UIC Law Offers Students HELPP to Address Systemic Inequities in Health

UIC Law’s new Health Equity, Law & Policy Program (HELPP) is on a mission to create healthier communities. Through a matrix of an expanding curriculum, community partnerships and multidisciplinary engagement opportunities, HELPP is preparing law students to address the systemic factors that impede the pursuit of health equity.

HELPP is building foundational partnerships with national, state and local nonprofit organizations and government agencies, as well as multidisciplinary collaborations within the larger University of Illinois Chicago, including UIC’s Colleges of Nursing, Public Health and Medicine. These collaborations will provide a nexus for UIC professional students, faculty and community leaders from which to develop and implement practical legal and health care interventions that benefit Chicago and provide a model for other communities.

HELPP’s related academic programs prepare UIC Law students with the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to address current and emerging health law and policy issues. Launched in Fall 2021, law students can now earn a JD Concentration in Health Equity, Law & Policy or a joint JD/Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Administration, offered through a partnership with the School of Public Health. Additional multidisciplinary degree programs that leverage UIC strengths are in development.

A key focus of the HELPP curriculum is to train students to leverage law as a tool in creating a more just health for society. Students will develop the tools and competencies necessary to promote community-level health equity through structured collaboration and engagement opportunities with other health and community leaders.

HELPP is led by Dean Amy T. Campbell, the nation’s first Associate Dean for Law & Health Sciences. Dean Campbell joined UIC Law from the University of Memphis School of Law, where she created and directed the Institute for Health Law & Policy. Her background informs her interest in increasing opportunities for cross-disciplinary engagement around health by building on the mission and values of UIC Law and the larger university.

HELPP is also the organizer of the Law School’s 26th Annual Belle R. & Joseph H. Braun Memorial Symposium, which was held virtually on October 15. This year’s Symposium, “Creating Health Equity: Transformational Opportunities in a Post-Pandemic World,” featured national, state and local leaders, including Illinois Senator Omar Aquino; Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady; UCSF Center on Social Disparities in Health Director Dr. Paula Braveman; Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike; Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle; Cook County Health System CEO Israel Rocha Jr.; and more.

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