Providing Care to the Underserved in Uptown

A $709,000 federal grant

August 23, 2017

Adler Community Health Services (ACHS) has been awarded a $709,000 federal grant to expand a program providing primary care services to homeless individuals and people living with HIV/AIDS in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood over the next three years. This is the largest grant Adler University has ever received.

The federal Human Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Graduate Psychology Education Program awarded Adler the grant, which will allow Adler to increase internship opportunities for more clinical psychology students to receive training and experience in providing care in an interprofessional environment.

The ACHS Primary Care Services Program trains Adler clinical psychology students in interprofessional practice at Heartland Health Outreach, caring for homeless individuals and people living with HIV/AIDS in Uptown. Those accessing services at Heartland tend to experience high rates of mental illness, substance use and abuse, and past and current experiences of trauma and domestic abuse.

“The continuation of this grant provides our students an important opportunity to learn the requisite skills to directly collaborate with a primary care team to jointly address problems an individual faces through a truly comprehensive and coordinated provision of care,” said Kevin Osten-Garner, Psy.D., Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs for the Division of Community Engagement.

The new grant will allow ACHS to increase its number of interns training in primary care settings from 4 to 6 by 2019, creating a total of 15 American Psychological Association-approved internship slots within ACHS.

“Especially given Illinois’ ongoing budget crisis, as community programs are being crippled or shuttered, these funds through HRSA will allow Adler and Heartland to help care for the increasing number of people affected by HIV and homelessness who are further marginalized and victimized by political inaction and indifference.”

According to the Center for Disease Control, Illinois ranks sixth among the top 10 states affected by HIV/AIDS. The city of Chicago accounts for 69 percent of Illinois’ AIDS cases, with incidence rates of AIDS nearly four times that of the state of Illinois and the nation overall.

In Chicago, Uptown ranks the highest in HIV/AIDS incidence. Rates of homelessness and HIV/AIDS incidence are proportionately higher in Uptown than in other Chicago areas, significant in a city and state already recognized for high populations of those living with HIV or AIDS.