"HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND FIRST CHOICE HEALTHCARE CLINICS NOTE STD AWARENESS MONTH"
The Henry and Stark County Health Departments and their First Choice Healthcare Clinics in Kewanee and Colona note that April is STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) Awareness Month. This theme for STD Awareness Month 2021 is “Talk. Test. Treat.” This year’s theme encourages individuals to learn about STDs and STD prevention, but just as importantly, to empower them to ask their healthcare provider what they can do – and how they can work together – to stay safe and healthy.
Alicia Johnson, LPN Director of Clinical Services, notes, "With an estimated 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occurring every year in the US, it is clear that STDs remain a widespread health threat in this country."
Johnson adds, "In addition, STD infections cost the American healthcare system nearly $16 billion in direct medical costs alone. And it's America's youth that is shouldering the substantial burden of these infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that half of all new STDs in the country occur among young men and women aged 15 to 24."
Johnson notes, "With all these disturbing statistics it is obvious that STD Awareness Month is an opportune time to remind area residents that the First Choice Healthcare Clinics offers confidential:"
~ STD Testing for Males and Females
~ Treatment of STDs
~ Contraceptive Supplies
~ Preventative immunizations against such STDs as Hepatitis B and HPV ~ Counseling, Education, and Referral
~ Expedited Partner Treatment
Testing and knowledge of infection are vital to reducing the incidence and spread of STDs. Because many infections have no symptoms, those at risk need to get tested and find out if they are infected.
There are many actions you can take to protect yourself and others from STDs:
* Abstinence - The most reliable way to avoid infection with an STD are to abstain from sex or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.
* Correct and consistent use of condoms - Consistent use of latex condoms reduces the risk of HIV and other STDs. (Free Supplies are available through First Choice Healthcare clinics in Kewanee and Colona.)
* Screening - Getting tested and treated for STDs can protect you from serious health consequences caused by STDs. (STD Testing available at both First Choice Healthcare Clinics.)
* Immunizations - Receiving recommended Hepatitis B and HPV immunizations can almost completely prevent infections covered by the vaccines.
Adds Johnson, "Though the subject of STDs may not be a comfortable healthcare issue to discuss, we want people to remember that our First Choice Healthcare Clinics in Kewanee and Colona are sources of confidential testing, treatment, and education. And we are literally just a phone call away. People should know we offer the tools and services people need to stay healthy."
First Choice Healthcare clinics accept medicaid payments and private pay. A sliding fee scale, based on the client's income, has been established to assist low-income families to obtain services. In addition, grant funds are available for those who meet certain eligibility requirements.
First Choice Healthcare Clinics at (309) 852-5272 (Main Kewanee Office) or 792-4011 (Colona).
April 15, 2021
“Health Department & OEM Note Rising Covid Numbers & Local Food Establishments And Patrons To Not Put Community At Risk”
The Henry and Stark County Health Department and the Henry County Office of Emergency Management note that we are continuing to see a disturbing rise in Henry and Stark County Covid-19 positive and probable case totals.
Dorothy David, Director of Environmental Health Services with the Henry and Stark County Health Department states, “We have received many complaints about local food establishments and bars not following or enforcing current Covid-19 mitigation measures. We have seen and heard first hand of local businesses not observing occupancy or masking guidelines. Therefore, we are alerting local residents and businesses to not put themselves, their employees, and their patrons at risk of Covid infection and thus State and Regional rollbacks. The fact is, at this point, continued non compliance and flouting is putting local businesses themselves at risk.
The Health Department and Henry County EOC ask everyone (owners/manager/patrons) to work collaboratively with each other by following the guidelines set forth by Illinois Department of Public Health. All foods establishments and bars should be following the “Phase 4 of Restore Illinois Plan” dated 02/09/2021 (New Safety Guidelines for Patrons) as follows.
CLEAN, DISINFACT, SANITIZE
Continue to enforce frequency of handwashing with your staff.
Continue to follow through with your employee health screening.
Continue using face masks.
Seated areas - minimum 6-ft distance between tables
Standing areas - maximum occupancy of 25% of standing area capacity
10-person party limit
Implement a reservation or call ahead model especially for busy periods, if practical. Health Department will be asking for reservation lists during inspections/investigations.
Inform patrons without reservations to check for available capacity before coming to your establishment.
