State officials estimate Illinois hunters will harvest about 150,000 deer this fall and winter.

An annual data report says Illinois ranks 19th in the nation when it comes to the well-being of children. The 2017 Kids Count Data Book released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation measures areas including family and community, health, education and economic factors. 


Yvonne Hardcastle was at her wit’s end. Her son, Alfredo Mejia, was 7 years old. He was angry all the time and had been diagnosed with behavior problems and ADHD, but that didn’t feel right. She didn’t know what was wrong, but her mother’s intuition kept pushing her to find help for her boy.


Drew from Zhrodague / Flickr

A health group has donated automated external defibrillators to police and fire departments in McLean County.

The Illinois Heart and Lung Foundation gave the AED units to first responders in 14 rural communities this week in Lexington. External defibrillators can be used to revive a person experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, that is, when their heart abruptly stops beating.

Foundation executive director Kathi Franklin tells the Bloomington Pantagraph the group is working to provide AEDs to all first responders in the region.

Elizabeth/Table4Five / Flickr/Creative Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois agency is encouraging kids to go old school - and walk to school.

The Illinois Department of Transportation wants school children across the state to mark Annual International Walk to School Day by walking to school on Oct. 5, if they can.   

 The idea behind it is to promote walking to and from school, while also stressing improved health awareness overall.  Nearly 130 schools in Illinois hosted events on the occasion a year ago. One Aurora school handed out a "Golden Shoe Award" for the class with the most walkers on the day. 

Phalinn Ooi / Flickr/Creative Commons

A public health researcher in Illinois is a leading voice in a growing national conversation about tightening regulations on chemicals found in household products. 

Gail Prins teaches urology, physiology and pathology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago. Prins says research and knowledge about harmful chemicals are well documented, but policy prohibiting the use of certain substances is lacking.

A Cook County judge is ordering the state of Illinois to reconsider adding irritable bowel syndrome to the list of conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana.

The suit was filed anonymously against the Illinois Department of Public Health. The anonymous man’s attorney, Michael Goldberg, says the condition can be painful and embarrassing.

Anthony!! / Flickr/Creative Commons

You wouldn't have to be sick, to take a sick day under legislation approved by the Illinois House Tues.

It sounds like cheating.  But that's not what this is about, says Representative Andrew Skoog -- a Democrat from LaSalle.

"This is an effort to address the challenges facing 1.7 million caregivers in Illinois that juggle the work and caring for loved ones at home," Skoog said.

The measure allows sick time to be used to care for a close relative, like a child, spouse, or parent.  If a company offers sick time, that is. The proposal doesn't mandate that.

OSF St Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington,  St Mary’s in Galesburg and St Antony’s in Alton are being recognized for outstanding patient experiences. The award is from Healthgrades. It’s  an online resource for doctors and hospitals nationwide. The OSF facilities are among 22 hospitals in state receiving such an honor. The award is based on patient surveys.      


A panel convened by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner to study issues affecting youth focused its first meeting on how to improve education, health, and safety for children in the state. 

Amid Power Outages, Some Food Storage Reminders

Dec 29, 2015

The Tazewell County Health Department is reminding businesses and residents about safe food handling following this week’s power outages.  The department says residents should monitor home refrigerators carefully for temperature changes following prolonged power outages.  Officials say food that is above 41-degrees for more than two hours cannot be used and must be thrown out, regardless if it was in a refrigerator or freezer. Also, food stored in a commercial freezer can preserve food safely for up to 36 hours if the door is closed as much as possible.  

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Peoria Public Schools are bringing a new district-wide sex education curriculum to classrooms this month.

This is the first time District 150 schools have taught the same material, which includes contraception and abstinence.

Von Steuben Middle School just completed the series of six lessons this week. 

Leah Royer, a youth prevention counselor at Children's Home, is teaching a class of well-behaved 7th graders. Seven different forms of birth control are projected on the screen behind her. Some methods are more foreign than others...

$3M grant to help tackle lead hazards in Peoria

Aug 27, 2015

The Peoria City/County Health Department is getting a $3 million federal grant for lead hazard control.  The funding lasts three years and will pay for programs to reduce lead-poisoning rates in low-income areas.  The grant will target health hazards in 180 homes affected by lead poisoning.  The Peoria Health Department has received $8.5 million to tackle lead poisoning in more than 600 homes.

Daniel Arndt / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Tazewell County Health Department has confirmed its first batch of mosquitoes carrying the potentially deadly West Nile Virus.

