Health Lab

Health Lab

Through partnerships with state and federal agencies, academic medical centers, and community-based organizations, the Health Lab leverages scholarship, data, and relationships to improve health outcomes, particularly for poor and vulnerable urban residents. 

Advancing health in urban communities

Cities have many resources to support good health, including academic medical centers and cutting-edge care, sophisticated public health agencies, and resources that promote well-being—from parks to healthy foods. Yet for many urban residents, access to these resources is severely limited. They cannot procure high-quality health care, cannot afford healthy food or adequate housing, and live in communities destabilized by poverty and crime.

While innovative interventions have been developed and implemented to address the health challenges of these populations, we lack evidence about what actually works. The medical research community traditionally has applied rigorous experimental methods—such as randomized trials—to measure the effectiveness of specific medical interventions, yet community-based health interventions seldom receive such thorough evaluation. The Health Lab is closing this gap by undertaking rigorous studies that improve health outcomes for disadvantaged populations in Chicago and other cities around the world.


2015 Urban Labs Innovation Challenge

In October, the Health Lab announced $1 million in Innovation Challenge grant funding for the winning proposal, a partnership between Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC), the Heartland Alliance, and the Cook County Sheriff's Office. The funding will help create a “Supportive Release Center” to help individuals with mental illness transition to services in their communities following their release from the Cook County Jail.

Learn more about the 2015 Urban Labs Innovation Challenge and other winners here.