The Health Department and Office of Emergency Management reminds local businesses and residents to follow current mitigation measures and seek out Covid-19 vaccination. Let’s all work to bring this pandemic to an end. Let’s all do our part by visiting www.henrystarkhealth.com to register today!
To report places of business or organizations violating current mitigation actions: Call the Pandemic Compliance Hotline for Henry & Stark Counties at (309) 883-5057. Or send an email to COVID@EMA-HC.com .
April 9, 2021
"HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND FIRST CHOICE HEALTHCARE CLINICS NOTE APRIL-CANCER CONTROL MONTH"
The staff of the Henry and Stark County Health Department and its First Choice Healthcare Clinics announce that April has been designated as Cancer Control Month.
RaeAnn Tucker, Health Department Director of Health Promotion, notes “In the battle against cancer, over decades, our Nation has made extraordinary progress. The overall rates of cancer deaths are decreasing for both women and men, and most survivors live longer and enjoy a better quality of life than ever before. Still, cancer remains the second most common cause of death in America, and there is more work to do. This month, we stand with all those touched by cancer and redouble our efforts to prevent, detect, and treat this disease.”
Tucker adds, "While it is impossible to completely eliminate the risk of cancer, we can take action to reduce our chances of developing this disease. To beat this disease, prevention is the key. Today, scientists think most cancers may be related to lifestyle and environment - what you eat, drink, if you smoke and where you work and play. So the good news is you can help reduce your own cancer risk by taking control of things in your daily life.”
The Health Department, First Choice Healthcare Clinics, along with the American Cancer Society, offer the following 10 steps you can take to a healthier life and reduced cancer risk:
1) If you smoke or chew tobacco, stop! Smoking is a major cancer risk to smokers and everyone near them. If you are going to have a baby and you smoke, you pass the smoke and the risk right on to your baby. The combination of smoking and drinking alcohol is even riskier.
2) Maintaining a healthy weight will help you reduce your risk of cancer - as well as heart disease and diabetes. Watching your portion sizes - especially of foods high in fat and sugar - is an important way to help watch your weight.
3) Enjoy more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Eat at least five servings of colorful fruits and vegetables each day. They are packed with disease-fighting nutrients, are generally low in fat and calories, and may help you control your weight. Try to eat at least three servings of whole-grain products each day.
4) Limit how much saturated fat you eat by cutting back on red meats (beef, pork, and lamb), processed meats (bologna, salami, and hot dogs), and high-fat dairy products.
5) If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to one drink a day if you are female and two a day if you are male.
6) Get some physical activity like walking, gardening, or dancing for at least 30 minutes or more on five or more days of the week. Check with your health care provider before you begin an exercise routine.
7) Protect your skin from UV rays. Stay out of the sun as much as you can between 10am and 4pm, when the sun's UV rays are the strongest. When you are outside, cover up with clothing. Wear a hat with a brim that shades your face, ears, and neck. Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher on all skin not covered with clothing. Wear sunglasses with UV protection. Don't use sunlamps or tanning salons.
8) If you work with harmful chemicals or fibers like asbestos, wear protective clothes and follow directions exactly. Be sure to learn emergency procedures.
9) Have regular check-ups. Ask your health care provider about the American Cancer Society's guidelines for early detection screenings.
10) For information about cancer, contact the American Cancer Society anytime at 1-800-ACS-2345 or www.cancer.org or visit the Health Department's website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us on Twitter
April 2, 2021
“HEALTH DEPT ANNOUNCES PUBLIC HEALTH WEEK HEALTH SPECIAL AT THEIR FIRST CHOICE HEALTHCARE CLINICS IN KEWANEE & COLONA”
The Henry and Stark County Health Departments and their First Choice Healthcare Clinics in Kewanee and Colona remind area residents they will showcase their ongoing efforts "to protect and improve the health of the community," during National Public Health Week, April 5-11, 2021.
In keeping with National Public Health Week's mission of promoting healthier living and achieving the goal of “healthiest nation by 2030,” the First Choice Healthcare Clinics will offer clinic specials during the month of April featuring a combination General Health/Thyroid Panel Blood Test for only $50. This test includes a full lipid “Cholesterol” panel. In addition, the First Choice Healthcare Clinics will offer a $5 basic Lipid “Cholesterol” Panel. Please note, fasting is recommended for these tests for optimum results.
