New Director to Boost Illinois' Quality of Care, Support Initiatives

CHICAGO - April 9, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today named State Representative Julie Hamos as Director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS). As agency director, Hamos will focus on expanding access to healthcare while improving patient safety.

"Julie has served our state with professionalism and integrity for many years and is a longtime champion of improving access to healthcare," said Governor Quinn. "In this new role, she will continue to be a strong advocate for families in need of better, more efficient and patient-centered healthcare. Julie will also be instrumental in the Illinois implementation of President Obama's ground-breaking healthcare reform plan."

Hamos has served in the Illinois House of Representatives since 1999 and represents the 18th District. Previously, she worked as the legislative counsel and policy advisor to then-State's Attorney Richard M. Daley, before being appointed director of the Child Support Division, which overseas more than 300,000 child support cases each year. Hamos earned a Bachelor's degree from Washington University and a law degree George Washington University. (See attached background sheet.)

"I am honored to serve the people of Illinois as Director of Healthcare and Family Services and thank Governor Quinn for this opportunity," said Hamos. "I am a longtime advocate for expanding access to healthcare and believe in improving the quality of healthcare for Illinois families and protecting patients."

In 2003, Hamos worked to enact the Consumer Guide to Health Care Act, which requires hospitals and outpatient surgical treatment centers to disclose data on key measures for 30 medical procedures - part of a national movement to help consumers make comparisons based on quality healthcare data.

In 2005, Hamos sponsored legislation that created the Electronic Health Records Taskforce, and this year she is sponsoring the Illinois Health Information Exchange and Technology Act. That Act will establish a public-private Health Information Exchange Authority to work in conjunction with the Governor's Office of Health Information Technology to enable providers throughout Illinois to securely share patient health information, and it is a step toward the adoption of statewide electronic health records.

"Just a few weeks ago, President Obama signed historic legislation into law that will reform the healthcare system in our country," said Hamos. "I look forward to working on the frontline to carry out that reform throughout Illinois." 

Hamos succeeds former HFS Director Barry Maram, who is assisting in the leadership transition. Her position is effective April 16, 2010.

HFS provides affordable healthcare coverage for adults and children who qualify. The department also provides free child support enforcement services to help ensure that Illinois children receive financial support from both parents. For more information on HFS, please visit

American Airlines takes on GDS charges with a new distribution model - and intermediaries fight back
9 April 2010

American Airlines wants to deal directly with corporate travel managers and is attempting to cut out the middleman by putting up pay wall for Global Distribution Systems (GDSs), Online Travel Agents (OTAs) and Travel Management Companies (TMCs) to access the content on Predictably there is a chorus of opposition from intermediaries; but Wall Street likes it. Meanwhile, airlines around the world will be watching avidly.

"At the airline firm level, this probably seems very rational to (American)," said Business Travel Coalition (BTC) Chair Kevin Mitchell, who is leading a fight to stop Direct Connect. "It generates more revenue while lowering and shifting costs. But it also throws so much complexity and burdens the industry with so many new costs, it is irrational at the industry level. The airlines just don't get it. They want to eliminate the middle man but corporations have a very efficient and time-tested way of doing business and this will undermine that."


Declares April "Earth Month", Presents Environmental Hero Awards
CHICAGO - April 9, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today delivered the keynote address at the 2nd Annual Sustainable Schools Symposium at Walter Payton College Prep. Governor Quinn was joined by officials from the U.S. Department of Education and Chicago Public Schools in declaring the month of April "Earth Month" and presenting Environmental Hero Awards.
"We've come a long way in protecting precious natural resources and making our state 'green' but we can't stop now.  We must continue this important effort by recognizing that every month is Earth Month," said Governor Quinn. "By working together, we can teach today's youth the importance of conservation and creating a sustainable environment now and in the future."
Participants from across Illinois - including school administrators, superintendents, school board members, custodial staff, teachers, government officials and high school student environmental leaders - gathered at the daylong symposium in Chicago to exchange ideas that will enhance and promote green practices in K-12 schools.
The symposium is hosted by the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council Chicago Chapter and Chicago Public Schools, and features presentations from local, state, and federal policy-makers, educators, green businesses and non-profits. Workshops cover a variety of topics aimed at giving participants ideas for making schools across Illinois green. Green school construction and renovation, energy usage in the classroom, environmental education and health, and ways to finance sustainability projects are just some of the areas that were discussed.
Governor Quinn also issued a proclamation declaring April as "Earth Month" in Illinois. Throughout the month, various state agencies will hold events and programs aimed at educating the public about the importance of environmentalism and conserving natural resources. Details about those events will be released in the coming weeks.
Governor Quinn serves as the chairman of the Great Lakes Commission, the Illinois River Coordinating Council and the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council. Governor Quinn has also signed numerous Executive Orders and statutes into law to ensure greater energy efficiency, use of renewable energy, and protection of Illinois' land, air and water resources. For more information about Governor Quinn's sustainability initiatives, please visit

Hamlet Insurance Agency, Inc. of Reynolds, Illinois was recently named to the Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company President's Club for 2010 as a top agency for the company.

