Chicago’s opioid overdose rates have increased markedly in recent years, alongside the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent data indicate that opioid overdoses have disproportionately impacted Black populations in Chicago’s west side communities that have had historical disinvestment and therefore limited access to basic needs such as health care, housing, employment, and education. The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) supports health care providers and community-based agencies to implement outpatient, inpatient, prevention, and linkage programs across the city to address substance use health inequities.

EDC works closely with CDPH to lead evaluation capacity building that helps all partners better understand the ongoing challenges, success stories, and strategies for substance use program quality improvements.

Key Activities

EDC is collaborating with CDPH and their substance use and recovery services delegate agencies to do the following:

  • Develop evaluation questions, logic models, and other evaluation measures and tools that help CDPH advance their learning around evaluation practices across a diverse cohort
  • Advance local learning around outcomes and quality program improvements specific to harm reduction and medication-assisted recovery, youth substance use prevention, opioid overdose response, and recovery homes
  • Design and lead a monthly Evaluation and Learning training series with subject matter experts on key topic areas that agencies identified to help them advance their goals and meet their clients’ needs
  • Facilitate responsive technical assistance with each delegate agency and offer tailored support on their unique evaluation and learning needs
  • Convene and coordinate evaluation roundtables that facilitate peer sharing and learning around common challenges and best practices in substance use treatment and prevention in Chicago
  • Build agency’s organizational capacity to advance their own data collection and evaluation practices to support their unique goals


  • Routine evaluation and monitoring of Chicago’s substance use and recovery services will offer insight on opportunities to advance outcomes and reduce opioid overdoses.
  • Capacity building will help agencies to develop evaluation skills and knowledge to make data-informed quality improvements to their services.
  • Trainings and evaluation roundtables will strengthen relationships among agencies across the city of Chicago to facilitate capacity building and peer sharing around how agencies can best serve those in need and overcome current challenges together.

Learn More

Chicago Department of Public Health Office of Substance Use and Recovery Services

Healing, Empowering, and Learning Professionals (H.E.L.P.™), LLC, Multilingual Connections

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