Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Governor Quinn and Leader Tom Cross Mark Diabetes Awareness Day in Illinois PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ryan C. Woods   
Friday, 16 November 2012 09:37

Free Diabetes Screenings Available Across Illinois


CHICAGO – November 14, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn and House Minority Leader Tom Cross today joined advocates from the Illinois Diabetes Policy Coalition (IDPC) to mark the first Diabetes Awareness Day in Illinois. Illinois residents can take advantage of free diabetes screenings available across the state today, and a list of locations can be viewed at Diabetes Awareness Day in Illinois is the result of a new law signed this summer by the governor to increase public awareness of diabetes.


“Knowledge is power and being proactive about diabetes can save lives and help so many people who don’t know about all the treatment options they have,” Governor Quinn said. “By working together to raise awareness and strengthen our healthcare system, we can improve the health of the people of Illinois.”


“You or someone you know may have diabetes and not even be aware of it,” said Leader Cross. “While Type 1 Diabetes cannot be prevented, Type 2 Diabetes is a metabolic disorder than can be prevented or delayed with a healthy lifestyle.  Early detection and treatment are key to preventing the side effects of diabetes such as blindness, kidney failure, heart disease and stroke, which is why we are using Diabetes Day to raise awareness about the disease and to encourage everyone to get their blood sugar screened.”


In July, Governor Quinn signed House Bill 5003, sponsored by House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) and Sen. Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) to officially designate November 14th as Diabetes Awareness Day in Illinois. November is American Diabetes Month, and more than 800,000 Illinois residents are living with the disease, double the number 20 years ago. In partnership with the IDPC, almost two dozen locations throughout Illinois will offer free diabetes screenings. The screenings were set up by the Illinois Hospital Association, Novo Nordisk and the Illinois Legislative Diabetes Caucus.


“The members of the IDPC are thrilled to be partnering with Governor Quinn, Leader Cross and the members of the Illinois Diabetes Legislative Caucus to mark an annual day dedicated to the awareness, education and prevention of diabetes. With nearly 900,000 people in Illinois living with diabetes and many more at-risk, this disease remains an important and critical public health issue that requires collaboration between public and private entities to provide on-going support and education,” said Kate O’Connor, co-chair of the Illinois Diabetes Policy Coalition.


In Illinois, diabetes remains the leading cause of chronic kidney disease, non-traumatic lower-limb amputations, heart disease, stroke and new cases of blindness among adults in the U.S. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the number of Illinois residents who have diabetes has more than doubled over the past 20 years, reaching approximately 800,000 in 2011. The department also estimates that an additional 500,000 people are unaware they have the disease. Of Illinois adults with diabetes, 18.6 percent are 65 years of age or older. Diabetes-related care in Illinois costs around $7.3 billion each year.


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How to Carve Carbs at Thanksgiving PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by dLife   
Friday, 16 November 2012 09:21

Governor Quinn Announces New Health Clinic PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Tuesday, 13 November 2012 16:08

Illinois Jobs Now! Project Supported 200 Jobs; Will Strengthen Healthcare for Vulnerable, Low-Income and Medicaid Patients at Mount Sinai

CHICAGO - November 13, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today joined with community and healthcare leaders to announce the newly renovated Mount Sinai Hospital Health Clinic. This $7 million Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction project created or supported almost 200 jobs and will allow Mount Sinai Hospital to relocate its specialty clinics into one space.

"As a result of this project, more people will get the medical care they need and we will strengthen the local community," Governor Quinn said. "Building this new clinic at Mount Sinai creates jobs, paves the way for more economic growth and improves healthcare services that will help tens of thousands of people every year."

The $7 million Illinois Jobs Now! project was used to move all of Mount Sinai Hospital’s specialty clinics out of a 60-year facility that was once used as a dormitory and into a newly-renovated space. These clinics include cardiology, gastroenterology, infectious disease, nephrology, general surgery, vascular surgery and several pediatric subspecialties. Construction on the first phase of this project will be completed in the next four to six months.

These clinics served more than 65,000 patient visits last year. The new space was designed to accommodate more patients that will be covered by the Medicaid expansion as part of the federal Affordable Care Act. Medicaid covers 60% of Sinai Health System’s patients and 15% are uninsured. The efficiencies created by bringing these clinics under one roof will mean increased care for vulnerable populations that have limited options in receiving specialty medical treatment.

