Public Health Nursing Home Visit Programs

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Program

The Medical Examiner makes referrals through the Illinois Department of Public Health to local health departments for the families of infants who have died of SIDS. A Cook County Department of Public Health Nurse will make a home visit to ensure the family has social support resources, grief counseling, and primary health care.

High Risk Infant Follow-up Program*

*Formerly known as the Adverse Pregnancy Outcome Reporting System (APORS)

High Risk Infant Follow-up (APORS) is a program for infants born with high risk factors such as prematurity, small for gestational age, and birth defects. Infants who meet the high risk eligibility guidelines are referred by the hospitals when the infant is discharged from the hospital to go home. Nurses usually work with the infant and their families for the first two years of life. There is no income eligibility for participation in the program.

Services Provided:

  • Home visits by public health nurses.
  • Developmental screenings of the infant by the public health nurse at specified ages and provision of anticipatory guidance teaching to the parents on the optimal growth and development of the high risk infant.
  • Focused teaching on the high risk condition(s) of the infant.
  • Referral to appropriate community resources and services based on a thorough assessment of the infant/family’s needs including medical, social, and support resources.
  • Assistance in obtaining ongoing pediatric primary including well child visits, immunizations, and specialty medical care based on the infant’s condition.

Lead Program

The case management program works to limit the negative effects of elevated lead for a child exposed or poisoned by lead.

Services Provided:

  • An initial home visit is made by the Cook County Department of Public Health Public Health Nurse with an Environmental Lead Inspector.
  • Follow-up includes:
    • home assessment
    • education of care providers
    • referral for primary health care including treatment of the elevated lead
    • nutrition counseling
    • developmental screening
    • referral for Early Intervention (EI) services
    • tracking of blood lead levels to ensure adequate treatment

Congenital Syphilis Program

This program provides High Risk Infant Follow-up (APORS) services to infants diagnosed with syphilis at birth to ensure that repeat blood testing (RPR titers) are done to document successful treatment and provide education regarding syphilis and its transmission.

Services Provided:

  • Home visits by public health nurses.
  • Developmental screenings of the infant by the public health nurse at specified ages and related health information to the parents to help the high risk infant grow and develop as best possible.
  • Information for the parents and caregivers so there is clear understanding of the high risk condition(s) of the infant.
  • Referral to appropriate community resources and services based on a careful assessment of the infant/family’s needs including medical, social, and support resources.
  • Assistance in obtaining ongoing pediatric primary including well child visits, immunizations, and specialty medical care based on the infant’s condition.

Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program

Spread of hepatitis B virus from mother who is positive for the hepatitis B virus to their infant commonly occurs during pregnancy and at birth. Infection in the infant may lead to severe long-term illness. Spread to the infant can be prevented in a many cases when the infant is treated at delivery and during the first year of life.

Services Provided:

  • The public health nurse educates the family and works with the physician before birth, when the positive mother’s hepatitis B status is identified during pregnancy, to reinforce the following steps needed to be taken at and after delivery.
    1. The infant is given hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) within twelve (12) hours of birth and one dose of hepatitis B vaccine.
    2. This is followed by two (2) more additional doses of vaccine at one (1) month and six (6) months of age.
    3. Testing for immune response is required to confirm immunity. This is done one (1) to three (3) months after the last dose of hepatitis B administration, based on vaccine type and schedule.

For more information about the Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program please call 708-786-4000 and ask for the Perinatal Hepatitis B Program Coordinator.

Newborn Hearing Screening

All infants born in Illinois are screened for hearing issues before discharge from the hospital. If an infant fails or misses the hearing test done in the hospital before they are release to go home, the hospital refers him or her to their local health department. The goal of the program is early detection of hearing loss as soon after birth as possible, but no later than 6 months of age to obtain the greatest developmental and functional potential.

Services Provided:

  • Public Health Nurses will link families identified through this program to an audiologist for further testing and management as needed.
  • A home visit may also be made to the family and infant to assist in the referral and follow-up process.

For more information about the Newborn Hearing Program, please call 708-786-4000 and ask to speak to the Newborn Hearing Screening Program Coordinator.

Genetics Program

The Genetics Program provides services to families impacted by genetic conditions, a condition they inherit. The goal is to ensure that a correct diagnosis is made and families receive current information on the specific genetic condition. Genetic disorders may be identified at the time of birth through routine newborn screening done in the hospital. Infants who have had positive screening tests through the newborn screening are referred to their local health department.

Services Provided:

  • A Public Health nurse will conduct a home visit to the parents and baby to provide resource information concerning the child’s Genetic disorder and counseling for the parents concerning future pregnancies.
  • Genetic counseling provides information regarding testing procedures, diagnosis, prognosis, available options, recurrence risks and support services.