The University of Chicago Medical Center hired and specially trained staff dedicated to working directly with emergency room patients. The main role of Patient Advocates is to educate patients about the best options for their health care needs and connect them to clinics and primary care doctors so that they receive the right care at the right time and place. Patient Advocates help patients develop an important long-term relationship with a regular doctor, which promotes wellness and helps to catch concerns before they become emergencies.

Here’s what some of our Patient Advocates say about their role


With the increasing rise of HPV, obesity, HIV, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic health aliments that negatively impact minority groups on the south side of Chicago, it is vital to get a regular doctor and belong to a medical home. Why put off today what you can prevent for the future? I always tell patients, “What you don’t know can hurt you, so please get a primary care doctor.”


Connecting patients to a medical home is a very important aspect in preventative medicine. Being diagnosed with Crohn’s several years ago allows me to give insight on the importance of having a primary care physician. I am certain that if I did not have a primary care physician I would not be able to manage this ailment. Having a medical home saved my life!


The thing I like best about being a patient advocate is the opportunity to educate patients.  Often patients come to the hospital because they have a genuine concern, “their health”.  They just do not have a vast knowledge of the resources that are available to them.  As a patient advocate, I can make them aware of resources in their community.


It’s important to have a primary doctor to help maintain and manage our health. We need to know certain numbers such as our weight, cholesterol, blood sugar levels and blood pressure so we can ward off certain diseases – the silent killer high blood pressure, for example. When we are in partnership with a primary care physician, we are aware of these conditions and it helps keep us well.