Chicago Department of Public Health Weekly Media Brief, 6/2/2023

June 2, 2023
For Immediate Release
June 2, 2023
Chicago Department of Public Health 
Weekly Media Brief 
Jump Ahead

Pride Month is a Public Health Month 

June is LGBTQ Pride Month, and it’s an opportunity to bring awareness to health concerns and disparities faced by LGBTQ people. Whether it’s youth bullied at school or online because of their actual or perceived sexuality, or elder LGBTQ people potentially going back into the closet in unwelcoming senior communities, the lifelong health of LGBTQ people is a matter of public health.  

Today more than 1 in 8 LGBTQ people live in states where doctors can refuse to treat them, and that may get worse, with a recent slew of anti-LGBTQ legislation throughout the U.S. Additionally, nearly one in five LGBTQ adults have reported avoiding health care due to anticipated discrimination, and too many report experiencing actual discrimination as well as trouble accessing mental health care. 

Equitable health care for all LGBTQ people would improve physical and mental health and could help extend the average life expectancy of people in the LGBTQ community. According to the Joint Commission, there are ways to increase equitable health care and improve the health of LGBTQ people. These include: 

  • Teach health care workers how to treat LGBTQ people 

  • Research into LGBTQ health needs and proper treatment of those needs 

  • Make doctors’ offices more welcoming, with Pride flags and LGBTQ health posters  

  • Pass laws to protect LGBTQ people from poor treatment or denial of health care  

  • Teach people that LGBTQ people deserve fair treatment and respect 

The CDC’s website has links to LGBTQ health resources, including directories of LGBTQ+ affirming healthcare providers, LGBT youth and senior talk hotlines, and The Trevor Project counselors for LGBT youth.

Mosquito Season is Coming

CDPH is preparing for the beginning of summer, and with the summer months also comes mosquito season and efforts to curb the spread of West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases. Larvae control is already underway in areas of the city particularly prone to mosquito breeding, with several thousand catch basins having been treated thus far with EPA-approved larvicide that disrupts the mosquito life cycle without posing a threat to humans or other aquatic wildlife.  

The best way to protect yourself from mosquito-borne illness is to simply protect yourself from mosquito bites – wear insect repellent when spending prolonged periods of time in mosquito-friendly places, and make sure to drain any standing water you may find around your home, such as in outdoor garbage bins, gutters, or other containers. CDPH engages in seasonal mosquito testing throughout the city and will inform the public if mosquitos carrying West Nile virus are found. To report any standing water or other potential mosquito hazards, call 311, and for more information on protecting yourself from mosquitoes, visit the CDPH Healthy Communities website


Juul and opioid settlements mean more funding for public health programs

The Chicago City Council this week approved two important settlements that will mean tens of millions of dollars going to improving public health. A $23.8 million settlement was reached with JUUL Labs, a leading e-cigarette maker, over claims that the company engaged in harmful and deceptive business practices by marketing and selling vaping products to underage users. And Chicago will receive approximately $78 million over 18 years from settlements with the three largest pharmaceutical distributors, providing substantial funds to address the ongoing opioid epidemic.  

“Opioid overdose is not a moral failing, rather a medical problem that is treatable and largely preventable,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “This funding is critical as we further expand treatment and recovery services and reduce stigma across this city.” 


Wear Orange for Gun Violence Awareness

Friday, June 2nd, is Wear Orange Day for Gun Violence Awareness. Wear Orange began on June 2, 2015, when friends of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old high school student shot and killed on a playground in Chicago in 2013, decided to commemorate her life by wearing orange, the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others. Now, it is observed nationally every June to honor victims and survivors of gun violence.  

This year, the Chicago Department of Public Health, in collaboration with other State, County and City departments and agencies, led a statewide activation encouraging everyone to wear orange and honor our partners, staff and friends on the front lines who work tirelessly to increase community safety.  

Check out #WearOrangeIL to see some of the social media posts. Learn more about the City’s violence prevention efforts at and