Public Health Information and Services to be Provided at DuQuoin State Fair
IDPH tent will offer dental exams, gun locks, Narcan and more during the fair in Southern Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) will provide a variety of health and safety services during the 2023 DuQuoin State Fair, including free dental exams for school-aged children. The agency will partner with the Egyptian Health Department to hand out supplies of Narcan, an important tool in the fight against opioid overdoses. IDPH will also give away gun locks as part of its ongoing partnership with the Illinois State Police (ISP) to promote firearms safety in the state.
The fair runs August 25-September 4 in DuQuoin. IDPH staffers will be on hand each day of the fair at the IDPH tent on Grandstand Avenue, just across from the Grandstand. The tent will be manned from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily during the fair.
“The DuQuoin State Fair is a festive celebration of food, fun, and the wonders of Illinois. And it’s also an opportunity to take advantage of essential health services,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “As families come out to enjoy this annual tradition, I encourage them to stop by the IDPH tent, meet our staffers and partners, and benefit from the services and information available there.”
The dental examinations are available free of charge to school-aged children and will be offered on Sunday, August 27 from 1 to 4 p.m., and Monday, August 28 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dr. Kevin Van Kanegan, DDS, will perform the exams at the IDPH tent, an effort coordinated by the agency’s Oral Health division.
Throughout the fair, IDPH will also provide free gun locks at its tent. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has furnished the gun locks for distribution by IDPH, as part of both agencies’ commitment to promoting firearms safety. The purpose of the IDPH/ISP program, “Together for a Safer Illinois,” is to make gun locks readily available as a means of preventing tragedies, such as accidental shootings, gun violence, gun thefts, and suicide.
The locks include installation instructions for autoloading pistols, revolvers, autoloading and pump-action shotguns, bolt action rifles, modern sports rifles, and single-action revolvers. The locks also come with information about the national 988 suicide and crisis lifeline. No information will be collected from those who obtain a lock at the fair.
The Egyptian Health Department is providing a supply of Narcan nasal spray, which can be administered to counter the effects of an opioid overdose. Narcan is the brand name for the drug naloxone. Anyone can easily use naloxone to save the life of someone overdosing on opioids, including heroin or prescription medicines like OxyContin® or Percocet®. Learn more about Narcan and its uses at Naloxone (illinois.gov).
During the manned hours of operation at the fair, the IDPH tent will also offer brochures and other information on the wide range of public health services provided by the agency. There will also be information available about employment opportunities within the department.