Illinois Public Health Departments Hope For Help From Lawmakers

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

The two agencies are pleading for the legislature, when they're in Tuesday, to pass a $17.1 million appropriation that contains grants to the local departments, more than a third of which claim cutbacks.

Illinois Assoc. of Public Health Administrators President Craig Beintema says public health departments all over the state are struggling to maintain services.

"In fact, by the end of October, 36% of the 97 local health departments have eliminated critical programs, cut staff, and have reduced hours of service. That is up 11% since September."

Beintema says all Illinoisans become vulnerable when the public health system crumbles, whether you live in Chicago or Cairo.

Public health programs provide services ranging from immunizations to restaurant inspections.