Healthy Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Summer Fun.

Summer has officially arrived and it’s time to have fun outdoors taking in everything the season has to offer. It’s important for you and your family to stay safe in the hot summer heat. Here are a few tips to keep you and the kids happy, safe, and healthy during the summer months.

Stay Hydrated.

Drinking enough water throughout the day can sometimes be difficult, but it’s an important habit for us to form.

A good way to get extra hydration is to eat foods with a high water content. Water hides in a lot of the foods we eat accounting for almost 20% of our daily water intake. Foods with high water content include:

  • Watermelon
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Strawberries

Another good way to make sure we stay hydrated is to drink a glass of water with every meal and snack. This will also help with digesting foods.

We should also be aware of the types of liquids we put in our body. Try to avoid drinks high in sugars like fruit drinks and sodas as they can actually dehydrate us.

Water is a first choice for hydration, but sometimes water can be too plain. For some added flavor, try infusing water with fruits, herbs, or cucumber! Yum!!

Stay Safe in the Sun.

It’s important to always practice sun safety, but especially in the summer months when the sun is at its hottest. One of the best ways to practice sun safety is to avoid it altogether. Only joking…sort of! Between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm we should try to remain in shaded areas and wear protective clothing as much as possible.

But for a day out at the pool or running around the park, shade is not always possible – that’s why it’s a good idea to lather up in some sunscreen. It’s important to know what to look for when choosing a sunscreen. Experts recommend the following:

  • Sunscreen should have an SPF of 15 or higher
  • Look for a broad spectrum sunscreen which helps block UVA and UVB rays

Other tips to remember:

  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes BEFORE going out into the sun
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours
  • Waterproof sunscreens are not always reliable, so you should still reapply every two hours and after swimming or playing in the water

We hope you and your families have a safe, healthy, and F-U-N summer!

2020 Census, Central Counties Health Center

2020 Census: How Do I Take It?

The 2020 Census is happening now and it’s very important to be counted. The census takes place once every ten years and counts everyone living in the United States. It’s easy to take – it only takes about ten minutes to complete, and there are three ways to take it. But first, let’s do some quick reminders:

  • Your answers are 100% confidential and federal law protects your responses. So don’t worry – your information is safe!
  • The information you provide can only be used to provide statistics and cannot be used by any government agency or court.
  • The census, or any person representing the census, will NEVER ask for your social security number, banking or credit card info, and they will NEVER ask you for money. The census is 100% free.

Thanks for those reminders. So, how do I take the census?

Great question! As mentioned before, there are three ways:

  1. By mail
  2. Online
  3. By phone

Let’s break each of those down!


By now, you should have received a few census related items in the mail. Invitations went out in March and the actual census went out in April. If you haven’t taken the census yet, you may have also received a reminder postcard or two as well.

To respond by mail:

  1. Verify the questionnaire. You can do this by making sure the outer envelope’s return address says “U.S. Census Bureau” and “U.S. Department of Commerce.” The return envelope to mail back your completed census will be addressed to either Jeffersonville, IN or Phoenix, AZ.
  2. Now you are ready to fill out the census!
  3. Once you are done, put the census in the enclosed return envelope and place it in the mail. Postage has been taken care of.


Responding online is a fairly simple way to respond to the census; all you need is a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. It is important to note, if you are filling out the census online you cannot save your progress. Be sure to allow about 10-15 minutes to log on and complete the census since it must be completed in one sitting. Let’s get started!

To respond online:

  1. Go to
  2. Locate your Census ID on the letter or questionnaire you received from the Census Bureau. If you cannot find your letter or locate your ID, that’s ok. You can still complete the census without it. Simply visit the online form and select “Start Questionnaire.” Below the ID field, choose the link that says, “If you do not have a Census ID, click here.”
  3. If you have your ID, select the “Start Questionnaire” button. You will be prompted to enter your 12 digit ID.
  4. You are now ready to fill out the form!


So online questionnaires and snail mail are not your thing. That’s ok – you can complete the census over the phone!

To respond by phone:

  1. Call 1-844-330-2020
  2. Follow the prompts.

If English is not your first language and you or someone you know prefer to take the census in your native tongue, there are over 15 languages available to you.  Follow the link for a complete list of languages and phone numbers.

Well, that’s it – three easy ways to fill out the census, three easy ways to make sure you are counted in the 2020 Census. 9 questions and 10 minutes of your time to determine how $675 billion dollars is divvied up between communities across the nation every year for the next 10 years.

Your voice matters. Be counted.


Does the Census Really Matter?

Do our schools matter? Our hospitals? Do roads, bridges, transportation, and community programs matter? Yes, all of these things matter. They are the foundation and building blocks of communities around the nation and without them – without proper funding for them – it can be difficult for communities to thrive and grow.

Just like schools, hospitals, and roads are important, so is the census. But first, what is the census exactly?

The U.S. census is kind of like a survey. It asks about 9 questions designed to help the government get an accurate count of how many people are living in the United States. That count includes citizens, legal residents, long-term visitors, and undocumented immigrants. The census also helps the government determine individual’s age, sex, marital status, race, income, education, and languages spoken in the home.

Why does the government need to know this about me and my family?

The data gathered from the census helps to distribute funds to communities across America. Cities and towns have programs that are funded by the federal government (think Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, food pantries, etc.) and the government has about $900,000,000,000 (that’s $900 billion) to spread out across the states – that’s a lot of zeros. The funds distributed are determined by a community’s size, income, age, and some other factors.

So, do I really need to fill out the census?

Yes! Why? Because you matter. The people living in your home matter. Back in March and the beginning of April, you should have received some mail from the 2020 Census. This is your census form. You can fill it out and pop it back in the mail. If you want to fill out the census online you can go to or, you can call 1-844-330-2020 and fill out the census over the phone.

If you prefer to speak to someone local or have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us at Central Counties Health Centers: 217-788-2300. We will be more than happy to speak you .


2020 Census

What is the census? Why is it important? Does it really affect me? What does my community get out of it? Is my information safe?

You may find yourself asking these questions, and more, wondering why the big deal surrounding the census and what’s the point if I do it anyways? Well, hopefully we can help answer some of these questions for you! In the below video, you will find some answers and other great information to boot.

Still have questions? Leave a comment below and someone from our census team will be more than happy to answer any questions you have.

Cervical Health, Jacksonville Illinois, Prevention, Screening, Springfield Illinois, Taylorville Illinois, Women's Health

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month

Nearly 13,000 women in the US are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, but the disease is virtually always preventable with vaccination and appropriate screening from your OBGYN or family physician.


Human Papillomavirus, or HPV, is a sexually transmitted infection causing 70% of cervical cancers. HPV vaccines can help prevent infection from high-risk HPV types leading to cervical cancer. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends all boys and girls, ages 11 through 14, receive the HPV vaccine as it produces a stronger immune response during these years. For this reason, only two doses of the vaccine are required. The vaccine is also available to males and females ages 15 through 45, however, three doses are required for the full preventative effect. 


Since women are at a higher risk for cervical cancer, it is recommended you see your physician for a pap test. These tests can find changes to the cells in the cervix caused by HPV and help healthcare providers know which women are at a higher risk for cervical cancer. For women over 30, it is recommended you receive either one, or both, pap and HPV tests. 

Please ask your health care provider how often you should be screened, and which tests are right for you. 

At Central Counties Health Centers, we offer both HPV vaccines and pap tests. For more information call (217) 788-2300.