Making Chicago Healthier

Dr. Soma Stout facilitates a Design Day 

IOMC is exploring an exciting opportunity to improve the health status across the Chicago metro area, especially in communities and neighborhoods with large gaps in health outcomes.  Although 60% percent of preventable deaths are rooted in modifiable behaviors and exposures that occur in the community, the healthcare system has not been focused on these factors.   This explains to a great extent why the United States of America lags in most measures of health outcomes worldwide despite leading the world in expenditures for treatment.  Disadvantaged communities where these modifiable factors are most evident are also those in which health care outcomes lag most seriously.  If the quality of health and wellbeing outcomes are to be improved through the next generation in Chicago, it is critical to find ways to improve the social and physical environment that supports equity with wellbeing for all.

 

In Chicago, there is no unified organizational effort to address the social and physical environment that affects the health and wellbeing of individuals and the community. IOMC proposes to coordinate the creation of a Metropolitan Chicago Community Wellbeing Trust to fill gaps and sustain the incredible work our community is doing.
This initiative is envisioned to effect positive change in health and wellbeing outcomes by:

·       Funding promising initiatives positively affecting wellbeing by improving the community social and physical  environment;

·       Providing leadership through monitoring and seeking to improve the efficient non-duplicative delivery of services  focused on bettering the social and physical environment in Chicago communities; and

·       Aggregating and disseminating research, expertise and program outcome data to accelerate the implementation of policies and practices aimed at enhancing wellbeing throughout the region.

IOMC has formed two committees  the Advancement Committee and Management and Implementation Committee (MIC). The Advancement Committee is making great strides 1) exploring the interest in such a wellbeing trust with key partner organizations; 2) discovering considerable interest in Chicagoland in a wellbeing trust; 3) learning from prototype organizations in Massachusetts, Michigan, California, and Colorado; and 4) seeking funds to support the second committee- the MIC. The MIC is organizing itself with workgroups to meet timelines and objectives that are mutually determined.

The committees are currently inviting volunteers for the following: 1)Design of Wellbeing Trusts 2)Data/metrics 3)Gap Analysis of Metropolitan Chicago Initiatives 4)Methods to ensure sustainability and 5)Glossary.

If you are interested to learn more or volunteer with this effort, please contact Cheryl Irmiter, PhD, Executive Director at cirmiter@iomc.org.

FOXGLOVE ALLIANCE