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Kane County Health Department to assess health of county

Published: Thursday, May 29, 2014 10:39 p.m. CST • Updated: Friday, May 30, 2014 1:52 p.m. CST

GENEVA – The Kane County Health Department on Thursday met with various agencies and other stakeholders across Kane County to begin the process of gauging the health of county residents.

"We want this process to be as representative as it can be," said Michael Isaacson, the Kane County Health Department assistant director for community health, in addressing the more than 100 people who attended Thursday's kickoff session at Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva.

The last Kane County Community Health Assessment was done in 2011. That report revealed the top six threats to community health in Kane County were obesity; chronic disease, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer; infant mortality, childhood lead poisoning; communicable disease; and poor social and emotional wellness.

Lt. Pat Gengler, spokesman for the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, was at the session. He pointed to the growing heroin use in the area as a problem.

"It will take groups like this to get a grasp on it," Gengler said.

Batavia Deputy Fire Chief Randy Banker said he thought it was good to get agencies together to talk about different issues.

"We probably share a lot of the same issues," Banker said.

Laurie Call, director of the Illinois Public Health Institute's Center for Community Capacity Development, told attendees that public health is a shared responsibility.

"It is not just the responsibility of health care providers to improve health," Call said. "Everyone has a unique contribution."

The IDPH is helping Kane County Health Department do a new health assessment of the county. As part of the process, there will be community focus groups as well as a phone survey, Call said.

"We are trying to find out, how healthy are our residents," Call said.

Information about the Kane County Health Department is available at www.kanehealth.com.

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