Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Simon: Sign up for Illinois Women’s Health Registry PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Kara Beach   
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 10:39
Urges women to seek preventative screenings, health care on Women’s Health Day
SPRINGFIELD – May 15, 2013. An advocate for rural Illinois residents, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today encouraged Southern and Central Illinois women to improve medical research and treatment by signing up for the Illinois Women’s Health Registry.
The registry is designed to help medical professionals understand why diseases effect women differently from men, but to date most of the women enrolled are from the Chicagoland area. This means downstate women’s health needs may be unrepresented, Simon said.
Simon’s message came as she proclaimed it Women’s Health Day alongside officials from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Northwestern University and the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in the Capitol rotunda.
“As women, we are often juggling careers, volunteer work, families and any number of things. It is too easy for us to put our own health on the back burner,” said Simon, who chairs the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council. “But I encourage women, particularly in downstate communities, to take 30 minutes to participate in the Illinois Women’s Health Registry. Just 30 minutes could help improve the quality of health care throughout Illinois for generations to come.”
The Women’s Health Research Institute at Northwestern University maintains the Illinois Women’s Health Registry, which enables women to take a confidential health survey containing questions about family histories, stress and more. Beyond influencing research, the registry helps women understand their own health needs. According to the institute, regular screenings for women are more important, as they are more susceptible than men to developing lung cancer, multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and depression.
“The registry will help researchers include more women in their studies so we can better understand how and why illnesses develop in women, how to understand sex and gender differences, and what women can do to lead healthier lives,” said Women’s Health Research Institute Director Teresa Woodruff, PhD. “Women are the health navigators for their families, and we believe that healthy women lead to a healthy state.”
The Office of Women’s Health within IDPH offers a range of programs and services to help improve the health of women in Illinois, including the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP) and the WISEWOMAN Program (WIP). The IBCCP enables low-income, uninsured women between the ages of 35 and 64 to access free breast and cervical cancer screenings. The IWIP helps women in 13 Illinois counties who are enrolled in the IBCCP to live heart-healthy lifestyles through screenings and classes that educate participants about meal-planning, increasing physical activity and more.
“We know that most women put the health of their family before their own. But unless women start taking care of their health first, they will not be able to take care of their families,” said IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “Preventive screenings like those for heart, breast and bone health are key to detecting disease and health problems early, when they can be more easily treated. I encourage women to take steps to live healthier, happier lives.”
For more information about the state’s health programs for women, please call 888-522-1282 or click here. To access the Illinois Women’s Health Registry, click here.

Genesis Sponsors Summer PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Craig Cooper   
Tuesday, 14 May 2013 13:05
DAVENPORT, Iowa -- May 14, 2013 – Genesis Health System is again sponsoring the premier events of summer life in the Quad Cities.

“Genesis Health System sponsors a wide range of community events that contribute to our diverse quality of life, but also promote wellness,'' explained Ken Croken, vice president of corporate communications and business development, Genesis Health System. "These events allow Genesis to reach out to the communities we serve, but also make the region more attractive to skilled health professionals.”

Here is information about other Quad Cities events Genesis is sponsoring this summer:

•  Komen Quad Cities Race for the Cure. When: 8 a.m., Saturday, June 8. Where: i wireless Center, Moline. Event information: Register for the 5K or 1.2 mile walk/run. Or, you don't have to run a step to support the cause. Sleep-In for the Cure, or register for the race and just cheer on everyone else. Genesis is the Founding Sponsor of the event. Information/registration:

•  Red, White and Boom! When: 6 p.m., Wednesday, July 3. Where: Davenport and Rock Island riverfront; Event information: Celebrate America's Birthday with the best fireworks display in the Midwest shot over the Mighty Mississippi. There are also live performances, fun activities, food, drinks, and more. For more:

•  Genesis Firecracker Run. When: 7:30 a.m., Thursday, July 4. Where: East Moline. Event information: It’s the 30th birthday of the event on America’s birthday. Running events include 5K/10K; 10K 2-person relay; Kiddie run; The National Bank Mile; Hospital Bed Races. For more:

•  Camp Genesis. When: July 7-12. Where: YMCA Camp Abe Lincoln, Blue Grass, Iowa; Camp information: A free camp experience for children who are dealing with cancer in their families. A traditional camp experience of swimming, horseback riding, a climbing tower but also cancer education and emotional support from  Gilda's Club Quad Cities. For more: Call Gilda’s Club at (563) 326-7504 for information or download a camp application at (click on the Camp Genesis link.)

•  Carb It Up. When: 5-8 p.m., Friday, July 26. Where: RiverCenter, Davenport. Information: A pasta dinner with choice of sauces, salad, bread sticks and beverage is $10 for adults. Kids buffet (12 and under) with mac and cheese, bread sticks and sundae bar is $5. Get well nourished before you walk or run in the Quad-City Times Bix 7. For more: No reservations necessary.

