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Support HB3718 and Transfer Reform for Illinois Youth

May 20, 2015

Children are not adults.

This simple fact is often lost in Illinois’ Automatic Transfer law which allows children as young as 13 to be charged as adults for certain crimes. The practice of automatic transfers not only runs counter to everything we know about brain development, but is also frequently discriminatory. Research from the Juvenile Justice Initiative shows that children of color are more likely to be charged as adults than children who are White: out of 323 children subjected to automatic transfer, 85% were African American, 13% were Hispanic, and only three children were White.

On May 6, 2015, transfer reform bill senate amendments #1 to House Bill 3718 passed out of the Senate Criminal Law Committee. This bill would grant juvenile court judges greater discretion in determining whether youth should be tried as juveniles or adults and represents a huge victory for youth in Illinois.

Health & Medicine's Court-Involved Youth Project encourages you to tell your state representative that you believe that Illinois children should be treated as children. Call your representative and ask them to support amendment 1 to HB3718. The progress that has been made is due to the support of advocates like you, and your continued support is essential to ensure passage of this vital legislation.

20th Class of Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Announced

May 14, 2015

Health & Medicine and the Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program are pleased to announce the members of the 2015-16 Fellowship class. Thirty exceptional health professions graduate students (selected from among nearly 100 applicants) will participate in the the prestigious Schweitzer Fellowship – a year-long service learning program that empowers Fellows to design and implement projects that help address the health needs of underserved Chicago communities.

The 2015-16 Schweitzer Fellows include students from 12 area universities and a diversity of health professions and public service fields including medicine, nursing, dentistry, psychology, social work, law, and public health. The Program’s interdisciplinary approach exposes students to real-world inter-professional, collaborative care, addressing the triple aim of the Affordable Care Act. This year’s Fellowship recipients belong to the 20th class of Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows and join a network of more than 500 Chicago program alumni who have provided over 100,000 hours of community service over the course of the Program’s history. Click here to read the full press release and click here to see the full list of Fellows and their service projects

Phyllis Mitzen Receives National Association of Social Workers Lifetime Achievement Award

May 05, 2015

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has announced that Phyllis Mitzen of Health & Medicine’s Center for Long-Term Care Reform is the recipient of its 2014 National Lifetime Achievement award. The award honor’s Phyllis’ over four decades of dedication to the social work profession and to improving the care of older Americans.

Phyllis is known for her leading role in gerontology social work. She played a pivotal role in reforming long-term care in Illinois by helping craft Illinois long-term care reform legislation. Through her work at Health & Medicine, she continues to advance public policies that help those in need of accessible, affordable and quality long-term care. Phyllis has authored numerous studies and publications to help individuals and organizations transition the elderly to and from different situations.

"Phyllis is a leader in the field of aging, both here in Illinois and nationally. She has been a mentor to many, including myself," said Joel Rubin, executive director of the NASW Illinois Chapter. "I first met Phyllis as a young social work intern at the Council for Jewish Elderly (now CJE Senior Life) in 1981, and she has always served as a source of guidance and inspiration throughout my career. The social work community in Illinois is extremely proud of this recognition for Phyllis."

On Thursday, April 30, Representative Jan Schakowsky honored Phyllis’ achievements in the United States House of Representatives, sharing “Phyllis has served as a mentor and friend to many. I join with them in applauding her steadfast commitment to fighting for the dignity and care of older Americans and in thanking her for her decades of work in our community.”

Chicago Schweitzer Spring 2015 Newsletter Now Online

Apr 21, 2015

Our latest Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellowship Newsletter rounds up our recent Schweitzer activities including: 
  • How Fellow Josh Taylor’s “Noble Nine” project is cultivating leadership and idealism in Englewood youth
  • Information on our newest Fellows for Life seed grant recipients and their community health projects 
  • Pictures from our Fellows for Life Retreat which focused on self-care for caregivers
  • A recap of a recent symposium on the healthcare needs of the aging population hosted by our Fellows
  • Updates and photos from Fellows’ service projects and much, much more

We invite you check out the newsletter here and stay engaged and involved with this innovative service learning program. 

We’re also pleased to share pictures from our recent Celebration of Service event which recognized the accomplishments of our 2014-15 Fellows. You can view pictures from the event here on the Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Flickr page.