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#FamiliesBelongTogether: Health & Medicine and the Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative Releases Statement on Child SeparationJun 22, 2018
Health & Medicine Policy Research Group and the Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative strongly condemn the forcible separation of children from their parents and caregivers who have crossed into the U.S. without authorization. As a Collaborative committed to expanding the understanding of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and trauma, we know that the loss of a parent is an ACE that results in prolonged exposure to toxic stress and impacts health and wellbeing across the lifespan. To promote healing and build resilience, children must be reunited with their parents and caregivers immediately, as research shows that these relationships are the most important factor in mitigating the impacts of ACEs and toxic stress.
While the recent executive order ends the practice of separating children at the border moving forward, it allows for the indefinite detainment of families togetherâwhich is sure to perpetuate ongoing trauma. Additionally, there are over 2,300 children who remain separated from their parents. We have yet to see plans outlining how these families will be reunited. We call for an immediate remedy for this cruel and inhumane situation to prevent further harm and to begin the process of healing for these children and families.
Thirty exceptional health professions graduate students have been selected for the prestigious Schweitzer Fellowship â a year-long service learning program that empowers Fellows to design and implement projects that help address the health needs of underserved Chicago communities.
Named in honor of famed humanitarian and Nobel laureate Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program encourages students to become lifelong leaders in service by helping to address unmet health needs among vulnerable Chicagoland residents. In collaboration with existing community organizations, each Schweitzer Fellow will launch a community-based project, providing 200 hours of service. Using a broad public health lens, the new Fellows will work to improve community wellbeing and target the social determinants of healthâthe conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age that have a profound impact on health and quality of life. Projects include:
â¢ Establishing a holistic wellness and life-skills program for homeless youth to encourage academic achievement
â¢ Supporting the health of uninsured/underinsured Hispanic patients with type 2 diabetes
â¢ Initiating a psychoeducation program for Chinese immigrant caregivers of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
â¢ 5105732346 to learn more about the Fellows and their service projects
Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach, the Fellowship exposes students to real-world inter-professional, collaborative care and aims to develop lifelong leaders in service. The 2018-19 Fellows include students from 10 area universities and 20 academic programs, ranging from nursing to disability studies and public health. The exceptional class of Fellows was selected from a pool of almost 100 applicants through a competitive process.
âI was inspired to apply for the Schweitzer Fellowship by its dedication to social justice,â shared Fellow Amanda Dobron, a student of East Asian Medicine at the Pacifica College of Oriental Medicine. âAs a service learning Fellowship, they go beyond asking applicants to develop a project for an underserved community and instead give Fellows tremendous support in developing and implementing those projects.â
In addition to their service projects, Dobron and her peers in the Fellows will also participate in a thirteen-month Program that includes monthly meetings, trainings, and ongoing opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration as well as support from a team of mentors from their schools and project sites as well as mentors from our alumni network and the Schweitzer Fellowship Advisory Council which oversees the program.
âThe Schweitzer Fellows Program serves a very important purpose that benefits both Fellows and underserved communities. The Chicago Program has done an excellent job in promoting the Fellowship and supporting Fellows throughout their program to ensure they have the resources they need to be successful,â said recent Faculty Mentor Elizabeth Aquino, PhD, RN, of DePaul University School of Nursing. âThe best part of the mentoring experiencing is seeing the Fellowsâ project ideas come to reality and the impact they have made within the community,â she added.
The new Fellows join a network of over 600 Chicago Program alumni who have provided over 120,000 hours of community service to more than 150 community groups over the course of the Programâs twenty plus year history.
âThe Schweitzer Fellowship was an instrumental part of my medical school experienceâboth the work I did in the community, but possibly more importantly the relationships I formed with students from other disciplines and other schools. I am glad to continue to support the Fellowship as a member of the Advisory Council and to welcome this new cohort of Fellows to the Schweitzer community,â said Elizabeth Salisbury-Afshar, MD. In addition to serving on the Schweitzer Advisory Council, Dr. Salisbury-Afshar is an alumna of the Fellowship as well as a board member at Health & Medicine Policy Research Group, the non-profit health policy center that administers the Chicago Fellowship.
"In the face of ongoing uncertainty in our health care system and increased threats to our most marginalized citizens, the role of our Schweitzer Fellows as ambassadors of hope is more important than ever," said Margie Schaps, Executive Director of Health & Medicine. âThis sort of community impact is only possible through the steadfast commitment of the many individuals, academic institutions, and local foundations that support this program including the Baxter International Foundation, the Michael Reese Health Trust, and the VNA Foundation. We are deeply grateful for their generosity as we welcome this dynamic group of Fellows to the Schweitzer community.â
New Reports Focus on Helping the Safety Net Navigate the Challenges and Opportunity of Health ReformMay 04, 2018
Health & Medicine's Health Equity Initiative recently completed research examining how the ACA and state level health reforms can support the move toward health equity and stronger communities in the Chicago area with a specific focus on the Western Suburbs. This research led to two papers that are available now:
This policy and practice review of national work examines how the safety net can use this time of health reform to shift toward addressing social determinants of health, structural determinants of health inequities, and ultimately health equity.
While there are ample studies and papers detailing clinical care interventions and programs to provide more services to meet unaddressed needs, these studies rarely focus on the need for large safety net institutions to utilize their individual and collective political power to change the structural inequities that drive the inequitable distribution of social determinants of health. To make a new contribution to the trajectory of healthcareâs interest in advancing health equity, this paper addresses how the power of the health sectorâwhich represents roughly 18% of the U.S. economyâcould be better used to influence structural drivers of inequities.
This study extends previous research examining the impact of the ACA and state Medicaid expansion on the safety net. The paper analyzes how the current political context is impacting the safety net sector while also examining overall adaptations to health reform, understanding its consequences, and identifying safety net stakeholdersâ policy and philanthropy recommendations for future reform. This research focused specifically on the safety net in western suburbs and was based on key informant interviews with executive leadership and focus groups with staff from thirteen area FQHCs, hospitals, free and charitable clinics, insurers, and community-based organizations. In addition to qualitative analysis, our report offers policy and practice recommendations to help address the challenges of reform at the institutional, state, and federal level.