Health, Medicine & Nutrition
How to Support a Loved One Who’s Fighting Cancer PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Thursday, 07 August 2014 15:54
For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Woman Living with Incurable Cancer Offers 4 Suggestions

Shy about asking, “What’s the etiquette for supporting my loved one, friend or  colleague in their battle against cancer?” many people simply avoid the question altogether – and offer nothing.

“It’s okay to wonder, and it’s okay to ask. Be direct!” says Jane Schwartzberg, who has been battling stage 4 metastatic cancer for several years. She’s the co-author with Marcy Tolkoff Levy of “Naked Jane Bares All,” www.nakedjanebaresall.com, which shares her story with candor and humor.

Jane was a 31-year-old newlywed when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent treatment and eventually was declared cancer free. She moved on with her life, giving birth to two children and launching a technology company. Then, when she was 42, the cancer returned. She’s now 45.

“I’m a fighter, and the support I’ve received from my family and friends has given me  an immeasurable amount of strength, without which I don’t know what I would do,” Schwartzberg says.

What are some suggestions for providing support? She offers these:

•  Do it without any expectations or requirements for a response. “I’m often asked, ‘What can I do to help?’ ” she says. “What I’ve suggested: Be in my life at my pace, let me take the lead; make your presence, availability and support known, but do it without any expectations or requirements for a response.”

•  Embrace their big dream, even if it doesn’t sound realistic. During a very low point, Schwartzberg was asked by a friend: If you could have anything, swinging for the fences, what would help you get out of this pit? Without skipping a beat, she answered, “I want to take [comedian] Larry David out to lunch.” As impossible as it seemed, her friend encouraged her to write to the co-creator of “Seinfeld” -- and he accepted.

“As terrible as having terminal cancer is, there is that undeniable quality of embracing every moment, including asking your heroes out to lunch,” Schwartzberg says. “Cancer brings out the boldness in people, which may entail a dream vacation to Hawaii. Don’t be afraid to embrace their wishes.”

•  Don’t hesitate to say, “You look beautiful,” when health has returned. After her chemotherapy treatments ended, Jane slowly started looking like her old self – healthy Jane, not cancer Jane. Part of reengaging with life is caring about the superficial things, at least to some extent. On the unforgettable day she met Larry David, the maître d had beforehand told her that she looked beautiful, to which Jane responded, “You have no idea how much I appreciate that.”

•  Don’t sugarcoat it. “If you want to really infuriate me, you’ll tell me that this whole mess is beshert, Yiddish for ‘meant to be’ – that it’s all part of a plan from a higher power,” she says. “Maybe terminal cancer is part of some crazy plan, but I promise you that these are the last things I want to hear from anyone.”

Don’t sugarcoat or try to put a positive spin on what’s going on – in fact, it’s more of a comfort to Jane when others acknowledge that her situation stinks and that she is looking at a life that’s far different from, and likely to be shorter than, anything she’d imagined.

About Jane Schwartzberg

Jane Schwartzberg, 45, is the co-author of the new book, “Naked Jane Bares All,” www.nakedjanebaresall.com, the many-layered story – told with humor and candor -- of how she learned to embrace life when she was down for the count. Jane is a financial services executive and founder and former CEO of a start-up technology company.
“Naked Jane Bares All” was co-written by veteran writer Marcy Tolkoff Levy. Following a year of interviews and many late nights with Jane, her family and friends, Marcy formed the foundation of a colorful, poignant and even humorous collection of vignettes about how Jane continues to get back up when life throws her down.

 
Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Support Heroin Awareness and Prevention Efforts Across Illinois PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Grant Klinzman   
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 14:05

New Law Strengthens Task Force Devoted to Fighting Heroin

ROMEOVILLE – Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to fight heroin use in communities across Illinois. The new law will expand the scope of a special task force created last year to study heroin use in Illinois and make recommendations to increase awareness and prevention. Today’s action is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to strengthen drug prevention efforts and save lives.

“Heroin is a deadly substance that destroys lives,” Governor Quinn said. “The health and safety of all residents across the state must be a priority. This legislation will help ensure we have the tools to fight heroin use across Illinois.”

