Health & Medicine

The nation's oldest poison center is marking 60 years of protecting the health and safety of Illinois residents.

The Illinois Poison Center was founded in 1953 in response to an increase in the number of children being poisoned by chemicals, drugs and household products. The center now handles nearly 82,000 calls a year. Specially trained pharmacists, nurses and doctors provide free, confidential treatment advice and information. Nearly 28 percent of the calls come from health care providers seeking expert advice for their patients who've been exposed to dangerous substances.

A tiny hole, which can go unnoticed, can cause lots of damage. Some can lead to fatigue, shortness of breath, even changes in heart size. Others can be silent threats of stroke.

Illinois Public Radio

The state agency responsible for licensing doctors - and disciplining bad ones - says budget shortfalls forced it to lay off 18 of its 26 investigators.

Imagine a heart pump that can fit in the palm of your hand.

Illinois Department of Public Health

Illinois is among 30 states reporting high flu activity in a season where the virus is striking earlier than usual and the main flu strain is one that tends to make people sicker.

Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold says as of Friday 476 people have been admitted to hospital intensive care units with the flu this season and 50 have died. Last week there were nine patients in hospital intensive care units with the flu, a decrease from 31 the previous week.

Public health officials continue to encourage people to get vaccinated.


For the protection of patients and their families during this time of increased flu activity, a temporary visitor restriction policy is now in effect at hospitals managed by Southern Illinois Healthcare.

Williamson County Commissioners are considering a program that may mean cheaper prescription drugs for some people in need.

State Lays Off Medical Regulators

Jan 16, 2013

Illinois is laying off the majority of regulators who oversee doctors. The state says that means it'll take longer to investigate complaints about illegal activity by doctors. It'll also delay the processing of new medical licenses. Brian Mackey has more on what's behind the layoffs.

Soul Food Junkies

Jan 15, 2013

WSIU Radio's Jennifer Fuller interviews Angie Bailey of the Jackson County Health Department and Jo Sanders of Southern Illinois Healthcare about the upcoming screening of "Soul Food Junkies," as well as ongoing initiatives to promote healthy lifestyles across various populations in southern Illinois.


Illinois is one of 24 states that are now reporting higher than normal flu activity this season.

Illinois Department of Public Health director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck says 368 people have been hospitalized so far this year with 27 flu-related deaths. The majority of hospitalizations and deaths are of people in their 50's and older. The department expects to see an increase in the number of hospitalizations and death as more health care providers report cases from previous weeks as well as current cases.

Flu is on the upswing in Illinois along with the most of the rest of the nation.

Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold says almost 150 people have been admitted to intensive care units with the flu this season and six have died.

U.S. health officials say the strain of influenza virus going around this year has been linked to more hospital admissions and deaths. They say it isn't too late to get a flu shot, and there's no shortage of flu vaccine.

Illinois officials say they expect federal approval on a proposed health insurance exchange in plenty of time to enroll the first customers on Oct. 1.

Several states on Thursday won initial federal approval on their insurance exchange plans, a key milestone in meeting the requirements of President Barack Obama's health overhaul.   Illinois wasn't among them. Gov. Pat Quinn spokesman Mike Claffey says there are still details to work out, but approval from Washington shouldn't be a problem.


Herrin Hospital is getting major accolades for its continued work on treating stroke patients.

Local health officials gathered at Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department Wednesday to kick off  We Choose Health-Southernmost Illinois.

The initiative came together in August after the Jackson County and Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Departments received over $402,000 in grants from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Joint Commission Report Highlights Care

Sep 20, 2012

The Joint Commission's annual report: Improving America's Hospitals, presents scientific evidence of hospital performance and how it relates to common medical conditions and procedures.

The report shines a light on hospitals based on their performance related to 45 accountability measures for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children's asthma care, inpatient psychiatric services, venous thromboembolism (VTE) Care, and stroke care.

The 26th Annual Southern Illinois Women's Health Conference is coming up next month. In this Morning Conversation, WSIU Radio's Jennifer Fuller talks with Women For Health And Wellness Executive Director Fran Becque about the planned sessions and benefits of attending.

A dead bat found in a rural area east of West Frankfort had rabies.

US Supreme Court

An SIU Law Professor says today's Supreme Court ruling will stir up both sides of the healthcare debate again.

WSIU Radio's Jennifer Fuller talks with Dr. Aisha White, a local plastic surgeon, about detection and prevention of skin cancer.


The head of Southern Illinois Healthcare says the American people can help improve our healthcare system and reduce the Medicaid burden.

WSIU Radio's Jennifer Fuller has the morning's news and weather.

WSIU Radio's Jennifer Fuller interviews Southern Illinois Healthcare Vice-President Woody Thorne and Memorial Hospital of Carbondale Emergency Medical Services Director Dr. Joseph Haake about the potential $2.7 billion cuts to next year's Medicaid budget. They've developed a website to illustrate their concerns at

WSIU Radio's Jennifer Fuller has the morning's news and weather information.

There will be a town hall meeting at the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Student Health Center on Tuesday about how to reduce the harms of underage drinking.

Southeast Missouri State

Southeast Missouri State University and the SEMO Health Network are joining forces to provide mobile health services to rural areas of the Show-Me-State.

In this edition of Morning Conversation, Host Jennifer Fuller talks with SIH Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Linda Bobo and SIUC Wellness Coordinator Christy Hamilton about a national trend involving AIDS. Experts say more and more young people (under 25 years old) are being infected with HIV and AIDS, and Dr. Bobo says many of the patients she sees were not informed of the risks or symptoms of the disease.

WSIU Radio's Jennifer Fuller continues her special Heart Month series Keep the Beat with some tips for healthy eating that mean good things for your heart.

February is Heart Month. As Americans continue to learn more about how to prevent heart attacks and stroke, doctors are focusing not just on prevention, but also after care for those who've suffered a cardiac event.  WSIU Radio's Jennifer Fuller reports on one local cardiac rehab program.

The Jackson County Board will hold a special meeting Monday night to discuss the future of the County's Rehab and Care Center...
Last week the committee that oversees the nursing home in Murphysboro held a special meeting to review offers from companies interested in taking over operation of the facility.