The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is helping spread awareness about health issues that impact minority communities at higher rates than others during National Minority Health Month.
Per an IDPH press release, Illinois’s racial and ethnic minorities make up 39 percent of the state’s population, but share higher rates of disease burden such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, stroke, HIV, substance abuse, infant mortality, and low birth weight. Although health indicators such as life expectancy and infant mortality have improved for most Americans, minorities still experience shorter life expectancy and higher rates of disability compared with non-minorities.
“We are committed to the vital work of raising awareness through outreach and education, and fostering public/private partnerships across the state in order to advance health equity and eliminate health disparities” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D in the release. “I also want to recognize our valuable partners who are committed to the cause and doing great work in our communities.”
IDPH is holding events throughout the state this month to help spread awareness on these issues. Locally, there will be events in Beardstown the next two weeks.
On Friday, April 20, there will be a National Minority Health Month Open House at the Cass County Health Department (8590 St. Lukes Drive, Beardstown). On Tuesday, April 24 at the JBS Meat Packing Plant (8295 Arenzville Rd, Beardstown), there will be a National Minority Health Month Outreach. There volunteers will distribute information on HIV and Hepatitis B to JBS Workers, and will provide prevention information and testing resources. That will be 1-4 p.m. that day.