Environmental Health Supervisor Melissa Goetze says residents can protect themselves by wearing insect repellent with DEET during peak mosquito hours of dusk to dawn.

Department employees collected the positive batch this week in Mackinaw.

Residents of Illinois and Indiana can now talk to a doctor 24 hours a day, and seven days a week. This month, the Unity Point Health system began offering "Virtual Care" to anyone with a computer, tablet, or smart phone. 

One of the planners is Doctor Bill Chase, a family physician in Norwalk, Iowa. He says it's designed for people with relatively minor conditions such as colds, allergies, and rashes.

The weather's been warming up, and that means it's chigger season again in Illinois.  Chiggers are tiny mites that live in grass and shrubs.  They're nearly impossible to see…but their bites leave behind rash-like bumps that can keep some people itching for weeks.  University of Arkansas biologist Ashley Dowling says there are a lot of myths about chiggers.  He says they DON'T suck blood like mosquitoes…or burrow into skin.

Peoria Health Dept. appoints interim administrator

May 28, 2015

The Peoria City/County Health Department accepted the future resignation of director Greg Chance Thursday.  He's leaving in late June to take a job with Advanced Medical Transport.  Department finance director Gene Huber will serve as interim director starting in July.  An internal committee hopes to have a permanent director hired by the end of the year

Peoria Health Dept. Director leaving post

May 26, 2015

The director of the Peoria City/County Health Department is leaving the post June 30th.  Greg Chance has led the department for six years.  He says one top goal for the department is to work more with non-profits and hospitals in the future:

The Illinois Cancer Action Network is calling attention to breast and cervical cancer screenings, especially as some of those programs face cuts.

Veterinary students go big at Central Illinois park

Apr 30, 2015

More than 120 students will graduate from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in two weeks.  But a dozen of those fourth-year medical students are getting rare hands-on training at Wildlife Prairie Park near Peoria before walking across the stage.  Alex Rusciano observed one health session with a somewhat larger-than-normal patient:

Rural health could face tough state cuts

Apr 8, 2015

  Proposed cuts to Medicaid and other programs at the state level would have a devastating effect on some rural health programs. Jennifer Fuller reports on a special Illinois Senate Committee hearing Wednesday in Carbondale:

The McLean County Health Department is investigating two potential measles cases in Bloomington Normal. A woman and a small female child presented themselves for treatment at OSF Promptcare on Fort Jesse Road in Normal on Sunday. 

Peoria open enrollment event planned this weekend

Dec 8, 2014

Area residents can get help enrolling in health insurance coverage this weekend. A free open enrollment event for Get Covered Illinois will run from ten to six on Saturday at the Main Branch of the Peoria Public Library.  The Main Branch has other enrollment opportunities on the first and third Tuesdays of the month.  The Lincoln Branch library has events the second and fourth Tuesdays from eleven to four. 

State: 685,000 people sign up under health law in IL

Sep 30, 2014

It's been a year since the Affordable Care Act launched in Illinois. The state says 685,000 people have taken advantage of the law --- more than expected.

Earlier this year as people rushed to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, thousands found an unusual alternative. They opted to join a Christian health-care sharing ministry instead.

Cooling centers open in Peoria during heatwave

Aug 25, 2014

The Peoria City/County Health Department says several cooling centers are open during peak heat hours. Residents needing relief can use the Salvation Army on Northeast Jefferson, the Friendship House on Northeast Madison, all Peoria Fire Stations, and the Civic Center Verizon Café. There is also a center at the Department of Human Services building on Northeast Adams. The Health Department says residents should limit outdoor activities, drink plenty of water and wear light-colored clothing to stay co

Budget, pensions straining Illinois finances

Jul 23, 2014

Wall Street's view of Illinois' financial health has taken a hit, thanks largely to the state budget that took effect at the start of this month.  As IPR’s Amanda Vinicky reports, pensions also continue to be a drag.

When Illinois Democrats passed the state's latest budget, many seemed to hold their nose. Credit ratings agencies are more direct. Standard & Poor’s has revised Illinois' credit outlook to "negative."

Illinois prisoner deaths

Jul 7, 2014

Between 80 and a hundred people die each year inside Illinois prisons. Information has been sought about those deaths, but the Department of Corrections under Governor Pat Quinn is taking a “trust us, nothing to see here” attitude.

The Schnuck’s grocery chain says there are no reports of anyone getting sick from recalled chicken salad that had been sold at its deli counters.

Monday was the final day for most people to sign up for health insurance this year under the Affordable Care Act.  Two prominent Illinois Republicans say the state could face some big problems down the road because of the program.