Happy Spring to you all! I hope you are enjoying warmer days and more sunshine.
This past week, IPHA hosted a visiting student from Northwestern University in Evanston, Arielle Zimmerman. Arielle is a junior at Northwestern and is studying sociology, with a focus on the sociology of health care. Upon graduation, Arielle hopes to pursue a career in public health or health care policy. While visiting IPHA, Arielle learned about our public health policy initiatives, our upcoming Legislative Action Day on April 20th, our programmatic initiatives (such as our HIV/AIDS, Komen, and third-party billing work), and our AmeriCorps program. IPHA was thrilled to host Arielle and we see this as an important activity in our strategic plan goal to lead efforts in workforce development to grow and sustain the public health system in Illinois.
Also this past week, as part of IPHA’s Immunization Billing Project, we released a billing capacity survey to all local health departments in Illinois. We are asking for your help in completing this survey that gathers information on third-party billing practices at local health departments. IPHA will use the results from this survey to continue to build the capacity of billing programs at local health departments statewide and to secure additional funding to assist in these important revenue-capture endeavors.
Finally, as we look toward next week and the beginning of April, the Governor has issued a proclamation declaring April 2016 as Minority Health Month in Illinois. We know that significant health disparities exist among minority groups - including differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of preventable health conditions and diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and HIV/AIDS – and working with our public health partners, IPHA has a strategic goal to advance the practice of public health to improve health equity. Please join us in recognizing Minority Health Month in April, and please join us in our efforts to improve health equity and make Illinois a healthier state for all of our citizens!