UChicago EM

Social Emergency Medicine

Social Emergency Medicine (EM) is a growing field in EM which focuses on better understanding social determinants of health and we can address them in the ED to reduce health disparities. The emergency department (ED) serves as a safety-net for our most vulnerable patients. On the Southside of Chicago, many people in our surrounding communities have unmet social needs that affect their health and need to be considered during their presentations to the ED. Social EM encompasses a large range of topics, including homelessness, substance use disorders, ED screening programs, intimate partner violence, human trafficking, gun violence, immigration issues and more.

Social EM Interest Group and Journal Club

Our interest group provides an opportunity for residents to explore the field of Social EM. We meet several times throughout the year with various lectures, events, and journal clubs to discuss relevant topics. The group also focuses on career planning and providing mentorship for those interested in starting new projects, whether they are related to education, research, or improving the health of our patients. Our Social EM interest group meets regularly to discuss journal articles covering topics in Social EM. Topics discussed in the past included homelessness and human trafficking.

Current Initiatives

  • National advocacy on legislation for various topics including COVID19 and the Opioid Crisis
  • Pain management education for reduced opioid usage in the ED
  • Research on structural violence and trauma outcomes
  • ED-initiated buprenorphine
  • Take-home naloxone dispensing for patients at risk for overdose
  • University of Chicago plays an active role in organizing the Chicago Citywide Social EM Conference
  • Faculty members participate in the Chicago Social EM Collaborative
  • ED screening for HIV and syphilis
  • Women’s health/early pregnancy care/linkage to prenatal care
  • Human trafficking (policy and education)
  • Homelessness (studying barriers to placement in shelter and improving ED record keeping for homeless population)
  • Departmental screening for social determinants of health

Social EM Faculty

Kimberly Stanford, MD

Dr. Stanford’s work focuses on human trafficking prevention, identification and treatment of communicable diseases, and health care in austere environments. She has established a Sexual Health Day Clinic for patients in the ED. She is also the Co-Chair of the ICEP Social EM Section.

Abdullah Pratt, MD

Dr. Pratt works directly with South Side communities to advocate for their needs in the context of the University and the greater medical system. He was instrumental in the establishment of UChicago as a Level 1 Trauma Center.  

Alejandro Palma, MD

Dr. Palma’s interests lie in resident education and health policy on opioids, trauma, and violence reduction. Recently he has worked on a collaborative curriculum with the Orthopedics department to teach EM residents about reducing fractures to decrease use of opioids. 

Quincy Moore, MD

Dr. Moore’s main initiatives in the department include opioid overdose education, naloxone distribution, and the initiation of our ED Suboxone initiation and follow-up programs. He is the co-Chair of the Education Workgroup of ACEP’s Social EM Section, the Co-Creator of the “Announce Social EM Podcast,” and the Initiatives Editor of SocialEMpact.com