Lurie Children’s to Open Youth-Centered Comprehensive Program Supporting Teen Health and Wellness

October 08, 2018

Innovative Model for Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, New Facility Supported by Gift from Potocsnak Family

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is taking a new approach to supporting the health and wellness of Chicago area teens. The Potocsnak Family Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, a division of Lurie Children’s, is implementing a holistic model offering a full range of services beginning this fall on Chicago’s Near North Side. Housed in a new teen-friendly facility at 1440 Dayton Street, the Division will offer expanded clinical services (mental health in primary care, behavioral health, gender program, substance use and adolescent primary care), behavioral research opportunities, HIV/STI testing services, as well as community engagement and programming. The Division multidisciplinary model includes a strong focus on supporting underserved and marginalized young people.  Additionally, the Division is launching an innovative fellowship program which will train the next generation of physician leaders in adolescent medicine. The new facility and its expanded services were supported by a gift to the Lurie Children’s campaign for every child from the Potocsnak family.

“The continued support from the Potocsnak Family has allowed our Division to think creatively about how to meet the diverse needs of adolescents,” said Robert Garofalo, MD, MPH, Head of the Potocsnak Family Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine.  “Over the past decade our Division has emerged as leaders in adolescent health, due in no small part due to the Potocsnak family’s continued faith in our vision. Now, with this state-of-the-art facility, we are able to care for more patients, and offer new clinical and programmatic services under one roof, making it easy for youth to access necessary, sometimes life-saving services.”

Dr. Garofalo, who also is Professor of Adolescent Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, is nationally recognized for his work in LGBTQ+ health issues, as well as adolescent sexuality and HIV infection. Under his leadership the Division has developed a strong multidisciplinary team including adolescent medicine physicians, nursing staff, psychologists, social workers, researchers and programming staff.

“We are incredibly proud to support Dr. Garofalo’s vision for the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine,” said Chicago business leader John Potocsnak.  “Dr. Garofalo has worked tirelessly on behalf of marginalized communities and youth in need of health care and other support services. Our gift honors that history of achievement and demonstrates confidence in his leadership and the future of adolescent medicine services at Lurie Children’s. We hope this gift inspires others to support the important work Dr. Garofalo and his team are doing in the community.”

Lurie Children's is one of the top children’s hospitals in the country according to USNews & World Report.  It is the pediatric teaching arm for Feinberg School of Medicine and one of only a handful of U.S. children’s hospitals with a dedicated pediatric research center, Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute.  Last year, the hospital treated more than 208,000 patients.