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Sinai Population Health Institute Announcement

Februrary 5, 2019

Applications are now being accepted for the 2nd annual Sinai Population Health Institute.  Hosted by SUHI, the Institute is a one-week immersion into the dynamic world of population health, with a special focus on health equity, social determinants of health, and evidence-based practices.  It incorporates project-based learning, lectures, workshops, and community tours and takes place June 3-7, from 8am-4pm, at Mount Sinai Hospital. To apply, or for more information about the Institute, including cost and potential institutional arrangements, please contact

SUHI Research Fellows

January 15, 2019

We are excited to announce the new SUHI Research Fellows program.  Through this program, we aim to improve SUHI’s research capabilities, as well as to strengthen ties with local scientists and universities who share a focus on improving health equity in Chicago.  We are thrilled to have two Fellows for the inaugural year – Abigail Silva, PhD, MPH and Fernando De Maio, PhD.

Abigail (pictured below on the left) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences, Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago. She obtained her doctorate from UIC School of Public Health and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in health services research at the Hines VA, where she is also a research health scientist. Abigail’s research focuses on cancer epidemiology where she examines inequities in cancer care and outcomes with the goal of informing policy and interventions.  She was one of SUHI’s first epidemiologists, working here from 2000-2008.  She has worked on projects since then with several SUHI team members, including Bijou Hunt, Maureen Benjamins, and Charlotte Picard.

Fernando (pictured below on the right) is an Associate Professor of Sociology at DePaul University and co-director of the Center for Community Health Equity.  He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He received his MA and PhD degrees from the University of Essex.  Fernando’s research and teaching revolve around the concept of structural violence and the social determinants of health. Much of his work has focused on income inequality. He is particularly interested in community-level comparisons across cities. He is the author two books, Health & Social Theory (Palgrave, 2010) and Global Health Inequities (Palgrave, 2014) and co-editor of two books, Latin American Perspectives on the Sociology of Health and Illness (Routledge, 2018) and Community Health Equity: A Chicago Reader (University of Chicago Press, 2019).

SUHI Shares Perspective on New Breast Cancer Disparities Study 

January 3, 2019

SUHI Epidemiologist Bijou Hunt contributed her independent perspective to a recent Chicago Tribune story on a new study out of UIC dealing with neighborhood disparities in breast cancer and treatment.

Read the Chicago Tribune article here

SUHI Staff Published in Journal of Community Health

December 18, 2018

SUHI (and Sinai staff) was published in December in the Journal of Community Health for a manuscript titled: “Nonfatal Firearm Violence Trends on the Westside of Chicago Between 2005 and 2016.”  Firearm violence is an important topic to all of us and this article seeks to begin to answer the question:  how bad is the violence epidemic at our hospital, really?

You can check out the entire article by clicking on the link below
Journal of Community Health article

Sinai Is Featured Speaker at Google Campus

October, 2018

Last October, Sinai Health System conducted a “Talks at Google” presentation at Google’s West Loop Chicago campus. Talks at Google are presented for the benefit of Google’s employees to identify projects and programs in which they might become involved.

Leaders from the Sinai Urban Health Institute, President Dr. Sharon Homan and epidemiologist, Pam Roesch, joined Sinai Community Institute President Debra Wesley in presenting the story of how Sinai uses data to inform all aspects of community service.

The Sinai talk is now available to view.

Modern Healthcare article highlights SUHI's Community Health Workers Program

August 27, 2018

recent article in Modern Healthcare positions SUHI's Community Health Workers program as an example of the "right approach" for hospitals to address social determinants of health. The article is titled "Complete care: Hospitals tackling social determinants set the course," and features Kim Artis (SUHI Community Health Worker and CHW Trainer) and Stacy Ignoffo (SUHI Director of Community Health Innovations). Learn more about SUHI's CHW work and CHW training opportunities here.


American Hospital Assoication podcast highlights SUHI's Asthma CarePartners Program

August 23, 2018

Helen Margellos-Anast and Julie Kuhn worked with the American Hospital Association (AHA) to develop a case study and podcast featuring the Asthma CarePartners (ACP) program. The piece and podcast link were featured in the inaugural addition of the AHA “Members In Action” feature in the AHA Today newsletter on August 23, 2018. The piece can be accessed here.

