Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Governor Quinn Signs Legislation Strengthening Access to Healthcare for Cancer Patients PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Laurel White   
Monday, 11 July 2011 13:42

New Laws Ensure Coverage for Trial-Related Medical Expenses, Extends ‘Ticket for the Cure’  


CHICAGO – July 11, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today signed two pieces of legislation strengthening access to healthcare for cancer patients in Illinois. House Bill 1191 prohibits insurance companies from excluding coverage for related medical costs for patients participating in clinical cancer trials, and Senate Bill 1279, extends the “Carolyn Adams Ticket for the Cure” scratch-off lottery game until 2016.  


“Access to quality healthcare is a basic right, and Illinoisans – particularly those who are fighting cancer – should not be denied coverage for participating in trials that might save their lives,” said Governor Quinn. “It is important that Illinois takes the lead in increasing women’s access to new science that can save lives.”  


Many patients who qualify for clinical trials – and the potential benefits of these innovative therapies – cannot access them because their insurance plans do not cover the routine care they need while participating in the trial. These uncovered expenses include the costs of medical visits, hospitals stays, clinical lab tests, scans and x-rays. The new law amends the Illinois Insurance Code so that a group insurance policy cannot deny routine patient care to an insured patient participating in a qualified clinical cancer trial.  


The lack of coverage for routine care has created a barrier to patient participation in clinical trials and limited access to additional treatment options for cancer. The cost barrier has led to lower participation rates for low-income and minority women in clinical trials.  


House Bill 1191 was an initiative of Susan G. Komen Foundation. Sponsored by Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) and Sen. Heather A. Steans (D-Chicago), the bill passed both houses unanimously. The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2012.  


Senate Bill 1279, sponsored by Sens. Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) and Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago) and Reps. Constance A. Howard (D-Chicago) and Mary E. Flowers (D-Chicago), extends the “Ticket for the Cure” lottery scratch-off game an additional five years, until Dec. 31, 2016. The ticket was the first nationwide lottery scratch-off game to provide grants to non-profit organizations supporting breast cancer research and education. The ticket originally was scheduled to be discontinued at the end of 2011.  


Launched in 2006, the ticket was renamed in honor of former Illinois Lottery Superintendent Carolyn Adams, who died of breast cancer in 2007 at age 44. More than 8,700 Illinois women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, and more than 1,700 died as a result.  



American Red Cross National Blood Supply Drops to Critically Low Levels PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Theresa Kuhlmann   
Monday, 11 July 2011 13:38

All eligible blood donors asked to make and keep appointments

PEORIA, Ill. (July 11, 2011) Due to a critical shortage of donated blood across the nation, the American Red Cross – the single largest supplier of blood products in the United States – is asking eligible donors of all blood types to make an appointment to give blood as soon as possible.

With many donors busy or traveling, and with school out of session where up to 20 percent of donations are made during the academic year, donations have dropped dramatically. In fact, during May and June 2011, while the need for blood products remained steady, donations were at the lowest level the Red Cross has experienced in more than 12 years.

The Red Cross needs blood donors – now more than ever – to roll up a sleeve and give as soon as possible. All blood types are needed, but especially O negative, B negative and A negative. Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information.

The American Red Cross has responded to more than 40 major disasters in over 30 states during the past three months – delivering help and hope to people affected by floods, tornadoes and wildfires. But there’s another, more personal, kind of disaster which can happen to any of us at any time if we need blood and it’s not available.

“As a physician, I have seen firsthand how blood transfusions can truly help save lives,” said David C. Mair, M.D., chief medical officer of the Mid-America Blood Services Division of the American Red Cross which provides blood products and specialized laboratory services to more than 326 hospitals in the Midwest and central U.S. “However, a critical blood shortage like the one we’re experiencing right now could have a devastating effect on patients whose survival may depend on blood being there when and where needed. Blood donors can help ensure a readily available blood supply locally as well as throughout the country.”

A year and a half ago, 15 year old Cora Peters of Princeton, Illinois was diagnosed with stage 4 synovial sarcoma. Since her diagnosis, Cora has gone through three surgeries and countless lifesaving blood product transfusions to replace the blood cells that her body was no longer able to make.

Cora’s story highlights the importance of each and every blood donation. Because of that, the Red Cross is reaching out to eligible blood donors, sponsors and community leaders to ask them to recruit blood donors to help meet the needs of patients in communities across the United States.

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 in generally 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.

