What is HCEZ (Healthy Chicago Equity Zones)?
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Public Health has allocated $9.6 million in COVID-19 relief funding from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop targeted strategies to improve community wellness and close the racial life expectancy gap.
The City of Chicago is divided into six geographic zones which has awarded Regional Leads whom will work collaboratively alongside community leaders to identify and confront the social and environmental issues that contribute to health and racial inequity.
With much excitement Swedish has been awarded the Regional Lead for the North/Central Zone encompassing 12 of Chicago 77 community areas extending along the lake front.
Would you like to help by volunteering or hosting an event? Do you need help connecting to resources and services? We are here to help!
Contact Healthy Chicago Equity Zones at SwHealthEquity@schosp.org.
Our Community Partners
In order to address all aspects of health disparities we have connected directly with lead community partners whom are helping us to reach all social determinants of health through leading direct neighborhood initiatives.
Swedish Community Wellness Center (Opening Summer 2022)
Located at Foster and Pulaski in the North Park community area, this center will work alongside community partners to provide healthcare education programming and connect neighbors to resources focused on eliminating health disparities.
EverThrive IL has been a champion for health equity, focused on advocating for access to high-quality health care for women, children and families in Illinois. They are passionate about providing the trusted resources and informational tools that women, children, and families need to take control of their health.
Learn more about Everthrive>>
Thresholds is fighting to transform the lives of people living with mental illnesses and substance use disorders. They work towards breaking the cycles of poverty and unemployment through innovative research and advocacy and develop opportunities for housing, employment, recovery, and families to reconnect.
Learn more about Thresholds>>
Apna Ghar Inc.: Uptown
Apna Ghar provides critical, comprehensive, culturally competent services, and conducts outreach and advocacy across communities to end gender violence.
Learn more about Apna Ghar>>
ICNA Relief: West Ridge
ICNA Relief USA seeks to alleviate human suffering by providing caring and compassionate service to victims of adversities and survivors of disasters. ICNA Relief strives to build healthy communities, strengthen families and create opportunities for those in despair while maintaining their dignity and advocating for their basic human needs.
Learn more about ICNA Relief>>
Heartland Health Care: Rogers Park
Heartland Health Care’s mission is to improve the well-being of the communities they serve by providing accessible, high-quality healthcare and leader in community-based health care by advancing innovative service models and patient-centered best practices. Offering affordable and comprehensive primary care, oral health care, and mental health care services.
Learn more about Heartland Health Care>>
Lutheran Social Service of Illinois: Edgewater/Lincoln Square
Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois improves the well-being of people across the state by protecting children, strengthening families and building futures for those who have experienced trauma.
Learn more about Lutheran Social Services of Illinois>>
Rohingya Culture Center: West Ridge
The Rohingya Cultural Center is a community based social service organization aimed at serving the needs of the Rohingya refugee population in Chicago as well as raising awareness of the persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar. Providing a variety of social services ranging from ESL to citizenship assistance.
Learn more about Rohingya Cultural Center>>
Girls Inc: Near South Side
Our evidence-based programming is delivered by trained professionals who focus on the development of the whole girl, supporting, mentoring, and guiding girls in an affirming, pro-girl environment. Here, girls learn to value their whole selves, discover and develop their inherent strengths, and receive the support they need to navigate the challenges they face.
Learn more about Girls Inc>>
Common Pantry: North Center
Our mission: Common Pantry meets the emergency needs of our local community by providing healthy food, kinship and support to help overcome poverty-related challenges. They provide food and services for the overall well-being of our clients and use strategic, forward-thinking approach to reduce hunger and address the root causes of poverty, infusing compassion into everything we do.
Learn more about Common Pantry>>
Education Development Center: Near North
Education Development Center (EDC) is a global nonprofit that advances lasting solutions to improve education, promote health, and expand economic opportunity. Since 1958, we have been a leader in designing, implementing, and evaluating powerful and innovative programs in more than 80 countries around the world. With expertise in areas such as suicide prevention, early childhood development and learning, and youth workforce development, EDC collaborates with public and private partners to create, deliver, and evaluate programs, services, and products.
Learn more about Educational Development Center>>
TBD Lincoln Park
Who We Are
Nadia J. Jimenez – Director of Community Health & COVID Response
“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about” – Margaret J. Wheatley
I am passionate about the mission of Swedish Hospital; to serve the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of our diverse community through excellence and kindness. I am driven to create innovative solutions and resources that will improve the lives of the people within our communities and have the desire to serve, and the commitment to bring innovative care to the doorsteps of Chicago members. I believe it’s our job as community members to lead collaboratively, to actively move forward change, and to be the motivation for growth.
Patrick Bill Daniels: Assistant Director of Community
“Every day is a new day to do something impactful” – Shawn Carter
I have the energy to help people overcome the challenges that they face in life. This work brings me joy. I tell people all the time that I earn a living by helping people.
What inspired me to join the HCEZ team is the opportunity to work in various north side communities. I have the privilege to bring light to the oppression that all Chicago communities face. I have the voice and the platform to advocate for services in West Ridge-a forgotten community in Chicago. I have the voice and platform to advocate for the women in Lincoln Park who are victims of domestic violence. I have the voice and platform to support organizations in the Loop who are working with expected teen moms. Because of that, I prepare myself each day to arrive at Swedish ready to perform at a high level
Deity Sullivan Fonts – Community Outreach Manager
“The more we can be in a relationship with those who might seem strange to us, the more we can feel like we're neighbors and all members of the human family.” - Fred Rogers
I believe that health equity is a cornerstone of healthcare, and without identifying and addressing how injustices impact the communities we serve, we will overlook our neighbors who need our help most. This work is important to me because it gives me the opportunity to embrace diversity within my community and strengthen it from within. I know that the health and wellbeing of our community are greater than the sum of its parts, and through my work on the HCEZ project, I strive to close gaps and bring our human family closer together.
Najlah Iqbal – Community Outreach Manager
“When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game” –Toni Morrison
I joined the health equity team at Swedish Hospital because I firmly believe in the mission of the Healthy Chicago Equity Zone Initiative. Through this initiative we would work toward having “a city where all people and all communities have power, are free from oppression, and are strengthened by equitable access to resources.” As a macro social worker I see the disparities that continue to impact people across Chicago. My role at Swedish will allow me to address those disparities, and continue serving communities for a healthier and safer tomorrow.