Recognized by Grinnell Mutual President and CEO Steve Crawford, Hamlet Insurance Agency ranks among the company's top 50 agencies and 15 farm mutual companies for outstanding production and profitability over a five-year period. President's Club members provide insights on key insurance and business issues to board members and management staff from Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance and Grinnell Select Insurance Companies.

"Our President's Club members provide valuable input as we seek their opinions on many topics, from product development to marketing," said Crawford. "The dynamics of today's insurance market continues to evolve quickly. For that reason, listening to our top agents and mutuals keeps our partnership and our service to the policyholder strong and stable."

The agents and staff at Hamlet Insurance Agency were recently presented with a plaque and letter of recognition from Grinnell Mutual for the agency's notable achievement.

Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, with headquarters in Grinnell, Iowa, has been in business since 1909 and provides reinsurance and property and casualty insurance products for home owners, farm owners and business owners through nearly 1,600 independent agents in 11 Midwestern states. The company is the largest primary reinsurer of farm mutual companies in North America.


Quad City students are gearing up to flex their mental muscle!  Rivermont Collegiate will host the 3rd annual RAI (Rivermont Academic Invitational) next Wednesday and Thursday, April 14th and 15th, on the Rivermont campus in Bettendorf.  Students in grades 5-8 from throughout the Quad Cities participate in this academic competition.  The event continues to grow in popularity, with RAI 2010 being the largest yet - Rivermont is ecstatic to host 300 students from 20 local schools!

At the RAI competition, students spend the day competing in "out of the box" activities that take core curriculum ideas and expand them to hands-on learning and real life situations.  Participants work in teams to apply multiple skill sets in math, engineering, geography, global awareness, current events, and literature.  Trophies are awarded to top teams, with individual honors also awarded.  This year's RAI was made possible in part by a grant from the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend.

RAI 2010 will take place from 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. both Wednesday and Thursday; 5th and 6th grades will compete on Wednesday, 7th and 8th grades on Thursday.  Rivermont Collegiate is located directly off 18th Street, behind K&K Hardware in Bettendorf.  Members of the community are welcome to join us and observe our local students in action!

For additional information on the Rivermont Academic Invitational contact Leigh Ann Schroeder at or 563.359.1366 ext. 343

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April 2010, Bettendorf, IA?Community business leaders can access the knowledge and experience of eleven internationally-acclaimed leaders by attending the Chick-fil-A "Be the One" Leadercast at Harvest Bible Chapel in Davenport, IA, on May 7, 2010. The Chick-fil-A Leadercast is a one-day leadership training event broadcast LIVE from Atlanta, Ga. to hundreds of host sites throughout the nation, including Davenport. Results Marketing, "The Shef " and St. Ambrose University are bringing the event to the QCA. Speakers for the event include :

  • Jim Collins, author of "Good to Great," "How the Mighty Fall" and co-author of "Built to Last"
  • Tony Dungy (pre-recorded session), retired head coach for the Indianapolis Colts
  • John C. Maxwell, leadership expert and best-selling author of "The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership"
  • Dr. Ben Carson, neurosurgeon, professor of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • Chip Heath, Author of "Made to Stick," Columnist for "Fast Company," and Stanford Professor
  • Jim Goodnight, CEO of SAS Institute, Inc.
  • Ed Bastian, president of Delta Air Lines
  • Connie Podesta, expert in the psychology of human behavior and leadership development
  • Mark Sanborn, best-selling author of The Fred Factor
  • Steve Uzzell, award-winning corporate photographer and former staff member of National Geographic
  • Dave "The Shef" Sheffield, top selling author and "Always Better Your Best" motivational expert

The idea for the Chick-fil-A Leadercast was conceived ten years ago by Dr. John C. Maxwell, "New York Times" best-selling author and speaker. He wanted to combine his influential voice in the community with his desire to reach leaders at the heart level. What started out as a half day, classroom-format event with John Maxwell teaching has since become a full-day, experiential conference featuring authors, leadership experts and practitioners.

"The event was a highlight in my development," said Jennifer Boubel, director of field services for Continental Airlines. "Each speaker brought insights that were inspiring. It is an incredible way to improve upon our leadership so that in turn we can make a difference in the lives of those we influence."

This year's program will focus on how to be the one to make a difference at work, at home and in the community. Topics include connecting with others, standing out amid the competition, ideas for creative problem solving, leading in challenging times, creating strong team cultures and how to avoid, detect and reverse decline.

