Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Forums on Affordable Care Act and Rural America PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Elisha Smith   
Monday, 13 June 2011 12:08

Farm, rural and labor organizations join forces to conduct community forums on the Affordable Care Act’s impact in rural America

Lyons, NE - The Center for Rural Affairs, Iowa Farmers Union and Iowa Citizen Action Network are co-hosting several health care forums to answer questions on what the Affordable Care Act means for Iowa families, students, farmers and small business owners. 

“This forum is a great opportunity for Iowans to learn about the Affordable Care Act and get their questions answered,” said Virginia Wolking, Rural Policy Organizer at the Center for Rural Affairs.  “We held meetings in Grinnell and Cedar Falls in the summer of 2009 where we discussed what people in those areas wanted to see included in the Affordable Care Act and I’m excited to return to the area for another discussion.”  

“Whether you are wondering about what the health care law means for your family's insurance, for the insurance you provide to your employees, if your child’s pre-existing condition is covered under your insurance, or about the timeline of when different parts of the Affordable Care Act will go into effect, we have answers to your questions,” said Wolking.

Individuals interested in attending the forum can contact Virginia Wolking at the Center for Rural Affairs (402.687.2103 ext 1017 or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )  to RSVP or for additional information.

What: A community forum to answer your questions about health care and the Affordable Care Act.

When and Where:

Monday, June 20
6:30-8:30pm
Council Chambers
220 Clay Street
Cedar Falls, Iowa

Thursday, June 23
6:30-8:30pm
First Presbyterian Church
1025 5th Avenue
Grinnell, Iowa

See www.cfra.org for more information about the Center for Rural Affairs.

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MyPlate’s Message: Proportions PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Joy Venhorst   
Friday, 10 June 2011 13:00

AMES, Iowa – The USDA released the new food icon “MyPlate” on June 2, 2011. The intent of the new icon is to simplify the dietary guidance included in the Dietary Guidelines 2010 and MyPyramid. MyPlate is not intended to replace MyPyramid; instead, MyPlate simplifies the message to make it easier for Americans to make healthful food choices.

“The key message of MyPlate is the proportion each food group should contribute to your plate,” said Sarah Francis, an Iowa State University assistant professor and state nutrition extension specialist. “The icon conveys that half of your plate should consist of fruits and vegetables, with vegetables comprising slightly more than the fruits. The other half of the plate consists of grains and proteins, with grains comprising slightly more than the protein. Dairy is depicted as a circle — signifying a glass of milk — off to the side ofthe plate.”

While the new icon has many positive aspects, some people have concerns. Ruth Litchfield, an Iowa State University associate professor and state nutrition extension specialist, feels the term “protein” may be confusing or misleading. “MyPlate uses the term ‘protein,’ which is a nutrient rather than a food group. While many equate the term protein with meat, fish and poultry, excellentsources of protein also include dried beans, peas and lentils.”
In addition to the icon, several nutrition messages accompany MyPlate. These include:

Balance Calories
• Enjoy your food, but eat less.
• Avoid oversized portions.

Foods to Increase
• Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
• Make at least half of your grains whole grains.
• Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1 percent) milk.

Foods to Reduce
• Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals – and choose the foods with lower numbers.
• Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

Litchfield is concerned about the message relative to sodium intake. “National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data fromthe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that a number of foods contribute more sodium to our daily diet than soup. For example, you also need to check the sodium content of prepared chicken and mixed chicken dishes, pizza, pasta and pasta dishes, coldcuts and cheese, among others. Most Americans need more guidance regarding where sodium is found and how to decrease sodium intake.”

Francis emphasized, “The messages of MyPlate remain consistent with messages from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 and MyPyramid. The real benefit of MyPlate is the simple, concise message of proportionality on your plate.”

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Governor Quinn Announces State Efforts to Address Rising Temperatures PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Andrew Mason   
Friday, 10 June 2011 12:13

Urges Illinoisans to take precautions, check on elderly

SPRINGFIELD – June 7, 2011. As temperatures rise, Governor Pat Quinn today announced services available to protect people from the near-record heat, and asked people across Illinois to look out for those most vulnerable to the high temperatures, including the elderly and children. 

“We must all be aware of the health risks that accompany rising temperatures, as well as the resources that are available to assist everyone in Illinois. The state is here to help people stay cool-- providing cooling centers in more than 120 locations.” said Governor Quinn. “We must all do what we can to ensure people are safe and healthy, especially by checking on elderly friends, neighbors, and relatives.

To combat high temperatures, the state is providing services to help ensure the health and safety of the public.

The Illinois Department of Human Services has established cooling centers and more than 120 state facilities, to help those without air conditioning escape the heat. The cooling centers are located at Illinois Department of Human Services offices throughout the state, as well as the seven Illinois Tollway Oases in the Chicago area. They are open to the public during regular business hours. For more information about Cooling Centers call (800) 843-6154. For a list of participating centers and oases, visit the website atwww.keepcool.illinois.gov.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) encourages people across Illinois to take steps to protect against heat-related health problems. To stay cool, IDPH recommends increasing fluid intake, avoiding caffeine, alcohol and sugar, decreasing activities, wearing appropriate clothing and, remaining in an air conditioned environment whenever possible. For more information on summer activity safety and summer health risks, visit the website at http://www.idph.state.il.us/public/books/summtoc.htm to find the “Summer? No Sweat” Survival Guide.

