HERS (Heath Evaluation & Referral Service) Records

An inventory of its records at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Collection Summary

Creator:Heath Evaluation & Referral Service
Title:HERS (Heath Evaluation & Referral Service) Records
Abstract: The bulk of the material in this collection pertains to Chicago-area victim/witness advocacy programs and sexual assault. HERS worked with several organizations to establish training programs designed to help hospital personnel in dealing effectively with victims of sexual assault. This collection also contains information on incest, child abuse and domestic violence, as well as material on parental stress and gang violence.
Quantity: 2.75 linear feet
Identification: HERS

Administrative History of HERS

HERS (Health Evaluation & Referral Service) was a women's health consumer referral and advocacy organization. It was founded in 1973 to help women make informed health choices and to improve the quality of the services from which they can choose. The founders - activists in the women's health care and women's rights movements - wanted to ensure that all women, regardless of ability to pay, would have access to safe and effective health care choices. HERS evaluated health care providers for the quality and manner of care and initiated educational programs to provide women with information about their bodies and alternative health care choices. Their activism focused on support for women's health care options.

HERS' mission of greater women's health advocacy was achieved in two ways. The first was through its information and referral services, which directed individual women to health care providers that were sensitive to their concerns. Such services, along with the educational aspects of the HERS consumer feedback system, helped women become advocates for themselves and their families. The second way that HERS promoted greater health advocacy was by bringing together groups of health care workers and consumers in order to initiate reforms. These reforms led to a greater awareness of women's issues in the policies and conduct of health care institutions.

During its time, HERS grew from a collective of health care activists into a larger social service organization with an office and staff, a community-based board of directors, and an advisory board of health care professionals. Despite its growing size and influence, in 1989 HERS could not continue its operation due to financial constraints. Three of the solid foundation supporters cut their contributions. Two other foundations that had supported HERS failed to renew their contributions. Other promising sources of support, including the close personal contacts of two HERS board members, were not able to give monies. Also, the Spring Benefit and the Walkathon came in much lower than HERS' projections for these events. Combined, the above pushed HERS over the thin edge. At the end of 1989, HERS closed its doors, paying its debts until January of 1990.

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the material in this collection pertains to Chicago-area victim/witness advocacy programs and sexual assault. HERS worked with several organizations to establish training programs designed to help hospital personnel in dealing effectively with victims of sexual assault. This collection also contains information on incest, child abuse and domestic violence, as well as material on parental stress and gang violence.

These materials are divided into four series: General Information on Sex Crimes, Legislation and Law Enforcement, Victims Assistance Organizations, and Health Evaluation and Referral Service (HERS). The first series is divided into three subseries including Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Child Abuse/Incest. The third series is divided into four subseries including the Victim/Witness Advocacy Project, the Victim Witness Assistance Project, the Citizens Committee for Victim Assistance and Rape Victim Assistance and Prevention Program. Within each series and subseries, folders are organized chronologically. Material in this collection includes correspondence, statistics, meeting minutes, grant proposals, notes, newspaper clippings, fliers, handbooks, newsletters, financial reports, and bibliographies. These records, consisting of 2.75 linear feet of material, cover the time period of 1974-1990.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Health Evaluation and Referral Service --Archives.
Rape victims --Services for --United States --Sources.
Women's health services --United States --Sources.
Midwest Women's History

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

The Health Evaluation & Referral Service Records were donated to the University of Illinois at Chicago, Special Collections, on January 8, 1998.

Detailed Description/Box and Folder Listing

Series I: General Information on Sex Crimes

Subseries A: Sexual Assault
11Jackson Park Hospital Rape Victim Advocate Program, n.d.
2Informational pamphlets on sexual assault, 1975-1977
3Newspaper clippings and coverage of the Pressman Trial, 1976-1981
4Newspaper clippings, 1980-1982
5Speech and worksheets on sexual assault, 1981
6Conference material for West Area Rape Network, 1981-1982
7Newspaper clippings, legislation and other media, 1981-1983
Subseries B: Domestic Violence
8Ten issues of "Response" (newsletter on domestic violence), 1978-1980
9Events, newspaper clippings, legislation, and newsletters, 1980
10Two issues of "Women's Alliance" (newsletter on domestic violence), 1981
Subseries C: Child Abuse/Incest
11Academic papers (restricted--no photocopying w/o author's permission), 1978-1980
12Articles, newspaper clippings, pamphlets and newsletters, 1978-1981
213Statistics, pamphlets, notes and other media, 1980-1982
14Programs and pamphlets for parents, 1981
15Proposal draft for a program on child abuse, pamphlets, and notes, 1981
16Child Sexual Assault Service Network (CSASN) material and newspaper clippings, 1984
17CSASN organizational information, correspondences, notes, etc., 1981-1986

Series II: Legislation and Law Enforcement

218Crime Victims Compensation and Law Enforcement Assistance, 1972-1980
19Two issues of "The Victim Advocate" (criminal justice publication), 1977-1979
20Statutes concerning Victims and Witnesses, and Rape Victim Counseling Centers, 1979
21Law Enforcement Commission notes and memoranda on funding, 1979-1980.
22Legal and legislative documents concerning sexual assault victims, 1978-1982
23Legal documents and other material concerning crime prevention, 1979-1983
324Illinois Sexual Assault Act of 1983, 1983
25Women's Legal Rights Conference, 1983
26Community Gang Program material and House Bill 2379, 1983-1984
27Chicago Women's Political Caucus meeting agenda and newsletter, 1983-1984
28Sexual Assault--legal issues, 1978-1985

Series III: Victims Assistance Organizations

Subseries A: Victims/Witness Advocacy Project
329Volunteer Advocate Manual, n.d.
30Grant applications, notes, memoranda, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, 1974-1981
31Grant application, 1977-1978
32Victim/Witness Advocacy Project Evaluation, 1977-1979
433Interagency Workshop on Rape, 1979
34Information on Rape Training, 1979
35Progress report, 1979-1981
36Information on Rape Training, 1981
Subseries B: Victim Witness Assistance Project
37Victim Witness Assistance Project Operations Manual, 1977
38Grant award and resumes for assistant director position, 1979
39Newsletters, correspondences, worksheets, newspaper clippings, 1979-1980
Subseries C: Citizens Committee for Victim Assistance
40Police Department documents, sexual assault statistics, pamphlets, 1975-1982
41Guidelines for the treatment of sexual assault victims, 1977-1981
42General information and sexual assault statistics, 1979-1980
43Booklets, correspondences, etc., 1979-1981
544Guidelines for the hospital treatment of sexual assault victims, 1980
45Correspondences, administrative documents, newspaper clippings, 1981
46Correspondences concerning CPD's film on sexual assault, 1981
Subseries D: Rape Victim Assistance and Prevention Program
47Brochures, bumper stickers, guides, 1980
48General information, newsletters, booklets, 1980
49General information, newspaper clippings, 1980-1982

Series IV: Health Evaluation & Referral Service (HERS)

550Personal file of Saundra Bishop (restricted--no photocopying), 1981
51Organizational history, budgetary information, feminist position paper (restricted--no photocopying), brochures, meeting minutes, etc., 1985-1988
52Adolescent Women's Heath Network's Roundtable Conference Report, 1988
653Fund-raising information, grant proposals, meeting minutes, 1988-1989
54Budget paper, bylaws, grand proposals, 1987-1990