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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.


Sep 22

National Emergency Preparedness Month

Posted to National Awareness by Kiah Weston

TEST-VAX DRIVE UP 2CAPTION FOR ATTACHED PHOTO: Mat Schnepple, Director of Emergency Management with the Henry County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) works a drive-up mass Covid-19 testing and vaccination site during last fall’s Covid-19 Omicron surge.  Planning, coordinating and conducting mobile testing and vaccination sites are just some of the multitude of emergency preparedness and response activities the Health Department and OEM conduct daily. The Health Department and OEM are noting September’s designation as National Emergency Preparedness Month. 

The Henry & Stark County Health Departments and Henry County Office of Emergency Management note that this September we mark the 21st year anniversary of 9/11.   Since then, September has been designated as National Preparedness Month.  This event was founded after 9/11 to increase preparedness in the U.S.  RaeAnn Tucker, Director of Health Promotion, states, "The designation is a nationwide, month-long effort that encourages individuals, families, businesses, and communities to work together and take action to prepare and plan for emergencies."

This year's effort has a growing coalition of more than 2,700 national, regional, state, and local organizations pledging support.   The goal for National Emergency Preparedness Month 2022 is to encourage all Americans to take active steps toward getting involved and becoming prepared.  Preparedness is a shared responsibility; it takes a whole community.   This year's National Preparedness Month focuses on turning awareness into action by encouraging all individuals and all communities nationwide to make an emergency preparedness plan.

Tucker adds, "This year's theme for National Preparedness Month's is, “A Lasting Legacy: The life you've built is worth protecting. Prepare for disasters to create a lasting legacy for you and your family.”  Each week in September, the campaign will focus on a different aspect of preparedness for individuals, families and communities.” 

Week 1, September 1-4: Make a Plan – Talk to you friend and family about how you will communicate before, during and after a disaster.  Make sure to update your plan based on the Centers for Disease Control recommendations due to coronavirus.

Week 2 September 5-11: Build a Kit – Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home.  Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly.  Update your kits and supplies based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control.

Week 3 September 12-18: Low Cost, No-Cost Preparedness – Limit impacts that disasters have on you and your family.  Know the risk of disasters in your area.  Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards. Check your insurance coverage to make sure it is up-to-date.

Week 4 September 19-25: Teach Youth About Preparedness – Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated.  Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.

Tucker concludes, "National Preparedness Month is a good reminder that emergencies will happen, but taking action now can help us minimize the impact they will have on our lives.  That's why the Health Department and OEM staff is continually taking steps to become educated, trained, and better prepared, and we urge you to take time this month to do the same."

For more information on the Health Department's Emergency Preparedness visit our Emergency Preparedness page or visit the Ready website. Or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Department.  Funding for this program was provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health.