At Weiss Memorial Hospital, meeting the healthcare needs of the surrounding community has always been a high priority. Recently, Weiss received an “A” rating for community benefit from the Lown Institute Hospital Index, a non-partisan think tank that ranks hospitals by social responsibility. The rating reflects Weiss’ significant investment in community health during 2021.

Uptown lunar new year parade

Weiss sponsored South East Asia Center’s Lunar New Year Celebration and was recognized in the Argyle Lunar New Year parade that took place Feb. 5, 2022.

Through partnerships with organizations such as Uptown United Chamber of Commerce, Chinese Mutual Aid Association, EZRA Multi-Service Center, and Howard Brown Health Center, Weiss is bridging cultural, ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic gaps and reinforcing the hospital’s commitment toward greater healthcare equity.

Hospital leadership in discussion

Hospital administrators have increased their focus on better understanding the diverse community we serve so patients feel comfortable entering the hospital and talking about their health conditions.

The W.I.S.E. (Weiss Initiative Serving Our Elders) program provides monthly health lectures that educate and engage patients and community members, celebrate diversity, and promote inclusion. Examples include the hospital’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day event, Veteran’s Day program, and March Women’s History speaker series — each highlighting and encouraging discussion around social justice and healthcare equity.

Weiss also partners with social organizations and elected officials for the collection of food, clothing, and personal need items to assist local shelters and food pantries. And, the hospital believes it is important to sponsor and participate in events that uplift the LGBTQ+ community.

The diversity of the hospital’s leadership team also has helped to encourage different perspectives on healthcare and generate new opportunities for improving care.

“Health equity is very important for us at Weiss. The highest level of health is achieved through social justice by the elimination of health disparities and inequities,” said Weiss’ Chief Nursing Officer Yolanda Coleman, PhD, MS, RN, FACHE, NEA-BC. Coleman serves on the Nursing Education Expert Panel Steering Committee for the American Nurses Association-Illinois and is working to incorporate health equity into nurse education.

“We are exploring additional ways we can serve and learn from our community. Plans are in motion to create a Community Advisory Council composed of community leaders who can volunteer their time to advise the hospital on new programs and opportunities while serving as ambassadors for the hospital within the community,” said hospital Chief Executive Officer Irene Dumanis.