Chicago Health Orgs Unite to Tackle Health Disparities in Communities of Color

Collaboration for Equitable Health brings together community leaders to improve health outcomes in 11 markets across the U.S.

Prominent Chicago community health organizations Sinai Chicago, Chicago Family Health Center and Lawndale Christian Health Center were chosen to participate in the Collaboration for Equitable Health, a pioneering initiative of the American Heart Association®, the American Cancer Society® and the American Diabetes Association®, with the support of Bank of America.

They are among 100 community-based organizations across 11 cities participating in this initiative.

The aim of this four-year, $25-million collaboration is to improve health outcomes for Black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American and Native American communities, initially launching in Chicago and 10 cities including Albuquerque, Atlanta, Charlotte, Denver, Detroit, Memphis, Philadelphia, San Antonio, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.

“Equitable access to healthcare sets the foundation for thriving communities,” said Rita Cook, president of Bank of America Chicago. “Persistent health disparities can negatively impact so many areas of our lives, from education to mental health and career growth, and nowhere is this more evident than in underserved communities. Bank of America is honored to convene so many impactful partners and provide funding that will improve access to critical care services and, ultimately, improve health outcomes for our neighbors across Chicago.”

“We are proud to be part of this collaboration to foster health equity for our communities,” said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, President and CEO, Sinai Chicago. “For over a century, Sinai Chicago has provided care for the most underserved communities in Chicago who have faced disproportionate shares of chronic health conditions including heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, as well as economic disparities and other challenges. Partnership and collaboration like this are vital to our mission of care, looking beyond our walls to address the root causes of suffering before someone comes to the hospital.”

The Collaboration for Equitable Health will focus specifically on the leading causes of death in communities of color: heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. The lead organizations will collaborate to address these leading causes of death, as well as other related health topics, including maternal health, mental wellness, and nutrition.

The core objective of the Collaboration for Equitable Health centers on addressing the primary causes of mortality in communities of color such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. The lead organizations involved will collaborate to tackle these leading causes of death and other health issues like maternal health, mental wellness and nutrition.

“Cancer is plaguing Chicago communities of color at an alarming rate,” said Sherry Pace, MBA, Chief Executive Officer, Chicago Family Health Center. “The first step to improve health outcomes is to provide community resources and ensure that members of these communities have adequate access to these resources and care.”

As part of this effort, the work will take place at the three local CBOs serving Chicago’s South and West Side neighborhoods, focusing on education and capacity building for health systems, partners and patients; increasing access to health screenings and preventive care; and advocating for policies that ensure fair opportunities and resources with state and local leaders.

“As a vital part of this community, we are honored to be the hands and feet on the ground helping members of our community,” said Dr. Theodore Park, Lawndale Christian Health Center. “The time is now for members of our community to educate themselves and their families about cancer, so that everyone is equipped to live longer and healthier lives.”

Through the Chicago CBO partners, community members will have access to educational materials and support related to cancer risk reduction in their communities. They will also have greater access to health screenings and quality health care to support prevention and early detection of colorectal cancer. Furthermore, the organizations will be a part of a collective that advocates for change needed to address health inequities at the local level.

For more information about the Collaboration for Equitable Health, please visit

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