Morgan County Health Department

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Here you'll find items of current interest — new programs, recent guidance, or timely reminders.  Just scroll through the topics below to get the latest information!

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How Public Health Impacts You
IDPH wants to empower you to improve your health during
National Public Health Week
SPRINGFIELD – If you have ever eaten at a restaurant, gone to a hospital, needed an ambulance or received a flu shot, you’ve been touched by public health.  The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), in conjunction with 96 certified health departments across the state, works every day to control infectious diseases, ensure food safety, conduct newborn screenings, provide immunizations, regulate hospitals and nursing homes, compile birth, death and other statistics, and educate communities on how to live healthier lives.  April 7-13, 2014 is National Public Health Week, a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation.
“For the first time in decades, the current generation is not as healthy as the previous generation,” said IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck.  “I encourage people to look at their health, the health of their family and of their community to see what positive changes can be made to improve the quality of life and rebound to a healthier generation.”
This year’s theme is, “Public Health: Start Here” and each day has a specific focus.
Monday, April 7: Be healthy from the start.
Did you know?Start here.
Breast feeding longer is associated with decreased risk of common childhood infections, sudden infant death syndrome and chronic conditions.Public health professionals can help answer questions or provide resources for breastfeeding, prenatal health and other topics related to family health.
Nearly one-third of all students do not graduate from high school on time.  Students who don’t graduate face lifelong health risks and high medical costs, and are more likely to engage in risky health behaviors.  Work with local schools and community centers to develop after-school programs to help at-risk students with homework.  Partner with a local university to identify volunteers to serve as tutors or mentors.
Tuesday, April 8:  Don't panic. 
Did you know?Start here.
Every year, thousands of people are affected by severe weather threats, such as tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.  Preliminary data for 2012 shows there were more than 450 weather-related fatalities and nearly 2,600 injuries.Host a night of emergency preparedness: make plans for putting together an emergency stockpile kit, create a crisis communication plan, designate an emergency meeting place and hold household emergency drills.
Flu seasons are unpredictable and can be severe.  Over a period of 30 years, between 1976 and 2006, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the U.S. range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people.Get a flu vaccine every year.  The vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older.
Wednesday, April 9: Get out ahead.
Did you know?Start here.
Seven in 10 deaths in the U.S. are related to preventable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer.  Reach out to clinical partners and engage them in community health and prevention efforts.
Average medical expenses are more than twice as high for a person with diabetes as they are for a person without diabetes.Diabetes prevention can be as basic as eating more healthfully and becoming more physically active.
Thursday, April 10: Eat well.
Did you know?Start here.
We are now eating 31 percent more calories than we were 40 years ago — including 56 percent more fats and oils and 14 percent more sugars and sweeteners.  The average American now eats 15 more pounds of sugar a year than in 1970.Ask local restaurants to provide nutrition information on their menus, as newly required by the Affordable Care Act’s food labeling law.
Foodborne contaminants cause an average of 5,000 deaths, 325,000 hospitalizations and 76 million illnesses annually.Chilling foods to proper temperatures is one of the best ways to slow the growth of bacteria.  Make sure refrigerators are kept at 40° F or below. 
Friday, April 11: Be the healthiest nation in one generation.
Did you know?Start here.
The U.S. spends more on health care than any other country.  However, investing just $10 per person each year in community-based public health efforts could save the nation more than $16 billion within five years.Partner with a local university’s public health department to help educate the community on public health options available to them.
Widening access to care by investing in expanded Medicaid eligibility, funded via the Affordable Care Act, results in better health outcomes and reductions in mortality.Visit to learn more about newly available options for health care and enroll in coverage provided under the Affordable Care Act.
Find out what your health department can do for you, contact Morgan County Health Department 





The Affordable Care Act & Health Care Reform in Illinois

Fact Sheet on Implementation Efforts


The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) together with Illinois Public Act 98-104 will increase access to health coverage as a critical step toward improving the health of the people of Illinois. Here is how:

Illinois residents can use the Health Insurance Marketplace – This is an online marketplace where health insurance companies sell insurance to uninsured people who do not get insurance at work and who do not qualify for Medicaid. Find out more at

§ Consumers can easily compare health plans and see what their costs will be before deciding what plan to buy. All plans will cover Essential Health Benefits such as preventive care, doctor visit prescription drugs, maternity care, emergency services, hospital stays and more.

§ Consumers may qualify for financial help through the Marketplace to lower monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

§ Insurance companies cannot deny anyone coverage because they are sick or because they have a preexisting health condition.

