Community Benefits Program

This is a sampling of the SIH Charitable Programs that are provided in the community. For more information contact the staff listed below.

Addressing the Opioid Crisis in southern Illinois

As the impact of the opioid crisis has dramatically increased across the nation, southern Illinoisans are also seeing the negative effects of this trend. According to the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program, southern Illinois has higher rates of patients being prescribed an opioid and higher rates of overlapping opioid prescriptions as compared to other regions. Prescribers in southern Illinois also prescribe more opioids of 90 morphine milligram equivalents (MMEs) per patient per day than any other region in Illinois. SIH has been working collaboratively with stakeholders to address the drug and opioid epidemic in southern Illinois.

One way we are working to reduce the sharing of prescriptions is by providing free medication disposal drop-off locations in SIH hospitals (Carbondale Memorial, Herrin Hospital, St. Joseph's Memorial) and the SIH Cancer Institute.    Over 500+ pounds of medications have been disposed of since the program began.

Outside of the hospital walls, SIH has partnered with many agencies and organizations in the community to address the opioid crisis. A Substance Abuse Resource Guide has been developed (  Numerous town hall meetings, educational activities, trainings, certification courses, action team, coalition, and substance abuse task force meetings have been held.  SIH staff are providing Narcan and training targeted to medical First responders and law enforcement.  Staff are also  participating in action teams, coalitions and task forces in counties including Williamson, Franklin, and Jackson and the Illinois Opioid Crisis Response Advisory Council and Southern Illinois Opioid Steering Committee.

School Health Programming 

Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSWC) The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child, or WSCC model, is CDC’s framework for addressing health in schools.   The WSCC model is student-centered and emphasizes the role of the community in supporting the school, the connections between health and academic achievement and the importance of evidence-based school policies and practices. The 10 components of the model include: Physical education and physical activity, Nutrition environment and services, Health education, Social and emotional school climate, Physical environment, Health services, Counseling, psychological and social services, Employee wellness, Community involvement, and Family engagement.

Through work with the Illinois CATCH onto Health Consortium, SIH collaborates with schools to provide resources to promote health and learning. Staff assist school personnel with assessment, training, program planning, implementation, and evaluation using the WSCC Expanded Model for Coordinated School health as the framework.          

CATCH (Coordinated Approach To Child Health) promotes physical activity, healthy food choices and tobacco prevention in elementary school aged children. With over 98% of American children attending public and private schools, schools are logical settings for health promotion programs, where continuous and intensive education can be delivered at low cost to children of all backgrounds. SIH is directly working with the following schools who have been trained in the CATCH program: Adams School, Akin Elementary, Carbondale New School, Christopher Elementary, Crab Orchard Elementary, Desoto Grade School, DuQuoin Elementary, DuQuoin Junior High, General John A. Logan Attendance Center, Giant City School, Herrin Elementary, Immanuel Lutheran, Jefferson Elementary (Johnston City), Jefferson Elementary (Marion), Lincoln Elementary (Johnston City), North Side Primary Center (Herrin), Pinckneyville #204, Pinckneyville Elementary, Prairie Du Rocher Elementary, Sparta Primary Attendance Center, Sparta-Lincoln School, St. Andrew Catholic School, St. Bruno Catholic School, St. John Lutheran School (Chester), St. John Lutheran School (Red Bud), Thompsonville, Tri-C Elementary, Tri-County Special Education, Trico Elementary, Trinity Christian School, Unity Christian School, Unity Point School, Washington Elementary (Johnston City), and Washington Elementary (Marion).

Courage to Quit® (Three - Six session smoking cessation program)

Quitting smoking is a challenge you do not have to face alone.   If quitting smoking is your goal, Respiratory Health Association®’s  Courage to Quit® program can help you get there. Courage to Quit® is a stop smoking program that may be available to you one-on-one or as part of a group. Each session includes information, practice skills, and support to help you reach your smoke-free goal. Trained and certified Courage to Quit® program leaders are committed to help you achieve your smoke-free goal. They come from different backgrounds, including nursing, social work, and community organizations. Leaders are not current smokers.   Courage to Quit® sessions help you make a personal quit smoking plan, identify your triggers to smoke and gain new skills to deal with those triggers. You will learn about quit smoking medication options and strategies to prevent relapse. Courage to Quit® works to build your confidence to start your new tobacco-free life.  For more information visit

Take Charge of Your Health: Live Well, Be Well 

Diabetes and Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs:  Many people live with diabetes and chronic diseases every day, but you do not have to face them alone. SIH and our partners offer the Stanford University developed, Self Management Resource Center's Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) and Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) in locations throughout southern Illinois. The FREE 6 week programs are offered to help the participant develop skills to help improve overall health, increase physical activity, improve nutrition and much more. To find a class near you call the Regional Program Coordinator at 618.457.5200 ext. 67837 or visit 

Emergency Oral Health Care

Your teeth have a big impact on your overall well-being. SIH noticed that Medicaid patients were making frequent visits to the ER for tooth related complaints, because they had no dentist to visit. Because our community partners recently increased their ability to provide oral health care for Medicaid patients, SIH is collaborating with them to care for patients in a timely manner – before oral problems become an emergency. Referrals are made to partnering dental offices in Franklin, Williamson, Jackson and Union counties.

