Health

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is closing all schools in Illinois — public and private — for two weeks. It’s the latest way the state is trying to prevent local spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Citing concerns about coronavirus disease, the Illinois General Assembly is cancelling session for next week. Authorities are also restricting other large gatherings in the Capitol building.

Citing the risk from coronavirus disease, the Illinois Department on Aging is ordering senior centers to close.

The American Red Cross Stresses Safety.

Mar 12, 2020

The American Red Cross wants the public to know that blood donations are still needed.

Centerstone Offers Screening For Gambling Disorders

Mar 9, 2020

Centerstone will be holding a screening day for gambling disorders on Tuesday, March 10th from 8 am to 2 pm.

The screening will take approximately 5 minutes to complete, and food and drinks will be available for all those who complete the screening.

With a fourth case of COVID-19 announced in Illinois Monday, coronavirus continues to dominate headlines. But experts say there’s another, more common disease that ought to be getting more attention.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritkzer and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tried to calm fears over the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak on Friday. They said efforts are already underway to minimize Illinois’ exposure to the disease also known as novel coronavirus.

How Heart Disease Can Strike Young Mothers

Feb 28, 2020

Most people think of heart disease as something that only happens in old age. That’s not always the case. But younger people may not recognize symptoms of a cardiac emergency because they don’t think it could happen to them.

The Illinois State Police says opioid overdoses are declining, but that agency is also reporting an uptick in the use of methamphetamines. 

In the past, meth was homemade, so the state restricted access to some of the ingredients like sudafed. Now, drug cartels are smuggling the drug into the U.S.

Illinois lawmakers want to research the rising costs of prescription drugs, especially the price of prescription drugs.

Communities across the Midwest have been devastated by the opioid epidemic. But there's still a lot of misunderstanding about how opioids affect our bodies. A new and unusual museum exhibit is tackling this issue. 

The Little Egypt Tobacco-Free Coalition, the Illinois Tobacco Free Alliance and the Wabash Valley Tobacco Control Coalition are sponsoring the 2020 Illinois Tobacco Prevention Conference.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Terry Hickey of Dayempur Herbals about the upcoming Women's Health Naturally conference.

Illinois lawmakers want to reduce delays in medical care caused by the requirements of insurance companies.

Several anti-smoking groups say they hope to teach health providers about new ways to get people to quit using tobacco in all its forms. The Southeastern Illinois Tobacco Free Alliance, the Little Egypt Tobacco-Free Coalition and the Wabash Valley Tobacco Control Coalition are hosting the Tobacco Prevention Conference at John Logan College February 27th.

Illinois lawmakers grilled state officials Tuesday about significant problems with health care for thousands of kids with ties to the Illinois child welfare system.

Around 94,000 medical marijuana licenses have been issued in Illinois, and about 600 of them are for children under the age of 18.

Students who need medical marijuana – typically to treat conditions like cancer, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy – used to have to rely on their parents to come to school and give them their treatment. Now, students can get their cannabis from the school nurse, or administer it themselves under the nurse’s supervision.

The federal government recently raised the smoking age to 21 to help curb teen vaping.  Some are applauding the decision as a win for public health. Others worry it was a knee-jerk reaction.

Just a few weeks ago, some Midwest state legislatures were aiming to raise the legal age for smoking. But Congress moved first, setting a new national age limit of 21. Now, some anti-smoking advocates say that’s not enough. 

Why This Free Health Clinic Is Pushing To Expand Medicaid

Jan 8, 2020

On a chilly afternoon, Terry Cox has come to Mountain View, Mo., to see a dentist. He’s waiting on a bench outside a converted rectory.

“Came to get a tooth check and see what they got to do to it," Cox says. "Maybe get ‘em all out.”

The 56-year-old works in northern Arkansas, and drove an hour and a half to the Good Samaritan Care Clinic.

Across the country, nearly 95,000 people are waiting for a kidney transplant. And the list has been growing for years. That's pushed some people to try unusual ways to find donors.

A wide range of healthcare issues drew headlines in 2019, affecting the lives of millions of Americans. Here are some highlights from Side Effects Public Media's coverage across the Midwest:

Vaping. In the second half of the year, this crisis exploded onto America's consciousness. 

Across the United States, Alzheimer's is a growing problem. The number of people with the disease is expected to increase nearly 15 percent over the next eight years. There’s no cure, but some caregivers are using music to help. 

There are just weeks left until adult-use recreational cannabis becomes legal in Illinois. While many consumers have been looking forward to that day since lawmakers passed the legislation in May, cultivators have been scrambling to prepare for the demand.

WCBU’s Dana Vollmer visited one central Illinois producer to see how preparation efforts are going.

The United States spends more than $3 trillion on health care every year. That comes out to about double the spending per person than other wealthy nations—yet with worse health outcomes in comparison.


Illinois’ Attorney General is suing e-cigarette maker JUUL Labs, alleging the company intentionally hooked teens on vaping.


In many Midwest states it’s illegal for someone with HIV to have sex without telling partners about the illness. Some public health experts are pushing to change those laws.

It’s open enrollment season for the health insurance marketplace established by the Affordable Care Act. But many people who need to sign up may not know it. The Trump administration has made a number of moves to diminish the law, including cuts to marketing and outreach. That creates obstacles for groups that help people sign up. 

Likely more than 100,000 Illinoisans will lose food stamps under a rule change finalized by President Donald’s Trump administration this week. 

The non-profit Centerstone, which offers substance abuse and mental health treatment, sponsored a workshop on getting families involved in the substance-abuse treatment process recently.

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