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 http://www.2020census.gov 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.

Central Counties Health Center, Healthy Lifestyle, Hydration, Men's Health, Springfield Illinois, Summer Health, Uncategorized

5 ways to stay hydrated in summer

It’s summer and that means temperatures are set to soar. If you’re working outside or spending more time outdoors with the kids during vacation, it’s important to stay hydrated or you could develop dehydration. Here are signs of dehydration to look out for and ways to help you stay hydrated during the warmer months.

Signs of dehydration include:

•    Feeling thirsty 

•    Dry mouth 

•    Feeling tired or sleepy 

•    Needing to go to the bathroom less often 

•    Headache 

•    Dizziness 

Here are ways to combat dehydration while at home, work, or on the go. 

1 Always carry a water bottle with you. If you have a bottle of water within arm’s reach, you’re more likely to stay hydrated and not get thirsty, which is an indication you are dehydrated. It is probably a good idea to drink half your body weight in ounces daily. 

Central Counties Health Center's 5 Tips for Staying Hydrated this Summer

2 Your food choices account for your intake of daily fluid. Luckily, many of the foods that are naturally rich in water are in season during the summer months, which makes them not only more accessible but affordable. Melon, cucumber, tomatoes, and strawberries are all rich in water. 

3 Keep an eye on the color of your urine. If you’re urinating every hour to two hours and your urine is a light color, you’re probably taking on sufficient water. However, if the color is darker and you’re urinating less frequently you could probably do with taking on more fluid. 

4 Coffee and alcohol are diuretics, which means they will not hydrate you. If you do choose to drink coffee or alcohol, make sure you are taking on plenty of water to counteract the effects of these drinks.

Springfield Illinois, Uncategorized

FREE activities available to the public in Springfield and Jacksonville

Each month there are free activities available to the public in Springfield and Jacksonville that many may not know about.  Here are some highlights for this month and next month – be sure to check some of them out!


Saturday, February 9 from 2pm to close

The Barnes & Noble Kids’ Book Hangout in Springfield

Grades 1 to 6 discover your favorite book with 20% off all young reader titles

Enjoy fun games and activities and more surprises, FREE book swag and confetti cupcakes for a $1.


Lincoln Library, The Public Library of Springfield, IL

Spring story time with reading, writing, talking, singing, and play!

Toddler story time Mondays at 10.15am

Infant story time Mondays at 11am

Preschool Storytime Thursday at 10.30am

No registration required.


Tuesday, February 12

FREE admission to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum to celebrate Lincoln’s Birthday

10am to 2pm Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln will be on site

10am to 3pm games, crafts and history detective for kids

1pm to 2pm Navy Band Great Lakes Woodwind Quintet & Brass Quintet performance


Tuesday, February 12 7pm to 7.30pm at Jacksonville Public Library 201 W College Ave, Jacksonville, IL

Kids’ Corner: Stir It Up

This is a monthly cooking group for kids and their adults. In February the group is making snack mix squares and decorating recipe boxes.


Thursday, February 14

Senior Services of Central Illinois in Springfield

1950s and 1960s Valentine Fun Day from 11am to 1pm in the dining room.

There will be a twist contest, mashed potato contest, swim dance contest, green rivers, and cherry cokes.


Prom it Forward

The downtown YMCA in Springfield wants each girl to find the perfect prom dress, shoes, and accessories for their big night.

There are three different days where dresses and accessories will be available in exchange for a minimum donation to Strong Kids. Girls are welcome to shop on more than one occasion. Shop dates are:

February 24 from 1 to 3pm

March 24 from 1 to 3pm

April 28 from 1 to 3pm

For more information contact Allison Buzick at abuzick@springfieldymca.org


Saturday, March 30th from 1pm to 3pm at the downtown YMCA 701 S. 4th St

Junior Leagues Kids in the Kitchen

The Junior League of Springfield is inviting Springfield and surrounding area children and their families to participate in its 2019 Kids in the Kitchen event. Kids will learn about making healthy choices. The four activity stations will include healthy habits for eating, hand washing, exercising, and more. Ages five to 12. FREE admission.

Register online and obtain more details at Facebook.com/JLSIL


St Patrick’s Day craft class at Jacksonville Public Library Meeting Room

Wednesday, February 20

Contact Bridget on 217-243-5435 for more information

Healthy Lifestyle, Polar Vortex, Springfield Illinois, Staying Warm, Uncategorized, Weather

Stay warm and safe during the cold snap

With more freezing temperatures expected this week we want everyone to stay warm and safe during the cold snap.

