The Veterans Administration hospital that serves central Illinois and western Indiana has a new leader. AM 580's Tom Rogers spoke with Michael Hamilton about two issues VA facilities all over the nation face - maintaining quality and preparing for an influx of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.
Illinois Public Media News
Eating organic food is not only considered healthy -- some companies believe selling it can be very profitable. Once limited to farmers' markets and small shops, organic food is now sold by some of America's largest companies. Organic milk, meat, fruits and vegetables are earning some retailers millions of dollars, others a lot less. AM 580's Terrell Starr talked with retailers of all sizes to discuss the competitiveness of this growing industry.
Six proposals for new health care facilities have been laid out in east-central Illinois in the past year - and a state board has turned down five - the sixth has yet to be heard. Anyone who wants to build a hospital, dialysis facility, nursing home or outpatient surgery center has to get permission from the state Health Facilities Planning Board, through what's known as a Certificate of Need. AM 580's Tom Rogers tells us that the process generates controversy elsewhere, though many here in Illinois still want to see it work.
Debi Thomas has swapped her ice skates for scrubs. The former figure skating World Champion and Olympic Bronze medal winner now works at Carle Clinic in Urbana. As a figure skater, she was a specialist in triple axels. Now as an orthopedic surgeon, Thomas specializes in hip replacements. She tells AM 580's Michael Koliska she doesn't miss the life of a figure skater.
Each year antibiotics save millions of lives. But many antibiotics are increasingly losing their effectiveness. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana are now tackling this problem. In their search for new lifesaving antibiotics, the National Institutes of Health have awarded a group of scientists a $7 million grant. Michael Koliska reports.
The new Champaign County Nursing Home opens February 28th. But building a new nursing home was just part of the challenge. County officials now need to figure out how to operate the facility without losing money. The Champaign County Board is studying that issue, meeting with a consultant hired to show how the nursing home can save money -- and make money -- while still serving county residents. AM 580's Jim Meadows reports.
Champaign now joins Urbana in banning smoking in restaurants and bars. Bar owners and customers have been the most vocal opponents of the ban. AM 580's Jim Meadows talked to people at a Champaign bar as they enjoyed their last legal evening of smoking while drinking.