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.

Mar 09

March- National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Posted on March 9, 2023 at 3:50 PM by Kiah Weston

The Henry and Stark County Health Departments and our First Choice Healthcare Clinics, along with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), announce that March has been designated National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

Colorectal Cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States.  And yet, this need not be the case. Studies show if everyone age 50 or older had regular screening tests, at least one-third of deaths from this cancer could be avoided.  With this in mind, the First Choice Healthcare Clinics remind area residents that our locations in Kewanee and Colona offer FIT tests, and digital and clinical exams by our Family Nurse Practitioners.  

To better inform the public about this deadly disease the staff of First Choice Healthcare offers the following facts on Colorectal Cancer.  Colorectal cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum.  Sometimes it is called colon cancer, for short.

Who gets Colorectal Cancer? Both men and women can get colorectal cancer.  Colorectal cancer is most often found in people 50 and older.  Therefore, the risk of getting colorectal cancer increases with age.

Are you at High Risk?  Your risk of colorectal cancer may be higher than average if:  you or a close relative have had colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer; or you have inflammatory bowel disease.  People at high risk for colorectal cancer may need earlier or more frequent tests than other people.  Talk with your doctor about when you should begin screening and how often you should be tested.

If you're 50 or older, getting a screening test for colorectal cancer could save your life.  Here's how:  

  • Colorectal cancer usually starts from polyps in the colon or rectum.

A polyp is a growth that shouldn't be there.

  • Over time, some polyps can turn into cancer.
  • Screening tests can find polyps, so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.
  • Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early.  When it is found early, the chance of being cured is good.

People who have polyps or colorectal cancer sometimes don't have symptoms, especially at first.  This means that someone could have polyps or colorectal cancer and not know it.   That is why having a screening test is so important.  

Some people with colorectal polyps or cancer do have symptoms.  They may include:

  • Blood in or on your stool (bowel movement).
  • Pain, aches, or cramps in your stomach that happen a lot and you don't know why.
  • A change in bowel habits, such as having stools that are narrower than usual.
  • Losing weight and you don't know why.

If you have any of these symptoms, talk with your doctor or healthcare provider.  These symptoms may also be caused by something other than cancer.  However, the only way to know what is causing them is to see your doctor.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the First Choice Healthcare location nearest you at (309) 852-5272 Kewanee or 792-4011 Colona Office or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or First Choice Healthcare, or Follow Us on Twitter and Instagram.

Mar 09

International Women's Day- March 8th

Posted on March 9, 2023 at 3:42 PM by Kiah Weston


The Henry and Stark County Health Departments and First Choice Healthcare announce that today we celebrate International Women's Day, March 8, 2023.

RaeAnn Tucker, Health Department Director of Health Promotion, states, "The goal of Women's Day is to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.  The Health Department and First Choice Healthcare also want to use this special day to empower women to make their health a priority."

 Therefore, the Department hopes to raise awareness of the women's health services available at their First Choice Healthcare locations.  The First Choice Healthcare Clinics in Kewanee and Colona offer area women such services as annual exams, pap smears, pregnancy testing, contraceptive counseling and supplies, clinical breast exams, fasting blood profiles, and immunizations.  Payment for Department services include medicaid, and most insurances.

 Tucker adds, "Every woman should have access to affordable health care services. We encourage local women to take advantage of the savings offered through our First Choice Healthcare Clinics."

 To find out more about the First Choice Healthcare Clinic’s health services for women call at (309) 852-5272 (Kewanee) or 792-4011 (Colona) or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us On Twitter and Instagram.