Pandemic Influenza Response

Pandemic Influenza Response

Community Wide Planning and Coordination

Unlike the seasonal flu, a pandemic flu virus poses a unique threat. Since humans have no previously developed immunity against pandemic flu, this new virus strain puts most people at high risk of infection. The result could be that a large percentage of the world's population becomes infected in a very short period of time.

Local health departments like the WCHD and its Emergency Preparedness Division are responsible for community wide planning for an outbreak of an influenza pandemic. The Will County Health Department has developed a pandemic influenza plan for the county and conducts training meetings and exercises with other agencies to build response capabilities. The department also conducts routine disease surveillance activities which can assist in forecasting and monitoring outbreaks of disease. If an outbreak of pandemic influenza should occur, the WCHD will work closely with other Will County emergency agencies, regional partners and the State of Illinois to manage and distribute antiviral supplies and vaccines, along with carrying out other public health, medical and emergency services.

Communicating During an Emergency:I

In an emergency, information will be provided on Twitter at ( and the Health Department’s website ( as well as local media outlets.  

Other useful information is available for download below.

Useful Links:

Will County Emergency Management Agency

Illinois Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control

Illinois Pandemic Flu 

West Nile Virus Control Program

West Nile Virus Control Program

Health Department Initiatives in Public Education, Surveillance and Response to WNV

Increasing public awareness of the need for mosquito control, ongoing surveillance of vulnerable   populations and coordination of response to outbreaks offers the best chance of controlling this disease

The Environmental Health Division takes a lead role in county efforts to combat outbreaks of West Nile virus (WNV) by raising public awareness about the disease through education, helping to ensure surveillance of potentially infected humans, mammals and birds and controlling the spread of the disease. West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause mild illness (West Nile fever) or severe symptoms (encephalitis or meningitis) in humans and other animals bitten by infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on birds that carry the virus in their blood. Currently, no vaccine against WNV is available so that mosquito abatement is one of the main tools that can be used to reduce the incidence of the disease. People over the age of 50 are more likely to develop serious symptoms of WNV if they do get sick and should take special care to avoid mosquito bites. WNV is now considered to be an endemic pathogen in many parts of the world including the United States.

International Travel Immunization Clinic

International Travel Immunization Clinic

Anyone Who is Planning to Travel Internationally is Welcome

The International Travel Immunization Clinic provides a comprehensive consultation and immunization service for persons traveling abroad. Services are provided by appointment. Early morning, daytime and late afternoon appointments are available.

 Program Services

The nurse will provide destination-specific information regarding currently circulating diseases, epidemics, vaccination recommendations, and measures for safe travel. Recommendations for immunizations are individualized based on each traveler’s age, medical history, past immunizations, and travel plans.

 To maximize protection from vaccine-preventable diseases, an appointment should be scheduled at least 4 weeks before departure.

 Travel Vaccines and Anti-Malarial medications are provided, as well as treatment for Traveler’s Diarrhea if needed. Will County Health Department Travel Immunization Clinic is a designated yellow fever vaccination center by the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health. Persons who receive the Yellow Fever vaccine will be given a World Health Organization Certificate of Vaccination. Yellow Fever Vaccine is required at least 10 days prior to entry into some countries.

Everyone should bring their immunization records. Children must be accompanied by their parent/guardian.

Phone:  815-740-8143 (For an appointment or information)

Fax:  815-727-8491     

Community Health Center Services

Community Health Center Services

Summary of Services

The Community Health Center offers a broad range of health services to the citizens of Will County. The Center has a 24 hour answering service and bilingual staff and physicians. Fees are based on a sliding scale according to income. Appointments are preferred; walk-ins are accepted based on availability.


As Your Medical Home we can help you manage your total health care, as well as your cultural and language needs.  Our highly trained and compassionate nurses and staff members work closely with our doctors, dentists and managers to provide a quality experience for patients needing services at the center.


Tell us about other health care professionals who care for you.  Keep us informed about your medical history, current medications, ER visits, recent test results to ensure safer care and better health outcomes. 


  • Family Practice / General Medicine- Physical exams, diagnosis, and sick visits are provided to adults as well as children.
  • Text4Baby Program - Get support throughout your pregnancy & your baby's first year with FREE text messages on topics like prenatal care, baby health, parenting and more. Find out more at Text4Baby.
  • Pediatrics - Physical exams, including well baby exams, school exams, sick visits, immunizations, medical diagnosis, and treatment for all illnesses for children.  Download the School Physical information flyer below.
  • Family Planning - Medical exams, pregnancy tests, lab tests, counseling, women's health education, and family planning methods are provided to meet your individual needs. Download the Family Planning Brochure below.
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)- Counseling, testing, treatment, and follow-up care.
  • HIV / AIDS Testing- Available by appointment and walk-in.
  • Women's Services- Prenatal and gynecological care is provided. Prenatal care through delivery is available at any stage of pregnancy. We encourage you to seek care as early in the pregnancy as possible. Gynecological care provides a full range of services including breast exams and cancer screening.
  • Behavioral Health Services- Behavioral Case Management Services include assessment of individuals social service needs, linking them with community res
Dental Care

Dental Care

Specializing in Dentistry for Children 6 Months through 21 years old; Adults on Emergency Basis.

