Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed an executive order establishing a state public health advocate who will champion wellness programs and lead the fight against chronic diseases such as diabetes and asthma.
The public health advocate, working within the state Public Health Department, will develop wellness programs aimed at improving population health through education. The new office will also facilitate the development of public health strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat and cure chronic diseases.
The goal is to use current public health dollars more wisely and minimize the state's spending for preventable and treatable chronic diseases, according to the executive order. The advocate will coordinate with local health agencies, providers, research and advocacy groups, school districts, universities and other stakeholders.
“If current trends continue, one out of every three children could face a future with diabetes,” Quinn said in a written statement. “It is critical that our families have access to important information that will educate them about diseases and prevention options.”
Quinn signed the executive order at a ceremony at Norwegian American Hospital in Chicago.