Stadelman opposes Mercy decision to close mental health unit

State Senator Steve Stadelman and State Rep. Maurice A. West II voiced their disapproval to Merchyhealth's closing of its mental health unit during a hearing Thursday in downtown Rockford. Senator Stadelman's remarks to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Board are below:

"It seems odd to ask this Board to deny Mercy's request to close its behavioral health unit, when the health system has effectively done so already. Still, that's precisely my request.

Mercy has stated publicly the reason for the closure is the unit's only full-time psychiatrist left the company July 19. How much advance notice did Mercy receive? Did Mercy try to find a replacement? Or did Mercy just conveniently wait until the end of the 30-day time period before its requirement of notifying the Board of this so-called "temporary" closure. Under the rules, Mercy is supposed to update the Board on the progress for correcting the issue. Clearly, Mercy had no intention of following the rules and keeping the unit open before this Board made its decision.

I believe Mercy should be held accountable for its actions.

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 As to the larger issue of whether these inpatient beds are needed in this community, I've always heard from experts and advocates we need more inpatient services, not less. Mercy claims low demand for those beds. But why is that? This claim needs to be probed further. Advocates believe Mercy's refusal to accept the types of insurance most mental health consumers use is one reason why the hospital system reports lower patient numbers. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. In fact, in today's Rockford Register Star, SwedishAmerican's Chief Operating Officer told the newspaper the closure of the behavioral health unit is placing pressure on remaining mental health resources in Rockford, and patients are being forced to seek help outside the area. By granting Mercy's petition, this Board will allow Mercy's leadership to abandon the very situation they're responsible for creating.

Finally, five years ago, Mercy appeared before this Board requesting to build a new hospital on Riverside Boulevard. Its slogan was "one hospital, two campuses." Mercy's President and CEO promised then that the Rockton Avenue facility located in the disadvantaged part of town would not lose anything. But the disadvantaged part of town has lost out, including level two trauma emergency services and now the behavioral health unit. This year, Mercy will receive millions of dollars more under the state's new hospital assessment program for Medicaid funding and an additional $2 million from this year's state budget to help safety-net hospitals.

The state has increased its commitment; now it’s incumbent upon Mercy to keep its promise to provide quality health care across ALL our community."

Drive-through T-shirt giveaway replaces HoopStars tournament for 2020

Boys and girls who might have played in what would have been the eight year of State Senator Steve Stadelman's youth basketball tournament instead can obtain their customary event T-shirt during a Labor Day drive-through giveaway.

Stadelman announced today that he won't be hosting the popular free 3-on-3 competition because of concerns over transmission of COVID-19. Senator Stadelman's HoopStars has drawn as many as 400 players and hundreds more spectators to what for several years took place outdoors in Davis Park and more recently has occupied the UW Health Sports Factory, both in downtown Rockford.

stadelman hoops JACK EDIT copy

"As much as I believe in providing this no-cost, positive activity for young athletes in the Rockford area, the ongoing global pandemic simply prevents safe competition among kids as well as the enthusiastic families and friends who cheer them on," Stadelman said, noting recently released state health guidelines that don't allow competitive play in basketball. "Hopefully, we'll all be able to return to the courts next year with the current health crisis behind us."

While HoopStars has attracted teams from across the country, Stadelman established the event especially for inner-city youth. The tournament's launch in 2012 coincided with the demise of On The Waterfront, an end-of-summer street festival that had taken place downtown for almost 30 years.

The afternoon-long contest, which traditionally gets under way immediately after the annual Labor Day parade, has become known for its diversity and the good-natured rivalry between teams in school grades 3 to 8. Shirts will be handed out to families with children in those grade levels on a first-come, first-served basis.

WHAT: HoopStars T-Shirt Giveaway

WHEN: Noon to 2 p.m., Monday, September 7

WHERE: UW Health Sports Factory parking lot, 305 S. Madison St., Rockford

Face masks that promote the U.S. Census in English and Spanish -- "Make It Count" and "Hazte Contar" -- also will be distributed. Available shirt sizes are youth large, adult small, adult medium and adult large.

