SPRINGFIELD – State agencies would have the data they need to take a more proactive approach to public health issues under legislation sponsored by State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove).

04212021CM0669“The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for more comprehensive data on community health,” Johnson said. “It’s time to reach out to residents in the overlooked corners of the state so we can craft more effective policy to improve health outcomes across all demographics.”

Johnson’s legislation would require the Illinois Department of Public Health to administer a comprehensive Healthy Illinois Survey every year to study public health and health equity in Illinois.

The survey would gather input from Illinois residents in urban, suburban and rural areas across the state. Survey questions would cover a range of topics, including access to health services, chronic health conditions, diet, mental health, physical activity, substance abuse and more.

Following the survey, the department would be required to make the results available to cities, communities, local health departments and hospitals, and to publish the data on its website broken down by race, ethnicity, gender, age and geography.

The idea for the Healthy Illinois Survey stems from the successful Healthy Chicago Survey, which collects data identifying health concerns in Chicago communities to inform the city’s public health policy.

“Understanding a problem is the first step toward solving it,” Johnson said. “We need a fuller picture of the barriers our communities are facing to health and wellness.”

House Bill 3504 passed the Senate Healthcare Access and Availability Committee Tuesday and now heads to the Senate floor.

Category: Press Release

SPRINGFIELD – Older adults in Illinois who receive home-delivered meal services would have critical—and even life-saving—information at their fingertips under legislation proposed by State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove).

04202021CM0095“Many of our older neighbors might not have easy access to the internet. As a result, they might find it difficult to connect with programs and resources available to them,” Johnson said. “By providing them a hard copy of toll-free phone numbers and other helpful information, we’re putting these important services within reach.”

The legislation would require recipients of home-delivered meals to receive an annual fact sheet developed by the Department on Aging with a current list of toll-free numbers to access information on various health conditions, elder abuse and programs for seniors. Recipients would also receive updates on any new programs for older adults.

About 12 million meals were delivered to over 144,000 older adults in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic, when congregate dining sites were closed, according to the Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging. The lack of in-person interaction during the pandemic interrupted traditional communication channels for many older adults, who as a result missed out on important service updates and opportunities.

“Some older adults in the community are more than comfortable with smartphones and computers, but others prefer to receive their news in print,” Johnson said. “It’s important that we use a variety of strategies to make information available to as many residents as possible.”

House Bill 32 passed the Senate Healthcare Access and Availability Committee Tuesday and now heads to the full Senate.

Category: Press Release

BUFFALO GROVE – Lake County residents will soon enjoy safer, smoother travel thanks to a combined $7.7 million in Rebuild Illinois infrastructure grants, State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove) announced Monday.

Construction Cone“Many communities in the area have suffered from historic underinvestment, and our infrastructure shows it,” Johnson said. “The Rebuild Illinois program is a significant step toward restoring the neighborhoods that have gone unsupported for too long.”

The funding is being distributed in an effort to ensure that local governments have the necessary resources to repair and maintain infrastructure, as well as create jobs and boost the economy on a local level. Cities and municipalities may choose to use the grant for road and bridge improvements, traffic signal upgrades, new storm sewers and bike paths, sidewalk replacements and other long-term maintenance needs, with financial oversight from the Illinois Department of Transportation.

“These funds will enable our local governments to make crucial repairs to roads, bridges and sidewalks in our community, creating jobs and making travel easier, safer and more enjoyable for everyone,” Johnson said.

This funding comes as the fourth of six rounds of $1.5 billion in grants through the Rebuild Illinois program. A complete list of awards is available here.

Category: Press Release

SPRINGFIELD – Insurance companies in Illinois would be required to cover screenings to detect ulcerative colitis, polyps, diverticulosis, Crohn's disease, cancer and other gastrointestinal conditions under legislation from State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove).

04232021CM0388“If your doctor recommends a colonoscopy, you should be able to get one, regardless of your income level,” Johnson said. “This simple procedure could detect, or even prevent cancer—it could save your life.”

The legislation would require health insurance companies to cover the cost of a colonoscopy that has been deemed medically necessary after an initial screening. Patients could not be charged a deductible, coinsurance, copayment or other cost-sharing requirement for the procedure.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cause of cancer-related death for both men and women, according to the American Cancer Society. However, if it is caught early, colorectal cancer has a 90% survival rate.

Not only can a colonoscopy screen for colorectal cancer—it is one of the only screening tests that can actually prevent colon cancer by finding and removing colon polyps before they become cancerous.

“Patients should be able to take control over their health and take advantage of preventive care services like colonoscopies,” Johnson said. “This legislation makes sure that insurance companies cover this life-saving, preventive screening.”

House Bill 2653 passed the Senate Insurance Committee Wednesday and now heads to the full Senate.

Category: Press Release

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