Pete Linforth / Pixabay

SIU’s Student Health Services is getting national recognition as a leader in LGBTQ Health Equity.

Director of Wellness Morrison said the school has been working toward this for more than 2 years. SIU was scored on non-discrimination and staff training, student support, employee benefits and polices, and patient and community engagement.

Morrison said their goal is to be able to provide affirming and inclusive care for all students and make visiting Health Services a positive experience.

Lawmakers Hear Testimony on Improving Health Care Access, Outcomes

Oct 20, 2020

Health care experts appeared before Illinois lawmakers Monday to discuss disparities in access to hospitals and outcomes based on ZIP code.

Witnesses discussed solutions to financial obstacles facing safety-net hospitals, the lack of preventative care for underserved communities, and massive disparities in outcomes based on race and income at a joint hearing of the state Senate Public Health and Human Services committees.

InFocus: Covid-19

Sep 27, 2020

When the novel coronavirus arrived in Illinois, it forced dramatic changes to the way we all live and work. In this episode of InFocus, we explore how those changes affected policy, education, healthcare, and the arts. We learn more about organizations that are stepping up to fill the gaps for people who need help.

Transgender Healthcare Is A Challenge In Rural Areas

Jun 25, 2020
DarkoStojanovic / Pixabay

June marks Pride Month each year. Previously, we published a conversation between a local doctor and his patient on transgender healthcare. One of the topics they discussed was the learning curve doctors face when treating patients in the trans community.

Other doctors echo this point, saying they’ve had to do their own research and training to be able to treat the patients who’ve come to them for care.

A Conversation On Healthcare And The Trans Community

Jun 24, 2020

June marks Pride Month each year. Last March, Storycorps came to Carbondale to speak with southern Illinoisans about their lives. Neither Chip Loghry or Matin Nekzard are originally from southern Illinois, though both call it home now. Loghry moved here as a child, and Nekzad and his wife came to the U.S. after fleeing Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion of the 1980s. Nekzad, who works for Shawnee Healthcare, is Loghry’s doctor, and one of the few in the area to treat transgender patients.

Heartland Regional Medical Center Resumes Services

May 28, 2020

Heartland Regional Medical Center will be resuming all normal services as part of Illinois’ Phase 3 reopening plan.

Previously restricted services include sleep clinic studies, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation and diagnostic imaging. Inpatient and outpatient areas will continue to follow enhanced infection control procedures, including cleaning protocols, use of personal protective equipment and separate areas of care.

Cobden JR.-SR. High School

A southern Illinois science teacher is among those helping produce protective materials for local healthcare workers.

Cobden High School Science Teacher Holly Hurt says she's using her skills and equipment at home to help fill a need for those on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I've got two 3-D printers set up in my dining room right now, printing face shields, as a request from Southern Illinois Healthcare."


45 Community Health Centers in Illinois will received 3.6-million dollars in federal grants to support their COVID-19 response efforts. 

They'll be able to use the funding to help increase screening and testing needs, acquire medical supplies, protective equipment, and boost telehealth capacity.

A proposal in the Illinois House would allow people to donate their unused prescriptions and medical supplies to people who can’t afford them.

OSF HealthCare

Being restricted to using a walker or wheelchair can be hard enough, but when someone lives in a rural community where it can take an hour or more to get to doctor, well that can become a challenge too big to overcome. 

A town hall meeting in southern Illinois has been scheduled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to discuss the agency's health care system.

Spokesman Kevin Harris says the Wednesday event in Mount Vernon is being held in light of the new leadership at Veteran Affairs.

New Funding for Cairo Emergency Room

Jul 13, 2018
The Senator and board members gather for an announcement.
Steph Whiteside/WSIU

The city of Cairo is one step closer to having emergency medical care.

Nearly $2.4 million has been dedicated to furthering construction on an emergency medical wing at Cairo's mega-clinic. 

State Senator Dale Fowler was instrumental in helping secure the funds. 

"Obviously this is about economic development," he said. "It’s about creating more jobs, they’re going to be able to expand their operation to about 100 jobs now and of course it will create infrastructure and construction jobs. But most importantly, this endeavor and this expansion will save lives."

MCO Deadline Approaching

Jun 27, 2018

The deadline is approaching for Illinois Medicaid recipients who need to change their plan.

A plan developed by the legislature in 2014 requires Medicaid recipients have their benefits handled by a managed care organization to reduce costs. Adults covered by Medicare who have not already chosen a plan manager have been assigned to to an MCO.

But the assigned MCOs don’t work for everyone. Some individuals may find they have been assigned to a plan that doesn’t cover the prescriptions or doctors they need.

Illinois is on track to expand the number of physician assistants allowed in rural areas thanks to Senate Bill 2904.

The bill, which has passed both houses of the General Assembly, will expand the number of physician assistants a doctor is allowed to collaborate with in areas facing a shortage of healthcare providers.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has scheduled a town hall in southern Illinois to discuss the agency's health care system.

Spokesman Kevin Harris says Wednesday's town hall in Harrisburg is designed to solicit feedback from veterans, their families and other beneficiaries of the health care system.

SIU and SIH Break Ground on New Facility

Jun 19, 2018
People wearing hard hats shovel dirt in groundbreaking ceremony.
Steph Whiteside/WSIU

The SIU School of Medicine and Southern Illinois Healthcare came together on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 to break ground on a new clinic and teaching facility in Carbondale. 

The 40,000 square foot building will house medical residents and students in the physician assistant program. It will provide expanded space for teaching and patient care and help provide healthcare to Southern Illinois.  

The number of students who stay to practice in the rural community is much higher than the national average. 

There will be some changes coming to Washington County Hospital in Nashville.

The hospital board of directors has signed a management agreement with SSM Health to carry out the day-to-day operations.

Illinois CMS

lllinois' 3 million Medicaid users will soon have more access to mental health and substance abuse treatments.

Officials in Washington, D.C. ok’d a new state program that sets aside about $2 billion in Medicaid funds for the services.

The Illinois Comptroller says increased revenues coming into the state during tax season have allowed her to release more than $800 million in payments for health care services.

U.S. House of Representatives

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) and U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Collinsville).

You can watch the entire special WSIU InFocus from WSIU TV here.