Wings to Dreams - 4:35
Tammera L. Holmes, AeroStar Avion Institute
Posted Aug 22, 2019
The 2019 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook projects that 804,000 new civil aviation pilots, 769,000 new maintenance technicians, and 914,000 new cabin crew will be needed to fly and maintain the world fleet over the next 20 years. That's double the current workforce. And guess what? These numbers do not include airport jobs, professional support services and a score of other related, STEM employment opportunities. Tammera Holmes' mission is to diversify the nation's aviation industry. Less than 2% of airline pilots flying today are African American, and just over 3% are female. African Americans and Hispanics represent only 11% of STEM employees, though they comprise nearly 30% of the American workforce. In Chicago, area schools are facing teacher strikes, dismal high school graduation rates and a fiscally-strapped State of Illinois. Incorporating STEM and Aerospace in the classroom would be difficult in this already struggling school system. Tammera's organization AeroStar has committed to providing aviation education and aerospace education to all ages, creating the most ambitious industry talent pipeline strategy for the US in decades.
Hosted by: Ellee Pai Hong Produced by: Greater Chicago Newsmakers Team

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Digital Mental Health Initiative

The UI Center on Depression and Resilience has launched a new innovative artificial intelligence (AI) and technology based treatment initiative, creating a digital based mental health safety net, to address Illinois' mental health crisis, and treat suicide risk factors. The UICDR has developed numerous digital tools, apps and inventions to reduce mental health disparities and offers these cutting-edge products to the public. This pioneering concept potentially can serve as a blueprint for the cost-effective integration of AI and technology to give greater access to mental health resources to poverty stricken areas and combat the growing national mental health crisis. This initiative is the “Digital Mental Health Initiative” (DMHI). The DMHI is a collaborative, transdisciplinary group of scientist, researchers, engineers and physicians working across 19 labs in at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Psychiatry Department to improve equitable access to mental health treatment with innovative smart, connected technology. The DMHI employs cutting-edge research to develop evidence-based digital tools and other technology based mental health treatments, which have already effectively treated thousands of patients. 1.5 million people in Illinois live with serious mental illness. According to the most recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide in Illinois has risen 23 percent, and is now ranked as the 11th leading cause of death in the state. The prevalence of depression in Illinois has increased, as it has globally, catapulting depression to the number one cause of disability worldwide.

This crisis has come at a staggering cost; estimates place the economic cost of untreated depression/behavioral health in the state to be more than 1.4 billion dollars a year.

Lack of access to treatment, and inefficient models of care, lie at the heart of this crisis. These numbers are a sobering reminder that we as a society have not adequately addressed the core reasons nor put forth the proper solutions to confront this health crisis, and necessitated the creation of UI Center on Depression and Resilience “Digital Mental Health Initiative” (DMHI).

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