Below is a letter to the editor written by Lynne Braun, our State Advocacy Committee Chair and submitted to newpapers across Illinois. The letter recently ran in the Chicago Sun Times among other publications throughout the state.
Editor: Contrary to recent headlines, lead-stories, and popular belief, the Illinois state legislature did manage to accomplish a few important things this year. In a bipartisan and bicameral effort, the legislature passed HB 2166, a bill which will ensure that every Illinois newborn is screened for potentially deadly heart defects via a fast, cheap, and non-invasive test called pulse-oximetry. The legislature also began to take heed of the recent House EMS Task Force Report by passing several bills designed to help put our state’s battered EMS system on a path towards sustainability. While controversial issues like pensions understandably get the headlines, unsung bills like these end up saving lives. The legislators and advocates who helped make progress on these critical public health priorities deserve our thanks, as will Governor Quinn if and when he signs them into law. Lynne T. BraunPhD, CNP, FAHA – Rush UniversityChair, Illinois Advocacy Committee – American Heart Association & American Stroke Association