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Stephen Brown, MSW, LCSW

Director of Preventive Emergency Medicine


Stephen Brown, MSW LCSW, is a faculty member and Director of Preventive Emergency Medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System (UI Health).

He earned his first degree in business marketing in 1984 from Northern Illinois University. During the next 13 years, he worked at Motorola’s Computer Systems Division as a systems engineer, account executive, and product marketing manager. In 1998, he went on sabbatical to complete a second undergraduate degree in psychology at Northwestern University and a Master of social work at Loyola University.

In 2005, Stephen began work in health care as an emergency room social worker at the University of Chicago. During that time, he observed that the underlying drivers of healthcare utilization (what we now call the social determinants of health) were being ignored. He was promoted to Director of Preventive Medicine in 2008 and built a program to provide care coordination for emergency room frequent users.

Stephen came to UI Health’s Department of Emergency Medicine in 2011 to establish a program to identify and manage healthcare super-utilizers. He is the Program Director for Better Health Through Housing, a demonstration pilot that is raising awareness in Chicago for the need to recognize homelessness as a dangerous social condition and to scale the nationally validated Housing First model. The program transitions patients who are chronically homeless into permanent supportive housing.

His previous tech experience enables him to work with health IT, and city, state, and federal officials to break down data silos and, in doing so, will empower better data-driven public policy. He is the co-author of a recent Health Affairs article entitled “Mr. G and the Revolving Door: Breaking the Readmission Cycle at a Safety Net Hospital”.