Public Accountability Report Public Accountability Report

Department of Public Health
(Appropriated Spending in Thousands)
  FY 2021 FY 2020
Reporting Programs Expenditures Headcount Expenditures Headcount
Health Protection $ 556,273.6 365.0 $ 305,847.5 347.0
Health Care Regulation $ 48,298.9 412.0 $ 41,472.6 405.0
Women's Health and Family Services $ 47,039.2 39.0 $ 41,408.7 39.0
Preparedness and Response $ 44,741.2 55.0 $ 62,633.2 58.0
Health Promotion $ 30,898.4 75.0 $ 31,664.0 71.0
Policy, Planning, and Statistics $ 22,907.7 111.0 $ 25,264.6 108.0
Center for Minority Health Services $ 268.0 6.0 $ 141.9 4.0
Disease Control $ 0.0 0.0 $ 0.0 0.0
Non-Reporting Programs
Administration  $ 200,876.6 111.0 $ 59,755.4 108.0
IT  $ 2,019.2 32.0 $ 1,816.5 32.0
Totals $ 953,322.8 1,206.0 $ 570,004.4 1,172.0

Amounts may not sum to total due to rounding.

Agency Narrative

Mission:

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is an advocate for and partner with the people of Illinois to re-envision health policy and promote health equity, prevent and protect against disease and injury, and prepare for health emergencies.

Vision:

Illinoisans empowered and supported to achieve their optimal health with dignity and acceptance in diverse and thriving communities.

Values and Guiding Principles

Health Equity:

We believe that achieving optimal health for everyone is rooted in reducing and removing social, environmental, economic, and structural barriers to health, such as racism and other forms of inequity.

Integrity:

We believe that the foundation of public health is trust, and that we must always act with the highest standards of honesty, trustworthiness, and transparency.

Science and Data:

We believe that our decisions, policies, and programs must be driven by science, the most reliable public health expertise, and timely data.

Preparedness:

We believe we must be prepared to address emerging issues and health emergencies, and maintain flexibility to respond quickly and effectively.

Collaboration:

We believe that we are most effective in achieving our health goals when we value the contributions of our diverse employees and partners; collaborate with stakeholders, communities, and other state agencies; and foster a culture of inclusivity.

Communication:

We believe that communication is a multi-dimensional process and to enhance public health we must provide accurate, evidence-based, actionable, and timely information that is informed by community needs, builds public confidence, and increases public knowledge and healthy behaviors.

IDPH will utilize the Strategic Plan to guide its work over the next five years in alignment with its updated mission, vision, and value statements. To further guide the work over the next five years, the Strategic Planning Committee developed goals and measurable objectives for each priority strategic issue. The following summarizes these goals. (*) Identifies goals linked to the State Health Improvement Plan.

Overall, fiscal year 2021 metric goals for each office were met, even as the COVID-19 pandemic consumed much of IDPH's and grantees' attention and activity, especially in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020. Many offices conducted extensive training, which increased their numbers over target. Insights reported from deputy directors and data managers reflect a conclusion echoed in the Healthy 2021 Illinois State Health Improvement Plan: IDPH continues to strengthen its public health data systems, infrastructure, and capacity; reduce health disparities; and increase health equity for all Illinoisans.

The Center for Minority Health Services (CMHS) continues to meet most of its goals each year. The biggest challenge has been continuing with services during the COVID-19 pandemic and staffing resources. Overall, CMHS has taken steps to improve the quality of performance measures captured to give us better insight on targeted interventions and service gap areas that will move CMHS toward addressing the agency’s mission of optimal health for all Illinoisans. In 2020, CMHS set benchmarks for staff performance in certain areas: reduce turnaround time for response to inquiries; reduce time for processing grant reimbursements; hold monthly stakeholder meetings to provide technical assistance, build collaboration, and ensure deliverables are met in a timely manner; and reduce the rate of approved reimbursement vouchers that are returned from the Office of Financial Administration due to errors (improved communication between the two offices has helped us see a significant reduction in this area). CMHS improved accuracy and timeliness of quarterly reporting into OPM's Dashboard in fiscal year 2021. CMHS continues to struggle with opportunities to diversify its funding stream to reduce health inequities and improve health outcomes for communities of color. CMHS’s biggest challenge is access to relevant data to tell a compelling story and show a need for funding that is place-based and addresses communities' unique challenges. While CMHS continues to meet or exceed its goals in raising awareness and education and providing access to care, it is unable, through current funding, to address the social and economic determinants that prevent certain communities and population groups from achieving optimal health.

