The UCCCC Office of Community Engagement and Cancer Disparities (OCECD) fosters strategic alliances with UChicago Medicine entities and healthcare groups, as well as community, ethnic, and faith-based organizations, to increase cancer knowledge in the community and engage participation in research and clinical trials. These organizations can be important social anchors in many communities, offering unique opportunities to reach underserved populations. Listed below is a sampling of the strategic partnerships that the OCECD maintains:
The Center for Health and the Social Sciences (CHeSS) supports interdisciplinary health research and training initiatives across the University of Chicago campus. Two major areas of focus include the economics of cancer and health disparities research and training.
The Institute for Translational Medicine is the administrative unit for the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program and operates across many areas to generate new research methods, technologies, and molecular target discoveries, as well as community engagement via the Community-Based Participatory Research Program.
The Pritzker School of Medicine at The University of Chicago is dedicated to inspiring diverse students of exceptional promise to become leaders and innovators in science and medicine. Students often participate in OCECD events as part of their training.
The Urban Health Initiative (UHI) represents The University of Chicago Medicine's long-term commitment to improving health and access to quality care for residents on Chicago's South Side. UHI's Center for Community Health and Vitality (CCHV) complements the medical services provided to local residents by the UCM.
Health Service Groups
ACCESS Community Health Network operates community health centers in Chicago and surrounding counties. ACCESS provides a national model of quality, affordable community health care for medically underserved populations.
American Indian Health Service of Chicago provides primary healthcare, mental health, and community health services to the American Indian population of Chicago. It is the only urban Indian health program in Illinois.
The Asian Health Coalition (AHC) comprises a diverse array of community-based organizations, healthcare providers, and public health officials. Its mission is to improve the health and well-being of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Illinois through advocacy, technical assistance, education, and community-based research. OCECD Director Karen E. Kim, MD, MS, associate professor of medicine, is the AHC board president.
The Chicago Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) mission is to make Chicago a safer and healthier place by working with community partners to promote health, prevent disease, reduce environmental hazards, and ensure access to health care for all Chicagoans.
The Illinois Department of Public Health, a state agency, is a partner with the OCECD in initiatives to understand disparities in cancer prevention and control.
The Intercultural Cancer Council (ICC) promotes policies, programs, partnerships, and research to eliminate the unequal burden of cancer among racial and ethnic minorities and medically underserved populations.
Mercy Family Health Center provides quality health services for the uninsured and medically underserved in Chicago, regardless of ability to pay. Mercy Hospital is a lead agency for the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program. The OCECD is currently partnered with Mercy Family Health Center in an effort to find funding for community-based participatory research on ways to reduce disparities in cancer prevention and control. The partnership focuses on Chicago’s Asian American communities.
The South Side Health Collaborative (SSHC) was established in 2005 under the umbrella of the University of Chicago Medicine’s Urban Health Initiative. The SSHC is a network of 30 community-based health centers, free clinics, and local hospitals with the shared goal of helping members of South Side Chicago communities find their “medical homes.”
Other Institutional Partners, Community, Ethnic, and Faith-based Organizations
The American Cancer Society (ACS) – Illinois Division offers a circle of care to help all patients and their families. The ACS offers free resources for everyone diagnosed with cancer, invests millions of dollars in research to help find new cures, and helps people of all ages prevent cancer by promoting healthy lifestyle choices and cancer screening.
The American Indian Center of Chicago is the oldest urban Native American center in the nation. The center's goals include advancing the general welfare of American Indians in the metropolitan community and fostering their economic and educational advancement.
Chicago Public Schools (Percy Julian, Chicago Vocational Career Academy, Thomas Kelly High School) have hosted the OCECD’s ENRICH’D™ program, providing students with an opportunity to raise cancer awareness in their own communities.
Chicago State University is a minority-serving educational institution on Chicago's South Side. Faculty in their Master of Public Health program are partnered with the OCECD in a curriculum development effort to launch a health disparities concentration that will train under-represented minorities in research on cancer health disparities affecting minority communities.
The Chinese American Service League (CASL) is the largest and most comprehensive social service agency in the Midwest dedicated to serving the needs of Chinese Americans. CASL provides child education and development, employment services, counseling and social service, health, elderly services, and more to those who live primarily in the Chinatown, Armour Square, and Bridgeport areas of Chicago.
Hanul Family Alliance (HFA) was founded in 1987 as the Korean American Senior Center to meet the needs of primarily limited English speaking Korean elderly. Today, the agency annually serves over 8,000 individuals and families by providing a broad range of community services to meet the various needs of Koreans of all ages and other members of the community.
Illinois Comprehensive Cancer Control Program collects data and develops comprehensive reports to support statewide grant proposals and programming, such as the Screen for Life Campaign.
Project Brotherhood has developed a community-based outreach and prevention program for African American men residing in the Woodlawn and other surrounding South Side communities of Chicago.
Salem Baptist Church of Chicago serves residents of Chicago's Roseland community. As a "Church Without Walls," Salem aims to provide spiritual, social, and community outreach.
True Vine of Holiness Missionary Baptist Church has served the Roseland neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side since 1967. The OCECD and True Vine have co-hosted community meetings around breast cancer awareness.