Health equity: an urgent need for Stateline residents

And public health administrations want equal access for all.
Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 5:53 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Public health became the primary topic of conversation just over two years ago. This week marks National Public Health week and local health leaders are setting their goals for the future.

Dr. Sandra Martell, Winnebago County’s Public Health Administrator, praises the accomplishments of her department over the past two years, but says there is definitely room for improvement in health equity.

“Health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to attain his or her full health potential and no one is disadvantaged from achieving this potential,” Paula Campbell, Director of Health Equity for The Illinois Public Healthcare Association, told 23 News.

Campbell says this goal can’t just be achieved by health organization. It takes a community effort in driving access towards insurance, transportation, and diet. To achieve that, area medical leaders believe their focus should start with affordability.

“Affordability should never really be an issue for us. If you’re someone who is uninsured we will try to hook you up with insurance. Medicaid if you qualify or any other plans,” said Vice President of Communications for Crusader Community Health.

Kay agrees with Campbell, saying one health center can’t accomplish that all by itself, it takes a community.

“There’s other aspects of people’s lives- we look to see where we can help you with education. We work with Rock Valley, we have school based clinics to make sure that our students get in. We do what we can with transportation and helping people get around to those places.”

Campbell says the pandemic causes a lot of problems, but it helped to put a spotlight on health inequities in our communities.

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