The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 |

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Community Health Strategic Plan

The Oak Park Department of Public Health is seeking feedback from the community as it prepares to develop its new strategic plan. 

As a state-certified health department, the Oak Park Health Department must complete a community health assessment and strategic plan (IPLAN) every five years.

Local health officials are proposing to focus their attention on the topics outlined in in the chart below.

Oak Park residents and other community stakeholders are invited to provide comments on the proposed scope of the plan, including whether any topics should be added or removed. Comments can be provided either on this page or by email to  

Click to expand

Commenting is now closed. Thank you to all who provided feedback.


Submitted by Mari Wagner-Davis on

I am assuming health education would be a part of each section, however I feel like health education should occur prior to an individual getting ill. Health education regarding diet, exercise, mental health, life/work balance work be a way to connect to the community and address the other issues and allow community members to become familiar with the services offered by the Department of Health. So few community members are aware of the health department and their role in the community. Thanks Mari

Submitted by Alex Schwartz on

While this is not a specific health-related topic, Oak Park has many agencies working on the goals listed in the plan: Public Works, the township, schools, parks, etc. Public health requires a coordinated response. I hope the department continues to collaborate and form an integrated public health response. This is sometimes difficult when responsibility is shared between so many agencies with their own boards.

Submitted by Eleanor Rivera on

Some areas I would change:
mental health should include children
physical activity/obesity should include children
heart disease/diabetes/hypertension: by 65+ we are more limited in what we can do. emphasis must be on prevention, i.e. 21-64 group
vaccination should include 10-20 group

surprised not to see:
environmental and occupational safety
maternal health
social support/social isolation

Submitted by Thomas H. Ptacek on

Most suburbs of Chicago, including several better resourced than our own, don't have their own public health department. We are, along with Evanston, Skokie, and Stickey, an oddity in Cook County; other area municipalities rely on the Cook County Health Department, which is (ironically) headquartered next door to us in Forest Park.

Cook County did a better job with vaccination (allowing pre-registration for vaccination while our own Village was urging residents not to register). Moreover, because of our odd status in Cook County, Oak Park residents at times could not avail themselves of Cook County DPH COVID services.

It is far better resourced and staffed than Oak Park's. Residents of the Village apparently fund Cook County DPH as well as our own department. The Oak Park DPH has a budget smaller than that of the value of most Oak Park houses and, in 2020, included headcount for just a single public health nurse. (Notably, Oak Park DPH has responsibility for animal control and the farmer's market, both with dedicated headcount taken from the department's 2020 single-digit total staffing).

If Oak Park is to continue staffing and managing its own DPH, the Department should offer residents some clarity over what we're getting for the effort beyond what the county provides.

Submitted by Allyson Raines on

Can we continue the focus on childhood vaccines for the youth 10-20 group? I know I got a ton of vaccines for the first time heading into college that I was behind on. I’m sure there are many young people who may need to be screened for what they may have already missed.

Submitted by Pearl Natali on

Some areas for assessment I would like to be considered include:

The effectiveness of addressing homelessness, unemployment, underemployment, low income - limited income in our community to rehabilitating to an integrated member of society. Also best practices a citizen should take when confronted with these circumstances.

The cleanliness of our air. Increased air pollution is currently an issue.

Accessibility and inclusivity for disabled individuals such as for the deaf, mute, blind, or crippled.

The cleanliness of our streets and public spaces and resources and value for community to keep it clean.

Privacy and identity

Safety of tamperproof food at our stores.

Family health

Submitted by Taylor Heald-Sargent on

Why separate out the vaccination topics into COVID and early childhood? If the effort to create a vaccination infrastructure is going to be made anyway, why not include all age groups and ready-made plans for outbreaks.

For example, teenagers often miss their boosters and primary HPV and Meningococcal series if they do not have regular care. Similarly adults may not realize they need periodic boosters and additional new vaccines as they age. At risk populations such as those experiencing homelessness or IV drug users are also recommended to get special immunizations and are often not receiving preventative healthcare but may interact with the health department.

Although it seems like ancient history, pre-COVID there were measles, mumps, pertussis, and MenB outbreaks that required catch-up or booster doses of vaccines. Having a system in place to deal with these re-emerging infections seems prudent.

Submitted by Robert Mapes on

Covid shined a light on the importance of a large and well-resourced public health department. While CCDPH collaborated well with community providers to quickly get vaccination clinics available for first the older adults and then the general population, Oak Park social service providers couldn’t even get an answer from the Oak Park PH department. Large numbers of older adults got vaccinated at clinics run to CCDPH because they couldn’t get vaccinated through their own. I don’t think this is because of a lack of effort by OPPHD but a lack of resources. There just isn’t enough scale and funding to do the job well. Look at all the CDC funding that CCDPH just got for covid response. Did OPPHD get any? We’d be better off joining the Cook County Department of Public Health.

Submitted by Esther Brodsky on

Disabled and elderly bed bound citizens residing in their homes with a caregiverver had an extremely difficult time receiving the Corona vaccine. They seem to be invisible to service providers. Also, do emergency services, such as fire, have a registry for these residents, for assistance in a crises?

Submitted by erik.jacobsen on

Thank you for your feedback. The Village does maintain a special needs registry that residents may fill out to ensure first responders are aware of any special needs when dispatched to an address via a 911 call. You can access the form at
-Erik, communications

Submitted by Gary Strokosch on

The table does not address immunizations for youth. Immunizations are important for infancy, early childhood AND YOUTH. School immunization requirements and CDC recommendations include students in high school and college.