Promoting Holistic Wellness among Community Residents


Detailed Description

"The opening of the community resource center in Little Village marked the beginning of SAH’s investment in its Community Wellness Program (CWP). The CWP is a fully funded department of the hospital and has expanded to include two community centers in the Little Village and North Lawndale neighborhoods, as well as two satellite locations, one in Brighton Park and Gage Park, staffed by over 20 full-time professionals. Through these community-based locations, the CWP offers a range of free social services to residents on Chicago’s west and southwest sides. Programming at the CWP is informed by ongoing community assessments and is intentionally designed to address the context-specific service needs of community residents. Programming focuses on four primary areas: mental health service delivery; parenting support; health care access and navigation; and health education.

Services are culturally affirming and aligned with program participants’ service needs in the context of the local community and larger sociopolitical environments in which they are situated. The North Lawndale community center, for example, is located in the Dr. King Legacy Apartments built on the site where Dr. Martin Luther King lived with his family in 1966 when he was campaigning for racial justice as part of the Chicago Freedom Movement. Services at the Little Village community center are tailored to address the needs of the predominantly Mexican immigrant population whom it serves.

Among other services, the center provides free mental health services to uninsured Latino immigrant adults. The mental health services are culturally attuned, trauma-focused and long-term. Providers recognize the importance of providing bilingual and culturally affirming services, a fact that is clear from the moment that community residents enter the center’s waiting area and are greeted with a vibrant mural of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

In addition, the range of services that are offered on-site reflects the understanding that community residents’ emotional, psychosocial and medical needs are integrally connected."


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Type of Story
Level of Influence



  • Education

  • Family and social support

  • Access to care

  • Quality of care

  • Mental health and wellness

  • System change: Health care transformation

  • Equity: Stigma

  • Health System Transformation Oasis

  • Effective

  • Equitable

  • Health-promoting

  • Population-centered

  • Organization

  • Community/place

  • Neighborhood

  • Broader community

  • Adults 18+

  • Adults 18-44

  • Adults 45-64

  • Older adults 65+

  • Older adults 65-74

  • Older adults 75-85

  • Portfolio 1 (Improving mental/physical health with patients or workforce)

    This portfolio supports health care organizations focused on improving the physical and/or mental health of individuals for whom they feel directly responsible (e.g., patients and/or employees).

  • Portfolio 3 (Improving community health and well-being together with partners for a specific issue)

    ​​​​In this portfolio, health care organizations work together with community partners to improve specific health and wellbeing outcomes for a place-based population.

  • Portfolio 4 (Stewarding the community's long-term overall well-being)

    ​​​​​​In this portfolio, health care organizations actively engage in contributing to the long-term, overall wellbeing of the community as part of their mission and responsibility. In partnership with other community-based organizations, the focus on the community as a whole beyond subpopulations or priority topics.

Action Areas
  • Equity

    ​​​​​​Everyone deserves to have a fair and just opportunity to be healthier. This requires removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, including powerlessness and the lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care.

  • Data

    ​​​​​​Resources to help data collection by health care organizations in relation to population health, including cost and quality data on physical and mental health, number of ED visits, readmissions, demographics, and social determinant data supplemented by community partners. Community-level data should be stratified and used to identify and address inequities, and data should be shared across the community.

  • Community partnerships

    Resources to support partnering with local social-service agencies, faith communities, housing organizations, and other community-based organizations that have experience with addressing defined social and spiritual drivers.

  • Community benefit

    ​​​​​​Resources to help nonprofit hospitals obtain tax-exempt status by investing in community and population health, in range of services and activities that address the cause and impact of health-related needs.

Words to Describe