In an effort to improve customer service and operate more efficiently, the Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center is consolidating its immunizations program. It is discontinuing five monthly satellite walk-in clinics for child immunizations in Lake Zurich, Antioch, Lake Forest, Libertyville and Wauconda and expanding hours at its main appointment-only clinic at the Belvidere Medical Building campus in Waukegan. The change will go into effect April 1, 2012.
The Health Department's immunization program is a major provider of vaccines to limited-income children in Lake County. More than 95 percent of the 25,000 vaccinations it provided in 2011 went to children up to age 18. However, most of the residents eligible for Vaccine for Children services (uninsured, underinsured, Medicaid recipients, or American Indian/Alaskan Native) live in the northeast part of Lake County, making Waukegan the most convenient location for the majority of people eligible for services.
"This consolidation effort is based on resident needs and usage," said Irene Pierce, executive director of the Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center. "We found that most of our satellite locations were under-utilized, and wanted to bring more services to the most utilized location."
In the past year, half of all child immunizations were for those living in Waukegan or in neighboring Grayslake, Gurnee, Lake Bluff, Libertyville, North Chicago, Park City, Wadsworth, Wildwood, Winthrop Harbor, Zion and Great Lakes Naval Station. Half of the Mundelein clients and 82 percent of the Round Lake area clients are choosing the Waukegan clinic site seemingly due to the greater availability of times.
Additionally, having child immunization clinics only at the Waukegan location will provide for accurate and timely information through the electronic record keeping system, which is not available at the satellite locations.
Once-a-month child immunization clinic times will continue in February and March at the satellite locations: Harvest Bible Church in Lake Zurich; Advocate Condell Medical Center conference Center in Libertyville, V.F.W. Post #4551 in Antioch; Wauconda Township Center in Wauconda; and Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital in Lake Forest.
Child immunization clinic hours will continue by appointment at the Health Department's Immunizations Clinic, 2303 Dodge Avenue in Waukegan, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays; 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays; and the second Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Starting in April, changes at the Waukegan Immunizations Clinic will include appointments on an additional Saturday and for three more hours, until 6 p.m., on Wednesday. For more information, visit: http://www.lakecountyil.gov/Health/want/Pages/Immunization.aspx.
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