12H—Growing New Roots: An Urban Health System Reinvigorates Its Commitment to Bring Academic Medicine to Community Settings

Monday, March 28th

About the Session

Academic health systems serve at the crossroads of providing clinical care to the most complex and high-risk patients in the country while also educating and training the nation’s healthcare workforce and supporting biomedical research. With these roles comes pressure to sustain and balance the historic tripartite mission of academic institutions—both strategically and financially—while also meeting the changing needs of their service areas, particularly urban communities where many academic medical center campuses are located.

While academic health systems have strived to serve as regional health hubs through mergers, partnerships, and alliances, the strength of the spokes of these hubs, which connect services with patients in need, has not been as robust as it should be. This shortcoming is particularly evident in urban communities facing persistent health inequities and public health challenges.

This session will share lessons learned from UChicago Medicine’s reinvigorated initiatives to better meet the needs of its closest urban service areas as well as broader regions in northern Illinois and Indiana. Topics discussed will include overcoming issues such as faculty dynamics, cost structures, and fixed assets that often make it difficult for academic systems to pivot easily; growing and strengthening an ambulatory care network to bring care closer to people using a primary care and service line approach; and building a non-faculty physician network that is closely aligned and supportive of both academic and community healthcare. Presenters will provide insight into strategies to bolster engagement and integration with community partners to establish a more comprehensive approach to population health and the necessity of medical education that incorporates social determinants of health and access to broader patient populations for clinical trials. Attendees will also receive an overview of the initiatives that serve as examples of how academic health systems, community hospitals, Federally Qualified Health Centers, community organizations, and others can come together to build a preventative care network and access to quality services.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss the challenges of building a more unified academic health system with an urgent and aggressive plan to extend academic medicine to outlying, underserved communities.
  • Demonstrate how a collaborative, unified approach with multiple stakeholders is needed to tackle healthcare’s most persistent challenges.


Presented By

Amy Ross

Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning and Service Lines
UChicago Medicine

Tom Jackiewicz

UChicago Medicine