The First Choice Healthcare Clinics will be offering these specials at both of their locations in Kewanee and Colona. These clinic specials will be available at the following times during the month of April.
KEWANEE: 7:00am-11:00am at the Health Department's New Main Office & Clinic, 110 N. Burr Blvd., Kewanee
COLONA: 8:00am-11:00am at the Department's Colona Office, 103 1st St., Colona.
The clinics are open to all area residents, and appointments are necessary and will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Please note, these lab specials are available on a “Cash Only” basis.
To schedule an appointment or for more information on the First Choice Healthcare Clinics’ Public Health Week April Lab Specials call (309) 852-5272 (Kewanee) or 792-4011 (Colona) or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us On Twitter.
April 2, 2021
"HEALTH DEPARTMENT KICKS OFF NATIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH WEEK CELEBRATION!"
PHOTO CAPTION FOR ATTACHED PHOTO: KEWANEE COVID CLINIC 8
Henry and Stark County Health Department Nurse, Heather Aldred, RN administers the Covid-19 Vaccination to Kewanee School District Teacher, Shana Hinton as Tara DeBlieck of the Kewanee School District and the Health Department looks on. The Health Department and the Henry County Office of Emergency Management vaccinated all Henry and Stark County School Districts’ Administration, Faculty and Staff members at the beginning of 2021, early on in the Covid-19 vaccine rollout. The Health Department is showcasing their many accomplishments in improving our area citizens' health as a part of this year's National Public Health Week, April 5-11, 2021.
PHOTO CAPTION FOR ATTACHED PHOTO: COVID CLINIC 3
Heather Mirocha with the Henry and Stark County Health Department helps register and move participants through a Covid-19 Drive Thru Vaccination Clinic at Black Hawk College-East Campus in February. The Health Department and the Henry County Office of Emergency Management staff members and volunteers have braved all types of weather extremes in order to vaccinate area residents and move us all closer towards a possible end to the Covid-19 Pandemic. The Health Department is showcasing their many accomplishments in improving our area citizens' health as a part of this year's National Public Health Week, April 5-11, 2021.
For over two decades, officials at the Henry and Stark County Health Departments have showcased the many services they provide to protect the health of our communities as a part of National Public Health Week. This year National Public Health Week will take place from April 5-11, 2021. During National Public Health Week 2021, the public health community is rallying around a theme of “Building Bridges to Better Health.”
Duane Stevens, Administrator of the Henry and Stark County Health Departments notes, “This year’s Public Health Week celebration holds special significance for us as Monday, April 5th marks one year, to the day, since we opened our doors at our new administration offices and our new First Choice Healthcare Clinic at 110 N. Burr Blvd. Our entire staff is excited to celebrate our first year in serving the residents of this area in our more centralized, accessible and customer friendly location.”
Stevens adds, “In addition to the usual “day to day” public health challenges that come our way; our staff has risen to the call to meet and navigate a local response to a historic, unprecedented global pandemic, the likes of which has not been seen in over a century. This does, however, continue to focus needed attention on the value and importance of public health.”
Stevens concludes, “People often do not realize the full impact of the Health Depart- ment’s programs and services. This Public Health Week please take a moment to remember how the Health Department is continuously striving to create healthier communities. Our staff of 46 full-time employees are dedicated to making a difference in the health of 60,000 area residents each and every day. This could be tracking the rise and spread of communicable diseases in our counties or working with the State and CDC in stemming and preventing outbreaks of infectious diseases. The Department is always at the ready to coordinate the dispensing of vaccines or medications, or plan initiatives and efforts to keep our residents safe through our Emergency Preparedness training and activities. Our vigilance never ends.”
For more information on the programs and services available through the Henry & Stark County Health Departments call (309) 852-0197 (Main Office) or 792-4011 (Colona) or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments and Follow Us on Twitter.
March 18, 2021
"HEALTH DEPARTMENT & FIRST CHOICE HEALTHCARE CLINICS STAFF NOTE WORLD TB DAY AND REMINDS OF THE IMPORTANCE OF TB TESTING!"
The Henry and Stark County Health Departments and their First Choice Healthcare Clinics staff announces that March 24th has been proclaimed World TB Day. This annual event commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacillus that causes tuberculosis (TB).
