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Healthy people in a healthy community without health disparities


Healthy Community Compass 


Fall 2012

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In This Issue
Mark Hunter - Award
Flu Shots
Car Seats
Free Flu Shot Clinic

Holiday Food Safety Tips


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Holiday Food Safety Tips -WCHD 

Winter Weather Safety Preparedness


winter weather  


"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, IL.  61110-0509 
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 Mike Bacon

Dear Community Resident:


Welcome to the 2012 Fall Edition of the "Compassnewsletter. 
Winnebago County Cancer Statistics


This review reminds us of how common cancer actually is, not just in Winnebago County, but in developed countries in general. Cancer remains the second leading cause of death behind cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately one in three of us will develop cancer sometime in our lifetime. The risk of developing cancer typically increases with age, so everyone unfortunately as we age, will see more cancer in family, friends and co-workers.  

Because cancer is so prevalent it is essential to emphasize what can be done to reduce the risk of developing cancer (i.e. not smoking, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, etc.) and to encourage age-appropriate recommended cancer screenings by gender. Early stages of cancer are typically more treatable and so early detection is vital.

Annual cancer mortality since 1998 has remained relatively level, averaging for Winnebago County between 562 to 597 deaths per year. This represents about 24% of all deaths in the County each year. Thirty-one percent of cancer deaths are considered premature (individuals <65 years of age) and the State of Illinois is about the same at 30%.   


One of the most helpful ways to evaluate cancer trends is to compare age-adjusted cancer incidence rates in our community to that of the State of Illinois. Fortunately, Illinois has a long-established, nationally recognized statewide cancer registry that tracks all newly diagnosed cases of cancer. The records on this extend from 1988 through 2009 (i.e. 22 years). The link provides a summary comparison (table by gender and race, 2005-2009) of age-adjusted cancer rates (all types of cancer together). This data suggests that Winnebago County versus the State cancer incidence is comparable, 473.0 to 491.4 per 100,000 population respectively (i.e. not substantially different).  



For more data comparing Winnebago County to the State of Illinois cancer incidence, follow the links to Winnebago County Cancer Mortality and Incidence (1988-2008) and Illinois Cancer Registry, County Incidence Summary Data (2005-2009).   



Bacon's signature

J. Maichle Bacon

Public Health Administrator 

Winnebago County Health Department
Twenty People You Should Know Award
Mark Hunter, Black Male Health Coordinator 
Mark Hunter, Black Male Health Coordinator

Winnebago County Health Department's Black Male Health Coordinator, Mark Hunter, was recognized on October 24th as one of Rockford's "Twenty People You Should Know." The night's special event was hosted by the Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce. We are all immensely proud of the work that Mark does in promoting health equity and in particular his work with and through the Black Male Health Community Action Team. Congratulations to Mark on this wonderful recognition. For more information on the Black Male Health program go to www.wchd.org.
2012 Flu Season 


Protect Yourself And Those Around By Getting A Flu Shot.

flu vaccine pic 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Winnebago County Health Department recommend all individuals 6 months and older receive a flu shot as the vaccination is the single best way to prevent getting the flu.

Since the beginning of September, the Winnebago County Health Department's Health Promotion Program has given over 6,000 flu shots to individuals in our community. "Influenza affects everyone differently; even healthy individuals can get the flu and it can be serious. By being vaccinated you can protect yourself from influenza and help to prevent spreading it to others," said Winnebago County Health Department Public Health Administrator, Mike Bacon. To read the entire story, click here. 

 Car Seats 


Child Passenger Safety Program


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car crashes are the number one killer of children 1 to 12 years old in the United States. The best way to protect children in a car is to put them in the right seat, at the right time, and use it the right way. Child safety seats save hundreds of young lives every year, but proper use is vital. Child safety seats can significantly reduce the risk of death or injury in the event of a crash.

In FY12, with the support of a grant from IDOT/CPS, the Child Passenger Safety program at the Winnebago County Health Department was able to provide over 130 car seats to local families. With each car seat, staff provided information and installation education to the families. With an increase of grant funding of $9, 244.00 dollars for FY13, the program will be able to serve over 144 families with car seats, education and training.
To read the entire story click here.

Childhood Lead Poisoning  

Winnebago County Health Department's Success Story In Reducing Childhood Lead Poisoning Exposure

lead child picture 


This past summer, a two year old girl was screened for lead poisoning during a routine well child physical with her primary care provider. The results showed that her lead level was over 20 times the acceptable level. Because of her high blood lead level, she required inpatient treatment to bring her blood lead level to a non-life threatening degree.

When a child has an above acceptable level, the Winnebago County Health Department will conduct an environmental inspection and provide case management services.

Upon receiving this report, a Winnebago County Health Department lead inspector and lead case manager contacted the child's mother and scheduled an appointment at the child's home for the very next day.

During the home visit, a child assessment was conducted along with an environmental investigation. It was determined that the home had a number of lead hazards, notably the lead-based paint on the windows of the home. The mother reported that her daughter had been seen peeling paint from the window casings and ingesting it. For the entire story, click here.

Community Vaccination Clinic 

2nd Annual Partnership Flu Shot Clinic 


More than 430 people received free flu shots at the second annual community flu vaccination clinic held on Thursday, October 25, 2012. 

The clinic sites were at four locations; the Rock River Valley Pantry, Shelter Care Ministries, Morning Star Baptist Church, and St. Paul Church of God in Christ.


The clinic was a partnership between between the Winnebago County Health Department, University of Illinois College of Medicine Students, University of Illinois College of Pharmacy at Rockford - (UIC) Students, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing - Rockford Regional Program Students, Rockford Memorial Hospital, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, OSF Saint Anthony College of Nursing, SwedishAmerican Hospital, Rockford Public Schools, Rockford College, Rock Valley College, Visiting Nurses Association, St. Paul Church of God in Christ, Morning Star Baptist Church, Rock River Valley Pantry, and Shelter Care Ministries.

The first annual clinic was held in October of 2011 where over 150 people received a free flu vaccination.  Plans are already being made for the 2013 vaccination clinic.

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 Fall Edition include: Mike Bacon, Sue Fuller, Lisa Gonzalez, Lisa Sprecher, Kathy Schier, Elizabeth Wiegert, and Dana Esparza.