Health outcomes for north side women to be dramatically improved by removing gender, ethnic and socioeconomic barriers to care
CHICAGO (May 14, 2014) –Swedish Covenant Hospital is breaking ground on the Mayora Rosenberg Women’s Health Center, a comprehensive facility that will provide women on Chicago’s north side with increased access to health care in a setting unlike any other in the city when operational in the fall of 2014.
The $8 million health center is being constructed in the Galter Medical Pavilion, located on Swedish Covenant Hospital’s California Avenue campus. Approximately $2.4 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funding is anticipated to support the project development, with the remainder being financed by hospital investments and a capital campaign being undertaken by the Swedish Covenant Hospital Foundation.
“We are humbled by the generous support of our donor community, which has contributed $2.4 million toward this project and others that will benefit the lives of women throughout our community,” said Jennifer Tscherney, executive director of the Swedish Covenant Hospital Foundation. “Thanks to their support, our ambitious goal of raising $5 million is well within reach.”
For some women living in Chicago’s diverse north side, socioeconomic barriers, cultural practices, language needs or a lack of accessible information act as roadblocks to receiving health care. As a result, many remain without basic services like primary care, wellness screenings and even specialty care for chronic medical conditions.
Inconvenient wait times and a lack of childcare options can be a major hindrance to receiving care for many single mothers or busy professionals. And for patients from lower socioeconomic groups, a lack of health education and targeted resources has resulted in much lower rates of basic wellness screenings like mammograms.
This comprehensive health center will break down these barriers by providing several unique features and programs:
- Female staffing and women-only patient areas. The private facility will help make women’s health care visits comfortable and is sensitive to the needs of several north side religious and cultural groups.
- Advanced treatments. Women will have access to private mammography suites with 3-D mammogram technology, as well as breast health navigators to guide them through diagnostic testing, treatment and survivorship. Nutrition services, bone health services, customized wellness physicals and dermatological treatments are just a few of the additional services that will be offered.
- Support for uninsured and underinsured patients. The Community Breast Health Program at Swedish Covenant Hospital provides women with access to lifesaving screenings that can help them achieve their personal health and wellness goals.
- Flexible, child-friendly appointment times. The center will offer convenient online scheduling, including evening and weekend appointments, to fit into women’s busy lives, appointments during which child care is available, and same day test results.
- Translation services. The center will include trained medical interpreters and dedicated phone lines for telephonic translation services in more than 180 languages.
“Women in our community are in need of an accessible and convenient health care option that allows them to serve as active partners in their health care, and that of their families,” said 40th Ward Alderman Pat O’Connor. “The Mayora Rosenberg Women’s Health Center will help break down language, financial and cultural barriers that prevent women from accessing the life-saving services and treatments they need.”
Swedish Covenant Hospital serves an area of the city that is among the most culturally and socioeconomically diverse in the nation. More than 35 percent of Chicago’s foreign-born residents reside in the 11 city zip codes that make up the hospital’s service area. Approximately 40 percent of the women served by Swedish Covenant Hospital are non-English speaking, and 25 percent do not have insurance.
The services offered by the new Women’s Health Center were determined in collaboration with 10 community organizations that include Centro Romero, Indo-American Center, the Polish Initiative of Chicago and Korean American Community Services.
“Our mission is to provide social services to immigrant refugees, and Swedish Covenant Hospital has been a vital partner in helping us achieve our mission by providing the highest quality health care services to our residents,” said Patricia Robles, family support services director at Centro Romero. “Centro Romero agency fully supports the building of a Women’s Health Center since this investment in Swedish Covenant Hospital’s health care services will benefit those served in our community.”
Members of the community interested in donating to the Swedish Covenant Hospital Foundation’s capital campaign can visit SwedishCovenantFoundation.org for more information about the Women’s Health Center or to learn about other opportunities to help improve the health of women and children on Chicago’s north side.