Hello Students!

Welcome to the Student Body, a blog managed by your very own Lewis and Clark Family Health Clinic. This blog will not only inform you of what the clinic has to offer but also will talk about a variety of health topics. These topics will not only be about your health in a medical sense but also mental and dental.

The Family Health Clinic services the community and provides services to students, these services include treating acute and chronic health conditions, health promotion and preventive care.

Nurse practitioners and other health care members can provide health examinations, lab tests, treatment of illnesses and some vaccinations. They accept a variety of insurances and even have discounts for those who pay with cash.

From diabetes awareness to mental health to getting physically fit, this blog will cover health related issues and be an extension of the clinic by providing education to L&C students. While this blog will provide you with health information, you can always go to the clinic, located on L&C’s Godfrey campus in Fobes 1522, to receive more information or stop in for any of the services it provides.

Family Health Clinic
Lucy Chappee, HRSA project director, works with a patient in the L&C Family Health Clinic, which is becoming a one-stop shop for total patient care. Photo by S. Paige Allen, Lewis and Clark Community College photographer/media specialist.


Featured post

It’s Time for Your Flu Shot!

It’s that time of year again. Flu season is upon us. With an added risk of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to be vaccinated for influenza. Healthcare professionals and public health officials alike recommend as many people as possible get the flu shot this year.

Flu vaccine (Stock image/Canva Pro)

The flu shot will not protect you from the coronavirus but it will mean you are less likely to get the flu even if you do have COVID. Influenza and COVID have similar symptoms, such as fever, body and muscle aches, and cough. Both are contagious respiratory illnesses. Because the symptoms of COVID and flu are similar, testing may be necessary to determine which disease you have. Go here to learn more about the similarities and differences between COVID-19 and influenza.

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Getting vaccinated against the flu also means you are less likely to be hospitalized with flu and there will be more resources available for people who are hospitalized with COVID.

Who should get a flu shot?

Every person over the age of six months should receive a yearly flu shot. If you are pregnant or have a compromised immune system, this is even more important.

When should I get a flu shot?

Now!! The start of flu season is the best time to get vaccinated. It takes up to two weeks to develop antibodies that protect you against influenza so the sooner you get vaccinated, the sooner you will be protected.  

Shouldn’t I wait to get vaccinated until the flu hits my community?   

Since it takes two weeks to develop immunity, you might not be protected if you wait until cases of flu begin circulating in the community.

If I get my flu vaccine now, will it wear off?

Antibodies against flu last approximately six months, so getting vaccinated early gives you the most protection for the duration of the flu season. 

Is the flu vaccine safe?

YES. According to the Centers for Disease Control, hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received the flu vaccines over the past 50 years, and there has been extensive research supporting the safety of seasonal flu vaccines.  Each year, the CDC works closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other partners to ensure the highest safety standards for flu vaccines.

Will the flu vaccine give me the flu?

NO. The vaccine may cause mild side effects such as soreness or redness at the vaccination site or headache and fever.  These side effects are NOT the flu and IF you experience them at all, they are usually mild and last only 1-2 days. 

Is the flu really that serious?

Yes. Every year hundreds of thousands of Americans are hospitalized with influenza which can have serious consequences such as pneumonia and even death. For those who are most vulnerable – young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, and heart disease – getting the flu is particularly serious.

What can I do to protect myself and my family?

Get a flu vaccine. Wash your hands. Stay home when you are sick. Avoid crowds and remain at least six feet apart from others. Wear a mask when in public. 

How much does it cost?

Flu vaccine is covered by most insurance companies with no out-of-pocket cost. Please call the Family Health Clinic at (618) 468-6800 for more information or to schedule an appointment. 

Flu shot available now at the L&C Family Health Clinic. Call (618) 468-6800 or visit www.lc.edu/fhc for more info.

Numbers that Count

Shortly after a new year begins, many people adopt a resolution to live a healthier lifestyle. Too often, people focus on the scale and not much else. There are plenty of other numbers you need to be concerned about.

