627 S. Wood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60612
|Dispersed throughout Cook County, the Ambulatory and Community Health Network (ACHN) coordinates primary and specialty outpatient care in community, school-based, and hospital outpatient settings. There are currently 30 outpatient sites, and the Network continues to expand in coordination with the Bureau of Health Services’ strategic plan to increase access to public health services.
In the past two years, eleven facilities were opened or renovated: the CORE Center, Cook County Westside Health Center, Cottage Grove (Ford Heights) Health Center, Logan Square Health Center, Maywood Health Center, Morton East High School Health Center, Near South Health Center, Robbins Health Center, and clinics in the Hayes Center, DuSable High School, and Beethoven Elementary School. These sites represent a combination of new clinics, joint ventures with other providers, and the expansion of existing Cook County Department of Public Health facilities to provide comprehensive primary care.
Over the past few years, the Network has seen a steady increase in outpatient activity, averaging more than 60,000 outpatient visits a month. Since 1994, total outpatient visits have soared from 590,000 to approximately 750,000 in 1999. Depending on the size of the clinic, visits number from: 200-300 a month at schools; 3,000 a month at the Prieto Clinic in Little Village; and 35,000 a month at the Fantus Clinic. This growth in utilization has been fueled by the expansion of clinics, from just eight in the early 90’s.
For the Cook County Bureau of Health Services, the Ambulatory and Community Health Network is the front line in efforts to prevent, diagnose and monitor disease, illness, and mental health. The most effective early intervention, ongoing prevention, and health education efforts occur at the outpatient level. In turn, decentralized outpatient care is more likely to result in increased check-ups, early detection, treatment, patient compliance, and prevention education due to the increased convenience of care for a patient and proximity to the home setting.
Medical necessity and needs drives the decision of where the Network locates a new neighborhood clinic. Wherever possible the Network works collaboratively with partners based in the community. Two additional clinics, in association with the Resurrection Project in Pilsen and the West Side Partnership in Austin, will open this year. These sites are being established at the request of grassroots organizations that identified a gap in services.
The Network emphasizes primary and preventive care for persons of all ages: from infants to senior citizens. This includes new programs like the Early Childhood Diagnostic Enters recently opened at the Westside and Soughside Health Centers. The Diagnostic Centers provide screenings, evaluation and monitoring for children with special developmental requirements. Recognizing the unique needs of adolescents, the Network provides medical, health education, andprevention care to students at several Chicago elementary and high schools. Indeed, the Network is the largest provider of adolescent healthcare in Chicago.
In order to address specific community priorities, the Network created and oversees centers of excellence in community health. Consistent with Bureau objectives, these include initiatives to control and reduce asthma, lead poisoning, violence, cancer, and childhood diseases. All the centers of excellence focus on early detection and prevention.
Many outpatients have needs that require special evaluation and treatment. The tradition of responding to outpatients with complex medical needs began many years ago in the bustling Fantus Clinic, the specialty hub for the Ambulatory and Community Health Network located next to Cook County Hospital. With more than 85 specialty clinics over four floors, Fantus hosts more than 400,000 patient visits a year. In an attempt to increase access, specialized outpatient services are now also being offered at the John Sengstacke Professional Building, adjacent to Provident Hospital, and Oak Forest Hospital.
Looking to prevention, the Network sponsors creative community health initiatives such as the Woodlawn Health Center’s “Project Brotherhood,” which focuses on the special health issues facing African American men. Project Brotherhood, a black men’s clinic at the Woodlawn Health Center provides comprehensive sensitive and confidential environment.
The Ambulatory and Community Health Network continues to develop and efficient system of transferring patients from neighborhood sites to specialists and hospital care, when medically appropriate, and then assisting them in returning to their communities for ongoing care. In this respect, the Network plays a vital gatekeeper role in caring for Cook County Bureau of Health Services clients, facilitating their medical needs throughout the entire continuum of care.
Clinic Transfer Assistance
Patients may elect to transfer their care and their medical records to another Ambulatory site. For additional information regarding the closings, records transfer or finding new clinics, call (312) 864-0201.
Ambulatory Clinic Finder
Ambulatory and Community Health Network centers: