6th Annual WCHD State of the Agency Address
WILL COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
Susan Olenek, Executive Director of the Will County Health Department Gives State of the Agency Address
On Friday, January 21, Susan Olenek, Executive Director of the Will County Health Department [WCHD], gave her annual State of the Agency address.
Director Olenek praised the department for its work during the pandemic. Even with staffing short-ages and the challenges COVID-19 creates, WCHD and the Community Health Center [CHC] maintained their 38 programs and continued to serve the people of Will County.
2021 proved to be a year of significant accomplishment for WCHD as it grew and adapted to meet the changing health needs of Will County. This past year, WCHD formally dedicated the new WCHD building. Also, WCHD made several technological and organizational improvements that will allow it to better serve the community. All of this, and more, was accomplished while WCHD continued its comprehensive response to COVID-19.
WCHD started two new programs this past year: STOP and Increasing Well-Woman Visits. STOP [Substance Treatment Options Program] is an outpatient substance use treatment for adults. In-creasing Well-Woman Visits is a program designed to ensure the continued health of women within our community by providing annual preventative medical visits.
Looking forward to 2022, Director Olenek identified two new services that should greatly benefit Will County. WCHD will roll out a permanent, agency-wide call center. When it begins, specially trained call center staff will be capable of assisting the people of Will County in accessing all the services of WCHD.
The Behavioral Health Department of WCHD will be starting a new phone-based crisis program, Pro-gram 590, that will be linked to a new, nationwide 988 call system. Scheduled to begin on July 1, Program 590 is designed to have a team of trained and experienced specialists respond to mental and behavioral health issues. Director Olenek recognized the importance of the support of the Board of Health, the County Execu-tive’s office, and the Will County Board in WCHD’s ability to fulfill its mission.