Illinois Public Media News

AP - Illinois Public Media News - April 24, 2012

Photo Shows US Sen. Kirk Looking Alert Months After Stroke

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago has released a photo of Sen. Mark Kirk that is the first public image of the Illinois Republican since his January stroke.

The photo shows Kirk with closely trimmed hair, looking alert and sitting up as he rests his right arm on a table.

The director of the institute's Center for Stroke Rehabilitation, Dr. Richard Harvey, also gave an update Tuesday on Kirk's progress with recovery.

Harvey says the senator has walked more than 10 miles in total since he arrived at the center in February. He's also able to climb stairs and get in and out of vehicles.

Doctors have said the 52-year-old Kirk should make a full mental recovery, although they expect the stroke will limit movement on his left side.

(Photo courtesy of The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago)

Download mp3 file

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - April 23, 2012

Prep Work for Crystal Lake Pool Demolition Underway

Four years after the closing of Urbana's Crystal Lake Pool, workers are preparing to demolish it to make way for its replacement.

The Urbana Park District's Tim Bartlett said demolition of the pool and related buildings will begin as soon as site preparation is completed. He added that he hopes that construction of the new Crystal Lake aquatic center can follow this summer, on the heels of the demolition. Bartlett said the construction plans have been sent to the Illinois Department of Public Health, and they are waiting for the agency's approval.

"They'll do a thorough review of what's being proposed," Bartlett said. "It's not uncommon for a number of a number of things to get listed or questioned. Those will get kicked back to the park district and our architects. And then we'll refine and revise as we need to."

The old Crystal Lake pool closed in 2008, and Urbana voters approved a property tax increase in 2010 to help pay for its replacement. The new aquatic center will cost an estimated $6.1 million. But Bartlett said it could cost more --- and include more features --- if a $400,000 state grant is approved.

In addition, the Urbana Park District is accepting private donations that could pay for other additions to the project.

But even without the grant and the donations, Bartlett said the new pool complex will be built.

"But the donations will allow us to add a few extra things, and make it extra special," he said.

The new Crystal Lake aquatic center is scheduled to open in May 2013.

Download mp3 file

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - April 23, 2012

Hospital Offers Employees Incentives to Stay Healthy

Carle Spokesman Sean Williams works out on the treadmill in his department.

A growing number of companies across the country have started encouraging employees to stay healthy by offering financial incentives. Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, which is one of the largest employers in the area, is pushing for a healthier workforce through its Charge Rewards Program. Illinois Public Media's Sean Powers reports on how it works.

(Photo by Sean Powers/WILL)

Download mp3 file
Categories: Business, Health

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - April 23, 2012

Prep Work for Crystal Lake Pool Demolition Underway

Four years after the closing of Urbana's Crystal Lake Pool, workers are preparing to demolish it, to make way for its replacement.

The Urbana Park district's Tim Bartlett says demolition of the pool and related buildings will begin as soon as site preparation is completed. And he hopes that construction of the new Crystal Lake aquatic center can follow this summer, on the heels of the demolition. He says the construction plans have been sent to the Illinois Department of Public Health, and they're waiting for the agency's approval.

"They'll do a thorough review of what's being proposed", says Bartlett. "It's not uncommon for a number of a number of things to get listed or questioned. Those will get kicked back to the park district and our architects. And then we'll refine and revise as we need to.

The old Crystal Lake pool closed in 2008, and Urbana voters approved a property tax increase in 2010 to help pay for its replacement. The new aquatic center will cost an estimated $6.1 million. But Bartlett says it could cost more --- and include more features --- if a $400,000 state grant is approved. In addition, the Urbana Park District is accepting private donations that could pay for other additions to the project.

But even without the grant and the donations, Bartlett says the new pool complex will be built. "But the donations will allow us to add a few extra things, and make it extra special", he says.

The new Crystal Lake aquatic center is scheduled to open in May of 2013.


AP - Illinois Public Media News - April 18, 2012

Firefighters to Get Autism Awareness Training

Illinois firefighters and paramedics will begin getting special training to help people with autism and related disorders.

The new program will help them recognize the disorders and understand techniques to communicate. The online training will be free for first responders.

State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis says the training is important for first responders to understand how someone with autism may respond in high stress situations like a fire.

The program was developed by staff at the Illinois Fire Service Institute and the Office of the State Fire Marshal to raise awareness among first responders.

Fire departments with 75 percent or more staff members who complete the training will be recognized with plaques and magnets for their fire trucks.

Download mp3 file
Categories: Health
Tags: health

AP - Illinois Public Media News - April 18, 2012

Firefighters to Get Autism Awareness Training

Illinois firefighters and paramedics will begin getting special training to help people with autism and related disorders.

The new program will help them recognize the disorders and understand techniques to communicate. The online training will be free for first responders.

State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis says the training is important for first responders to understand how someone with autism may respond in high stress situations like a fire.

The program was developed by staff at the Illinois Fire Service Institute and the Office of the State Fire Marshal to raise awareness among first responders.

Fire departments with 75 percent or more staff members who complete the training will be recognized with plaques and magnets for their fire trucks.

