Health and Medicine | WGLT

Health and Medicine

Illinois State Capitol exterior
Justin Brocke / Flickr

The Illinois legislature has sent the governor legislation amending the state law that decides when doctors can object to caring for a patient based on moral principle.

Jackie Brunell-Lanier‎ / Farm To Food Pantry Facebook Page

Bloomington is one of 50 mid-sized communities across the nation to receive a $60,000 health planning grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The planning will help bring together stakeholders over the next 18 months to address health concerns -- specifically as it concerns geography and what the grant materials call "built environments."

James Nevin

A former track physician at the Indianapolis 500 race said drivers get the very best care possible in the event of crashes. In spite of 230 mile per hour speeds, Advocate BroMenn Vice President of Medical Management Jim Nevin said having board certified emergency physicians at track side and ambulances ready to roll mean there is a significant response advantage that people in ordinary car crashes don't have.

When Man's Best Friend Isn't So Friendly

May 19, 2016
smerikal / Flickr via Creative Commons

Spike.  Cujo. Boozer. Lucifer. Or just plain Ankle Biter. U.S. Postal Service Letter Carrier Kenny Kemp says no matter what you call them, dogs can be biters and need to be respected.

Valentin Ottone / Flickr

A measure to prohibit tobacco sales to people younger than 21 has failed in the Illinois Senate.  

The legislation sponsored by Democratic Sen. John Mulroe of Chicago would not have made young smokers criminals. But supporters say they want to prevent young people from getting hooked.  

The proposal failed 23-25 Thursday with three ``present'' votes.  

Opponents argued that 18-year-olds should be able to buy tobacco because they may join the military. That was the argument 45 years ago in lowering the drinking age to 18, which is back at 21.  

Brett Levin / Flickr

The Illinois medical marijuana industry saw $2.2 million in retail sales during April, the largest one-month figure yet. Program director Joseph Wright says the program now includes 36 dispensaries and 6,200 qualified patients.

Dori Merr / Wikimedia Commons

Researchers analyzed why some hospitals make big profits and found a surprise: Seven of the 10 most profitable hospitals are nonprofits, including one in Urbana, Illinois, where hospital tax exemptions are headed for a contentious court battle.

Feed My Starving Children

They say a picture is worth a thousand words but in the case of a group of Illinois State University students, a picture is worth a million meals.  

Jonathon Malone will be graduating and moving on to a job at State Farm but he’ll continue working on a class project even after he has his diploma in hand.

Autism McLean

It’s hard to get a job when you are autistic. It’s hard to socialize. It’s hard to do many things. Area advocates hope to create more autism friendly places in Bloomington Normal.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Illinois health officials are reporting a cluster of cases of a rare bloodstream infection they detected while investigating a Wisconsin outbreak.

Army Medicine / Flickr

Illinois health officials have proposed new rules requiring parents who oppose vaccinating their children based on religious reasons to provide a special document to schools and child care facilities each year.  

The Illinois Department of Public Health proposal is in response to a law approved last year. The law created a ``certificate of religious exemption'' for children whose parents don't want them to be vaccinated for religious reasons.  

Craig Luchtefeld

It's garage sale season again!

But instead of checking out just any old garage sale, you can visit one with a purpose.  The Seventh Annual Autism Society Garage Sale is Saturday, April 6 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Crossroads Center in Normal.

*Organizer Craig Luchtefeld said the event raises funds for Camp Takoda, a summer camp program of Autism McLean.

*Luchtefeld's son, Cooper, said the camp typically will offer a variety of activities, including archery, zip lining, and friendly animal encounters.  He added that camp is a great place to make new friends.

Grace Lyons / Flickr via Creative Commons

Close to 300,000 people die each year from sepsis, a condition that last week claimed a high profile victim:  Patty Duke. The actress died from the condition some call 'the silent killer' at the age of 69.

Sepsis is an infection in the blood.  Once its there, it can move swiftly through your body, inciting an inflammatory response which can result in inadequate blood supply to your major organs, which can lead to major organ failure and death.

Gov Creates Health Waste Task Force

Apr 5, 2016
Shaun Dunphy / Facebook via Creative Commons

Governor Bruce Rauner has created a task force to root out waste, fraud and abuse in taxpayer-funded health care programs. The Republican signed an executive order to implement that group, which will also seek ways to prevent waste in state and federally funded Medicaid and employee health insurance programs. Rauner says the cost of state-run health care programs increases when no one watches to stop abuse and fraud. The state spends more than $19 billion a year on Medicaid and the state employee group health insurance plan.

Lyndsie Schlink / Redbird Scholar

An Illinois State University kinesiology professor is playing a role in helping baseball players stay away from arm injuries. Kevin Laudner, is assistant dean in ISU's College of Applied Science and Technology (CAST). 

Laudner's work with pitchers has drawn the attention of many major league teams, and has earned him the tag "shoulder guy" since his affiliation with the Texas Rangers and his consultation with other MLB teams. 

Human Service Provider Makes Cuts

Mar 4, 2016
Virginia K. Schaefer / US Navy

A Bloomington human services provider is cutting back because of the states nine month long budget stalemate. LIFE-Center for Independent Living will no longer be open on Friday's, beginning today. LIFE-CIL is a not for profit that helps provide clients with services enabling them to live on their own. The organization serves about 2,200 in McLean, Livingston, Ford and DeWitt Counties.

