CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has come out against a government-imposed smoking ban in city bars, restaurants and other businesses.
Meanwhile, Champaign Mayor Jerry Schweighart and council member Giraldo Rosales are floating different smoking regulation proposals among fellow council members – though when and if those proposals will come up for a city council vote remains to be seen.
Good news, iPod devotees: Research indicates that if you listen to music you like while you walk – you don't necessarily have to use an iPod to do it – you tend to ignore fatigue, walk longer and get more benefits out of it.
Those are results from one of the more than 100 studies outlined at a University of Illinois conference on walking and walking research, many of them looking at the health benefits of physical activity.
URBANA – Evoking the civil rights spirit of the 1960s, disability advocates will embark on a "freedom ride" Sunday to push for an end to institutionalization of those with disabilities.
About 30 people with disabilities, senior citizens and their families will make the 700-mile trek around the state, ending Thursday in Springfield, to drum up support for the Community First Act. The legislation would compel the state to spend its money on support services allowing the disabled to live in their communities, rather than institutions or large group homes.
URBANA – Health Alliance Medical Plans has been ranked one of the nation's top 10 health plans in a study just released by U.S News & World Report.
An Urbana managed care company owned by Carle Clinic, Health Alliance was ranked 10th best in the nation for its Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and Point of Service plans on a list of 257 commercial health plans nationwide.
There were, by far, more suicides in Champaign County last year than in the past decade, and about a third involved young adults.
Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said 31 deaths were ruled suicides at inquests in 2004. Thats up from 18 suicides in 2003, which is also the average number for the past 10 years, he said.
CHAMPAIGN – Christie Clinic says it plans to break ground next month on a cancer treatment center in downtown Champaign.
The new 4,300-square-foot facility will be built on part of Christie Clinic's parking lot at the corner of University Avenue and Randolph Street.
SPRINGFIELD – Mental health providers, patients and their families are fighting a state decision to restrict access to two anti-psychotic medications.
The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has said that after Oct. 17, Medicaid patients would no longer be able to get new prescriptions for Zyprexa and Seroquel without prior authorization from the state.
CHAMPAIGN – If there's one major point the folks at Champaign County Senior Services would love to get across right now about the new Medicare prescription drug coverage starting next year, it's about the Social Security "extra help" application many people received in the mail:
Don't pitch it! Fill it out and return it, they urge.
CHAMPAIGN – With her 65th birthday coming up in December, Janice Wilson of rural Atwood says shes been deluged by mail and phone solicitors selling Medicare supplement insurance plans.
Every time the phone rings, you think, oh no, not another one, she says.
You want to talk marketing blitz?
SPRINGFIELD – Seniors, disabled persons and their families are invited to a free workshop on Saturday to learn more about upcoming changes in federal and state prescription drug coverage.
The workshop will be held at 201 Lincoln Square in Urbana from 9 a.m. to noon on Sept. 17.