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Information for Faculty > Office of Community Engagement > Health Education and Promotion Programs > Health Education and Promotion Programs
About Rush University
Health education and promotion programs provide educational resources or opportunities for promoting preventive lifestyle behaviors and the self-management of disease.

5+1=20 aims to educate high school students at Chicago Public Schools on the five diseases prevalent in the surrounding underserved community (asthma, hypertension, HIV, diabetes, and cancer). Participating schools include Benito Juarez High School, Crane Medical Preparatory Academy and the Marine Math and Science Academy.  5+1=20 is based on the idea that knowledge of these 5 common conditions plus 1 informed high school student (or person) can extend one's life by 20 years (individuals without health insurance have a life expectancy of 20 years less than the general US population). Twice a month, Rush student volunteers teach a health topic related to the five diseases to high school students. The content of the interactive health lectures ranges from disease prevention to practical skills such checking blood pressure. The high school students have opportunities to spread their knowledge through 5+1=20 health fairs at their schools. Health fair activities include BMI calculations, blood pressure screenings, vision screenings, glucose level checks, referrals, and health education.  Health fair participants include families and friends of the students as well as other members of their communities.
Services: BMI, blood pressure, glucose levels, vision screenings, referrals, health education
Populations served: Adolescents and adults
Community partners: Chicago Public Schools - Benito Juarez High School, Crane Medical Preparatory Academy, Marine Math and Science Academy

Asthma Camp
Asthma Camp is an 8-hour program held at the ABC Polk Bros. Community Center at 3415 West 13th Place on the West Side of Chicago two to three times in the summer and at various schools during the school year. The camp aims to provide asthma management education and access to respiratory care for children aged 5-18 that are affected by asthma. Rush student and respiratory therapy faculty volunteers lead evidence-based learning stations for general asthma information, the science behind asthma, good habits to have when living with asthma, asthma triggers, medication management and devices, and more. All stations and information is geared towards educating the children and their families on living a healthy life with asthma.
Services: Educational activities
Populations served:  Asthmatic children, adolescents and their family members
Community partners: ABC Polk Bros. Community Center, Chicago Public Schools

Mexican Consulate Health Organization (MCHO)
MCHO strives to promote healthy living in the Mexican community in Chicago through monthly events held at the Mexican Consulate at 204 South Ashland Avenue on Chicago’s Near West Side.  Events include educational sessions and basic health screenings. Rush student volunteers provide services consisting of health education, distribution of health information pamphlets written in Spanish, and screening services such as BMI calculation, blood pressure, and blood glucose monitoring. Referrals are given as needed. 
Services: Educational presentations, BMI calculation, blood pressure screenings, blood glucose monitoring, referrals
Populations served: Adults and children representing the Mexican community
Community partners: Mexican Consulate

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Program (MLK Day)
MLK Day is an annual event in which all RCSIP programs and student groups come together to hold a day of service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Rush students, faculty, and staff engage in health and wellness-related activities that in the past have included collecting personnel supplies to ship to the military overseas, preparing breakfast at homeless shelters, providing health screenings for underserved populations, and opening up Rush teaching labs to give Chicago Public School grade school and high school students opportunities to explore and learn about healthcare careers.
Services: Various; collecting and shipping supplies for overseas based military, preparing breakfast at homeless shelters, health screenings, teaching labs, health education activities
Populations served: Adults, children and veterans
Community partners:  Franciscan Outreach, Laurence Armour Day School, Chicago Youth Centers, Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago, Facing Forward, Salvation Army, Chicago Public Schools and various other community organizations

Original Change Project (OCP)
OCP is a rapid-response and consulting group that helps various local community groups organize, plan and operate small to mid-size health-related activities in places such as churches, schools and neighborhood clubs. 
Services: Volunteer recruitment, blood pressure screenings, eye exams, blood glucose monitoring, health education
Populations served: Various community groups
Community partners: Various local community partners

RU Caring
RU Caring organizes mid to large-scale health fairs in the community with an emphasis on comprehensive health and wellness. Rush student, faculty and staff volunteers from a variety of educational, clinical and operations-based programs at Rush University collaborate to plan, operate, and offer a range of services to health fair participants. Health fair services can include blood pressure checks, BMI calculations, physical exams, dental checks and cleaning, vision screenings, hearing screenings, immunizations, disease screenings, health and nutrition education, fitness exercises, health benefits enrollment, referral for follow-up care and back to school supplies for underserved youth.
Services: Blood pressure and BMI checks, focused physical exams, dental, vision, hearing, and disease screenings, immunizations, health and nutrition education, fitness exercises, health benefits/enrollment support and referrals
Populations served: Adults, adolescents and children
Community partners: Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Department of Public Health, Alderman Bob Fioretti’s office, and other community partners

