DePaul University Academic Affairs > About > Initiatives > Advancing Health > Sinai-DePaul Partnership

Sinai-DePaul Partnership

​DePaul University and Sinai Chicago established a partnership in 2020 based on the institutions' shared commitment to addressing social and health equity challenges in Chicago Communities.

Sinai Chicago is a private, not-for-profit organization comprised of seven member organizations: Mount Sinai Hospital, Holy Cross Hospital, Sinai Children's Hospital, Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, Sinai Medical Group, Sinai Community Institute, and Sinai Urban Health Institute (SUHI). As the research arm of Sinai Chicago, SUHI conducts health inequities research, delivers community health worker (CHW) training and consultation, developes innovative community health interventions, and provides a broad scope of evaluation services. Currently funded initiatives focus on COVID-19, social determinants of health, racial inequities in mortality, asthma, breast health, diabetes prevention and management, lead poisoning prevention, violence, and behavioral health, among others. (For more information, visit or

Founded in 1898, DePaul University has 21,000 students in seven colleges and three schools across two campuses. Health-related graduate and undergraduate programs are housed in every college and include programs such as nursing, psychology, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, public health, law, communication, education, healthcare informatics and data analytics, and business. The Vincentian mission of the university encourages a social justice orientation to our education and research.

The mission of this partnership is to understand the multifaceted health needs of our communities and develop people and programs that will ofer real solutions to address inequity and move the needle for social justice.

To do this, we are expanind our efforts to collaborate in the areas of research, community partnership, public health practice, and education.

In our partnership, DePaul collaborates specifically with the research arm of Sinai, SUHI, to pursue sponsored research and grant opportunities through the creation of community driven, applied research.

Our work connects collaborators from across SUHI and DePaul, including researchers, faculty and health care providers, to facilitate participatory research and action. SUHI engages a data-based perspective, and an equity lens, in all their work with community members, leaders, and organizations. DePaul brings faculty expertise and new research opportunities to assess and address health and social challenges. Moreover, our partnership is committed to expanding opportunities for health equity research and community involvement in Chicago's South and Southwest communities.

Our long-term goal is to develop and apply innovative collective immpact evaluation tools and practices to determine the most effective solutions for health equity.

The partnership will deepen DePaul's involvement in health professions eduation by generating more research opportunities for faculty and getting studens involved in health research. We are also growing our capacity for clinical placements of DePaul students and joint educationatl ventures with Sinai. The partnership also provides SUHI with expanded access to external grants that require an academic partner instituion with full-time research faculty, as well as education specialists to support SUHI and Sinai initiatives.

Our joint initiative is led by an Advisory Committee which includes three members from each institution. These members serve as liaisons between institutions, resources for faculty and Sinai staff, and drive the main efforts of the partnership.

The current members are:

Elissa Foster, PhD (co-chair), College of Communication, DePaul University

Maureen Benjamins, PhD (co-chair), Senior Research Fellow, SUHI

Donna Badowski, DPN, College of Science and Health, DePaul University

Yvette Castaneda, PhD, Associate Director of Health Equity and Assessment Research, SUHI

John Mazzeo, PhD, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, DePaul University

Kelly McCabe, MPH, Associate Director of Community Health Innovations, SUHI

For more information on the partnership and the sponsored research projects, please contact:

Elissa Foster at or Maureen Benjamins at