Southern Seven Health Department reviews services provided in 2019

Southern Seven Health Department issued more than 77,000 WIC program food instruments during 2019. More than 6,400 WIC clinic visits were reported.

Last year, the health department also gave more than 4,000 child and adult immunizations.

The health department also tested more than 7,000 mosquitoes last year.

Statistics for 2019 were highlighted in a review of the year which was released in late December.

Southern Seven Health Department marked 40 years of service in 2019. The department serves Union, Alexander, Hardin, Massac, Johnson, Pope and Pulaski counties in Southern Illinois.

The department’s mission is promote a safe and healthy environment by providing preventive health care, family support services and child development programs.

Southern Seven Health Department also offers the Head Start program in the area.

“We have experienced a lot of growth and development throughout the past year by planning to combat the opioid epidemic, providing fecal immunochemical tests (FIT) to test for possible colon cancer, implementing a community outreach plan complete with traditional and social media expansion, and a large conversion of the Head Start grant to allow for more Early Head Start slots in sites where none were before,” said Rhonda Andrews-Ray, the department’s executive director/public health administrator.

With a geographic service area of 2,003 square miles, which is slightly larger than the State of Delaware, Southern Seven is the largest health department in Illinois.  

The department serves more than 65,000 people living in the lower seven counties in Illinois.  

Southern Seven is one of only a handful of health departments nationwide that offers Head Start, the federally funded education program.  

As of July 1, 2019, Southern Seven Health Department and Head Start combined employed 165 full and part-time staff.

Southern Seven has seven public health clinics, one per each county, and 11 Head Start centers for children ages 3 to 5.  

In 2019, Head Start funding was converted to expand the Early Head Start program from four centers to six.  Early Head Start serves children ages 6 weeks to 3 years. 

Some of the highlights from the health department’s 2019 annual report follow:

Child Health Exams

Well Child exams, 376. WIC/FCM clinic visits (infants), 672. WIC/FCM clinic visits, 1,568.

HealthWorks of Illinois, children served, 288. Blood lead tests, 168.

Head Start vision screenings, 467. Head Start hearing screenings, 517.


WIC food instruments issued, 77,844. WIC clinic visits, total, 6,487. Nutrition education contacts, 2,889.

(WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breast-feeding, and non-breast-feeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age 5 who are found to be at nutritional risk.)

Farmers market food instruments issued, 800.

Maternal/Women’s Health

WIC clinic visits (women), 624. FCM home visits (women), 624.

Prenatal depression screenings, 257. Post-partum depression screenings, 354. Genetic screenings, 299.

School Based Programs

Adolescent health schools participating, 12. Adolescent health family life education participants, 429.

CATCH student participants, 3,931. CATCH maintaining schools, 19.

Reportable Communicable Diseases

Hepatitis A, three. Hepatitis B, acute and chronic, nine. Pertussis, two.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever, 15. Salmonella, 25. Ehrlichiosis, seven.

Chlamydia, 191. Gonorrhea, 91. Total STD/HIV tested/counseled, 124. 

Tuberculosis Program

Active TB cases, two. Inactive TB cases, one. TB skin tests administered, 913. TB medication patients, one.

Environmental Health Services

Food permits issued, 357. Routine inspections, 597. Follow-up inspections, 223. Temporary permits, 131. Complaint inspections, 14.

Mosquito pools test, 155. Total mosquitoes tested, 7,555.

Septic permits issued, 93. Septic inspections, 88. Complaint inspections, 12.

Well permits, issued, 57. Well inspections, 57. Water test kits sold, 37.

Animal bite investigations, 29.

Head Start, Early and Traditional

Funded enrollment, 536. Children served, 2018-2019, 551. Home-based children served, 36.

Current/former students who were paid staff, 65. Persons providing volunteer services, 942. 

Children transitioning to kindergarten, 167.

Cardiovascular Health/Chronic Disease

Blood pressure screenings, 134. Diabetes screenings, 22. Cholesterol screenings, 40.

FIT screenings, positive results, two. FIT screenings, negative results, 41.

Chronic disease/diabetes self-management workshops conducted, three. Participants, 14.

Illinois Tobacco Free Communities Smoke Free Illinois Quitline calls, 156.


Total child/adult immunizations given, 4,627.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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