The Office of Minority Health (OMH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Northwestern University among the seven organizations to receive federal grant funding under a new grant program, the Re-Entry Community Linkages (RE-LINK) Program. Northwestern University, Dr. Doreen Salina, Principal Investigator, will receive $375,000 for Year One to support efforts to improve the health outcomes for minority and/or disadvantaged re-entrants, ages 18-26, in transition from jail to their communities. This is a five year initiative.
Through this program, entitled “Rethink & Relink Chicago!”, Northwestern University and Dr. Salina have formed a collaboration with Heartland Human Care Services (HHCS). They will work to connect the re-entry population to community-based organizations that provide links to health care, including behavioral health care services, health care coverage, and social services such as housing, adult education, and employment assistance programs.
“Northwestern University is an important partner in working with the HHS Office of Minority Health to address the barriers to obtaining services that improve the health outcomes for minority and disadvantaged young adults in transition from jail to their communities,” said Dr. J. Nadine Gracia, deputy assistant secretary for minority health and director of the HHS Office of Minority Health.
Grantee projects will demonstrate the effectiveness of multiple stakeholders within the public health system working together to implement a model transition process for the formerly incarcerated. The goals of the RE-LINK program are to improve coordination among the criminal justice, public health, social service and private sectors to address health care access for the re-entry population; reduce health disparities experienced by this population; increase access to needed public health, behavioral health, and social services; and reduce recidivism.