COVID-19 is changing how we live and work in Chicago, across the nation and around the globe. The University of Chicago Medicine and the Urban Health Initiative (UHI) are modifying programs and revising policies to ensure that we can effectively respond to the healthcare needs of our community during this unprecedented pandemic. These institution-wide changes have been made in accordance with state and federal public health guidelines and will be updated as required.

Urban Health Initiative Program Updates

The Urban Health Initiative’s administrative work will continue through teleconferencing and virtual collaboration. This includes meetings of the Community Advisory Council, Southland RISE and other partnerships and programs.

In following with federal and state mandates regarding COVID-19, UChicago Medicine and UHI have modified community health programs and initiatives as follows.

Please contact outreach@uchospitals.edu or (773) 702-5600 if you have any questions or need additional information about UHI programs.

Community health workers now work remotely, calling patients as opposed to providing face-to-face visits. They will take referrals from clinic sites and follow up with patients via phone.

Patient advocates will now work remotely, taking referrals and calling patients in their rooms to help them with follow-up appointments, including scheduling these appointments with their primary medical home, or obtaining specialty care provided in accordance with their doctors’ orders.

All previously scheduled external volunteer events have been cancelled. All hiring and interviewing of volunteers has been temporarily halted (virtual orientations are being considered in the near-term). A decision has not yet been made on whether to postpone the Volunteer Banquet originally scheduled for April 23. Our Volunteer Services team will notify partners about the final decision in early April.

All in-person community relations events and activities are either cancelled or postponed until further notice, including South Side Fit, Community Fitness Program, and the Diabetes Empowerment Education Program (DEEP). DEEP and other community education programs can/may be conducted via teleconferencing. The decision is pending on whether to proceed with the annual Day of Service and Reflection (DOSAR) scheduled for May 16. Notification will be given in late April.

The Violence Recovery Program (VRP) will continue to serve patients and their families. A reserve team of violence recovery specialists will be working remotely to handle case management needs.

Community Grand Rounds (CGR) is postponed until further notice. We are exploring the possibility of producing virtual CGRs. The Spring Break Wellness Resiliency Arts Program is postponed until the summer. Dates are pending. We hope to reschedule the remaining events for the 2019-2020 season as soon as institutional and public health leadership permit.  If you have any questions regarding Community Grand Rounds, please contact Natalie Watson at 773-834-4244 or at nwatson@bsd.uchicago.edu.

UChicago Medicine partners with Bright Star Community Outreach’s TURN Center, which provides a counseling resource for community members dealing with the effects of trauma. If you need support during this time, please contact the TURN Center, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. at 1-833-TURN-123 (1-833-8876-123).

Sponsored by UChicago Medicine since 2010, the Community Health Focus Hour provides WVON listeners and community residents with an opportunity to learn and ask questions about a variety of health topics. The Community Health Focus Health Hour will continue to air on Saturdays at 1 p.m.

Resources for Community Members