First I’ll provide a little background on the Healthy Chicago public health agenda. Then I will discuss our recent accomplishments and will provide disparities data where relevant. Then I want to briefly discuss next steps.
Our most recent tobacco prevention victory was earlier this month when City Council voted 45 to 4 to ban e-cig use wherever traditional tobacco products are currently prohibited.
The 50th anniversary of the Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health was just this month. A new report– The Health Consequences of Smoking- 50 Years of Progress– emphasizes that smoking is still a huge public health issue. Chicago was specifically recognized, however, by Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for our work on smoking. We are consistently recognized as the nation’s leader in public health efforts on tobacco use.
Our efforts on obesity focus on making it easier to eat healthy foods and be physically active….
Complete streets is about making Chicago streets safer for all users. We know safety is a critical consideration is the healthiest modes of transportation – biking and walking.
Chicago Streets for Cycling Plan 20202012 citywide network plan of 600 miles of bike facilities Safe and comfortable for all ChicagoansFocus on protected bike lanes and neighborhood greenways
More recent CPS data shows that obesity rates among CPS’s youngest students are decreasing. Over the past 10 years, obesity rates in kindergarten-aged students have dropped from 24% to 19.1%.In 2003, nearly one in four students was obese by the time they entered school. By 2012, that number had fallen to less than one in five. This means that over 1,000 children started the school year in 2012 at a healthier weight than they would have in 2003.And it is essential to note that this decline is being felt by all racial and ethnic groups, including African American and Hispanic children, who have historically had disproportionately high rates of obesity.
Access to care is of course affected by health insurance. Populations more likely to be low-income such as Hispanic and NH Black have higher rates of uninsured, because most health insurance is through employers, so these groups primarily work without insurance benefits, or insurance was too costly for them.We think the Affordable Care Act will make a significant difference in the proportion of people, overall, without insurance.(506,371 total)
We are helping people enroll in health insurance through our Enroll Chicago! Program….As of November, 125,000 applications submitted to state for approval. Officials say the expansion will generate $468 million next year for the county’s health programs, reducing the burden on taxpayers.
In June 2013, the Illinois Department of Public Health amended the Illinois Administrative Code Section 693.130. The amendment allows minors 12 years of age or older who may have come into contact with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) give consent to medical care or counseling related to the diagnosis, treatment, or vaccination against an STI. This means that minors 12 years and older are now able to consent to vaccinations for HPV if they are seeking STI treatment.
Assessments to determine compliance two days a week.
On June 5, 2013, Chicago became one of the first U.S. cities to pass a comprehensive bed bug ordinance, which will go into effect on December 23, 2013University of IL Asthma grant $4M to test asthmas interventions – including home visits to address asthma triggers.
Pharmaceutical drop boxes are now available at all Chicago police stations to allow citywide accessibility for the proper disposal of expired and unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Since 2008, the drop boxes were located in just five police stations…
Another strategy of Healthy Chicago is to increase the availability of public health data through the City’s website.To that end, we now make use of the City’s Open Data Portal to push out frequent updates of indicator data related to births, deaths, infectious diseases, environmental health, hospital discharges, and public health assets.The way it works, we don’t provide any data directly to the Chicago Health Atlas website; the developers subscribe to our feed on the Data Portal, and can update their views with new data as it becomes available.
1 of 22 health departments in the country accredited. This is an outstanding achievement for our department but our work has just begun. Being accredited means that we continue to strive to improve our work and to ensure we are always meeting PHAB standards.
These are the themes that have been very important in our work: Partnerships, Policy, Technology and Public Awareness. Each of these components plays a distinctive and critical role to the success of our work at the Chicago Department of Public Health. However, one component alone does not provide a success, but it is the sum of all these components working together that has and will continue to help us transform the health of Chicago and attain our goal of making Chicago the healthiest city in the nation.
In addition to our external partnerships, we also have developed a City-wide Interagency group that collaboratively works on improving the health of all Chicagoans.
Partnerships play an immensely important role in all of the Department’s work. We currently are actively engaged with hundreds of different organizations.
And the list just keeps growing…. In a time of limited resources at the local, state, and federal levels, partnerships are especially critical to keeping our work progressing.
Building a Healthier Chicago
Bechara Choucair, MD
Chicago Department of Public Health