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How Healthy Is Your Town - Best and Worst

Diagnosing the well-being of 191 Chicago suburbs—and the city itself.

(page 5 of 6)



Best and Worst - 10,000-14,999 Population


“People think that in Winnetka I’m treating all socialites,” says Bob Fulanovich, a chiropractor who moved his practice from Evanston to Winnetka several years ago. “But my female patients here are basically jocks. They’re running and biking-and they translate that out to their kids. I treat more people who are overactive than who are underactive.”



TOP 10
Towns for Mental Health Services*

Oakbrook Terrace
Oak Brook
Palos Heights
Highland Park

*Based on the number of psychiatrists per capita.
Source: Medical Marketing Service

In Winnetka, the healthiest of our second-smallest towns, people work out in their home gyms, polish their game at the spectacular A. C. Nielsen Tennis Center (a park district facility), and do sprints and stretches on Maple Street Beach with Pam Phillips, a local trainer. “Most of the adults in Winnetka are serious about integrating exercise into their lifestyle,” says Phillips, who has been coaching them for 26 years, most recently out of Winnetka’s Community House, a gathering place for art classes, club meetings, and other public events. “They are serious about fitness as the balance against stress.”


Children in Winnetka have the expected array of soccer, swimming, and baseball teams, but they also have access to programs like Adventures in Learning, which, on a recent summer day, had David Flahive, a junior high science teacher at Carleton W. Washburne School, coaching six kids in tennis at the Nielsen. “The parents support health,” Flahive said, “and they don’t need it to be competitive. They want their kids to find their own lifelong sport-and they want us to make it fun.”



Four of every ten adults in Markham die before the age of 65, the worst rate of premature death among local towns of similar size-and one of the worst in the entire six-county region. State representative William Davis, whose 30th District includes Markham and other south suburbs, is sure he knows why: “No jobs means no benefits means no access to good health care.”


Unemployment is endemic in Markham and some surrounding towns, Davis explains. “Many people have to rely on emergency rooms for their primary care,” he says. “They can’t go to a primary care physician to treat problems and get the medications that might help, so they end up charity cases at the hospitals when it gets bad.” Davis also notes that the Cook County and Illinois health departments are overseeing an aggressive effort to combat the rampant juvenile asthma that erodes the quality of life here and elsewhere.

A protégé of U.S. representative Jesse Jackson Jr., Davis believes the best way to improve the health of his constituents is to bring in a massive job generator, one that, in turn, means health benefits for his constituents. Like Jackson, he thinks the proposed Peotone airport may offer a solution. Supporters say it would create more than 200,000 jobs in the southern suburbs.

View the complete ratings for towns with 10,000 - 14,999 population




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