Volume 2.6 | September 4, 2018
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine's Population Science and Policy is excited to bring you The Pioneer Pulse, a monthly supplement to our larger quarterly newsletter, The Pioneer .

BIG NEWS: The Office of Population Science and Policy is becoming a department! Learn more about this exciting news in next month's Pioneer - and please join us on Sept. 19 to celebrate SIU Medicine's investment in the health of central and southern Illinois.
As we gathered ideas and information for this month's Pioneer Pulse, we couldn't help but notice the staggering amount of interesting news coming from Decatur , Illinois. Decatur is located in central Illinois and is home to about 76,000 people as well as the headquarters of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). For much of the 20th century, the city was known as "the soybean capital of the world."

Decatur, like many similar-sized cities surrounded by rural area, is faced with high cancer rates and the effects of the opioid crisis - but there is also an impressive amount of work happening to better the community. Here's what caught our attention:

The private foundation of Macon County Sheriff Howard Buffett recently announced a $30 million investment in a 17-acre campus of facilities to bring together social services to help people with drug addiction. The campus will include detox and residential rehabilitation services, transitional housing, and an early child development organization, among others.

Buffett said the investment will address the health of the community on many levels, but especially for those who find themselves with a drug addiction or challenge with any kind of drug in their life.

Decatur's daily newspaper, the Herald & Review , recently published a three-part special report on cancer in central Illinois. The series dives into why cancer rates in DeWitt and Macon counties are the second- and third-highest in the state, how central Illinois is managing its high cancer rate and what local support networks are in place to help those battling the disease.

Dr. Vohra , Department of Population Science and Policy Chair and Jeanne Koehler, Department of Population Science and Policy Social Innovation Director, recently spoke at a Trauma Informed Partnership Community event for individuals in law enforcement, the faith community and healthcare and education fields. The event aimed to bring community members together to learn and discuss the impact of toxic stress and adverse experiences, generate awareness of how stress impacts the brain and communication, explore the role of community members in responding to stress, and to make Decatur a more trauma-informed community.

The Department of Population Science and Policy looks forward to continuing to work in Decatur and throughout central and southern Illinois to improve health.
SIU School of Medicine Department of Population Science and Policy, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, UIC School of Public Health, SIU School of Medicine Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development and the Illinois Department of Public Health recently hosted an influential group of rural health experts and stakeholders at the 2018 Illinois Rural Health Summit on August 6-7 in Springfield, Illinois. The two-day event gathered information and inspiration to begin drafting and executing a blueprint to improve the health of residents in rural Illinois.

The group tackled issues such as mental health and opioid abuse, health and housing, caring for an aging population, children’s growth and development, economic development and health, building a rural health workforce and rural nutrition and fitness. Over the next few months, Summit participants and organizers will work to analyze information gathered at the Summit to find patterns and draft a set of sustainable and scalable solutions and policy recommendations for rural Illinois. View our photo gallery of the Rural Health Summit - and stay tuned to learn more!
SIU Department of Population Science and Policy was recently presented the 2018 Award of Merit by the Illinois Rural Health Association at its 29th annual Educational Conference. This award is given to an agency or group of individuals who have provided outstanding benefit to the public's health and are consistent with the goals and objectives of the IRHA.
The Department of Population Science and Policy is proud to become a Pioneer Sponsor of the Pathways to Population Health (P2PH) movement, which is a collaborative effort between IHI and the American Hospital Association/Health Research and Educational Trust, Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement, Public Health Institute and Stakeholder Health to leverage shared assets and unique strengths to help healthcare organizations accelerate their individual and collective population health improvement efforts. Learn more about P2PH's effort to shift the focus from sick care to population health and join the movement to improve population health. If you work for a healthcare organization, we encourage you to visit the www.pathways2pophealth.org website to download and read the Framework and access tools and resources.
Dr. Vohra's presentation, "Addressing Rural Health Disparities: Population Health Solutions to Improve the Health of Illinois Children" was recapped and mentioned as a highlight of the ICAAP Educational Conference in the American Academy of Pediatricians Illinois Chapter summer newsletter.
Dr. Vohra was featured in the Decatur Herald & Review for his participation in a trauma-informed event in Macon-Piatt county. "One goal is social innovation," Dr. Vohra said, "which is a combination of partnerships like the conference began forging, as well as working with legislators for changes in policy that will affect communities statewide."
Population Science and Policy will have a significant presence at the Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA) 77th Annual Conference: Public Health Proud . PSP's Heather Westrick , TJ Albers , Amanda Fogleman and Hillsboro Area Hospital CEO Rex Brown are presenting a session titled "Innovated Illinois Communities - Regional Approaches to Population Health." PSP's Christofer Rodriguez's poster, "Mapping the Availability of Opioid-related Resources Provided by Local Health Departments" and Anne Scheer 's poster, "Being Happy and Healthy: How do Children View Health and Well-being" will also be featured at the conference.
Dr. Sameer Vohra will be participating in a national children's health policy and practice forum at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia PolicyLab on October 22 in Philadelphia. The forum is part of CHOP PolicyLab's 10th anniversary celebration. Register and learn more details here .
Population Science and Policy faculty and staff are routinely invited to speak at local, statewide and national events. If you are interested in learning more about our Department or would like to have a member of the Department attend or speak at your local event, please contact us at psp@siumed.edu .
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