Eliminating Health Disparities
A baby born today in Chicago’s Loop is likely to live to age 82. But just five miles away, on Chicago’s West Side, life expectancy drops below 70. More than half of premature deaths in our West Side neighborhoods are due to cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and infant mortality. The COVID-19 pandemic has only widened these gaps.
Recognizing the injustice of health disparities, Rush University System for Health became one of the first academic health systems to make health equity a strategic priority. Now, we’re making our most concentrated investment in health equity yet: the establishment of the Rush BMO Institute for Health Equity. And we need your help to make sure everyone in our communities has a fair chance at a long, healthy life.
The health equity work our donors have supported
Health equity isn’t only about making high-quality care easily accessible. That’s part of it. But it also means working alongside the communities we serve to address the root causes of poor health. These socioeconomic factors include poverty, educational attainment and underemployment.
The establishment of the Rush BMO Institute for Health Equity isn’t a new commitment to this work. It’s the next evolution of our investment in these types of programs — work Rush’s donors have supported every step of the way. With significant contributions to initiatives like the Rush Community Service Initiatives Program, West Side United and our community clinical practices, our donors have strengthened care, outreach and social services in Chicago’s West Side neighborhoods. Now, with a lead grant from BMO Financial Group and the support of donors like you, we’re building on that impact and expanding it across the Chicago region.
The Institute’s impact
The Rush BMO Institute for Health Equity will coordinate Rush’s health equity initiatives, across all our system hospitals, giving them the funding and resources to thrive. This is how we’ll effectively pilot, scale and sustain promising solutions, including the following:
- Education and training programs like REACH that strengthen academic attainment and give community members a pathway to higher-paying careers
- Community clinical practices, like our school-based health centers, that embed high-quality care within Rush’s surrounding communities
- Community engagement initiatives that address specific determinants of health, including programs to combat food insecurity
- Community-based research that helps us understand the factors preventing communities from thriving and develop evidence-based solutions
You can help Rush eliminate health disparities
Philanthropic investment from BMO Financial Group has given the Institute a critical boost. But we still need your partnership to eliminate the Chicago region’s health equity gap.
You can show your support today, with an online gift to our community health fund. Or you can contact us to discuss supporting a specific health equity program or other ways to make your gift. Together, you and Rush will give more of our neighbors, across the Chicago area and beyond, a better chance at long, healthy lives.