Senator Mulroe during Public Health CommitteeCHICAGO  – During a meeting with an organization dedicated to assisting families with severe mental health concerns as well as family members of individuals receiving care, State Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) learned about the services that the families receive and what effect a change in funding would cause to their lives.

The Keystone Alliance is an organization comprising two agencies: Search Inc., which provides full-time living facilities with round-the-clock care for individuals suffering from severe physical and mental disabilities, and Glenkirk, which provides respite care to families caring for loved ones that allows them a window of time each week to take care of other concerns.

“For these families to be facing such uncertainty is incredibly difficult, especially when you consider that they are trying to do the best for their families and ensuring that their loved ones receive the best care when they are unable to give it,” Mulroe said. “I oppose cutting funding to programs like these, because even if they aren’t vital to everyone, they are incredibly vital to those receiving them.”

Under the governor’s proposed fiscal year 2016 budget, these services would see drastic cuts. The cuts would ultimately have the greatest effect on staffing abilities of Search and Glenkirk, which could lead to poorer quality of service and could even cause Keystone Alliance to lose its licensure.

“We need to be able to care for the ones we love,” Mulroe said. “The compassionate thing to do here is also the obvious one: We need to maintain current funding levels at the very least.”

The Senate Appropriations Committee is currently in discussion with the governor’s office regarding next year’s budget.

 

Click below to watch video from the discussion.

Category: News Releases

Senator Mulroe speaking to the legislation on the floorSPRINGFIELD – Breast cancer incidences have been decreasing since the early 2000s thanks to new therapies, treatments and screening methods. One of the most effective early screening methods is now covered by some existing health insurance thanks to new legislation sponsored by Senator John Mulroe (D-CHICAGO).

“Cancer screenings like 3D mammograms can be compared to reading a book,” Mulroe said. “Would you rather read one page and hope you understand the whole meaning of the text or rather read every single page for a full understanding? That’s very much how 3D mammograms work.”

Previous technologies only took a single dimension view of breast tissue when screening for cancerous cells. Tomosynthesis, also known as a 3D mammogram, takes a multidimensional view of the breast during the screening. As a result, a 3D mammogram has a higher success rate of detecting cancerous cells that are often difficult to detect, due to either size or dense breast tissue.

Senate Bill 54 amends the insurance code by adding tomosynthesis to the list of definitions of low-dose mammograms. As a result, the insurance mandate will cover 3D mammograms as well as the traditional 2D mammograms.

“I strongly believe that this legislation will help save lives of at-risk women who may not have known about this technology or may not have been previously covered,” Mulroe said. “It is our duty to protect the health and well-being of people in this state, and if we can save them time, money and emotional hardship then that is a bonus.”

After the legislation’s success in the Senate, it now moves to the House.

 

To learn more about 3D mammograms and to listen to women who received them, click here.

Category: News Releases

Senator Mulroe listens to a concerned constituent following the press conference.PARK RIDGE – As a result of a recent measles outbreak in the northwest suburbs, Senator John Mulroe (D-CHICAGO) has sponsored legislation that would tighten exemptions for vaccinations. Along with community advocates, he held a press conference Wednesday to discuss some of the changes proposed by concerned constituents across the state.

“I sponsored this bill after learning of the measles outbreak here in Chicago. This very serious disease was controlled by vaccination in the past, just like polio, and was until recently nearly eradicated,” Mulroe said. “We want to make sure that everyone’s right to choose the best health plan for their child is protected, while also ensuring they receive accurate and sound medical advice from trained professionals.”

In response to recent criticism of the original language, Mulroe has begun working on an amendment that seeks a compromise. “I want to make it clear that my intent is not to take away either the medical or religious exemptions”, Mulroe said.

Individuals seeking the exemption would still be required to fill out a form created by the Department of Public Health; language dictating the frequency of filling out those forms is being discussed between stakeholders for and against the bill.

Among the community advocates were Alexandra Eidenberg who runs Mom+Baby, an organization focused on the well-being of pregnant women, mothers and children, and Rebecca Abraham who is a registered nurse who works directly with infectious diseases.

“I have four children of my own who benefitted from being vaccinated.” Mulroe said. “After many discussions with parents who believe their children were injured by a vaccine, however, I am trying to address concerns that vaccines may be harmful to certain children. I would never want to be responsible for harming a child. This is a public safety issue. I want to make sure that all children and the public are safe.””

SB1410 is currently in committee awaiting an amendment.

 

Video footage from the press conference is below.

Category: News Releases

SPRINGFIELD – What do you do when you are convinced that you have found a lump in your breast, but doctors fail to see it? It is an incredibly frustrating and frightening position to be in, and it is one with which Jennifer Hoeft and Linda Racki are both intimately familiar.Senator Mulroe, with Dr. Jessica Guingrich, MD, Jennifer Hoeft and Linda Racki

Hoeft and Racki, both of Peoria, shared similar experiences. For one woman, she was convinced she had developed a tumor and wanted it out. Traditional methods for detection failed to spot the growth. For the other, years of routine mammographies revealed no growths. For both women, tomosynthesis was the saving grace in their diagnosis and eventual treatment.

Tomosynthesis is better known as 3D mammography, and it differs from standard mammograms in that it has the ability to better detect growths in dense breast tissue that often go unseen. Imagine the difference between looking at and understanding a book by its covers versus actually reading each page.

The technology reduces false positives, greatly increases the visibility to sense invasive cancers and reduces cost to patients and hospitals. SB 54 would add tomosynthesis to the list of insured low-dose mammograms. The proposal is sponsored by Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago).

“If there is a better way to do something, we very much should be doing it,” Mulroe said. “These 3D mammograms have the ability to save more lives while reducing the pain of an arduous diagnosis. This is a common-sense bill.”

The measure passed favorably out of committee today and now moves to the Senate floor for further debate.

 Hear Jennifer Hoeft in her own words:

Hear Linda Racki in her own words:

Category: News Releases

Working Families

eNewsletter

eNewsletter Signup
  1. First Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  2. Last Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  3. Your Email(*)
    Please let us know your email address.
 

Office Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 10th District
127 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1035
(217) 782-2331 FAX
 
District Office:
5940 North Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60646
(773) 763-3810
(773) 763-3881 FAX