Healing the fractures in health care starts with a transformative movement that fundamentally changes the delivery of and access to high-quality medicine for all.

Founded in 2022, The Change Institute of Cook County Health grew out of crucial conversations about health equity in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic that disproportionately impacted communities of color and underserved populations.

The Change Institute of Cook County Health seeks to develop innovative, cohesive strategies to bridge gaps in treatment and prevention.
Our work begins with four of the most prevalent causes of premature death in Cook County: cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. By addressing the stages of care for each disease, we will identify actionable steps that deliver immediate impact and improve health outcomes for generations to come.

Cancer

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, but African Americans, other racial and ethnic groups, and people with low incomes have the highest cancer burdens. In fact, Black people have the highest death rate and shortest survival rate of any racial/ethnic group for most cancers1.

DIABETES

Adult-onset diabetes, known as Type 2, accounts for more than 90% of all cases and can lead to serious health consequences, including heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. African American Cook County residents are nearly twice as likely to experience diabetes as a contributing cause of death than white residents2 .

HEART DISEASE

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and for residents of Cook County3 and exacts a disproportionate toll on many racial and ethnic groups. Heart disease is the number one killer of women, and more common in Black and LatinX patients.

STROKE

On average, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds4. Two-thirds of African Americans have at least one risk factor for stroke and Black patients have the highest death rate from stroke.

1 American Cancer Society, “Cancer Disparities in the Black Community,” ;
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC Wonder API via Live Stories;
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics;
4 American Stroke Association, “Let’s Talk About Black Americans and Stroke.”

Addressing these diseases, and others, requires a comprehensive approach rooted in four distinct quadrants of practical application.

PREVENTION

Promoting health literacy and empowering patients with information and resources to define their own health journey.

PRIMARY CARE

Improving access to preventative & specialty care across all communities.

SOCIAL RISK FACTORS & DISRUPTIONS

Addressing the social and economic infrastructure that directly affect population health.

ACUTE CARE

Addressing immediate & emergent health needs with universal, high-quality care.

Acute Care

Addressing immediate and emergent health needs with universal, high-quality care.

Prevention

Promoting health literacy and empowering patients with information and resources to define their own health journey.

Primary Care

Improving access to preventative & specialty care across all communities.

SOCIAL RISK FACTORS & DISRUPTIONS

Addressing the social and economic infrastructure that directly affect population health.

While we will begin by tackling cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke, that is just the beginning.

The Change Institute of Cook County Health will address all inequities, from food and housing insecurity to maternal and child health outcomes.

Join Us &
Be The Change

About
Cook County Health

Cook County Health is investing in our network and modernizing services for patients. We’re leading the field in cutting-edge technology, increased capacity and innovative research.

As we have evolved over the past 180 years, so has our mission. Our priority has always been the health and well-being of those we serve. We aim to elevate the health of Cook County, secure the future of the health system and build a place where everyone will want to receive care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay.