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Mayor Emanuel Announces Comprehensive Four-Year Plan to Improve Health For All Chicagoans

Press Release

March 29, 2016

CHICAGO - Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) today announced a new four-year plan to improve health and well-being throughout Chicago communities. Healthy Chicago 2.0 is comprised of a broad spectrum of strategies for CDPH and its partners to address health disparities facing some neighborhoods and communities.  Building on the success of 2011's Healthy Chicago plan, the new strategies outlined in the plan address traditional health issues as well as systemic issues associated with poor health, including housing, education and transportation.

"We have made tremendous progress over the past five years, but too many Chicagoans are still being left behind, which is why this plan focuses on eliminating inequities and ensures every resident has the resources and opportunities necessary to lead healthy lives," said Mayor Emanuel. "Healthy Chicago 2.0 was created with community input and will be implemented with community input, so we can make a real, lasting difference on the health of our residents."

As part of the plan's development, CDPH analyzed data demonstrating stark differences in health outcomes, based on race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, gender identity and sexual orientation. CDPH then engaged more than 130 partner organizations and thousands of residents to identify evidence-based strategies to close these existing health gaps. CDPH also convened discussions with other city agencies to further inform this report. 

In addition to providing strategies to improve traditional health outcomes, like chronic disease and behavioral health, Healthy Chicago 2.0 provides strategies to improve education, housing, economic conditions and public infrastructure-termed social determinants of health-given the impact they have in influencing health outcomes.

"This innovative plan is essential in making long lasting improvements in the health of our communities and the people who live, work and play in them," said CDPH Commissioner Julie Morita, M.D. "By working with community leaders to address the social determinants of  health, we can help eliminate barriersfacing many of our residents in their efforts to achieve a healthy lifestyles."

CDPH will also hold a series of town hall meetings during the month of May to engage residents in the implementation of the plan. Residents will be able to learn about the plan and ways they can become more involved in improving the health of their neighborhoods.  CDPH will use the feedback from the meetings to further their work implementing the plan.

"We must have a more holistic view of what it means to address health disparities, including an understanding that social conditions are the fundamental causes of disease," said Dr. Mindy Fullilove of Columbia University, a nationally-renowned authority on social conditions affecting health. "I applaud Chicago for addressing this issue head on and creating a plan that will help ensure equity across the city."

Healthy Chicago 2.0 builds on the Mayor's original Healthy Chicago plan-the city's first public health agenda designed to improve health and outcomes for all Chicagoans. Since the launch of the first plan in 2011, Chicago has made strides in tackling key issues that have affected health and quality of life for many residents. Since 2011, Chicago has seen historic drops in a number of areas including teen birth rates, new HIV diagnoses and youth smoking rates. In addition, CDPH has reported significant increases in vaccination rates and the number of residents who are insured. Even with these improvements, data show that this success had not been enjoyed evenly across Chicago. By focusing on remaining disparities, as well as the root causes of those disparities, Healthy Chicago 2.0 will ensure more opportunities for more residents to get and stay healthy.

The development of Healthy Chicago 2.0 was assisted with the input of several City of Chicago agencies including the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the Chicago Park District, the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS), the Chicago Police Department (CPD), the Chicago Department of Planning and Development (DPD), the Chicago Department of Buildings, and Mayor Emanuel's Office including his Office of Persons with Disabilities and his Office of Sustainability.

Today's event and the upcoming community meetings are supported, in part, by the Otho S.A. Sprague Memorial Institute.  Click here to view the full plan.