SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $2 million in grants for teen pregnancy prevention. The grants included in the Fiscal Year 2006 budget will be distributed by the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) to 35 community-based agencies throughout the state.
The DHS Teen Pregnancy Prevention program provides grants to community agencies to reduce teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases and the incidence of HIV/AIDS. Earlier this year, Gov. Blagojevich announced the number of babies born to Illinois teenagers continued a nine-year decline in 2003, falling to a record low of 9.7 percent.
“The fact that there are fewer teens having babies tells us that the state’s prevention messages are being heard,” said Gov. Rod Blagojevich. “Still, there are some communities with higher rates of teen births and we’re working with the Department of Human Services and local agencies to focus our efforts on those areas with the highest need for prevention.”
DHS Secretary Carol L. Adams, PhD added, “Preventing teen pregnancy is an important health goal because teen moms and their babies face more health risks because they are less likely to receive regular prenatal care, more likely to smoke when pregnant and more likely to have a low birth weight infant, all of which are factors in infant deaths and poor health outcomes.”
The DHS Teen Pregnancy Prevention program is designed to enhance and focus collaborative relationships among community partners enabling them to plan local strategies to enrich primary pregnancy prevention, improve access to health services for adolescents and increase the role of the schools in improving adolescent health. The program components focus on sexuality education/family planning information and referral, male involvement, parental involvement, youth development, and/or public awareness.
The reduction in teen births by race in the past decade was greatest among African Americans with a 40 percent decline. Among whites, teen births fell 36 percent while Hispanic teen births rose 7 percent in the past 10 years from 5,085 in 1994 to 5,437 in 2003.
“Teen pregnancy clearly remains a serious problem, with long lasting economic, social and personal costs for teens, their children and society and we are committed to continuing our efforts,” Adams continued. “These grants were selected based on their proposals for serving the specific needs of their communities.”
The Teen Pregnancy Prevention grants were funded through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process as part of the DHS Maximizing Accountability and Excellence (MAX) initiative to increase the amount of contract dollars that are competitively bid and place more state funding in areas of greatest need.
Also today, Gov. Blagojevich proclaimed July Health Care Month in the state of Illinois, launching a month-long effort to expand, improve and promote access to health care for Illinois families. During the month of July, the Governor will sign new laws designed to improve access to health care for working families and seniors, enact meaningful medical malpractice reform, ease the nursing shortage, provide hospitals with nearly $2 billion in new federal funds, help senior citizens afford the high cost of prescription drugs, increase critical cancer screening for women, raise awareness about various diseases, and increase funding for diabetes research.
Making sure that more people get more health care and better benefits, protecting coverage for those who have health care, and helping hospitals, doctors and nurses provide better health care are some of the Governor’s top priorities. Specifically:
· Best in the nation for providing health care to the working poor: Since Governor Blagojevich took office, 313,000 more men, women and children have received health care through the KidCare and FamilyCare programs – at a time when most states are not only not providing more coverage for the working poor, but also kicking people off of Medicaid or significantly reducing their benefits. This year’s budget included funding to add another 56,000 men, women and children. The Kaiser Foundation has ranked Illinois the best state in the nation for providing health care to people who need it.
· One of only a handful of states to protect Medicaid recipients: The budget signed by Governor Blagojevich a few weeks ago ensures – for the third consecutive year, despite facing budget deficits – that Medicaid recipients maintain their health care, unlike states ranging from Missouri to Tennessee to Texas to Washington who are either kicking people off of Medicaid or significantly reducing benefits.
· First state to develop a statewide small business health insurance pool and program: Governor Blagojevich and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce are developing a small business health insurance program that will help small businesses reduce their costs by 10-15% and provide more health care for their employees. Illinois will be the first state to create a pool where businesses of 50 employees or less can join, saving money on the negotiated rate, administrative costs and broker fees.
· First state to make rx drugs from Europe and Canada available: Under Governor Blagojevich, Illinois became the first state to allow its citizens to purchase prescription drugs from Europe and Canada. More than 10,000 people have enrolled in the last few months alone to take advantage of lower prices (25-50% less) for over 120 name brand prescription drugs.
