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Addressing Children’s Health Disparities

Children’s Asthma Program

Asthma is a critical problem in central Illinois. Sangamon County, the home of SIU SOM, is the eighth worst county for asthma hospitalization rates in Illinois. This problem is only magnified when examining our most vulnerable children. The poorest zip code in Sangamon County averages nearly 15 times as many emergency room visits for children with uncontrolled asthma than the wealthiest one.   Read More

Big Data Analysis

SIUSOM serves 66 counties in central and southern Illinois. This service region constitutes over 25,000 square miles and over 2 million people. To better serve the community, SIUSOM must better understand our region, and this starts with better understanding the data and information of our own patients. SIUSOM prides itself on improving our systems of care, and each of our sites routinely participates in quality improvement to improve the way we deliver health care services.  Read More

Understanding the Culture of Rural Parenting and Brain Development

Between conception and age three, a child’s brain undergoes an impressive amount of change.  The brain doubles in size in its first year, and by three, it reaches 80% of its adult volume.  Despite increasing knowledge of this critical time in development, no formal institution exists that routinely educates all children between 0-3.  Therefore, the molding of a developing brain is dependent on the engagement and interactions of a parent or parents.  Most parents, however, especially those in the lowest socioeconomic or educational quartiles are not exposed to how simple strategies can maximize their baby’s brain development.  This is particularly true in rural impoverished areas where higher than national average teen pregnancy rates and lack of access to pediatricians makes parental education and skill building on developmental outcomes exceedingly rare. Read More

Building a Baby Brain Friendly Hospital - Hillsboro, Illinois

Between conception and age three, a child's brain undergoes an impressive amount of change. The brain doubles in size in its first year, and by three, it reaches 80% of its adult volume. Despite increading knowledge of this critical time in development, no formal institution exists that routinely educates all children between 0-3. Therefore, the molding of a developing brain is dependent on the engagement and interactions of a parent or parents. Most parents, however, especially those in the lowest socioeconomic or educational quartiles are not exposed to how simple strategies can maximize their baby’s brain development. Read More

Innovation Incubators for Building Wellness and Resilience in Rural and Urban Schools

Childhood trauma can have a direct, immediate, and potentially hazardous impact on the ability of a child to develop and learn.  Defined as a response to a negative event or series of events which surpass a child’s ordinary coping skills, trauma comes in many forms including maltreatment, witnessing violence, or loss of a loved one.  These events, collectively referred to as adverse childhood experiences, can interfere with brain development, learning, and behavior – each potentially impacting academic success and health outcomes. Read More