Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Center for Community Health

News & Success Stories

Read the latest news from the Center for Community Health. The links below take you to articles where you can learn more about the department and our faculty's latest achievements. Our success stories show our programs and partnerships in action, making real, positive health changes in our communities.

2017 ARCC Community-Engaged Research Partnership Award Winner: Pastors4PCOR (P4P): Engaging faith-based communities in health research

This award acknowledges the efforts of the Pastors4PCOR (Patient Centered Outcomes Research) (P4P): Engaging faith-based communities in health research, a collaborative partnership of 12 churches serving underrepresented populations in Chicago and South Suburban areas and their congregants, community health advocates, health system providers, and academic health researchers. To learn more click here

ARCC Research Findings: Community Perspectives on Supporting Clinical Research

CCH’s Alliance for Research in Chicagoland Communities conducted focus groups with organizational staff representing community-based, faith-based and patient advocacy organizations to learn more about how community organizations view partnering with research institutions for the purpose of educating community members about clinical research participation and/or giving input on the design and conduct of clinical research. CCH is working with NUCATS’ Center for Clinical Research to consider how these findings may inform efforts to improve diverse community participation in clinical research and health outcomes for diverse communities.

Click here to access a summary of the findings. 

CCH Director Ron Ackermann's Diabetes Prevention Program recognized in The New York Times

On March 30, 2016, The New York Times ran a story highlighting the unsung role of CCH Director Ron Ackermann and colleague's many years of research in informing recent national policy changes in diabetes prevention. The article describes how work done at an Indianapolis Y.M.C.A. by Dr. Ackermann and David Marrero led to the highly successful Diabetes Prevention Program. This story comes after the Obama administration announced that they plan to endorse Medicare coverage for Diabetes Prevention Programs. This counseling for people with prediabetes is the first preventative service to become eligible for expansion into the Medicare program under the Affordable Care Act. The article can be read here.

CRC Screening at Heartland

Heartland Health Outreach (HHO) provides healthcare services to a largely low-income, minority, and immigrant population in urban Chicago; where high levels of poverty, lack of health insurance, limited English proficiency, and racial/ethnic diversity have all contributed to disparities in preventive care. Funded by a 2009 PBR seed grant, the investigator team of Choucair, Jean-Jacques, Ryan, and Gatta found that mailing information and fecal occult blood test kits directly to HHO’s patients increased their screening rates for colorectal cancer. Study findings contributed to the receipt of both a) Dr. Jean-Jacques' early career K award, and b) a P-01 award from AHRQ for "Research Center of Excellence in Clinical Preventive Services" (P.I. David Baker, MD MPH).

Promoting Physical Activity with MAFS

A recent survey found very high rates of sedentary and overweight/obese among South Asian women in Chicago; and little evidence of successful physical activity interventions existed for them. Funded by an ARCC seed grant, the community-academic research team of Metropolitan Asian Family Services and NU faculty member Dr. Namratha Kandula studied the awareness and drivers of exercise and physical activity among this largely immigrant population, along with culturally relevant interventions. The team leveraged lessons and data from this pilot study to secure an NIH-funded R-21 award for translating a culturally-salient heart disease prevention program into the South Asian community.

Humboldt Park Community-Initiated Research Project Documents Children’s Asthma Issues and Leads to Funded Interventions

Suspecting that a larger number of children in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood suffered from asthma then previously reported, the Greater Humboldt Park Community of Wellness (GHPCOW) sought to investigate this issue. ARCC brokered a partnership between GHPCOW and several academic researchers, and awarded them a seed grant to conduct a survey in two local Chicago Public Schools. Study results revealed exceptionally high asthma prevalence rates: at 25 percent, they were more than twice the national average. The research team leveraged these findings to secure $6,225,000 over five years from multiple sources to further study the problem in Humboldt Park, and to develop community-based interventions.