LETTERS

Letters to the editor

Staff Writer
Woodford Times

PRC helping with child abuse prevention

 Last year the Pediatric Resource Center medical staff provided medical examinations or consultations to more than 300 children across Illinois who were the suspected victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse or neglect. As the president of the PRC Community Advisory Board and a parent to two young boys, I believe that this number is too high. In fact, any number of cases of abuse or neglect is too many.

 Beyond providing treatment to these young victims, the Pediatric Resource Center also is focused on the prevention of maltreatment of children through education. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and the Pediatric Resource Center wants to spread the word about how everyone can help this cause. One of the ways you can help prevent abuse to a child is to get a stress buddy and encourage other parents, guardians or childcare providers to do the same.

 Sometimes child rearing is difficult, and there is no shame in getting help. Ways to stay calm and take control of the situation include: calling a friend or relative; seeking education; and seeking counseling. If you know a friend who needs a break from parenting duties, you could volunteer to babysit to give them a chance to cool down. If you know or suspect a child is being abused, call DCFS at 1-800-252-2873.

 Other ways to show your support of child abuse prevention efforts include wearing a blue ribbon every day in April or attending one of our 2012 Awareness Events. The first event is Hands Around the Courthouse at noon Friday, April 20, at the Peoria County Courthouse. The second event is PRC Night at Double A’s Pizza and Pub in Peoria from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 25.

 Children rely on adults to keep them safe and help them feel valued and loved. We all need to do our part to ensure that all children can live in an environment where that is the reality.

Michael J. Graham

President, Pediatric Resource Center Community Advisory Board

The Pediatric Resource Center is a community service program of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. It is affiliated with the Children’s Hospital of Illinois at OSF St. Francis Medical Center.

Heartline thanks community for service years

2012 is our year of celebration. It was 30 years ago that a distinct group of godly men and women began building the foundation for an organization that has served the on-going and ever-changing needs of countless individuals and families throughout Woodford County.

From its inception, our organization was built on the solid foundation of God’s principles, and it has been this solid foundation that has allowed us to remain steadfast throughout the past 30 years. We have indeed faced everything from adverse economies to overwhelming challenges, but together, we have maintained our priority to protect and nurture the great commission God has laid before us, a commission where we (our organization and our community) continue to serve those in need. Over the past 30 years, the Heartline and Heart House staff, board of directors, volunteers and donors have remained sincere in our efforts to keep our eyes on Christ as to not miss his promptings and nudging to help us fulfill his ultimate will for our organization. His blessings have never ceased.

Woven throughout the great history of our organization, you will find His-story. Not too long ago, I read a simple quote from an unknown author that truly captures Heartline and Heart House: “Behind every bit of good we do, there is a story of what made it possible.” In the time I have had the pleasure of serving as the Director of Heartline and Heart House, I could write a book on the amazing stories of how God’s ultimate hand has been actively at work in so many of our stories and testimonies. Through you, God has delivered the much needed financial support and in-kind donations that keep our shelter open, our pantries full, and our resources abundant. Through you, God has given us the hands, the feet and the voices to carry out so many aspects of our programs and ministry directives.

 I stand in complete awe of the amazing things God has done in and through Heartline and Heart House because of you, our community. It has been your time, your talents, your giving … it has been you, who has granted us the opportunity to offer hope to those who might not otherwise have hope.

It has been your faithfulness to God’s promptings that has truly made a difference in the lives of so many in our community. I wish you truly understood the impact of your support.

I am most blessed because I get to see, every day, the impact of your support. I see it in the eyes of the children … I feel it in the hugs of the women … I see it in the walk of the men.

 On behalf of our staff, our board directors, our shelter residents and clients, and myself, I thank you for being a part of our story! We sincerely hope you will be able to join us for an evening of celebration on April 27. A reception will start at 6 p.m. and a concert featuring Christian music artist, Rachel West Kramer, and the local talents of Testify Men’s Quartet will promptly start at 7 p.m.

The reception and concert will be held at the Metamora High School Auditorium.

The evening will also include the announcement of the 2012 recipient of the Marvin Cheney Achievement Award and the Heartline and Heart House Volunteer of the Year award.

Tickets are $15 and are available at the Heartline Administrative Office, Eureka/Roanoke/Minonk/Washburn/Spring Bay Community Banks, Metamora Commerce Bank and the El Paso Flanagan State Bank.

Trixie Jones

Executive Director

Heartline and Heart House

Medicaid reform needed to reduce state spending

We agree that Medicaid reform is essential to reduce state spending. Community-based services for Illinois seniors have effectively reduced the growth of state Medicaid spending for long-term care.

Between 1980 and 2008, the number of persons 75+ increased 54 percent; Illinois Department on Aging Community Care Program participants increased by over 66,000, while nursing home residency declined by 8 percent.

For 2008, CCP services saved the state $260 million in senior-related health care costs. Monthly state spending for nursing home care for a Medicaid-eligible older adult currently averages $3,000, compared to $800/month for homecare and $30/month for home delivered meals.

We urge state lawmakers to respect the preference of older adults to live in their own homes and to have the option to return home after a nursing home stay. We urge the General Assembly to approve the Governor’s FY2013 budget for the Illinois Department on Aging.

We support state funding for community-based services for over 493,000 Illinois seniors, especially information and assistance, transportation and home delivered meals.

We support increased state funding for the Community Care Program to serve over 84,000 older adults. We support state funding for the Elder Abuse and Neglect Program to respond to more than 12,000 reports of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. We support increased state funding for the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program to uphold the rights of 140,681 residents in long-term care facilities.

And, we support continued funding for Illinois Cares Rx pharmaceutical assistance for 177,000 low-income seniors and persons with disabilities.

Joanne Thomas,

President/CEO

Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging