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Grant to Support Mile Square Health Center’s Mission in Reducing Healthcare Disparities

Friday, July 31, 2020

UI Health's Mile Square Health Center recently received a grant to support its work in reducing disparities in healthcare.

Mile Square was one of 13 Illinois hospitals and healthcare organization to be awarded the grant from the American Hospital Association's (AHA) Institute for Diversity and Health Equity (IFDHE) and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL).

The awards — which range from $25,000 to $100,000 — will be used to support new programs designed to help the awardees eliminate an identified healthcare disparity in their local communities and work toward ensuring safe, equitable, high-quality health care for all of their patients. Award funding is directed to program efforts focused on maternal and child health, pediatric asthma, adult diabetes, breast cancer, and geographic disparities, including access to care in rural communities. 

Grant recipients are both AHA member hospitals and part of a BCBSIL provider network. The one-year, joint-collaboration grant program was announced in December 2019.

"Finding innovative ways to bridge health equity gaps in many under served communities is an urgent priority, especially in midst of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Elisa Arespacochaga, vice president of the AHA Physician Alliance and interim executive lead of the AHA's IFDHE. "By earning these ...awards, recipients throughout the state will be able to better identify ways to serve more people in their communities at this critical time.

"Added Dr. Derek J. Robinson, vice president and chief medical officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois: "Quality healthcare requires a focus on equity but too often it is left unexamined. We created this grant program to stimulate more hospitals, with support of their executive leadership, to commit to identifying and eliminating disparities in the care they deliver."