Jackson County Public Health Department

The Jackson County Health Department and county sheriff's office are holding a medication disposal event Saturday.

They say the initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.

The Jackson County Health Department has a new tool to fight the spread of HIV.

It now offers people at risk of the disease a pill called Truvada.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Jackson County Public Health Department HIV Services Director Paula Clark about PrEP, or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. This drug can dramatically reduce the chances of contracting HIV.


WSIU/Kevin Boucher

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Dr. Sarah Patrick, the new Administrator at the Jackson County Public Health Department, about her background and plans for the agency.

People
Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

The Jackson County Health Department turned the SIU Arena into an emergency response site Wednesday to help it prepare to respond to the release of a biological agent.

Every five years the Jackson County Health Department is required to test its ability to dispense medication in a timely manner. The exercise Wednesday involved an intentional release of anthrax.

Thanks to some help from the Jackson County Board, the county health department will remain open five days a week for the time being.

Earlier this year, officials with the Jackson County Health Department said they would have to close on Fridays, starting in December, because of the state budget impasse.

The Illinois Public Health Association and the Illinois Association of Public Health Administrators are calling on lawmakers for help.

Local health departments are responsible for everything from restaurant inspections, regulating private sewage systems and water wells and investigating disease outbreaks -- all services that are threatened, as they await for state money to come through.