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May 4, 2020

Shawnee Health Service recognizes Older Americans Month

Shawnee Health Service proudly joins the Administration for Community Living in celebrating Older Americans Month.  For 57 years, Older Americans Month has been a special time to recognize the contributions of older adults in our communities.  OAM also provides resources to help older Americans stay healthy and independent.  Shawnee Alliance, the social services division of Shawnee Health Service, is proud to support and advocate for older adults to help them maximize their independence and remain in the community.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, older adults need our attention and support more than ever.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, older adults seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.  Older adults should stay home as much as possible to reduce their risk of getting sick.  Shawnee Alliance received a grant from the Illinois Department on Aging to assist older adults 60+ with unmet needs related to COVID-19 and isolation.  Older adults 60+ in Shawnee Alliance’s 18-county service area are eligible for this assistance.  Requests can be submitted by calling Shawnee Alliance at (618) 985-8322 or toll free at 1-800-642-7773.


Shawnee Alliance provides a variety of services to support older adults and their caregivers.  These services include Comprehensive Care Coordination, Adult Protective Services, Family Caregiver Services, Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, “Choice for Care,” Community Care Program, Volunteer Money Management Program, Transition Program for Hospital Inpatients and Nursing Home Residents, Aging Resource Centers, and many others.


Since its inception in 1971, Shawnee Health Service has worked to improve the health and welfare of southern Illinois residents through the promotion, development and administration of quality, comprehensive health and social services. Shawnee Health Service believes that quality health care is a right, and continuously strives to ensure that patients receive the highest quality health care without regard to age, race, religion, sex, financial status, or where they live.


Shawnee Health Service is continuing operations during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of our commitment to our patients and clients who count on us for their safety and wellbeing.



Grandparents and Kids

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April 22, 2020

Shawnee Health Service to partner with State of Illinois to expand COVID-19 testing

Shawnee Health Service, in coordination with the State of Illinois and the Illinois Primary Health Care Association, will expand access to COVID-19 testing for high-risk Illinoisans with COVID-19 symptoms.  The expansion of testing will help reduce the transmission of the disease and improve health outcomes.


In an update on statewide efforts to expand testing, Governor JB Pritzker announced, “We are utilizing our incredible statewide network of Federally Qualified Health Centers to launch new testing locations in communities across Illinois. These new sites will feed specimens to our network of expanded laboratory capacity.”


Shawnee Health Service will test individuals with COVID-19 symptoms. Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Shawnee Health Service especially encourages symptomatic patients who have been exposed to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, who are over 60 years of age, who have a chronic health condition, who work in an essential community service, such as a grocery store or childcare facility, or who reside in temporary shelter, such as a homeless shelter, to seek testing.


If an individual is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, he or she should call (618) 519-9200. Individuals will be screened via phone. If deemed necessary, an appointment will be made for testing at Shawnee Health Care in Carbondale, Carterville, or Murphysboro. Testing is open to all southern Illinoisans, regardless of whether or not they are a patient or client of Shawnee Health Service.


Shawnee Health Service is continuing operations during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of our commitment to our patients and clients who count on us for their safety and wellbeing.


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March 21, 2020

Shawnee Health Service understands this is a difficult and stressful time for its employees and the community.  To prevent the spread of misinformation related to workplace changes prompted by COVID-19, we want to explain what we’re doing to help our employees whose work schedules and locations are affected by the Governor’s order to shelter in place until April 7, 2020.

Because health care is an essential service, Shawnee Health Service will remain open in a limited capacity.  Our OB/GYN clinic remains open, but all other services have been moved to our Carbondale campus.  Shawnee Health Service has not implemented a layoff of employees at this time.  We are making arrangements for employees who are able to work or telework wherever possible.  Some employees will have reduced schedules because of the changes.  We’re creating staffing rotations to ensure our employees who are able to continue working are scheduled to work some hours during this time.  Insurance benefits will not be affected and employees are not losing their benefits, including paid leave balances.

For affected employees, Shawnee Health Service is providing up to 80 hours of paid leave to cover the hours employees are no longer scheduled to work because of the reduction in services and locations.  These hours are paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay.  This paid leave is separate from the employee’s regular paid leave balance.  Employees are not required to use their paid leave before using the provided 80 hours.  During the 80 paid leave hours, Shawnee Health Service will cover the employee’s entire health and dental insurance premiums meaning employees are not required to pay their share like normal.

It’s our hope that these benefits will relieve some stress and anxiety for our employees.  The situation is constantly changing based on federal and state guidance and orders.  We will keep all employees informed of future changes.

If employees have any questions, they should contact their supervisor or a member of management.  We appreciate, and are proud of, all of our employees’ commitment to our patients and we’re always here to help.

– Shawnee Health Service

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June 3, 2019

June is Men’s Health Month

June 1 kicks off Men’s Health Month.  Men’s Health Month is dedicated to education and activities promoting the health and wellness of men and boys.


Did you know that men are dying an average of 5 years younger than women, and lead 9 out of 10 of the top causes of death?  Men are at greater risk for death in every age group.  Men have a higher suicide death rate than women.  Men account for 92% of fatal workplace injuries.


Men also do not see their Primary Care Provider (PCP) for a physical exam nearly as often as women.  Why?  Men give reasons such as, “I don’t have time,” “There’s probably nothing wrong,” or, “I can tough it out.”  The truth is there are no good reasons not to see the doctor, only excuses.


Shawnee Health Care’s Dr. Jeff Ripperda, MD, says, “The biggest issue facing men and men’s health is just getting men to go to the doctor in the first place.”  Men’s Health Month is the perfect time to schedule your annual physical.


