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Promoting Health, Wellness and Equity in Chicago Communities

September was a busy month for community engagement at UI Health, and below are just a few of the community events we participated in over the summer. Be sure to look at the slideshow below that has some photos we took at these amazing community events!

State Senator Lakesia Collins' National Diaper Drive Giveaway (Monday, September 18th) Heading link


The University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System (UI Health) participated in the 2023 National Diaper Need Awareness Week with State Senator Lakesia Collins, 9th District. Helping families is a topic near and dear to Senator Collins, and it is a fact that inflation is impacting families across our nation and making it harder for them to afford basic necessities, especially diapers. According to a 2023 survey by the National Diaper Bank Network, one in two U.S. families with young children experience diaper need. UI Health is pleased to participate in this public health crisis, and we look forward to helping communities at large as they deal with physical, emotional, and sometimes economic hardships. I was thrilled to help distribute diapers and UI Health promotional items that residents of North Lawndale absolutely loved.

The 79th Street Renaissance Festival (Saturday, September 9th) Heading link


As UI Health continues to expand its mission of engaging with the fine citizens of Chicago, myself, Mrs. Dorothy Collins and our fantastic Mile Square Health Center team spent a beautiful Saturday supporting the 18th Annual Greater Auburn Gresham Neighborhood Development Renaissance Festival. This free community festival attracted more than 20,000 attendees, offering carnival rides, live musical performances, video games, arts and crafts, dedicated events for senior citizens, and food sampling from local restaurants and vendors. UI Health staff from the Auburn-Gresham Healthy Lifestyle Hub and from the UIC Office of Community Engagement and Neighborhood Health Partnerships (OCEAN-HP) were there promoting the importance of a healthy lifestyle and interacting with residents and visitors who inquired about their health needs. Folks learned about the srvices available at the Mile Square Health Center, school-based health centers, and the new Eat. Move. Save. meal kit program. The UI Health staff also distributed promotional items including hand sanitizer, sunscreen, first aid kits, pens and pencils.

16th District Annual Community Picnic (Saturday, September 9th) Heading link


One of the newest Senators to the Illinois General Assembly, State Senator Willie Preston, 16th District invited the UI Health to meet and greet citizens of his district. I was very pleased to travel to Dan Ryan Woods, after leaving 79th Street Renaissance Festival, to engage with senior citizens, students, and other community members assembled. At this picnic Senator Preston talked about the importance of creating pathways for a healthier Chicago and spoke about the need to engage troubled youth and lead them to more educational opportunities for improved lifestyles that include more high school graduations and access to college and careers, a mission which is very much in alignment with what we do at UI Health.

  1. Starting 2nd from left: North Lawndale Community Advocate, State Rep. Yolanda Morris, 9th District; State Senator Lakesia Collins, 5th District; Cook County Commissioner Dennis Deer; and Dr. Phyllis P. Hayes, assistant vice chancellor for external engagement