Regional Roundup 12-7-17

City of Chicago
In its recently released 2016 HIV/STI Surveillance Report, the Chicago Dept. of Public Health (CDPH) announced that it recorded 839 new HIV cases in 2016, the fewest number of new HIV diagnoses in more than 15 years and a 55 percent decline from 2001. CDPH attributed the drop to the increased use of HIV medications and antiretroviral medications to prevent the transmission of HIV, along with ongoing efforts to reach and educate individuals who are either HIV positive or at greater risk of contracting the disease.
In conjunction with the release of the report and World AIDS Day, CDPH formally signed on to the Fast-Track Cities Initiative, a global partnership between the city of Paris, the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. Among other goals, the initiative seeks to strengthen and leverage existing HIV-related programs and resources to ensure that by 2020, 90 percent of people living with HIV know their HIV status.
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CDPH released a request for proposal for a public awareness campaign that will work with adults living in communities with the highest overdose rates in Chicago. The campaign is expected to include recruiting and training peer health educators to teach community members how to identify and effectively respond to an opioid overdose using naloxone, while also raising awareness about opioid addiction treatment resources in communities. CDPH’s anticipated $225,000 award is a one-time funding opportunity for a one-year contract period. Letters of intent are due Dec. 15, and a pre-proposal conference is scheduled for Dec. 18 at 1 p.m. Proposals are due Jan. 5.
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For the first time, the latest Illinois Violent Death Reporting System data brief reports on homicide rates by Chicago community area over an extended period of time and finds that a handful of community areas on the West, South and Southwest sides of Chicago have consistently had the highest homicide rates in the city for the past nine years. In addition to tables and infographics, the data brief includes resources for training, support and evidence-based strategies aimed at violence prevention.
Cook County
Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart recently launched an awareness campaign on social media aimed at shedding light on the opioid crisis while providing the public a better understanding of available resources to help those in need. The Sheriff’s Awareness Initiative’s first video was released last week. The Sheriff’s Office expects to periodically release additional stories, videos and pictures on social media in the coming months.

Lake County
This week, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the Lake County Health Department and the non-profit Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) launched a naloxone education program for Lake County Jail inmates, with the goal of reducing opioid-related deaths. As part of the program, a Lake County Health Department representative will make monthly visits to the jail to educate inmates on using the opioid-reversal drug naloxone and encourage them to register for individual training, which will be conducted by a TASC representative.

Following completion of the training, inmates will receive information about addiction treatment services and a dose of naloxone, which will be available to them upon release from jail. The new program is funded by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

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The Lake County Board recently approved the 2018 Consolidation Action Plan for County Board-Appointed Units of Government, aimed at advancing consolidation proposals that enhance efficiency, accountability, cost-savings, and high-quality, right-sized services. In the first year, the action plan calls for consolidating, dissolving or transferring appointment authority for three County Board-appointed units of government. Lake County currently has 230 units of government.

City of Rockford
The Rockford City Council this week placed a referendum on the March 20 General Primary Election ballot asking voters if the city should become a home rule unit, which would give it greater flexibility in its tax policies and legislative proposals. The city has not been a home rule municipality since 1983, when voters approved removing the designation.

The IHA Weekly Regional Roundup is researched, written and edited by Sarah Calder and Elyse Kallen in IHA’s Government Relations and Corporate Communications and Marketing departments.