"Leadership is about who you are within," said Bill George, Harvard Business School professor and author of "True North." "I think it's important to ... listen to leaders to reflect on the kind of leader you want to become."

Cost is just $99 (a $129 value) and includes the day's manual and lunch. Call for group discounts. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the QC Boys & Girls Clubs and Big Brothers/Big Sisters leadership programs.


This weekend 53 high school speakers will compete in The American Legion National High School Oratorical Scholarship Contest on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI).  A student from your area eagerly plans travel to the Hoosier capitol city on Friday.

The contest is in three phases beginning Saturday, April 10 with the opening round at 9:45 a.m.  Winners from this round will enter the semi-finals getting underway at 3:45 p.m.  The finals are Sunday, April 11 beginning at 11 a.m.  Results are generally available by noon.

Thank you for covering the outstanding high school student from your area.  The final 53 come from a field that is thousands strong when the competition began.  They are all state champions and have earned scholarship funds.

Below is a listing of contestants by state.



CONTACT:  Joe March (317) 630-1253, Cell (317) 748-1926 or John Raughter (317) 630-1253 or (317) 441-8847.  You can also attempt to contact your local competitor at the hotel in Indianapolis.  To directly contact a competitor's room while in Indianapolis:  Hotel switchboard (317) 269-9000/1-800-627-2700.


State champions listed by state for the 2010 The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program - "A Constitutional Speech Contest."

- conducted by The American Legion.


Alabama - Elizabeth Blessing of Auburn, Alabama, is a sophomore at Farmville Christian Academy.

Alaska -  Neilius Finnesand of Anchorage, Alaska, is a senior at Kenny Lake High School.

Arizona - Nicholas Everetts of Fountain Hills, Arizona, is a junior at Fountain Hills High School.

Arkansas - Luke Macfarlan of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, is a home schooled sophomore.

California - Samuel Stone of Danville, California, is a senior at Monte Vista High School.

Colorado - Rachel Ford of Lyons, Colorado, is a home schooled senior.

Connecticut - Timothy Lachapelle of Southington, Connecticut, is a junior at Southington High School.

Delaware - Andrew Ball of Seaford, Delaware, is a senior at Sussex Technical High School.

District of Columbia - Ikechukwu, Eronini of Washington, DC, is a senior at McKinley Technology High School.

Florida - Caroline Schechinger, of St. Augustine, Florida, is a sophomore at Bishop Kenny High School.

France - Christina Lowry of Germany is a senior at Patch American High School.

Georgia - Joseph Rondone of Marietta, Georgia, is a home schooled junior.

Hawaii - Ryan McDonald of Honolulu, Hawaii, is a home schooled sophomore.

Idaho - Charles Baines of Meridian, Idaho, is a sophomore at Arts West High School.

Illinois - Matthew Schuhriemen of Naperville, Illinois, is a home schooled senior.

Indiana -Meagan McAllister of Logansport, Indiana, is a senior at Faith Christian School.

Iowa- Justin J. Grubbs of Davenport, Iowa, is a senior at Davenport West High School.

Kansas - Gray Henry of Colby, Kansas, is a senior at Colby High School.

Kentucky - Christina Sauer of Corydon, Indiana, is a senior at Presentation Academy.

Louisiana - Michael Graves of Bossier City, Louisiana, is a senior at Airline High School.

Maine -Renata Schalk of Sabattus, Maine, is a home schooled senior.

Maryland - Nathan Chai of Ellicott City, Maryland, is a home schooled junior.

Massachusetts - Nicholas Jacob of Milton, Massachusetts, is a senior at Milton Academy.

Michigan - Robin Luo of Kalamazoo, Michigan, is a senior at Portage Central High School.

Minnesota - Austin Knott of Red Wing, Minnesota, is a senior at Red Wing High School.

Mississippi - Anthony Martinez of Madison, Mississippi, is a senior at St. Joseph Catholic School.

Missouri - Derek Schulze of Warrenton, Missouri, is a senior at Warrenton High School.

Montana - Katherine Sizemore of Gildford, Montana, is a senior at North Star High School.

Nebraska - Caitlin Molczyk of Columbus, Nebraska, is a junior at Columbus High School.

Nevada - Jacqueline Burks of Reno, Nevada, is a senior at Reno High School.

New Hampshire - Katy Devine of Amherst, New Hampshire, is a senior at Bishop Guertin High School.

New Jersey - Isabelle Foley of Montclair, New Jersey, is a senior at Montclair High School.

New Mexico - Emma Elizondo of Rio Rancho, New Mexico is a sophomore at V. Sue Cleveland High School.

New York - Madison Kircher of Queensbury, New York, is a senior at Queensbury High School.

North Carolina - Daniel Nelson of Goldsboro, North Carolina, is a home schooled junior.

North Dakota - Sibinee Jokela of Watford City, North Dakota, is a senior at Watford City High School.

