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. 

Healthy Lifestyle, Jacksonville Illinois, Men's Health, Springfield Illinois, Taylorville Illinois

Men’s Health Month

We are already half-way through 2019 (what!?) and boy, it’s been a year! January brought us National Blood Donor Month, Black History Month was in February. In March we celebrated Women, we told jokes and pulled pranks in April, and our nation honored America’s fallen Heroes in May. Oh June, what do you have in store for us? Let’s see, it’s Dairy Month, Adopt a Cat Month, Turkey Lovers Month – legit, and a plethora of other crazy and whacky holidays. Most importantly though, it is Men’s Health Month. So men, let’s talk about Y-O-U for a bit! 

The Nitty Gritty…

  • General Health: The average life expectancy for men is 76.2 years – that’s five years less than women. Why? Because men have higher death rates for all 15 leading causes of death in men and women (think heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.). 
  • NOTE: Men, MOST of your health issues are preventable by seeing a General Practitioner yearly, however, some of you don’t like taking time off of work. Seriously. According to Men’s Health Forum, because of not taking the time needed, 53% of women have seen their GP in the last three months versus 37% of men. 

Men and Mental Health – It’s Time to Talk About It: 

There are 151,781,326 men in the United States. Six million of you will be affected by depression this year alone. 

The 5 major mental health issues affecting men are: 

  • Depression – Male depression often goes undiagnosed. Symptoms in men are more likely to include irritability, fatigue, and/or loss of interest in work, hobbies and/or sex. 
  • Anxiety – Approximately 19.1 million adults ages 18-54 suffer from some form of anxiety. 
  • Bipolar Disorder (BPD) – BPD affects men and women equally. BPD and PTSD often have the same signs and symptoms. It is important you see a licensed psychiatrist who specializes in both disorders so a proper diagnosis can be given.
  • Psychosis and Schizophrenia – 3.5 million people are diagnosed with schizophrenia; 9% of those who are diagnosed are men under 30. 
  • Eating Disorders – Males account for 10% of patients with anorexia and bulimia and account for 35% of all binge eating disorders. 

Suicide is the 7th leading cause of death among men.

  • More than four times as many men die by suicide than women, in fact, in 2010 of the 38,364 reported suicides in the US, 79% of these suicides were by men. Gay and Bisexual men are also more likely to develop mental health disorders than heterosexual males and they are also at a greater risk for suicide attempts. Veterans are also at a greater risk of suicide with 22 deaths per day. 

Low levels of testosterone are correlated with depression, stress, and mood swings, especially among older men. 

Men are less likely than women to seek help for depression, substance abuse, and stressful life events due to social norms, reluctance to talk, and downplaying symptoms. 

Domestic ViolenceOne in four men will suffer from some form of domestic violence. This can include slapping, shoving, pushing, verbal & emotional violence, stalking, etc. 

NOTE: There is no shame in seeking help. Physical, verbal, and/or emotional violence is never ok. If you or someone you know is a victim of any type of domestic abuse, please reach out to someone you can trust or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for help: 1-800-799-7233.

But Wait. There’s Good News…

These numbers don’t have to stay this way. Let’s take some time and see our General Practitioner on a regular basis and get consistent checkups. Use these checkups to talk to your doctor about health concerns and issues you may be having. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing violence at home; talk to your doctor if you are having thoughts of suicide, irrational outbursts of anger, or have lost interest in the things you love to do. Regular checkups could save your life. 

Other Ways to Keep your Mind & Body Healthy: 

  • Sleep – Everyone is different, but on average, adults needs seven to nine hours of sleep. Adequate sleep can help prevent diseases such as: 
    • Chronic Conditions
    • Diabetes
    • Cardiovascular Disease
    • Obesity
    • Depression
  • Move More – We need at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. 
  • Drink Water – Getting enough water every day is important for your health. Water helps regulate temperature, lubricates and cushions your joints, helps with brain function, helps control your calorie intake, and has so many more health benefits. 

Tame Your Stress – The best ways to manage your stress is through self-care:

  • Avoid drugs and alcohol 
  • Stay connected 
  • Seek help 
  • Stay active

Take care of you 

  • Toss out tobacco – Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits. It reduces your risk of cancers, lung disease, heart disease, and other smoking related illnesses. 
  • Eat to thrive – Getting enough of the good stuff is crucial. Focus on nutrients rather than calories. Fruits and veggies have many vitamins and minerals that may help protect you from chronic illness. 
  • Enjoy yourself – Participate in fun activities you enjoy every day. Take a hike, bike, get active in a sports team, relax, listen to music, visit friends and family. Look forward to each and every day. 

