Health and Fitness
URBANA – Back in the 1980s, Debi Thomas skated her way to national and world championships and an Olympic medal.
But the only blades she uses these days are in the operating room.
URBANA – The Carle Cancer Center in Urbana will receive extra research grant money this year from the National Cancer Institute.
Carle operates one of 63 community clinical oncology programs in the nation, and was among 10 of those programs selected to receive extra grant money in addition to its annual funding in recognition of its "significant" contribution to cancer research and care, according to the National Cancer Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health.
DANVILLE – The Vermilion County Health Department is alerting the public that the West Nile Virus is present in the county now that a dead crow has tested positive for the virus.
"Now that we know the West Nile Virus is in the community, we will no longer be accepting birds for testing," said Environmental Health Director Kolby Riggle in a new release Thursday afternoon. "The testing has served its purpose, and now we want to alert Vermilion County residents that the virus is in our community, and they need to take precautions."
CHAMPAIGN – When the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District suspended director Vito Palazzolo, there were calls for the board to take over day-to-day operation of the district.
Instead, the board found an interim director in Julie Pryde, a longtime staffer who is responsible for writing many of the grant proposals that have allowed the district to grow in recent years.
CHAMPAIGN – Summer is winding down, but the West Nile Virus is posing a new threat in Champaign County.
The first mosquito samples testing positive for the virus in Champaign County were collected last month at the University of Illinois South Farms, Champaign-Urbana Public Health officials said.
SPRINGFIELD – When Amy Johnson of Champaign got information in the mail this week informing her she would have to choose primary care doctors for herself and her family through Illinois Health Connect, she called the toll-free number right away.
Johnson, A 31-year-old Parkland College nursing student, and her three children are on state Medicaid programs – All Kids for the children and FamilyCare for her – and Health Connect is requiring people in those programs to choose primary care doctors to oversee their care.
DANVILLE – Provena United Samaritans Medical Center is joining forces with Reagan's Rescue to create awareness about shaken baby syndrome.
Reagan's Rescue was created by the grandparents of 2-year-old Reagan Williams, who died more than a year ago of "closed head trauma consistent with shaking." A 21-year-old Tilton man has been charged with murder in connection with the death.
HOMER – Friends and family members remember Amber Eldridge as a selfless mother, a woman who constantly put others' needs ahead of her own.
But during her life, and most recently through a 16-month battle with melanoma, Mrs. Eldridge channeled that gentle spirit to raise awareness about the dangers of sun exposure and the importance of skin protection.
PAXTON – Parents enrolling their children in the state's All Kids health insurance program should beware of a potential pitfall, a Paxton couple warns.
All Kids includes dental coverage, but you might not find a dentist who will accept it, Krisi Jager says.
TOLONO – Days after her granddaughter died after falling from a bunk bed at a slumber party, Judy Thrower said Taitum Nelson will be dearly missed.
"She just was full of sunshine and laughter. She was so spontaneous; she just was a joy to have around," said Thrower, a Tolono resident. "She was just so full of life that, any minute, I expect to see her come dancing in the room."