COVID-19 Contact Tracing Initiative

As Cook County recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, reopening efforts will depend on public health testing, contact tracing, a sustained healthcare system capacity to respond to new outbreaks and public compliance with existing containment and mitigation efforts. The Hektoen Institute in collaboration with Cook County Department of Health and the Illinois Department of Public Health participated in addressing the contact tracing component. Hektoen directly employed these positions who will function as part of the CCDPH COVID-19 Contact Tracing Initiative. These employees will be dedicated to helping suburban Cook County residents who have tested positive with the COVID-19 virus in identifying available resources for them and in identifying individuals who may have been exposed to the virus.   


COVID-19 Contact Tracing Community Supports Program

The Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH), the state-certified public health authority for most of suburban Cook County and an affiliate of Cook County Health (CCH), has contracted with the Hektoen Institute for Medical Research (Hektoen) to provide contract management and oversight for the Suburban Cook County COVID-19 Contact Tracing Community Supports Program. This program recognizes the value of community-based organizations as credible, trusted entities, and the importance of leveraging existing community assets and infrastructure to share timely and evolving COVID-19 information and provide resources to communities and populations most impacted by the pandemic. To support this effort, the Illinois Department of Public Health allocated nearly $41 million to CCDPH as part of the COVID-19 Local Health Department Contact Tracing Grant.  An expanded team of CCDPH contact tracers in suburban Cook County is important in the process of safely lifting regulations and increasing COVID-19 testing that will require additional case investigations and contact tracing. Nearly $5.5 million will be awarded to successful applicants who have the commitment and ability to quickly implement activities within a 6.5 month period that will ensure effectiveness of the CCDPH COVID-19 contact tracing program, slow the spread of COVID-19, and lessen the social and economic impacts — especially for communities and populations most adversely affected by the pandemic. The awarded Community Based Organizations (CBOs) will participate in the activities below:  

Option 1: Regional Learning & Action Networks

All awardees will be participating in a series of meetings of the equity lab, “Changing Hearts and Minds for Leadership,” and collaborating in their respective Regional Learning and Action Network. Additionally, all awardees will be disseminating timely, relevant COVID-19 information to the communities they serve.  

Alivio Medical Center

Barbara Westbrook Smith Family Life Center NFP

Best of Proviso Township

Center for Community Academic Success Partnerships

Centro de Trabajadores Unidos / United Workers’ Center

Cornerstone Community Development Corporation

Dream Academy Foundation

Ecker Center for Behavioral Health

It Could Be Your Kid

Journeys | The Road Home

Nations Warriors Alliance

Next Move Community Services

Northwest Compass, Inc.

Oak Park Regional Housing Center

Proactive Community Services

Progress Center for Independent Living

Quinn Center of St. Eulalia

Seasons Community Outreach Services

Sibling Leadership Network

The Monroe Foundation

The Nehemiah Community Project

Thinking Beyond

True Love Center

Williams Aftercare Recovery Center


Option 2: Providing Community Supports

In addition to participating in the Option 1 activities, Option 2 awardees will be providing one or more of the following community supports: Education & Outreach, Expansion of Existing Program or Service, and/or Community-Based Testing.  

Arab American Family Services

Center of Concern

Family Christian Health Center

Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project (FLAP)

First Baptist Church of Melrose Park

Illinois Association of Free and Charitable Clinics

Latino Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders Alliance (LAMDA)

Loyola University Chicago

Partners for Our Communities

Pillars Community Health

Proviso Leyden Council for Community Action, Inc.

Respond Now

Rincon Family Services

Sisters Working It Out

Southland Ministerial Health Network, NFP

Suburban Primary Health Care Council

TCA Health, Inc.

The Link & Option Center, Inc.