About The Center
The Center for Faith and Community Health Transformation, or The Center, was formed to transform the health of our communities through faith-rooted, collaborative action. We work to create health equity by building community, nurturing leaders and connecting with the unique spirit power of faith communities to promote social justice and abundant life for all.
Our most basic conviction is that Loving Communities are Healthy Communities. What is a Loving Community? Each person and community will have their own ideas about what this looks like for them, but for us it means a community in which people are able to get their basic needs met, where they know and trust their neighbors, where there are outlets for recreation and rest, where they can find work and opportunities to serve. Science confirms that what we know through our experience is true–the environment in which we live is a major determinant of our health. The social world in which we live actually physically affects our bodies.
Since 2009, we have worked with a broad range of partners and colleagues in the faith and health movement to explore deeper ways of addressing the health disparities that affect many of our communities. We work out of a model that embraces love as a powerful resource that already exists in communities and that can be nurtured and mobilized intentionally to transform the community. If our social environment affects our bodies, then let’s work for positive, connected, loving communities so that all people can be healthy!
This idea is foundational to the teachings and practices of all faith traditions. We work with people of all faiths to bring forward their wisdom, knowledge and “spirit power” to help support and expand the work of love in community.
We work in three primary areas:
Building relationships in specific communities to impact the health of that community.
Bringing together leaders from congregations, health providers, universities, community organizations to connect with their own wisdom and calling, to learn each others’ languages and to foster collaborative work.
Convening the Faith and Health Community of Practice–the larger movement of people working to improve the health of communities in the metropolitan Chicago area.
We are a joint initiative of Advocate Health Care and the Office for Community Engagement and Neighborhood Health Partnerships at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). We are a “virtual” center. Staff work out of their own organizational sites, collaborating on projects and programs.
If you are working on improving the health of communities from a faith perspective or out of your own personal spiritual conviction, you are part of The Center!