Sandy Sommer, RN Director of Clinical Services with the Department and First Choice Healthcare Clinics notes, “Too many people in our country and around the world still suffer from TB. Anyone can get TB, and current efforts to find and treat latent TB infection and TB disease are a not always sufficient. Misdiagnosis of TB still exists and health care professionals often do not "think TB."
The theme of World TB Day 2021 is “The Clock Is Ticking!” Today, World TB Day is commemorated across the globe with activities as diverse as the locations in which they are held. But more can be done to raise awareness about the effects of TB. TB remains the world’s leading infectious killer, being responsible for the deaths of nearly 1.7 million people each year and representing the ninth leading cause of death globally. The day is an occasion to mobilize political and social commitment for further progress towards eliminating TB as a public health burden.
Hand adds, “Until TB is eliminated, World TB Day won’t be a celebration. But it is a valuable opportunity to educate the public about the devastation TB can spread and how it can be stopped.”
TB testing can be done at both First Choice Healthcare Clinic locations. To schedule an appointment, call (309) 852-5272 (Kewanee) or (309) 792-4011 (Colona).
March 18, 2020
"HEALTH DEPARTMENT & FIRST CHOICE HEALTHCARE CLINIC STAFF NOTE NATIONAL POISON PREVENTION WEEK, MARCH 21-27, 2021"
The Henry and Stark County Health Department and its First Choice Healthcare Clinic staff announce that March 21st-27th has been proclaimed National Poison Prevention Week. For the past 60 years, National Poison Prevention Week has worked to educate and inform consumers of the dangers of unintentional poisonings. These efforts have contributed to a significant decline in injuries and deaths.
Still more than 2 million poisonings are reported each year to the Nation's poison centers. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, approximately 90 percent of poisonings happen at home, and 51 percent of poisonings involve children under the age of 6. The majority of fatal poisonings occur among adults, especially older adults.
"By educating local residents about preventative steps in the home and in their lives, we believe we all can make serious progress in keeping our families safe," states Heather Aldred, RN Health Department Maternal and Child Health Services Supervisor. "But it is vital that people arm themselves with basic information on poison prevention in the home, such as keeping chemicals out of reach of children and carefully reading the labels and dosages on all products."
In addition to the poison prevention tips above, parents and caregivers should follow these safety tips to reduce the risk of unintentional poisonings.
1. Use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container securely after each use or, if available, choose child-resistant unit packaging, which does not need to be re-secured.
2. Call (800) 222-1222 immediately in case of poisoning.
3. Do not put decorative lamps and candles that contain lamp oil where children can reach them. Lamp oil can be very toxic if ingested by young children.
4. Always turn the light on when giving or taking medicine so you can see what you are taking. Check the dosage every time.
5. Avoid taking medicine in front of children.
More than 2 million poisonings are reported each year to the Nation's poison centers. Among the potentially toxic household products referenced in calls to the poison control centers were:
* Personal care products, including baby oil and mouthwash containing ethanol;
* Cleaning substances, including drain openers and over cleaners;
* Over-the-counter pain relievers - including ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin - and cough and cold medicines;
* Hydrocarbons, such as lamp oil and furniture polish; and
* Adult-strength vitamins and supplements containing iron.
The Health Department staff notes, while significant strides have been made in poison prevention, every day there are new parents, grandparents and childcare providers who may not be aware of the potential for poisonings For more information on Poison Prevention Week visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments, or Follow Us on Twitter.
“HEALTH DEPARTMENT REMINDS RESIDENTS OF THE SMOKE FREE ILLINOIS ACT”
The Henry and Stark County Health Departments note that every year February is proclaimed American Heart Month. The staff of the Health Department notes that Tobacco use is an important risk factor for the development of coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. Cardiovascular diseases kill more people than any other cause of death worldwide.
RaeAnn Tucker, Director of Health Promotion with the Henry and Stark County Health Departments notes that this important health designation is an important time to remind area residents about the Health Departments’ Illinois Tobacco-Free Communities Grant activities.
In both Henry and Stark County our staff works continually to enforce, educate and encourage compliance with the Illinois Smoke-Free Act. The Smoke-free Illinois Act prohibits smoking in virtually all public places and workplaces, including offices, theaters, museums, libraries, educational institutions, schools, commercial establishments, enclosed shopping centers and retail stores, restaurants, bars, private clubs and gaming facilities.