Specialists at the Rush Adolescent Family Center (AFC) are committed to caring for and educating teenagers and young adults, ages 12 to 25, in a safe and nurturing environment. AFC was one of the first prenatal care and family planning clinics for teens in the U.S., and today it continues to offer confidential reproductive health services without parental consent and regardless of the ability to pay as part of Rush’s participation in the federally funded Title X Family Planning Program. AFC is easily accessible and conveniently located near the Rush University Medical Center campus on Chicago’s West Side. AFC providers are board-certified nurse practitioners and physicians with the knowledge and skills to care for the complex needs of adolescents and young adults.
Services: High-risk pregnancy care, prenatal care, prenatal testing, birth control (contraception), counseling, family planning counseling, gynecological care, pregnancy testing
Populations served: Adolescents and young adults, ages 12 to 25
Community partners: Rush University Medical Center
Saturdays with Seniors (SWS)
SWS is a weekly program focused on improving the health and wellness of senior citizens in the community.  Every Saturday from 10-11am Rush student volunteers provide services at the Chinese American Service League senior home at 2108 South Princeton Avenue on Chicago’s South Side. Services include blood pressure checks and a one hour stretching and strength training exercise class.  Student volunteers also collaborate  with St. James Food Pantry located at 2907 S Wabash Ave on Chicago’s Near South Side to provide large-scale blood pressure screenings, education on hypertension, and information and/or referrals to free or low-cost clinics every second Saturday of the month.
Services: Blood pressure screenings, fitness exercises, health education
Populations served: Senior citizens
Community partners: Chinese-American Service League, St. James Food Pantry

RCSIP Wellness Center at Facing Forward
The Wellness Center at Facing Forward is held on Thursdays from 5-7:30pm at Facing Forward to End Homelessness’ Sanctuary Place at 642 North Kedzie on the West Side of Chicago. Sanctuary Place is a permanent housing community for displaced women that provides peer support and on-site case management. The Wellness Center specifically aims to decrease cardiovascular risk and improve respiratory health through a comprehensive approach based on the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple Sevens guidelines. Weekly activities consist of Rush student volunteers performing health screenings for BMI and blood pressure, providing group life coaching sessions (all life coaches have motivational interviewing training and monthly supervision sessions), presenting a health education lecture, and concluding with an exercise session. Other activities include a monthly healthy cooking demonstration, weekly knitting meetings as a method for stress reduction and smoking cessation, a “telling your story” activity with the aim of improving spiritual and mental health, a walking group, and periodic screenings of blood glucose, cholesterol and respiratory health testing.  All Wellness Clinics are supervised by Rush faculty volunteers.
Services: Life coaching, BMI checks, blood pressure checks, glucose levels, cholesterol levels, respiratory health, health education, exercise sessions, healthy cooking demonstrations, walking group, knitting group, communication activities
Populations served: Formerly displaced adult females
Community partners: Facing Forward to End Homelessness

RCSIP Youth Advocates (YA)
YAs are a group of Rush student volunteers that work at the Rush Adolescent Family Center (AFC) and three Rush School-Based Health Centers (SBHC). AFC is located on the Rush campus and provides reproductive health services and health education for underserved male and female youth and prenatal care for underserved female youth. The Rush SBHCs are located at Orr Academy High School, Crane Medical Preparatory High School, and Simpson Academy, a Chicago Public School for pregnant and/or parenting girls. The SBHCs act as a healthcare safety net for underserved youth and their services consist of health promotion programs and full service clinics that provide primary care, intermittent care, prenatal care, reproductive health services, and mental health services to students. SBHCs at Simpson Academy and Orr Academy also provide health services for children at onsite daycare centers. YA volunteers provide evidence-based reproductive health education services, participate in annual all-school sexually transmitted disease screening days,  follow-up on patient and partner treatment, and conduct adolescent risk assessments with  subsequent referrals and follow-up based on assessment findings.  YAs at Simpson Academy also organize large monthly birthday celebrations for the Simpson students during their lunch hour (10:30-1pm). All students with birthdays in that month are celebrated with personalized cake, cards and gift bags provided by the Rush Auxiliary Board.  For many of the Simpson students, this is the first birthday recognition that they have experienced. All YA volunteers receive training in conducting the risk assessment and providing follow-up, and delivery of evidenced-based reproductive health education. 
Activities: Reproductive health education, risk assessments, referrals and follow-up, screenings and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, birthday celebrations
Populations served: Sixth through twelfth grade pregnant and/or parenting girls, children of adolescent parents, adolescent through young adult males and females (low 20’s)
Community partners: Rush School Based Health Centers and the Rush Adolescent Family Center, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Department of Public Health


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