Chicago Tribune article highlights SUHI's work

January 15, 2018

A recent article in the Chicago Tribune cited SUHI’s well-established data on racial disparities in breast cancer mortality. SUHI continues to provide up-to-date data on this topic, not only for Chicago, but for the US and several of its largest cities. This type of data has been integral to calling widespread attention to this issue, as well as to developing appropriate responses to work toward a reduction in this unacceptable disparity.

SUHI staff to participate in breast cancer disparities webinar

October 10, 2017

Outreach and Navigation to Address Breast Cancer Disparities

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We invite you to join us for a special webinar on disparities in breast cancer mortality in Chicago. Sponsored by the Illinois Department of Public Health, this webinar will feature two SUHI team members - Bijou Hunt, Epidemiologist and Stacy Ignoffo, Program Manager. 

This webinar will provide a brief history of racial disparities in breast cancer mortality in Chicago, examining Black:White disparities over time, as well as the factors that contribute to these undesirable outcomes. The webinar will also describe a Community Health Worker (CHW) led outreach and navigation intervention in Chicago aimed at reducing these disparities. We will discuss the history, outreach and navigation model, services provided, as well as successes and lessons learned from this intervention.

Learning objectives:
1. Understand patterns in Black and White breast cancer mortality over time and the resulting disparities
2. Identify factors contributing to racial disparities in breast cancer mortality
3. Describe efforts that have been made to ameliorate the Black:White breast cancer mortality disparities in Chicago
4. Explain the role of CHWs in these efforts aimed at reducing racial disparities in breast cancer mortality

Event: Outreach and Navigation to Address Breast Cancer Disparities
When: Thursday 19 October 2017, 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
Time Zone: CST Central Standard Time
Audio Conference Details: DIAL-IN OPTION NOT AVAILABLE.

Audio available via the following:  headset with microphone, earphones, or pc speakers.

We are attempting to secure Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) for this webinar.

To register now, please visit the following link:

Bijou Hunt, Epidemiologist and

Stacy Ignoffo, Program Manager

To learn more about the speakers, click

To know more about the event, please visit our website:

Media coverage of recent SUHI publication

June 28, 2017

With support from the Avon Foundation, two SUHI Epidemiologists, Bijou Hunt and Nazia Saiyed, in collaboration with researchers from Loyola University Chicago and University of Illinois Chicago, published an article in Cancer Epidemiology, titled, “Potential Impact of the Affordable Care Act's Preventive Services Provision on Breast Cancer Stage: A Preliminary Assessment Cancer Epidemiology”. This important and timely article found that more breast cancers have been detected at early stages since Obamacare took effect. The publication has received widespread media attention, including articles in the New York Times, Health, and

Sinai Community Health Survey 2.0

February 28, 2017

Please join Sinai Urban Health Institute (SUHI) and The Chicago Community Trust (CCT) as they share findings from the Sinai Survey on March 23, 2017. The event will include an overview of key survey findings and commentary from Sharon Homan, President of SUHI, Terry Mazany, President and CEO of CCT, and members of the Community Advisory Committee. Click here for more details and to RSVP for the event. 

Integrating Health Into Chicago's Building Code

February 1, 2017

SUHI is partnering with organizations including Loyola University, Metropolitan Tenants Organization, the National Center for Healthy Housing and Elevate Energy to offer an important and exciting meeting Integrating Health Into Chicago’s Building Code. The meeting is being held at Loyola University on Thursday, March 2, 2017 from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm. Julie Kuhn is involved with the group in charge of planning the meeting, and Helen Margellos-Anast will be participating in a panel discussion focusing on health-based models that proactively address substandard housing. SUHI is thrilled to be a part of this public discussion about strategies for promoting the health of all Chicagoans.

SUHI updates Mission, Vision, and Values
January 31, 2017
Sinai Urban Health Institute recently updated its institutional mission and vision and created institutional values. President Dr. Sharon Homan initiated this process in light of SUHI’s evolving and expanding identity as an organization. The process began with an all-staff workshop during which the team generated a list of institutional values that guide our work and our interactions internally and externally. Following the workshop, the SUHI team worked together to update the mission and vision.
Our Mission - what we do
To achieve health equity among communities through excellence and innovation in data-driven research, interventions, evaluation, and collaboration.
Our Vision - what we pursue
For all communities to thrive in health.
Our Values - what guides us
  • Committing to excellence and innovation
  • Demonstrating integrity and authenticity by, for, and with the community
  • Driving our work with compassion and kindness
  • Pursuing health equity and social justice
  • Empowering and valuing every voice
  • Creating joy through work-life balance and positive relationships
  • Being good stewards of resources and talent
  • Embracing a culture of collaboration
SUHI Researcher appointed to Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science faculty

January 31, 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Michelle Hugheswho was appointed in November 2016 to the faculty of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science as Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Education, Innovation, and Humanities. 



