CLINIC PARTNER SPOTLIGHT – Chicago Women’s Health Center
For half a century, Chicago Women’s Health Center (CWHC) has served communities across Chicago, offering vital health care services ranging from gynecology and trans health to mental health care and sexual health education.
The nonprofit and sliding scale clinic facilitates the empowerment of women, trans people and young people by providing access to health care and health education in a respectful environment where people pay what they can afford. Over 6,000 people access health services through CWHC each year.
But even in one of the biggest metro areas in the U.S., that is not easy. Like many health care organizations, the majority of individuals served are uninsured and underinsured and providers are stretched thin.
Thanks to a grant from the VNA Foundation and a partnership with the Illinois Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (IAFCC), CWHC has had access to MAVEN Project’s cadre of expert physician volunteers for the past three years.
As CWHC continues to provide care and help people make positive, proactive changes in their lives, MAVEN Project is there when a provider needs additional direction.
“Referrals to an outside specialist are expensive if they’re accessible at all,” noted Jasmine Jackson, a Nurse Practitioner at CWHC. “MAVEN Project means we always have a soundboard. Their doctors are so quick to respond with firsthand knowledge of different conditions, and their perspective is so much more valuable than me just reading guidelines on a website.”
Providers at CWHC consult with specialists in areas like dermatology, gynecology and endocrinology. They’re also taking advantage of MAVEN Project’s continuing medical education offerings.
“A recent education session really made me think differently about a disease I thought I already knew pretty well,” Jackson added. “The content was so detailed, we got to ask so many questions, and the doctor who presented the content was a wealth of real-life experience. Every time I consult with a MAVEN Project expert or attend a CME session, I walk away with a clinical pearl that I can share with others and use to inform future patient care.”
CWHC prioritizes a collaborative approach to providing care that encourages questions and client involvement in the process. Utilizing the experts from MAVEN Project helps to ensure safety and best practices, along with continued learning for all the clinic’s providers. Many of the clinic’s providers are also paired with MAVEN Project’s mentors, who work one-on-one to provide guidance and support.
“I love getting personalized advice from my mentor,” said Jackson. “Not only is Dr. Horowitz an expert in trans care, but she is always there to talk me through whatever challenge I’m facing. It’s really a beautiful thing.”
Access to the customized and tailored direction that MAVEN Project volunteers can provide further equips providers to help clients address the roots of their health challenges and ensures that providers have support in navigating complex cases in a timely manner. MAVEN Project has created a comprehensive platform for ongoing learning that continues to benefit thousands in the greater Chicago area.