SIU Office of Community Health Invites Public to Discuss County Health Ranking

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January 21, 2014

SIU Office of Community Health Invites Public to Discuss County Health Ranking

Sangamon County ranked as one of the unhealthiest counties in the state last year, according to a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. To learn more about our community’s health, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and the Citizens Club of Springfield invite the public to attend an open forum. The free event will be held at 6 p.m., Monday, February 10 in Theater 3 at the Hoogland Center for the Arts, 420 South Sixth St., in Springfield.

Julie Willems Van Dijk, Ph.D., associate scientist at the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and a deputy director for the County Health Rankings program, will talk about the community health report, which ranked Sangamon County 80th out of 102 Illinois counties in health outcomes. She also will discuss a roadmap for improvements. A panel of community leaders will respond, followed by an open floor for questions and discussion.

“We want to hear from the public what they think the health problems in the community are and what ideas they have to improve the health of our community,” said Dr. David Steward, associate dean for Community Health and Service at SIU School of Medicine.

Panelists are Dr. J. Kevin Dorsey, dean and provost of SIU School of Medicine, Jim Stone, director of the Sangamon County Department of Public Health, and Dr. Ashley Kirzinger, director of the survey research office at the University of Illinois at Springfield, who conducted the Sangamon County Citizens Survey this past spring.

“We have a great community in so many ways, and we are lucky to have great health care facilities and providers. But still, too many of us are not as healthy as we could be, whether it’s because of smoking, diet, physical inactivity, or social or economic factors in our neighborhoods. We hope this event might help bring us together to work for a healthier Sangamon County,” Steward said.

Reservations are not required, but seating is limited.

Established in 1970, SIU School of Medicine’s mission is to assist the people of central and southern Illinois in meeting their health-care needs through education, patient care, research and service to the community. Its website is www.siumed.edu and its main number is 217-545-8000.

The purpose of the Citizens Club of Springfield is to promote public, civic, and cultural welfare, particularly relating to Springfield and its metropolitan area by educating its members and the general public in matters concerning public issues and events.

Media Contacts

Karen Carlson,
SIU, 217-545-3854

Ruth Slottag,
SIU, 217-545-2819

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Phone 217-545-8000
P.O. Box 19620
Springfield, IL 62794-9620
The mission of SIU School of Medicine is to assist the people of central and southern Illinois in meeting their health-care needs through education, patient care, research and service to the community.

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