Manar and Cauley 350SPRINGFIELD — Nathan Cauley, 18, of Bunker Hill was State Senator Andy Manar’s senator for the day at the Illinois Capitol Wednesday.

Cauley is the son of Mike and Wendy Cauley.

He is a senior and is involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, drama club, improv club and youth group. He plans to attend Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to study computer science.

Cauley accompanied Manar to an Illinois Department of Corrections budget hearing, helped him welcome FFA members from around the state to the Capitol and joined Manar on the Senate floor during passage of the senator’s DIPG Awareness Day legislation.

Click below to watch a video of Manar talking with Cauley about living in Bunker Hill, his visit to the Capitol and his future plans.

Also on Wednesday, Manar was joined by members of the Bunker Hill High School FFA chapter, who visited the Capitol for Illinois Agriculture Legislative Day. This annual advocacy day brings FFA students, farm, agricultural commodity organizations and other ag interest groups to Springfield to meet state lawmakers, share the ag community’s priorities for the year and offer feedback about policies concerning agriculture, business, conservation, education and more. Read more.

 

Category: People of the 48th

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State Senator Andy Manar met with representatives from area hospitals at the Capitol Thursday to learn more about initiatives they’ve undertaken to improve the quality of care they offer their patients, families and communities.

Thursday was the Illinois Hospital Association Quality Advocacy Showcase, now in its third year. Leaders from more than 90 hospitals and health systems statewide were on hand for the event.

Manar spoke with Mandy Sebeschak, respiratory services team leader, and Amanda Payne, performance excellence internal champion, from Hillsboro Area Hospital (pictured above) about an initiative at the hospital to prepare employees for what to do in an emergency involving an armed intruder.

04122018 Manar Hospitals 4 350Employees engaged in a realistic drill and learned such things as how to determine when to evacuate or when to hide, where to meet after evacuating the building, where to hide when sheltering in place, and what to arm themselves with while hiding.

Sebeschak and Payne said the hospital invested $3,000 in the training for an estimated savings of $18 million.

Manar also met with a representative of St. John’s Hospital about its initiatives to reduce health care-related Clostridium difficle infections.

And he learned from Kristy Cesaretti (pictured below), emergency department nurse manager at Taylorville Memorial Hospital, about the hospital’s efforts to manage aggressive patient behavior in the emergency department.

Additional hospitals in Senate District 48 represented at the showcase include:

  • St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield – eliminating health care-associated infections for 24 months;
  • St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur – reducing falls for high-risk patients;
  • Hospital Sisters Health System – improving acute stroke care;
  • Memorial Medical Center in Springfield – reducing the length of stay with an expedited therapy consultation;
  • Memorial Medical Center Comprehensive Stroke Center – improving care for stroke patients across central Illinois;
  • Memorial Behavioral Health – improving access to appropriate behavioral health services; and
  • Memorial Health System – engaging patients and families in their care.

 

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Category: People of the 48th

SPRINGFIELD – Students from several area high school FFA chapters joined State Senator Andy Manar at the Illinois Capitol in Springfield this week.

The students were at the Capitol for Illinois Agriculture Legislative Day. This annual advocacy day brings FFA students, farm, agricultural commodity organizations and other ag interest groups to Springfield to meet state lawmakers, share the ag community’s priorities for the year and offer feedback about policies concerning agriculture, business, conservation, education and more.

Nokomis High School FFA chapter

Manar FFA 3 Nokomis 650

 

Taylorville High School FFA chapter

Manar FFA 5 Taylorville 650

 

Staunton High School FFA chapter

Manar FFA 6 Staunton 650

 

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Category: People of the 48th

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Prompted by Bunker Hill family’s advocacy efforts

SPRINGFIELD – Legislation to set aside May 17 of each year to raise awareness of a rare and incurable form of childhood brain cancer was approved Wednesday by the Illinois Senate.

The measure, sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), was prompted by the advocacy efforts of Bunker Hill mother Kim Skief, whose 11-year-old daughter, Grace, died from Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG, in 2015.

The Senate approved the measure, Senate Bill 2254, 56-0. It was sent to the House for consideration.

“Grace’s story is a simple reminder that medical cures and care, sadly, are not guaranteed to all of us. That’s why I’m working with her mother to help raise awareness about this childhood cancer,” Manar said. “Although DIPG is rare, when it strikes it is painful, and unfortunately it is quick.”

DIPG is an aggressive form of cancer that targets children almost exclusively – about 300 each year in the United States. It affects the part of the brain that controls the heartbeat, breathing, swallowing, sight and eye movement, and balance. It is in operable, and the survival rate is less than 1 percent.

Grace Skief was a fifth-grader when she was diagnosed with DIPG in April 2015. She died three months later, on July 31, 2015.

Twenty other states have set aside May 17 to raise awareness of this heart-breaking childhood cancer and the lack of a cure for it.

Present in the Senate gallery during Wednesday’s vote were Kim Skief and her son, James, both of Bunker Hill; and Grace’s grandmother, Carol Robbins of Alton. Manar thanked them for their advocacy and their courage.

“Any number of things could happen after tragedy strikes a family, as we often see when families visit us in the Senate,” he said. “At the lowest point the Skief family somehow mustered the strength and courage to move on and make something positive out of what undoubtedly is the most difficult situation anybody could go through.”

For more information about DIPG, visit http://www.defeatdipg.org and http://www.cancer.gov.

Category: People of the 48th