Coalition Members Featured at Drexel University Urban Health Symposium, “Reimagining Health in Cities: From Local to Global"

On Sept. 7 and 8, 2017, the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative hosted the second Urban Health Symposium, “Reimagining Health in Cities: From Local to Global.” The event — which was held at the Dornsife School of Public Health — drew around 300 researchers, practitioners and policymakers from a variety of organizations and educational institutions. The Symposium featured two jam-packed days of inspiring speakers, poster presentations, and global networking opportunities. 

Highlights included a lively session with U.S. health leaders; an innovative session on novel uses of data; and a keynote address from Mindy Fullilove, MD, Professor at the Parsons School of Design, The New School. 

In addition to the informative and insightful sessions, the Symposium also featured over 60 posters, covering a broad range of research topics related to urban health. Selected posters were displayed for five categories: novel urban health research methods; built environment and climate change; health disparities and special populations; program and policies to improve health in cities; and addressing urban challenges, health behaviors and mental health. Thank you to all of our poster presenters and attendees! 

If you missed a session, or perhaps you’d like to re-live the Urban Health Symposium, check out our YouTube playlist to watch the sessions.

CHICAGO. Vaccination funding may be cut if Obamacare ends, public health experts warn (Chicago Tribune)

Many worry that up to 1 million Illinois consumers could lose their health insurance if Obamacare is repealed.

But Chicago Department of Public Health leaders aren't just worried about that part of the Affordable Care Act being repealed. They're also concerned about the possible loss of funds used to vaccinate Chicagoans and deal with disease outbreaks.

The Prevention and Public Health Fund created under the health care law has distributed about $12.8 million to the city's Department of Public Health since 2012 for programs to vaccinate thousands of Chicagoans and educate consumers on diseases, among other things.

Statewide, Illinois health departments and organizations got $18.6 million last year, according to the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

"It really allowed public health systems throughout this nation to be stronger," said Dr. Julie Morita, Chicago public health commissioner. "It's a critical piece of the Affordable Care Act that really needs to be sustained."

"It would be a huge problem, ranging city-by-city and community-by-community," said Chrissie Juliano, director of the Big Cities Health Coalition, which includes as members officials from 28 city health departments across the U.S. "In a field that does not get a lot of money and has seen continual cuts, losing these dollars really makes it hard for them to do their jobs, which is keeping communities healthy and safe."

Read more.

CHICAGO. Chicago Passes Paid Sick Leave (Next City)


This week Chicago’s city council approved a paid sick leave ordinance, ensuring that nearly every Windy City worker will have the right to earn up to five days of paid sick leave. The city joins over two dozen others in the U.S., including New York and Los Angeles, in requiring employees to provide that protection. When the legislation goes into effect next year, it will extend the right to more than 460,000 workers. Construction workers were excluded, reports the Chicago Tribune, because they tend to work for more than one employer over the course of a year.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel characterized the ordinance as “earned sick leave,” because employees will accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours labored. “You have to earn it, you don’t just get it, by the amount of hours you put in,” he said.

Even though numerous studies have shown that paid sick leave has a minimal negative impact on employer expenses and a significant positive impact on employee productivity and morale, Chicago’s business community opposed the ordinance. “It’s unfortunate the City Council refuses to consider the overall effects of the litany of new rules, regulations and costs they place on employers,” said Chicagoland Chamber President Theresa Mintle in a statement. “Businesses don’t operate in silos, and this mandated paid sick leave is another cost neighborhood businesses will have to absorb at a time when they can least afford it.”

Read more.