The Office of Health Care Regulation's (OHCR) mission is to ensure a safe and healthy environment and to promote quality care for people who use primary health-care agencies and services. OHCR's goals in fiscal year 2021 are to ensure compliance with minimum standards/rules for long-term care facilities. The OHCR results summary shows that, overall, goals were met.

The Office of Health Promotion (OHPm) has seen an increase in headcount in recent years, which has contributed to its ability to process and approve medical cannabis registry applications and maintain follow-up for abnormal newborn screenings in which 22 - 23% of infants screened will have an abnormal test requiring follow-up for hearing and genetic disorders. COVID-19 has caused some of OHPm’s metrics to be unmet; there have been decreases in dental sealants for eligible children and preschool vision screenings due to school campus closures.

The Office of Health Protection (OHPt) has met or exceeded projected targets in a majority of its indicators. Key reasons are: 

(1) sustaining capacity (funding, skills, and resources) necessary to support programmatic elements to complete goals and objectives;

(2) having robust surveillance and data systems to collect, analyze, and respond;

(3) collaborating and coordinating with internal and external stakeholders to enhance public health system response;

(4) adapting to meet increased demand through policy and system changes; and

(5) managing and leading to prioritize and conduct evidence-based decision-making across all programs. 

The IDPH OHPt Division of Labs was the first state public health lab to successfully implement COVID-19 PCR testing in the United States. This implementation occurred in the Chicago lab and followed shortly in Springfield and Carbondale. The pandemic required a rapid, full-scale effort to staff the volume of samples received throughout the state. With support from the Director and Governor, the IDPH Division of Labs was successful in acquiring the needed equipment and staff to scale testing to 10,000 samples per day. Outside of the newborn screening section, being asked to become a high-throughput lab is outside the normal scope. As the volume of COVID-19 samples increased and the state entered phased mitigation, other areas of the labs were impacted as well. The division experienced decreases in test volume in all other areas except newborn screening. This allowed staff to be cross-trained to help with all phases of COVID testing. This level of teamwork and lab leadership was a great example of how the lab is adaptable and able to meet surge capacity.

The Office of Policy Planning and Statistics (OPPS) maintained data dissemination goals and met or exceeded most targets to promote access to primary health services in medically underserved areas. Fiscal year 2021 financial investments to support nursing scholarships and medical provider training were comparable to previous years. All funds were awarded for the State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) and the Nursing Education Scholarship Program (NESP), which increase the recruitment and retention of health-care providers in medically underserved areas in Illinois. 

At the end of fiscal year 2021, OPPS actively participated in the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A number of epidemiologists, data scientists, informaticians, statisticians, and program managers were mobilized and assigned to various COVID-19 teams in IDPH, working primarily in the areas of data collection, intelligence gathering, information analyses, data/information dissemination, and epidemic forecasting. Leveraging its capacity and expertise in public health surveillance, OPPS has contributed significantly to the state’s effort of "flattening the curve" and the designing of various mitigation efforts.     

The Office of Preparedness and Response's (OPR) mission is to promote public health and safety through emergency preparedness and regulation of emergency medical services and providers. OPR's goals in fiscal year 2021 were to ensure access to and quality of trauma care services. The OPR results summary shows that some measures were met and exceeded and some underperformed.

With the challenges of COVID-19, the Office of Women’s Health and Family Services (OWHFS) programs exceeded half of its targets. Most notably, the number of unique clients seen in school-based health centers increased by 74% from last year and ended the year at 188% of the fiscal year 2021 target. The number of tests for chlamydia or gonorrhea has exceeded the number from the previous year. In addition, the number of cervical cancer screenings increased by 13% from last year, surpassing the fiscal year 2021 target. The percentage of Pap tests provided to rarely screened women was twice the fiscal year 2021 target. In other areas, there has been great progress toward meeting high goals. For example, the number of total client visits served through the Illinois Family Planning Program has maintained its target. The number of women and girls who participated in educational programs through mini-grant programs increased tenfold, making great strides toward reaching the annual goal. OWHFS continues to improve its efforts to address the needs of women, children, and families across Illinois and strives to meet all high standards of health care.

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