Chicago Community

Hyde Park and Chicago's South Side

As a mainstay in historic Hyde Park since 1892, the University of Chicago has proudly hosted, healed and educated the area’s dynamic population for generations. Hyde Park is a vibrant, socio-economically diverse, predominantly African American community.

Steeped in African-American heritage and history, the South Side is marked by deep social bonds anchored by vital neighborhoods and faith-based organizations. However, generations of structural inequality and neglect have contributed to the erosion of the critical social, economic, and health ecosystem necessary to adequately meet the needs of this community.

Today, the South Side of Chicago suffers among the worst economic, health, social, and violence disparities in the United States. Currently, the unemployment rate of those living in the UCM service area (21%) is three times the national unemployment rate. Half of the community members are at risk for food insecurity according to the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s estimates. Residents of the UCM service area suffer significantly higher rates of chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, obesity, breast cancer, STIs and HIV.

Community Engagement

Student-run Free Clinics

Residents have the opportunity to precept medical students at clinics in the community that free health services to patients.

Chicago Street Medicine

UCIMR partners with the UofC chapter of CSM, and residents go on street runs along with medical and social work students to provide medical care to persons experiencing homelessness.

Firm Service Events

Each of the three firms gets a day during ambulatory didactic time when they do a community service event at local organizations together with residents and firm attending leaders.

South Side Science Fairs

Annual public festival held on the UChicago campus where families from the community come and learn about various science topics. UCIMR partners with the Simulation Center to teach CPR, demonstrating POCUS, and more.

Faculty Leaders in Health Disparities Research and Community Engagement


Marshall Chin, MD, MPH


Monica Peek, MD, MPH


Dorianne Miller, MD

  • Inaugural director of the Center for Community Health and Vitality at the University of Chicago
  • Research focuses on health and racial disparities as well as collaboration among patients, families, and physicians
  • Received an award from the AAAAI for her work in improving asthma outcomes through school and community interventions

Valerie Press, MD, MPH

  • Social Sciences Track leader within Pritzker School of Medicine
  • Research focuses on improving access and education in healthcare, and disparities and outcomes related to eHealth and technology
arshiya baig headshot

Arshiya Baig, MD, MPH

  • Grant recipient from the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health to improve diabetes care among low-income minority communities and Latino populations

Anna Volerman-Beaser, MD

  • Leads community-based initiatives to develop health and wellness programs in local schools
  • Projects focus on improving health care delivery in community settings, such as asthma treatment education for patients and families
Dr. Edwin McDonald poses for a portrait at The Center for Care and Discovery Tuesday February 28, 2017.  (Photo by Eddie Quinones)

Edwin McDonald, MD

  • Dedicated to improving access to affordable care within the Chicago’s South Side through nutrition education, training barbers to serve as health educators, and web-based mobile programs for patients

GME Community Champions

UChicago Graduate Medical Education (GME) provides grants for residents across all specialties who are interested in community engagement events.

“I used my grant to help support South Side Science Scholars [his own non-profit!] where we bring after-school science lessons to 3rd and 4th graders.”

– Alex P., Class of 2023