Such as…….

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1. Waist Size

A larger waist size (40 inches for men; 35 inches for women) usually means you have extra fat around your heart, liver, kidneys, and other organs. This can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes.

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2. Blood Pressure

120/80 is ideal. If yours is higher, you may not have symptoms, but untreated hypertension can lead to kidney disease and heart disease.

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3. Blood Sugar

Your fasting glucose should be less than 100 and no more than 140 several hours after you eat. Elevated blood sugar not only leads to diabetes but can damage your heart and blood vessels, kidneys, and liver.


4. Your Lipid Profile

A blood sample can measure how much cholesterol is in your blood as well as determine the amounts of good and bad cholesterol and triglycerides. Sometimes people are genetically predisposed to high cholesterol so it’s good to have yours checked annually.  Total cholesterol should be less than 200. Elevated cholesterol can lead to blood clots, stroke, and heart attacks.

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5. Exercise

How long you exercise matters, too. Ideally, you should get 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least 5 days per week.

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6. Sitting Time

Even if you work out hard seven days per week, if you are sedentary the remainder of your time, you are putting yourself at risk for heart disease.  Getting up every 30 minutes and stretching or taking even a short stroll helps keep you healthy.

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7. Sleep

Most people need 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Sleep helps us regenerate our muscles and tissues. Not getting enough sleep can lead to obesity, heart disease, depression and other ailments.

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8. Screen Time

Try to limit yourself to no more than two hours per day in non-work or school-related screen time. Excess screen time can lead to eye strain, muscle strain, inactivity, and insomnia.

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9. Water

Most health experts recommend eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day which is the equivalent of 2 liters or a half-gallon.  You might find it easier to focus on taking in a glass of water with and between every meal. You might need more when it’s hot, you’re working out, or if you’re pregnant.  If you’re hungry, you might just be thirsty and a glass of water may relieve your hunger.

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10. Fruits and Vegetables

You need 3-5 cups of fruits and vegetables per day.  Fruits and vegetables provide essential nutrients as well as fiber to maintain a healthy, balanced diet.


11. Alcohol

Men should consume no more than two drinks per day; women should consume no more than one. A drink is 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of liquor. Alcohol is high in empty calories and can hurt your liver, heart, kidneys and unborn baby.

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12. Cigarettes

ZERO is the number of cigarettes you should have.  Cigarettes cause more deaths than HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, car accidents and gun incidents all combined, according to Harvard Health Publishing.

Consider these numbers when you make your plans to improve your health this year.  The Family Health Clinic can help you learn what your numbers are and how to improve them. Our Nurse Practitioners can order lab tests that can be performed at your convenience in the Clinic.  Medication can be prescribed to address high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, smoking cessation and most health conditions.  Please call or come by the Clinic in Fobes, Room 1525.  We are open Monday—Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.  Walk-ins are always welcome!!

Please call 618-468-6800 for more information.


Medical Effects of Marijuana

There has been a lot of hype in the media lately about marijuana since the recreational use of marijuana was approved for Illinois in 2020.  Most states have provisions for the use of medical marijuana and several states have now passed laws legalizing recreational marijuana, but marijuana is still considered federally illegal.  Employers and schools have guidelines regarding the use of marijuana in the workplace or while enrolled in classes.

Marijuana has serious medical effects.  Take this quiz to see how much you already know about the medical effects of marijuana.

According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, marijuana was the most commonly used illegal drug in the U.S. with over 37.6 million users, a number that will likely be much higher in 2020.  There are serious health consequences of using marijuana.

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You can get “high.”

THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical compound in marijuana and it is psychoactive.  That means it stimulates your brain and unleashes dopamine, a chemical that gives you a feeling of euphoria, a “high.”  Releasing dopamine is not necessarily good for your body.  Excess dopamine can contribute to ADHD, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, binge eating, addiction, and gambling.

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It may affect your mental health.

