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  • 26 Aug 2022 2:37 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Just under one-third of Illinois counties are at the level where masks are recommended in indoor public spaces, according to data released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [Health News Illinois]

    IDPH reported 5,116 new COVID-19 cases and 24 deaths on Thursday.

    Thirty-three counties are at a “high” community level of COVID-19, down nine from the prior week. Forty-eight counties are at a “medium” level, up nine from the prior week.

    As of Wednesday, 1,375 Illinoisans were in the hospital with COVID-19, up 12 from Tuesday and down 62 from the prior week.

    Of the patients in the hospital, 148 were in intensive care units, up three from Tuesday and down 12 from the prior week. Twenty-one percent of Illinois’ ICU beds were available, up 1 percentage point from the prior week.

    There were 63 patients on ventilators, up eight from Tuesday and up seven from the prior week.

    The new cases bring the state total to 3,666,458, while the death toll is at 34,664.

    The seven-day average for new cases on Thursday was 3,625, up 205 from the prior week. The seven-day average for daily deaths is 12, up three from the prior week.

    The seven-day case rate per 100,000 people is 28.5, up 1.7 from the prior week.

    Illinois vaccinators have administered 23,206,696 COVID-19 vaccines, including 4,743,943 booster doses. The seven-day average for doses administered is 6,979.


  • 25 Aug 2022 11:09 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    The deadline to submit a manuscript precis for a supplemental issue of the journal Prevention Science, commissioned by the Office of Disease Prevention (ODP), on design and analytic methods to evaluate multilevel interventions to reduce health disparities has been extended to Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. [NIH Office of Disease Prevention]

    Effectively addressing structural racism and other structural determinants to improve health equity requires evidence-based multilevel interventions. However, studies that evaluate multilevel interventions face specific design and analytical challenges.

    If you have new ideas for how to balance methodological rigor with design feasibility, acceptability, and ethical considerations in these kinds of studies, consider submitting a manuscript precis to the ODP by Sept. 30, 2022.

    For more details on how to submit visit this page. 


  • 24 Aug 2022 11:00 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Illinois saw a 2.2 year drop in life expectancy during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [Health News Illinois]

    The drop from 79 years in 2019 to 76.8 years in 2020 was the eighth-highest drop among all states and the District of Columbia. Illinois is below the national average of 77 years, itself a decline of 1.8 during the period.

    The life expectancy for Illinois men was 73.8 years in 2020, For women, it was 79.8 years.

    All 50 states and the district saw life expectancy drop over that time, likely due to COVID-19 and increases in "unintentional injuries" such as drug overdoses, according to a CDC report. 

    Hawaii had the highest life expectancy at 80.7 years, while Mississippi had the lowest at 71.9 years.


  • 23 Aug 2022 12:07 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Advocate Aurora Health wants to establish a 27-bed acute mental illness unit at Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, according to a recent filing with the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board. [Health News Illinois]

    The $21.1 million project will relocate existing services at Oak Lawn’s Advocate Christ Medical Center, which has a level I trauma status and offers an array of specialized tertiary and advanced care services, the health system said in its application.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the need for medical/surgical beds at Advocate Christ Medical Center, and the Hazel Crest community is in a mental health professional shortage area, as designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources & Services Administration. 

    The relocation will allow both hospitals to better serve the south Chicago region, per the application. 

    “The planned project will better align healthcare services to where they are most needed,” it said. 

    The project is expected to be completed by February 2024.

     The board is tentatively set to consider the plan at its Jan. 31 meeting.


  • 22 Aug 2022 12:43 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Officials from the Department of Healthcare and Family Services said last week the federal public health emergency over COVID-19 will likely last through the end of the year.[Health News Illinois]

    HFS’ Jesse Lava told a subcommittee of the Medicaid Advisory Committee that the expectation is the emergency will be renewed another 90 days past its current expiration date of mid-October. The agency was previously told it will be given a 60-day notice of the emergency’s end.

    “We're planning for that," he said. "As the PHE ends, the continuous enrollment coverage would also end." 

    HFS continues to update information for Medicaid enrollees ahead of redeterminations resuming, he said. That includes promoting a website for advocates to provide to recipients.

    The agency has received about 22,000 online submissions and 5,000 phone submissions, with a notable uptick in the former at the end of July, Lava said. He noted that not every Medicaid recipient will need to update their addresses, specifically those already enrolled in SNAP programs whose information is likely up-to-date.

     “We're still going to need a lot more if we're going to have everybody receiving their digital notices on time,” Lava said.


  • 19 Aug 2022 1:39 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

     There have been 720 monkeypox cases reported in Chicago, with 42 leading to hospitalizations. No deaths have been reported. [Health News Ilinois]

    Chicago officials said Thursday that they will expand those eligible to receive the monkeypox vaccine, as the city is poised to receive up to 20,000 doses in the coming week. 