· Most comprehensive state response to fill in gaps in the federal rx drug benefit: This spring, the General Assembly passed the Governor’s Leave No Senior Behind legislation, which is Illinois’ response to the federal Medicare rx drug benefit. Because of the major holes in the federal program, the Governor’s plan fills in the gaps, so Illinois seniors will not suffer the same fate that face seniors in other states.
· First state to require pharmacists to dispense female contraceptives: In April, Governor Blagojevich issued an emergency rule requiring pharmacists whose pharmacies sell contraception to dispense birth control to women with valid prescriptions. The Governor’s emergency rule will become permanent this summer. In addition, the state will soon launch a new website to help women know which insurers now cover contraceptives, helping hundreds of thousands of women save an average of $400/ year on the cost of their contraceptives.
· Improving women’s health programs: Governor Blagojevich created the Illinois Healthy Women program to provide health care to women who otherwise would go without. To date, the program has served more than 90,000 women. In addition, Illinois has dramatically increased the number of mammograms and cervical cancer screenings since Governor Blagojevich took office.
· Accessing nearly $2 billion in new federal health care money: This summer, Governor Blagojevich will sign the hospital assessment legislation, which means nearly $2 billion in new federal funding for Illinois hospitals. Last year, the Governor persuaded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to approve a plan that meant nearly $500 million in new federal funds for Illinois hospitals. This plan, which requires federal approval but was constructed with their guidelines in mind, means more than three times that amount.
· Medical Malpractice Reform: This summer, Governor Blagojevich will sign major medical malpractice reform legislation, which will reduce the cost of insurance premiums for doctors and stop doctors from leaving the state. Governor Blagojevich helped pass the legislation despite his personal opposition to caps, because making sure that people have access to health care is probably the most important function government performs.
· Reducing the nursing shortage: This summer, Governor Blagojevich will sign a package of bills aimed at reducing the nursing shortage in Illinois, including making it easier for foreign nurses to practice in Illinois. The state also eliminated the nurses registration backlog this April and increased the amount available in grants for nurses training. This fulfills the initiative launched by the Governor in his State of the State address to reduce the nursing shortage.
Department of Human Services
Division of Community Health and Prevention
Teen Pregnancy Prevention-Primary Program
Fiscal Year 2006 Awards
Program City Amount
Adams County Health Department Quincy $35,000
ASPIRA Inc. of Illinois Chicago 80,000
Aunt Martha’s Youth Service Center Chicago Heights 60,000
Bethany for Children and Families Moline 80,000
Casa Central Chicago 65,000
Children’s Home Association of Illinois Peoria 80,000
Cook County Department of Public Health Oak Park 80,000
Erie Family Health Center Chicago 40,000
Family Focus Aurora Aurora 60,000
Family Focus Lawndale Chicago 90,000
Fayette County Health Department Vandalia 50,000
Franklin-Williamson Human Services Inc West Frankfort 60,000
FORUM Chicago 70,000
Fulton County Health Department Canton 67,000
Greater DuPage MYM, Inc Glen Ellyn 50,000
Healthcare Alternative Systems, Inc. Chicago 70,000
Hoyleton Youth and Family Services Washington Park 40,000
Human Resource Development Institute Chicago 50,000
Jersey County Health Department Jerseyville 16,000
Kankakee County Health Department Kankakee 40,000
Knox County Health Department Galesburg 33,000
Lake County Health Department
and Community Health Center Waukegan 80,000
Macoupin County Health Department Girard 25,000
Methodist Youth Services, Inc. Chicago 60,000
MGR Foundation Chicago 34,700
Morgan County Health Department Jacksonville 23,400
Mujeres Latinas en Accion Chicago 70,000
Pilsen Little Village
Community Mental Health Center Chicago 70,000
Planned Parenthood of Decatur Decatur 47,700
Sangamon County Health Department Springfield 45,000
Southern Seven Heath Department Ullin 85,000
St. Clair County Health Department Belleville 80,000
Tazewell County Health Department Tremont 41,000
Winnebago County Health Department Rockford 90,000
Youth Guidance Chicago 80,000
35 agencies Total $2,047,800
Grant disbursements will begin in July.