Health and Fitness

Health and Fitness

Forum looks at ways to prevent STDs

DANVILLE – Registered Nurse Mary O'Brien sees teenagers come to Provena United Samaritans Medical Center's emergency room seeking treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.

O'Brien may get only a few minutes at most to discuss prevention with those teens. She knows that's not enough, and that's why O'Brien likes the idea of a new pilot program at Catlin High School that will provide prevention education to students through the Vermilion County Health Department.

West Nile resurgence possible

CHAMPAIGN – Fickle Mother Nature may have had more than a little to do with a less-severe West Nile virus season in Illinois last year.

But don't count on that being the case again this year, said state entomologist Linn Haramis.

Chilly temperatures kept mosquito activity to a minimum last month, but the severity of this year's season will have more to do with how hot and dry the weather is from this month through early August, he said.

Device used as an alternative to fusion surgery

URBANA – For Tamara Filer, a bank employee in Vandalia, the pain started last July after she used a big paper cutter at work.

Her left shoulder and arm hurt like never before, she said.

After several visits to a chiropractor, she felt the pain subsiding – but then it was back again suddenly, with a vengeance.

Flu pandemic is only a matter of time, officials say

CHAMPAIGN – Is there a little Emily Litella voice in your head that keeps wanting to ask: What's all this I hear about a panda epidemic?

Why do people keep saying the pandas are going to make us sick?

We don't even have pandas here. ...

Of course, we all know that's a pandemic we're being warned about.

Some of us are even vaguely aware that we're supposed to be stockpiling extra food and medicines in case a pandemic flu virus confines us to our homes for a while.

Health fair for seniors Wednesday

URBANA – A free health fair for older adults will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at Lincoln Square Village, Urbana.

It will be sponsored by Health Alliance Medical Plans, joined by 30 local organizations providing free samples, health screenings, door prizes, health and fitness information and healthful refreshments.

Troubled nursing home's future at risk

URBANA – With Medicaid cutbacks, deficit-spending, fines from one state agency and major sanctions from another, the Champaign County Nursing Home has had a bad year.

Since May 8, the facility has been barred from accepting new Medicare or Medicaid residents. The state agency that regulates nursing homes is tabulating a $200-a-day fine since Jan. 16, when a patient was injured.

Hospital tackling projects for parking lot, garage

GIBSON CITY – Two more construction projects are under way at Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services, on the heels of the major update of the facility's long-term care center unveiled in April.

The parking lot on the hospital's north side along 19th Street is being re-engineered to create 40 new parking spaces, according to hospital CEO Rob Schmitt. He said that can be achieved by eliminating all green spaces and medians as well as demolishing a two-bay ambulance garage.

Area is entering time period when ticks go on the prowl

CHAMPAIGN – One of these days, it's going to warm up enough to wear shorts and go play outside.

And when it does, keep in mind there are disease-carrying ticks hiding in those woods and fields and maybe even in your own yard.

Traditionally, ticks are thought to be more of a problem in the southern part of the state than in this area.

First movie 'a full-time job' for Uni High grad, illustrator

After Nina Paley's husband dumped her by e-mail, rather than wallow in misery, she made a personal feature-length animated film about the breakup.

Now making the rounds of the international film-festival circuit, "Sita Sings the Blues" tells two parallel stories: Paley's contemporary Dear Nina saga, and the tale of Sita and Rama, gods incarnated as humans in the ancient Hindu epic "Ramayana."

New, brighter facility puts the 'up' in 'upgrade'

URBANA – When the Carle Cancer Center opened in the early 1980s, it was considered state of the art.

But state of the art has changed a lot since then, said Dr. Patricia Johnson, a Carle oncologist.