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Letter from the CEO

Wednesday, March 11, 2020
CCH Health News
by Debra Cary Interim CEO

Dear Cook County Health Friends and Partners,

On February 19, Cook County Health held its fourth research and innovation summit. The focus of the summit was on health equity and the social determinants of health.

I was honored to speak about CCH’s work in closing the health equity gap in the communities we serve. For more than 185 years, CCH has been dedicated to providing care regardless of a patient’s income, insurance or immigration status.

There are so many factors that go into determining a person’s health, and as a health care provider, CCH is committed to extending our reach outside the walls of our facilities. Among the initiatives:

·Expanding services to address medical needs of children who have experienced adverse childhood experiences,

·Expanding our “Food as Medicine” work to all outpatient health centers through the Fresh Truck, summer meals program and fresh food markets,

·Aligning Women, Infants and Children (WIC), a supplemental nutrition program, with health center locations,

·Partnering with suburban Cook County and Chicago housing organizations to address homelessness for our most vulnerable patients,

·Creating new community health center advisory boards, and

·Establishing a comprehensive care coordination program in bond court to link justice-involved individuals with much-needed services.

Programs such as these are key in helping to reduce the health equity gap in Cook County and in ensuring every person has the opportunity to live a healthy and long life.

However, federal funding is essential to keep these critically important programs, as well as Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), going. Data collected from the 2020 Census determines where these financial resources go. Cook County residents deserve to be counted and continue to have access to programs that improve their well-being.

That is why I am reminding you to please take part in the 2020 Census.

The 2020 Census questionnaire, which households should receive by April 1, can be taken online, by mail or by phone and will not have a question about immigration status. Information gathered is not shared with outside organizations.

I want to thank you for your unwavering commitment and willingness to support CCH in addressing the health disparities in our communities. Our role in helping our patients get better and stay healthy goes beyond entering a physician order or prescribing medication. Providing “whole person” care means understanding the personal circumstances of every individual and working to address issues such a food insecurity, social justice, housing and access to care that impact their health status.

Sincerely,


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