johnson health 051821SPRINGFIELD – State agencies would have the data they need to take a more proactive approach to public health issues under legislation sponsored by State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove).

“The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for more comprehensive data on community health,” Johnson said. “It’s time to reach out to residents in the overlooked corners of the state so we can craft more effective policy to improve health outcomes across all demographics.”

Johnson’s legislation would require the Illinois Department of Public Health to administer a comprehensive Healthy Illinois Survey every year to study public health and health equity in Illinois.

The survey would gather input from Illinois residents in urban, suburban and rural areas across the state. Survey questions would cover a range of topics, including access to health services, chronic health conditions, diet, mental health, physical activity, substance abuse and more.

Following the survey, the department would be required to make the results available to cities, communities, local health departments and hospitals, and to publish the data on its website broken down by race, ethnicity, gender, age and geography.

The idea for the Healthy Illinois Survey stems from the successful Healthy Chicago Survey, which collects data identifying health concerns in Chicago communities to inform the city’s public health policy.

“Understanding a problem is the first step toward solving it,” Johnson said. “We need a fuller picture of the barriers our communities are facing to health and wellness.”

House Bill 3504 passed the Senate Healthcare Access and Availability Committee Tuesday and now heads to the Senate floor.