Project Access: A Medical, Legal and Case Management Collaboration

January 2005

The overall goal of Project Access was to implement, describe and test an invention providing enhanced social service support and legal services to families of infants with special health care needs discharged from the Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) of the University of Chicago Children’s Hospital and Mount Sinai Children’s Hospital. Developed by Health & Disability Advocates in collaboration with the participating hospitals, Project Access case managers and attorneys worked closely with families from the time their infant was first admitted to the NICU and continued to provide services through the child’s first year of life. The families who participated in Project Access were primarily low-income residents of Chicago’s south and west sides. Designed to be proactive and accessible, Project Access staff assisted families identify and receive needed financial, medical, developmental and educational supports for their infants and themselves.

The Michael Reese Health Trust supported planning and pilot phases of Project Access from July 2000 through October of 2001 and was joined by several other Chicago-based foundations to fund the project’s demonstration and evaluation phase from November 2001 through December 2004. On this website is the project’s final report titled Project Access: A Medical, Legal and Case Management Collaboration. The report includes valuable demographic information about the participating babies and parents, project implementation successes and challenges, lessons learned and recommendations for next steps. To learn more about the work of the Sinai Urban Health Institute whose staff was responsible for the project’s evaluation go to To learn more about the work and resources provided by Health & Disability Advocates go to

Enhancing Developmentally Oriented Primary Care (EDOPC)

Its website,, provides a project overview including information about its partners, project staff, faculty, funders and educational materials.

Project Access Report1.1 MB