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2021 Annual Report

On behalf of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), it is my sincere pleasure to present the 2021 Annual Report. Public health has been propelled into the forefront as a result of a worldwide pandemic. Public health departments across the nation have adopted the roles of researcher, reporter, strategist, advisor, and advocate, as we seek to understand the mystery of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and the impact it is having on our health as well as our lifestyles. While we are responding to this pandemic, we are also responding to many additional priorities that are so important to our public’s health.

Our work is driven by our mission:

The Illinois Department of Public Health 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.

It is this mission that has helped us to shape our vision:

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

In 2021, we worked towards this mission with a lens of equity for the health care needs of all people of our state, regardless of geography, race, gender, age, ability, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, or any of the other factors that cause us to view people differently.

Through a commitment to performance management, IDPH promotes internal operational effectiveness, accountability, and transparency. As a department nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, we see ongoing quality improvement initiatives as integral to our work. We also provide grant management and administrative support to agency staff, partner agencies, and grantees throughout the entire life cycle of the grant process.

IDPH directs strategic activities and outputs to meet the department’s goals effectively and efficiently. Its primary focus is on the department’s performance, grant programs, and the processes implemented to manage particular tasks. Performance management standards are generally organized and disseminated by senior leadership and the task owners provide timely feedback and improvement.

Also critical to, and integrated into IDPH program achievements are our data systems. Public health data and surveillance systems are the cornerstone of public health practice. We use data to: • evaluate program impact,

  • determine appropriate public health interventions,
  • identify target populations, 
  • monitor progress, 
  • determine barriers to care, and 
  • inform public policy.

The potency of public health data is highlighted in the department’s activities regarding our battle with the pandemic, response to communities’ concerns about environmental risks, and our strong emphasis on applying the health equity lens to our work. This recognition of the value of public health data has led IDPH to continue to focus on public health surveillance data. These efforts have resulted in some remarkable milestones which include, but are not limited to, the rapid integration of multiple data systems to respond to disease tracking and monitoring; the National Cancer Institute’s award to the Illinois State Cancer Registry, which allowed them to become a member of its Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program; and the continued improvement of the vital records systems.

The accomplishments of 2021 are due in no small part to the dedication and work of the employees who comprise #TeamIDPH! Their commitment to serving the people of Illinois makes it a joy to lead this department. Their professionalism, flexibility, and continuous willingness to pivot amidst so many challenges, inspires me and keeps me in a perpetual state of gratitude for the work they do and their roles as servant leaders. This annual report chronicles the work, activities, and initiatives we are continuously called to undertake as we serve this state, and advocate on behalf of its people. In accordance with the State Finance Act (30 ILCS 105/3(a)), I am pleased to present the fiscal year 2021 report for the Illinois Department of Public Health for the year ending June 30, 2021. Thank you for the honor and privilege of serving, and thank you Illinois, for the faith placed in our efforts.

Yours in Service and Optimal Health,

Ngozi Ezike, M.D. Director