Illinois looking to address public health concerns with five-year plan

Donate Today

A five-year endeavor to address major public health concerns and improve the overall wellbeing of Illinois residents could soon be in the works, pending approval from lawmakers.

Making Illinois healthier

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has created a program called “Healthy Illinois 2028.”  It consists of two parts, an assessment that has already identified five key priorities to be addressed over the next five years, and a State Health Improvement Plan for how to go about addressing those priorities.  Final versions of both have been sent to the Illinois General Assembly.

Key elements of the plan

According to a press release from the IL Department of Public Health, the five main priorities of the assessment and goals within each of them for the five-year plan are:

Chronic Disease

  1. Increase opportunities for tobacco-free living
  2. Decrease preventable chronic diseases through nutrition
  3. Increase opportunities for active living
  4. Increase community-clinical linkages to reduce the incidence and burden of chronic diseases

COVID-19 and Emerging Diseases

  1. Decrease disparate health outcomes related to COVID-19 and other communicable and emerging diseases
  2. Increase community resilience to communicable and other emerging disease threats
  3. Strengthen and improve public health system infrastructure and coordination to prepare for and respond to public health threats

Maternal and Infant Health

  1. Improve accessibility, availability, and quality of equitable reproductive health and well-woman/person preventative health care services across the reproductive lifespan
  2. Promote a comprehensive, cohesive, and equitable system of care and support services for all birthing persons to have a healthy pregnancy, labor and delivery, and through the first year postpartum
  3. Promote a comprehensive, cohesive, and equitable system of care and services to improve birth outcomes and support infants’ healthy development in their first year
  4. Strengthen workforce capacity and infrastructure to screen for, assess, and treat mental health conditions and substance use disorders among pregnant/ postpartum persons

Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder

  1. Improve the mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) system’s infrastructure to support and strengthen prevention and treatment
  2. Reduce mortality due to mental health conditions and substance use disorders through harm reduction and preventative care strategies
  3. Increase access to age-appropriate community-based care to reduce institutionalized treatment and incarceration
  4. Improve the resilience and recovery capital of communities experiencing violence

Racism as a Public Health Crisis

  1. Build the public health system’s capacity to advance health and racial equity and dismantle oppressive systems
  2. Develop and maintain a diverse and skilled public health workforce for antiracist public health to dismantle systems of oppression
  3. Address historical and ongoing practices that perpetuate environmental racism to advance environmental justice

The Illinois Public Health Institute and the University of Illinois Chicago Policy, Practice and Research Center partnered together to create both the assessment and this plan.  More details can be found here.

If you have a story idea, send us a news tip!