The Illinois Rural Health Association (IRHA) held a webinar last week highlighting different in-demand health careers that require an associate degree. Margaret Vaughn, executive director of IRHA, said the association wanted to inform young students and people looking for a career change of the wide variety of healthcare jobs they can pursue. “Everyone knows just … Read more

As the Illinois General Assembly continues the state’s 103rd legislative session, legislators and behavioral healthcare organizations are focused on the field’s workforce shortage. Sonya Leathers, PhD, director of the Behavioral Health Workforce Centers at the University of Illinois Chicago, discussed the severity of the shortage in legislative committee meetings last month. “In 2021, the American … Read more

The Illinois General Assembly reconvened on Jan. 16th to continue the state’s 103rd legislative session. In this Q&A, state Rep. Dagmara Avelar (D-Bolingbrook) sat down with State of Reform and discussed health-related bills she is sponsoring and her hopes for the rest of the session. State of Reform: Your legislation, House Bill 2719, which requires … Read more

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) recently released its State Health Assessment (SHA) and State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) as required by law, which combine to form the Healthy Illinois 2028 initiative. IDPH used the SHA to evaluate the program’s overall issues and successes after the completion of Healthy Illinois 2021. The SHA influenced … Read more

Earlier this month, Gov. JB Pritzker signed Senate Bill 208, which makes Illinois the third state in the country to require employers to offer paid time off for any reason to their employees.     “Working families face so many challenges, and it’s been my mission to alleviate those burdens in every way I can. … Read more

On March 8th, Gov. JB Pritzker, state officials, and local partners announced the launch of a new Behavioral Health Workforce Education Center. The center is designed to help increase Illinois’s capacity to recruit, educate, and retain behavioral health professionals.     “We are laying out a plan to build the best behavioral health system in … Read more

This week, the Pritzker Administration and the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) announced its plans to launch a public awareness campaign to make sure Illinoisan Medicaid enrollees are aware that their health insurance will no longer auto-renew starting in June.     The campaign is called Ready to Renew. Ready to Renew … Read more

In this interview, Sen. Laura Fine (D – Glenview), discusses what healthcare problems her constituents are facing, how she’s addressing Illinois residents’ healthcare needs, her legislative bills that are pre-filed, and her family’s experience with mental health.     State of Reform: What are the biggest healthcare problems facing your constituents right now? Sen. Laura … Read more

In this interview, Rep. La Shawn K. Ford (D – Chicago), discusses what healthcare problems his constituents are facing, how he’s addressing Illinois residents’ healthcare needs, and his legislative agenda for 2023.     State of Reform: What’s the biggest healthcare problem that’s facing your constituents right now? Rep. La Shawn K. Ford: “Access. Even … Read more

Panelists discussed the importance of transparency and need for cost reductions on specialty drugs in State of Reform’s recent virtual conversation “5 Slides We’re Discussing: The policy implications of new medicines.”  The experts called on pharmaceutical companies and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to be more transparent in their pricing and formulary curation.      The … Read more