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Three doctors to join ALMH staff; women’s health center readied

[JUNE 1, 2001]  By August the average age of doctors practicing at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital will be dramatically lower and the new maternity suites and women’s health center will be in use.

Woody Hester, ALMH president and chief executive officer, said that when the women’s health center opens in July every clinical space in the hospital will have been renovated since 1993. After three new doctors begin practice in August, the average age of the medical staff will drop more than 10 years to 40. The change is so dramatic as almost to constitute a "changing of the guard," he said.

Two new doctors, Kristen Green and Melissa Hardiek, will be affiliated with Lincoln Health Care Specialists, located in the hospital, and one, Richard Bivin, at Family Medical Center, 515 N. College St. Green’s specialties are obstetrics and gynecology, Hardiek emphasizes internal medicine and pediatrics, and Bivin’s medical interests include geriatrics, pediatrics, preventative medicine, sports medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology.


All three new doctors are board certified or board eligible in their specialties, as are nearly all members of the ALMH medical staff. Board eligible means all training is complete, but the doctor must practice for a specified period of time before taking the certification exam. "Board certification is the new gold standard in medical care," Hester said at one of several breakfasts held for community members. Not only must specialists pass intensive exams to earn board certification, but they must take additional exams periodically throughout their practice. In addition, Hester emphasized that ALMH seeks certified nursing assistants instead of those who are uncertified.

The new maternity suites are called LDRP rooms, meaning that labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum care all take place in the same homelike room. The third-floor women’s health center will handle inpatient and outpatient women’s services, including gynecological surgery. Hester said both areas will be ready for state inspection by June 4; the state then has 30 days to decide on approval. The hospital will host an open house to showcase the new facilities.


[The new hallway leading into surgery at ALMH is more inviting than the old green walls and black flooring.]

Recent renovations, completed in July 1999, include the surgical area, rehabilitation facility and intensive care unit. In the sterile surgical area on the second floor, three large operating rooms connect to a hallway. Along the same hall outside the sterile area is a fourth operating room for endoscopy. Hester said that 120 to 170 surgeries are performed at ALMH every month. The rehabilitation facility, now located on the first floor for easier access, has about 90 percent new equipment.


[Ground-floor placement of the new rehabilitation facility at ALMH brightens the area with natural light as well as about 90 percent new equipment.]

The medical manpower plan developed by the ALMH board of trustees calls for one more primary-care doctor, one full-time surgeon and one full-time orthopedic surgeon. Hester said these are being recruited in conjunction with the two medical groups. Although excellent surgeons now provide services at ALMH three days a week, a full-time surgeon would be nearby for emergency surgery, such as an appendectomy. While the full-time medical staff will return to its 1995 level of 18 when the three new doctors arrive, the list of consulting specialists has grown from 28 to 51 during the same period of time.


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Nearly as much has been spent on improved technology as on building renovation, according to Hester. "We can’t wear equipment out," he said. Instead, improved technology is developed and the hospital acquires it, trading in the old equipment for use in Third World countries. Sometimes the technologically advanced replacement costs less than the earlier equipment. For example, a CT scanner will be replaced this year. The old one cost $1.2 million slightly over five years ago; the new one costs $400,000.

Hester said ALMH is committed to providing the same care and the same technology a patient would receive at a hospital in surrounding cities such as Peoria or Bloomington. In addition, it offers the personal care of a small hospital. One example is the privacy afforded by registering behind a closed door. Hester is proud of the 1-5 nurse-to-patient ratio offered in Lincoln, as opposed to the 1-8 ratio common in larger hospitals.


ALMH operates on a paper-thin profit margin, Hester said. Several factors combine to lower income. First, ALMH never denies or modifies care based on ability to pay, so in some cases services are provided free.

In addition, Medicaid and Medicare take money out of hospitals. The state reimburses only 48 cents on the dollar for hospital costs of Medicaid patients, so ALMH experiences a 52 percent loss on services provided to these patients. Medicare pays a set fee for each diagnosis, resulting in a loss on some patients and a gain on others. Since the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, however, hospitals lose on most Medicare patients, Hester said. And ALMH has a larger percentage of Medicare patients than do large urban hospitals — 8 to 10 percent more. About 65 percent of patients receive either Medicare or Medicaid.

