St. Bernard receives $50,000 grant for Pediatric Asthma

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CHICAGO — Six non-profit groups that provide services on Chicago’s South Side are sharing $253,475 in grants for programs to improve the health of area communities. The grants are the first to be awarded under the University of Chicago Medicine’s new Community Benefits Grant Program, a joint initiative between the Urban Health Initiative (UHI) and the Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM). The program is aimed at advancing community-based programs to address health concerns faced by South Side residents.

“These local organizations deserve recognition for the great work they’re doing, and I’m thrilled that we’ll be collaborating with them to address these common diseases that so adversely affect sufferers’ quality of life,” said Julian Solway, MD, dean for translational medicine and director of the University of Chicago Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM). “The new Community Benefits Grant Program is a natural partnership for ITM and UHI, as our missions emphasize using research to improve community health, and we’re looking forward to working with many dynamic community groups in the years to come.”

This joint initiative will serve as an important component of the University of Chicago Medicine’s ongoing commitment to improving community health and wellness across its service areas. In its comprehensive 2012 Community Health Needs Assessment, the medical center identified five priority health needs on Chicago’s South Side — diabetes, breast and colorectal cancer, pediatric asthma, pediatric obesity and access to care — which serve as the basis for the grant program.

Almost 20 percent of children in the area have asthma, according to the assessment, and about six in every 10 of those children missed school and experienced an emergency or urgent care visit in 2011 because of their condition. The assessment also showed that among the community adults diagnosed with diabetes, more than 60 percent had more than three medical visits in 2011 related to their disease.

“This new grant program dovetails with the goals of UHI, which works to improve health and access to medical care on the South Side of Chicago through patient care, research and medical education in collaboration with community partners, and the goals of the ITM, which works to translate research into better health,” said Brenda A. Battle, vice president of care delivery innovation and the administrative leader of UHI.  “With this program we not only are leading the way for campus and community partnerships, but helping amplify the efforts of innovative organizations serving at-risk and underserved populations in our priority health areas.”

The organizations receiving 12-month grants for programs are:

  • St. Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center, $50,000 — The Pediatric Asthma Clinic will add a patient advocate position to help improve care coordination, education and assistance for patients with asthma (and their caregivers) by identifying and mitigating home and environmental asthma triggers.
  • CommunityHealth, $50,000 — Take Action! Diabetes Management Program
  • Asian Health Coalition, $29,500 — Diabetes Prevention Program for Asians in Chinatown
  • Chicago Asthma Consortium, $48,425 — Comprehensive School-Based Approach to Improve Asthma Outcomes
  • Mobile CARE Foundation, $45,000 — Roseland Community Initiative
  • Respiratory Health Association, $30,000 — Southside Asthma Management Project