Michael Reese and Polk Bros. Foundation are recognized with a Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for their role in planning and implementing the first federally funded healthcare and housing initiative in a major U.S. metropolitan area: the Chicago and Cook County Housing for Health Strategic Plan. In 2014 Michael Reese convened 45 stakeholders—including state, county, and city representatives and leadership of the nine managed care organizations that insured Illinois Medicaid enrollees—to outline goals that would lead to improved health and healthcare cost reductions for people who experience homelessness and chronic health issues. With support from both foundations, the Center for Housing and Health (CHH) recruited lead partner agencies and launched the initiative.
A summary evaluation of the Michael Reese-Chicago Public Schools High School/Hospital Initiative finds steady increases in the number of participants who complete a job shadow or internship or earn a certification during high school—including certifications with economic value such as pharmacy technician. In addition, program participants either plan to or do enroll in college after graduation at higher rates than either Chicago Public Schools graduate overall or graduates from other Chicago Public Schools Career and Technical Education programs.