First and foremost, if you have elderly neighbors, family or friends close by check on them, especially if they have health problems. It’s important they take their medicines regularly and eat enough warm food.

Hot meals keep you warm so make sure you are having at least one hot meal a day and drinking plenty too. Try to get plenty of nutrients and vitamins by including a range of foods in your diet. Aim for five portions of fruit or veg a day and remember that frozen fruit and vegetables are as good as fresh.

In winter it’s not unusual to feel down so try to keep to your routine and if you can’t visit family or friends give them a call. It can really help to do something you enjoy every day.

If you’re stuck indoors get up from the sofa at least once an hour to stretch your legs.

It’s important you put several layers of clothing on when you do venture outdoors, especially children. Make sure their head, neck, and hands are covered. Scarves and hood strings can strangle small children so use other clothing to keep them warm. Clothes made from cotton, wool, or fleece help maintain body heat.

Kids will often want to play outside in the snow even if they are cold, make sure you are checking them so that they don’t get too cold.

Keep youngsters hydrated; in drier winter air kids lose more water through their breath. Keep them drinking and trying warm drinks or soup.

If you aren’t mobile, 65 or older, or have health issues heat your home to at least 65 degrees. Keep your bedroom at this temperature all night if possible. Close blinds or draw curtains at dusk and keep doors closed to block out draughts.

Children, those with health issues, and the elderly are most at risk during cold weather so do whatever you can to keep them safe and warm.

Central Counties Health Center, Get in shape, Healthy Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Six simple tips for getting in shape after the holidays

We all know how easy it is to overindulge during the holidays. That’s why we’ve put together six simple habits that will help you feel healthier, increase your energy levels, and set you up for a great year.


Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water. Your body functions best when it’s hydrated. Drinking plenty of water flushes out toxins and excess sodium (salt). It also helps ease constipation.


Eat fiber-rich foods

During the holidays it was probably more of a challenge to stick with your regular eating habits. Your intake may have included foods with high sugar content and less fiber, especially if you were eating a lot of processed foods.


Eat regularly

During the holidays it’s more challenging to stick to a schedule. You should be eating breakfast within an hour of waking up and eating every three to five hours throughout the day. Start your day with a healthy meal, not one packed with sugar. Evenly spaced meals will help regulate your blood sugar and insulin levels and level out your appetite.


Get enough sleep

It’s really important to get the right amount of sleep. If you have some catching up to do that’s ok. But also make sure you’re not oversleeping.


Plan to exercise

If your exercise plan went out of the window, it’s time to get back on track. If you’re struggling to get back to your routine there’s no harm in creating a plan. Your workout regime will depend on your health, age, diet, schedule, and goals. If the weather is preventing you from heading outdoors you could walk in the mall or follow a workout on YouTube at home.


Be kind to yourself

If your intention is to improve your overall health in 2019 don’t be too hard on yourself. Take it one step at a time. You can make big improvements to your diet by making small changes. If you’re not used to working out start slow; take a walk around the block during your lunch hour, kick a ball around the park with the grandkids, or find a beginners exercise class on YouTube. When it comes to your diet the best policy is eat a balanced one with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, not too much sugar or saturated fat, lots of fiber, and don’t forget protein.

5K Run, Fundraiser, Movember, Springfield Illinois, Turkey Trot, Uncategorized

Are you moving for Movember?

Around the world, men die an average six years younger than women, and for reasons that are largely preventable. Which also means we can take action to live happier, healthier and longer lives. November is Movember a movement started by two friends in Australia in 2003. By 2007 the movement had reached the US and now more than 5 million men across the world are growing mustaches to raise awareness of men’s health issues. As well as growing a mustache you can commit to running or walking 60 miles during November – that’s 60 miles for the 60 men lost to suicide every hour. And better yet, you can achieve some of those miles during our 5k Turkey Trot in Washington Park on Saturday, November 17 – so make sure you sign up!


We also understand it can be difficult to keep track of your health so here are five things to know and do:


Make man time

Stay connected. Your friends are important and spending time with them is good for you.


Have open conversations

Being there for someone, listening, and giving your time can be lifesaving.


Know your numbers

Talk to your doctor about prostate cancer at 50 and whether it’s right for you to have a PSA test. If you are African American or have a father or brother with prostate cancer, you should have a conversation with your doctor at 45.


Know your body

Get to know what’s normal for you. Check yourself regularly and see a doctor if something doesn’t feel right.



Add more activity to your day; walk to a meeting, skip the elevator and take the stairs, or cycle to work instead of driving.


For more information about Movember, the positive impact it’s having, and how to get involved visit: https://us.movember.com