The Chicago Center for Health and the Environment was established to address EHS-related health disparities as the first Center of its kind in the greater Chicago tri-state area (Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin). The need for such a Center is highlighted by the dramatic racial/ethnic health disparities prevalent in the region for multiple diseases and outcomes.

While the national life-expectancy gap between African Americans and Caucasians is narrowing in the US in general, Chicago exhibits one of the largest life expectancy gaps between African Americans and Caucasians in the nation. Contributing to this are disproportionate rates of diabetes, respiratory illnesses, heart disease and cancer. Although studies have identified multiple contributors to these inequities, a major component is undoubtedly rooted in environmental factors, as it is known that the burden of environmental toxicants is not evenly shared.

COMPASS is a key cohort supporting the work of CACHET. The COMPASS infrastructure has been conceptualized to accommodate diverse environmental health work. CACHET scientists can request access to COMPASS samples to learn about the impact of environmental exposures or they can ask that the COMPASS questionnaire or biosamples be used to support their important work.

COMPASS is proud to support CACHET and its mission to elucidate the biological and social underpinnings between relevant urban environmental exposures and human disease and translate the findings to reduce health inequities within our communities.