Un Puerto En La Tormenta: Health Care for Asylum Seekers in Chicago

2023 NACo Achievement Award Winner

Cook County, Ill., IL

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About the Program

Category: Health (Best in Category)

Year: 2023

Almost overnight, the City of Chicago started receiving buses of asylum-seekers from the U.S./Mexico border. The City of Chicago and the State of Illinois urgently called CCH requesting immediate medical response for asylum seekers arriving the next day. CCH responded by standing up a Refugee Health Center in less than twenty-four hours of the initial phone call to care for the asylum seekers arriving in the additional buses. What was initially to be a one- or two-week initiative turned out to be the creation of a comprehensive Refugee Health Center with medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, transportation, care coordination, and social services. This initiative continues to operate five months after inception providing more than 10,000 patient visits to-date. The project has been an intergovernmental success story where the State of Illinois, City of Chicago and Cook County governments have come together as one, as well as engaged community-based and faith-based organizations to support the arrival of asylum-seekers to the United States. The project is funded by state, city and county governments and philanthropic sources.

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