The keynote speaker for the
gathering was Kevin Riggins, who gave an update on progress in
banning ephedra. He detailed the work done that culminated in a
state law signed by Gov. Blagojevich on May 28 banning the sale of
ephedra products in Illinois.
Kevin Riggins, keynote speaker
[Click on image for bigger picture]
Riggins said that he has been
encouraged by the amazing support he has received in his efforts,
especially from state Sen. Bomke. He cited this support for Illinois
becoming the first state to ban such sales. He had just returned
from California, where he was helping to provide information in
efforts to pass a similar law there. He also praised U.S. Sen. Dick
Durbin for his efforts in working on a federal law regulating
dietary supplements that would require proof of an item being safe
and effective before being released on the market. The Commerce
Commission in Washington, D.C., is planning hearings on this issue.
Riggins received a standing ovation at the conclusion of his
Sharon Awe served as master of
ceremonies for the event, as neither Lincoln Mayor Beth Davis nor
Dale Voyles, chairman of the Logan County Board, could attend. On
their behalf Melanie Riggs and Dick Logan offered thanks to the
Healthy Communities Partnership for the work the group has done for
Bobbi Abbott spoke for the
Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce on the need to find a
part-time volunteer coordinator for the Healthy Communities
Partnership and asked that any suggestions on filling the position
be given to Jenni Humphries at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital
(732-2161, Ext. 427;
firstname.lastname@example.org). The coordinator has a two-year
term and should expect to work between 10 and 24 hours a month,
depending on the time of year.
Abbott also thanked the
Illinois Department of Public Health and the SIU School of Medicine
for their financial support of the partnership's efforts.
Police Chief Rich Montcalm
detailed the efforts by the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Task
Force to enforce prohibitions on sales by businesses to underage
youth. The tougher battle, according to him, involves the adults who
buy these items legally and then pass them on to those who are
underage, as these actions are harder to monitor. The ATOD Task
Force is planning to have a billboard placed in the community to
increase awareness of the issues involved.
Dick and Marsha Logan announced
the presentation of the Daniel Logan Memorial Scholarship of $500 to
Marcy Wilham of Chestnut, who plans to attend Western Illinois
University and major in law enforcement and justice administration.
A thank-you letter from her was read.
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The director of the Domestic
Violence Task Force, Kelli Knoblau, announced events planned for
October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. She plans a
candlelight vigil on Oct. 7 to increase awareness of the problem.
Last year 194 victims of abuse were aided in Logan County.
Kathy Huerd, who coordinates
the Lincoln Parents Center, said the goals for the Healthy Families
Task Force were met this past year, and the group plans to enhance
their programs this year. These programs include providing support
and monthly personal visits to teen parents, the "Baby Think It
Over" program for area schools, and the REACH program to help adults
to be better mentors in their children's education. The group has
also provided "New Parent Bags" for the OB ward at ALMH.
Linda Marini spoke of efforts
by the Senior Issues Task Force to provide packaged meals for
shut-in seniors over the weekends. CIEDC provides such meals
Mondays-Fridays, but the task force is looking for sponsorship by
businesses and individuals to cover the weekends also.
The Parish Nurse Task Force is
working through local congregations to provide needed health
services. Seven nurses have completed the parish nurses curriculum,
and other nurses are helping in the program. It was emphasized that
all of those doing this are volunteers. The task force is working to
establish a Vial for Life program. In this program, vials containing
health information on occupants in a home are stored in a
prearranged place where the information can be accessed in an
emergency by those providing treatment. Judy Horn, who heads the
task force, states they are looking for more nurse volunteers from
congregations for this important work.
Rural Health Partnership mobile unit has been working to provide
free blood sugar screenings and other services throughout the
county. This year's grant funds have run out, so these free services
have stopped for now, except in Etna Township where the township
provided funds for services there. Carrie Harris, health educator
from the Logan County Health Department, said educational programs
have been provided by the partnership in seven local schools.
Seventh-grade programs on peer resistance and eighth-grade programs
on drug awareness have been given.