Health and Fitness
When Janet Frederick of Urbana had breast cancer in the late 1990s, her medical bills started piling up fast.
And so did her money problems.
DANVILLE – With a grant from a national ministry group, the former HELP Center now has a new machine and a new name – but the same mission.
Earlier this month, Women's Care Clinic, 200 W. Williams St., began offering free ultrasound services to its clients, allowing the clinic to confirm pregnancies on-site. Previously, women would use the clinic for a free self-administered pregnancy test.
URBANA – For Scott Church of Catlin, it was bad enough coming down with a rare virus that, for a long time, robbed him of his speech and mobility and left him hospitalized for 14 months.
Even worse, he says, was the added stress and expense for him and his family when he had to spend part of that time hospitalized in Chicago, far from home.
CHAMPAIGN – Price-shopping isn't just for cars and groceries any more.
These days, smart consumers are also comparing prices on medical services, because that next MRI or emergency room visit may be coming out of their own pockets. They're buying their pills in bulk to save money, and they're probably thinking twice about running to the doctor for a stuffy nose.
Public health districts in Champaign-Urbana and Vermilion County are beginning to offer Gardasil, the new vaccine that offers some protection against a virus that can cause cervical cancer.
The vaccine is administered in three doses over six months, and the cost for the entire three-shot series is $18 through the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District and $21 through the Vermilion County Health Department.
URBANA – A state inspection of Champaign County's new $24 million nursing home gave the county a preliminary thumbs-up Tuesday.
Rural Urbana Democrat Steve Beckett, who chairs the county's facilities committee, said the Illinois Department of Public Health said "things look very good except for one final little tweak to a water system in Wing Four."
CHAMPAIGN – The newly elected president of the Champaign County Medical Society remembers what it was like growing up without access to fast, affordable health care.
In fact, he says, it's what inspired him to go into medicine.
GIBSON CITY–Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services has announced that CEO Gary Petersen will be leaving in March. After 35 years in the healthcare industry, Petersen said he will be retiring on March 25, also his 61st birthday.
His resignation in late December was unexpected, according to Jim Hood, board chairman. Petersen is also retired from active and reserve military service, and Hood said that option allowed him to choose an earlier-than-expected retirement date.
DANVILLE – More than half of Jodi Bullock's paycheck would have gone toward health insurance if she participated in Vermilion County's old health plan – and the Hoopeston woman faces the same problem with the new one.
Vermilion County officials have created a new self-funded health insurance plan that is supposed to lower costs for participants and the county.
URBANA – If it seems like you keep paying more for health insurance and getting less, you're not alone.
In the past six years, health insurance premiums have far outstripped the average paycheck, while out-of-pocket health care costs have continued to rise, according to a report released this month by Families USA.