CHAMPIONS is spearheaded by the UI Health’s Department of Emergency Medicine and launched in the summer of 2016. Partnered with nine schools located in mostly undeserved neighborhoods, CHAMPIONS aims to 1) empower youth to improve community health and to 2) build a pipeline of healthcare workers for the future. Our summer program trains a chosen cohort of students to become health advocates while our school-year initiatives further provide career development & health-career/college preparation.

About Us


The Problem

1. Large segments of Chicagoans “avoid the doctor due to cost.” Without community-based intervention, life-threatening diseases may go unnoticed until it is too late. 

2. There is a crisis of joblessness amongst teens in Chicago.

3. Both problems are prevalent in underserved communities.

4. Many teens lack prior exposure to different health careers.

Our Goals 

1. Empower young people to become health champions in their local community. 

2. Provide employment for underserved youth and create a pathway to college and professional health careers for them. 

3. Improve health disparities in Chicago communities at highest risk of poor health.

4. Provide high school students with knowledge  about and personal engagement with various health professional careers.

Need more details? Contact us

We are here to assist. Contact us by email or via our Social Media channels.

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Partner Organizations

University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System
The Pritzker-Traubert Family Foundation
Baxter International Foundation
Mikva Challenge
UIC Cancer Center
Illinois Heart Rescue

Partner Schools

Farragut Career Academy
Instituto Health Science Career Academy
Nicholas Senn High School
Roberto Clemente Community Academy
UIC College Prep
Benito Juarez Community Academy
Dunbar Vocational High School
Paul Robeson High School
TEAM Englewood Community Academy
Meet our Staff
Program Manager
Natalia Suarez, MA

Program Evaluator
Selina Kowalski, MPH

Hispanic Center of Excellence 
Urban Health Program