We inform and educate communities about how to prevent diseases, such as hepatitis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and more. Illinois has the largest Asian American population in the Midwest and 5th largest in nation (more than 650,000). Yet Asian Americans remain among the most understudied racial and ethnic minorities in the nation.  The overzealous aggregation of Asian Americans as a single, undifferentiated group hides the greater health problems experienced by individual ethnic subgroups. This presents a major barrier to establishing a baseline of health and impedes the progress towards developing strong health programs and interventions.

Our Chronic and Infectious Disease Programs support local community interventions that can have global impact. Challenges to addressing chronic disease disparities for the diverse Asian American populations in Chicago are too complex to solve by traditional single-discipline approaches alone. Through our multi-level partnerships with community-based organizations (CBOs), bilingual and bicultural community health workers (CHWs), and community service providers, we have created evidence-based prevention and disease management programs around diabetes and heart disease for immigrant communities in Chicago that are largely low-income and limited English-speaking.


Immigrant communities in Chicago that are largely low-income and limited English-speaking from many countries around the world, including East Asian, South Asian, and African communities.


Hepatitis Education Prevention Programs (HEPP)

  • Better HEALTH-Helping Educate All and Link Those with Hepatitis
    Better-HEALTH (Helping Educate All and Link Those with Hepatitis) is a multi-level and comprehensive partnership strategy intended to prevent new cases of hepatitis B, increase the identification of individuals with chronic hepatitis B, and navigate them to high-quality, ongoing medical care.
  • Don’t Let Hep B Win
    Don’t Let Hep B Win is a community health driven initiative that utilizes Community Based Organizations to provide hepatitis B outreach, awareness, education and linkage to care in over 10 different languages to the immigrant communities in Illinois. 
  • Raising Awareness and Engaging African Immigrant Communities in Hepatitis Screening and Prevention
    Utilizing focus groups, surveys and key informant interviews, we are conducting an evaluation of the African Immigrant community to develop a better understanding of their perception of hepatitis and general health behavior. Through this understanding, we are able to tailor our messaging and raise awareness about hepatitis B through outreach, education and screenings. 


Cardiovascular Awareness Recognizing Diet and Integration of Exercise Options. CARDIO targets preventable risk factors and reduces disparities in cardiovascular disease and diabetes comorbidities among Chicago’s South Asian communities utilizing innovative community-clinic partnerships through culturally tailored screening, education, and lifestyle support.

Chicago Asian Health Survey

Created to examine the health of Chicagolands Asian populations, the Chicago Asian Health Survey will be used to identify and address health inequities among these underserved populations.  Surveys will be collected from 8 different Asian Ethnicities, and the disaggregated data gathered from these surveys will be used to create a local AAPI data registry.


Alia Southworth, Director, Chronic and Infectious Disease,

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