Chicago Department of Public Health Weekly Media Brief, 7/21/2023

July 21, 2023
CDPH logo
For Immediate Release
July 21, 2023
Chicago Department of Public Health 
Weekly Media Brief 

Jump Ahead

HIV/STI World Congress in Chicago

Chicago will host 1,300 researchers, clinicians and healthcare professionals for the 2023 STI & HIV World Congress from July 24 to 27, and Dr. Arwady and Dr. Irina Tabidze, Medical Director of Public Health Services in CDPH’s Syndemic Infectious Disease Bureau, will both be featured speakers. The theme for the event is “Local Engagement/Global Impact” and both Dr. Arwady and Dr. Tabidze will kick off the conference with a focus on CDPH’s unique syndemic approach to disease prevention and treatment.  

Syndemics refers to the concept of synergistically interacting epidemics, including HIV, tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and C, and sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis. Rather than viewing these diseases in silos, the syndemic approach recognizes the interconnectedness of these diseases and how they affect populations, which leads to novel approaches to treatment and prevention. Looking at all of these diseases holistically through the syndemic lens can lead to greater impact. CDPH has been a public health leader in adopting the syndemic approach. 

Other scheduled presentations will include topics on future treatments for STIs; the state of STI vaccine development; gender, health inequality, and reproductive rights; trans and non-binary sexual health; reports on recent HIV and syphilis trends; reports on recent mpox resurgences and strengthening epidemic preparedness; and centering equity, inclusion, and diversity in STI/HIV research. 

Creating a Solution to Address Pollution

CDPH Managing Deputy Commissioner Megan Cunningham joined CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady for #AskDrArwady on Tuesday, July 18 to discuss the latest Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) updates and how Chicagoans can get involved. The City and community partners recently released a draft environmental justice action plan and public comment period as part of an executive order, and through July 31, residents are invited to share their feedback via an online survey and in-person community events. Watch the recording and view CIA materials at 

Be Alert About Air Quality

Chicago experienced poor air quality again earlier this week when smoke from Canadian wildfires wafted down over the region. Conditions improved as the week progressed. Chicagoans who want to monitor for updates from the U.S. EPA should visit [] Residents can also sign up to receive alerts at or download the OEMC App through the Apple App or Google Play stores for public safety tips and alerts. 

It is important that residents monitor conditions and pay attention to the news for updates, for themselves and also vulnerable loved ones and neighbors. CDPH’s guidance includes places where residents who don’t have air conditioning can get out of the heat and escape poor air quality. 

Quick Hits!

  • Dr. Arwady at UnidosUS ConferenceCDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady will be giving the keynote address for the plenary session “Untangling Racism’s Effects on Health” this Saturday, July 22nd at the Unidos US Annual Conference: The Power of US. The Commissioner will highlight CDPH’s commitment to close the racial life expectancy gap through Healthy Chicago 2025, Chicago’s five-year community health improvement plan that focuses on racial and health equity. To learn more about Healthy Chicago 2025, please visit here
  • Help us hire for our mental health clinics! Did you know the United States is experiencing a behavioral health workforce shortage? In 2018, Illinois declared a behavioral healthcare workforce emergency. The City of Chicago has not been immune to these staffing issues, and since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, hiring difficulties have only gotten worse. CDPH currently has the following outpatient mental health clinician positions open based in clinics or extension clinics: 
    • 3 Psychologist positions 

    • 3 Psychiatrists (both full and part-time) 

    • 6 Clinical Therapist II's 

    • 5 Clinical Therapist III's 

    • To apply for jobs with CDPH, please visit here.  

  • Protect your kids with vaccinations: CDPH operates three immunization clinics where children can get school-required and CDC recommended vaccinations, as well as seasonal flu and COVID-19 vaccines at no cost. Children can also receive no cost immunizations through the Chicago CareVan, a mobile immunization unit in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois.
  • CDPH to offer Live Virtual Harm Reduction Training Opportunities: Starting next Friday, July 28th, the CDPH Office of Substance Use and Recovery will begin hosting monthly trainings on Narcan and overdose prevention. Each training is free, open to the public, and will be held on the fourth Friday of every month at 12pm. Join live: 
    • Meeting ID: 282 288 292 038 
    • Passcode: vptyta