More people will be able to receive Medicaid – For the first time, low-income adults who are legal residents, regardless of parental or health status, may be eligible for health coverage through Medicaid.

§ Starting January 1, 2014, all adults with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty level based on family size may qualify – about $15,860 per year per adult and $21,400 per couple. Applications for this new group known as “ACA Adults” can be submitted starting October 1, 2013.

Easier, More Convenient Ways to Apply and Enhanced Program Integrity – A new, user-friendly, online, application known as the Application for Benefits Eligibility (ABE) will make it easier to apply for Medicaid, SNAP, the Medicare Savings Program, and Cash Assistance.

§ This system will replace existing online applications and support enhanced functions like electronic signatures and allow applicants to upload electronic copies of documents making it faster to apply.

§ Community organizations around the State can help people sign up for the Health Insurance Marketplace and Medicaid. Consumers can also apply for over the phone and by mail.

Which Program is Right for Me? – A “landing page” website will provide basic screening questions about household size and income and will guide someone to the right program: ABE for Medicaid or the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace (for private health insurance plan options.


For more information regarding the Health Insurance Marketplace or help signing up, contact Layna Miller at Morgan County Health Department, 245-5111.


Warning for Parents:  Synthetic Drugs!

 A recent development regarding teen drug abuse is the appearance of various synthetic varieties of marijuana.  Known by names such as Spice, K2, Black Mamba, and Red X Dawn, to name a few, these drugs are made with dry herbal material which has been sprayed with a synthetic chemical compound.  Users smoke the compound as they would regular marijuana.  One important difference is that the synthetic chemical compound which is used to produce the synthetic marijuana is more potent than THC, the active chemical found in regular marijuana.  In addition, the effects of synthetic marijuana differ greatly from those of regular marijuana.
Synthetic marijuana is often marketed as incense, and is sold in convenience stores and smoke shops.  A number of states, including Illinois, have banned these substances, although young people still obtain them.  Hospital emergency room staff from around the country have witnessed an increase in patients under the influence of these drugs during the past three or four years.
There are a number of potential harmful effects associated with synthetic marijuana.  These include a fast, racing heartbeat, elevated blood pressure, nausea, loss of consciousness, and paranoia.  These drugs have also been linked to stroke, brain damage, and kidney damage.
Another new development is the emergence of a group of synthetic drugs known as "bath salts".  These drugs contain chemicals that are similar to amphetamines.  The drugs appear in powder form, resembling legal bathing products, plant food, and jewelry cleaner, but are chemically different from actual bath salts.  These drugs can be swallowed, snorted, smoked or injected.  Negative effects include headaches, heart palpitations, nausea, hallucinations, paranoia, panic attacks, violent behavior, heart attack, kidney failure, and suicide.
Since these synthetic drugs are relatively new, hospital emergency room workers may have difficulty diagnosing emergency room patients who are under the influence of these drugs.  In some cases, emergency room personnel have only been able to make an accurate diagnosis after contacting the local or regional poison control center.  This process takes time, and may delay providing the patient with the necessary treatment.
This information is provided to local parents and others by the Morgan County Area Consortium on Prevention, an interagency organization which addresses issues associated with teen drug abuse in the Morgan County area.  For further information, please contact Bruce Richards or Heather Sweet at (217) 243-1871,


  Why Recycle??
    Recycling may require a few extra minutes and conscious commitment.  However, by recycling, the negative impacts on the environment can be minimized and promote a safer and more sustainable community. 
    Recycling conserves energy and our natural resources, saves landfill space, as well as reduces water and air pollution.  As environmental awareness increases, recycling increases in relevance.
    The common montra Reduce, Reuse, Recycle combined with purchasing recycled products comprise a comprehensive waste and resource reduction strategy that benefits our natural world.  For every 1,000 tons of recycled material, 15 jobs are created as compared to less than one job created by land filling the material.
    The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 70% of the waste Americans produce could be recycled.
    The Morgan County Health Department has dedicated a section of our website for information and education to help you with your recycling efforts.
    Recycling is a very important part of our countys waste management.  Click on the page at the left for more information about recycling opportunities in Morgan County.



A disaster can strike anywhere, whether it’s a hazardous material or weapons of mass destruction or a natural disaster like a tornado or flood.   Problems arising from emergencies and disasters pose a threat to human health, well-being, and survival.


    In the event of a disaster, the health department would need volunteers to help us help the citizens of Morgan County.  We will need medical staff as well as support and environmental staff.  If  you would be interested in being on our list, please fill out the Volunteer application and send it to us.


  Click here for the Volunteer Application.


 Thank you for your support!