Chicago Humanities Festival: Dr. Eric Whitaker - South Side Health and Vitality Studies


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Dr. Eric Whitaker, University of Chicago executive vice president for strategic affiliations and associate dean for community-based research, oversees the Urban Health Initiative (UHI). This partnership between the University of Chicago Medical Center and community doctors, clinics, and hospitals seeks to address and improve the long-term health of South Side residents. The main research and discovery arm of UHI is the South Side Health and Vitality Studies, which focus on social, environmental, and technological factors and their impact on health and wellness. Dr. Whitaker leads a group of panelists deeply invested in the studies’ work in a discussion about the ramifications of its findings and the impact on delivering quality health care to an under-served population.

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  • -Patient Advocates ’s link patient from ER and the community to primary care
  • More than 140 participants with approximately 60% from community. 1 st time community invited formally
  • Group 3: Example Going Well: Working with vs. against community—e.g., training physicians to stay here Wider geographic scope of work—and can do more Global view Recognition of socioeconomic factors and their influence on health Raising safety net of FQHC’s Online asset inventory is a strong resource meetings open to the public Barriers Communications -Layered -Early and often Community connectors: More People on the ground Use youth Hub Clearer messaging/less confusing Work better with FQHC Put specialists at FQHC More (especially adult medicine) Start with the community before launching initiatives. Not after the framework has been decided Make community an equal partner It’s frustrating to hear about the research after it’s been published. -Share it with: -Point of service -Local papers -Community groups Need a more family-centered approach Clearinghouse for resources across issues The University needs a stronger needs assessment for distribution of available resources—including communication to community about what exists. The current outreach strategy is reactive/data-driven vs. proactive. opportunities Intentionally working with indigenous CBO’s Grow strength at FQHC from the bottom up. Focus on empowering within communities. Children at the center Produce strong neighborhoods. Engage around a community strategy upfront. Leadership and organizing Development/focus Sensitivity issues/training for community engagement Training program for community organizers Outreach to new populations Get SSHC brochures out. All South Side ER’s Beauty salons Etc. Work with youth. They will communicate to communities/families. Consult youth to update current strategies. Use appropriate means to reach youth: -Internet -Facebook -Twitter -Skype -Newspapers not a strong resource for youth -Layered approach for communication -Newspapers Door-to-door outreach Need legs Community health workers Public programs like at park districts Health fairs Block clubs Day care centers Funding more community connectors Health worker/organizers/brokers Sustain and implement the work. Community education/increase awareness- people in the field Health care reform education-in the field The common thread is poverty for all disparities issues. Public and private investment Get money from results (HCPZ). If the partnership is controversial, explain why you’re partnering. Vetting of funders Community advisory group across neighborhoods Opinion of funding sources will vary. Continuing to work together to attract funding
  • Chicago Humanities Festival: Dr. Eric Whitaker - South Side Health and Vitality Studies

    1. 1. Urban Health Initiative Eric E. Whitaker , MD, MPH Executive Vice President, Strategic Affiliations University of Chicago Medical Center
    2. 2. MISSION <ul><li>The University of Chicago’s Urban Health Initiative will: </li></ul><ul><li>develop an economically sustainable health care ecosystem that ensures access to the quality care in the right place at the right time </li></ul><ul><li>engage people in their communities to develop mutual goals and share best practices </li></ul><ul><li>deploy research and development in basic, translational and delivery sciences to promote health, track impact, and generate scaleable innovations for urban health </li></ul><ul><li>inspire and train community health leaders through medical education and service, and </li></ul><ul><li>disseminate a national, best-practices model for urban health improvement. </li></ul>
    3. 3. SERVICE SCIENCE SYSTEM CENTER FOR COMMUNITY HEALTH AND VITALITY Translational Science Basic Science Delivery Science Healthy, vital urban community
    4. 4. UHI OVERVIEW <ul><li>360° approach to health and wellness </li></ul><ul><li>Community health determined by many factors, not just medical care </li></ul><ul><li>Built on three pillars </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Patient care </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. I. Patient Care <ul><li>Patient care in multiple, coordinated settings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>South Side Healthcare Collaborative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community hospital affiliations (e.g. Mercy) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>? Cook County/Provident partnership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Medical Center </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Patient Advocates link patients to primary care </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Interconnect all electronic medical records to improve continuity of care </li></ul>
    6. 6. II. Research <ul><li>Research to track long-term health and the social determinants of health </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Engage with community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Center for Community Health and Vitality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>South Side Health and Vitality Studies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Research findings shared with community </li></ul><ul><li>Partnership with community to ensure community benefit </li></ul>
    7. 7. III. Education <ul><li>Medical education focused on community and primary care </li></ul><ul><ul><li>UCMC physicians, med students practice in community </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Newly established Office of Community-Based Education </li></ul><ul><li>Incentives pointing Pritzker grads toward south side community practice (REACH ) </li></ul>
    8. 8. UHI Spring Summit <ul><li>Theme: “Strengthening Community Connections” </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Update University and community leadership on progress against key elements of the UHI </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engage in discussions and solicit feedback on important community initiatives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Continue to foster collaboration, alignment and ownership between the University and the community in support of the Initiative </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Participants: UCMC and community leaders (60% of participants from community) </li></ul><ul><li>Third in a series of Summits to be held every six months- Accountability and Advancement </li></ul>
    9. 9. Interactive Breakout Groups <ul><li>In small group sessions, participants discussed: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s going well with the connections between the University of Chicago Medical Center and the South Side community? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the partnership issues/barriers to be resolved? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What opportunities and specific action steps do you see for strengthening the engagement/partnerships between the community and UCMC to improve the long-term health of South Side residents? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do we responsibly create public/private investment partnerships to benefit the health of the South Side? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Feedback was distributed to all participants and is being used to inform future UHI plans </li></ul>
    10. 10. UHI Spring Summit
    11. 11. NATIONAL HEALTH CARE REFORM December 14, 2009