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Health expo will offer free diabetes, kidney screenings to South Side community members


National Kidney Foundation of Illinois, Endeleo Institute and Northwestern Medicine partner to improve community health



We’re addressing kidney disease by educating community members about its causes and treatments. We’re teaching people about how their diets affect their long-term health and impact kidney health. And we’re helping people understand the role they play in keeping each other healthy by providing each other social support and meaningful personal connections.

Dinee Simpson, MD, transplant surgery and director of the African American Transplant Access Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital


Community members will receive free kidney and diabetes screenings and learn more about issues that affect their health at the Celebrating the Health of Mothers and Families Health Expo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 13 at Imani Village, 901 E. 95th Street in Chicago. The expo will be hosted by the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois, Endeleo Institute, and Northwestern Medicine.


Expo presenters, including representatives from multiple Chicago health systems, will offer information about the social determinants of health – the conditions in which people are born, live and work that contribute to their overall well-being.


“Few people fully understand the non-medical factors that influence their health,” said Dinee Simpson, MD, transplant surgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and director of the African American Transplant Access Program. “Data show that a patient’s socioeconomic status, education, neighborhood, employment and access to health care can have a significant impact on one’s health, sometimes even more than genetics.”


The expo is being supported in part by a Northwestern University Racial Equity grant that Dr. Simpson received in partnership with the Endeleo Institute and the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois.


“We’re addressing kidney disease by educating community members about its causes and treatments,” Dr. Simpson said. “We’re teaching people about how their diets affect their long-term health and impact kidney health. And we’re helping people understand the role they play in keeping each other healthy by providing each other social support and meaningful personal connections.”


One in three American adults is at risk for kidney disease, and people who are Black, Hispanic, Asian American, Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaska Native may be at an increased risk. Jacqueline Burgess-Bishop, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer of National Kidney Foundation of Illinois, said health disparities and inequities contribute to minority populations having higher rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and heart disease, all of which increase the risk for kidney disease.


“Black or African Americans are more than three times as likely and Hispanics or Latinos are 1.3 times more likely to have kidney failure compared to white Americans,” Burgess-Bishop said. “The key is to find kidney disease as early as possible and understand its risk factors before the trouble starts. Regular testing for everyone is important and is even more important for people who are at risk.”


The Endeleo Institute serves Washington Heights and its surrounding communities to improve health, education and economic outcomes so people live longer, healthier lives. The Rev. Rochelle Michael said the expo will give community members access to leaders in health care from throughout Chicago.


“A person’s health is closely linked to the health of their community, and we’ve invited healthcare leaders to share their knowledge with people who attend the expo,” Michael said. “We’ll be offering cardio drumming as a fun way to exercise, and panelists will discuss nutrition and medical specialties. It’s going to be a special event.”


The expo will celebrate the role that mothers and families play in the community’s overall health.


“We’re empowering people to learn more about their health so they can help their friends, family members and neighbors,” Burgess-Bishop said. “Education and prevention can reduce the devastating effects of kidney disease in our communities.”


To learn more about community initiatives at Northwestern Medicine, visit https://www.nm.org/about-us/community-initiatives.


Contact

Michelle Green Manager, Media Relations - Northwestern Memorial Hospital michelle.green@nm.org

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