Research shows African-Americans are less likely to access treatment for mental illness.

Cultural norms and the stigma associated with having a mental illness are partly to blame, according to Shardé Smith, assistant professor of human development and family studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Why Are There So Few Black Men In Medicine?

Feb 13, 2019
A man in scrubs standing in an operating room.
Benjy Jeffords/WSIU

Dr. Don Arnold’s home office overflows with medical textbooks, old anatomical prints and six pages of a recommendation letter from his first application to medical school - framed and hanging on the wall.

“It says I have very unique and viable talents that would serve me well, but on paper a very poor academic record,” he says. “So this is code. For those who don’t know. Nobody’s going to outwardly tell you not to take a person, but this is how they write it in code.”

Ashoor Rasho has spent more than half of his life alone in a prison cell—22 to 24 hours a day. The cell was so narrow he could reach his arms out and touch both walls at once.

OSF HealthCare

Being restricted to using a walker or wheelchair can be hard enough, but when someone lives in a rural community where it can take an hour or more to get to doctor, well that can become a challenge too big to overcome. 

SIU School of Medicine

Southern Illinois University's medical school has opened a specialty clinic to serve children in the foster care system with the goal of reducing disruptions in their health care.

The State Journal-Register reports that the university's Center for Family Medicine opened the Kids Health Harbor clinic earlier this month.

Illinois launched its opioid alternative program on Thursday. The program allows patients immediate access to medical cannabis if they have a current prescription for opioids or would have been prescribed one. 

Winter Weather Can be Dangerous for Diabetics

Jan 30, 2019
OSF HealthCare

For people living with diabetes, foot care is paramount. Minor issues can turn into serious infections and lead to major complications or even amputation.
Diligent foot care is even more important in the winter months, when cold temperatures and slushy sidewalks can make keeping feet healthy an even bigger challenge.  

Better Meds Available for Overactive Bladder

Jan 28, 2019
OSF HealthCare

Celebrities today are owning up to having some level of bladder control issues.

Katy Perry, Kate Winslet and Tony Romo are among the celebrities admitting to having mild to more serious forms of incontinence.

Southern Illinois Healthcare is unveiling a new logo - an action its CEO says is more about reaffirming the mission than changing an image.

Upcoming Workshop on Opioid Crisis

Jan 14, 2019
A map of the world made of pills

The Southern Illinois Opioid Steering Committee will be holding a workshop on the response to the opioid crisis on Janaury 22nd at John A. Logan College.

The theme of the event is A Call for Community Health Response and will focus on the state's southern 33 counties. Those wishing to attend should register by January 17th by emailing

Illinois News Connection

Nearly 1-in-3 American households experiences a dramatic change in income each year, and new research reveals this volatility could have a serious impact on health.

African-Americans have lower levels of a key protein associated with Alzheimer's disease, which could keep blacks with the disease from being diagnosed, according to Washington University researchers.

In a 12-year study of 1,255 participants, the researchers found black patients have a much lower baseline level of the protein tau, which is present in higher amounts in patients with the neurodegenerative disease. Because doctors look for the protein when diagnosing Alzheimer's, lower levels in black patients mean they may not be diagnosed as quickly as their white counterparts.

As a result, black patients — already disproportionately affected by the disease — may not receive proper care, the study's authors said.

Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

WSIU's Brad Palmer talks with a representative of Family Counseling Center and four of her clients about the often overlooked issue of loneliness, which a study by CIGNA suggests has reached epidemic levels in the U.S.

For more information about Family Counseling Center click here.

For more details about the CIGNA loneliness study click here.

Staying Healthy During the Holidays

Dec 21, 2018
Santa Claus picking up a cookie from a plate with a mug and more cookies.

If you overdid it on the Christmas cookies and eggnog this year, don't worry – it's not too late to get your health back on track.

With all the treats available, it's easy to throw good habits right out the window. But Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers, Director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, says that even if you backslid on your diet this holiday, you don't need to think of it as a failure.


Steph Whiteside/WSIU


Few people like going to the doctor. But for some, that fear is compounded by discrimination and history. For black Americans, the pervasive history of racism in America bleeds into virtually every facet of life, including the doctor’s office — with devastating results.

