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

The goals of Project CONNECT are to (1) increase the number of patients engaged in outpatient care services at the CORE Center; (2) decrease 30 day readmissions; (3) improve health care outcomes; and (4) improve quality of life.


Project CONNECT will work with the inpatient team at Stroger Hospital of Cook County to identify patients who are either:

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

Patients meeting these criteria will be assessed by project staff within 24 hours or the next business day of being admitted. They will be 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.

If you have a patient who would benefit from Project CONNECT services, please contact Blanca A Lopez, 312-572-4810 (office) or 312-942-6000 #5611 (pager).

Project CONNECT is funded by Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust