PCHI is working to reduce the number of behavioral health emergency room admissions. By improving coordination of care and case management these admissions will be cut in half by 2023. 


In 2011, there were 60,031 hospitalizations in Chicago for behavioral health conditions. A significant portion of those hospitalizations was driven by individuals who rotate between emergency departments, jails, and homeless shelters. This rotation is not only costly and chaotic but also ineffective in providing care and improving patient outcomes. The Foundation is working to dramatically improve health outcomes while reducing the need for costly and unnecessary emergency room admissions.



Smart Policy Works is leading a process to produce an analysis of three of the systems accessed by high utilizers – housing, health and criminal justice– documenting barriers (perceived and real) and existing interventions (or new models) to address these barriers. They will also facilitate the development of cross-sector data analysis to identify and understand the number and needs of high utilizers in Cook County.


The University of Chicago’s Health Lab is testing and evaluating a program that proactively provides mental health resources to the hardest-to-serve and most at-risk persons in Chicago, and in turn, decrease their risk of future behavioral crises and subsequent encounters with police and other emergency responders.


Heartland Alliance Health is piloting an innovative partnership solution to help address the current service gap in responding to untreated or undiagnosed behavioral health disorders of youth experiencing homelessness. The pilot creates a partnership between Heartland Alliance Health and four youth service providers in Chicago to embed licensed clinical therapists on-site to provide care.