THE GENETICS PROGRAM
The Kankakee County Health Department (KCHD), along with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) coordinate Genetic services for families in the community “who may have a family history of, or concern about a medical condition with a genetic basis.” (IDPH, 2023).
KCHD strives to identify high-risk clients, increase community awareness, provide educational resources, and link families to local and state agencies with support from the IDPH Genetics Grant Program.
RN Case Managers counsel all pregnant women and women of childbearing age on the importance of folic acid, linkage to primary care physicians (PCP) for ongoing preventative care and follow-up on all abnormal Newborn Screenings and Newborn Hearing Screens.
WHO WOULD BENEFIT FROM GENETIC SERVICES?
Any woman of childbearing age or who is currently pregnant may gain helpful information for use in decision making from genetic services if any of the following apply: (IDPH, 2008)
DOES IT RUN IN THE FAMILY?
You and your family share genes. Genes are the instructions inside each of your cells that make you unique. Families also share habits, environment, and diet.
At your next family gathering why not talk to family members about your family’s health history to get a complete picture of diseases and lifestyle choices that may impact your overall health. Visit http://doesitruninthefamily.org/ for free booklets that can help you start the conversation and guide you on what information to collect.
(English and Spanish versions available).
The Surgeon General’s web-based tool “My Family Health Portrait” can help keep track of the information. http://cbiit.github.io/FHH/html/index.html
Share what you learn with your healthcare provider, “who can help you take steps to prevent disease and catch it early if it develops” (CDC, 2023).
Visit the following websites for additional information.
March of Dimes
LINKS TO RESOURCES ON GENETICS
FAMILY & CHILD
Baby’s First Test
Early Hearing Detection & Intervention
Illinois Hands & Voices Guide By Your Side
Illinois Early Hearing Detection & Intervention Program
PKU Organization of Illinois
Sickle Cell Disease Association of Illinois
UIC Division of Specialized Care for Children
NATIONAL, FEDERAL, STATE & LOCAL
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)
March of Dimes
Midwest Genetics Network (MGN)
Pregnancy Resource Center/Kankakee, IL