“Sanctuary Healthcare” is a term used to describe the health care system that is a welcoming, accessible, and safe place for ALL, regardless of immigration status. The current political climate in the country has generated fear, anxiety, hopelessness among immigrants. These group of individuals currently do not seek care for their existing medical conditions for the fear of being arrested and deported.
Susan Avila is a Registered Nurse who completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing at St. Louis University and her Master’s in Public Health at University of Illinois. She currently is a Lecturer, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. She has worked in a broad spectrum of roles from a public health nurse based in one of the first established community health centers nationally to bedside nursing in acute care institutions. She was a member of Mayor Washington’s administration and rebuilt the food protection program. Working within the field of injury prevention and trauma care, she designed and implemented a violence prevention curriculum with collaborating partners; obtained and managed external grant funding for programmatic and research initiatives in violence prevention, palliative care in trauma setting, child safety and elder maltreatment. Collaborating with faculty at the UIC School of Public Health, she has published in the areas of occupational injury, violence prevention and elder maltreatment. She serves as co-chair of Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia 7th District Health Task Force with the focus of advising and tracking issues impacting the health of those within the 7th District.