Category: Latest

081915CM1146

ROCKFORD – With winter approaching, the Illinois Department of Transportation is now accepting applications for seasonal            snow-and-ice removal positions, and State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) is encouraging qualified individuals to          apply.

“During the winter months, snowplows keep the people of Rockford safe,” Stadelman said. “I encourage anyone who has been seeking   a new job opportunity in these uncertain times to see if they qualify to be a driver for this season.”

Through the department’s annual “snowbird” program, snowplow drivers are temporarily hired full-time and on an on-call basis. To be considered, applicants must have a commercial driver’s license. A pre-employment physical, vision test, and drug and alcohol screening are also required.

Applicants will be selected based on availability, job-related experience and qualifications. Stadelman strongly encourages veterans to apply.

“With plenty of snowfall each year, this is a great opportunity for individuals in a city like Rockford. We rely on these drivers to live our day-to-day lives,” Stadelman said.

For additional information, including positions and the application process in specific districts, details on pay and the potential for benefits, click here

Category: Press Releases

Urgent Census Rockford TW

ROCKFORD – With only weeks left before the U.S. Census Bureau finishes its counting efforts, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) is stressing the importance of Winnebago County residents being counted by filling out the 2020 Census, which will protect their representation in government and share of federal funding.

“The census is one of the primary tools the federal government uses to decide how much money will be given to the Rockford area,” Stadelman said. “Filling out the census has never been easier with the new online questionnaire option. It took me 10 minutes to fill out for my entire family.”

So far this year, Rockford’s self-response rate is down, currently only at 67.7%. As of August 28th, Winnebago County’s self-response rate is currently 73.7%. More than half of the county’s residents’ responses have been submitted online.

“If Rockford is undercounted, it will receive less money, less representation and less influence across the state and country,” Stadelman said. “It’s our job to make sure we’re all counted.”

Although online is the quickest way to fill out the questionnaire, there are three ways you can respond: online, by phone or by mail. Stadelman also pointed out that higher self-response rates mean fewer individuals are likely to receive visits from census surveyors to be counted in-person. This year, census surveyors are putting the health of themselves and their families at risk from COVID-19.

If someone hasn’t filled out their census questionnaire yet, they can visit 2020census.gov, where they can find the online questionnaire and additional information about the census. You can see local responses rates across Illinois and the entire nation here.

Category: Press Releases

drivelidextendednov1

ROCKFORD — In efforts to protect Illinois’ most vulnerable population and spare them a trip to the driver services facility, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) is notifying drivers age 75 and older that their driver’s license expiration dates have been extended by one year.

“This was a good call by Secretary of State White. Extending the expiration date for older Illinoisans’ licenses was safest thing to do,” Stadelman said. “People who are 75 or older are especially vulnerable to complications from COVID-19, and they don’t need to be waiting in line in the heat and elements at driver services facilities.”

In addition to being 75 years of age or older, the driver must have a valid license—drivers whose licenses have been suspended or revoked do not qualify for the one-year extension. Drivers who are eligible should receive a letter from the secretary of state as proof of their qualification.

For drivers under age 75, expiration dates for driver’s licenses, ID cards and license plate stickers have been extended until Nov. 1, 2020. Customers who choose to visit a facility need wear a face mask. Additionally, customers are asked to be patient due to heavy volume and should be prepared to wait outside in various types of weather.

Stadelman encourages drivers to visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com to avoid waiting in line and take advantage of online services, including replacements and renewals of registrations, driver’s licenses and ID cards.

To find the closest driver services facility near you, visit cyberdriveillinois.com, click on the facility finder link, and enter your ZIP code in the search bar. 

Category: Press Releases

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Contact Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 34th District
121A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8022
 
District Office:
200 S. Wyman St.
Rockford, IL 61101
(815) 987-7557
(815) 987-7529 FAX