Men are more likely to be uninsured than women.  If you are uninsured, Shawnee Health Service wants to help you get covered.  Our Navigators can help you enroll in coverage through the online system.  This service is free, and you do not have to be a patient of Shawnee Health Care to receive this service.  Call (844) 331-3069 to make an appointment with a Navigator.


Fathers, brothers, sons:  your families need you, and they need you to be healthy.  This month, we challenge you to take care of your health and make an appointment for your annual physical.  To make an appointment at Shawnee Health Care, call (618) 519-9200.


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May 17, 2018

Shawnee Health Service is proud to introduce the MEND program.

In the United States, the percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s. Data from 2015-2016 show that nearly 1 in 5 children ages 6-19 in the United States has obesity. Children with obesity are at higher risk of having chronic health conditions, such as asthma, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, and other conditions. They are also more likely to suffer from social isolation and lower self-esteem. In the long term, a child with obesity is more likely to be obese as an adult, and have a higher risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and many types of cancer (CDC, 2018).


MEND is an evidence-based healthy lifestyle programs that empowers 7-13 year olds, with the support of their families, to reach and maintain a healthy weight. It does this by helping families change unhealthy attitudes about food and activity (Mind), keep physically active on a regular basis (Exercise), learn how to choose foods that are healthy, tasty and nutritious (Nutrition), and take action to maintain a healthy lifestyle – for life (Do It!). It does not focus on weight itself, but instead on the behaviors that lead to overweight and obesity.


MEND 7-13 is a 20-session family Program that meets for two hours twice a week and is attended by the child and at least one parent or caregiver. The first hour is an interactive family session on nutrition and behavior topics, followed by one hour of fun exercise for the children while the parents meet for support and discussion on topics such as goals and rewards, label reading and problem solving.


What is MEND?

MEND is a comprehensive, family-based program that helps overweight children ages 7-13 improve their health, fitness and self-esteem. MEND supports children and their families to achieve and maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Who participates in MEND?

  • Children ages 7-13 who are above a healthy weight for their height
  • Parents and guardians (required)
  • Siblings of MEND participants

Is MEND effective?

MEND was developed and tested by leading experts in child nutrition, child psychology, and exercise. MEND’s innovative approach to preventing obesity complies with all relevant national guidelines and recommendations.


For more information about the MEND program, check out our MEND Healthy Lifestyle Program page. To register for the program, call (618) 519-9200.

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February 1, 2018

Shawnee Health Service Celebrates Black History Month

The month of February is dedicated to an important minority group in the United States. That group is African Americans. During Black History Month, we celebrate the achievements of African Americans, and recognize the invaluable contributions and influence of African Americans in the United States. At Shawnee Health Service, we especially celebrate the achievements and contributions of African Americans to health care and to the Community Health Center Movement.


The Community Health Center Movement has often times been connected with the Civil Rights Movement. Important visionaries in community health were/are African Americans, and it’s important to recognize their achievements.


Millions of Americans in the 1960’s lacked access to basic healthcare, not only in impoverished inner-city neighborhoods, but also in the rural neighborhoods we are more accustomed to in southern Illinois. Civil Rights activists like H. Jack Geiger and Count Gibson founded America’s first community health centers, and now over 50 years later, health centers like Shawnee Health Service and 9,000 other sites in the United States serve over 24 million patients.


To the pioneers who have focused on community health, we say thank you.



During this observance, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (OMH) raises awareness of health disparities, particularly in heart health and childhood obesity. OMH also provides a platform for national, state and local health organizations to discuss challenges and opportunities for the African American community, with the goal of decreasing health disparities and improving health outcomes.


This month, Shawnee Health Service will share statistics and resources to our social media pages with the goal of helping to reduce disparities and promote better health for African Americans.



Related image

H. Jack Geiger and Count D. Gibson, Jr.

Posted in News, Uncategorized by marketing
December 27, 2017

If you are Medicaid beneficiary, you may have begun receiving notices from Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), leaving you with many questions:


What is Medicaid Managed Care?

  • Managed Care is like private insurance for those on Medicaid. Rather than the state of Illinois paying providers directly, it pays insurance companies to coordinate your care, and the insurance companies then pay for the services you receive


I currently have Illinois Health Connect and received a notice that it is ending December 31, 2017. What do I need to do?

  • Right now you do not need to do anything. The state will continue to pay your providers directly until April 1, 2018.
  • Between mid-January through mid-February, you will receive an enrollment packet from HFS telling you to select a Managed Care plan.
  • You will have 30 days to enroll in a plan. If you do not select a plan before your deadline you will be auto-enrolled into a plan


How will I know which plan to pick?

  • Assistance is available to help you with the process. The organizations listed below provide free enrollment assistance to all members of the community. You do not need to be a patient to receive this service.
  • Shawnee Health Service – (618 )519-9200
  • Christopher Rural Health – (800) 408-7351
  • Rural Health, Inc. – (618) 833-4471


What information should I bring when receiving enrollment assistance?

  • Names of all providers for all household members
  • List of current medications


HFS also has a Medicaid Managed Care in Illinois Frequently Asked Questions page:


If you have any more questions about Medicaid Managed Care, you may contact Shawnee Health Service’s Outreach and Enrollment team by calling (618) 519-9200 or (844) 331-3069.

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All Shawnee Health clinics are currently closed. If you need to get ahold of the On-Call Provider, call 618-519-9200, press option #1, select your “specialty” needed and follow the prompts for our On-Call Provider. If you are dealing with an emergency please call 911 or visit the ER.

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