The new clinics will be located on the third floor of the Sinai Community Institute Building, which serves as a central location where those in need can go for help. The first floor of the building houses many of the programs of Sinai Community Institute which offers a wide range of programs to serve the community. Programs include one of the largest Women, Infant and Children (WIC) programs in Illinois, parenting education, elder abuse services, workforce development, case management, youth programming, case management for the Juvenile Intervention Support Center, after school education programs and a community computer lab.

Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program is the largest in Illinois history, supporting an estimated 439,000 construction jobs over six years. The program, which aims to modernize Illinois’ infrastructure, began in 2009.


Jordan Catholic School partners with Trinity Smoke Free That's Me program PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Janine Parr   
Tuesday, 13 November 2012 11:37
Jordan Catholic School 4th grade teacher Karen Lavell reached out to Trinity to participate in their “Smoke Free That’s Me” program. Mrs. Lavell explained that this is a perfect time to teach students about the dangers of smoking as the Great American Smoke-out is this Thursday November 15th. Trinity will work with Mrs. Lavell’s 4th grade class from 1-2pm today.

Trinity Cancer Center reaches out to area elementary students to educate them in visual and interactive ways about the long-term dangers of smoking.  Smoke Free That’s Me is a program presented to 2nd and 4th graders by oncology-certified nurses.  Each presentation lasts about 50 minutes and includes an age-appropriate video, handout, and numerous interactive activities.  Educators are encouraged to call the Cancer Canter at (309) 779-5090 ext. 1 (nursing) or ext. 3 (Carolene) to schedule a visit.

Insurance Program Covers People with Pre-existing Conditions PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 12 November 2012 15:28
‘Care is Available in Every State,’ says Former Physician

With all the talk about health-care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, it seems few people know coverage is available in every state as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, says Dr. Dixie Swanson, a former television health reporter and physician, and a lupus patient.

“People can apply for the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan, which will not deny you coverage because you have asthma, diabetes or some other condition, and will not charge you more simply because of it,” says Swanson, the author of “The Accidental President Trilogy,” ( “In Washington D.C. and 23 states – including Florida, Massachusetts and Texas – it’s run by the federal government. Twenty-seven states run their own PCIP program.”

Policies vary from state to state and premiums may vary, but coverage can cost less than $200 a month. But a shockingly low number of people know about the coverage, Swanson says. As of July 31, there were 82,000 people enrolled. Maine had only 42 enrollees; California had the most, 11,118.

“Getting and keeping health insurance is Job One for many patients with chronic illness. This is a real step forward," Swanson says.

Here are some important things to know about PCIP:

• You are eligible for PCIP coverage ONLY if you have been without insurance coverage for the past six months. If you have coverage – even if it does not cover your condition – you are not eligible, and if you’re in a state high-risk pool, you’re not eligible.

• Rules vary depending on who administers the plan. In states with the federally administered program, you must submit one of the following with your application: 1) An insurance company’s letter denying you coverage from within the past 12 months, 2) An offer of insurance with a rider disallowing your condition, provided you didn’t accept a policy, 3) If you’re under 19 or you live in Vermont or Massachusetts, a letter from a doctor, physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner stating your condition, and 4) If you’re under 19 or you live in Vermont or Massachusetts, an offer of insurance that you didn’t accept because the premium was too high (provided it’s at least double the cost of a standard option PCIP premium),

• In states with the federally administered program, if you’re application is accepted, you’ll receive a letter within two to three weeks. If you submitted your application and all documentation before the 15th of the month, your coverage can start by the 1st of the following month (i.e. by Nov. 15, coverage starts Dec. 1). If you apply after the 15th, it will start by the first of the month after that (i.e. Jan. 1).

• PCIP is designed to be temporary. The Affordable Health Care Act calls for private insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions beginning in 2014, at which time PCIP will not be necessary.

• To find out more, visit the plan’s official website,

About Dixie Swanson

Dixie Swanson was a pediatrician for 10 years and the Family Health Reporter for NBC’s Houston affiliate. She also spent time working for a Washington lobbyist with access to the White House.  Dixie is the author of “The Accidental President Trilogy – a Political Fable for Our Time.”

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