Health and Fitness

Health and Fitness

Drug partnership gets patients much-needed prescriptions

CHAMPAIGN – When Collins & Aikman closed its auto-parts plants in Rantoul last year, E.J. Brown lost more than a job.

He and his wife, Betty, also lost their health insurance, and along with it, any hope of being able to pay for their medicines.

They need a lot of them.

Flu shots are free from C-U Public Health District

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District is offering free flu shots to Champaign County residents age 18 and up.

The department has 200 doses of flu vaccine, donated by Carle Occupational Health.

Campus officials getting word out on meningitis

URBANA – Thousands of students entering the University of Illinois each year are vaccinated against meningococcal disease, a life-threatening bacterial infection that can lead to meningitis.

Two people connected to the UI – a female student and a male who graduated in December – were diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis in the last week. The female student is expected to fully recover, but the graduate was still listed in critical but stable condition Thursday at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

Second meningitis case linked to campus

URBANA – A recent University of Illinois graduate has been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, the second case in a week connected to campus.

He was admitted to a local hospital Wednesday night with meningococcal meningitis, according to Dr. Robert Palinkas, director of the UI's McKinley Health Center.

County loses another round in tax case

URBANA – A Champaign County judge this morning urged county officials to give "serious thought" to complying with a Sangamon County court order that restored Provena Covenant Medical Center's property tax exemption and refunding millions of dollars in tax payments the hospital was forced to make.

Meanwhile, the hospital's lawsuit against five county officials will continue. Judge Michael Jones declined a motion on the part of the county to toss out the lawsuit the hospital filed to force the county to refund its taxes.

Flu spreading throughout area

CHAMPAIGN – A nasty, long-lasting flu is spreading through the area, and doctors aren't seeing any sign of relief anytime soon.

Clinics and their convenient care centers are overflowing with people weakened by chills, high fever, body ache, cough, runny nose and a burning sensation behind the eyes.

Ex-Urbana teacher to be sentenced in April

BLOOMINGTON – It will be late April before Jon White knows how many years he'll spend in prison for acts he engaged in with female students in two counties while he was a grade-school teacher.

White, 27, of Villa Grove, formerly of Normal, pleaded guilty Wednesday afternoon before McLean County Judge Charles Reynard to two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse alleging that between Oct. 1, 2004, and April 30, 2005, he placed an object in the mouth of two girls, then ages 6 and 7, for his own sexual gratification.

Bowling event key fundraiser for mentoring program

Neiko Gaines may not bowl a strike come Friday, but he'll be a winner before he knocks down a single pin.

With some help from mom Karla Gaines, the Champaign 8-year-old has raised more than $700 from local businesses for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Champaign County, a nonprofit organization that pairs up girls and boys with older young women and men who can act as mentors.

Gift of pedometers has students stepping it up

CHAMPAIGN – Students and teachers are stepping up their campaign to make members of their small community at Booker T. Washington School healthier.

They're wearing pedometers and record their mileage in classrooms weekly, competing for prizes that go to students who log the most steps. Parkland College kinesiology students are conducting the campaign at the north Champaign school to learn more about how their studies can influence child and adult welfare.

Hospitals fear costly proposal

URBANA – Illinois hospitals stand to lose $4.5 billion in Medicare reimbursements over the next five years under President Bush's proposed budget.

And the impact, according to the hospitals, would be devastating.

"They're already losing money on every Medicare patient they get," said Ken Robbins, president of the Illinois Hospital Association.