BRIDGES: Building Relationships-Generationally Effective Systems

A mother holding her child

BRIDGES: Building Relationships-Generationally Effective Systems

Building Relationships-Generationally Effective Systems, or, BRIDGES, funded by the Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation, is a collaborative effort by Rush, Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI), West Side home visiting and doula agencies and our infant and early childhood mental health partners to help families heal from trauma and build resilience. BRIDGES seeks to help families heal from trauma and build resilience by:

  • Linking families to services that build supportive relationships
  • Seeking and implementing interventions that help families heal
  • Connecting families to support for social needs
  • Addressing and removing barriers to care 

Meet the Team

Our Leadership Team
Giselle Doyle

Giselle Doyle 
Principal Investigator

Gina Lowell

Gina Lowell, MD 
Principal Investigator

Ellen Schumer

Ellen Schumer 
Principal Investigator

Avelina Padin

Avelina Padin, PhD 
Project Director

Brenda Huber

Brenda Huber, PhD 
Leadership Team Member

Vikki Rompala

Vikki Rompala, MSW 
Leadership Team Member

Madeleine Shalowitz

Madeleine Shalowitz, MD 
Leadership Team Member

Emily Wolodiger

Emily Wolodiger, PhD 
Leadership Team Member

Karen Reyes

Karen Reyes 
Project Manager

Emily Cole

Emily Cole 
Leadership Team Member

Talibah Moore

Talibah Moore 
Leadership Team Member

Our COFI Parent Leaders

Parent leaders are an essential part of our BRIDGES team. Our COFI-trained parents participate in every aspect of the BRIDGES system of care, from system design to delivering some of our peer-to-peer services.

Michelle Morton

Michelle Morton

Delia Perez

Delia Perez

Rosalia Salgado

Rosalia Salgado

Stacey Simon

Stacey Simon

Resources for Families and Caregivers

Are you seeking support for anxiety, mood changes or difficult behaviors in your child?

Rush Building Early Connections Center

  • Populations served: Parents/caregivers, families and children ages 0-8
  • Services provided: Parent coaching, parenting groups, developmental screening, brief behavioral interventions for children
  • Contact information: (312) 942-7100

Center for Children & Families
Populations served: Parents/caregivers, families, children ages 0-8
Services provided: Pediatric mental health services for children ages 0-5, developmental screening/assessment for children ages 0-8, occupational and speech therapy
Contact information: (312) 792-0508 (English) | (312) 932-6446 (Español)

Are you seeking support for your own mental or emotional health (e.g., individual therapy/counseling, family therapy/counseling psychiatry services)?

Rush Women’s Behavioral & Mental Health

  • Populations served: Pregnant and postpartum adults, sexual violence survivors
  • Services provided: Individual therapy
  • Contact information: (312) 942-8258

The Encompassing Center

  • Populations served: North Lawndale, East/ West Garfield Park and Near West side residents
  • Services provided: Individual and family therapy, all services are free
  • Contact information: (773) 638-5703

Catholic Charities Transforming Lives Program

  • Populations served: Cook County residents
  • Services provided: Pregnant/postpartum services to individuals struggling with substance use, services are free
  • Contact Information: (312) 391-9447
  • English Flyer
  • Spanish Flyer
Are you looking for a doula, pregnancy/delivery support, practical parenting skills or early learning support?

Marillac St. Vincent

  • Populations served: West Side residents
  • Services provided: Home-visiting and doula services; peer support groups
  • Contact Information: (773) 722-7440

Family Focus Lawndale

  • Populations served: North Lawndale residents
  • Services provided: Doula and early childhood home visiting services
  • Contact Information: (773) 722-5057

New Moms

  • Populations served: Residents of Chicago and the western suburbs
  • Services provided: Doula services, prenatal education, home visiting, parenting education
  • Contact Information: (773) 252-3253

Gads Hill

  • Populations served: Expectant parents and children of various Chicago neighborhoods
  • Services provided: Home-based services
  • Contact Information: (773) 521-1196

Carole Robertson Center for Learning

  • Populations served: Pregnant women and families with infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children who are residents of the Near West Side
  • Services provided: Home-based services
  • Contact Information: (773) 522-8400 (North Lawndale) | (773) 521-1600 (Little Village)

Catholic Charities, Arts of Living Institute

  • Populations served: Chicago residents
  • Services provided: Case management, home visits, psycho-educational groups, parent-child play groups, developmental screenings and referral services
  • Contact Information: (312) 948-6003

Start Early

  • Populations served: Residents statewide
  • Services provided: Home-visiting and doula services; early childhood education
  • Contact Information: (312) 922-3863

Chicago Commons

  • Populations served: Humboldt Park, East/ West Garfield Park, Lower West Side residents
  • Services provided: Family services and early learning centers
  • Contact Information: (773) 373-5055

Erikson Institute’s Fussy Baby Network

  • Populations served: Parents/caregivers of infants
  • Services provided: Free telephone consultation for parents/caregivers struggling with their infants’ crying, sleeping or feeding
  • Contact information: (888) 431-2229

Family Connects Chicago

  • Populations served: Chicago families with newborns
  • Services provided: Free in-home nurse services
  • Contact information: (312) 745-BABY (2229)
Interested in joining other parent leaders in your community to organize and advocate for economic, social, racial and healthcare justice?

Learn more about Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI), who strives to strengthen the power and voice of low-income and working families at all levels of civic life.

To learn more or to get involved in BRIDGES, reach out to us at

Events and Trainings

COFI Parent Leadership Trainings

COFI offers a regular series of workshops in Chicago for individuals and organizations that are interested in incorporating The COFI Way into their own social justice mission and efforts. The interactive and dynamic workshops, which follow the three-phase sequence of The COFI Way, are designed specifically for staff and leaders in community groups, schools, and agencies. Join the more than 800 community organizers, social service providers, school administrators, advocates, policymakers, and veteran parent leaders who have attended COFI Center for Action and Learning workshops to-date! 

Learn more about each workshop.

Event Details

DC: 0-5 Training
4th Annual Healing Together Family Fair

Tentative Date: 8/24/24 – stay tuned!

Check out pictures from previous years:

Our Partners

COFI logo
New Moms logo
Marillac St. Vincent logo
Gads Hill Center logo
Family Focus logo
Catholic Charities logo
Carole Robertson logo
Building Early Connections logo
Encompassing Center logo
Erikson Institute logo
Chicago Commons logo
Start Early logo
Lawndale Christian Health Center logo
IGrow logo
Illinois Action for Children logo
Illinois Association for Infant Mental Health logo
Connect Home Visiting Chicago logo
Fetal and Infant Mortality Review logo
Health and Medicine Policy Research Group logo
Survivor Moms' Companion logo