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Central Counties Health Center, Jacksonville Illinois, Springfield Illinois, Taylorville Illinois

Central Counties Health Centers celebrates 20 years!

This year marks 20 years since Central Counties Health Centers became a federally qualified health center and moved from the basement of the First Presbyterian Church to a small medical office on the corner of 11thand Monroe (in the fall of 1999). 

In the early 1990s the Sangamon County Medical Society founded a free clinic at First Presbyterian Church to provide healthcare to those that slipped through the cracks. As the need outpaced the capacity of the volunteer clinic, community leaders came together to find a better way to serve. From this community health initiative Central Counties Health Centers was born.

In 2005 a grocery store, which had been repurposed into an auto parts warehouse, was born again as a health center. With new space came new services; general dentistry, as well as medical care, was available to everyone regardless of ability to pay. 

By 2015 Central Counties Health Center’s story began to repeat and further expansion doubled the size of the building bringing with It, behavioral health, a laboratory, and a pharmacy to 2239 E Cook Street.   

Now Central Counties Health Centers looked beyond the east side of Springfield pinpointing services to areas of need. As a result, clinics in Jacksonville and Taylorville were established and affordable dental care was made available at St. Johns’ Hospital and the Hope Pavilion.

Central Counties Health Centers now serves more than 20,000 people each year, through a myriad of programs, and is continually looking to better serve the underserved.

Timeline 

Early 1990s

Group of volunteers from the local medical society provides health care to those in need at First Presbyterian Church, Springfield, IL. 

1997

A not-for-profit organization formed called Healthy Springfield 2000 (HS 2000)

October 1999 

HS 2000 was funded as a federally qualified health center (FQHC). HS 2000 opened on Springfield’s east side. In its first full year HS 2000 provided 3,087 patients with primary care services. 

2002

HS 2000 changes its name to Central Counties Health Centers, Inc. (CCHC) with sole site being Capitol Community Health Center. CCHC serves 5,681 patients in 2002.

2003

CCHC successfully secures funding for the Health Care for the Homeless program and provides 322 homeless individuals with healthcare. 

2004

CCHC relocates to newly purchase 20,000 sq. ft. facility and adds dental services. 

2005

CCHC provides 10,044 patients with healthcare. 2,559 dental patients use the dental program. 

2010

CCHC provides 17,204 patients with healthcare. 

2014

CCHC completed construction on a project to double the size of the current facility.

2016

CCHC opened a new medical/dental site in Jacksonville, Illinois and a new dental site in St John’s Hospital in Springfield. 

2017

CCHC opened a new medical site in Taylorville, Illinois and reopened Noll Dental Clinic in Springfield. 

2018

CCHC currently employs seven physicians, nine nurse practitioners, four dentists, two registered dental hygienists, and one licensed clinical social worker. 

Central Counties Health Center, Dental Care, Jacksonville Illinois, Kids, Springfield Illinois

October is National Dental Hygiene Month

No one likes a dirty mouth, especially when it’s your own. Keeping your oral health on track is a great way to keep bacteria at bay. Without proper dental hygiene, you are putting yourself at risk of developing issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. 

So, how do you ensure a healthy mouth? 

1 Floss every day 

Flossing is something you should do every day. There are things that brushing just can’t take care of, and that’s where flossing comes in. 

2 Brush twice a day for two minutes 

Brushing your teeth twice a day doesn’t only help battle morning breath, but it also helps reduce the chances that you’ll develop gum disease. So, every morning and every night, squeeze that toothpaste onto your toothbrush and get brushing for two solid minutes. 

3 Rinse with mouthwash 

Another thing that people forget, or think is optional, is mouthwash. Aim to make rinsing with mouthwash a regular occurrence after you brush and flush. This antibacterial rinse will help your mouth clean and will do wonders for your breath. 

Here are four steps for proper brushing: 

1 For the most effective brushing, tilt the brush at a 45-degree angle. 

2 Gently move the toothbrush back and forth but be careful not to be too rough. 

3 Get inside, outside, top, bottom, and everywhere in between.

4 Lots of bacteria live on your tongue so make sure you remember to brush that too. 

At Central Counties Health Centers, we offer dental services for children and adults, which include cleanings and exams, fillings, extractions, and select restorative services. Dental services through CCHC are available at our Cook Street location in Springfield, at HSHS St John’s Hospital in Springfield, at Hope Pavilion in Springfield, and in Jacksonville. 

Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Breast self exam, Central Counties Health Center, Healthy Lifestyle, Jacksonville Illinois, Springfield Illinois, Taylorville Illinois

Breast cancer symptoms and signs

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and so there’s no better time to talk about symptoms. Many of the symptoms of breast cancer are invisible and go unnoticed without a professional screening, such as a mammogram or ultrasound. However, some symptoms can be caught early just by looking out for changes in your breasts and being proactive about your breast health. 

Symptoms and signs of breast cancer can include: 

A change in how the breast or nipple feels

  • Nipple tenderness or a lump or thickening in or near the breast or underarm area 
  • A change in the skin texture or an enlargement of pores in the skin of the breast 
  • A lump in the breast 

A change in the breast or nipple appearance 

  • Any unexplained change in the size or shape of the breast 
  • Dimpling anywhere on the breast 
  • Unexplained swelling of the breast 
  • Unexplained shrinkage of the breast 
  • Recent asymmetry of the breasts 
  • A nipple that is slightly inward or inverted 
  • The skin of the breasts, areola, or nipple that becomes scaly, red, or swollen or may have ridges or pitting resembling the skin of an orange 

Any nipple discharge – particularly clear or bloody discharge 

It is also important to note that a milky discharge present when a woman is not breastfeeding should be checked by her doctor, although it is unlikely linked with breast cancer. 

Most often these symptoms are not due to cancer, but any symptom you do notice should be investigated immediately. If you have any of these symptoms tell your healthcare provider so that you can receive a diagnosis and treatment. 

There are several resources available online, but if you do have any questions do not hesitate to speak with your healthcare provider. 

Central Counties Health Center, Get in shape, Healthy Lifestyle, Kids, Summer Health

Childhood obesity is a serious issue

About one in five, equivalent to 19%, children in the US are obese. Children with obesity are at higher risk for having other chronic health conditions and diseases, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone, and joint problems, and type 2 diabetes. They also have more risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. 

Children with obesity are more likely to have obesity as adults, this can lead to lifelong physical and mental health problems. Adult obesity is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancers. 

Childhood obesity is influenced by many factors including eating and physical activity, genetics, metabolism, family and home environment, and community and social factors. For some, obesity may be influenced by: 

  • Too much time spent being inactive 
  • Lack of sleep 
  • Lack of places to go in the community and get physical activity
  • Easy access to inexpensive, high-calorie foods and sugary beverages
  • Lack of access to affordable, healthier foods 

There are ways you can help ensure your children are a healthy weight: 

  • Be aware of your child’s growth 
  • Provide nutritious, lower-calorie foods such as fruits and vegetables in place of foods high in added sugars and solid fats. 
  • Make sure drinking water is always available as an alternative to sugary beverages and limit juice intake. 
  • Help children get the recommended amount of physical activity each day. 
  • Be a role model. Eat healthy meals and snacks and get the right amount of physical activity every day. 

Eating healthy on a budget is doable 

Make a plan before heading to the store: 

  • Plan your weekly meals 
  • Make a grocery list – and stick to it 
  • Look for discounts and deals 

Central Counties Health Centers receives deliveries of fresh fruit and vegetables from the Central Illinois Foodbank every Tuesday and Thursday. You can grab what you need at the Cook Street location year-round. 

If you have any concerns about your child’s eating habits or involvement in physical activities speak with your health provider.  

Central Counties Health Center, Children's Health, Healthy Lifestyle, Kids, Springfield Illinois

September is Fruits & Veggies – More Matter Month!

Most Americans don’t eat enough fruits and veggies. Fewer than one in four adults eat the recommended amount of fruits every day and fewer than one in seven eat the recommended amount of vegetables every day. It might seem that fruits and vegetables are too expensive to include in your diet, but there are ways to do so on a budget. 

Why is it important to eat more fruits and veggies? 

  • To stay strong and active – healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables have the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs 
  • To lower your health risks – eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables can help lower your risk of chronic health conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes 
  • To manage your weight – eating healthy and being physically active can help you stay healthy 
  • To set a positive example – if you have children, how you eat can impact their food choices for years to come, so set them up for success! 

It may surprise you but eating fruits and vegetables doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many affordable options. It is also easy to include more fruits and veggies in your diet. Buy ready to eat fruits and vegetables, such as bananas and apples, or add chopped veggies to a pasta sauce. 

Here are seven ways to get more fruits and veggies in your life: 

1 Try a new veggie recipe – try the recipe with a new vegetable (one in season)

2 Keep a bowl of fruit handy where the whole family can see it 

3 Cut up fruits and vegetables to grab and eat on the go 

4 Frozen fruit and veggies are just as good for you as fresh ones so great for making smoothies or adding to sauces

5 Involve the children in preparing meals and educate them about what they are eating  

6 Plant tomatoes, beans, and lettuces in your yard, or in pots on your deck, or balcony and you will have a supply of fresh veggies next summer 

7 Buy seasonal fruit and veg as it is much cheaper – and tastier than out of season produce 

Did you know that Central Counties Health Centers receives deliveries of fresh fruit and vegetables from the Central Illinois Foodbank every Tuesday and Thursday? You can come and grab what you need for FREE at the Cook Street location year-round. This is a great resource for anyone struggling to afford enough food for their families and wanting to also provide nutritional meals. 

Central Counties Health Center, Children's Health, Flu Season, Healthy Lifestyle, Jacksonville Illinois, Springfield Illinois, Taylorville Illinois

Flu season is approaching!

Believe it or not, flu season is approaching so it’s time to book your child’s flu shot. At Central Counties Health Centers, we are expecting to begin administering flu shots to children by the end of September. 

Children younger than five years of age – especially those younger than two years old – are at high risk of serious flu-related complications. The flu vaccine offers the best defense against getting flu and spreading it to others. Getting vaccinated can reduce flu illness, visits to the doctor, missed work and school days, and prevent flu-related hospitalizations. 

The flu is more dangerous than the common cold for children. Complications from the flu among children under five years of age can include pneumonia, dehydration, worsening long-term medical problems such as heart disease and asthma, brain dysfunction, sinus problems, and ear infections, and in rare cases, it can lead to death. The CDC recommends that everyone six months of age or older get a seasonal flu vaccine each year by the end of October. 

Flu vaccines are updated each season as necessary to protect against influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common. Immunity from the flu vaccination sets in after about two weeks. 

We encourage all adults to utilize Schnucks pharmacy for their flu vaccine. 

If you have any questions about the flu vaccine, please speak with your health care provider. 

Central Counties Health Center, Jacksonville Illinois, Kids, Springfield Illinois, Taylorville Illinois

Why do community health centers play such a vital role?

The first full week in August marks National Health Centers Week and provides an opportunity for us to reflect on the positive impact centers, such as Central Counties Health Centers, make on communities. Celebrating its 20th year, CCHC began in the basement of a church and was started by a group of physicians that saw a need for health care for the underserved. Two decades on and with purpose-built faculties serving 16,000-plus patients across Central Illinois each year CCHC has come a long way in providing primary and preventative medical and dental services.  

Staff at CCHC, like all community health centers, are on the frontline treating veterans, the homeless, children, addicts, and those most in need. We aim to reduce unnecessary hospitalization and emergency room visits, treat patients for a fraction of the average cost of an emergency room visit, lower the cost of children’s primary care, and serve the homeless and veterans. 

We are proud to be among those community health centers successfully managing chronic disease and medically vulnerable communities to help reduce health care costs for all. 

We are located in Springfield at 2239 E. Cook St, Hope Pavilion on South 6thSt, and Jacksonville and Taylorville. We also offer clinics at the Family Guidance Center, Salvation Army, and Helping Hands in Springfield. Our dental services are also available at HSHS St John’s Hospital in Springfield.