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Summer 2016, gun violence in Chicago surpassed 300 homicides with a violent Father’s Day weekend. The number of shooting victims reached 2,021, on track to overtake the previous year’s figures.


Sinai Health System and America’s Urban Campus (AUC), however, were taking action. They were pushing for an approach that had success in advancing solutions on other health issues from cancer and diabetes to mental health but had never been applied to gun violence in Chicago. A collaborative of researchers from higher education institutions taking a collective approach to exploring, testing, and promoting solutions that work.



Karen Teitelbaum, CEO of Sinai Health System, issued a rallying cry in Crain’s Chicago Business

to make the case. Executive Committee members for AUC were simultaneously exploring ways to foster collaborations for gun violence research. The institutions held its first meeting that summer to launch the Chicago Gun Violence Research Collaborative (CGVRC).



During the first year, the CGVRC built an organizational structure consisting of a leadership team and several workgroups (Research, Community Engagement, Philanthropy, and Media). A core group of faculty from DePaul, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Loyola, Rush, and Adler provided a research backbone and governance to the working groups.


Dr. Sharon Homan (Sinai Urban Health Institute, SUHI) chaired the CGVRC from inception, with Sinai Health System and Illinois Public Health Institute serving as lead organizations (Spring 2016 through Spring 2018). Beginning in June of 2018, DePaul University assumed leadership of the CGVRC, with Noam Ostrander, Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work, serving as the Director, followed by Dan Schober, Assistant Professor in the Master of Public Health Program (and the current CGVRC Director).


Since 2017 the CGVRC has focused on their Graduate Student Fellowship. The fellowship was launched in the fall of 2017. It supports faculty and graduate student involvement in gun violence research. We take a research activism approach. Research activism leverages community-based research to stimulate community action that addresses the root causes of gun violence and health. This fall, 2020, we will continue the CGVRC Research Fellowship Program which will involve faculty-fellow teams conducting community-based research in collaboration with local organizations and neighborhoods most impacted by gun violence. 

See more about the CGVRC Research Fellowship Program, here


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Illinois Public Health Institute
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