The Illinois Department on Aging encourages relatives and friends to make daily visits or calls to senior citizens living alone. When temperatures and humidity are extremely high, seniors and people with chronic health conditions must be watchful for dehydration and other effects of extreme heat. Additionally, seniors should eat lighter meals, take longer and more frequent rests, and drink plenty of fluids.

For information about preparedness, visit the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

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More Than $7 Million to Iowa for Head Start Projects PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 07 June 2011 13:04

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley today announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded five grants totaling $7,495,016 to Iowa to help fund Head Start projects.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will distribute the funds as described below.

  • Community Action Agency of Siouxland in Sioux City will receive $1,141,829
  • Community Action of Eastern Iowa in Davenport will receive $1,543,327
  • Hawkeye Area Community Action Program, Inc. in Hiawatha will receive $2,465,916
  • North Iowa Community Action Organization in Mason City will receive $1,223,209
  • Upper Des Moines Opportunity, Inc. in Graettinger will receive $1,120,735

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Speed into summer with Red Cross Racing. PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Theresa Kuhlmann   
Monday, 06 June 2011 15:53

During the summer months, blood donations often drop to low levels.The American Red Cross encourages donors to rev up their engines and head out to a nearby blood drive or donation center.

From May 25 through Sept. 14, presenting donors (age 18 and older) can register online at redcrossracing.com to enter the Red Cross Racing “Summer Drive Sweepstakes.” Enter for a chance to win a new, fuel-efficient 2012 Ford Fiesta SE. One winner will be selected by random drawing no later than Sept. 19.

Red Cross Racing participants also get points for activities like giving blood and recruiting blood donors. Points can be redeemed at any time for fun racing-themed prizes or donated to support the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces.

The American Red Cross is celebrating the fourth year of its Red Cross Racing partnership with 3M and Roush Fenway Racing. For more information, or to schedule your summer blood donation appointment, please visit redcrossracing.com or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

How to Donate Blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visitredcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are generally in good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross
Governed by volunteers and supported by giving individuals and communities, the American Red Cross is the single largest supplier of blood products to hospitals throughout the United States. While local hospital needs are always met first, the Red Cross also helps ensure no patient goes without blood no matter where or when they need it. In addition to providing nearly half of the nation’s blood supply, the Red Cross provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts.

Fast Facts
Approximately every two seconds someone in the U.S.needs blood.
More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day.
Only 38% of the U.S.population is eligible to donate blood.
Just 8% of those eligible actually donate.
One out of every 10 people admitted to the hospital needs blood.
One donation can help save the lives of up to three people.
The number one reason donors say they give blood is because they "want to help others."
The American Red Cross supplies approximately 40% of the nation's blood supply.

Blood Donation Opportunities June 16-30, 2011
WHITESIDE COUNTY
6/21/11
1:00 pm- 5:15 pm
Old Fulton Fire
912 4th Street
Fulton

6/22/11
10:00 am- 2:00 pm
Rock Falls Blood Donation Center
112 W. Second St.
Rock Falls

6/23/11
4:00 pm- 7:00 pm
Rock Falls Blood Donation Center
112 W. Second St.
Rock Falls

6/28/11 
1:00 pm-5:15 pm
Old Fulton Fire Station
912 4th Street
Fulton
Get a chance to win a portable GPS unit when you present to donate between June 27th & July 6th, 2011!

6/29/11
2:00 pm-6:00 pm
Rock Falls Blood Donation Center
112 W. Second St.
Rock Falls
Get a chance to win a portable GPS unit when you present to donate between June 27th & July 6th, 2011!

CLINTON COUNTY
6/16/11
10:00 am- 4:00 pm
Lyondell Chemical Company
3400 Anamosa Road
Clinton

6/19/11
8:00 am-12:00 pm
Assumption Catholic Church
147 Broadway Street
Charlotte

CARROLL COUNTY
6/16/11
1:00 pm-6:00 pm
Milledgeville First Brethren Church
521 N. Main Ave
Milledgeville
All presenting donors will be eligible to win a set of 2 free Chicago White Sox regular season home game tickets.

6/17/11
12:00 pm-6:00 pm
United Methodist Church
405 E.Locust
Lanark
All presenting donors will be eligible to win a set of 2 free Chicago White Sox regular season home game tickets.

6/22/11
12:00 pm-6:00 pm
Big Meadows Nursing Home
1000 Longmoor Ave
Savanna
All presenting donors will be eligible to win a set of 2 free Chicago White Sox regular season home game tickets.

6/24/11
1:00 pm-6:00 pm
Mt. Carroll Community Building
101 N. Main
Mount Carroll
All presenting donors will be eligible to win a set of 2 free Chicago White Sox regular season home game tickets.

 
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