Recent Publications

January 31, 2017

Racial Disparities in Heart Disease Mortality in the 50 Largest U.S. Cities

Heart disease is not only the leading cause of death in the US, but also the main contributor to racial disparities in life expectancy. Despite this, heart disease mortality rates and racial disparities in these rates are not readily available at the city level where they can be most quickly and effectively addressed.  Nationally, mortality rates were significantly higher among non-Hispanic Black adults than non-Hispanic Whites. Larger improvements in rates for Whites compared to Blacks over a 20-year period resulted in a significant increase in disparities for 11 of the 50 biggest cities in the US, resulting in 19,448 excess Black deaths in the US annually.

Benjamins MR, Hirschtick JL, Hunt BR, Hughes MM, Hunter B. Racial Disparities in Heart Disease Mortality in the 50 Largest U.S. Cities. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities (2016); DOI: 10.1007/s40615-016-0300-6.


Care transition interventions for children with asthma in the emergency department

Through a comparative effectiveness research study funded by PCORI, the Coordinated Healthcare Interventions for Childhood Asthma Gaps in Outcomes (CHICAGO) Plan aims to optimize asthma outcomes for children being seen in the Emergency Department (ED) for asthma. This collaborative project involves researchers from several Chicago institutions, including six EDs. Helen Margellos-Anast is SUHI’s site-Principal Investigator and also directs the CHW Coordinating Center for the study, which is housed at SUHI. Recently, the CHICAGO Plan team was invited to write a review article for the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology on the existing knowledge concerning care transition interventions for children visiting the ED for asthma.

Martin MA, Press VG, Nyenhuis SM, Krishnan JA, Erwin K, Mosnaim G, Margellos-Anast H, Paik SM, Ignoffo S, McDermott M; CHICAGO Plan Consortium. Care transition interventions for children with asthma in the emergency department. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2016; 138(6): 1518-1525. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2016.10.012.

SUHI launches Center for CHW Research, Outcomes, and Workforce Development (CROWD)

January 31, 2017

SUHI received a $50,000 grant from Telligen Community Initiatives to build upon its growing expertise as a training, research, and coordinating entity for community health worker (CHW) initiatives. This year-long grant will enable SUHI to formally establish the Center for CHW Research, Outcomes, and Workforce Development (CROWD). CROWD’s goal is to provide enhanced support to entities, both healthcare and non-healthcare, in successfully integrating CHWs into their organizational workflows, thus appropriately leveraging the workforce and encouraging its growth. Click here to sign up for e-mail updates on CROWD.

SUHI awarded grant to create tool to facilitate cost-of-care conversations in an OB/GYN clinic on the Southside of Chicago

January 31, 2017

Led by Dr. Veronica Fitzpatrick, SUHI received $250,000 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in December for a new study, “Integrating a User-Centered Tool to Facilitate Cost-of-Care Conversations in an OB/GYN Clinic on the Southside of Chicago.” This study seeks to develop a tool to facilitate cost-of-care understanding for both the clinician and patient in an underinsured, high risk OB/GYN clinic population on the Southside of Chicago. SUHI is partnering with Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago.

Sharon Homan named President of Sinai Urban Health Institute

July 30, 2016

We are excited to introduce Sharon Homan, PhD, the new President of Sinai Urban Health Institute. Previously, Dr. Homan served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology and Associate Dean for Research at the University of North Texas School of Public Health in Fort Worth, Texas.

Dr. Homan’s prior experience also includes public health leadership and faculty positions with Saint Louis University (Professor of Biostatistics), Rockhurst University (Academic Vice President), and the Kansas Health Institute (Vice President for Public Health). Dr. Homan received her doctoral and master’s degrees from the University of Iowa, studying biostatistics, preventive medicine, and environmental health. She completed additional studies in psychiatric epidemiology, theology, and social ethics.

