Laura McAlpine, LCSW

Laura McAlpine

Laura McAlpine (she/her) is the Principal of McAlpine Consulting for Growth, LLC and has over 40 years of management and leadership expertise in non-profit health and social service organizations. She comes to her work as a consultant grounded by experience as a health worker and collective member of the Chicago Women’s Health Center, as well as a policy advocate with the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health. Laura’s focus on health/mental health access, maternal & child health, adolescent health, reproductive rights and anti-gay violence are as relevant today as they were in the 1980s.

Laura’s skills, gained in front-line positions and as executive director, manager, and board member, include strategic planning, organizational development, leadership coaching, and financial management. She particularly enjoys engaging staff from multiple nonprofits in peer-to-peer shared learning via learning collaboratives, using a mix of her facilitation, coaching, organizing and improv skills. An experienced facilitator and presenter, she has led retreats, training sessions, and focus groups for a wide variety of organizations. Laura is a licensed clinical social worker and has a Master’s degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago.

Always the looking to the future and building a plan to get there, Laura is currently starting drum lessons so that in 20 years she will become the next Nana Dorothea, who won a drum-off with Questlove. In the present moment, besides practicing her drums in the basement and working upstairs in the MCFG office, she can be found outside her back door, tending her vegetable garden and flock of backyard chickens, or hitting the river path for birding, jogging, boating, or swimming. 


University of Chicago: School of Social Service Administration
Master of Arts, policy concentration, June 1990

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: College of Liberal Arts
Bachelor of Science in Psychology, May 1982

Select Publications

1. Shapiro LD, McAlpine L, Grambauer M, Bailey T, Schaps M: Creating a Universal Newborn Support System (UNSS) in Illinois: Wisdom and Experience from the Field. Chicago, Health & Medicine Policy Research Group, October 2021.

2. Promoting Quality and Sustainability: Implementation of Health Information Technology. McAlpine, Laura; Harvey, Blair; and Murray, Sue. Illinois Coalition for School Health Centers, Chicago, IL: June 2009.

3. Gender Matters: Meeting the Physical and Mental Health Needs of Detained Girls. Policy Recommendations to the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center.  Cummings, Katina and Laura McAlpine. Health and Medicine Policy Research Group, Chicago, IL.  April 2008.

4. A Call to Action: The Full Report on the Yearlong Statewide Initiative “What Will it Take? Building the Safest State for All Women and Girls.” Schultz, Susy; Johnson, Lynne; and McAlpine, Laura. Chicago Foundation for Women, Chicago, IL. December 2007.

5. Striking a Balance Administrative Cost-Sharing in School Health Centers: A Feasibility Study. McAlpine, Laura and Brenda Bannor.  Illinois Coalition for School Health Centers, Chicago, IL.  September 2005.

6. Safety for all: Addressing anti-gay violence in Illinois Schools. Kenney, S. McAlpine L., Morten, M. Horn, S. Logue, P. and Maschinot, B. Coalition for Education on Sexual Orientation, Chicago, IL:  October 2003

7. Aging in Chicago: Transportation Report. Workman J, Lawlor E, McAlpine L. University of Chicago, 1993.

8. Heart Rate Spectral Analysis, A Non-Invasive Probe of Cardiovascular Regulation in Critically Ill Children, With Heart Disease. Gordon D, Herrera V, McAlpine L, Cohen R, Lang P, Norwood W. Pediatric Cardiology; May 1988; 9(2), pp. 17-23.

Professional Licensure and Memberships

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker: Illinois license #149-006190, received November 30, 1994
  • Patent: Methods and Apparatus for Monitoring Cardiovascular Regulation Using Heart Rate Power Spectral Analysis. Arai M, McAlpine L, Gordon D. Approved June 1989

From the Blog: Articles by Laura McAlpine

  • I am Heartbroken Again by Mount Greenwood

    I am heartbroken again. Heartbroken to hear that Joshua Beal was killed by white off-duty police officers in Mt. Greenwood on Saturday November 6th. While we won’t know for quite a while the full details of what happened that awful Saturday afternoon, I immediately knew that what has happened all too often across the country…

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  • Finding awe unexpectedly

    Laying down on the couch with a cold and my little dog on my lap under covers, looking out my second floor picture window I see bare trees against a light blue sky. I had just been caught up in reading posts on my meditation app (InsightTimer) after meditating, continuing my relentless and restless pursuit…

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  • Sitting Still. Sometimes.

    How’s that quest to understand eternity, you might ask? Well, now that it is time for the McAlpine Consulting for Growth Thanksgiving newsletter, I realized that I better check back in on my last blog post to see where I left off on my big life question of “What are we doing here, exactly?” Looking…

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