Impact of Giving

These are the stories of the individuals and foundations who help advance Chicago medicine and science through their vision and philanthropy.

Donor Stories

Gift to Endow New Health Justice Professorship

University of Chicago Medical Center Trustee Ellie Block has made a donation to the University of Chicago Medical Center to establish the Ellen H. Block Professorship for Health Justice, the first chair within the Urban Health Initiative (UHI), and to support related work to redress inequities in health and health care.

“I’m thrilled to support the visionary work of a dedicated team of professionals at the Medical Center to eliminate the health care disparities that cause so much suffering in our society,” says Block. “It is compelling to me that, through UHI, people in disenfranchised communities will be afforded the same access to health care as all others. It will level the playing field. From neonatal to geriatrics, UHI will have an impact in the schools, the community, and of course in the relationship people have with their doctor.”

“What I find most exciting,” Block adds, “is that this is an eminently replicable model that can be shared with other disenfranchised communities across the country.”

Assistant Professor of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Medicine-Geriatrics Stacy Lindau, MD, branded the gift, “inspired.”

“It means faculty can invest their energy and talents in addressing inequities in health and health care–especially those we see in the immediate community where many of us live and work.”

Chair to Offer Creative Solutions
The holder of the chair will play an integral role in UHI, Lindau says. “This gift will support an individual who, in partnership with the community, can devote his or her scholarship to identifying creative, impactful solutions to health inequities.”

Part of Block’s gift will also help support Lindau’s ongoing work on women’s health. As co-principal investigator of the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, Lindau helped pioneer the first nationwide study of sexual mores, behaviors, and problems among older Americans. “The theme of health justice underpins my work addressing the issues faced by women with cancer, cardiovascular disease, dementia, and other common, complex conditions, and their ability to return to a normal life,” she says. “This shared passion with Ellie for health justice means we can also improve the effectiveness of care for women around a very important topic that’s largely unaddressed.”

“No one has really addressed this issue before,” says Block. “Stacy’s work ushers in a new day in both women’s health and health justice for all.”

For more information, contact Cathy Deutsch at cdeutsch@mcdmail.uchicago.edu.

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