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  • 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.


  • 12 Aug 2022 1:50 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    CDC Reports 90 Illinois Counties at High or Medium Community Level; Public Health Officials Urge Illinoisans to Get Up to date on Vaccines and Boosters

    CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 26,462 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 123 deaths since August 5, 2022. [IDPH 8.12.2022]

    According to the CDC, 42 counties are now rated at High Community Level for COVID-19. An additional 48 counties in Illinois are now rated at Medium Community Level.

    Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 3,620,877 cases, including 34,539 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois since the beginning of the pandemic.

    As of last night, 1,471 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19.  Of those, 181 patients were in the ICU and 67 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.  The preliminary seven-day statewide case rate is 208 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Illinoisans.

    IDPH Director Sameer Vohra urges parents and guardians to take the steps necessary to get children vaccinated, especially small children under 5 for whom COVID-19 vaccines were recommended by the CDC on June 18.  IDPH is supporting an education and outreach campaign by the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics to educate healthcare providers and parents about the effectiveness and safety of the newly authorized vaccines for children under 5. Click HERE to view the resources for families

    The counties listed at High Community Level are Adams, Calhoun, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeKalb, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Henderson, Jackson, Johnson, Kane, Kendall, Knox, Lake, LaSalle, Lawrence, Lee, Madison, Marion, Mason, Massac, Monroe, Ogle, Perry, Pike, Randolph, St. Clair, Stephenson, Vermilion, Warren, Whiteside, Will, Williamson, and Winnebago.

    The CDC recommends the following measures for people in areas that are rated at High Community Level for COVID-19 transmission:

    • Wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status (including in K-12 schools and other indoor community settings)
    • If you are immunocompromised or high risk for severe disease
      • Wear a mask or respirator that provides you with greater protection
      • Consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where you could be exposed
      • Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to take other precautions
      • Have a plan for rapid testing if needed (e.g., having home tests or access to testing)
      • IF YOU TEST POSITIVE: Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you are a candidate for treatments like oral antivirals, and monoclonal antibodies
    • If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk for severe disease
      • consider self-testing to detect infection before contact
      • consider wearing a mask when indoors with them
    • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters
    • Maintain improved ventilation throughout indoor spaces when possible
    • Follow CDC recommendations for isolation and quarantine, including getting tested if you are exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19

    At the Medium Community Level, persons who are elderly or immunocompromised (at risk of severe outcomes) are advised to wear a mask in indoor public places. In addition, they should make sure to get up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines or get their 2nd booster, if eligible.

    IDPH has been supporting pharmacies and healthcare providers in efforts to increase their inventories of the various FDA-authorized treatments. There are over 1,200 treatment locations in Illinois - including all the major retail pharmacies. More than 96.7% of the state’s population is within a 10-mile radius of one of these locations.

    A total of 23,114,591 vaccines have been administered in Illinois. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 8,829 doses.  Since August 5, 61,805 doses were reported administered in Illinois. Of Illinois’ total population, more than 77% has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, more than 69% of Illinois’ total population is fully vaccinated, and more than 54% of the vaccinated population has an initial booster according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data indicates that the risk of hospitalization and severe outcomes from COVID-19 is much higher for unvaccinated people than for those who are up to date on their vaccinations.  All data are provisional and are subject to change.  Additional information and COVID-19 data can be found at https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19.html.  

    Vaccination is the key to ending this pandemic.  To find a COVID-19 vaccination location near you, go to www.vaccines.gov.  The federal government has established a new website that provides an all-purpose toolkit with information on how to obtain masks, treatment, vaccines and testing resources for all areas of the country at: https://www.covid.gov/.


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