Tag: Mile Square Health Centers

UI Health To Open Mile Square Health Center in Drake School in Bronzeville

UI HealthThe University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System will renovate and operate a new federally-qualified, school-based health center at Bronzeville’s John B. Drake Elementary School in 2017.

The Drake Health & Wellness Center will serve approximately 400 students, including students from Drake Elementary, nearby schools, and Dearborn Homes, one of the last remaining public housing communities of the former State Street corridor. The center will become the 13th in UI Health’s Mile Square network of federally qualified health centers.

At a press conference Sept. 23 at Drake Elementary, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, State Sen. Mattie Hunter and Alderman Pat Dowel joined representatives from UI Health, the Chicago Department of Public Health, Chicago Public Schools and the community to announce the new school-based center, which is funded in part by revenue from the city’s new e-cigarette tax.

“From passing a series of reforms to curb youth smoking, to increasing access to health care for children and families citywide, we are making investments that will help our kids across the city to grow up healthy,” Emanuel said in a news release. “Using revenue derived from our tax on e-cigarettes allows us to double-down on our commitment to our children’s health, funding new opportunities for families to access healthcare at no cost, and parents to get their children critical healthcare so that they can be successful in school.”

Dr. Robert Barish, vice chancellor for health affairs at UIC, said the new center embodies the University’s longstanding mission to reduce health disparities in Chicago’s underserved populations.

“UI Health has a strong commitment to improve health care delivery and health equity across Chicago,” Barish said. “The Drake Health & Wellness Center expands our reach into a neighborhood disproportionately burdened by serious health risks and with limited access to health care options.

“The city’s commitment to funding school-based clinics with e-cigarette tax revenue is an innovative approach to reducing health risk and disparity in Chicago, and I am excited that UIC is involved in the initiative,” said Barish.

The new health center will outfit existing space at the school.

Dr. Cynthia Barnes-Boyd, senior director of community engagement and neighborhood health partnerships and senior director of the Mile Square Health Center school-based health practice at UIC, said the health center will provide comprehensive care including acute and chronic illness management, nutrition services, and referral to the university’s hospital system for diagnostic and specialty care.

“We are very proud to expand our reach to the community and offer a range of services to children and families that include immunizations, physical exams, sports physicals, reproductive health care and behavioral health support,” Boyd said.

The Drake Health & Wellness Center joins 32 other school-based centers across Chicago and is one of five school-based centers operated by UI Health Mile Square.

The University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System is a public, academic medical center committed to providing the highest quality care for all patients and reducing health disparities. Located in the Illinois Medical District on Chicago’s West Side, UI Health is a leader in patient care, research and education, and serves as the primary teaching facility for the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, the largest medical school in the U.S. The system includes seven health sciences colleges, a 495-bed hospital, the 101-bed Children’s Hospital of the University of Illinois, an outpatient care center and 12 federally-qualified Mile Square Health Centers located throughout Chicago, including the Mile Square Urgent Care Center.

For more information on UI Health, Mile Square Health Center, or the center’s school-based clinics, visit hospital.uillinois.edu.

By Jackie Carey

Mile Square Health Center to Treat Opioid Addiction

Mile SquareThe University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System Mile Square Health Center has received a $325,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to hire specialists in addiction for its main location at 1220 S. Wood Street.

Mile Square will add a full-time, licensed substance-abuse counselor as well as a nurse coordinator. The grant will also partially support a psychiatrist for substance abuse patients.

Treatment will include counseling, support groups and medication therapy. Social-work students from UIC’s Jane Adams College of Social Work will help link patients to care outside the clinic and provide counseling.

Medications like Suboxone, which helps opioid addicts manage withdrawal and control their addiction, are “front-and-center of the treatment plan,” says Dr. Kameron Matthews, chief medical officer at Mile Square.

More physicians are getting certified to prescribe drugs like Suboxone to address the huge population of opioid-addicted Americans, Matthews said.

“Suboxone and drugs like it can really help people with addiction get a grip on their substance abuse, so that supportive therapies like counseling can have a better chance of keeping that person functional and an active member of society,” he said.

Substance-abuse specialists will help Mile Square provide treatment for a growing number of patients identified who could benefit. The center plans to increase screening for substance abuse during primary care visits. The new substance-abuse services are expected to launch at Mile Square’s main location this summer.

The HHS funding comes amid a longterm surge in painkiller addiction and heroin use.

Opioid addiction is now a leading cause of death in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heroin and prescription painkillers like oxycodone killed more than 28,000 people in 2014. Almost two million Americans abused or were dependent on those drugs that year, with triple the rate of overdoses as in 2000.

Mile Square Health Center is made up of 13 federally-qualified health centers with primary and specialty care clinics in the Near West Side, South Shore, Back of the Yards, Englewood and Cicero areas; four school-based health centers associated with the UIC School of Public Health; and three behavioral health-focused clinics managed by the UIC College of Nursing.

By Sharon Parmet

Cuban Health Officials to Observe, Advise at Englewood, Back of the Yards Health Care Clinics

Mile Square

Cuban health officials will embed at Mile Square Health Centers, operated by University of Illinois Health, to provide expertise on caring for underserved communities. There are 13 community healthcare centers across Chicago.

The University of Illinois Cancer Center will bring physicians from Cuba and the Cuban Ministry of Health to Chicago to evaluate women and children’s health and cancer prevention programs at two community-based clinics under a two-year, $1 million grant from the Kellogg Foundation.

The Cuban partners will embed at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System Mile Square Health Centers in Englewood and Back of the Yards, bringing their expertise on delivering preventive health and improving the health of patients living in high-poverty, underserved communities.

“The Cuban health system does preventive health very, very well, and they do it without a lot of money,” said Dr. Robert Winn, associate vice chancellor of community based practice at UI Health and director at the University of Illinois Cancer Center.

“Despite limited resources, the Cuban people have exceptionally low rates of infant mortality, even compared to developed countries, including the United States, and they also have low rates of cervical cancer,” Winn said. “Cervical cancer rates, in many of the neighborhoods we serve, are extremely high, even though we have resources like the HPV vaccine to help lower cervical cancer rates to near zero. Perhaps our Cuban counterparts have a different way of approaching their patients that improves uptake of preventive efforts, such as an innovative way of providing education.”

After a few preliminary meetings both in Chicago and Cuba, the Cuban team of physicians and health officials will spend 18 months at the Englewood and Back of the Yards clinics observing and advising.

Afterwards, Cuban and Mile Square practitioners will work with a community steering committee including partners from the March of Dimes, the UIC College of Nursing and School of Public Health to develop a master plan based on suggestions and observations generated during the Cuban team’s visit.

“Not only will they look at how the clinics operate to deliver health care and preventive medicine, but we also hope they will be able to make connections with the community and its civic leaders to attain a holistic picture of how the built and political environment plays into the health of local residents,” Winn said.

Cubans rely heavily on community health care workers, Winn explained. While UI Health uses community health care workers, the feeling is that more might be useful.

“They also use nurse practitioners differently that we do,” said Winn. “We want their perspective on our use of resources, because they may have a different way of doing things that we can implement to start moving our needle a little faster on cancer and women and children’s health.”

UI Health has 13 federally-qualified health centers that are community clinics located in neighborhoods throughout Chicago.

By Sharon Parmet