Chi-raq: My Op/Ed in the Chicago Sun-Times

The excerpt below is from an op-ed written by NPA Copello Fellow Kohar Jones, MD and cross-posted from her blog Prevention Not Prescription. 
“Last summer, I learned about the epidemic of violence in Chicago through the eyes of high schoolers through my work with the University of Chicago Medicine’s Summer Service Partnership. All three neighborhood teams chose to address violence for their community health service-learning projects.
You can read what I learned here, in an op/ed I published in the Chicago Sun-Times last night.
Hopelessness = violence = more hopelessness = more violence
Jobs break the cycle.”

 — Chicago Sun-Times, January 8, 2014 —

“Chi-raq” is what our high school students call our city.
Every summer I direct a community health program sponsored by the University of Chicago Medicine that brings together six medical/professional, three college and nine high school students to address health issues on Chicago’s South Side. The group breaks into three teams focused on different Chicago neighborhoods.
This year all three Summer Service Partnership (SSP) teams chose violence for their health topic.
There is low intensity warfare on Chicago’s streets.
During a session one day this summer, I was shocked by a high school student’s casual revelation.

Read more…


Dr. Kohar Jones is a clinical assistant professor with the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine, and director of Community Health and Service Learning with the Urban Health Initiative and Pritzker School of Medicine. She is also a NPA Copello Fellow for 2013-14. Visit her blog at