Led by director Dr. Gregory Phillips II and Associate Director Dr. Lauren Beach, the Evaluation, Data Integration and Technical Assistance (EDIT) Program attempts to foster a learning community to improve the health and wellbeing of sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations in Chicago and beyond.
We are a leader in community-based evaluation focused on improving the health and wellbeing of sexual and gender minority (SGM) individuals. We empower community agencies to strategically plan, implement, and evaluate innovative and culturally responsive programming that serves SGM individuals.
We develop and apply innovative methods to rigorously analyze SGM health disparities using a variety of data sources and applying an intersectional and community engaged approach.
We focus on advancing health equity and identifying health needs among understudied SGM populations, including bisexual, transgender, asexual, intersex, racial/ethnic minority, adolescent and older adult communities.
We are committed to meaningful involvement of communities in all aspects of our research and evaluation work. We value lived experience as a legitimate form of expertise and means of knowledge.
We share best practices and lessons learned from program evaluation and research studies with policymakers, funders, researchers, and service providers to improve community response to serving sexual and gender minority individuals.
EDIT is committed to upholding these values in all of our work: We view all partners and collaborators as full collaborators in all aspects of research from initial planning to dissemination; We are committed to the meaningful and active inclusion of community voices as leaders and partners in our research; We value lived experience as equally – if not more so – important as formal academic training; We ensure our priorities are tied not to the availability of funding, but to the needs and health priorities of the communities we serve; We reject academic hierarchies and encourage and support participation and leadership from all team members and partners; We are committed to empowerment and training for students, team members, and community partners as a primary goal and not an afterthought.
What is a learning community?
A learning community is, above all else, dedicated to dialogue, self-reflection,and engagement in ongoing growth. At EDIT, we believe that understanding one’s strengths and limitations is crucial to ensuring the highest quality of work and should not occur within individual agencies alone. Rather, we believe that a diverse, collaborative community focused on growth, reflection, and dedication to the importance of our work is necessary to respond to the structural factors that affect the health and wellbeing of sexual and gender minority individuals. As such, we rely on the evidence of research in the field and on diverse individual perspectives to inform the ways in which we address social problems.We believe that the greatest impact is achieved when we learn and work together as researchers, evaluators, policy makers, interventionists, and community stakeholders to effectively address the needs of the community we serve.
Evaluation has become a central activity in the effort to achieving health equity. By systematically measuring the implementation, outcomes, and lasting impact that tailored programs and interventions have on those they attempt to serve, we are able to make data driven recommendations to improve and/or scale activities. Rigorous evaluation is necessary to determining the efficacy of interventions to ensure limited resources as efficiently as possible to improve the health and wellbeing of sexual and gender minority populations.
Why Data Integration?
With the growing array of data sources collected by healthcare providers, researchers, and health departments, such as electronic medical records, survey data, and epidemiological surveillance data, it is exceedingly important to develop methods to integrate these data in meaningful ways.
Why Technical Assistance?
While university based research centers and hospitals are uniquely positioned to be able to have significant impacts on population health, we understand that for marginalized groups like the SGM community, community based organizations and health centers are on the front lines of truly improving their health and wellbeing. By building capacity at these organizations to better plan, implement, and evaluate their programs, we can have a truly lasting impact on the community we are dedicated to serving.
Our ties to the SGM community in Chicago and beyond:
EDIT prides itself in working together with a long list of community organizations, all who share the same mission of improving the health and wellbeing of sexual and gender minority populations. This includes a constantly growing list of community organizations located in Chicago, and a small but growing list of groups serving communities around the country. We’ve developed this diverse set of partnerships to tackle a wide variety of issues in a culturally responsive manner. Here are some of the amazing organizations and groups we have worked with:
- Access Community Health Network
- AIDS Foundation of Chicago
- Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
- Austin Health Center of Cook County
- Brave Space Alliance
- Brothers Health Collective
- Center on Halsted
- Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus
- Chicago Department of Public Health
- Chicago House & Social Service Agency
- Chicago Women’s AIDS Project
- Coalition for Justice and Respect
- Esperanza Health Centers
- Haymarket Center
- Heartland Human Care Services, Inc.
- Howard Brown Health
- Illinois Department of Public Health
- John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County
- Jorge Prieto Health Center
- La Casa Norte
- Making A Daily Effort
- Metropolitan Family Services
- Project 2nd Genesis
- Project Vida
- Provident Hospital
- Puerto Rican Cultural Center
- Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center
- Universal Family Connection
- University of Chicago’s Center for HIV Elimination
- The University of Chicago Medicine
- Evaluation Center: Community Development | Evaluation Center 2.0
- EDIT CARES: Community Award for Research and Evaluation Services
- EDIT Community Spotlight Podcast
- Getting to Zero – Illinois
- Center for the Evaluation of HIV Prevention Programs in Chicago (Evaluation Center 1.0)
- Increasing Awareness and Acceptability of Meningitis Vaccination
- Evaluating PrEP Implementation in Chicago (EPIC)
- A Community-Academic Partnership to Build Capacity for Research and Evaluation at Chicago Women’s AIDS Project
- PLoT ME
- Optimizing HIV Research within the Chicago Latino MSM Community
- Project PrIDE
- Healthvana Demonstration Project
Top (left to right): Kate Banner, Josh Boegner, Lauren B. Beach, Caleb Curry, Aris S. Brown.
Bottom (left to right): Michelle Birkett, David McCuskey, Dylan Felt, Gregory Phillips II.