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CDIS Partners

Community Partner Spotlight: LAMP Heading link

An African American women teaching a kid

Chicago Lawndale AMACHI Mentoring Program (LAMP) provides mentoring to children 5-24 years old impacted by incarceration and delivers programming focused on academic achievement, decision-making, social and emotional stability, and community pride in North Lawndale, Chicago. Dr. Natasha Crooks, CDIS Faculty Affiliate has been volunteering with LAMP over the past year facilitating monthly health education workshops (i.e., sexual health, mental health, bullying, self-esteem) workshops for Black girls. Dr. Betty Green the director of LAMP, is supportive of the Dr. Crooks study “A Family-Based HIV Prevention Program for Black Men to Protect Black Girls” and is currently facilitating recruitment for a different study. Since joining UIC in August 2019, the Dr. Crooks has developed collaborations with LAMP. LAMP has been Dr. Crooks longstanding community partner, as they have supported Dr. Crooks research by providing space for data collection at their facility and aiding with recruitment. Dr. Crooks conducted her pilot of IMAGE at the LAMP facility this summer. Dr. Green and the LAMP staff will consult throughout the study. The proposed work will strengthen partnership development and will allow for a long-term trusted relationship with Black Chicago communities.

Doctoral nursing students from the University of Illinois Chicago are completing their Community Health Rotation at LAMP this semester and work with the children and young adults enrolled in the program.

Partners Heading link

The Center for Dissemination and Implementation Science (CDIS) cultivates implementation research, practice, and education with a wide-ranging set of community partners. Our vision to build a healthier world through implementation science is made possible through our local, national, and international collaborations.

Atma Jaya Catholic University

CDIS partners with Atma Jaya Catholic University for the UIC/AJCU Training Program in Advanced Research Methods and Translational Science.

Centro Romero

Centro Romero is a community-based organization that provides refugees and immigrants on the Northeast side of Chicago with the tools and resources they need to improve opportunities for upward social mobility. It has been operating for over 35 years.

CDIS is partnering with Centro Romero to adapt and pilot a sexual and reproductive health program for Latina teens and their mothers.

Central States SER (SER)

Central States SER (SER) is a workforce development and education organization that believes in the potential of each and every individual. Since their inception in 1987, SER has assisted thousands of marginalized and disadvantaged residents from across the City of Chicago and suburban Cook County in achieving their career and academic goals through quality employment, education and training programs.

CDIS partners with Central States SER to convene a Youth Advisory Board that guides ongoing study activity in Project AIM.

Community Outreach Intervention Projects (COIP)

The Community Outreach Intervention Projects (COIP), School of Public Health, University of Illinois Chicago was founded in 1986 to address HIV/AIDS, particularly among people who use drugs. COIP operates from storefront sites in Austin, Humboldt Park, West Englewood, South Chicago, and Uptown. Other neighborhoods are served by COIP’s motorhome and mobile van units. COIP’s interventions are known for their use of the Indigenous Leader Outreach Model, which employs former drug users to deliver services and assist in conducting research.

CDIS’ long-standing collaboration with COIP on multiple projects includes a project to increase COIP’s capacity to serve 13-24 year-old African-American women at COIP, incorporating the delivery of IMARA at COIP field sites.

Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center

The Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC) provides temporary secure housing for youth from the age of 10 through 16 years, who are awaiting adjudication of their cases by the Juvenile Division of the Cook County Courts. The Center also provides care for youth who have been transferred from Juvenile Court jurisdiction to Criminal Court. These youth would otherwise be incarcerated in the county jail.

CDIS partners with JTDC and the UIC College of Nursing to provide sexual health education programming to JTDC residents. Programs are facilitated by inter-professional cohorts of UIC Health Sciences Colleges students.

Cook County Juvenile Probation and Court Services

Researchers at CDIS have partnered for over 15 years with Juvenile Probation and Court Services Department of Cook County, IL, the second largest juvenile probation system in the US. From 2004 to 2008, we developed and pilot tested PHAT Life, an innovative HIV/STI, substance use, and mental health intervention for juvenile offenders. Findings from the pilot study revealed reduced sexual risk taking and substance use at 3-month follow-up. More recently, we have rigorously evaluated PHAT Life in a carefully-conducted efficacy trial, with sustained positive outcomes at 12-month follow-up. In order to ensure that this line of research produces actual, real-world improvements in the lives of probation youth, we seek to identify in partnership with Juvenile Probation a PHAT Life implementation strategy that is effective, cost-effective, and sustainable within juvenile justice settings.  CDIS is currently conducting a 2-arm randomized controlled trial comparing the impact of PHAT Life on 350 13-17 year-old offenders’ risky sex, STI, substance use, and theoretical mediators when delivered by Youth Representatives (YR) vs. probation staff (PS).

