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Medical students lend a hand

CHAMPAIGN – University of Illinois medical students don't have a lot of free time. Most of them are working on both a medical doctorate and a Ph.D.

But a group of them called HeRMES is finding time this summer to provide free physicals for many Champaign students, who now must have the doctor's exam three times during the school years.


Provena-PersonalCare battle leaves state workers in bind

URBANA – A legal battle between Provena Hospitals and PersonalCare Insurance has left Jan Anderson of Urbana in an awkward position.

In the middle.


PersonalCare plan provoked Provena

MOKENA – Less than four years ago, PersonalCare Insurance and Provena Health were part of the same corporate family.

But whether they were a happy family was never really an issue in the public eye.


State revising legislation to fix limits on sale of children's medicines

SPRINGFIELD – Joy Porter of Paxton has four children, ranging in age from 6 months to almost 14 years old. As often happens in families, one came down with a cold and now all the kids have it.

But when Porter tried to buy the medicines she needed to treat her children, she ran smack into a new state law designed to halt illegal methamphetamine production.


Ruling favors PersonalCare

URBANA – Provena hospitals in Urbana and Danville must continue accepting PersonalCare insurance, at least for now, a Champaign County judge has ruled.

Judge Jeffrey Ford granted PersonalCare Insurance of Illinois a temporary restraining order Monday, forcing the hospital's parent company, Provena Health, to honor its contract with the managed-care company until further notice.


'The pure pleasure of helping others'

GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador – As word trickled out that an American medical team was traveling to their country to offer free surgeries, people grabbed their children and flocked to the large port city of Guayaquil any way they could.

Some arrived on horseback. Some traveled great distances by canoe.


Helping researchers understand the human condition

John Goin became a human guinea pig at the urging of his wife.

The retired dentist from Champaign played a little golf and worked in his yard, but Shirley Goin thought he could use more exercise.


Blagojevich signs bill releasing funds for Medicaid debt

SPRINGFIELD – The state will transfer hundreds of millions of dollars from special purpose funds to help pay down some of its mounting debt to Medicaid providers.

The office of state Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka promised to make the fund transfers, worth about $250 million, "within days," after Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed a Senate bill into law Friday ordering the transfers to be made immediately.


Group rips hospital's campaign donations

SPRINGFIELD – A national advocacy group for uninsured Latinos says the Illinois Hospital Association may be using campaign cash to try to influence a Department of Revenue ruling involving Provena Covenant Medical Center.

According to a news release from Consejo De Latinos Unidos, the Illinois Hospital Association contributed $250,000 to Gov. Rod Blagojevich's re-election campaign over the last two years "in what appears to be an attempt to influence" the department's decision on whether to restore Covenant's tax-exempt status.


Medicare drug plan gap a pain in the pocketbook

URBANA – For Dorothy Berger, the gap in her new Medicare drug plan arrived way too fast.

Less than five months after her new Medicare prescription drug coverage took effect Jan. 1, she went to her pharmacy to pick up her monthly pain patch and got a big surprise.