•  Quad-City Times Bix 7. When: 8 a.m., Saturday, July 27. Where: Downtown Davenport. Information: A world-class 7-mile road race. There is also a 3-mile Quick Bix and Jr. Bix events on July 27. Genesis is a Platinum Sponsor, the volunteer sponsor and Genesis professionals staff the medical tent. For more:



Simon encourages Senate passage of tightly-regulated medical marijuana legislation PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Annie Thompson   
Monday, 13 May 2013 13:58
Says strong controls, restrictions provide necessary safeguards
SPRINGFIELD – May 13, 2013. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon announced her support today for House Bill 1, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. William Haine (D-Alton) awaits a final vote in the Senate.
Simon, a former Jackson County prosecutor, noted that HB1 would establish the most restrictive medical marijuana program in the nation and takes best practices from the 18 other states that have enacted similar legislation in recent years.
“For many patients who are terminally ill, the prescription painkillers currently available do not alleviate their pain. I encourage the Senate to send House Bill 1 to the governor’s desk,” Simon said. “This legislation balances care for those who are suffering with the strong monitoring and regulations that are essential.”
The limited four-year pilot program already passed in the House where sponsor Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) spent years working to draft a bill that would include tight regulations and monitoring. Under HB 1:
  • A physician must attest that the patient is suffering from one of 33 specified illnesses or conditions, such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease and HIV, and would receive therapeutic benefit with treatment.
  • Patients would undergo full background checks conducted by the Illinois State Police, which include finger printing of each patient and caregiver.
  • Convicted felons, minors and non-Illinois residents would be prohibited from obtaining an ID card or participating in the program.
  • The ID card would allow the patient, or licensed caregiver, to purchase a limited amount per month from one of up to 60 state-licensed dispensaries and grown in one of up to 22 cultivation centers located throughout the state.
  • Sales would be tracked to ensure only qualified patients purchase their allowable amount at their designated dispensary.
  • Refusing to submit to a field sobriety test would result in the automatic suspension of a license.
  • Law enforcement officers would have the ability to investigate for illegal possession or DUI if any odor or other evidence is detected.
The Illinois State Police, Illinois Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge, Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council and the Illinois State Attorneys’ Association have officially taken a neutral position on House Bill 1. The legislation passed the Senate Executive Committee and awaits a vote by the full Senate.

Anesthesia Professionals Question Safety of Non-experts Giving Propofo to Patients via New Sedasys™ Machine PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Christopher Bettin   
Friday, 10 May 2013 12:37
PARK RIDGE, Illinois – Responding to a decision by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve a new machine that allows healthcare providers who are not anesthesia experts to give the powerful drug propofol to patients undergoing colonoscopies and other gastrointestinal procedures, the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) stated that the safest option for any patient receiving propofol is still the hands-on care provided by Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and  physician anesthesiologists.

The pre-market approval of Johnson & Johnson’s Sedasys™ machine for administering propofol (Diprivan™) was announced on May 6 after three years of denial by the agency.

“Propofol is an effective anesthetic drug for colonoscopies and endoscopies because it is short acting and patients typically wake up quickly and feeling alert,” said Janice Izlar, CRNA, DNAP, president of the 45,000 member AANA. “However, propofol is also a very powerful drug in that any patient receiving it can slip from a mildly sedated state into a state of general anesthesia requiring assistance with breathing. That’s why it is always best for propofol to be administered by a qualified anesthesia professional. Since a machine is not able to prevent or manage loss of consciousness, we have serious concerns.”

A 2004 joint position statement of the AANA and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) concurs, saying, “Whenever propofol is used for sedation/anesthesia, it should be administered only by persons trained in the administration of general anesthesia, who are not simultaneously involved in these surgical or diagnostic procedures.”

Even the FDA-approved labeling on propofol warns that the drug should only be provided by persons qualified in general anesthesia, because the drug’s effects cannot be reversed.

According to Johnson & Johnson, facilities where the Sedasys is used should have an anesthesia professional immediately available for assistance or consultation, a vague requirement that generally limits the machine’s utility and cost-effectiveness. Johnson & Johnson also stresses the need for the propofol provider to be trained in dealing with the drug’s cardiorespiratory effects—abilities that CRNAs and anesthesiologists master during years of advanced education and clinical training.

“CRNAs are master’s prepared anesthesia experts educated and trained in the administration of general anesthesia and pain management,” said Izlar. “Numerous studies have demonstrated the cost effectiveness and high quality of CRNA care when personally provided to an individual patient.  Substituting a machine for a dedicated anesthesia expert involves unknown costs and risks.”

Johnson & Johnson plans to conduct two studies to monitor use of the Sedasys machine in actual clinical practice after a limited rollout in 2014.

About the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Founded in 1931 and located in Park Ridge, Ill., the AANA is the professional organization representing more than 45,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and student registered nurse anesthetists.  As advanced practice registered nurses, CRNAs administer approximately 33 million anesthetics to patients in the United States each year and are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America. In some states, CRNAs are the sole anesthesia professionals in nearly 100 percent of rural hospitals. For more information, visit


discount prescription drug program oversight continues PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Grassley Press   
Thursday, 09 May 2013 14:36
Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa is looking into how hospitals are using a discount prescription drug program, known as 340B.  Certain hospitals appear to be making sizeable profits from the program at the expense of Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance.  Grassley asked the federal agency in the charge of the program, the Health Resources and Services Administration, about its oversight of the program.  HRSA’s response is available here.  Grassley’s letter to HRSA is available here.  Grassley made the following comment on the response.

“The law requires HRSA to increase its guidance to participants in areas such as the definition of a patient. I intend to follow up with HRSA on the progress of those updates. Congress needs to know the extent to which the agency believes it lacks the statutory authority to ensure that hospitals use the 340B program to help the uninsured receive affordable prescription drugs.  Medicare and private insurance are paying much more for some drugs than the hospitals paid because of the program discount.  Congress needs a full picture of how hospitals are using the program and how their uses affect other programs in the health care system.”

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