CoE Receives DHHS ASIST2010 Award

The UIC CoE was recently awarded a 3-year grant from the Office on Women’s Health, Department of Health and Human Services entitled, “Advancing System Improvements to Support Targets for Healthy People 2010” (ASIST2010). This grant program supports partnerships that are working to address cardiovascular disease, cancer, or diabetes using a gender-specific, population-based approach.

In collaboration with the Illinois Department of Public Health Office of Women’s Health (IDPH OWH), the Southern Seven Health Department, and The Cooper Institute, the CoE developed the “Southern Seven Women’s Initiative for Cardiovascular Health”, or SSWICH. The goal of SSWICH is to improve the cardiovascular risk provide of adult women using multiple strategies, including a free 12-week class for women, a peer education program, and a mass media campaign.

The Southern Seven Health Department serves the counties of Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, and Union, located in the southernmost part of Illinois. The region is very rural, with a population of approximately 71,000 residents living over 2,003 square miles. Heart disease mortality, morbidity, and risk factors are among the highest in Illinois in the southern seven counties.

SSWICH involves a multi-faceted evaluation to understand the effectiveness of this innovative program and its potential for dissemination to other areas of the state. The CoE is excited about this collaborative initiative, and we are looking forward to the opportunity to address a critical health problem for women in Illinois. For more information about SSWICH, please contact Kris Zimmermann at