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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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 email@example.com.
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
- For nonprofit organizations in the Community Programs Accelerator and small businesses in the Polsky Small Business Growth Program, the UChicago will continue to provide a limited set of capacity building services, through online platforms, and connect members to other resources as they become available.
- UChicago is assessing the needs of and online access capacity of community members and the remote availability of UChicago students to determine what community education services can be shifted to online platforms for the foreseeable future as part of the Neighborhood Schools Program, Maroon Tutor Match, the Jumpstart Program, University Community Service Center as well as for our Collegiate Scholars Program and OSP – Upward Bound.
- UChicago has put together a resource guide for Illinois employers and employees affected by the pandemic. Information about disaster relief lending programs, unemployment benefits, small business training platforms, and other tools will be updated regularly to help guide local business owners and workers through this daunting time.
- The University of Chicago Police Department will continue to provide ongoing patrols and respond to calls on campus and within its service area in neighboring communities.
Public Health Resources
- At the Forefront Live: Coronavirus Questions Answered Expert Q&A
- Coronavirus Information and Resources
- Ask City Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady
- Economic Assistance for Illinois Families
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Emergency Rental Assistance
- Information on Comcast Free Internet, Data for Low-Income Families
- Chicago Public Schools Updates
- Chicago Park District Updates
Small Businesses Support
- Details on Proposed Federal COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Package
- Details on Gov. Pritzker’s Statewide Economic Injury Declaration Filing for Small Businesses
Support for Nonprofits
Additional Community-Led Efforts
Community groups are reimagining how they connect with those they serve. Our community partner the Hyde Park School of Dance, for example, is offering free dance class videos on YouTube for viewers staying at home. Southside Blooms, another local organization which employs at-risk youth, is raising money to deliver flowers to seniors (and keep its staff working). The group is also matching local seniors with volunteers who can run errands for them and offer other assistance.