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Southern Illinois Couple Donates $1 Million to Shriner's Hospital
BELLEVILLE, IL, (SWI-News.com), October 30, 2014 - In 1951, Chester and Ruth Schmidt welcomed their only child, a daughter named Elaine, into the world. By the time she was a toddler, however, Elaine was still only crawling. A friend of the Schmidts', who was a Shriner, recommended they take Elaine to Shriners Hospitals for Children for treatment. Eventually, she was able to walk, and even run.

In honor of that life-changing care, Chester and Ruth have given a $1 million donation to Shriners Hospitals for Children in support of its Heroes for Kids capital campaign, supporting the new facility currently under construction in the Central West End.

"We will never forget what Shriners Hospital did for our family," Chester said. "Shriners Hospital performed a miracle surgery for Elaine, and we never received a bill for those services. Elaine lived a happy life."

Chester is a retired State Farm Insurance agent who had an office in Columbia, IL for 27 years, with Ruth as his assistant. He was drafted into service before the start of World War II and served as a crew member of a Flying Fortress bomber in the European theatre. On D-Day, his crew bombed the Normandy beach prior to the Allied troops invading the heavily guarded beaches. Following the war, Chester earned a bachelor's degree in business administration at Washington University. He and Ruth met in 1949, when she worked for the University of Illinois as a home advisor for Monroe County. Their daughter Elaine, whose mobility was restored by Shriners Hospitals for Children, lived a happy life until kidney failure took her at age 25.


Illinois Department of Public Health Provides Update on State's Preparedness Efforts for Ebola
CHICAGO, IL, (SWI-News.com), October 19, 2014 - Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, joined by local health department, hospital, health care and emergency response officials, held a media briefing Friday to update the public about Ebola preparedness efforts in Illinois. "Governor Quinn has directed the Illinois Department of Public Health to take every step necessary to ensure that Illinois' hospitals, health care workers and residents are safe and prepared in the event of a confirmed Ebola case," Dr. Hasbrouck said. "Information and education are the best ways to protect yourself, which is why we've activated the Ebola hotline and website.

"At the Governor's direction, we are also assembling an Ebola task force made up of medical, health care, emergency response and state officials to further strengthen our ability to respond to Ebola."

Illinois residents with questions about Ebola can call the Ebola hotline at 800-889-3931 or visit www.ebola.illinois.gov.

Governor Quinn has directed IDPH to assemble a task force to ensure residents and hospitals across the state are informed and prepared to address Ebola. The full task force will be announced shortly.

While any hospital in Illinois that follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) infections control recommendations and can isolate a patient in a private room can care for a patient, a designated hospital will have staff with Ebola-specific training.

The CDC recently designated Illinois as one of the few states able to perform Ebola testing. The IDPH laboratory has received the reagents (testing supplies) and IDPH is in the process of validating the test and training staff to perform it.

CDC will require IDPH to consult on every specimen that is submitted to determine if testing is authorized. Once CDC authorizes testing, one sample will be tested at IDPH and the other will be sent to CDC for confirmatory testing.

To date, there have been no persons in Illinois showing any symptoms that have warranted Ebola testing. We will continue to communicate with the public and will report any situation that involves testing for Ebola.

Handling disease outbreaks is a core public health function and the state is prepared to conduct surveillance for possible cases, implement infection control measures, support medical facilities, perform contact tracing and assist with laboratory testing. IDPH will continue to work with the CDC, local health departments, hospitals and medical facilities.

IDPH will continue to provide all updated CDC guidance through SIREN (State of Illinois Rapid Electronic Notification) to appropriate audiences (infection control professionals, infectious disease physicians, laboratories, local health departments, health care providers, health care facilities, EMS systems).


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Archived Southwest Illinois News:
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