School of Public Health partners with Chicago public health office

aerial view of School of Public Health and Psychiatric Institute

University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health & Psychiatric Institute

On Jan. 25 the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health and the Chicago Department of Public Health will launch a new progressive partnership aimed at improving public health in Chicago.

Under a 10-year agreement, the two organizations will form the first academic health department, or AHD, in Illinois, in which decision making on many public health research, education and data-analysis projects is shared.

“UIC has a very clear mission of engaging with our community to improve health outcomes,” says Dr. Robert Barish, vice chancellor for health affairs at UIC. “As we seek new ways to serve our community, we are very excited to work with the Chicago Department of Public Health and believe that together we can make greater and faster strides on many of the pressing public health issues impacting our city.”

Early goals of the AHD include facilitating collaboration on educational programs for students and public health workers; fostering collaborative research and grant opportunities; and forming a sustainable infrastructure for project implementation.

Griselle Torres, director of the Coordinating Center for Public Health Practice at UIC, says that the partnership demonstrates an understanding that “public health issues are complex, and solutions will not be found by working in isolation.”

Torres says that the academic health department will help bring together research, teaching, practice and service delivery on many significant issues facing public health today.

“By connecting these dots, building deeper connections and pooling our resources, we hope we can make significant improvements to public health in our community,” Torres said.

Under the agreement, UIC will open up libraries and mentor CDPH on building a research arm, and CDPH will facilitate access to Chicago’s communities and its wealth of public health data.

A public signing ceremony Wednesday, Jan. 25, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., will be held at the UIC School of Public Health, 1603 W. Taylor St., Room 1136.

Speakers include:

  • Dr. Julie Morita, commissioner, Chicago Department of Public Health
  • Dr. Paul Brandt-Rauf, dean, UIC School of Public Health
  • Richard Sewell, associate dean of community and public health practice, UIC School of Public Health