Stories by Kristen Thometz

4 in 10 Parents Have Limited Access to Grocery Stores, Survey Finds

(ElasticComputeFarm / Pixabay)

According to the latest findings from a citywide survey, Chicago parents who live in a community with limited access to grocery stores were more likely to report challenges in providing healthy meals to their children.

Should Physicians Ask Patients About Illicit Drug Use?

(valelopardo / Pixabay)

More than 70,000 people died from drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now, a task force is recommending clinicians ask adult patients about illicit drug use.

10 Things to Do this Weekend: Aug. 15-18

(Photo by Chicago DCASE)

Stunt planes, Italian fare, vintage finds and hummingbirds usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Study Finds Americans Are Sitting Too Much, Not Exercising Enough

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In the decade since federal exercise guidelines were first introduced, a study finds that adult exercise rates have essentially remained flat, while time spent sitting is on the rise.

Illinois Health Officials Report Hospitalizations Linked to Vaping

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Six people in Illinois have reported severe breathing problems after vaping. The Illinois Department of Public Health is now investigating these cases and five others, all reported since just May.   

Northwestern Research Shows US Mass Shootings on the Rise

 A memorial in Las Vegas for victims of the Oct. 1, 2017 shooting that left 58 dead and more than 500 wounded. (Jay Smith / WTTW News)

There were eight mass shootings last year in the U.S. But with six mass shootings so far in 2019, the country is on track to match or surpass last year’s record, according to a Northwestern Medicine researcher.

City Officials Investigating Salmonella Outbreak at Clearing Grocery Store

The Chicago Department of Public Health is investigating an outbreak of salmonella at Sun View Produce, located at 6110 W. 63rd St. (Google Maps)

Four people became ill after consuming pork tamales or carnitas served from the deli section of Sun View Produce last month, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health.

2019 Chicago Summer Festival Guide

Taste of Lincoln Avenue (Special Events Management)

This weekend: Chicago Air and Water Show, Little Italy Festa Taylor St., Pilsen Fest, Edison Park Fest, Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest and more.

Nearly 2 Billion Opioid Pills Supplied to Illinois Over 7 Years

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hailey R. Staker)

A yearslong investigation by the Washington Post offers a state-by-state snapshot of the opioid crisis. What the data says about Illinois – and what the state is doing to fight back.

Research Collaborative Partners with Communities to Address Chicago’s Gun Violence

A group dedicated to addressing Chicago’s gun violence offers an update on what it’s learned through conversations with community members impacted by gun violence in the North and South Lawndale neighborhoods. 

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Aug. 8-11

Bud Billiken Parade (kojoman68 / Flickr)

A huge South Side parade, food festivals, acrobatic felines and natural wines usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Annual Conference Spotlights Local Efforts to Address Health Inequities

(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

Hundreds of researchers, community organizations, policymakers, health care professionals and students gathered Monday at Malcom X College to discuss mental health, gun violence, the opioid epidemic and other topics.

Study Finds More Than 1 Million Americans Have a Sesame Allergy

(Uwe Baumann / Pixabay)

Illinois recently passed a sesame-labeling law, but federal law doesn’t require such labeling when it comes to the ninth most common food allergen. What a new study tells us about its prevalence.

Report Details Progress, Shortfalls of Illinois’ Cancer-Fighting Policies

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A new report praises Illinois for raising taxes on tobacco products and increasing the legal smoking age to 21, but says there’s still more work to do when it comes to reducing cancer rates.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Aug. 1-4

(Scott Witt / Lollapalooza 2018)

A massive Grant Park music festival, cultural celebrations, canoes and fresh produce. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

City of Chicago Launches Website Dedicated to 2020 Census

(Stephen M. Scott / Flickr)

The new website answers common questions about the census, offers a timeline, resources and more in an effort to ensure a complete count of Chicago residents next spring.

Northwestern Memorial Tops ‘Best Hospitals’ List for Chicago, State

(Courtesy of Northwestern Medicine)

For the eighth consecutive year, Northwestern Memorial Hospital has been named the best hospital in both the Chicago metro area and the state by U.S. News & World Report.

Health Officials Investigate 2 Cases of Legionnaires’ Disease at Suburban Hospital

(valelopardo / Pixabay)

The individuals were both patients at Rush Oak Park Hospital within the past three months, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

UChicago to Study Police-Involved Shootings, Officer Training

Researchers have received $1.2 million in grants to study police-involved shootings in the U.S. and to develop a police training program designed to improve officer decision-making in high-stakes situations.

New Analysis Details Health of Chicago Children at Neighborhood Level


Researchers analyzed the results of a 2015-2016 survey to assess the health of Chicago’s youngest residents in nine communities. Among their findings: widespread food insecurity and not enough physical activity.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: July 25-28

(Nkechi Chibueze / Happy Black Chick Photography)

An Afro-futuristic convention, cardboard creations, a poetry block party and neighborhood festivals usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in Chicago.

Advocacy Group Develops Plan for Child Health Equity in Illinois

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A statewide coalition says it will focus its efforts on health care policies that increase children’s access to care and mental health services and address underlying social factors that impact health.

Study: Late Night Light Exposure Doesn’t Affect Circadian Rhythm

(Krzysztof Kamil / Pixabay)

If you wake up in the middle of the night and start browsing social media or turn on the TV, you might have difficulty falling back asleep or feel groggy later on, but your sleep-wake cycle should remain intact, according to a new Northwestern University study.

Federal Report Finds Child Drownings on the Rise

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Pools are a popular way to beat the heat during the summer months, but a new federal report warns of the dangers they pose to children. 

Hot Weather, Pollution Fuel Unhealthy Air Conditions in Chicago

(Roman Boed / Flickr)

Rising temperatures this week could lead to unhealthy air quality, particularly for people with respiratory conditions, as the heat combines with pollution from vehicle emissions and other sources, says the American Lung Association.