House Bill 4542, sponsored by State Representative Natalie Manley (D-Joliet) and State Senator Thomas Cullerton (D-Villa Park), expands the age range to be studied by the Young Adult Heroin Use Task Force to students in grades six through 12. Governor Quinn signed legislation in August 2013 to create the Young Adult Heroin Use Task Force to address the growing problem of heroin use in Illinois high schools. The new law expands the study to younger students.

Ongoing research has found that heroin use not only affects high school students in Illinois, but also children as young as 11 years old. The task force is to investigate the youth heroin use epidemic and recommend further state action. The new law is effective immediately.

“This devastating drug is hurting younger and younger students,” Senator Cullerton said. “We need to accurately understand the scope of the heroin problem as we work to fix it.”

Since taking office, Governor Quinn has worked toward a drug free Illinois. He signed the Emergency Medical Services Access law in 2012, which provides immunity to a person who, in good faith, seeks or obtains emergency medical assistance for someone experiencing an overdose. As part of the Drug Overdose Prevention Program, a life saving law took effect in 2010 to allow non-medical persons to dispense a drug overdose antidote in an emergency to prevent a drug overdose from becoming fatal.

Additionally, the Governor implemented improvements in the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) with the primary goals of improving clinical care and reducing the unnecessary use of controlled substances prescribed by physicians. This past year the PMP’s effectiveness was enhanced by joining the national network of PMPs that allows clinicians in Illinois to check their potential patients’ use of controlled substances within Illinois and 15 other states. Since the inception of the PMP in 2008, there has been a 66 percent reduction in the number of individuals who “doctor shop” in order to obtain controlled prescription medicines.

 


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Governor Quinn Signs Laws to Address Urban Flooding and Ensure Cleaner Drinking Water PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Grant Klinzman   
Monday, 04 August 2014 12:30

Legislation Will Help Protect Health and Wellness of All Illinois Residents

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today signed critical legislation to address urban flooding and to help ensure clean drinking water supplies and a cleaner environment. Today’s action is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to protect our natural resources and ensure a clean and healthy environment for future generations.

“Water is a tremendous resource except when you have too much of it or it’s not fit to drink,” Governor Quinn said. “These new laws will help us better control the damaging urban floods we’ve had recently, and will help maintain our clean drinking water systems.”

“These laws continue to support the Governor’s work to provide additional protections for the state’s cities and our water resources,” Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) Director Lisa Bonnett said. “They include additional environmental protections that will provide for clean and healthy water for Illinois residents.”

“Urban flooding is an equal opportunity problem,” Ryan Wilson, Stormwater Program Manager at the Center for Neighborhood Technology, a Chicago-based nonprofit focused on sustainable cities, said. “Our own research shows that urban flooding can happen anywhere, not just in floodplains. The legislation Governor Quinn signed today will help Illinois communities better understand urban flooding, and identify innovative stormwater solutions that can protect our homes, our investments and our environment from the threat of increasingly frequent and severe storms.”

Senate Bill 2966, sponsored by State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and State Representative Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), creates the Urban Flooding Awareness Act. The new law forms a working group with representatives from state, federal and local agencies and other interested parties who will review and evaluate the latest research, policies and procedures regarding urban flooding. The group will then submit a report by June 30, 2015 to the Governor and General Assembly with recommendations on how best to prevent and control urban flooding. The law is effective immediately.

“Flooding in urban areas is a growing challenge that demands the combined expertise of local, state and federal agencies,” Senator Steans said. “We’re taking the problem seriously and making sure we know what’s happening and why so we can adopt effective measures that protect lives and property.”

"With recent heavy rainfall, our neighborhoods, cities and state saw a dramatic increase in flooding, causing serious damage to property," Representative Cassidy said. "This bill will bring together stakeholders, experts and State agencies to examine the causes of urban flooding and how our infrastructure and technology can mitigate the impacts in the future."

In addition, Senate Bill 2770, sponsored by State Senator Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry) and State Representative Michael Tryon (R-Crystal Lake), requires each community water supply system to designate an operator who will be directly responsible for that system’s water supply and distribution. An initiative of the IEPA, it also updates the duties and responsibilities of operators to ensure they hold the proper certification and skills to operate the community water supply. The law is effective immediately.

Governor Quinn also signed Senate Bill 2928, sponsored by State Senator Terry Link (D-Waukegan) and State Representative JoAnn Osmond (R-Antioch), which allows law enforcement agencies to collect pharmaceuticals and other controlled substances from residents and safely store and transport them for disposal at IEPA-approved sites. Increased options for residents to safely and properly dispose of pharmaceuticals and controlled substances will help ensure that fewer unused medications are flushed down the toilet, which has serious negative impacts on water supplies. The law is effective immediately.