Office of Congressman Darin LaHood

The central Illinois heroin and opioid epidemic has reached the point Congressman Darin LaHood is asking the Obama administration to schedule a federal community forum in the 18th district.

Late last month, LaHood, a Republican from Dunlap, sent a letter to the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. LaHood said the administration has already held two hearings with 10 more to be scheduled.

Wikimedia Commons

HyVee Grocery stores including the one in Bloomington are recalling a brand of blue cheese because of potential unwanted bacteria.

Joe D. Miles / CQC Press Agency

Human service providers make for better communities. That's what the head of a human service provider umbrella organization says. Judith Geithner is CEO of Illinois Partners for Human Services, which represents over 800 Illinois non-profits. She's speaking before the McLean County Chamber of Commerce Friday morning. She says human service providers not only provide jobs for a community, like any other small business, but also make it possible for others to work.

Illinois Could See Large Zika Virus Numbers

Feb 24, 2016
Scott Blanner / USDA

U.S. health officials are investigating more than a dozen possible Zika infections that may have been spread through sex. The 14 cases all involve men who visited areas with Zika outbreaks, and who many have infected their female sex partners, who had not traveled. Zika virus is mainly spread by mosquito bites. But there have been at least two reported cases of sexual transmission, including a recent case in Texas.

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the 14 cases include two pregnant women whose infections have been confirmed. Tests are pending for their male partners. WGLT's Jim Browne talks with the Infectious Disease Superviser of the McLean County Health Department about the virus, and what grounds there may be concern in central Illinois.

Ben Seidelman / Flickr

The legal age to smoke in Illinois would increase from 18 to 21 under legislation introduced in Springfield.

Ginnie Flynn, with the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians, doesn't smoke now. But she did when she was younger. She says cigarettes were easily accessible from a convenience store near her college dorm.

Jim Browne / WGLT

The City of Bloomington says its Lincoln Leisure center on the near west side will reopen Wednesday evening. The center housing a variety of community and recreational programs was closed last month for asbestos abatement when friable asbestos was found in the furnace room. Ideal Environmental Engineering says it has finished the job and done air tests showing asbestos levels below OSHA thresholds.


Congressman Davis Pushes Access Bill

Feb 5, 2016
Jim Browne / WGLT

Illinois Republican congressman Rodney Davis is pushing a bill that he says will provide a more open market for things like corrective lenses. During a tour of Identity Optical in Normal, Davis says the bill would allow companies like Identity Optical compete in markets where health care industries limit patient choice.

Illinois Department of Public Health

There is not yet a lot of demand for medical marijuana in central Illinois.

Person vaping

Anyone under 18 caught "vaping" could have to do community service, or pay a fine. Electronic cigarettes don't contain tobacco, but the vaporized solution users inhale does contain nicotine.

Senator Julie Morrison, a Democrat from Deerfield, says she doesn't consider them safe. Morrison says she'd kept stories about young people puffing on e-cigs. "They were openly and blatantly using these product publicly because there was no reason they shouldn't," she said.

U.S. Dept of Agriculture / Flickr via Creative Commons

A man who traveled to South America has developed the third case of Zika virus in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Public Health previously reported two pregnant women tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus after traveling in Honduras and Haiti. The department announced the third Illinois case on its website Thursday. Most people exposed to the virus suffer only mild symptoms, but the risk is far greater for pregnant women because of a possible link to a birth defect.

Bread on a floor
McLean County Health Department

Bloomington-Normal is ranked 80th in the U.S. by Nielsen as one of the best places in the country to open a restaurant, in part because of disposable income and our proclivity to dine out. According to Nielsen, Bloomington is also ranked 9th in sales per restaurant, with establishments raking in nearly 1.2 million dollars on average. The nearly 400 restaurants in Bloomington-Normal, in addition to those in other McLean County communities are inspected twice or more per year by the McLean County Health Department and now those inspections are online.

Jim Browne / WGLT

The asbestos that was discovered in Bloomington's Lincoln Leisure Center a week ago has been taken out of the building. The city says Ideal Environmental took the material from near the building's furnace. A full evaluation of the building will also be presented to the city. Last week the center, which houses activities ranging from dance, music therapy, and art, was closed when staff discovered the potentially cancer causing asbestos. No date has been set to re-open the facility on South Lee Street, and most of the programs centered there have been moved elsewhere.

Shardayyy / Wikimedia Commons

Sugar can cause numerous health problems. Earlier this month, the government  cut the recommended daily amount about by half. Community Cancer Center dietitian Mary Kay Holloway joined Mike McCurdy during Sound Ideas to talk about the health ramifications of too much sugar and how to reduce sugar. In this interview except  Holloway says there is lot of food to think twice about before consuming.

Dept on Aging Gets New Director

Jan 20, 2016
Jonathon Banks / Red Cross of Great Britain

The incoming director of the Illinois Department on Aging says her immediate goal will be to help older residents of the state live at home as long as possible. Jean Bohnhoff has been striving to do just that as director of the committee on aging for Effingham city and county in southern Illinois. Bohnhoff is from the rural village of Dieterich, just southeast of Effingham. She begins her new position in Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration February first, and calls it the ``opportunity of a lifetime.''