their staff recently attended the 2012 1st Annual Northern Illinois Rural
Public Health Institute.
Gail Ripka, Health Department Administrator; Sandy Sommer, RN Health
Department Director of Clinical Services; Carrie Boelens, Community Health
Educator; and Bethany Stapel, Health Department Intern attended the
conference held recently at the Holiday Day Inn - Rock Island, Illinois.
Sommer notes, "The goals for the Institute attendees were to provide an
opportunity for professional growth, educational enrichment and networking
to those professionals who work in the fields of: rural public health,
health care, surveillance, epidemiology, mental health, chronic disease,
agriculture and education."
Areas of interest covered during the 3-Day conference included: SIREN
Health Network Training; Veteran's Mental Health; Social Media Mechanics;
Using Evidence-Based Approaches to Public Health; Community Health
Assessments; Youth Substance Abuse in Rural Illinois Communities; Worksite
Wellness; and updates on the latest health information.
Sommer adds, "At the conclusion of the Institute, participants were able
to understand and analyze trends and developments in the field of rural
public health through lectures, exercises, discussion and professional
networking. In addition, this conference provided our Health Department
staff with important information that will give us great insight in
continuing our goal of better serving the residents of Henry and Stark
For more information on the services available to local residents,
through the Henry and Stark County Health Departments, call the Department
at (309) 852-0197 or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find
us on Faceboook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments