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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:20am
Thu Jan 22

Advocates Urge Rauner, Illinois Legislature To Prioritize Mental Health Funding

As the Democrat-controlled Illinois legislature and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner gear up to tackle the state's fiscal problems, including a multi-billion budget deficit, mental health advocates are warning against further cuts to community-based services.

"Community mental health services have been cut to the core, and we're seeing a lot of the fallout," said Heather O'Donnell, vice president of public policy and advocacy for Chicago-based Thresholds, a recovery service provider for people with mental illness in Illinois.

Among other issues, O'Donnell noted that the Cook County Jail has about 2,000 inmates with some form of mental illness. And 22,000 people with mental illness in the state are living in nursing homes even though they "don't need that level of care." These people, she explained, would likely be homeless if they were not living in such facilities due to the lack of housing and other supports for them to live independently.

"We just need to make sure that we preserve every dollar, because we don't have anything else in the community mental health system that we can cut without costing the state far more than the cuts," O'Donnell stressed.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:23pm
Thu Jan 8

Progressive Women In Chicago Aldermanic Races To Take Center Stage At Political Forum

Progress Illinois previews an upcoming "Women Against the Machine" town hall meeting featuring progressive female candidates running for alderman in Chicago.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:56pm
Wed Dec 10, 2014

Activists Applaud U Of C Decision To Expand Pediatric Trauma Services (VIDEO)

Trauma Care Coalition members on Tuesday called the University of Chicago Medical Center's decision to increase the age limit of its Level 1 pediatric trauma center a "victory," but said their fight for expanded South Side emergency medical services for people of all ages will continue. Progress Illinois provides a closer look at U of C's planned expansion of its child trauma care unit.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:30pm
Wed Nov 19, 2014

Chicago City Council Passes Emanuel's 2015 Budget; Four Aldermen Object

The Chicago City Council voted 46-4 to approve Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2015 budget. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the council debate on the $7.3 billion spending plan.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:11pm
Tue Nov 18, 2014

Disability Rights Activists Demand Closure Of Troubled Rogers Park Nursing Home (VIDEO)

Activists protested Monday afternoon outside of a Rogers Park nursing home where numerous disabled children and young adults have died in recent years.

Toting signs reading "Kids need love not nursing homes," about 20 disability rights advocates with the group Access Living demanded that the troubled facility now called Alden Village North shut its doors for good. The activists, who staged a similar protest against the facility in September, also stressed the need for more community-based supports for people with disabilities. 

"We believe that no child with a disability should be in a nursing home, but if they have to exist, this is not one here that should" remain open, said Gary Arnold, public relations coordinator at Access Living.

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