Rush and the Chicago Sun-Times kicked off a four-week series highlighting Rush’s nationally recognized efforts to cut the life span expectancy gap between downtown Chicago and the city's West Side neighborhoods.
"We saw that there were big gaps," Darlene Hightower, Rush's vice president of community health equity, says in a video for the series.
"If I was fortunate enough to live in the downtown area, my life expectancy was 85. If I lived in West Garfield Park, it was 69. So health equity is getting at that."
While providing world-class care is part of the equation, many of the obstacles — such as lack of access to good jobs, quality education and housing — require new ideas and new partnerships.
"We have a multitude of initiatives that are going on," Hightower says, "in education, in workforce development, in healthy food, and also access to quality care."