Desmond Tutu Health Foundation

The Desmond Tutu Health Foundation (DTHF) is a registered non-profit company established in association with the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre, an accredited research center within the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa. Bridging rigorous academic research with community development programs, the DTHF collaborates with those most at risk to find innovative solutions in the prevention and treatment of HIV and related infections. CDIS investigators, in partnership with the DTHF, will adapt the IMARA intervention to take into account the unique contextual factors and culture of South Africa and conduct a randomized controlled trial of the IMARA program at the DTHF.

Grassroot Soccer

Grassroot Soccer (GRS) is an adolescent health organization that leverages the power of soccer to equip young people with the life-saving information, services, and mentorship they need to live healthier lives. GRS is working with Dr. Kate Merrill on a range of implementation science-related projects.

Heartland Alliance

Heartland Alliance provides a continuum of programs that address the root causes of poverty, generate social change, and inspire people to build better lives not only for themselves but for their communities. CDIS collaborates with Heartland Alliance staff to deliver PHAT Life, an innovative HIV/STI, substance use, and mental health intervention for juvenile offenders. Heartland Alliance programs offering PHAT Life include:

  • Heartland Human Care Services’ (HHCS) Manuel Saura Center, which provides pre-trial residential care and comprehensive case management services for justice-involved youth between the ages of 10 to 17.
  • Heartland Re-Entry Program, which provides residential care for justice-involved youth ages 12-17 who need stability before permanent residential placement.
  • F3D (Felony Drug Distribution Diversion), a 13-month pre-plea deferred prosecution program for emerging adults who have been charged with delivery of a controlled substance, which offers education, social services, job training, and other related supports.

Illinois Tobacco Quitline

The Illinois Tobacco Quitline is a free telephonic or phone resource for individuals wanting to quit tobacco or tobacco-related products. The Quitline’s counselors — nurses, respiratory therapists, and tobacco-cessation specialists — all have at least 25 years of medical experience and attend accredited, renowned nicotine dependence training programs to become certified in tobacco-cessation therapies. They also are qualified to offer guidance in lung health and disease-related comorbidities, in addition to tobacco cessation.

CDIS partners with Illinois Tobacco Quitline on the Mi Quit CARE project.

Indiana University (IU) Health

Indiana University (IU) Health is the largest network of physicians in the state of Indiana, offering both specialty and primary care, as well as breakthrough research and community outreach in partnership with the IU School of Medicine. CDIS investigators work with IU Health on the Planned Outreach, Intervention, Naloxone, and Treatment (POINT) project, an emergency department-based intervention for connecting opioid overdose survivors to medication assisted treatment. POINT uses peer recovery coaching to address barriers that prevent opioid users from accessing medication assisted treatment.

Influents Innovations

Preventing HIV Among Teens (PHAT) Life is an evidence-based program that meets the need in juvenile justice to address youths’ co-morbid health problems. Building on PHAT Life’s past research, CDIS researchers and Influents Innovations are engaged in a public/private collaboration to (a) develop and evaluate a prototype interactive web browser and mobile app multimedia training tool to enable para-professionals (e.g., health educators, probation staff, youth care staff) to deliver PHAT Life to youth on probation, and (b) identify additional training materials needed to address facilitator gaps (e.g., HIV/STI knowledge, managing group dynamics).

Influents Innovations is a C corporation specializing in the invention, development and commercialization of evidence-based products and services for the health care, social services, and education markets.

The Kedzie Center

The Kedzie Center provides culturally informed quality mental health care to residents living in Chicago’s Albany Park, Irving Park, North Park and Sauganash neighborhoods. Since 2014, the Kedzie Center has been serving residents through the integration of clinical practice, education, and evaluation, and the application of psychological insight to address community concerns, as informed by the community and in collaboration with local residents and partners.

CDIS is partnering with the Kedzie Center to adapt and pilot a sexual and reproductive health program for Latina teens and their mothers.


Chicago Lawndale AMACHI Mentoring Program (LAMP) provides mentoring to children 5-24 years old impacted by incarceration and delivers programming focused on academic achievement, decision-making, social and emotional stability, and community pride in North Lawndale, Chicago. LAMP is working with Dr. Natasha Crooks on her study “A Family-Based HIV Prevention Program for Black Men to Protect Black Girls..”

Lighthouse Institute

Lighthouse Institute, a division of Chestnut Health Systems™, was established in 1986. Their mission is to help practitioners improve the quality of their services through research, training, and publishing. Serving health and human service organizations through offices in Chicago, Bloomington/Normal and Maryville, Illinois, Lighthouse Institute staff conduct applied research, program evaluation, training, and consultation. Dennis Watson, PhD, a CDIS faculty affiliate, is a Senior Research Scientist at Lighthouse.

Mile Square Health Center

Mile Square Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center, opened its first neighborhood clinic in 1967 and keeps working to help Chicagoans. Their health clinics are located in many neighborhoods across Chicagoland to care for families at every stage of life.

CDIS partners with Mile Square Health Center on the Mi Quit CARE project.

View CDIS Projects