    The Chicago Department of Public Health said those eligible now include any sexually active bisexual, gay and other men who have sex with men and transgender persons. Anyone who has had close physical contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox is also eligible, regardless of their sex, gender, or sexual orientation.
    “Our MPV vaccine supply continues to increase, and we are pleased to be opening up larger clinics to serve even more Chicagoans while still working to vaccinate those at highest risk to help stop the spread,” CDPH Medical Director Dr. Janna Kerins said in a statement.
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued an emergency use authorization permitting the vaccine to be administered just under the surface of the skin rather than into a deeper layer of the skin. Officials said it will provide the same immune response while expanding the number of available doses per vial.


  • 18 Aug 2022 4:55 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Chicago has hot spots where lead, including in soil, is a potential danger to children and others. This is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed to avoid health issues. Reducing lead exposure is especially important if you have a garden and buying produce from local gardens. The air and environment may have an elevated lead level contributing to and creating overall lead exposure.

    Urban soils contaminated with lead contribute to elevated blood lead levels (BLLs) in young children. Until this soil contamination is addressed systematically, overall efforts to reduce lead blood levels in at-risk populations will continue to fall short, and significant health and social consequences of lead poisoning will continue to manifest

    More details and to register visit this page. 


  • 17 Aug 2022 8:47 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    A decade of value-based payment policy has done little to reduce health inequity in the US. Despite modest successes in improving quality and cost efficiency, value-based models and alternative payment models can also unintentionally exacerbate inequities encountered by historically marginalized communities. [JAMA Network]

    Although consensus about the need to reform payment policy around equity has grown, effective reforms must reconcile existing tensions between financial incentives and equity goals.1 For instance, holding clinicians accountable for total spending (a core mechanism for achieving cost-efficiency through value-based payment) could inadvertently discourage clinicians from caring for historically marginalized populations for whom spending can be more challenging to control.

    Policymakers must systematically address such issues to translate moral imperative into policy reform. This Viewpoint presents a potential guiding framework of strategies that align payment model components with equity goals (eTable in the Supplement).

    Full article> https://lnkd.in/e3ZDdcyd


  • 16 Aug 2022 5:53 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Mental healthcare in Chicago must improve. Many of the Chicagoans most in need of quality mental health services haven’t been able to access them when and where they need them. About 178,000 Chicago adults needed mental health treatment at some point in the previous year but didn’t get it.1 This lack of services can be devastating for vulnerable residents—including our young people and communities of color, mainly on the south and west sides. [City of Chicago -Department of Public Health} 

    This is unacceptable and demands urgent and well-coordinated action. We can and must do better. That’s why Mayor Lightfoot believes it’s time to transform Chicago’s mental health system. When she took office, she directed the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) to work with advocates, experts, community providers, patients, and public officials to assess Chicago’s mental healthcare system to identify gaps and how they can best be filled, especially when it comes to addressing trauma.

    The result of those efforts is the Framework for Mental Health Equity. Grounded in data, the framework is a roadmap to a better network of mental health services in Chicago. The Framework begins with a $9.3 million investment in the 2020 City budget to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive system of mental healthcare. This system must provide access to high-quality, trauma-informed services for the populations and communities most in need. COVID- 19 pademic impacted progress and exacerbated wellbeing. How are we doing?  Share your comments on IOMC's Linked page.

    Review the Framework of Mental Health here>


  • 15 Aug 2022 1:08 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)
    The Joint Commission, an independent accrediting body for hospitals, will introduce new standards on Jan. 1 aimed at reducing healthcare disparities, calling the effort a quality and safety priority. [Healthcare Dive 8.15.2022]
    • Targeted interventions to detect and address differences in care among racial, ethnic and other historically marginalized groups should be integrated into providers’ quality improvement programs, alongside efforts to prevent healthcare-acquired infections, medication errors and workplace violence, the commission said in a report out this summer.  Full article here>
    • The commission’s new accreditation requirements will apply to organizations in its ambulatory care, behavioral healthcare and human services, critical access hospital and hospital accreditation programs.
    • Despite extensive research into the problem, disparities in access to healthcare and quality of care persist. The issue is a priority for the Biden administration, which has directed federal agencies including the HHS to advance racial equity initiatives. The CMS announced in its final inpatient rule that it was going to update its measurement and reporting methods to identify potential gaps in care between groups of patients.

      The pandemic has widened disparity gaps. In November 2021, the Joint Commission published a report that showed that Black and Hispanic people with COVID-19 infections experienced nearly three times the rate of hospitalization as White patients.

      While racial care disparities have been documented in published research, studies have also shown disparities in care for women, older adults, people with disabilities and other historically marginalized groups, according to the report.

      “Although health care disparities are often viewed through the lens of social injustice, they are first and foremost a quality of care problem,” the commission said.


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