|September 21, 2004|
TAKE A LOVED ONE TO THE DOCTOR DAY
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today urged Illinoisans, especially minorities disproportionately affected by preventable diseases, to take a loved one to a doctor for a regular checkup.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has designated the third Tuesday of each September as Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day as part of its national Closing The Health Gap initiative to focus attention on the importance of early disease detection and prompt health care referrals as ways to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities.
“Any day is a good day to take a loved one to the doctor or make an appointment,” Dr. Whitaker said. “The point is to go see a health professional and begin taking charge of your health.”
Many people do not get regular check-ups, but wait until there is an emergency before going to the doctor. Dr. Whitaker noted that a lack of regular health care visits contributes to higher rates of mortality from preventable diseases, such as heart disease and stroke, HIV, cancer and diabetes.
While it is important for everyone to take care of their health, the Department is targeting this message at minorities because they are disproportionately impacted by a number of preventable diseases. For example:
The Department is partnering with local health departments, communities of color and ethnic groups throughout the state to encourage individuals to take charge of their health care by visiting a health care professional, making an appointment for a visit, attending a health-related event in the community, or helping a friend, neighbor or family member do the same.
For the third straight year, the DHHS has designated the Department’s Center for Minority Health Services as a “Featured State Partner.”
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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