CHICAGO – November 21, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today signed an Executive Order to establish a state Public Health Advocate, who will champion wellness programs and help combat disease, including the rise of Diabetes and Asthma.
Governor Quinn signed the Executive Order during American Diabetes Month, which raises public awareness of a disease that impacts over 24 million children and adults in the United States.
“The Public Health Advocate will be a strong voice for Illinois families,” said Governor Quinn. “This Executive Order, signed during American Diabetes Month, will fight to ensure that everyone has easy-to-understand information about critical public health issues facing our state.”
Illinois’ Public Health Advocate will develop wellness programs to improve public health through education. The office will also recommend and facilitate the development of public health strategies designed to prevent, diagnose, treat, and cure diseases like Diabetes. (Executive Order)
“If current trends continue, one out of every three children could face a future with diabetes,” said Governor Quinn. “It is critical that our families have access to important information that will educate them about diseases and prevention options.”
The Public Health Advocate will focus on assisting residents in understanding health coverage provisions and help them better understand their public health rights. They will also work to ensure that public health reports are easily accessible and understandable.
In addition, the Executive Order states that the Public Health Advocate will work in a cost-conscious manner and shall “deploy existing public health resources in the most optimal cost-effective fashion…as to minimize the State’s costs in relation to public health expenditures.”
The position will be housed within the Department of Public Health and will utilize existing public health programs, staff and resources. The Advocate will consult and collaborate with local public health agencies, health organizations, research and advocacy groups, colleges and universities, and school districts.
Governor Quinn signed the executive order at the Norwegian American Hospital in Chicago.