Dr. Homan brings a wealth of experience and publications in public health research and evaluation, with particular dedication to maternal and child health, violence prevention, and community health improvement initiatives. Her research has been funded by NIH, HRSA, CDC, DOJ, state contracts, and foundations. Dr. Homan is both honored and thrilled to join the SUHI team. She looks forward to building on our successes, and growing our research partnerships and collaborations to improve lives and reduce health disparities.


SUHI-Chicago Medical School Summer Internship Program

July 30, 2016

SUHI is hosting a summer internship program for students from the Chicago Medical School. Now in its fourth year, nine medical students will spend the summer at SUHI learning about public health, epidemiology, and research. The program includes a wide variety of workshops, lectures, and field trips to broaden the students’ exposure to diverse health issues and to improve their research skills. The students will be participating in classes on mortality, the role of community health workers, social determinants of health, and reading medical literature. The students will also take field trips to the Lawndale Christian Health Center and Humboldt Park, as well as go on bus tours of North and South Lawndale. In addition to these activities, each intern has an individual mentor and is working on a research project to support the Sinai Survey data dissemination.

This partnership has resulted in many publications in prestigious journals over the past few years. Articles co-authored by CMS student interns have been published in Stroke, Diabetes Care, Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, and the Journal of Urban Health. Samuel Choi, a 2015 SUHI intern mentored by Bijou Hunt, won second place at the 2015 Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science Summer Research Poster Session. Previous summer interns’ work is prominently highlighted on page 15 of the Spring 2016 Chicago Medical School newsletter, which can be found here.

The 2016 summer interns pictured left to right: (back row) Ashima Sarup, Donna Tsai, Alison Wiles, Jon Casas, Brian White, Nik Raju (front row) Rachel Bruckman Hosford, Laura Jansen, Nadia Hallaj. The SUHI mentors are Maureen Benjamins, Veronica Fitzpatrick, Jana Hirschtick, Sharon Homan, Michelle Hughes, Bijou Hunt, and Helen Margellos-Anast. The program is directed by Michelle Hughes and Maureen Benjamins.


SUHI Researcher Inducted into Delta Omega

July 30, 2016

Congratulations to Veronica Fitzpatrick, DrPH, who was inducted into the prestigious Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health. Founded in 1924 at Johns Hopkins University when the profession of public health was in its infancy, Delta Omega has 84 chapters throughout the world. Delta Omega members are selected from top echelons of graduate schools and programs of public health, as well as the public health community. 


HUD Panel on Healthy Home Interventions

July 30, 2016

On April 4, 2016, Helen Margellos-Anast, MPH, Senior Epidemiologist and Director of SUHI’s Asthma Initiatives, was a featured panelist on a nationally broadcasted webcast hosted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The theme of the webcast was “Helping Residents Breathe Easier by Addressing Asthma Triggers in Housing.” Other panelists included Dr. Elizabeth Matsui, Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology and Environmental Health Sciences, at John Hopkins University, and Dr. Megan Sandel, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine and Public Health. Over 700 tuned into the live webcast. The webcast has also been archived here.


SUHI Hosts two On The Table Events

July 30, 2016

The SUHI community health worker (CHW) team hosted two Chicago Community Trust On the Table events on May 10, 2016. On the Table asks neighbors from across the area to gather for meal-time conversations. This year’s theme was uniting colleagues, friends, and neighbors to lead change across Chicagoland and create a more unified region.

The first On the Table discussion was held at Wishbone restaurant and focused on leveraging strengths and resources within the CHW field, under the leadership of the Chicago CHW Local Network. Stakeholders deliberated on how to continue to foster future opportunities for collaboration, overcome any such barriers, build awareness and support for CHW work, and inspire more people to be involved with the Chicago CHW Local Network. Stakeholders had strong interest in capacity-building, including the creation of a strong communications plan and aggressively pursuing additional funding.

The second On the Table breakfast was held at Los Candiles restaurant in South Lawndale. Community health workers (CHWs) from South and North Lawndale participated in the lively discussion focusing on increasing collaboration between the two neighboring yet distinct communities. Given the unique role that CHWs play in their respective communities, the group decided an excellent way to start was to hold additional gatherings of CHWs. A CHW from each community volunteered to spearhead a get together of CHWs in August.