Not everyone who uses marijuana has a pleasant experience.  It can leave you anxious, afraid, and panicked.  Marijuana raises your chances of getting depression and may worsen the symptoms of other mental disorders.

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Your thinking may get distorted.

Marijuana can affect your ability to focus, learn, and remember.  And, it can even have a greater effect in adolescents.  The damage incurred in their brains may be permanent.  Using marijuana can also impair your motor skills and may make driving more dangerous.  It often lowers your inhibitions which could make you more inclined to engage in risky behavior.

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Your lungs may hurt.

Smoke from marijuana may irritate and inflame your lungs.  Smoking regularly can cause the same breathing problems that smokers face.  THC can also weaken your immune system and make it easier for you to pick up infections.

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It may harm your heart.

Marijuana makes your heart work harder.  Your heart rate can increase for up to three hours after you use marijuana; this increases your chance of heart attack or stroke.

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Marijuana adds to alcohol dangers.

One in ten marijuana users become addicted.  If a person begins using marijuana before the age of 18, the number rises to one in six users who become addicted.

For more information on the effects of marijuana, check out the Center for Disease Control website.

Before you engage in recreational marijuana use, consider the risks of using marijuana and know your employer’s policies regarding drug use in the workplace and drug testing.

Lewis and Clark Community College prohibits illegal possession, consumption, use, sale, delivery or transfer of alcoholic beverages or controlled substances on the College grounds and in College facilities.

The Family Health Clinic cares about your health and well-being! Contact us at 618-468-6800 for more information or to schedule an appointment to see a Nurse Practitioner. Walk-ins are welcome! We are open Monday—Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and located in Fobes Hall, Room 1525.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Diabetes is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in America and affects more than 30 million people.  Diabetes is a disorder that affects how our bodies make and use insulin; it prevents the food we eat from being utilized effectively in our bodies.

Are you at risk for diabetes? Take a test to determine if you are at risk.

Symptoms of diabetes may include:

  • Excessive thirst or hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Fatigue or irritability

But…. symptoms may be vague or have a slow onset and you may not know something is wrong.

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The only way to know if you have diabetes is to have your blood checked. Most health care providers start with a fasting blood sugar test. If yours is high, your Hemoglobin A1C will be checked. This test measures average blood sugar over the past 90 days. If your A1C is above 6.5, you may be started on medication to control your blood sugar, help your pancreas produce more insulin, and help your body be more receptive to the insulin you produce.

The important thing is to know your risk and get screened for diabetes.  Left unchecked, diabetes can have damaging effects on your body.

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The Family Health Clinic cares for your health.  Our Nurse Practitioners can diagnose and treat Diabetes.  We can draw your labs in the Clinic at your convenience.

Diabetes is not curable but it is manageable.  You can live a long and healthy life.  Call 618-468-6800 or come by today to find out how.  We are located in Fobes 1525 and we are open to the public as well as faculty, staff, or students.  Our hours are Monday—Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm.

Forgot Your Flu Vaccine? It is not too late!

It is not too late to get your flu vaccine to protect yourself from influenza, and the Family Health Clinic at Lewis and Clark is here to help.

The Family Health Clinic has flu shots available. Most insurances accepted. If you have no insurance, the flu vaccine is $25.

The top 5 reasons you need a flu shot:

  1. It is the most effective way to protect yourself from getting the flu. Every year the World Health Organization formulates a vaccine based on the prevalent strains of flu viruses likely to impact people.    No, the vaccine is not 100 % effective but it still affords you the best protection available.
  2. The flu is more serious than you think. Influenza killed 80,000 people last year and hospitalized nearly 1 million people according to the CDC.  That’s more deaths from flu than in the last 30 years.  While last year’s flu season was particularly bad, there’s no indication that this year’s flu season will be better.  The best way to prevent contracting flu is to get a flu vaccine.
  3. You need a flu vaccine every year. People mistakenly believe that the flu vaccine is similar to other vaccines that provide lifelong immunity.  There are different strains of influenza that infect people each year and the virus can change from year to year.  The effectiveness of the flu vaccine also diminishes as the year wanes; that’s why you need a shot every year.
  4. Anyone, regardless of age, sex, or health condition can get the flu. Even if you are fit, active, healthy and are hypervigilant about washing your hands, you can still get the flu from others who may not yet know they are sick and contagious.
  5. There is no reason NOT to get a flu shot. It is covered by most insurance plans and it is affordable even if you don’t have insurance.  It is definitely cheaper to be vaccinated than to pay for treatment and miss days of work or school because you become sick.