Rahim Khalil is a beauty supply store owner in Carbondale. He also has a degree in social work. As a black man, he says he’s felt disrespected by the medical system, and he’s talked to customers with similar feelings.

The state of Missouri is moving toward medical marijuana, naming an outgoing lawmaker to a leadership role and announcing the start of the process for those who want to grow, make or sell marijuana products.

The holidays can be particularly stressful for families of someone living with Alzheimer's. That includes long distance trips to visit loved ones. An advocacy group is offering tips to help people cope.

Melissa Tucker is Director of Helpline and Support Services for the Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. Tucker said, rather than worry about traditions, caregivers should ask a basic question.

'Tis the season for holiday parties with family and friends and that means lots of food.

The St. Louis District Dairy Council says the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is moderation. The council's Jaelyn Munson says watch your portion sizes.

Come January 14, Illinois will have a new

The Illinois Supreme Court is upholding the medical privacy of a defendant in a lawsuit.

SafeWater Project to Hold Event in Carmi

Dec 10, 2018

The SafeWater Project is hosting a meeting in southeastern Illinois to talk about potential hazards in groundwater.

Project coordinator Tabitha Tripp says one of the biggest problems in that part of the state involves injection wells associated with the oil and gas industry.

Commemorating World AIDS Day and Fighting HIV

Dec 3, 2018
A group of people in athletic gear running.
Miriam Link-Mullison / Jackson County Health Department


Saturday was the 30th World Aids Day, which the Jackson County Health Department honored with a 5K Santas in Speedos and Bras run. The event invited people to come run dressed as Santa or to brave the cold and sport their speedos and bras.


While the run was a festive event, it also highlighted the department’s work on a very serious issue - helping to prevent HIV in the community by helping patients access a pill that can prevent HIV.


For more than 80 years, the American Academy of Pediatrics has identified newborns as underweight if they weigh less than 5 and a half pounds.

But some researchers argue this one-size-fits-all approach ignores the fact that infants vary naturally in size based on their genes and environment.

St. Louis University researchers compared birth weights of siblings and found younger siblings who weighed at least a pound less than their older sibling at birth, were twice as likely to die in the first month of life.

Illinois News Connection

New data out today show the number of uninsured children in Illinois rose about 8 percent last year, and advocates said they're worried that federal policies could thwart future progress.

The age to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products in Illinois remains at 18, for now. The Illinois House of Representatives failed to override Republican Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto on Wednesday with a vote of 62-45.

Meningitis B is rare, but it’s potentially fatal and 3 colleges across the country have reported ongoing outbreaks of the disease. 


Public health officials report that two Illinois residents are among nearly three dozen people affected by a strain of E. coli bacteria in romaine lettuce.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported Tuesday on data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . The CDC reports that 32 people in 11 states have been infected.

John Haar

Thanksgiving is the time of year when people count their blessings and cherish time spent with family, especially those dealing with health issues, such as cancer.

Based on recent data, approximately 38.4% of men and women will be diagnosed with the disease at some point during their lifetimes.

SIU-Carbondale Radio, Television and Digital Media student John Haar’s mother, who works at SIU-C, is one of the more than 15 million cancer survivors. The two had a candid discussion about her situation.

How Seeking Justice Retraumatizes Assault Survivors

Nov 14, 2018
An officer placing evidence into a labeled plastic bag


Rape and sexual assault are issues that have dominated the headlines recently. The response to those stories - whether they are about Brett Kavanaugh, Bill Cosby, or #MeToo - reveals a divide among Americans on what to do when someone says they’ve been assaulted.

As a society, we are still struggling to understand how rape and sexual assault affect victims and how to seek justice for these crimes.  


It’s an issue that hits close to home for a significant number of Americans.


E-Cigarette Use Soars Among Illinois Teens

Nov 13, 2018
People using e-cigarettes and exhaling vapor
Lindsay Fox/Flickr

E-cigarettes are setting anti-smoking efforts back by as much as a decade.


That’s what researchers found after analyzing this year’s Illinois Youth Survey.