BloodPressure350SPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar will embark on a tour of every hospital and federally qualified health clinic in his Senate district this week.

The tour will highlight the importance of rural health care in Illinois and call attention to the need for continued investment in this vital sector of the economy. Manar (D-Bunker Hill) will tour facilities, learn about advancements and challenges in providing health care in central Illinois, and speak with hospital officials about regulatory challenges that could be addressed through legislation.

For example, officials at two of the hospitals will showcase their work in telehealth and how it’s being used to link patients with providers in underserved and rural areas of the state.

Additionally, the senator will focus on the impact of the Affordable Care Act on rural and downstate health care, the gains hospitals and clinics have made under the ACA and the implications that a roll-back could have on the delivery of services and employment in the region.

The three-day, 14-stop tour begins Tuesday morning. The schedule is below:

Tuesday, Nov. 28
8:30-9:30 a.m. – Taylorville Memorial Hospital
11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. – Crossing Healthcare, Decatur
1-2:15 p.m. – St. Mary’s Hospital, Decatur
3-4 p.m. – Decatur Memorial Hospital

Wednesday, Nov. 29
9-10 a.m. – Pana Community Hospital
Noon-1 p.m. – Central Counties Health Center, Springfield
1:30-2:45 p.m. – St. John’s Hospital, Springfield
3-4 p.m. – Memorial Medical Center, Springfield

Thursday, Nov. 30
7:30-8:30 a.m. – Carlinville Area Hospital
9-10 a.m. – Maple Street Clinic, Gillespie
10:30-11:30 a.m. – St. Francis Hospital, Litchfield
12:15-1:15 p.m. – Hillsboro Area Hospital
2-3 p.m. – Staunton Community Memorial Hospital
3:30-4:30 p.m. – SIHF Health Care, Bunker Hill

Media is welcome at each location. For details about specific tour stops, contact Jayette Bolinski at 782-1064 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Category: Latest News

flushotHomeless individuals in Decatur and Springfield can receive free health screenings and flu shots this month through February.

The Illinois Department of Public Health and its partners, Fifth Street Renaissance and Walgreens, will offer the services. The agency will drive its Wellness on Wheels van to various locations so that it can provide health care to people who may not otherwise seek it.

Walgreens will provide free flu shots and blood pressure screenings. Fifth Street Renaissance will offer free testing for various infections and diseases. Dates, times and locations are below.

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Category: Latest News


SPRINGFIELD – Three Senate education leaders are urging the governor’s administration to expedite its study of the statewide teacher shortage and report its findings to the General Assembly by March 1.

In a Nov. 14 letter (below) addressed to Illinois State Board of Education Chairman James Meeks, State Senators Andy Manar, Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant and Kimberly A. Lightford ask the board to accelerate its inquiry into the crisis so that lawmakers will have enough time to craft and pass legislation that will help to address the matter prior to next school year.

The shortage has caused more than 2,000 current teaching positions to go unfilled statewide.

“We commend you for the effort made thus far by the State Board to address teacher shortages and for further prioritizing the issue by initiating a year of inquiry on the subject,” the letter reads. “However, this is a crisis that deserves even more urgent attention and swift action to provide crucial support to students, administrators, and teachers.”

During a Nov. 6 hearing of the Senate Education Committee in Decatur, lawmakers were told that teachers around the country often skip over Illinois when they’re looking for a job because of low starting salaries, licensure difficulties and other issues.

Manar said schools in the 48th Senate District are among those most affected by the teacher shortage.

“We have schools all over central and southern Illinois relying on retired teachers and permanent substitutes to fill the void of qualified, professional teachers. And when no one answers that call, classrooms go dark. This is no way to educate children,” said Manar (D-Bunker Hill), a member of the Education Committee and chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“It is essential that lawmakers and ISBE work together quickly to identify the red tape that can be cut to help get good teachers into good jobs teaching great kids in Illinois schools.”

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Category: Latest News

Senate overrides veto of measure to address shortage of substitutes

SubstituteTEacherSPRINGFIELD – Active substitute teachers will be able to seek a refund of the $50 fee they’re required to pay when they apply for a state license under a new law sponsored by Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill).

“This is an example of what we can do to ease up on the government bureaucracy that’s got a stranglehold on the teaching profession in Illinois,” said Manar, a member of the Senate Education Committee.

“We have empty classrooms because of a statewide teacher shortage, a rapidly shrinking pool of substitutes and students who are suffering as a result. Curbing fees and eliminating unnecessary red tape will help address some of these problems.”

The Senate Wednesday voted 53-0 to override the governor’s veto of House Bill 3298. The measure authorizes a refund of the licensure application fee for substitutes as long as they can offer evidence of teaching at least 10 full school days within a year of being licensed.

The House overrode the governor’s veto 110-0 in October. The law goes into effect immediately.

School districts statewide are experiencing difficulty recruiting and retaining qualified full-time and substitute teachers.

During a hearing of the Senate Education Committee in Decatur Monday, lawmakers were told that teachers around the country often skip over Illinois when they’re looking for a job because of low starting salaries, licensure difficulties, lack of mentoring and other issues. The teacher shortage disproportionately affects districts in central Illinois and rural parts of the state.

Category: Latest News

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Springfield Office:
119A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-0228
Fax: (217) 557-3930

Decatur Office:
Macon County Office Building
141 S. Main St., Suite 502
Decatur, IL 62523
Phone: (217) 429-8110
Fax: (217) 429-8018

Bunker Hill Office:
115 N. Washington, P.O. Box 636
Bunker Hill, IL 62014
Phone: (618) 585-4848