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The Center for Disease Control recommends that EVERYONE over the age of 6 months is vaccinated for influenza EVERY year. 

The Clinic is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. No appointment is necessary. Please call 618-468-6800 or come by Fobes 1525 for more information.

How did you do during Sober September?

Are you up for a challenge that will improve your health and change your life for the better? Are you looking for a way to jumpstart your success this semester? Did you take the Sober September challenge and commit to drinking no alcohol for the entire month of September? If so, let us know about the outcomes in the comments below. 

Sobriety can help you achieve goals and maintain your health all year long!

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Alcohol does more harm than good to your mind and body. The benefits of taking a break from alcohol are many. Just click here if you want to see 28 reasons (Hey, that’s one for nearly every day of the month!) to stay sober.

Taking an alcoholiday can help you re-set your tolerance for alcohol and help you break the cycle of unhealthy alcohol consumption. In other words, those who chose to remain sober for 30 days often chose sobriety for much longer periods. The longer you’re sober, the easier it gets to remain sober.  

Remember, it is against campus policy to possess and/or consume alcohol on campus unless the consumer is 21 and attending an event where alcohol is legally served by the College. The abuse of alcohol and other drugs by students, regardless of age and of location (on-campus or off-campus), is prohibited by the Student Conduct Code. The College can, and will, impose disciplinary sanctions for violations.

As an academic community, Lewis and Clark Community College is committed to providing an environment in which learning and scholarship can flourish. In short, we care about our students, faculty, staff and visitors and want to ensure a positive environment for learning and living.

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The most important reason to give up alcohol for one month is that it benefits YOU. More important than saving money, increasing energy, better sleep, losing weight, doing better in school and all the other reasons to give up alcohol, is that sobriety improves YOUR HEALTH.

Giving up alcohol can be very challenging. Enlist the help of your friends and family.  Accomplishing something difficult is always easier when you are not alone in the process. Plan alcohol-free events with others to distract yourself from old patterns of unhealthy behavior.  Cross off days on a calendar to show your progress and mark how far you’ve come.  Reward yourself for each small victory knowing that your ultimate reward is improved health.

The Family Health Clinic cares about your health.  We are available Monday—Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to help you accomplish your healthcare goals.  Call 618-468-6800 or stop by anytime.




How can you beat this summer heat?

Who doesn’t love summer?

Summer brings plenty of warm weather and outside activities but it can also be a dangerous time for people and pets when temperatures are high and humidity is extreme.

Heat-related illnesses occur when a person’s body temperature rises faster than the body can cool itself or when the body loses too many fluids through perspiration. Children, older adults, persons with disabilities or chronic illness, and our pets are at greater risk for heat-related illnesses. Athletes and those who work outdoors are at particular risk for heat-related illness due to their prolonged exposure to the heat and humidity and the strenuousness of their activity.

Working outdoors can be very dangerous in high heat and humidity. Weather Services recommends:

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Do you know the differences between heat-related illnesses and how to treat them?

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The Family Health Clinic is available Monday—Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to treat heat-related illness as well as all your summer ailments.  From swimmer’s ear, poison ivy, infected bug bites, to summer colds, we are happy to help you get better and make the most of your summer.

Student school physicals, sports physicals, and camp physicals are also available for $25.  Please call 618-468-6800 or come by the Family Health Clinic at 1525 Fobes Hall for more information, to schedule an appointment or to be seen.  We take walk-ins!!

