Chicago Department of Public Health Weekly Media Brief

April 12, 2023

CDPH Media


For Immediate Release
April 12, 2023
Chicago Department of Public Health 
Weekly Media Brief 

National Black Maternal Health Week

April 11 – 17 is National Black Maternal Health Week, a time for action and awareness around racial inequities in maternal health outcomes. According to the CDC, Black women in America are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women. They are also much more likely to experience serious short- or long-term health consequences, and to be fired, quit, or be forced to return to work before it is healthy for them to do so.    

CDPH’s Family Connects program plays an important role in working to address maternal health inequities by pairing a visiting nurse with birthing families. Currently working with five Chicago hospitals, CDPH plans to have Family Connects in all Chicago birthing hospitals next year. Anyone with a newborn can participate (when delivering at a participating hospital), including foster and adoptive parents, at no cost to participating families.  

The CDC’s Hear Her campaign also provides guidance and resources for those experiencing difficult pregnancies.     

Community Care

Dr. Arwady joined Thresholds this week for the opening of their first full-service primary, behavioral health and substance use care center on Chicago’s West Side – Thresholds Health. Dr. Arwady spoke to attendees about the importance of community health centers, like Thresholds Health, who provide neighborhood-based, culturally competent care for their communities. CDPH works with Thresholds as part of the city’s Trauma Informed Centers of Care (TICC) Network, which makes mental healthcare accessible in all 77 of Chicago’s community areas.

Is it COVID, a cold or allergies?

According to the Loyola Medicine Allergy Count, allergens are on the rise in the area. So if you are feeling sick, how do you know if it is allergies, a spring cold, or COVID-19? According to CDPH’s Dr. Geraldine Luna, the only way to rule out COVID-19 is to take a test.  

While Chicago and Cook County remain in the Low Community Level according to the CDC, COVID is still with us and we are still seeing an average of about 200 laboratory-confirmed cases a day. So, CDPH encourages everyone to take a COVID-19 rapid antigen test if they are feeling unwell. 

If the test is negative, and you still feel unwell, get rest and drink lots of fluids, and consider seeing the doctor if your symptoms persist. 

Abortion Care in IL

Although federal protections for abortion care went away when Roe v. Wade was overturned, abortion care is still legal and available in Chicago and Illinois. Last summer, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Public Health announced that the Chicago Abortion Fund and Planned Parenthood of Illinois had been selected as the two delegate agencies for the City’s Justice for All initiative. For more information on how CDPH supports abortion care in Chicago, click here.

Quick Hits!

The Chicago Health Atlas is a place where the media, students and researchers, and any Chicagoan can review, explore and compare health-related data over time and across communities. 

April 9-15 is STI Awareness Week: The CDPH SID Bureau operates three STI specialty clinics located throughout the city, serving the needs of Chicago’s diverse communities. Download the recently released report that summarizes and highlights data from CDPH’s STI Specialty Clinics for the years 2017-2021. 

Connect to social services: Dial 2-1-1 or visit  

Find mental health resources: Visit UnSpoken Chicago to learn more and find mental health providers in all Chicago neighborhoods.