Illinois Department of Public Health

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CHICAGO (AP) - The number of Illinois patients approved to use medical marijuana continues to climb as dispensaries get ready to sell the drug for the first time.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Wednesday it has approved 3,300 patients to use medical marijuana in the state's pilot program. That includes 20 children.

 The department began mailing official identification cards to registered patients and caregivers Friday. Last week, program director Joseph Wright said sales should begin soon and a date would be announced. 

An advisory board voted to add eight health conditions to the list of illnesses that can be treated by marijuana in Illinois. 

Illinois has notified more than 100 jails, health departments and family planning programs that it no longer will provide free testing for sexually transmitted diseases at state labs.

CHICAGO - The typical patient seeking to use medical marijuana in Illinois is an older woman in Cook County with either severe fibromyalgia or cancer. That's the picture revealed Thursday in a new report to the Legislature from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The report shows more than one-third of 3,300 completed applications submitted through June 30 came from patients in Cook County. Counties with the next highest number of applicants - Will, DuPage, Lake and Kane - also are in northern Illinois.

Blue-green algae could show up in IL

Sep 30, 2015

Visitors to the Ohio River in southern Illinois are being cautioned about potential toxins from blue-green algae. The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency issued the warning Tuesday. The agencies are working with the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission following reports of an algal bloom in the river. A bloom hasn't yet been confirmed near Illinois, but conditions could lead to one. Toxins from the algae can cause rashes, vomiting and coughing.

Illinois will be the first state in the nation with a program to dispense some prescriptions in locking pill bottles. 

Health officials confirm this year's first human case of West Nile virus in Illinois.  The Illinois Department of Public Health report that an adolescent girl got sick from the virus in St. Clair County. 

Illinois sent about 200 approval letters in May to patients who qualify for the new medical marijuana program, but the pace of approvals and applications has slowed.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reports the first positive test for West Nile virus this year was found in mosquitoes collected in southern Illinois.

Swimming season is starting in Illinois and the state has been licensing public pools and beaches.

Eager Illinois marijuana patients are jumping the gun by submitting applications for diseases that haven't yet been officially approved.

  A measure extending Illinois' medical marijuana program beyond 2017 has passed an Illinois Senate committee.  The Senate Executive Committee approved the measure Wednesday with an 8-3 vote. It heads to the Senate floor. The legislation changes the program's duration to four years from when the first dispensary begins operating instead of the automatic repeal scheduled for Jan. 1, 2018. The Illinois Department of Public Health has approved 2,300 medical marijuana patients since September.

A free smoking cessation program has shut down. Twenty-seven of its workers were laid off yesterday, days after the tobacco quitline received a letter last Friday from the state public health department.  The letter said it would get no more money for the remainder of the fiscal year. 

  People who want to present evidence about adding migraines, post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions to the Illinois medical marijuana program must mail a statement of intent by Saturday.An advisory board is reviewing 14 medical conditions suggested by the public in petitions and will hold a public hearing May 4. People wishing to present evidence at the hearing are asked to send a summary of their testimony to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Illinois approved about 400 new patient applications for medical marijuana during March, bringing the total to 2,000 patients with complete paperwork.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has created a "Top 10" list of tips for people applying for medical marijuana cards.

The number of Illinois patients getting state approval to use medical marijuana continues to climb.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's budget reveals a cautious co-existence with President Barack Obama's health care law - even as other Republican governors lash out against the law they deride as "Obamacare."


Health officials say the measles case count in Illinois has climbed to 14.

An Illinois lawmaker has filed legislation asking the Illinois Department of Public Health to clarify state regulations on whether children must be vaccinated.


Health officials say five children under age 1 who attend the same suburban Chicago day care have been diagnosed with measles.

Illinois has now approved approximately 1,000 patients for the state's medical marijuana program.

A published report says Illinois' delayed medical marijuana program has already cost the state more than $1.8 million in startup costs. 

Illinois public health officials say a suburban Chicago resident has a confirmed case of measles.

Illinois' director of public health under former Governor Pat Quinn has found a new job. Doctor LaMar Hasbrouck will take over next month as the head of the National Association of County and City Health Officials. 

The head of Illinois' medical marijuana program for the past year is staying on the job a bit longer. A spokesman for Gov. Bruce Rauner says Bob Morgan is "staying on for the time being." Morgan is an attorney with the Illinois Department of Public Health and coordinator of the marijuana program.

Top Illinois health officials say too many communities don't have access to trauma care. The Illinois Department of Public Health on Sunday released a study recommending ways the state can increase access to emergency medical care in so-called "trauma center deserts."

Illinois approved 50 new patient applications for medical marijuana during December, bringing the total to 650 patients with complete paperwork.

Illinois residents can now formally suggest a new medical condition that could benefit from medical marijuana.

Illinois officials have posted emergency rules spelling out how the state's medical marijuana program will be extended to children under a law taking effect Jan. 1.