Mar 24

World TB (Tuberculosis) Day

Posted on March 24, 2023 at 7:54 AM by Kiah Weston

The Henry and Stark County Health Departments and First Choice Healthcare announces that March 24th has been proclaimed World TB Day. This annual event raises public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic. The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease.

RaeAnn Tucker, Health Department Director of Health Promotion states, “Too many people in our country and around the world still suffer from TB.  Tuberculosis remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers. Each day, over 4100 people lose their lives to TB and close to 28,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 66 million lives since the year 2000.  However, the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed years of progress made in the fight to end TB. For the first time in over a decade, TB deaths increased in 2020."

The theme of World TB Day 2023 – “Invest to End TB. Save Lives.” – conveys the urgent need to invest resources to ramp up the fight against TB and achieve the commitments to end TB made by global leaders. This is especially critical in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic that has put End TB progress at risk, and to ensure equitable access to prevention and care in line with WHO’s drive towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.  More investment will save millions more lives, accelerating the end of the TB epidemic.

Tucker 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).  

Mar 24

March is National Nutrition Month

Posted on March 24, 2023 at 7:52 AM by Kiah Weston

The Henry and Stark County Health Departments & First Choice Healthcare announce that March is National Nutrition Month.  Whether it's starting the day off right with a healthy breakfast or fueling before an athletic event, the foods you choose can make a real difference. Preparing your foods to go further by planning meals and snacks in advance can also help reduce food loss and waste. 

The Health Department staff notes that this year’s observance of National Nutrition Month communicates healthful eating messages that emphasize balancing food and beverages within an individual's energy needs, rather than focusing on any one specific food or meal. According to the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, improving overall well-being requires a lifelong commitment to healthful lifestyle behaviors, emphasizing lasting and enjoyable eating practices and regular physical activity. 

Each March, National Nutrition Month encourages Americans to return to the basics of healthy eating. This year’s theme encourages individuals to adopt a healthy lifestyle that is focused on making informed and flavorful food choices and getting daily exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and many cancers, and promote overall health.

"Knowing which nutrients your body needs, the foods that contain them, and how much fits into your healthy eating plan are all part of making smart and savory choices ," says RaeAnn Tucker, Health Department Director of Health Promotion. “Age, gender, body type, family history, existing health conditions and daily routines all play a factor in determining which foods we should eat more of and which we should avoid when trying to optimize our health.”

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. 

In addition, we remind everyone of the New Illinois WIC EBT Card is available to all WIC participants!  This makes WIC Services even more easy for area families to use. 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 about the WIC program, Family Case Management Services, or the other Nutrition Education services available through the Health Department call (309) 852-5272 or visit our WIC page and see if you are eligible with our WIC application.   For more information you can also visit the WIC page on the USDA website.  This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Mar 17

National Poison Prevention Week March 19-25

Posted on March 17, 2023 at 11:03 AM by Kiah Weston

Poison Prevention Week FB

Caption for Attached Photo: WIC & Casemanagment Staff with the Henry and Stark County Health Departments show posters displaying some common items that could be ingested by young children and result in accidental home poisonings. The Health Department is noting Poison Prevention Week, March 19-25.

The Henry and Stark County Health Department and its First Choice Healthcare Clinic staff announce that March 19-25 has been proclaimed National Poison Prevention Week.  For the past 62 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.