CHICAGO – The Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center announces that Project CONNECT was refunded by The Chicago Community Trust (CCT) under its Improving Access to Care initiative.   Project CONNECT transitions HIV positive patients to outpatient care services at the CORE Center.


“Project CONNECT creates a personal connection between the medical staff and the patient. This relationship allows us to improve the patient care experience at the hospital and address barriers to care that might prevent patients from transitioning to outpatient care at the CORE Center.  We are here to serve and to make patients feel as comfortable as possible, and Project CONNECT allows us to provide better personal care,” said Dr. Weinstein, Chief Operating Officer of the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center and Chairman, Department of Medicine, Cook County Health and Hospitals System.


Project CONNECT staff works with the inpatient team at the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County to identify patients who are either:

  • Newly diagnosed
  • HIV positive      individuals with no primary care/lost to care
  • Readmitted within 30      days or at high risk of disengagement

Patients meeting these criteria are assessed within 24 hours or the next business day of being admitted. They are matched with a peer navigator, who will provide emotional support during their hospital stay and work closely with the inpatient team to successfully engage and transition them to their first CORE Center outpatient appointment.  The Trust originally funded the CORE Center with a $150,000 grant in April of 2012 for the pilot phase of Project CONNECT.  Now, the CORE Center is receiving an additional $150,000 to advance the program.


Project CONNECT is dedicated to help transition patients at Stroger Hospital of Cook County, who are HIV positive, to the CORE Center to receive primary & specialty care, social services, education and training, and opportunities to participate in research projects.


For 97 years, The Chicago Community Trust, our region’s community foundation, has connected the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to organizations working to improve metropolitan Chicago.  In 2011, the Trust, together with its donors, granted more than $130 million to nonprofit organizations.  From strengthening schools to assisting local art programs, from building health centers to protecting the safety net for those hardest hit by the recession, the Trust continues to enhance our region.  To learn more, please visit the Trust online at