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Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

Sep 26

Contraception Day is September 26!

Posted to Clinic Blog by Kiah Weston

The Henry and Stark County Health Departments and their First Choice Healthcare Clinics in Kewanee and Colona note that September 26th has been designated World Contraception Day

The primary goal of World Contraception Day campaign centers around a vision where every pregnancy is wanted. Launched in 2007, WCD’s mission is to improve awareness of contraception and to enable young people to make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health. 

With this in mind, we believe World Contraception Day is also an opportune time to remind area residents that our First Choice Healthcare Clinics offer confidential services:
~ Free Condoms
~ 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

"Though the subjects of Contraception, Condoms and STDs may not be comfortable healthcare issues to discuss; we want people to remember we are a source of confidential education, prevention, testing and treatment.   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 accepts medicaid payments, insurance, and cash payment.  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.

For more information or to schedule an appointment call our First Choice Healthcare locations at (309) 852-5272 KEWANEE or (309) 792-4011 COLONA.  You may also find us on Facebook at First Choice Healthcare or Follow Us on Twitter and Instagram.

Sep 26

World Lung Day

Posted to Environmental Health by Kiah Weston

The Henry and Stark County Health Department announces that September 26th is World Lung Day. Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in the United States and worldwide. In fact, lung cancer is responsible for more deaths in this country than the next three most common causes of cancer death combined – colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and pancreatic cancer. 

Smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer. Other risk factors for lung cancer include being exposed to secondhand smoke, having a family history of lung cancer, being treated with radiation therapy to the breast or chest, exposure to asbestos, chromium, nickel, arsenic, soot, or tar in the workplace, and exposure to radon. When smoking is combined with other risk factors, the risk of lung cancer is increased.

Therefore, it’s always important 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) 852-0197 Extension 249 or find Us On Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter.


Dec 02

Handwashing Awareness Week, December 4-10, 2022

Posted to National Awareness by Kiah Weston


The Henry and Stark County Health Departments announce that December 4-10, 2022 has been proclaimed National Handwashing Week.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Handwashing is one of the most important means to prevent the spread of infection."  

RaeAnn Tucker, Health Department Director of Health Promotion states, "What people need to remember, especially while mitigating the effects of Covid-19 and the cold and flu season; is that simple and consistent handwashing promotion and awareness is important for infection prevention, food safety, school health, personal health and disease prevention."

To put this in greater perspective one should consider these startling statistics:
* 2/3 of adults in the US wash hands after using the bathroom.
* 1 in 4 adults do not wash hands after changing diapers.
* Less than 1/2 of Americans was hands after cleaning up after pets.
* 1 in 3 wash hands after sneezing/coughing.
* Less than 1 in 5 people wash hands after touching money.
* 1 in 3 E. coli occurrences is caused from not washing hands before handling food. 

 The Health Department staff notes that there are many critical times to wash your hands.  A few examples are before eating, after the toilet, during food preparation, after handling animals, upon arriving home, after changing diapers, leaving the hospital or physician's office and any time you think your hands are dirty.  Use soap, running water, and scrub all surfaces of your hands for 20 seconds and dry with a paper towel.  If a sink and soap are not available, use a alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

In addition, the Health Department reminds individuals to practice infection preventative measures; mask when in public, observe social distances, clean hands frequently, cover your nose and mouth when coughing, and contain the spread of the infection by staying home when you are ill.

For more information, call the Health Department at (309) 852-0197 or visit our website at or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us On Twitter and Instagram.