Public Health

Clinical Strengths

Service in Public Health is a potential career pathway for infectious diseases physicians. Fellows in our fellowship program benefit from our close connections to local, state, and federal public health departments through our clinical and research activities. Three current RUMC and CCH faculty (Drs. Gregory Huhn, Robert Weinstein, Sharon Welbel) are CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service alumni, and several former fellows currently hold leadership positions in public health departments, including Chicago Department of Public Health.

Located in the Illinois Medical District, both CCH and RUMC have a track record for responding to the public health needs of Chicago.

  • CCH’s mission as a large, urban public health system for the Chicago region makes it a natural leader in regional disease prevention, particularly in HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. CCH also diagnoses more cases of tuberculosis than any other hospital system in Illinois, and plays a key role in regional tuberculosis treatment and control.
  • RUMC’s new hospital tower that opened in 2012 features the Robert R. McCormick Foundation Center for Advanced Emergency Response, which encompasses an emergency room and hospital designed to respond to biological, chemical, or other mass casualty events in Chicago. Our hospital continues to play a key role in the regional response to COVID-19 infections.
  • RUMC was one of four Chicago hospitals that volunteered to care for Ebola patients during the 2014 Ebola outbreak, and RUMC continues to be one of 35 hospitals in the United States designated as an Ebola Treatment Center, maintaining a special intensive care unit to treat Ebola and other highly contagious diseases.

Examples of public health activities for fellows include the following:

  • Local public health officials regularly attend our weekly ID grand rounds and present public health updates or outbreak investigations.
  • Fellows can attend the bi-monthly Technical Advisory Group meeting (minutes away from our hospital), as well as the annual Chicago Infection Control Conference, both hosted by Chicago Department of Public Health.
  • Fellows can take clinical electives at the Cook County Jail to learn about HIV care among jail detainees.
  • Fellows may shadow Chicago Department of Public Health medical directors and epidemiologists to observe disease surveillance activities and epidemiologic investigations.

Research Excellence

Collaboration with public health departments is a hallmark of the research that we perform at RUMC/CCH. Our work includes several projects that focus on regional public health, including: