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. 

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

National Handwashing Awareness Week

It’s not the most glamorous subject, we admit, but boy is it important. Here’s why handwashing should not be ignored. 

Experts recommend washing your hands with soap and clean water for at least 20 seconds. Be sure to get a good lather going and clean the back of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Dry your hands using a clean towel. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls handwashing a “do-it-yourself vaccine” and suggests using five easy steps: 

  1. Wet
  2. Lather
  3. Scrub 
  4. Rinse 
  5. Dry 

The four principles of handwashing are:

  • Wash your hands when they are dirty and before you eat (of feed a child)
  • Do not cough into hands 
  • Do not sneeze into hands 
  • Do not put your fingers in your eyes, nose, or mouth 

So why do we need to wash our hands? 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, handwashing can prevent one in three diarrhea-related illnesses and one in five infections, including the flu. 

The CDC also reports that only 31% of men and 65% of women wash their hands after using a public restroom. 

A typical human sneeze exits the body at about 200 miles per hour and emits around 40,000 droplets into the air. 

Thinks of how many things you touch during an average day. Now imagine how many of those things were touched by other people’s hands. Yuck! Remember to wash your hands to prevent the spread of germs. 

Children's Health, Diabetes, Get in shape, Healthy Lifestyle, Jacksonville Illinois, Men's Health, Springfield Illinois, Taylorville Illinois

Diabetes is a leading cause of death in the US

One in 10 Americans has diabetes, which is equivalent to 30 million people. It can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health problems if not controlled. It is estimated 84 million adults in the US are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, people who are at risk for type 2 diabetes can lower their risk by more than half if they make healthy changes such as eating healthy, getting more physical activity, and losing weight. 

So, what are the symptoms of diabetes? 

•    Urinating often 

•    Feeling very thirsty 

•    Feeling very hungry – even though you are eating 

•    Extreme fatigue 

•    Blurry vision 

•    Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal

•    Weight loss – even though you are eating more (type 1) 

•    Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2) 

Early detection and treatment of diabetes can decrease the risk of developing complications of diabetes. 

Although there are many similarities between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, the cause of each is very different – as is the treatment. Women with gestational diabetes often have no symptoms, which is why it’s important for at-risk women to be tested at the proper time during pregnancy. 

If you have any questions or concerns about diabetes symptoms speak with your health provider. At Central Counties Health Centers we offer FREE diabetes education classes each month. These take place at our Cook Street location and are taught by the SIU School of Medicine dieticians. You can reserve a seat at our next class by calling Vickie at 217-788-2381. Please leave a message and your name and number. Be sure to mention that you would like to attend the diabetic class.

There is a $50 gift card drawing at the end of each class, but you must attend the entire class to be eligible. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for class dates. 

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.


Early 1990s

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


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. 


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.


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


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


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


CCHC provides 17,204 patients with healthcare. 


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


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


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


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.