Durbin Secures $6.25 Million In Funding For Chicago HEAL Initiative In Fy23 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced that he helped secure $6.25 million in federal funding for projects to prevent gun violence and improve health and wellbeing under the Chicago HEAL Initiative in the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) Omnibus Appropriations Act. The bill passed the Senate and now heads to the House of Representatives.

“The Chicago HEAL Initiative is a community-wide effort that focuses on offering support to Chicago neighborhoods dealing with the heavy weight of gun violence and health disparities. This framework, led by an incredible collaboration of hospital leaders, has connected young Chicagoans to health care and economic opportunities,” said Durbin. “These hospital projects are bringing their medical expertise and economic footprint right into the community to address the root causes of violence. This federal funding I secured will help expand this successful model to enable more of our neighbors to thrive.”

Launched in 2018 by Senator Durbin and 10 of the largest hospitals serving Chicago, the HEAL Initiative is a collaboration to address the root causes of gun violence through economic, health, and community projects in 18 of Chicago’s neighborhoods with the highest rates of violence, poverty, and inequality. Earlier this year, the hospitals released a report on the first three years of this initiative, demonstrating a 21 percent in local hiring, a 28 percent increase in young people involved in hospital workforce development programs, and a 130 percent increase in the number of patients served with trauma-informed care services. 

The FY23 Omnibus Appropriations Act includes the following federal funding for the Chicago HEAL Initiative:

  • Community Clinic, Chicago, Illinois: $1 million to the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago to partner with Stone Community Development Corporation to create a new community health clinic site in Austin to serve children and families.
  • Health Care Career Pipeline Program, Oak Lawn, Illinois: $500,000 to Advocate Aurora Health to provide summer internships to local college students and expand career opportunities in the health care field. 
  • Network Level Health Specialists Project, Chicago, Illinois: $750,000 to Chicago Public Schools to launch a collaboration with Chicago hospitals and healthcare systems engaged in the HEAL initiative to establish a network-based health specialist model.
  • Population Health Career Pathway Program, Chicago, Illinois: $1.25 million to Sinai Health System to expand Sinai’s Population Health Career Pathway Program, which provides career training in growing population health careers for at-risk youth in Chicago.
  • School-Based Mental Health Services, Chicago, Illinois: $1.5 million to the University of Illinois Chicago in partnership with Rush University to expand school-based health services in Chicago. 
  • Violence Recovery Services, Chicago, Illinois: $1.25 million to the University of Chicago Medical Center in partnership with Metropolitan Family Services to deliver street outreach and violence recovery services on the South Side of Chicago.