The Smoke Free Illinois Act requires that all business owners:
*Do not permit smoking within 15 feet of entrances, exits, windows, that open and ventilation intakes.
*Post “No Smoking” signs at each entrance.
*Remove ashtrays from areas where smoking is prohibited.
The Health Department notes that failure to comply with the Smoke Free Illinois Act can result in fines.
Tucker notes, “The Health Department in coordination with the State of Illinois has taken these important steps to protect its residents, workers and visitors from the harmful and hazardous effects of smoking and secondhand smoke.”
Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day.
For more information about the Health Department’s Illinois Tobacco-Free activities, or for “No Smoking” signs for your business, call (309) 852-7249 or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or Find Us On Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter.
“HEALTH DEPT NOTES RISK FACTORS FOR HEART DISEASE DURING HEART MONTH”
The Henry and Stark County Health Departments and our First Choice Healthcare Clinics in Kewanee and Colona note that February brings us the observance of American Heart Month. The Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) note during the month of February we tend view the human heart as the symbol of love, admiration and affection. But this February show yourself the love. Learn about your risks for heart disease and stroke and stay "heart healthy" for yourself and your loved ones.
RaeAnn Tucker, Director of Health Promotion with the Health Departments states, “Cardiovascular disease (CVD)—including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure—is the number 1 killer of women and men in the United States. It is a leading cause of disability, preventing Americans from working and enjoying family activities.”
Truth is many CVD deaths could have been prevented through healthier habits, healthier living spaces, and better management of conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. The staff of the Health Department reminds area residents to take control of a number of risk factors for Heart disease:
High blood pressure
High blood cholesterol
Tucker adds, “It helps if you have a plan and carry out some strategies for better heart health:
Work with your health care team. Get a checkup at least once each year, even if you feel healthy. A doctor, nurse, or other health care professional can check for conditions that put you at risk for CVD, such as high blood pressure and diabetes—conditions that can go unnoticed for too long.
Monitor your blood pressure & get your cholesterol checked. The Department and our First Choice Healthcare Clinics remind area residents that our Family Nurse Practitioners in Kewanee and Colona can help with the management of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. If you don't know your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers; we have services that can help you see where you stand.
Eat a healthy diet. Choosing healthful meal and snack options can help you avoid CVD and its complications. Limiting sodium in your diet can lower your blood pressure. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables—adults should have at least five servings each day. Eating foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber.
Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for CVD.
Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. .
Don't smoke. Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for CVD. If you don't smoke, don't start. If you do smoke, quit as soon as possible.
Limit alcohol use. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can increase your blood pressure.
Manage your diabetes. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels closely, and talk with your health care team about treatment options.
Take your medicine. If you're taking medication to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or another condition, follow the instructions carefully. Always ask questions if you don't understand something.
So remember, this February show yourself some love, and lower your risk of heart disease. For more information on the “Heart Healthy” services available through the First Choice Healthcare Clinics can call (309) 852-5272 Kewanee or (309) 792-4011 (Colona). Together, we all can prevent and manage heart disease, one step at a time.
"HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND FIRST CHOICE HEALTHCARE NOTES MARCH-COLORECTAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH!"
The Henry and Stark County Health Departments and our First Choice Healthcare Clinics, along with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), announce that March has been designated National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
Colorectal Cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States. And yet, this need not be the case. Studies show if everyone age 50 or older had regular screening tests, at least one-third of deaths from this cancer could be avoided. With this in mind the First Choice Healthcare Clinics remind area residents that our locations in Kewanee and Colona offer FIT tests, and digital and clinical exams by our Family Nurse Practitioners.
To better inform the public about this deadly disease the staff of the Henry and Stark County Health Department and First Choice Healthcare offer the following facts on Colorectal Cancer. Colorectal cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum. Sometimes it is called colon cancer, for short.
Who gets Colorectal Cancer? Both men and women can get colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is most often found in people 50 and older. Therefore, the risk of getting colorectal cancer increases with age.
Are you at High Risk? Your risk of colorectal cancer may be higher than average if: you or a close relative have had colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer; or you have inflammatory bowel disease. People at high risk for colorectal cancer may need earlier or more frequent tests than other people. Talk with your doctor about when you should begin screening and how often you should be tested.
If you're 50 or older, getting a screening test for colorectal cancer could save your life. Here's how:
* Colorectal cancer usually starts from polyps in the colon or rectum.
