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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 18, 2007

State Public Health Director encourages regularly scheduled checkups
Extend the lives of family as part of Take a Loved One for a Checkup Day

SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today stressed the importance of regularly scheduled checkups, as part of an annual awareness campaign. 

Each year, in September, Take a Loved One for a Checkup Day is observed as a reminder to encourage people to see their doctor or to make an appointment to see your doctor in the near future.  The annual campaign, by the U-S Department of Health and Human Services, also challenges African Americans to take charge of their health care needs and turn around some of the disparities in medical treatment.  Complications from some chronic diseases such as prostate cancer, diabetes and hypertension can be prevented or handled with better treatment if people routinely get a checkup, so conditions and diseases are detected early.

“Many people wait until there is an emergency before seeing a doctor,” said Dr. Whitaker.  But, having a consistent record of medical history can assist in the prevention, early detection and treatment of disease.  It’s important to select a doctor and schedule regular appointments to keep track of your health.”  

Take a Loved One for a Checkup Day also encourages friends and family to help those you love. Accompany them to visit a health professional or make an appointment to see how they can take care of their health.  The awareness day stresses the importance of regular health care, including preventive care that can enhance and extend the lives of those you love.

During today’s observance, the Illinois Department of Public Health is offering rapid HIV testing in at the Prairie Capital Convention Center - 1 Convention Center Plaza, in Springfield, beginning at 4:30 p.m., during a free gospel concert.  For more information call 217-785-4311.



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