Chicago investments tackle health inequities from the ground up
The American Medical Association commits to $2 million investment toward the betterment of community health and well-being on Chicago’s West Side, and discusses the work of The Democracy Collaborative’s Healthcare Anchor Network.
In investing $2 million over two years to bolster Chicago West Side communities, the AMA is showing its commitment to fight social and economic barriers to optimal health and acknowledging that health is created beyond the walls of hospitals and doctors’ offices.
At an event announcing the investment, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot shared her “gratitude with Dr. James Madara and everyone at the AMA for their commitment to creating equity here in Chicago. … The AMA has a national reach as we all know, but we are proud that it continues to call Chicago home.”
At the event, Dr. Madara, the AMA’s Executive Vice President and CEO, noted the tremendous barriers faced by West Side families, which then contribute to an alarming 14-year gap in life expectancy compared to those living in communities only a short distance away.
The AMA’s investment is part of an overall contribution of $6 million made by a partnership of six Chicago hospital systems and partners committed to West Side United, mission that seeks to cut in half the life-expectancy gap that exists between the city’s affluent communities and its poor West Side neighborhoods. According to U.S. Census data, nearly one-fifth of Chicago’s West Side households live below the poverty level. Nearly half of the area’s residents are black; 34% are Hispanic and 17% are white.