Hester used a pie chart to show the results of a study of how many Logan County patients get their hospital care locally. In 1999, 49.8 percent of patients from ZIP code 62656 were treated at ALMH. Of the remaining 50.2 percent, 84.3 percent were treated in Springfield. About 15 to 20 percent of the total patients have conditions that ALMH is not equipped to treat, such as cardiac bypass surgery, organ transplants and burn therapy, so the ideal percentage of admissions the hospital could attain is 80. Springfield receives a larger share of out-of-county admissions than it did 10 years ago; Hester attributes the shift to the September1994 affiliation of ALMH, and of its medical staff, with Memorial Health System in Springfield. He emphasized that, despite the connection between the two hospitals, all dollars made or donated in Lincoln stay in Lincoln.

According to Hester, more than 75 percent of local hospital care is now provided on an outpatient basis, reversing the concentration of two decades ago. Small hospitals that have not been able to adapt have had to close. He said 12 small hospitals in Illinois have closed in the last 11 years.

[Lynn Spellman]


WIC works

[JUNE 1, 2001]  The Illinois WIC Program provides monthly services through 95 local agency providers statewide, including the Logan County Health Department, to more than 240,000 pregnant, portpartum and breastfeeding women and to infants and children up to the age of 5 years. Eligibility is based on health or nutrition risks and income guidelines. Even if you are working, you may be on WIC. Nearly one of every three births in Illinois receives WIC services.  

WIC is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. It is administered in Illinois by the Department of Human Services.


WIC provides nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding support, and food vouchers to help new mothers, babies and children get the right foods that they need for proper growth and development. WIC also provides referrals and coordinates services with other community maternal, prenatal and child health care services for a targeted high-risk population. It is a prevention program designed to influence lifetime nutrition and health behaviors.

WIC is NOT welfare. 

WIC will NOT cut down on your food stamps or keep your child out of Head Start.


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How can you find out if you qualify?

You are eligible if you are:

  • Pregnant.
  • Breastfeeding.
  • An infant.
  • A child 1 to 5 years old.

You also must:

  • Live in Logan County.
  • Meet the required income guidelines.

WIC gives you FREE foods such as milk, eggs, cheese, juice, dried peas or beans, and iron-fortified infant formula.


The WIC program provides foods that contain nutrients you and your child need to stay healthy.

Call the Logan County Health Department at (217) 735-2317 to schedule an appointment. To get more information on this and other exciting programs, you can also visit the website at www.logancountyhealth.org.


[News release]

Honors & Awards


ALMH calendar of events for June

[JUNE 1, 2001]   

Senior Sunday — June 3, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Reservations required. Call 732-2161, Ext. 195.

Free Blood Pressure Screenings — June 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26 and 28, 9 a.m. to noon, first floor waiting area. No appointment necessary.

Pain Management Service — June 11 and 25, on fourth floor. Physician referral required. Call (217) 732-2161, Ext.403 or 444 for more information.

Laser Clinic — Thursday, June 14, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., on fourth floor. Call (217) 732-2161, Ext. 444 for more information.

Pediatric Cardiology Clinic — Friday, June 15, on fourth floor. Call (217) 732-2161, Ext. 444 for more information.


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Congestive Heart Failure/Diabetes Support Group — Monday, June 18, 7 p.m., Conference Room A. Call 217-732-2161, Ext. 443 for more information.

Breast Cancer Awareness — Tuesday, June 19, 7 p.m., Conference Room A. Call 217-732-2161, Ext. 443 for more information.

Parkinson’s Support Group — Monday, June 25, 7 p.m., Conference Room A. Call (217) 732-2161, Ext. 427 for more information

"Always In Our Hearts" Bereavement Support Group — Thursday, June 28, 1-3 p.m., in fifth floor Physician’s Lounge. Call (217) 732-2161, Ext. 405 for more information.

