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Health & Medicine Condemns Trump Administration’s Proposed “Public Charge” Rule Change

Oct 12, 2018

This past Wednesday, October 10, the Trump Administration officially issued a proposed rule change related to “public charge” determinations. This is another abhorrent attack on the health and wellbeing of immigrants and their families that is meant to scare them from seeking access to programs that support healthcare, nutrition, and housing. Health & Medicine Policy Research Group joins immigrants and our partners to condemn this unjust and immoral proposal. As a member of Protecting Immigrant Families-Illinois we urge all of our partners to join us in fighting back.

What can you do? In short, advocates have sixty days from its posting date to submit public comments in opposition to this rule change. You can make a comment at this page and if you need guidance, you can click here.

There will be two webinars on Monday, October 15, 2018 about this change:
What would this rule change do? If it were to be adopted, the proposed “public charge” rule change would vastly expand the number of public benefits—to such programs as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, Medicare Part D, and Section 8 housing vouchers—that would be considered when making a determination of whether or not someone will be considered a “public charge.”

Under this proposal, immigrants being deemed a current or likely future “public charge” via use of the proposed expanded list of life-saving and health promoting programs would make it much more difficult for immigrants to obtain visas, extend visas, or to adjust their status to become lawful permanent residents. This adds to the other Trump Administration policies, practices, and rhetoric against immigrants that create a climate of fear, anxiety, and trauma—causing direct harm to people. This is structural violence and it is unjust.

This is not a done deal and we must fight back. The proposed rule change is not a final rule, it is not currently in effect, and we have a comment period to provide input. We must fight back both to go on record in opposition and to try to defeat this proposal. Every comment is important both for registering current opposition and for future legal challenges to the rule change.

This proposal is an unacceptable attack on human beings. We must also let public officials know in no uncertain terms that we see their repressive proposal for what it is: xenophobic, anti-immigrant, racist, and classist. It is unacceptable and must be resisted and rejected.

Let’s stand together. Health & Medicine stands with our immigrant sisters, brothers, and family members. The Trump Administration’s attacks on families do not stand the tests of morality or justice, and will not stand the test of time or history. Join us in this struggle for justice. Make it known to the Trump Administration that their harmful attacks on immigrants are wrong and that you oppose their proposed change to the “public charge” rule.
More information and resources are forthcoming. Protecting Immigrant Families-Illinois will be updating its fact sheet soon and Health & Medicine will post the update here when it is available. You can also sign up for updates from Protecting Immigrant Families-Illinois by emailing

Additionally, while brief comments can be submitted to the portal now, Protecting Immigrant Families-Illinois will also be circulating template comments for organizations to customize and submit. To receive these and other updates from Health & Medicine, join our mailing list.

Other resources:

Health & Medicine to Observe Indigenous Peoples' Day

Oct 04, 2018

On October 8, 2018, for the first time in the organization’s history, Health & Medicine Policy Research Group will be observing Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

The Indigenous Peoples of America have rich cultures and continue to show strength and resilience in the face of adversity and injustice. They have experienced thefts of their lands, languages, property, and lives since the arrival of settlers from Europe. This struggle for justice continues today, and Native People are often at the forefront of movements against inequities and for their own survival and wellbeing. Indigenous Peoples’ Day is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of Native People and lend our voice in support of all those seeking freedom, sovereignty, and justice.

The definition of health equity that guides our work at Health & Medicine requires that those working to advance equity value all individuals and populations equally and work to recognize and rectify historical injustices. Our decision to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day honors that work by challenging the sanitized histories that are often taught about the United States and its founding, a history that contributes to health inequities to this day.

In short, we believe that historical context matters to health equity and that celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a step towards recognizing the full scope of American history and the unfinished work of advancing justice.

As public health and healthcare policy leaders, Health & Medicine invites our partners, other organizations, and our broader government to likewise celebrate and honor Indigenous People’s Day.

Chicago Schweitzer Summer2018 Newsletter Now Online

Aug 16, 2018

Our latest Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellowship Newsletter rounds up our recent Schweitzer activities including:

-A farewell and thank you to Art and Claire Kohrman who have helped guide the guide our Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellowship program and also the national Albert Schweitzer Fellowship organization for decades.
-An overview of our impactful Fellows for Life Seed Grant program and its role strengthening Fellows’ commitment to service.
-A recap of our spring orientation weekend and much more

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

Meet our 2018 HMPRG Award Winners

Aug 02, 2018

Too often those in our community working for health and social justice are not given the recognition they deserve. Today, we're pleased to announce the recipients of our 2018 HMPRG Awards representing Chicago-area leaders whose work exemplifies Health & Medicine’s mission to promote social justice and challenge inequities in health and health care.

We invite also you to to join us in honoring our winners at Health & Medicine’s Awards Gala on Oct. 19, 2018 at the Chicago Cultural Center. Tickets and sponsorships are available.

Health Award: Gabriela A. Zapata-Alma, Thresholds

A social worker and certified alcohol and drug counselor, Zapata-Alma embodies the meaning of being a trauma-informed clinician committed to marginalized communities.

Medicine Award: Dr. Connie Mennella, Cermak Health Services/CCHHS
An internal medicine physician, Mennella has devoted her career to advocating for and ensuring excellent care for vulnerable incarcerated populations.

Policy Award: Jim Pickett, AIDS Foundation of Chicago
Pickett has been a tireless force behind the Illinois PrEP Working Group and PrEP4Love working to bring attention to the racial inequities in HIV and access to PrEP.

Steve Whitman Research Award: Arturo Carrillo, PhD, LCSW, Saint Anthony Hospital: Community Wellness Program
Carrillo leads community-based research focused on exploring the mental health needs of marginalized populations to develop community-driven solutions to facilitate access to services.

Group Awards: Broadway Youth Center and Latino Union of Chicago
The Broadway Youth Center, a program of Howard Brown Health, serves as a critical entry-point to long-term, comprehensive care for marginalized or homeless LGBTQ youth.

Latino Union is a leading force defending the rights and dignity of contingent workers, including the right to immigrate, work, live free of oppression and violence, and provide for oneself and one's family.

Emerging Leader Award: Cecil Qiu, Second Opinions, NFP
A committed community volunteer, Qiu has shown his dedication and passion for bringing high-quality, comprehensive health care to low-income Chicagoans, as well as finding innovative ways to improve care.
Meet our 2018 HMPRG Award Winners!