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Letter: Senate Bill 1510 funding will greatly improve McHenry County’s health care

To the Editor:

RE: “Criteria for proposals to receive funding under Senate Bill 1510”

Hospital & Healthcare Transformation Legislation: www.team-iha.org/files/non-gated/finance/sb1510-summary.aspx

Senate Bill 1510, which was signed into law (Public Act 101-0655) in March 2021, encourages the authorities of local communities to form partnerships with invested stakeholders so that they will develop and implement plans to improve medical access while focusing on Medicaid beneficiaries and the uninsured. These efforts will hopefully qualify them to receive funding to be used to improve integrated health care.

According to the 2020 Northwestern Medicine McHenry County needs assessment, the percentage of adults in McHenry County who have delayed needed medical care because of cost is 19.4%, which is less favorable than the Illinois 11.6% average. Chronic disease is a serious problem in the U.S. Chronic disease affects every aspect of a person’s life, including physical and mental health. Current statistics in the needs assessment show increasing patterns of varying conditions for our residents. Multiple types of health care specialties will be required to address these medical needs.

I have been a lifelong resident of McHenry County and can attest to this ongoing issue of access to integrated health care. Rural communities rely heavily on the hospital emergency rooms and immediate care centers sprinkled throughout the county as safety-net facilities. Residents are acquiring their routine care at these locations when they should be accessed through a primary care physician or community clinic.

Northwestern Medicine needs assessment prioritizes access to care, behavioral health, and the social determinants of health. These initiatives can only be achieved through continual support and financial backing. I ask and encourage the leaders of McHenry County to work with local stakeholders and health systems to advocate for this funding by providing the necessary resources to meet Senate Bill 1510/Public Act 101-0655 requirements. This funding will greatly improve our health care and have a forever impact on our community.

Nicholas Campbell

Marengo

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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