tamra Drees at 312-554-2057.
     About Northwestern Memorial Hospital
     Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) is one of the country's premier
 academic medical centers and is the primary teaching hospital of Northwestern
 University's Feinberg School of Medicine.  Northwestern Memorial and its
 Prentice Women's Hospital and Stone Institute of Psychiatry have 744 beds and
 more than 1,200 affiliated physicians and 5,000 employees.  Providing state-
 of-the-art care, NMH is recognized for its outstanding clinical and surgical
 advancements in such areas as cardiothoracic and vascular care,
 gastroenterology, neurology and neurosurgery, oncology, organ and bone marrow
 transplantation, and women's health.
     Northwestern Memorial was ranked as the nation's 5th best hospital by the
 2002 Consumer Checkbook survey of the nation's physicians and is listed in the
 majority of specialties in this year's US News & World Report's issue of
 "America's Best Hospitals."  NMH is also cited as one of the "100 Best
 Companies for Working Mothers" by Working Mother magazine and has been chosen
 by Chicagoans year after year as their "most preferred hospital" in National
 Research Corporation's annual survey.

SOURCE Northwestern Memorial Hospital