Improved emergency medical treatment and faster service for southwestern Illinois residents and workers are the goals of a $2.3 million emergency room expansion project now underway at Touchette Regional Hospital.
Touchette’s 24-hour emergency services will remain open during construction which is to be completed by mid-2014.
The project will add seven, private ER treatment rooms, plus a larger triage area for quicker patient evaluation. There will also be a new decontamination unit equipped to manage medical issues related to industrial accidents or natural disasters.
Project funding is through the Hospital Capital Investment Program of the Illinois Department of Public Health.
A metro-east nursing home will appeal a citation by the state license authority over it's handling of a resident who refused to submit to a fingerprint background check.
The Illinois Department of Public Health Wednesday ruled that the staff at the Lebanon Care Center acted improperly when they left 56 year old Thomas Hearty sitting in his wheelchair outside the Flying J truck stop in Alorton.
Nursing home officials told the Belleville News-Democrat that they couldn't legally admit him without the background check and Hearty had asked them to take him to the truck stop because it was near a relative's home.
Hearty eventually agreed to the background check and was admitted to the Lebanon, Illinois nursing home.
Petersen Health Care, which owns the nursing home, plans to appeal the health department's citation.
CHICAGO (AP) - A pair of new Illinois laws will fund diabetes research and track economic costs of the disease.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed the bills Thursday at a conference organized by the University of Chicago Medicine's Kovler Diabetes Center.
One measure creates a special license plate. Just over half of the $40 cost of the plate will go to the Diabetes Research Checkoff Fund.
House minority leader Tom Cross sponsored the bill. He hopes the license plate will serve as a "moving billboard" for diabetes awareness.
The second bill requires the Illinois State Diabetes Commission to report regularly on the economic and social costs of diabetes and efforts to prevent the disease.
The laws take effect Jan. 1.
The Illinois Department of Public Health says about 800,000 state residents have diabetes.
SPRINGFILED, IL (AP) - State health officials are urging parents to make sure their children have received all their recommended vaccinations.
The Illinois Department of Public Health says the state is reporting its highest number of pertussis cases since 1950.
In 2012 there were 2,026 cases of the illness, also known as whooping cough.
Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck is director of the state public health department. He says the record number of cases is "the perfect example of the importance of continued immunization."
Saturday marks the start of National Infant Immunization Week.
Hasbrouck says parents may visit the department's website to find a list of recommended vaccines and the age at which children should receive them. Illinois residents who cannot afford to pay for the immunizations may be eligible for assistance.