[ALMH news release]

Mobile health unit schedule

The Rural Health Partnership has announced the schedule for its mobile health unit. Effective Feb. 1, 2001, the unit will run as follows:


Morning: 9-11 a.m.



Afternoon: 1-3:30 p.m.


1st and 3rd


1st and 3rd



2nd and 4th

San Jose

2nd and 4th






Mount Pulaski



New Holland




1st, 2nd, 3rd





Friendship Manor-Lincoln


1st, 2nd, 4th





2nd and 4th




Maintenance/ special events


special events

The mobile health unit does not operate on the following dates/holidays during 2001:  Feb. 19 (President’s Day), April 13 (Good Friday), May 28 (Memorial Day), July 4 (Independence Day), Sept. 3 (Labor Day), Oct. 8 (Columbus Day), Nov. 12 (Veterans Day), Nov. 22-23 (Thanksgiving break), and Dec. 24 - Jan. 1, 2002 (Christmas break).

For more information on the mobile health unit schedule and services, contact Dayle Eldredge at (217) 732-2161, Ext. 409.

This family resource list to save and use is provided by the Healthy Communities Partnership (732-2161, Ext. 409) and the Healthy Families Task Force.         

Resources for Logan County families


Phone number



911 (Emergencies)
732-3911 (Office -- non-emergency)

911 Pekin St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital


315 Eighth St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Aging (Department of)


421 E. Capitol, #100
Springfield, IL 62701-1789

American Cancer Society

546-7586 (24 hour)

1305 Wabash, Ste. J
Springfield, IL 62704

American Red Cross


125 S. Kickapoo
Lincoln, IL 62656

Catholic Social Services


310 S. Logan
Lincoln, IL 62656

Chamber of Commerce


303 S. Kickapoo St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Community Action (CIEDC)


1800 Fifth St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Community Child Care Connection


1004 N. Milton Ave.
Springfield, IL 62702-443

Crisis Pregnancy Center


513 Pulaski St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

DCFS (Department of Children & Family Services)

(crisis hotline)

1100 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Heartland Community College GED Program


620 Broadway St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Hospice Care of Illinois

(24 hour)
732-2161, Ext. 444

720 N. Bond
Springfield, IL 62702

Housing Authority

732-6312 (24 hour)

1028 N. College St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Illinois Breast & Cervical Cancer Program


LCHD - 109 Third St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Illinois Department of Public Health


535 W. Jefferson
Springfield, IL 62761

Illinois Employment & Training Center (JTPA)


812 Lincoln Ave.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Legal Assistance Foundation

(217) 753-3300

730 E. Vine St., Ste. 214
Springfield, IL 62703

Library - Atlanta

(217) 648-2112

100 Race St.
Atlanta, IL 61723

Library - Elkhart

(217) 947-2313

121 E. Bohan
Elkhart, IL 62634

Library - Lincoln


725 Pekin St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Library - Mount Pulaski


320 N. Washington
Mount Pulaski, IL 62548

Lincoln Area YMCA


319 W. Kickapoo St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Lincoln/Logan Food Pantry


P.O. Box 773
Lincoln, IL 62656

Lincoln Parents’ Center


100 S. Maple
Lincoln, IL 62656

Lincoln Park District


1400 Primm Rd.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Logan County Department of Human Services (Public Aid)


1550 Fourth St., P.O. Box 310
Lincoln, IL 62656

Logan County Health Department


109 Third St., P.O. Box 508
Lincoln, IL 62656

Logan Mason Mental Health

(crisis line)

304 Eighth St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Logan-Mason Rehabilitation Center


760 S. Postville Dr.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Oasis (Senior Citizens of Logan County)


501 Pulaski St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Project READ


620 Broadway St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Salvation Army


1501 N. Kickapoo
Lincoln, IL 62656

Senior Services of Central Illinois

(crisis line)

109 Third St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Sojourn Shelter & Service Inc.

(217) 726-5200 (24-hour hotline)

1800 Westchester Blvd.
Springfield, IL 62704

U. of I. Division of Specialized Care for Children



421 S. Grand Ave. West, 2nd Floor
Springfield, IL 62704

U. of I. Extension Service


122 S. McLean St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

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