Resources: 

  • General Health Provider: 217-788-2800. Call Central Counties Health Centers and we will be happy to make an appointment for you. No insurance? No problem! We provide health services to ANYONE regardless of your ability to pay. 
  • Domestic Violence Help: If you are in immediate danger dial 9-1-1. If you feel comfortable reaching out to your physician, coworker, friend or family, please, do so immediately. If you would like to talk to the National Domestic Violence Hotline dial 1-800-799-7233.  
  • Mental Health Help: If you need immediate assistance dial 9-1-1. If you have thoughts of suicide and would like to talk to someone call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Talk to a friend, coworker, family member, pastor, or anyone you trust and please do so now – don’t wait. Talk to your physician if you are having issues with anxiety, stress, depression, and/or thoughts of suicide.                

Someone cares about you. Someone wants you here.

Flu Season, Springfield Illinois, Taylorville Illinois

Flu season isn’t over yet!

We don’t yet know if flu season has peaked. There’s still time to get the flu shot if you are at risk. Everyone six months or older should get vaccinated. Furthermore, the CDC recommends that children under two and individuals with medical conditions should also get a pneumococcal vaccination to prevent pneumonia. 

If you get the flu you’ll know about it. Flu symptoms are much worse than the common cold. They come on suddenly, whereas cold symptoms are gradual. If you have flu you can expect a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, chills, and aching muscles. If you suspect that you have the flu call your healthcare provider as they may want to prescribe antiviral drugs to help reduce the severity and duration of your illness. 

If you are still planning on getting a flu shot do so sooner rather than later because it takes 10 to 14 days for your body to develop immunity. Getting the flu shot doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get the flu but if you do it may lessen the severity of your illness. 

In addition to getting vaccinated, there are measures you can take to limit exposure to the virus. Flu germs spread when people who are sick don’t cover their mouth and nose when they sneeze and cough. If you use a tissue make sure you dispose of it quickly and wash your hands. If there is no tissue use the crook of your elbow. 

As a general rule, it’s a good idea to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Flu germs can live for two to eight hours on hard services, which is why the illness can spread so easily. Wash your hands regularly and teach your children to do the same. The most effective way to wash your hands is run them under warm water, add soap, scrub for at least 20 seconds, rinse and dry. It’s important to wash your hands every time you use the bathroom, before you eat, and when you arrive home.

If family or friends have symptoms stay away until they are back to full health. If someone in your immediate family is sick keep them home, limit close contact, change sleeping arrangements if necessary, and avoid sharing washcloths, towels, dishes, toys, and utensils. Most people remain contagious up to a week after their first symptoms. 

Clean frequently to avoid the spread of germs. Disinfect (or throw away) kitchen sponges and dishcloths, and regularly clean cutting boards, surfaces, floors, sinks, and toilets. 

In addition to the above, make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, drink lots of fluids, exercise regularly and manage your stress. 

Springfield Illinois, Taylorville Illinois

2018 was a fantastic year for Central Counties Health Centers

As 2018 comes to a close we’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our patients, staff, and providers for another fantastic year at Central Counties Health Centers (CCHC).

This year we served more patients than any other year prior and grew to over 100 staff members across all locations.

We celebrated one year of service at our Hope Dental Pavilion and Taylorville locations, expanded our hours in Jacksonville and at St. John’s Hospital Dental Clinic, and added pediatrics to our Taylorville and Jacksonville locations.

We implemented a Medication Assisted Treatment program to help address the opioid epidemic. We also embedded a patient navigator staff into the emergency room at St. John’s Hospital in order to create a seamless transition from ER to a CCHC medical home – as well as increasing access to other much-needed services. We successfully completed an Operational Site Visit  – indicating CCHC is in compliance with all regulations and continues to provide quality, affordable health care for our community.

We partnered with Central Illinois Foodbank to provide access to fresh produce on a regular basis at the health center to our patients. We joined forces with SIU School of Medicine Endocrinology Department to provide access to free Diabetes Education classes for CCHC patients – our next class is on Tuesday, January 15 and if you are interested in participating please call calling Vickie at 788-2381 and leave your name and number.

We also explored telehealth options, which will further increase access to health care for those in need and hosted several legislators touring the facility and learning more about CCHC over the past year.

We’re looking forward to 2019 and celebrating 20 years of service to our community.

Merry Christmas and a very happy new year from all of us at CCHC!