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Public health involves a very broad range of services that impact many societies throughout the country. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is comprised of various fundamental programs that provide community services such as vaccinations, food, water and drug safety, health care licensing, infectious disease control, statistical health analyses, genetic screening, and programs for special health needs of women. All these systems put together allow the IDPH system to assume major responsibility for the quality of life in Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Public Health Agency and its Role IDPH – 1800’s.The State Board of Health was established in 1877 and, for the first time, public health became a permanent responsibility of the state government. The board was responsible for regulating the practice of medicine and promoting sanitation to control and prevent disease. The first issues dealt by the department were the outbreaks of smallpox, polio and tuberculosis, and unsanitary water and milk supplies. After an outbreak of yellow fever in Cairo, the state set up quarantines to assess the development and spread of dangerously infectious diseases.For its first two years of operation, the board received a funding of $5,000 (IDPH, 2006). In November of 1881, the State Board of Health ordered that every child that attended public schools in Illinois after Jan.

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1, 1882, must show “proper and successful” vaccination of smallpox. Because of the large influx of immigrants, The Division of Hotel and Lodging House Inspection was created to ensure rooming houses complied with the standards for minimum air space and sanitation and for maximum capacity (IDPH, 2006).IDPH – 1900-1950 Sanitation and hygiene were addressed during the first Better Baby Conference during the 1915 Illinois State Fair where 250 children were examined for proper care. And in 1916, Illinois reported 1,000 cases of polio with 236 deaths the following year, however, it is estimated only 30% of cases were actually reported. By November, 1918 the influenza virus and pneumonia had caused 8,510 deaths in Chicago.The State Board of Health became the State Department of Public Health in 1917 and Morgan County established the first full-time county health department in May, 1922 (IDPH, 2006). In 1931, the Illinois Department of Public Health regulated public swimming pools by requiring the facilities to manage potential hazards such as drowning, diving accidents, falls on wet surfaces and disease transmission from contaminated water by enforcing minimum sanitary requirements for the design, construction and operation of their swimming pools.Several years later, during the winter of 1937, thousands of homes were alerted by the Illinois Department of Public Health of the ensuing flood.

Before the flood broke, engineers were sent to protect the public and its water supplies (IDPH, 2006). In 1942, the Illinois Department of Public Health joined the Emergency Maternity and Infant Care program. This nationwide program provided free medical care to eligible pregnant women and babies and was funded entirely by the U. S.

Children’s Bureau.By July 17, 1945, the IDPH created The Nursing Home Care Act which ensured that Nursing Home facilities standards stayed within the minimum for location, construction, personnel, sanitation and diet. Fluoridation of the public water supply was backed on February 23, 1945 in order to prevent tooth decay, specifically in children (IDPH, 2006). IDPH – 1950-2000 Upon approval by the federal government of the safe and effective polio vaccine, the Illinois legislature financed $1 million to the IDPH for the purchase and free distribution of the Salk vaccine on April 12, 1955.

Mandatory testing for phenylketonuria (PKU) of all newborn infants was implemented in April, 1965 and its rules and regulations were distributed to all health care facilities, personnel, and other interested groups and individuals in the state. In 1966, the IDPH created a mobile dental clinic van to provide instant dental care for children in low-income or migrant families and accidental injuries were addressed with Illinois’ first statewide system to offer care for these unfortunate victims (IDPH, 2006).On September 6, 1973, the Illinois’ Lead Poisoning Prevention Act prevented the use of lead-based paint in homes to prevent poisoning and elevated blood-levels. The IDPH was authorized to inspect homes and alert owners to eliminate any potential exposure. The Health Facilities Planning Act of 1974 was created to support the advancement of comprehensive health care delivery systems that make quality facilities, related services, and equipment available to the public, at the same time addressing community need, accessibility, and refinancing (IDPH, 2006).The departments of Public Health, Public Aid, and Children and Family Services merged their efforts to create Parents Too Soon in 1983, an organization that dealt with the complexities of teen pregnancies; asbestos contamination at an Illinois food processing plant in 1998 provoked the voluntary recall of over 1 million individual snack items in 21 states; and during April and May of 1998, the increase in reports of Salmonella poisoning was discovered as the beginning of the nationwide outbreak that eventually sickened more than 400 people in 21 states.In September, 1999, the E.

coli virus was identified through genetic testing as the cause of more than 300 people falling ill after eating beef at a Labor Day party in Menard County. And finally, the Illinois Smoke-Free Restaurant Recognition Program of 2000 urged restaurant owners to adopt a smoke-free policy to benefit their patrons and employees (IDPH, 2006). Present day Currently, the Illinois Department of Public Health is faced with contesting against newer, more drug-resistant diseases such as AIDS, and also fighting the ongoing dilemma of chronic illnesses.The IDPH is responsible for protecting the state’s 12. 4 million residents, as well as countless visitors, through the prevention and control of disease and injury. Nearly 200 programs involve people of every age in every phase of life. The agency’s function is also to ensure the state’s food and milk supply is safe for consumption, and that public places such as beaches, campgrounds and pools are not dangerous.

This responsibility is geared toward those who live, work and visit in Illinois (IDPH, 2006).Mission StatementThe mission of the Illinois Department of Public Health is to promote the health of the people of Illinois through the prevention and control of disease and injury. We, as a diverse public health workforce, care about the well-being of people and are guided by the following principles: Prevention of disease and injury Protection of food, water, air and environment Promotion of safe and healthy communities Scientific approaches to analyzing and solving problems.Partnership and collaboration to achieve coordinated response to community health issues Population-based strategies to address public health issues Individual responsibility as important to achieving healthy lifestyles Advocacy for public health policies to improve the health of populations Recognition of the unique value and needs of diverse populations Innovation as essential to the practice of public health (IDPH, 2006) The mission of IDPH is essentially to support the prevention and control of disease and injury. It now has an annual budget of about $325 million in state and federal funds.It may receive funds from such departments as the U.

S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (IDPH VHIP, 2006). The IDPH has its headquarters and laboratories in Springfield and Chicago and administrative offices in seven regional locations. The regional offices organize surveys and inspection activities, initiate compliance protocol and also serve as liaisons to public and local health agencies. The Department itself is divided into six offices designated to certain areas of public health.Various programs are continuously implemented and the agency is poised to deal with unforeseen circumstances as they happen. http://www.

idph. state. il. us/about/orgchart. htm As public health care evolves, the broad range of services that impact societies throughout the country will also advance. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is comprised of various fundamental programs and community services that undertake the fundamental responsibility of ensuring quality of health in Illinois.”With the assistance of local public health agencies, these essential programs and services make up Illinois’ public health system, a system that forms a frontline defense against disease through preventive measures and education” (IDPH, 2006). References Illinois Department of Public Health (2006).

Retrieved February 5, 2006, from http://www. idph. state. il. us Illinois Department of Public Health, Viral Hepatitis Integration Program (2006). Retrieved February 5, 2006, from http://www.

hepprograms. org/drug/drug7. asp

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