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For nearly 20 years, the Hektoen Institute has worked with the Cook County Bureau of Health Services (Bureau) to bring high quality, coordinated HIV care to thousands of patients throughout the county. The Bureau has been the public health services provider in Cook County since 1843, and is the third largest public health services provider in the US. Its facilities include: the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, located in the Illinois Medical District (IMD) on Chicago’s near west side; Oak Forest Hospital, in Chicago’s south west suburbs; Provident Hospital, on the city’s south side; the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center, also in the IMD; Cermak Health Services at the Department of Corrections; the Cook County Department of Public Health; and the Ambulatory and Community Health Network (ACHN), a network of 13 neighborhood clinics located throughout Cook County.
The Bureau’s HIV program is the largest in the Midwest, serving more than 25% of the total population of persons with HIV/AIDS known to be in care in the Chicago Metropolitan area. This care is provided by five programs, all operating with a comprehensive, integrated services model, with expert HIV primary care given in clinical settings that have integrated mental health, substance abuse, oral health and psychosocial services: the CORE Center; the HIV Program at Provident Hospital; the Austin Health Center of Cook County Minority AIDS Initiative Clinic; the South Suburban Comprehensive HIV Program; and HIV Services at Cermak Health Center for the Cook County Jail. The Bureau’s HIV service is a coordinated, integrated hub-and-spoke model with the CORE Center and Stroger Hospital acting as a main hub and referral center for difficult cases, for special populations (women, children, adolescents, the multiply diagnosed, recent detainees, and monolingual Spanish speakers) and for care on the West Side. Provident Hospital is the referral center anchoring HIV care on the South Side, while Oak Forest Hospital anchors the service network in the South Suburbs. Cermak Health Center serves detainees. The Bureau's HIV Coordinating Committee serves as the forum for coordinating service, training, strategic planning, and resource allocation among and between all the clinics.
With grants predominantly funded by the HRSA-based multi-fold Ryan White Treatment Modernization Act (RWTMA), the Hektoen Institute has coordinated grant writing and administration for four of the Bureau’s HIV care sites: the CORE Center, the HIV program at Provident Hospital, the coordinated HIV program at the Cook County West Side Health Center (CCWSHC), and the Coordinated HIV program at the South Suburban Clinics of Cook County (SSHARC). These grants have included a variety of funds which support care for the general HIV positive population (Titles I, II and III), HIV positive women and children (Title IV and WIHS), and HIV positive adolescents (AMAC).