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To serve as a leading urban health research institute for eliminating health disparities and working towards health equity
To develop and implement effective approaches that improve the health of urban communities through data-driven research, interventions, evaluation, and community engagement
A major component of the Institute’s work involves examining the impact of social issues, such as poverty and racism, on health. SUHI is a diverse group of epidemiologists, research assistants, and health educators involved in social epidemiology, program evaluation, teaching and consulting. Founded in 2000 as part of the Sinai Health System, SUHI’s mission is grounded in the belief that in order to serve our neighbors well, we need to understand not just the “patients” who enter our doors but the entire community as well.
SUHI has published 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals as well as reports on racial disparities in health. In January 2004, we released an important report, the Improving Community Health Survey - Report 1, which highlighted 10 important public health findings on topics such as obesity, asthma and depression from our landmark health survey conducted in six diverse Chicago community-areas. In September 2005, we released Report 2 with ten additional findings on topics such as arthritis, physical activity and high blood pressure. Because of the interest in this research, SUHI members have made over 600 presentations to community-based organizations, professional societies, political organizations, medical centers and health departments to interpret these findings.
In addition to our research SUHI does a great deal of teaching in the shape of formal courses, workshops, grand round lectures, and other seminars. Topics range from descriptions of our research findings to didactic lectures on methods. SUHI has also been responsible for evaluating many of the Sinai Health System’s new health interventions. These have been related to pediatric asthma, at risk infants, smoking cessation, etc. In almost every case the findings from these evaluations have been widely disseminated through presentations to professional societies and in publications in journals such as the American Journal of Public Health, Cancer Causes and Control, Public Health Reports, the Journal of Asthma, Ethnicity and Health, the Journal of Community Health and others.
SUHI has also been very active in writing grants. In the 12 years of our existence, we have been involved in writing grants that have brought more than $25 million to the Sinai Health System.
A final noteworthy attribute of SUHI is its close relationship to several community organizations. Over many years, SUHI and its leadership have worked closely with many of these groups. These relationships have facilitated our pursuit of community-based interventions for improved health in some of the most vulnerable neighborhoods in the city.