Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Sens. Harkin, Franken, Roberts, Barrasso Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Bolster Rural Health Care PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 13:56

Senators’ Legislation Will Help Ensure that Rural Residents Have Equal Access to Quality Care

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, U.S. Sens. Tom Harkin (D-IA), Al Franken (D-MN), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and John Barrasso (R-WY) introduced a bipartisan bill to help rural communities address the challenges they face when it comes to providing quality health care.

The Craig Thomas Rural Hospital and Provider Equity Act (R-HoPE) would support the efforts of rural health care systems to provide innovative, sustainable health care solutions for patients in rural America. Specifically, the legislation would extend several programs that provide access to hospitals, doctors, and ambulance services in rural areas.

“This bill would be a critical first step toward equalizing Medicare reimbursement between rural and urban areas,” said Sen. Harkin, who is Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. “Giving Iowa’s hospitals, physicians, ambulance companies, and home health agencies the resources they need to serve the many rural communities around our  state is essential to fulfilling the promise of quality healthcare for every American. States with large rural populations face a significant disadvantage in access to healthcare compared to other parts of the country and this bill will help to ensure that Medicare patients in rural states, like Iowa, will have access to the best service regardless of where they live.”


“Providing quality health care to Minnesota’s rural communities requires innovative solutions,” said Sen. Franken, who was recently named co-chair of the Senate Rural Health Caucus, as long-serving co-chair Sen. Tom Harkin retires this year. “We can’t afford to ignore the complexities of health care delivery in our rural communities. Our bipartisan bill will help health providers expand access to quality care, and help ensure that rural residents are afforded the best possible health care regardless of their location.”

“The R-HoPE Act recognizes that rural health care providers have very different needs than their urban counterparts and that health care is not one size fits all,” said Roberts, co-chair of the Senate Rural Health Caucus. “I am glad we were able to include provisions to get rid of the ‘condition of payment’ known as the burdensome 96-hour rule, which is particularly troubling for critical access hospitals and in turn, their patients.”

“In Wyoming, we understand the unique challenges our rural and frontier communities must overcome when people need medical care. Washington’s one-size-fits-all approach to health care simply doesn’t serve Wyoming patients well,” said Sen. Barrasso. “Our bill will help create an effective and accessible rural health care system by putting our rural providers on a level playing field with other doctors and hospitals across the country.  Most importantly, this bill ensures that folks in rural states like Wyoming have access to medical care as close to home as possible.”

You can read a summary of the bill here and download a copy of the bill here. The bill number is S. 2359.


Governor Quinn Statement on Illinois Senate Passage of AED Training Legislation PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Katie Hickey   
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 13:47

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Pat Quinn today released the following statement regarding Illinois Senate passage of a bill that will require automated external defibrillator (AED) training for students in all Illinois high schools. The measure, House Bill 3724, has already passed the Illinois House and now heads to the Governor’s desk.

“Illinois’ students should be prepared to act if a health emergency happens in any of our high schools.

“This is common-sense legislation will make sure all Illinois high school students are properly trained to use defibrillators in life-and-death situations.

“I commend Representative Daniel Burke and Senator John Mulroe for sponsoring this bill and all legislators who voted for it. I look forward to signing it into law to make sure our young people are prepared to help their classmates or teachers in case of an emergency.”


Blue Grass Community Blood Drive PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center   
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 09:51

Monday, June 2, 2014 from 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Fellowship Hall, 333 W. Lotte St. in Blue Grass.

Sign up by calling Evelyn Troyer at 563-381-2417 or online at

Please eat and drink before donating blood and be sure to bring donor or photo ID.

Last date to donate elsewhere is 4/7/2014.  Group Sponsor Code: 069


Volunteer Drivers Needed PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by George Nickolas   
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 09:45

The Quad Cities Disabled American Veterans Transportation Program is in need of drivers to carry our veterans to their medical appointments at the VA Medical Center in Iowa City.

Anyone interested in driving the DAV Van to Iowa City should call Commander Tom Simmons at 563-324-6329 or Adjutant Paul Janecek at 563-386-3533 or Serivce Officer George Nickolas at 563-391-1760.

Interested drivers are advised that they can select the day(s) of the month they are available. If you have any questions about the scheduling of driving or what hours you would have to volunteer for on the day and/or days that you are willing to drive, you need to call Adjutant Paul Janecek at 563-386-3533.

Loebsack Statement on the Resignation of VA Undersecretary for Health Care PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Joe Hand   
Monday, 19 May 2014 09:07

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after it was announced that Robert Petzel, the Veterans Administration’s (VA) undersecretary for health care, has resigned.

“I have been extremely concerned about the reports that have recently come to light of alleged preventable deaths and subsequent cover up at VA health clinics. As a parent of military children, I am incredibly upset that this could have ever happened to the men and women who honorably served our nation. We owe it to our nation’s veterans to do all we can to determine exactly what happened and we need to do it immediately.”


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