A polyp is a growth that shouldn't be there.
* Over time, some polyps can turn into cancer.
* Screening tests can find polyps, so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.
* Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early. When it is found early, the chance of being cured is good.
People who have polyps or colorectal cancer sometimes don't have symptoms, especially at first. This means that someone could have polyps or colorectal cancer and not know it. That is why having a screening test is so important.
Some people with colorectal polyps or cancer do have symptoms. They may include:
* Blood in or on your stool (bowel movement).
* Pain, aches, or cramps in your stomach that happen a lot and you don't know why.
* A change in bowel habits, such as having stools that are narrower than usual.
* Losing weight and you don't know why.
If you have any of these symptoms, talk with your doctor or healthcare provider. These symptoms may also be caused by something other than cancer. However, the only way to know what is causing them is to see your doctor.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Health Department at (309) 852-5272 Main Office or 792-4011 Colona Office or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com , find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments, or Follow Us on Twitter.
"HEALTH DEPARTMENT REMINDS RESIDENTS TO SET YOUR CLOCKS, CHECK YOUR STOCKS"
The Henry and Stark County Health Departments' Emergency Services Division and the American Public Health Association (APHA) are encouraging the public to remember to make sure that their emergency preparedness stockpiles are up to date when they change their clocks next week.
This is all a part of the APHA's Get Ready: Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks campaign. RaeAnn Tucker, Health Department Director of Health Promotion, states "The effort is designed to remind Americans to make sure their emergency preparedness stockpiles have adequate food, water and supplies and ensure that nothing is missing or has expired. The biannual campaign is also designed to encourage Americans who don't have an emergency stockpile to create one."
The next clock change for daylight savings time is Sunday, March 14th, but the campaign will also be used in the Autumn, when Americans change their clocks once again. The Health Department and the APHA is also reminding people that they should check their smoke alarm batteries when changing their clocks.
Get Ready: Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks is part of APHA's overall Get Ready campaign, which is working to help Americans prepare themselves, their families, and communities for pandemic flu, other emerging infectious diseases, and natural disasters like tornadoes and ice storms.
For more information on the Health Department's emergency preparedness program visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments. Funding for this program was provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
"HENRY AND STARK COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND FIRST CHOICE HEALTHCARE CLINICS NOTE NATIONAL CHILDREN'S DENTAL HEALTH MONTH"
The staff from the Henry and Stark County Health Departments and their First Choice Healthcare Clinics, in conjunction with the American Dental Association, announces that February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. This month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated dental professionals, health care providers and others to promote the benefits of good oral health to children and adults, caregivers, teachers and many others.
Theme for National Children’s National Dental Health Month is “Water, Nature’s Drink!”
RaeAnn Tucker, Director of Health Promotion with the Henry and Stark County Health Departments states, “The theme this year is an important reminder that in a world of sugary and sweetened beverages; water is still the best choice for a healthy body and good dental health.”
In honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month, the Health Department and its First Choice Healthcare Clinics in Kewanee and Colona, offer the following oral health tips to start your little ones on their journey to a lifetime of healthy smiles.
1) Schedule routine check-ups. If it’s been more than six months since your child has seen a dentist, schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
2) Clean your baby’s gums daily. Until those teeth come in gently wipe a damp washcloth over the gums to clear away harmful bacteria after each feeding.
3) Start brushing with the first tooth. Begin brushing your baby’s teeth when you see one coming in with an infant toothbrush. Use water and a tiny bit of fluoride toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice).
4) Brush twice each day for two minutes. Children ages 2-6 should use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Always supervise kids younger than six years old while brushing, as they are more likely to swallow toothpaste.
5) Begin flossing. Once your child’s teeth touch, you can start flossing in between them.
6) Snack healthy! Fruit juice, sports drinks, fruit snacks, and sticky candies all pose serious threats to your child’s teeth. Give kids calcium-rich snacks like cheese or low-sugar yogurt. If you have to resort to candy – a chocolate bar is preferable to gummy or sticky sweets that can get lodged in between the teeth, even after brushing.
7) Keep them hydrated! Avoid sugary drinks and stick to good old-fashioned water. Water helps to rinse away any sugar or particles that can lead to cavities. Many municipal water sources also contain fluoride, which is recommended by the American Dental Association and U.S. Surgeons General, among others, as an efficient way to prevent tooth decay
8) Replace your child’s toothbrush every three to four months.
