GlobeMed at Northwestern is excited to announce it's new partnership with BEHIV, Better Existence with HIV, a Chicago area nonprofit focusing on free HIV testing and support services including case management, mental health, prevention, and housing.
As a student organization devoted to health equity and based at Northwestern, near Chicago, we felt like we were missing an important aspect of "global" health by not addressing the health issues prevalent in our own backyard. An estimated 22,000 Chicagoans are currently living with HIV/AIDS, and more than 1,000 Chicagoans are believed to be infected with HIV each year. (AFC) Its obvious that HIV is a major epidemic in urban areas and Chicago is no exception.
Over the summer, we have been engaged in extensive dialogue with the management of the organization. Just last week, Fizza, GlobeMed at NU's director of local health partnerships, had a meeting with BEHIV's volunteer coordinator, and he is really excited about the possibility of a long-term partnership. We see our partnership initially consisting primarily of weekly volunteer opportunities for GlobeMed at NU members. The GlobeMed volunteers would be trained to do simple tasks around the organization, while also trying to digest how the organization runs, and thinking about what types of more advanced projects GlobeMed could work on in the future.
Most importantly however, we are excited about the potential fascinating linkage between Colleen and the HOPE Center's work developing VCT services for Ghanaians and BEHIV's work serving the citizens of Chicago with HIV. There could be a lot of added value, shared experience, and interesting lessons to be learned by comparing the two organizations, their operations, and results. Hopefully by linking these partnerships, we can improve our efforts with the HOPE Center and vice versa. Stay tuned for updates about this still evolving partnership!