—  May 19, 2016  —
May is
Hepatitis Awareness Month
CDC Hepatitis Page
Mental Health Month
CARE4Kane brings partners together  
How can we best use the vast academic resources in Kane County to forge connections for data-driven decisions? The CARE4Kane initiative will gather partners from all corners of the community to reach the common goal.  
The second meeting of CARE4Kane Symposium was held Monday, April 25, at the Aurora Police Department. CARE stands for Community Action Research and Evaluation. This was an opportunity for community partners and university faculty and students to explore common interests, such as database analysis, surveys, program evaluation, research and more. Forty six people attended, representing Northern Illinois University, Aurora University, Loyola University, Waubonsee Community College, Benedictine University and Northeastern Illinois University, Advocate Sherman Hospital, Presence St. Joseph, Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, local school districts, plus county departments.

There were five presentations given on topics that were created as a result of the previous meeting in October:
   Development of an Animal Control Emergency Plan
 Impact of the built environment on child nutrition and physical activity among
  WIC (Women, Infants and Children) participants
 Kane County Jail data analysis
 Promoting the use of shelter animals for empathy training for juvenile offenders
 Analysis and health brokering
The Web site portal will be live in August, and the next CARE4Kane Symposium will be Sept. 23. For more information, please contact Kane County Health Department Executive Director Barbara Jeffers
at jeffersbarbara@co.kane.il.us
Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP)
progress being made on all fronts
The Kane Health Counts Executive Committee is overseeing the Action Teams that are tackling the health priorities identified in the Community Health Assessment (CHA). Using the data from this assessment, the teams are in the process of developing objectives and strategies for the CHIP.

The Action Teams’ health priorities are chronic disease (specifically around obesity and diabetes), behavioral health (combining substance abuse and mental health), and income and education, which were chosen after reviewing the data collected by the CHA. Working with these priorities in mind, the teams are digging into the objectives, determining the paths to take in the near and far terms. For example: Where do we want to be in three years? Six years? Nine years?
Additionally, more resources are continuously being loaded onto the data platform at KaneHealthCounts.org. Please log on for yourself to see the wealth of information available on this valuable Web site.

Meanwhile, the work never stops. The Executive Committee, which includes representatives from Rush-Copley Medical Center, Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, Advocate Sherman Hospital, Presence Mercy Medical Center, Presence St. Joseph Medical Center, the Inc. Board, other community partners, and the Health Department, will be looking into the future as it plans for the next cycle of assessments.

The next meeting of the Executive Committee is May 23.

A growing movement: Preventing chronic diseases

Active lifestyle and healthy diet are keys to chronic disease prevention. In addition to promoting local gardens and farmers’ markets, Fit for Kids and KCHD are working with Seven Generations Ahead (SGA) to implement the Farm to School Program here in Kane County.

SGA is one of 74 projects in 39 states that received support through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Program, in an effort to better connect school cafeterias and students with local farmers and ranchers to bring the freshest of fruits and vegetables to our children.

Too many children have never had fresh food. The Farm to School Program in Carpentersville and East and West and Aurora focuses on those kids who need it the most. The Farm to School Program is complemented by the community gardens and farmers’ markets throughout the county. These are some of the best ways to ensure that your family can get the fresh fruits and vegetables it needs to maintain a healthy diet. The Health Department’s garden on Highland Avenue in Aurora, for example, has 91 plots, all of which are assigned. Many of the plots are being worked by refugees.
The concept of community gardens is getting more popular all the time, as local businesses, churches and park districts start their own and expand existing ones. They are recognizing the importance of fresh foods to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

For more info, click HERE.
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