CREHM’s mission is to reduce the risk of environmental health threats and improve the quality of life in minority and low-income communities in Chicago by educating community members and health care providers about the health effects of maternal exposure to environmental toxicants. We are also committed to conducting research in the area of reproductive environmental health.
There is growing concern about the effects of environmental toxicants on the health of women in the reproductive age groups and their offspring. Of particular concern are women and infants that live in predominantly minority communities where populations often have limited geographic and financial access to health services and other resources. To address these reproductive health concerns, in 2004, the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Pediatrics at Stroger Hospital of Cook County, in conjunction with Great Lakes Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) at Cook County, The Great Lakes Center for Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health and The Maternal and Child Health Graduate Training Program at the University of Illinois School of Public Health (UIC) and the Hektoen Institute proposed the establishment of the “ Consortium for Reproductive Environmental Health in Minority Communities.” This organization will serve as the hub of regional perinatal and other reproductive environmental health programs for the Westside Medical Center of Chicago, Illinois and the entire Midwest region.