An initiative of the Urban Health Initiative (UHI), the Center for Community Health and Vitality (CCHV) supports the efforts of the University of Chicago Medical Center and the University of Chicago and complements the medical services provided to local residents in the Medical Center hospitals and clinics. The Center makes this possible through a systematic approach for addressing personal and community health within the neighborhood setting via 3 main program elements:

  • Academic partnerships
  • Community connections
  • Community grand rounds

The CCHV and its partners recognize that good health is not merely the absence of disease, it also fosters vitality – the capacity to live and develop. The CCHV works individually and collectively with the community to develop programs and activities that address issues determined by the community as concerns. The Center will engage the community to provide a place where community residents and organizations, along with University physicians, professors and staff, can work together to determine ways to improve health and vitality within South Side communities. The CCHV will put this approach into practice via:

  • Educational innovation
  • Workforce development and career training
  • Violence prevention
  • Capacity building for community-based organizations
  • Wellness programs
  • Employment and economic development opportunities

CCHV was originally conceived by First Lady Michelle Obama during her tenure as Vice President of Community Affairs at the Medical Center. The CCHV, along with its Urban Health Initiative partners, aims to promote positive relationships between the University of Chicago and South Side communities and improve health services and support to residents. The CCHV will also provide a means by which the University and South Side communities can create sustaining collaborative relationships and partnerships that address both medical and social issues that threaten the health and vitality of community.

With its partners, the CCHV aims to enhance community engagement with our nearby communities, where historically, the tension between the University and those communities framed these relationships. Through positive community engagement with communities served by the Medical Center, these initiatives desire to build positive relationships that will initiate a new spirit of collaboration and cooperation. CCHV and its partners seek to achieve this goal by finding new ways to understand more fully the perspectives of our communities’ members, organizations and institutions.