The recent death in childbirth of Olympic track star Tori Bowie is another reminder that maternal health must be taken seriously, through pregnancy, childbirth, and after a child is born. Pregnancy is a stressful time, and can be accompanied by high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, blood clots, infections, and stroke, in addition to post-partum depression and even sometimes death.
The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate in the industrialized world, and the death rates for Black and Native American women are two to three times higher than those for white women. But throughout the U.S., healthcare providers are concentrating on maternal health, during pregnancy and beyond.
In Chicago, CDPH is in an expansion phase of its Family Connects program. Currently offered through six Chicago hospitals, the program connects a visiting nurse to the family of a newborn, at no cost to the family. In addition to checking baby weight, providing safe sleep information, helping with bathing, diapering and swaddling, Family Connects also offers help for new moms, including: maternal health checks, breastfeeding support, and postpartum depression screening.
Automatic re-enrollment in Medicaid ended when the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) expired on May 11, 2023. Since then, by some estimates, over 1 million Americans have been disenrolled from Medicaid. And the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) estimates that approximately 700,000 people in Illinois could lose Medicaid coverage during the full unwinding period.
HFS will be contacting Medicaid enrollees regarding eligibility redetermination; information will be mailed to different households at different times, starting in May and continuing for the next 14 months.
With Pride Fest this weekend and summer festival season in full swing, CDPH is reminding Chicagoans to stay safe and practice harm reduction basics. Harm reduction is the practice of minimizing the negative social and/or physical consequences associated with various human behaviors, both legal and illegal. For summer festival season this means staying hydrated, engaging in crowd safety, knowing the signs of heat stroke, carrying Narcan and testing drugs before consumption. Visit any Chicago Public Library branch to access free Narcan or email email@example.com to request fentanyl test kits.
Juneteenth is celebrated on Monday the 19th, marking the day when news of their emancipation finally reached slaves in southern Texas, nearly two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. CDPH sees this day as a chance to double down on our commitment to addressing health and racial inequities, in the form of our Healthy Chicago 2025 program, which is focused on closing the 10-year life expectancy gap in Chicago between whites and Blacks.