public health

Education, Prevention Efforts Continue on World AIDS Day

Nov 30, 2016
Sham Hardy / Flickr/Creative Commons

As President-Elect Donald Trump assembles his cabinet, it’s becoming clearer that he will likely attempt to alter the US’ healthcare system.

His appointments to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have already worked in varying capacities to alter health care funding in their respective states.

That is worrisome to those involved in prevention efforts, like University of Illinois Chicago professor and researcher Jennifer Brier.

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CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois health officials have posted new forms for doctors and patients in the state's medical marijuana program to reflect changes in the law.

The Illinois Department of Public Health posted the updated information on its website Tuesday. The new material includes a form physicians must use to certify that a patient has a qualifying health condition. Doctors no longer need to recommend marijuana, but must certify a patient's diagnosis.

 An updated patient application is available, as is new information on how patients who are terminally ill can apply for a medical marijuana card.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has lately been critical of efforts to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, saying it’s not “what matters” in Illinois government. Our reporter has been closely following the governor’s overall efforts to improve Illinois’ criminal justice system, and was struck by Rauner’s comments on pot. So he decided to talk to someone who can explain how decriminalization fits into that broader effort.

UICOMP Research Findings On Display

Apr 13, 2016
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Healthcare students, professionals and the public have a chance to survey the latest medical research being done in the Peoria area. 

The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria is holding its fourth annual  Medical Research Day on campus Wednesday. UICOMP pharmacology professor Steve Lasley says the experience gives medical students a competitive edge in residency applications, but additionally,  it gives attendees a chance to witness the range of topics pertaining to local health outcomes.

ILRI vaccines research / Flickr/Creative Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois health officials have proposed new rules requiring parents who oppose vaccinating their children based on religious reasons to provide a special document to schools and child care facilities each year.

The Illinois Department of Public Health proposal is in response to a law approved last year. The law created a "certificate of religious exemption" for children whose parents don't want them to be vaccinated for religious reasons.

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Area hospitals are asking people to voluntarily limit their hospital visits.

The request is based on data from the Peoria City/County Health Department that indicates more flu activity throughout the region. The guidance for limiting hospital visits includes those who are not feeling well or have experienced flu-like symptoms in the last seven days.

Hospital visitors should also be at least 18 years old. The idea is to limit patient exposure to children who have a higher risk for transmitting viral infections.

Daquella manera / Flickr/Creative Commons

Peoria County fares above national standards, when it comes to women getting prenatal care early in their pregnancy. But there is much work to be done in preventing preterm births and pregnancies among teens aged 15-19. 

Those are findings of the Peoria City-County Health Department’s report released this month.

At least sixteen of Illinois' 97 public health departments have laid off employees or cut back service hours, and more are expected unless the state comes through with funding.  

An association representing nearly 100 local health departments says the state budget impasse is "eroding" the ability to respond to public health emergencies. 

Illinois’ lack of budget is threatening rape crisis services, a program that helps women get screened for cervical cancer, and the public health network.  Senators meeting at the capitol today heard details of these and other woes. 

Governor Bruce Rauner's decision to cancel grants to some social services has upset advocates.  The move is being done to help close a budget gap. 

State concerned about health worker shortage

Mar 10, 2014

Public health officials are concerned there won't be enough health care providers to serve the increased patient load that is expected under the Affordable Care Act. A state panel has released nearly two dozen recommendations to alleviate what it sees as a workforce shortage in the state.