May 20, 2016

Discussion focuses on poverty’s impact on health

CARBONDALE, Ill. – A discussion next week will look at the health consequences of poverty in the region. 

“Poor Health: Health Consequences of Extended Poverty,” is from 5 to 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 25, at the Carbondale Public Library, 405 W. Main St. 

The Sparrow Coalition, Imagining Geographies Initiative, and the library are event sponsors. The event is part of the community forum series, “Challenges of Poverty.” The event is open to the public. 

A 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment presented by Angie Bailey, community health benefits manager of Southern Illinois Healthcare, cited three primary health issues in Southern Illinois – cancer, cardiovascular disease and mental health, said Peter Lemish, an instructor in the SIU School of Journalism and Imagining Geographies facilitator. 

Bailey, Miriam Link-Mullison, chief administrator for the Jackson County Health Department, and Dhrubodhi Mukherjee, associate professor in SIU’s School of Social Work, will be part of the discussion. 

A recent report by researchers at the University of California School of Medicine indicates “socioeconomic status is the most powerful predictor of disease, disorder, injury and mortality we have,” according to Lemish. In addition, a 2016 Illinois Poverty report by the Social Impact Research Center of Heartland Alliance shows that seven of the 11 most southern counties in Illinois received poverty warnings, he said. 

The next event in the “Challenges of Poverty” series is June 21, with a screening of “Senior Insecurity,” a film on poverty issues facing senior citizens by Diane Nilan, founder of the non-profit organization, “Hear US Inc.” 

For additional information, contact Lemish at 618/534/-3989 or