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.

Prevention 

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. 

Screening 

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.

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. 

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, 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.