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Healthy people in a healthy community without health disparities


Healthy Community Compass 


Summer 2012

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Illinois Department of Public Health 

In This Issue
WCHD Reports Probable Measles Case In Winnebago County
WNV Reported in Two Crows
Back To School Health Clinic
New Childhood Home Visiting Program
New State Health Department Director Visits WCHD


 Community Open House
open house
Winnebago County Health Department Public Health Administrator Mike Bacon with Kay Mullins, Ted Biondo and Steve Ernst at the Open House.

Over 100 guests attended the Open House at the newly renovated facility at 401 Division Street.  


Extreme Heat 2012 


Numerous community partners worked together in June and July to avert health issues in our community by providing heat related safety messages.

sue fuller
Winnebago County Health Department Public Information Officer Sue Fuller addressed the media during a Extreme Heat 2012 News Conference.


 CDC -Traveler's Health: 2012 London Olympics

CDC wants your travel experience to the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics Games in London this summer to be healthy, safe and memorable.
*Make sure you are up to date on your routine vaccines, including measles. In 2011 some US residents who traveled abroad got measles. When they returned to the U.S. they caused 17 measles outbreaks in various communities.
*Learn how to access medical and emergency care in London, before you go. In the event of a serious illness and injury call 999, not 911. For minor illnesses and injuries, visit a pharmacy or walk-in center-no appointment is necessary.
*Look right, look left, and look right again to avoid stepping into the path of traffic. In England, people drive on the left side of the road, not the right. Your safety is important. Road traffic is one of the leading causes of injury death to U.S. travelers in foreign countries.
For more information go to:


Environmental Health 


 farmers market


Summer Food Safety Tips
Summer activities take us and our food outdoors, so it is important to follow some simple food safety guidelines to prevent harmful bacteria from rapidly multiplying in the warm weather and causing foodborne illness. Click on the following link for the Summer Food Safety Tips Brochure.


Temporary Food Permits


Temporary Food Permit Application Page

Women's Preventive Health Benefits Coverage


August 1, 2012 - Start of the Women's Preventive Health Benefits Coverage   

On August 1, 2012, women with commercial insurance will have guaranteed access to coverage for certain preventive health benefits at no additional cost to them.
This important benefit, enacted under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), will expand access to basic health care services, including contraceptive coverage and counseling, well-woman visits, STD testing, and other important preventive health benefits.
The new coverage is also great news for health providers,  because the benefit helps ensure that health systems will be reimbursed for care patients need to be healthy.


"Compass"  Newsletter
"Compass"... is a WCHD newsletter intended to provide public health partners and the broader community with information on services and resources vital to reducing preventable disease and avoidable health care costs. "Compass" strives to highlight the path of evidence-based prevention strategies and promote good health as a shared responsibility between individual healthy choices and community / public policy support to improve health at all levels.
Contact Information
Winnebago County Health Department 
401 Division Street
P.O. Box 4009
Rockford, Illinois  61110-0509 
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 Mike Bacon

Dear Community Resident:


Welcome to the 2012 Summer Edition of the "Compassnewsletter. 


Getting It Right From The Beginning


WCHD research substantiates that high-risk pregnant mothers can have birth outcomes as good as the community as a whole with the support of targeted intensive prenatal case management services (TIP). Winnebago County is one of seven downstate communities that have had IDHS funding, although declining, in recent years to target high-risk pregnancies with an enhanced frequency of face-to-face and home visiting services for the purpose of providing education and support for healthy birth outcomes and healthy infant growth and development. Poor birth outcomes (i.e. preterm and/or low birth weight infants) experience more frequent health complications and developmental difficulties that can lead to a range of physical, financial, emotional and social costs. Such outcomes can affect the mother, the baby, the family and the broader community.

WCHD evaluated a two year cohort of 267 high-risk pregnant moms served by the TIP program and found that such
services improved medical care and birth outcomes for moms assessed with multiple risks for poor outcomes. Specifically these services increased client contacts (i.e. support), increased prenatal care visits and reduced low birth weight births when 7 or more client contacts are achieved. When 11 or more client contacts are achieved, these high-risk moms actually have birth outcomes comparable to the average for the community or a 55% improvement in achieving normal birth weight births. This research suggests a protective association from the increased number of client contacts with such improvements in comparison to high-risk moms who did not receive intensive prenatal case management services.