"HENRY & STARK WIC PROGRAM BUILDS HEALTHY FAMILIES"
The Henry and Stark County Health Department staff reminds area residents that they offer the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Food Supplemental program. The WIC program promotes the health of our local children and mothers, by providing free groceries to participants; and creating healthier families by encouraging healthy eating and lifestyles.
Heather Aldred, RN, Maternal and Child Health Services Supervisor with the Health Department, states, “We are thrilled to announce that the New Illinois WIC EBT Card is available to all WIC participants! This makes WIC Services even more easy for area families to use.
Aldred adds, “All current WIC participants and households are now issued just one Illinois WIC EBT Card with all the food benefits on this one card; no more handling multiple checks for different members of your family. The WIC process remains the same, benefits are reloaded on your card every three months after contacting and checking in with our WIC Staff.”
In addition, the Health Department WIC staff have expanded WIC hours in order to be more convenient to working families and school children participating in the program. WIC benefits area available to eligible children up to the age of 5, pregnant women, infants, postpartum and breastfeeding women.
Aldred adds, “We are so excited about this new WIC EBT Card, sometimes referred to as eWIC. Participants now have the ease of taking their shopping list to the store and then buying the food they need when they need them.”
The Health Department WIC and Casemanagement staff promotes healthy pregnancies, babies, children and families through their services. The WIC Supplemental Food Program offers supplemental foods and nutrition education to residents who meet certain nutrition and economic guidelines. In addition, clients may receive healthy food items such as milk, formula, eggs, and cereal; fruits, vegetables, juices, whole grain breads and tortillas.
For more information on the Department's WIC and Casemanagement services call the Department at (309) 852-5272 (Kewanee) or 792-4011(Colona) or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us on Twitter. For more information you can also visit www.fns.usda.gov/wic. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
"HEALTH DEPARTMENT STAFF NOTES JANUARY - NATIONAL BIRTH DEFECTS PREVENTION MONTH"
CAPTION FOR ATTACHED PHOTO: WIC and Case Management staff members, with the Henry and Stark County Health Department, display some new posters promoting how women can increase their chances of having a healthy baby by preventing infections before and during pregnancy, managing health conditions, and adopting healthy behaviors before becoming pregnant. January has been designated as National Birth Defects Prevention Month. (Pictured from L to R) Brittany Harding, RN; and Heather Aldred, RN.
The WIC and Case Management staff of the Henry and Stark County Health Departments, are joining the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that preventing infections before and during pregnancy can protect babies from being born with birth defects. January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month. The theme for 2021 is “Best for You. Best for Baby.” This year’s theme aims to raise awareness of birth defects occurring.
Heather Aldred, Maternal and Child Health Services Supervisor with the Health Department notes, “Although not all birth defects can be prevented, many steps can be taken to increase a woman’s chance of having a healthy baby. It is important to prevent those infections that can increase the risk of birth defects and other health problems for mothers and babies. Here are some helpful tips for pregnant women or women who may become pregnant: While we can’t prevent all birth defects, the following steps increase a woman’s chance of having a healthy baby.
1. Be sure to take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day.
Folic acid is very important because it can help prevent some major birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine.
There are often benefits to continuing treatment throughout pregnancy. Discussing a treatment plan before a pregnancy allows a woman and her health care provider to weigh the pros and cons of all options to keep mom and baby as healthy as possible.
Having the right vaccinations, like the flu and Tdap vaccines, at the right time during pregnancy can help keep a woman and her baby healthy.
Obesity increases the risk for several serious birth defects and other pregnancy complications.
There is no known safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy and its exposure can cause major birth defects.
Smoking during pregnancy can cause dangerous chemicals to damage the placenta and/or reach baby’s bloodstream.
The opioid addiction epidemic has led to a sharp increase in Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), premature birth and drug withdrawal in developing babies.
2. Book a visit with your healthcare provider before stopping or starting any medicine.
3. Become up-to-date with all vaccines, including the flu shot.
4. Before you get pregnant, try to reach a healthy weight.
5. Boost your health by avoiding harmful substances during pregnancy, such as alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
The Health Department is encouraging healthcare professionals, educators, social service professionals, and the general public to support this effort. Every 4 ½ minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect in the United States. By following these “Prevent to Protect” guidelines, women can reduce the risk of having a child with a birth defect and also reduce their risk of pregnancy complications such as early pregnancy loss, prematurity and stillbirths.”
