About CHS

Who We Are     

We are an interprofessional, transdisciplinary group of educators, researchers, practitioners, students and staff dedicated to promoting health equity as a social justice imperative. We focus on the role of fundamental biopsychosocial determinants of health across populations and through the lifecourse, toward improving and sustaining population health and well-being. We are committed to developing, enhancing and using evidence-informed approaches in the planning, designing, implementation, and evaluation of public health interventions and innovations. These interventions occur at multiple levels (individual, family, community, policy, systems) and across multiple populations and sectors.

To effectively carry out our community and population health improvement mission, we collaborate with communities, public health agencies, research partners/networks, government and nonprofit organizations.

What We Do

Our Division facilitates a dynamic learning community committed to developing a skilled public health workforce and a new generation of community and population health scientists.  Our research, education and service endeavors operate within the context of a world class city and provide public health expertise for the people of Illinois, the nation and globally. Our reach extends through leadership in federal projects, national / international collaborations, and our broad alumni and practice and research networks. 

Our partner collaborations emphasize mutual learning, cultural humility, capacity building and sustainability. Prevention for both individual and community-level health promotion are at the center of our work and are demonstrated in our research, education, advocacy and policy efforts.  The inherent complexity of a community and population health improvement mission requires a lifecourse and ecological perspective, which informs our research, practice and education/teaching. Social justice is an overarching framework informing the ethos of our work; and we adhere to national principles of ethical public health practice and research.

Our work employs applied public health science. We effect change along a continuum of factors impacting human health, individual health related practices, family, and organizational change at both the policy and system levels.  Our work requires mixed methodologies and collaborations with traditional and nontraditional research partners as well as community stakeholders. Our applied focus involves translational research and leads to broad-based dissemination of innovative public health interventions. We also develop theories of health behavior and systems change. Our teaching mission includes partnering within academia as well as with practitioners to seek their expertise.


We Impact Community and Population Health By:
 

Director

Jesus Ramirez-Valles ‌Dr. Jesus Ramirez-Valles is the director of CHS.  Dr. Ramirez-Valles’ primary research focuses on health promotion, community organizing, sociology of health, race, gender, sexual orientation, and Latinos. Teaching interests include health education and promotion, community organizing for health, sociology of health, and race, gender and social class in health.

 


Degrees

Community Health Sciences offers a variety of degrees for aspiring practitioners, professionals and researchers.  Visit our degrees page to learn more about our programs.

Research

Members of our faculty are currently involved with impactful research projects. Such projects include a training project that will provide a comprehensive public health graduate MCH training, which fosters interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving, incorporates cutting-edge conceptual models for understanding and responding to health problems, supporting the use of evidence-based decision-making, and providing skills to translate data into information and action.

Another project involves evaluating the feasibility and impact of introducing youth-centered match support practices into the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) community-based mentoring program. The youth-centered match will be grounded in a conceptual framework of “youth thriving” within adult-youth relationships.

Learn more about the research conducted at the CHS Research webpage.

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