Upcoming Blood Donation Opportunities


7/11/2011, 11:00 am- 4:00 pm, DHL Global Forwarding, 3100 69th Ave #2, Moline


7/12/2011, 1:00 pm- 5:15 pm, Old Fulton Fire Station, 912 4th Street, Fulton, IL, Whiteside

7/13/2011, 10:00 am- 2:00 pm, Rock Falls Blood Donation Center, 112 W. Second St., Rock Falls, , IL, Whiteside

7/14/2011, 3:00 pm- 8:00 pm, Fairfield Amish Mennonite School, 29467 425 E. Street, Tampico, , IL, Whiteside

7/15/2011, 11:30 am- 6:00 pm, Sterling National Manufacturing Education Center, 1 First Avenue, Sterling, , IL, Whiteside

7/16/2011, 9:00 am- 1:00 pm, Culver's, 1901 Harley Davidson Drive, Rock Falls, IL, Whiteside

7/16/2011, 10:00 am- 2:00 pm, Army National Guard, 716 Sixth Ave, Rock Falls, IL, Whiteside

$175,000 to the Iowa Department of Public Health PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 11 July 2011 13:33
WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley today said that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded a $175,000 grant to the Iowa Department of Public Health.  


Distribution of the federal funds is determined by the Department of Health and Human Services.  The award is not an earmark determined by Congress.  According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Iowa will use the funds to conduct an early hearing detection and intervention project.    


Each year, local Iowa organizations, colleges and universities, individuals and state agencies apply for competitive grants from the federal government.  The funding is then awarded based on each local organization or individual’s ability to meet criteria set by the federal entity administering the funds.  



Governor Quinn Signs Legislation Requiring Child Care Workers SUID, SIDS Prevention Training PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Laurel White   
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 23:33

Reforms Will Improve Infant and Newborn Safety Throughout Illinois

NAPERVILLE – July 6, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to increase the safety of infant and newborn children throughout Illinois. Under House Bill 2099, child care workers who care for newborns and infants will be required to complete regular training on how to prevent sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

“It is important that those who work with our children possess the most up-to-date health and safety information,” said Governor Quinn. “This legislation ensures that child care workers in Illinois will continue to provide the highest standard of care.”

House Bill 2099 requires all licensed child care facility employees who care for newborns and infants to complete training at least every three years on sudden unexpected infant death (SUID), sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and the safe sleep recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The bill was an initiative of SIDS of Illinois, an organization of parents who have lost children due to SIDS or SUID and are committed to educating others about preventable infant death. SUID and SIDS are leading causes of death in infants under two years of age, and approximately 20 percent of SIDS deaths occur while the infant is in the care of a non-parental caregiver.

House Bill 2099 was sponsored by Representative Emily McAsey (D-Lockport) and Senator A.J. Wilhelmi (D-Joliet) and takes effect on Jan. 1, 2012.

In July 2010, Governor Quinn signed House Bill 5930, which requires birth hospitals to provide safe sleep information to parents as they leave the hospital. This legislation took effect at the beginning of 2011.


Independence from Health Care Restrictions PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Elisha Smith   
Tuesday, 05 July 2011 22:26

Report examines how Affordable Care Act will revive and sustain small towns, farms and ranches



Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lyons, Nebraska - According to a new report to be released July 6, 2011 by the Center for Rural Affairs, nearly 15 million young adults (19-29 years of age) in America are without health insurance. However, the report estimates that over 12 million of that young adult uninsured population will obtain coverage under provisions of the Affordable Care Act. These provisions are especially important for small towns and rural areas.

A full copy of the embargoed report can be viewed and downloaded immediately at: th-care-young-adults.pdf  and will remain available after the embargo is lifted.

Members of the media are asked to contact Elisha Smith ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 402.687.2103 ext 1007) to set up interviews.

“Access to affordable, quality health insurance means more young adults can stay, return, or relocate to rural communities,” said Alyssa Charney with the Center for Rural Affairs and the author of the report.

The report examines how the Affordable Care Act significantly benefits young adults, specifically those in rural areas, with provisions that include the ability to remain on their parents’ policies, the creation of health insurance marketplaces, the elimination of pre-existing conditions, and incentives for employers to provide coverage. 

According to Charney’s report, of the approximately 7 million rural residents between 20 and 29 years of age, 600,000 will be eligible to remain on their parents’ health insurance until age 26 pursuant to the Affordable Care Act. Nationally it is estimated that 3.4 million young adults will be eligible for coverage under this provision. 

“The Affordable Care Act benefits rural young people in ways that extend well beyond individual health and affordability, because supporting the younger generation means supporting our rural communities for generations to come,” explained Charney. 

“The places where young people choose to live, the work they pursue, and the passions they follow shouldn't be decided by limitations on how or where to find health insurance. The Affordable Care Act addresses these limitations,” Charney added.

Rural communities are quickly declining in population, with many young adults leaving in search of outside opportunities and benefits. However, it would be incorrect to assume that this migration is driven by a lack of desire to live in rural places.

Forty percent of Americans would prefer to live in a rural area or small town, compared to the less than 20 percent who currently do, according to a survey from the National Association of Realtors. 

The author concludes that access to affordable, quality health insurance means more young adults can stay, return, or relocate to rural communities. Young farmers, entrepreneurs, and rural health care providers not only have much to gain from the Affordable Care Act, but they also have valuable skills and knowledge to contribute to rural communities.

This is the 13th report in a series dealing with how health care reform and the Affordable Care Act will impact rural America. Visit lth-care/research  to review or download earlier Center for Rural Affairs health care reports.

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