Dental Services are provided to private insurance, Medicaid recipients, low income and non-insured people.  We now accept DentaQuest for Dental Medicaid Managed Care.   Dental services include oral exams, school exams, fluoride treatments, dental sealants, fillings, cleanings, and simple extractions.

Effective March 24, 2014 New Minimum Fees - Per Dental Visit

$50:  Emergency Exam & X-rays or comprehensive/periodic exam & full mouth x-rays

$50:  Teeth cleaning (extra charge for deep cleaning)

$75:  Filling Visits

$100:  Extraction Visits

***Minimum fees are based on proof of income and insurance
*** Payment is expected at time of service
***Payment plans available.
All dental fees are below standard charges in this area.  Minimum fees are requested to provide high quality care to our patients.  No one will be turned away due to inability to pay.

Steps to Preventing Spread of Gastrointestinal Illness in Child Care Centers and Day Care Homes

Guidelines to follow to Prevent Diarrhea caused by E.coli

E. coli O157:H7 infection causes a diarrheal illness that is often bloody.Cases typically experience abdominal cramping but fever is usually absent.  Asymptomatic infections also can occur.  Medical attention should be sought for any child with diarrhea lasting more than 24 hours.
Educating the Public Concerning the Risks Posed by Communicable Disease

Educating the Public Concerning the Risks Posed by Communicable Disease

Public Awareness is the Key to Early Detection and Minimizing the Burden of Communicable Disease

The Epidemiology and Communicable Disease Program of the Will County Health Department works constantly to provide the most current information/prevention and control guidelines to the general public in order to increase awareness of the symptoms and incidence of communicable disease in the county. 

Public outreach is accomplished through speaking engagements and public meetings as well as distributing flyers and brochures. Social media and the new health department website offer additional important ways to get the word out to an increasingly connected public. In carrying out its public outreach program, Epidemiology and Communicable Disease staff are always aware of the need for a seasonal perspective with warnings and alerts about food borne illnesses taking precedence during the summer months and a campaign to urge everyone to take a flu shot occurring during the fall and early winter.

In addition to warning the public about real or potential outbreaks of communicable disease, the program provides written guidance to vulnerable institutions like hospitals, schools businesses and day-care centers about how they can best protect their students, patients and clients from infectious disease. This advice is based on the latest press releases and information from the CDC and the State of Illinois.

Surveillance and Data Collection

Surveillance and Data Collection

Monitoring Disease Reports to Verify Diagnosis and Locate Areas where Outbreaks are Especially Intense

In close collaboration with our community partners (clinics, hospitals, health care providers) and the wider community, the staff of the Epidemiology and Communicable Disease Program works  to perform case investigations and contact tracing on reportable communicable disease cases. Program staff are especially interested in monitoring the frequency and pattern of health events through hospitalizations and deaths that occur as the result of outbreaks of infectious diseases such as West Nile Virus, Influenza or Hepatitis.

The surveillance and data collection function of the program is greatly assisted by the Illinois law that mandates reporting by health care providers, clinics and hospitals of any suspected or confirmed case of some 39 diseases.  The reportable diseases are divided into three categories and providers have between three hours and 7 days to make a report to the health department. 

Communicable Disease Reporting

A communicable disease can be reported in Will County by one of the following ways:

  • Ask for the communicable disease investigator by calling (815) 727-8481.
  • Fax to a confidential fax line at, (815) 727-8833.
  • Mail communicable disease report to the following address:
    Epidemiology and Communicable Disease Program
    501 Ella Ave.
    Joliet, IL 60433

Mobile Dental Unit

Provides Dental Services to Schools and Shelters

Will County’s 40-foot mobile dental van features digital x-ray capabilities and two fully-equipped dental chairs. It will enable Will County Community Health Center dental professionals to offer services to clients at schools and community shelters who might not otherwise have access to preventive and restorative dental services.
HIV Prevention Program

HIV Prevention Program

Provides HIV Education and Prevention Services to High Risk Individuals

The Will County Health Department HIV program ensure that individuals at high risk for acquiring or transmitting HIV or other STD’s in Will County are provided with quality HIV prevention and care services. Anyone 12 years of age or older is eligible to participate.

The HIV program works to prevent the spread of HIV by providing anonymous or confidential HIV counseling and testing FREE of charge in many Will County locations.  

For HIV information or for more information regarding HIV services available, please call (815) 727-8830.

Related Links:

Agape Missions
AIDS Foundation of Chicago
HIV Care Connect

If you don't qualify for Will County Health Department HIV Testing, click on link and enter zip code to identify other agencies that provide testing in your area National HIV and STD Testing Resources

Programs & Services