Health Ministry Programs

The SIH Health Ministry program works with area faith communities to promote health and well-being. It does this by calling upon spiritual as well as physical and psychosocial resources. Health ministry brings the caring ministries of the medical and faith community together.

Faith Community Nursing, also called Parish Nursing, is a specialized area of professional nursing practice focusing on the promotion of health, healing and wholeness within a faith community. Faith Community Nurses practice “intentional care of the spirit.” SIH Community Benefits offers an annual Foundations of Faith Community Nursing course that equips registered nurses for ministry as a health counselor, educator and advocate within their congregation and community.

The Congregational Health Connector Program trains lay people how to promote health and how to connect members to the appropriate resources for health and well-being in southern Illinois. Participants attend a two-day training, learning about health topics such as diabetes, high blood pressure, taking medicines correctly, healthy relationships, mental health and planning for emergencies. A resource tool kit is provided for each faith community.

Faith Community Nurses and Congregational Health Connectors gain knowledge and support for starting a Health Ministry program in their congregation.         


Healthy Southern Illinois Delta Network and Healthy Communities Coalitions

Transforming Southern Illinois into a region that supports and enhances healthy living is a collaborative effort. One of the many goals of our work with community partners is to “Make the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice.” SIH partners with the Healthy Communities Coalitions in the lower 16 counties of Illinois to form the Healthy Southern Illinois Delta Network (HSIDN) and the Healthy Communities Coalitions. By working together with many partners we know we will have better success in improving the health of those in our area. SIH maintains a website ( with information about the HSIDN, a community health calendar, community and healthcare provider resources and much more.

Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Intake Among Low Income Families

SIH has partnered with the Carbondale  Farmer's Market and Jackson County Health Department to offer Link card holders the opportunity to purchase additional fruits and vegetables.   Families and individuals can double their dollars through the LINK Up Illinois Double Value Coupon program (up to $20).


Medical Legal Partnership of Southern Illinois 

The Medical Legal Partnership of Southern Illinois (MLPSI) is an innovative program that provides legal assistance to low-income and underinsured adults seeking medical care. MLPSI is a collaborative effort between Southern Illinois Healthcare and Land of Lincoln Legal Aid to assist patients in improving their health by alleviating the legal stressors in their lives. This is done by attorneys and paralegals partnering with the person's health care provider to find real solutions to legal problems. Low income adults who are seeking services from Southern Illinois Healthcare and have potentially health harming legal needs may be referred. Referrals are made to MLPSI by doctors, nurses, social workers, case managers, or other medical professionals.  Legal assistance is made available to patients in the areas of public benefits, disability, family, housing, consumer issues and more.

Mental Health First Aid

Adult Mental Health First Aid and Youth Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.  The 8-hour training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem and help connect them to appropriate care.  Youth Mental Health First Aid, trains adults who work with youth the skills they need to reach out and provide initial support to adolescents (ages 12 – 18). 

Just as CPR training helps a person with no clinical training assist an individual following a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid training helps a person assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis such as contemplating suicide.  In both situations, the goal is to help support an individual until appropriate professional help arrives. 

Start! Walking

SIH is a proud regional sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Start! Walking guide to local paths and parks. Walking is an easy, inexpensive way to help lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, reduce the effects of stress, and lose weight. For every hour you walk you gain two hours of life expectancy. If you’re looking for a nice place to walk in your area, just look for the signs with the green Start! Logo. 

Angie Bailey, System Director of Community Health
Phone: 618.457.5200 ext. 67834

Sandra Schwartz, Community Health Coordinator
Phone: 618.457.5200 ext. 67837

Fanta Saidou, Health Ministry Coordinator
Phone: 618.457.5200 ext. 67830

Cherie Wright, School Health Coordinator
Phone: 618.457.5200 ext. 67844

Candice Watson, Non Emergency Medical Transportation Coordinator
Phone: 618.457.5200 ext. 67840

Cindy Johnson, SOR Program Coordinator
Phone: 618.457.5200 ext. 67616

Emma Smyth, Office Coordinator
Phone: 618.457.5200 ext. 67848