Remember, in high heat and humidity the following tips to make your summer fun and safe!

Flip through this slideshow for other tips and tricks:

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Mental Health Affects Us All

Mental Health really does affects all of us. It is an important part of overall health and well-being. It affects how we think, feel, act, handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

One in four adults battles with a mental illness on a daily basis; that’s over 46 million Americans!!  But, mental health also affects their families, friends, and loved ones.

The good news is that mental illnesses are common and treatable.  Mental health care is health care.

What can you do?

Get informed.

    • Do you or someone you know have symptoms of mental illness? Take an assessment to determine if your symptoms warrant medical attention.

Be supportive and caring.

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Take advantage of local resources.

Lewis and Clark Community College’s Family Health Clinic treats anxiety and depression. Call 618-468-6800 or come by Fobes 1525 for more information.

Renee Bauer, Counselor, in the Student Development and Counseling Program, is available to meet with faculty, staff, and students on a short-term basis for mental health needs. Counseling services are free and anonymous. Please call for an appointment at 618-468-4125.


The Dangers of Second Hand-Smoke

There is NO RISK-FREE level of second-hand smoke exposure, according to the Center for Disease Control.  In fact, more than 2.5 MILLION NON-SMOKERS HAVE DIED from health problems caused by second-hand smoke.

What is second-hand smoke?

Smoke from burning tobacco products or smoke that is exhaled by a person who is smoking.


  • Heart disease
  • Lung cancer
  • Stroke
  • Acute respiratory infections
  • Other respiratory symptoms (coughing, sneezing, and shortness of breath)

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In children, inhaling second-hand smoke can cause:

  • More frequent and severe asthma attacks
  • Greater risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  • Hearing loss
  • Difficulty learning
  • Increased tooth decay
  • Slowed lung growth
  • Ear infections

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Protect yourself and your family from secondhand smoke by:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Not allowing anyone to smoke in or near your home
  • Not allowing anyone to smoke in your car
  • Making sure your children’s daycare and schools are tobacco-free
  • Seeking out restaurants and other places that are smoke-free
  • Teaching your children to stay away from secondhand smoke


Lewis and Clark Community College has been SMOKE-FREE since July 1, 2015, per the Smoke-Free College Campus Act.  Smoking cessation services are available to faculty, staff, students, and patients at the Family Health Clinic.  Call 468-6800 or come by the Clinic at Fobes 1525 for more information.




Nearly every smoker has tried to quit smoking and many turn to smoking electronic cigarettes as a way to quit.

But is vaping any healthier than smoking?

Not according to Dr. Michael Blaha, director of Clinical Research at the John Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease.  Nicotine (extracted from tobacco) is the primary ingredient in both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

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  • can be as addictive as heroin and cocaine
  • raises blood pressure and adrenaline
  • increases heart rate
  • increases likelihood of heart attack

Many e-cig users actually consume more nicotine than traditional smokers.

  • They use an extra-strength cartridge that contains a higher concentration of nicotine.
  • They vape for longer periods of time than they can smoke.
  • Vaping is easier to conceal and more accepted in public settings so it is always available.
  • E-cigs do not cost as much as traditional cigarettes which means smokers can smoke more.

A recent study found that most people who used e-cigs as a way to kick the nicotine habit ended up continuing to smoke traditional cigarettes as well as e-cigarettes.

Vaping actually increases the frequency and amount of smoking you are likely to do in your future.

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Vaping juice contains other chemicals that can be very harmful to you.  The vaping device can also be used to deliver marijuana and other drugs.    It can cause explosions and fires if the battery becomes overheated or is defective.

Long term effects of vaping are not known.

Lewis and Clark Community College has prohibited the use of any smoking device including electronic cigarettes since July 1, 2015 per the Smoke Free College Campus Act.  Smoking cessation services are offered to faculty, staff, students, and patients of the Family Health Clinic.

We care about your health.  Please call 618-468-6800 or come by Fobes 1525 for more information.


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