How Rush hospital is working to tackle Chicago's 'death gap'

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Chicago-based Rush University Medical Center invested $1 million to help launch the Chicago Neighborhood Rebuild pilot program, which offers job training for young people in some of the city's most violent police districts, according to Chicago.

The investment is part of the health system's new "anchor strategy," which it adopted in July 2016. The initiative aims to generate employment opportunities for 200 young people and rehabilitate 50 vacant homes in the city's West Side neighborhoods.

As part of the initiative, Rush also gathered an "anchor committee" to improve health disparities between the city's neighborhoods, including nine Chicago-area hospitals and health systems.

Although the health system's efforts are still in their early stages, Rush aims to direct 4 percent of their addressable spend (products or services that can be supplied by a new vendor) to West Side businesses by the end of June and have 16 percent of new hires come from West Side neighborhoods.

Additionally, Rush is making efforts to give employees paid time off to volunteer with local charity organizations.

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