UChicago Medicine invests $477.3 million in community benefit in fiscal 2018

Two girls helping in a community garden

For fiscal 2018, the University of Chicago Medicine provided more than $477 million in benefits and services to the South Side community, according to its recently published annual Community Benefit Report.

This contribution represents a 3 percent increase in investment over fiscal 2017 ($462.6 million) and includes uncompensated care, charity services, unrecoverable patient debt, medical education and research and other community support.

Community benefit programs and partnerships are guided by the Urban Health Initiative, UChicago Medicine’s division that works with community organizations on health-related programs, research and services for South Side residents. UChicago Medicine’s Community Advisory Council, made up of civic and faith leaders, also provides guidance to the medical center on key community health concerns.

“Health disparities remain a persistent issue for our city, particularly on the South Side of Chicago,” said Brenda Battle, RN, vice president of the Urban Health Initiative and chief diversity, inclusion and equity officer. “This is why UChicago Medicine invests in promoting health equity in our surrounding communities, including working with community partners to ensure residents have the information, resources and opportunities needed to live healthy lives — no matter the income, ZIP code or education level.”

The Community Benefit Report highlights initiatives and community partnerships that address the most urgent health priorities for South Side communities. These priorities are determined through the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), which UChicago Medicine conducts every three years. Current health priority areas are asthma, diabetes (including obesity) and violence prevention and recovery. The next CHNA will be published in June 2019.

“At UChicago Medicine, we are committed to providing resources that residents of our community need to achieve their best health,” said Kenneth S. Polonsky, MD, Dean and Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs. “We realize this concept of health equity needs to extend beyond our medical campus, which is why we have forged strong partnerships and continually strive to support community groups and organizations throughout the South Side.”

Highlights of the 2018 Community Benefit Report include:

  • Asthma: Through strategic partnerships like the South Side Pediatric Asthma Center (SSPAC), UChicago Medicine is working to help children and their caregivers better understand and manage asthma, which disproportionately affects South Side children. The SSPAC’s Community Health Worker program helped participants significantly reduce emergency department visits, hospitalizations, missed school days and missed work days.
  • Violence Recovery and Prevention: UChicago Medicine is working to address the public health crisis of intentional violence through its Violence Recovery Program and by providing funding to community organizations for their grassroots efforts. In 2018, $50,000 was awarded to seven community-based organizations on the South Side, which provided services to more than 600 youth last summer.
  • Community Grants: In fiscal 2018, UChicago Medicine awarded community benefit grants to the Asian Health Coalition for colorectal cancer outreach and education; Sisters Working It Out to support breast cancer education and screening; and TCA Health to provide testing, education and health and wellness programs for those with diabetes and pre-diabetes.
  • Construction: In fiscal year 2018, UChicago Medicine spent $17.2 million with certified minority- and women-owned construction and construction-related firms, through contracts awarded and paid. Paid contracts included $2.4 million in wages paid to minority and female onsite construction workers.

To view the full Community Benefit Report and learn more about UChicago Medicine's work with community, visit: uchicagomedicine.org/community.