Governor Quinn has a long record of support for measures that ensure a clean and healthy environment. On July 23 Governor Quinn signed Senate Bill 2780, which expands the Governor’s Clean Water Initiative to include stormwater and green infrastructure projects. In 2013, Governor Quinn signed Senate Bill 1869 which gives Illinois municipalities greater ability to build and invest in innovative stormwater management infrastructure to help mitigate damaging floods such as green roofs, rain gardens, bioswales, tree boxes, porous pavement, native plantings, constructed wetlands and more. The law expanded existing law to include these items, among others.

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Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Outlaw Cyberbullying of Illinois Students PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Dave Blanchette   
Monday, 04 August 2014 08:25

Law Helps Protect Illinois Students from Bullying Outside the Classroom

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today signed a law to protect students across Illinois by banning cyberbullying outside the classroom. The new law, which builds on previous legislation banning cyberbullying in schools, will help ensure that Illinois’ students aren’t bullied through electronic means whether they are at school or home. Today’s action is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to ensure the safety of students in every community across Illinois.

“Bullying has no place in the state of Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “Every student should feel safe from harassment, whether that’s in the school hallways or when using the internet or a cell phone. In our technology-driven age, bullying can happen anywhere. This new law will help put an end to it.”

House Bill 4207, sponsored by State Representative Laura Fine (D-Glenview) and State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago), prohibits bullying of students through technology outside the classroom or school. The law applies to devices not owned or used by a school, and requires a school’s anti-bullying policy to include an investigation for any act of bullying that causes a disruption to a school’s operations or educational process. This legislation expands on previous legislation signed by Governor Quinn which banned cyberbullying of students within schools. The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2015.

“Children need to understand that whether they bully a classmate in school or outside of school using digital devices, their actions have consequences,” Representative Fine said. “Students should not be able to get away with intimidating fellow classmates outside of school. I will continue to work with school officials, parents and students to create safe learning environments for our children.”

“A safe, supportive environment is vital for students’ learning and growth,” Senator Silverstein said. “This law gives educators more tools to discipline and prevent out-of-school cyber bullying when it hurts others’ ability to learn at school.”

Governor Quinn has taken a strong stance against bullying in all forms. He recently signed House Bill 5707, which requires all public schools to develop and implement an anti-bullying policy. He signed a law that expands the definition of bullying, requires gang prevention training in Illinois schools and created the School Bullying Prevention Task Force to examine the root causes of bullying. The Governor also signed a law that allows the Chicago Board of Education to develop a program to establish common bonds between youth of different backgrounds and ethnicities.

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Community Health Care, Inc. receives $250,000 grant for behavioral health PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Amy M Jones   
Friday, 01 August 2014 09:00

Davenport, Iowa—Community Health Care, Inc. (CHC) was awarded a $250,000 grant to enhance or expand the behavioral health services being offered in their clinics.

“We know that our patients have a significant need for behavioral health services,” Community Health Care, Inc. CEO Tom Bowman said. “To help meet this need, we are taking a successful partnership with Robert Young Center for Community Mental Health and expanding on it for our Iowa patients.”

The grant, provided by funding made available by the Department of Health & Human Services through the Affordable Care Act, will add four new staff positions providing integrated primary and behavioral health care.

“This grant will certainly help CHC meet one of our main goals of fully integrating behavioral health services into all of our clinics,” Bowman said. “We know the health of a patient is closely tied to their behavioral health and this grant helps us meet the needs of our patients.”

According to the 2012 Community Health Assessment, 33.3% of Quad City adults reported some difficulty or delay in obtaining health care services during the past year, particularly in mental health services.

The nation’s health center network, which is supported by HRSA’s Health Center Program serves nearly 22 million patients who count on their local health center for high quality comprehensive preventive and primary health care, regardless of their ability to pay. Ensuring that patients of health centers have access to mental health is important to improving overall health outcomes.

Community Health Care, Inc. is a patient-centered primary medical and dental health care organization that serves vulnerable populations—and all people in need. CHC is designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center and is accredited by the Joint Commission. CHC is private, nonprofit organization.

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