The Affordable Health Care Act will take effect next year and several states, including Illinois have begun kick-starter programs to prepare for the changes it will bring. The State of Illinois began such a program more than a year ago and now Madison County is getting involved. The Madison County Health Department has launched a series of projects called "We Choose Health Madison County", funded through grants from the Centers for Disease Control.
Madison County Health Department Promotion Manager Amy Yeager says that people usually think grant funding turns into programs but that won't be the case in this situation.
Yeager says the health department has outlined health issues specific to Madison County that they will address through this program. Those issues are air quality and environment, obesity reduction, substance use and abuse, mental health, and teen pregnancy. State-wide programs under the We Choose Health imitative will work to encourage healthy eating habits and work toward establishing more smoke free environments.