April 26, 2007
IDPH teams up with local groups and area ministers during Minority Health Month to raise awareness about health disparities
State Public Health Officials encourage better health choices and testing
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) officials today encouraged African-Americans to take charge of their health by making better choices and taking advantage of testing for certain diseases and conditions. “Building the Legacy of Good Health” was the theme of today’s event, sponsored by IDPH’s Center for Minority Health Services, in partnership with Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. Free HIV, blood pressure, cholesterol and prostate cancer screenings were offered at the exhibition and health event that was one of 70 IDPH events held this April in observance of Minority Health Month.
“We encourage healthy eating habits, exercise and having routine tests,” said Doris Turner, Chief of the IDPH Center for Minority Health Services. “We continue to see higher rates of high blood pressure, heart disease, and prostate cancer among African-Americans compared to their counterparts. We offering these free services to get people started on a better course of managing their health.”
IDPH offered the free health services after Governor Rod R. Blagojevich proclaimed April 23 to 29 “Cover the Uninsured Week” in Illinois to highlight the struggle of the 1.4 million adults in Illinois who are uninsured. The Governor’s Illinois Covered plan can help African-Americans by ensuring that they, along with all Illinoisans, have access to quality, affordable healthcare. According to a recent survey, over 22 percent of the State’s uninsured are African-American. These numbers are startling given the fact that African-Americans only make up a little over 15 percent of the total population.
Efforts to raise awareness and eliminate health disparities include working with community and faith based organizations. Other programs to reduce the health disparities include:
A calendar detailing Minority Health Month events is located on the Illinois Department of Public Health Web site at www.idph.state.il.us or by calling the Center for Minority Health at (217) 785-3411.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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