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Decrease health disparities by coordinating and scaling prioritized interventions across hospitals & community partners.

The West Side of Chicago is home to many vibrant and proud communities that also experience racial inequities in health and social outcomes. Racial and economic segregation has resulted in a community where residents experience disproportionately high rates of economic stress, poor birth outcomes and high rates of infant mortality, and high incidence of chronic disease. WSU’s approach to infant and maternal health and hypertension takes each of these factors into account to address the root causes and structural factors that contribute to racial and economic inequities in health. By mobilizing community residents and organization partners to align existing resources and build on community assets, WSU sets out to address the social, structural, and economic determinants of health and promote health equity.
WSU, partners, and other community members collaborated to apply for and win a designation as a Best Baby Zone for East Garfield Park; the first and only designation in Illinois.
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health organizations on the West Side are participating in the Target BP program
new workgroups to focus on maternal and child health created by WSU

To learn more about supporting health & healthcare in our 10 communities, please email WSU at: info@westsideunited.org

WSU tracks the progress of our initiatives; we also track changes in community-level data to monitor progress towards our overarching goals and inform our actions and projects on the ground. We selected 3 Health & Healthcare metrics from our comprehensive measurement framework to highlight key areas of focus. For more information about our comprehensive framework, please click here.

In our metrics dashboard, we are tracking:

Through our listening sessions, community members emphasized the need for additional services and supports for mental health and substance use disorder, linking quality of life to behavioral health support. This measure shows the rate of hospitalization discharges for mental health or substance use disorder per 10,000.

Obesity is linked to many chronic conditions including hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancers. This measure shows the percent of adults age 18 and older who reported a body mass index of 30 or more.

Smoking can cause serious harm to users and is the leading cause of preventable death. This measure shows the percent of adults age 18 and older who are current smokers.

Self-rated health can help us understand the perception of health among community members. Since it is linked with objective health, it is also a good way to get a sense of community members’ actual health status. This measure shows the percent of adults age 18 and older who reported their overall health as good, very good, or excellent.

Access to quality health care is a primary concern of West Side residents. This measure shows the percent of adults age 18 and older who reported that it’s usually or always easy to get needed care, tests, or treatment.