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Faculty Practice COVID-19 Response

Throughout the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, nursing faculty at Rush played a leadership role in stopping community spread and promoting health equity for all Chicagoans. 

Connect Chicago

As cases of COVID-19 began to rise again in summer 2021 in Illinois and across the country, the Chicago Department of Public Health is partnering with Rush University Medical Center and Esperanza Health Centers to redouble efforts on COVID-19 testing through the Connect Chicago Initiative.

“This is an opportunity for Rush to take critical health services into South, West, and Southwest communities of Chicago,” said Alma Blancarte Mora, RN, Rush College of Nursing Community Health Nurse leader. “We wanted to use this patient encounter as an opportunity to do more than COVID-19 testing and to be thoughtful about what our communities need. COVID-19 isn’t going to last forever, but we hope the relationships we build do.”

During a testing visit, a registered nurse will ask every client if they have a primary care provider or need to be connected to other health care services, and if they don’t, the nurse will ask if they wish to connect to care at the Medical Center or Esperanza Health Centers. The Medical Center will also connect with community-based organizations to bring awareness to community resources.

Chicago Homelessness and Health Response Group for Equity (CHHRGE)

Rush University System for Health joined more than 30 organizations in a cross-sector partnership to address the devastating impact of COVID-19 across Chicago’s entire vulnerably housed population. Read the report.

Walder Foundation Grant

Rush University’s Department of Preventive Medicine was the recipient of grant funding from the Walder Foundation in their effort to help the Chicago region respond to COVID-19. Through a collaborative partnership of pastors and researchers, this funding will support an initiative to create a network of church-based COVID-19 testing sites in Chicago's West Side neighborhoods. Clinicians from the Office of Faculty Practice are partnering in this effort to help address health inequities in these vulnerable communities, and providing easier access to SARS-CoV-2 testing and COVID-19 education. 

Chicago Department of Public Health Grant

The Office of Faculty Practice in partnership with Heartland Alliance Health received an $800,000 grant from the Chicago Department of Public Health to expand shelter-based services and provide COVID-19 care and primary care treatment in 45 shelters. This grant will support approximately 1,800 people experiencing homelessness across the Chicago area. 

In the News