Preterm births cost employers and their health plans and public sector coverage (i.e. Medicaid) on average 11 times as much as the cost of a full-term infant born without complications. These cost-effective preventive interventions (i.e. TIP services), establish the essential groundwork for healthy
child development and lifelong physical and mental wellbeing. This research also helped in securing MIECHV grant funding to expand this important work, as discussed in this issue.



Bacon's signature

J. Maichle Bacon

Public Health Administrator

Winnebago County Health Department  

Probable Measles Case in Winnebago County
WCHD Reports Probable Measles Case 

The Winnebago County Health Department (WCHD) in July investigated a probable case of measles. The case was a four year old with a rash that began near the ears with an onset date of 6/30/2012. The child also presented with conjunctivitis, fever, and Koplik spots as observed by a physician. The last confirmed case of measles in Winnebago County was prior to 1994.

Measles is a highly contagious disease. Measles is transmitted from person to person via respiratory droplets. Measles spreads through the air when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes. The time from exposure to the onset of rash averages 14 days.

The illness is characterized by a fever and cold like symptoms that may include a runny nose; red, runny and sensitive eyes; and a cough. These symptoms are followed by a red blotchy rash that usually start on the face or neck and spreads to the rest of the body.

WCHD strongly urges all area health-care professionals to maintain a high index of suspicion for the appearance of additional measles cases in the coming weeks and report all suspect cases to WCHD. Measles is an extremely serious and highly contagious viral disease that is spread through airborne droplets person to person.


Furthermore, as outbreaks of measles continue abroad, the importation of measles cases in travelers continues to be an issue. Physicians should consider measles in persons with clinically compatible illness and a recent travel history. Thanks to widespread measles vaccinations, measles is extremely rare in the United States. However, the disease is still brought into our country by people who get infected abroad. In 2011, 222 people in the United States were reported to have measles. U.S. residents and visitors got measles abroad and brought it to United States and spread it to others. This caused 17 measles outbreaks in various U.S. communities last year.


The Measles vaccine is highly effective in preventing disease. Who should get the measles vaccine? It is recommended that people of all ages keep up to date with all of their vaccinations, and it specifically recommend the children receive two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR vaccine. The first dose administered at ages 12 through 15 months and the second dose at 4 to 6 years of age.

Winnebago County residents who are uninsured or do not have a medical provider can receive vaccinations at the Winnebago County Health Department. Vaccination appointments can be made by calling 815-720-4370. For more information on measles go to the CDC's website, or the WCHD website.



Two Positive Crows Identified in Winnebago County With West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus - Fight The Bite!crow


The Winnebago County Health Department reports two crows, found in the 61104 and 61088 Zip Code areas, have tested positive with West Nile Virus (WNV). "This finding is not surprising," states Larry Swacina, Environmental Health Director for the Winnebago County Health Department. "West Nile Virus has been confirmed to be present in Winnebago County for the 10th year in a row. Based on the hot dry weather and the early onset of positive mosquito and birds with WNV indicate we are entering the period of high risk for WNV infection in humans. To date this season, there has not been any human cases reported in Winnebago County", added Larry.


The Illinois Department of Public Health indicates the recent extreme heat conditions are ever increasing the risk of the WNV infection. During the current extreme heat wave residents are naturally most focused on protecting themselves from the heat. However, there is an incorrect general perception that the recent drought has eliminated most mosquitoes. Actually the drought has eliminated the "floodwater mosquitoes" which are rarely infected with WNV. In contrast, the extreme heat and dry weather actually favors the culex mosquito, the primary carrier of WNV, which breeds in street catch basins and similar locations. 


As of July 25, 2012, the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed West Nile Virus in birds and mosquitoes and two human cases in 30 Illinois Counties, thus far in 2012, compared to 19 counties for all 2011.

WNV is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. West Nile Virus is an infection that can cause serious illness, but most people infected with WNV have no signs or symptoms of illness. Most people with the virus have no clinical symptoms of illness, but some may become ill three to 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. Those with mild symptoms may have a fever, headache, body aches, skin rash or swollen lymph glands, but those with serious symptoms such as encephalitis and meningitis should seek medical assistance.  

Persons at the highest risk for serious illness are those 50 years of age or older.

The best way to prevent West Nile Virus or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Precautions include practicing the three "R's" - reduce, repel and report.