Ohio - Grace Pyo of Powell, Ohio, is a junior at Olentangy Liberty High School.

Oklahoma - Kristalynn Hefner of Chelsea, Oklahoma, is a junior at Chelsea High School.

Oregon -  Dalton Hellman of Canby, Oregon, is a senior at Canby High School.

Pennsylvania -- Samuel Hardy of Pazmyra, Pennsylvania, is a junior at Palmyra Area High School.

Puerto Rico -Jean DeJesus of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, is a sophomore at Antilles Military Academy.

Rhode Island - Hayley Hutchins of Hope, Rhode Island, is a home schooled senior.

South Carolina - Victoria Black of Iva, South Carolina, is a home schooled junior.

South Dakota - Joseph Schartz of Humboldt, South Dakota, is a sophomore at West Central High School.

Tennessee - Clarissa Stewart of Cleveland, Tennessee is a senior at Gateway Christian Schools.

Texas - Camille Peeples of Austin, Texas, is a senior at Hyde Park Baptist High School.

Utah - Amanda Tibbitts of Riverton, Utah, is a senior at Riverton High School.

Vermont - Brooke Connor of Bridport, Vermont is a senior at Middlebury Union High School.

Virginia - John Stegner of Powhatan, Virginia, is a home schooled junior.

Washington -Mitchell Murdock of Kingston, Washington, is a senior at Kingston High School.

West Virginia - Aleksandr Fedyszyn of Wheeling, West Virginia, is a junior at The Linsly School.

Wisconsin - Kelsey Marsolek of Independence, Wisconsin, is a senior at Independence High School.

Wyoming - Clayton Dexter of Casper, Wyoming, is a senior at Natrona County High School.


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(Moline, IL)  "The U in Community - An Education Fair On Ways U Can Be Part of the Solution" is being held on April 8th at the Moline Viking Club.  The Early Childhood Coalition has partnered with a number of other local agencies to offer the event for parents, family members, and concerned citizens to learn more about ways that their voices can be used to make a difference in the state.

There will be tables of information focusing on the impact of possible budget cuts and a variety of ways individuals can advocate for the services that impact them, their families, and their communities.

This event is not early childhood specific, but is concentrating on the impact cuts across education and human services will have on all of our community.   This event is scheduled for April 8th from 4:00-7:00pm at the Moline Viking Club.

Available for interviews are organizers, parents who are worried about education cuts and spokespeople for human services agencies.  The free fair is sponsored by the Early Childhood Coalition of the Illinois Quad Cities.


WASHINGTON & DES MOINES (April 8, 2010)?As a part of its efforts to help older Americans understand the impact of the recently enacted health reform package, AARP has launched new on-line resources for people with questions about the new law.

The AARP Bulletin's new "Health Care Reform Explained" column - available at - provides practical answers to questions submitted by visitors.  Each week, AARP is answering the top questions about the new health care reform law emailed by readers to

"Older Americans have a lot at stake as the new health reform package rolls out, and they're having a hard time getting complete or consistent information about how it will affect them," said AARP Senior Vice President Drew Nannis.  "This new resource is just the latest part of our efforts to make sure they have straightforward, reliable information to make the best decisions for themselves and their families."

AARP's Get the Facts website hosts a user-friendly guide to understanding the benefits of the new health care law, as well as fact sheets in plain language on various topics including prescription drugs and long-term care.  The page offers information both for people in Medicare and for those with private health insurance.

The new "Health Care Reform Explained" column follows the model of the AARP Bulletin's "Ask Ms. Medicare" column, which has become the go-to consumer information resource for millions of people who navigate the in's and out's of the Medicare program.  Since announcing the new effort in an email to members late last week, more than 30,000 people have visited the page and submitted hundreds of questions.

Nannis added: "AARP will use all of our communication channels - from our publications and website to in-person events - to make sure that our members and all older Americans have reliable information about what they can expect - and how they can benefit - from health care reform."

AARP's web site will be continually updated with answers to the latest questions sent in to, as well as other useful information to help older Americans get the most out of the new health care reform law.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole.  AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates.  We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.7 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's 40 million members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website,  AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors.  We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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    • 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

    • LUNCHEON SERVED 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.




The Lutheran Women's Missionary League of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Davenport is sponsoring their Annual Spring Rummage & Bake Sale on Saturday, April 17, 2010 Time is from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. for the Rummage & Bake Sale. A luncheon will be served from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Fill a paper bag for $3.00 Rummage items include : men, women's & children clothing, shoes, coats, household items, knick knacks, toys, books, and large donation of various craft items. There will also be baked goods, popcorn and homemade soups, sandwiches, and desserts for lunch. If you would like more information contact the church office at 563-324-6431

Proceeds will go to support various mission projects.