There are many different kinds of birth defects including congenital heart defects, cleft lip or palate, defects of the brain or spine, and a variety of genetic syndromes such as Down syndrome. Some have only a minor or brief effect on a baby's health and some have life-threatening and/or life-long effects.
More than 120,000 babies born with a birth defect (approximately 1 in 33 live births) are reported each year in the United States.
"Most people are unaware of how common, costly and critical birth defects are in the United States, or that there are simple steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of birth defects" adds Aldred. "The health of both parents prior to pregnancy can affect the risk of having a child with a birth defect. Diet, life-style choices, factors in the environment, health conditions and medications before and during pregnancy all can play a role in preventing or increasing the risk of birth defects."
For more information on the Health Department WIC and Case Management services call the Health Department at (309) 852-5272 Kewanee or (309) 792-4011 Colona or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us on Twitter.
"HEALTH DEPARTMENT & FIRST CHOICE HEALTHCARE CLINICS ANNOUNCE 2020 EMPLOYEE SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENTS!"
Caption for Attached photo:
The Henry and Stark County Health Department and their First Choice Healthcare Clinics recently announced their 2020 Employee Service Award recipients. Pictured (from l to r): Tara DeBlieck (5 years); Jennifer Carton (5 Years); Alicia Johnson (5 Years), and Cristina Triana (5 Years).
The Henry and Stark County Health Departments' and the Henry County Health Board are pleased to announce the 2020 Health Department Employee Service Award recipients. This year's winners include:
RaeAnn Tucker, Director of Health Promotion, 30 Years of Service
Christine Yelm, Homecare Assistant, 25 Years of Service
Anna Holmes, Homecare Assistant, 20 Years of Service
Duane Stevens, Public Health Administrator, 15 Years of Service
Nioma Cordrey, Homecare Assistant, 15 Years of Service
Victoria Clemens, Homecare Assistant, 15 Years of Service
Terry Rist, Homecare Assistant, 15 Years of Service
Susan Isenberg, Homecare Assistant, 15 Years of Service
Anita Infante, Homecare Assistant, 10 Years of Service
Angela Correa, Homecare Assistant, 10 Years of Service
Carol Taets, Homecare Assistant, 10 Years of Service
Jean Nimrick, Homecare Assistant, 10 Years of Service
Jennifer Carton, Colona Clinic Nurse Practitioner, 5 Years of Service
Tara DeBlieck, Breastfeeding Peer Counselor, 5 Years of Service
Alicia Johnson, Colona Clinic LPN, 5 Years of Service
Cristina Triana, Customer Support Representative, 5 Years of Service
Julie Blackert, Homecare Assistant, 5 Years of Service
Candace Corn, Homecare Assistant, 5 Years of Service
Gloria Sue Lund, Homecare Assistant, 5 Years of Service
Sandra Sonneville, Homecare Assistant, 5 Years of Service
Health Department Public Health Administrator, Duane Stevens states, "The Henry County Board of Health recognizes that honest, loyal and qualified employees are the most valuable assets of the Health Department. It is because of their dedication and commitment that we have been able to contribute so much to the health and well-being of the community."
For more information on the services of the Henry and Stark County Health Departments and our First Choice Healthcare Clinics in Kewanee and Colona, call (309) 852-5272 Kewanee or (309) 792-4011 Colona or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us on Twitter.
With Henry and Stark County Covid-19 Cases Increasing -
Here’s some important information on LOCAL COVID TESTING
HAMMOND-HENRY HOSPITAL & REGIONAL HEALTH PARTNERS
COVID Screening is now available to all individuals - Two Locations
If you are someone who has a passion for helping others – maybe being a Homecare Assistant is the job for you. We need caring individuals to work in assisting the elderly and disabled in their homes with meal preparation; housekeeping; laundry; personal care; shopping and errands.
Interested persons should have reliable transportation. Part-time positions are available, and training is provided. For more information you may call the Henry County Health Department Home Services Division at (309) 852-0492
Henry County Health Department 110 N. Burr Blvd. Kewanee, IL 61443 309-852-0197 Copyright 2007 All rights reserved