  • REDUCE exposure - avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.    Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night. Eliminate all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires and any other receptacles.
  • REPEL- when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.  
  • REPORT - "Every WNV season, the Winnebago County Health Department offers a phone line for residents to report the location of birds that have recently died", said, WNV Program Manager, Todd Marshall. The report line number to call is 815- 720-4245. After calling in a report of a dead bird, please leave it where it lays for 24 hours. If we don't pick it up for testing, you can dispose of the bird yourself. When calling the hotline to report dead birds, please leave the address, the location of the bird on the property, the town and Zip Code, and number of dead birds found", added Todd.

Dead birds cannot spread West Nile Virus, but it is advised to avoid barehanded contact with dead birds and other animals since they carry a variety of germs. Please use a shovel, gloves or double-plastic bags to place the carcass in garbage bag or can. The Health Department has also opened a West Nile Virus information line for residents who have questions or wish to speak to a health professional. That number is 815-720-4240, or visit the WCHD website at www.wchd.org

 Back To School Health Clinic 


"Grand Slam for Good Health" 

3rd Annual Back to School Health Clinic

In an effort to provide all children with an opportunity for a healthy start to the 2012-2013 school year, the Winnebago County Health Department with health provider partners is offering the 3rd Annual Back to School Health Clinic for all students Pre-K, through the 12th grade on Wednesday, August 1, 2012, from 3-7 pm at the Winnebago County Health Department's 555 North Court Street location.

 Physicals for grades: Pre-K, Kindergarten, 6th, 9th & students

new to the district

School and Sport Physicals $25.00
Immunizations Pre-K through 12th grade,

(New this year -Tdap is now required for 6th and 9th graders)

Immunizations $16.00 each (VFC eligibility required)

*Tdap shots for (non-VFC eligible students) $50.00

Ask for details when scheduling your child's appointment

*Bring the child's immunization card to the appointment

Required Dental Exams for grades: Kindergarten, 2nd and 6th
Free School Dental Exams

Dental cleanings, fluoride varnish treatments,
and dental sealants available (income requirements)

Lead Screening
Free Vision and Hearing Screening
Health Information Booths

For appointments call: 815-720-4370. For more information on the clinic go to WCHD's website at www.wchd.org.


New Childhood Home Visiting Program 


Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program For Rockford and Winnebago 


Winnebago County Health Department, City of Rockford Human Services, La Voz Latina, Easter Seals, and Rockford Public Schools - District 205 (members of the Strong Foundations Partnership) are working together to improve the health and well-being of at-risk children and families in our community through its new Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Community Partner Initiative. The MIECHV initiative uses proven evidence-based home visiting programs to help improve outcomes for mothers and babies.
The goals of the initiative are to:
  • Improve birth outcomes for high-risk pregnant women and their babies.
  • Improve children's health and development
  • Strengthen family functioning

The Partnership was awarded $543,627.00 for the Winnebago County MIECHV initiative. The new funding will allow more local families to receive home visiting services, and will also provide support for a more coordinated approach to helping families determine the services and resources that are best suited for their needs. The Winnebago County Health Department will serve as the coordinated intake provider and the 4 home visiting agencies will increase their workforce to be able to provide home visiting services to over 100 additional families over the next year. Rockford was one of six Illinois communities to receive this federal grant. The other communities in Illinois include: Cicero Township, Englewood, West-Englewood and Greater Grand Crossing, City of Elgin, Macon County and Vermilion County. To learn more about the MIECHV program click here.


New State Health Department Director Stops In Rockford For A Visit
Dr. Hasbrouk and NI PHD's
Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck talks with local health officials at the Winnebago County Health Department.

IDPH Visit 


On Friday, May 24, 2012, newly appointed Director for the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)   LaMar Hasbrouck, MD, shared his vision for the future of public health, eliminating health disparities and chronic disease, and providing greater access to health care in Illinois with local health officials and community health stakeholders at the Winnebago County Health Department in Rockford.

At this meeting, Dr. Hasbrouck championed Governor Pat Quinn's $1-per-pack increase in the state cigarette tax as an effective way to close the $2.7 billion Medicaid deficit and improve health benefits statewide by curbing the number of smokers.


"Local health departments are the front lines of public health and are our strongest allies in the effort to address and eliminate health disparities, provide access to quality health care and improve the overall health of Illinois residents," said Dr. Hasbrouck.

Please visit our website at www.wchd.orgfor our Healthy Community Compass Archive Pages. You may also follow the Health Department on Facebook and Twitter.
Contact Sue Fuller at sfuller@wchd.org for any suggestions on future articles or how we can improve our newsletter. 
Contributing writers for this Edition include: IDPH, Mike Bacon and Sue Fuller.