Social Emergency Medicine and Global Health

What is global health?

Global Health is “an area for study, research, and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide. Global health emphasizes transnational health issues, determinants, and solutions; involves many disciplines within and beyond the health sciences and promotes interdisciplinary collaboration; and is a synthesis of population-based prevention with individual-level clinical care.” Global Emergency Medicine incorporates these global health principles into practice of emergency care in resource-limited settings, disaster and humanitarian response, and emergency medicine development.

What is social emergency medicine?

Social Emergency Medicine promotes the integration of social contexts into the practice of Emergency Medicine. It is the framework through which we recognize and appreciate the interplay of the social determinants of health and health disparities in emergency care and how these impact individual and community health measures and the illness experience.

Combination of Social EM and Global Health

Social and Global Emergency Medicine share common themes of promoting health equity of populations through a variety of means, focusing on social determinants of health and approaching EM through a public-health lens with an emphasis on prevention and population health.  Many U.S. trained emergency physicians with a mission to improve health equity will work with disadvantaged populations in the U.S. and internationally, and they may face similar challenges working in low-resource settings, disaster and humanitarian response, building systems to bridge emergency care and primary care, and trying to address root causes of illness to prevent emergencies before they happen. 

Program Objectives and Core Competencies

The goal of our Social Emergency Medicine and Global Health Track is for participating residents to assert competence in addressing and alleviating health disparities. This program seeks to provide residents with the tools to deconstruct how social factors impact health outcomes and to build skills to provide high quality, patient-centered, culturally appropriate care to all patients, particularly those who are underserved and marginalized. This program is aimed at creating the future leaders of Social Emergency Medicine and Global Health in our specialty. Participants will:

  1. Understand the relationship between societal factors and health disparities and outcomes.
  2. Engage in meaningful mentorship and scholarship aimed at addressing health disparities through community (local or international) and ED-based interventions.
  3. Experience and gain appreciation for interdisciplinary approaches to healthcare challenges that are faced in emergency care.
  4. Complete a Social or Global Emergency Medicine Capstone Project

Participants in this track will work closely with the program directors to identify subject matter experts in their areas of interest. The residents will be provided the mentorship needed to ensure milestones are met. The participants will work closely with their mentors in the design, implementation and dissemination of their Social or Global EM Capstone project in the form of a conference presentation and/or scholarly publication.

How to participate in this track

This is an opt-in track in addition to the integration of Social and Global Emergency Medicine didactics within the residency program as a whole.  You are able to declare your intent to participate through our online form.

Please review the program materials and feel free to direct any questions, concerns or inquiries to Sukhi Bains ([email protected]), Marina Del Rios ([email protected]), or Stacey Chamberlain ([email protected])

Current social EM research/projects

The Better Health Through Housing (BHH) program is a partnership between the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System (UI Health) and the Center for Housing and Health (CHH), a subsidiary of the Aids Foundation of Chicago. It is a demonstration pilot that is drawing attention to the nationally-validated Housing First model here in Chicago, with a goal of scaling and sustaining a permanent collective solution among healthcare, government, and housing agencies that will result in a dramatic reduction in the number of chronically homeless. Although the chronically homeless constitute 10-15% of the total homeless population, they account for 80-90% of public cost and utilization. Housing First programs throughout the country have demonstrated it costs society one-third to a half as much to provide supportive housing rather than allowing citizens to remain homeless.

See more information here 

The CHAMPIONS NETWork (Community Health And eMPowerment through Integration Of Neighborhood-specific Strategies using a Novel Education & Technology-leveraged Workforce) is an innovative, community-based program that advances health equity by using the untapped resource of high school students from under-served communities to act as health screeners and advocates for an at-risk population who might otherwise “fall through the cracks” of the healthcare system. The CHAMPIONS NETWork improves population health at the grass-roots level with a huge impact on saving lives and improving health in hard-to-reach communities. The program also creates a pathway to college and professional health careers for under-served youth – creating the next generation of health researchers and clinicians.

See more information here

Illinois Heart Rescue (ILHR) seeks to increase out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) survival rates in the State of Illinois by at least 100%. To accomplish this goal, we have partnered with the Illinois Department of Public Health and existing state-wide quality improvement systems (Get with the Guidelines Stroke, Mission Lifeline) to recruit and train Emergency Medical Services (EMS) systems and hospitals in Illinois to collect quality cardiac arrest data into the CARES database that encourages improvement in local systems of care for sudden cardiac arrest. Our focus is to reduce health disparities in cardiac arrest outcomes using hot spotting to identify and intervene in communities with the highest incidence of cardiac arrest and poorest outcomes.

See more information here

Reaching out the system: HIV care where you are (ROOTS) is an innovative project to address gaps in care for people living with HIV.

This project aims to develop a novel HIV care model ROOTS Medicine (Reaching Out Of The System: HIV care where you are) to improve retention in care for PLWH affected by structural violence. The vision for this model is to provide care to any individual who experiences barriers to accessing care in the traditional hospital or clinic setting through an innovative care model. This project is in partnership with Project HEAL, an EMR-driven HIV screening and linkage to care program at UIC, and Chicago Recovery Alliance, a mobile outreach organization that focuses on harm reduction for people living with HIV and drug use.

See more information here

The word “ganas” in Spanish means “motivation sufficient to act.” [email protected] GANAS supports Latinx students in STEM with a great amount of “ganas”, desire, will and effort no matter where the student comes from or where they are going. The [email protected] GANAS Research Fellowship is a 2-year program that engages students in research-intensive experiences in Life Sciences, Chemistry, and beyond. Dr. Del Rios is one of many research mentors on campus supporting this program. Students participating in this program work closely with experienced researchers while earning credit and gaining hands-on experience.

See more information here 

Important Webinars

COVID-19 Studies

An intervention trial to evaluate the efficacy of treating mildly ill COVID+ patients with convalescent plasma or placebo. This involves administration of either convalescent plasma/placebo and blood draw at the time of consent. There will be follow up calls between days 2-14 and follow up visit to the clinic on days 15 and 30 for additional blood draw. Participants will be reimbursed for travel cost on days 15 and 30 visit.

A randomized placebo-controlled platform trial evaluating efficacy and safety of antithrombotic strategies in COVID-19 adults not requiring hospitalization at time of diagnosis. Participants are asked to take medication or placebo and study duration is about 11 weeks. There will be survey administered via text/email by a research communication Center.
A study aimed to characterize COVID+ hypertensive population in the ED and determine if SNP in genes attenuated disease burden. This involves completing a questionnaire and blood draw in the ED. Patient chart will be reviewed to access health information.

PRESCO is a prospective, observational study that seeks to understand the process of developing ARDS in patients who have been confirmed positive for COVID-19 with the goal to help prioritize patients with high risk of progression to ARDS or death for earlier and more aggressive intervention. Specimen collection required at time of presentation, during hospitalization if applicable, and 90- days post enrollment.

Remote monitoring of continuous vital signs at home to try to predict deterioration and re-admission to the hospital. The study is 4 weeks long and involves wearing a medical device patch and using a cell phone we provide to take daily surveys.

A survey to collect information on anyone tested for COVID. Patients tested for COVID-19 will be offered information about COVID-19 and access to support resources available through the City of Chicago.

Resident Information