HEALTH INSURANCE FUNDING PROVIDED
House Bill 4144, which recently passed the Illinois General Assembly, provides for increased state payments to vendors of homecare services. Homecare workers, employed by these vendors, will receive funding for much-needed health insurance coverage as well as a wage increase. The bill increases state payments to vendors by $1.33 per hour for the purpose for providing health insurance for their employees. In addition, the legislation provides for a $1.00 increase in hourly wage.
The bill will help 18,000 homecare workers in Illinois, whose average salary is about $7.80 per hour. Increasing health insurance benefits will help maintain a steady workforce and reduce turnover, thus ensuring higher quality care from more experienced employees.
PREVENTION METHODS FOR STAPH
State Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold, issued recommendations to limit transmission and control staph outbreaks in Illinois. It is estimated, that Staph bacteria is commonly carried by approximately 30% of the population on the skin or in the nose. Staph is also one of the most common causes of skin infections in the United States.
MRSA, being called the "superbug" staph infection, is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to some antibiotics, and is the primary target of the latest prevention techniques issued by the IDPH. Staph infections have commonly been associated with patients in hospitals or long-term care facilities. Now MRSA is showing up in schools, particularly in locker rooms and other sports related facilities.
Schools in several Chicago suburbs have increased their cleaning routines because of concerns about staph infections. According to a suburban newspaper, two students at Evergreen Park schools and a Midlothian boy all came down with MRSA. Cleaning frequencies are being increased to help fight the spread of MRSA.
Public health officials report that basic hygiene is the best protection against MRSA. Thorough hand washing is a must, which includes washing hands before preparing or eating food and after using the restroom. Keep cuts and abrasions clean and covered and avoid contact with other people's wounds. It is also recommended not to share towels and personal items such as razors and deodorant.
Additional recommendations are available for MRSA skin infections. For more information, contact your local public health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health at 217-782-2016.
POLICE PENSION BOARD TO MEET
The Police Pension Fund Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet Thursday, October 25th, at 6:00 PM, at the Municipal Building. Items on the agenda include investments, and requests for transfers of creditable service.