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Wednesday, June 19

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The Mechanics
« Cisneros Revisits Chicago, Listens to el Coraz√≥n Rally for Jailed Journalist Scheduled for Thursday »

Chicago Tue Apr 21 2009

UIC Group to Protest Pilsen Clinic Closing

Members of the University of Illinois at Chicago Healthcare Students Against Discrimination are planning a rally on Thursday to protest the university's decision to shut down The Center for Women and Families at Pilsen, a UIC community clinic that serves several low-income Latina women and children, within two months.

The group, along with physicians and community members, will gather in front of the Outpatient Care Clinic (OCC), 1801 W. Taylor St, at noon, and will hand over a petition with more than 1,000 signatures from UIC students, staff and community members who are against the closure.

While the university cites budget constraints for the closing, members of the coalition -- which includes UIC-based healthcare students from the UIC Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Pharmacy, and Allied Health -- argue in a press release that costs for the clinic make up only 0.0001 percent of the university's $4.2-billion dollar annual budget.

The group makes a compelling argument that is sadly becoming all too familiar: the services offered by the clinic, which sees nearly 6,500 patients every year, are sorely needed at a time when so many marginalized women and children need the clinic, whether it be for pre-natal care, counseling for victims of domestic violence or routine screening tests. In addition, the group says, the clinic's closing would leave students without a place to learn about providing care in low-income communities and would go against the university's mission. This has been an on-going issue, and in March Chicago Public Radio had a nice report on the closing.

After the rally, activisits will hold a solidarity vigil in front of The Center for Women and Families at Pilsen, 1858 W. 18th St., at 7p.m.

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