Categories: Health
Tags: health

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - April 16, 2012

Champaign Middle School Adds Exercise Machines

Research at the University of Illinois suggests physical activity can boost cognitive health. To test that theory, Jefferson Middle School in Champaign recently added exercise equipment for its students. Illinois Public Media's Sean Powers reports.

Download mp3 file
Categories: Education, Health

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - April 13, 2012

Vermilion Co. Bd. To Hear Potential Management Firm for Nursing Home

The chairman of the Vermilion County Board says a presentation from a potential management agency is just one option they're exploring for the beleaguered Vermilion Manor Nursing Home. Jim McMahon says the county might also explore leasing or even selling the facility. But on Tuesday night, officials with Provena Life Connections will talk about their proposal at the Vermilion County Board meeting in Danville.

McMahon says he's looking for any viable option that can keep the nursing home going, at a time when the state is regularly late in delivering Medicaid and Medicare funding.

"What we're looking for is, how can we keep a county-owned nursing home running with 42% of the income coming from the state of Illinois, and they pay that when they feel like it, " says Durbin.

Provena Life Connections operates facilities and services for the elderly in several cities. In Champaign, they provide both home health services and hospice care.

McMahon says Provena Life Connections could bring additional services to residents at the county-owned nursing home that would help bring in additional organization>

"So a management firm can come in and say, we'll add this type of specialist," says Mamahon, "or they could bring dialysis on location. There's lots of things they can do that we can't as a county-run organization."

McMahon says he was referred to Provena Life Connections by officials at Provena United Samaritan Hospital in Danville.

The Provena Life Connections presentation is scheduled for the Vermilion County Board meeting set for Tuesday, April 17th at 6 PM at the Courthouse Annex in Danville. McMahon says no action will be taken that night, but the proposal will be considered by the county board's Nursing Home Committee on April 24th..

Categories: Government, Health, Politics

AP - Illinois Public Media News - April 11, 2012

Illinois and the Politics of ‘ObamaCare

As the country waits for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide the fate of President Obama's health care act, the president's home state has been working to implement it. But some legislators want to hold off. They hope the court will kill the legislation, or that it would be repealed if a Republican is elected president this fall.

While the Supreme Court case has gotten most of the attention, there's been a state-by-state effort to block major parts of the health care law. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, encourages states to set up insurance exchanges -- groups that will pool insurance offerings in an attempt to make them more affordable. But the law does not require states to do this, and that's where conservatives see an opening to weaken the Affordable Care Act.

"Regardless of what you think about the federal health care law, if you support it or oppose it, there are so many unanswered questions, it really doesn't make sense for states to jump into an exchange at this point," said Christie Herrera, director of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a nationwide group of conservative state lawmakers.

Herrera has been urging states to reject their role in the Affordable Care Act. Her organization even published a pamphlet: "The State Legislators Guide to Repealing ObamaCare."

"I think Illinois still has the opportunity to pull out of the health insurance exchange," Herrera said. "Legislation stalled last fall. Indiana, your neighboring state, is in a similar position where they said we're going to jump in, and now they're having second thoughts. So it's not too late for Illinois to reject the health insurance exchange."

State Rep. JoAnn Osmond (R-Antioch) introduced several measures to prevent Illinois from implementing any part of the law until all the legal challenges are decided. She said there are still too many unknowns -- that the administration has been giving out information in bits and pieces.

"I think that the federal government is having just as many problems as we are on state level trying to figure out what works best, and what's going to help our people and our citizens to have access to health care," Osmond said.

A lot of Republicans say ObamaCare is bad policy. But Osmond acknowledges that is not the only reason to oppose it.

"Well I'd be naive to say that this bill is not political," she said. "This bill is political."

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said there are people, especially Republicans, cheering for the program to fail.

"They don't want a victory for President Obama," Durbin said. "Many of them resent any involvement of the federal government in our health care of our nation. Even though when it comes to Medicare, veterans' care and many other aspects of health care, the federal government has played an important role in providing adequate, affordable health care for decades."

Durbin said he is worried about the political tone of last month's arguments before the Supreme Court. But he also said so much of the health care act has already been implemented, it could be impossible to turn back. He said the country is on a path that won't change.

"This law is pointing us in an inevitable direction in America to bring everybody into the peace of mind of insurance coverage and to do something to reduce the increase in cost we face every year," Durbin said.

But that depends on the Supreme Court, and on who wins this fall's elections. As both sides acknowledge, the Affordable Care Act has become a politically dicey issue.

At stake is campaign cash from the insurance industry and the natural urge of politicians not to take action on anything controversial in an election year.

Many conservatives campaigned against the Affordable Care Act in 2010, and with Republicans and Democrats pitted against each other in new districts across Illinois, it's likely to be an issue again this year.


WILL - Illinois Public Media News - April 09, 2012

Champaign County Schools Adopt Anti-Obesity Initiative

Teacher Elizabeth Well

Several schools in Champaign County have adopted a nationwide anti-obesity initiative. As part of our series on efforts in the region to increase health and wellness, Illinois Public Media's Sean Powers reports on how Carrie Busey Elementary School has incorporated nutrition into its curriculum.

(Photo by Sean Powers/WILL)

Download mp3 file
Categories: Education, Health

Page 64 of 101 pages ‹ First  < 62 63 64 65 66 >  Last ›