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Monday, January 25, 2010

Missing Endangered Seniors: Amber Alert Program for Seniors

New Laws in Illinois

With the beginning of a new year and new legislative session underway, I intend to periodically focus attention in my e-newsletter on new laws that have gone into effect here in Illinois. You may or may not be aware of changes in the law that could have an impact on you, your family or your community, and I hope to offer an explanation as to why these laws were enacted.

Amber Alert Program for Seniors

The first new law of interest establishes an Amber Alert Program for Senior Citizens and is legislation that I worked on last year with Senator Maggie Crotty and the Illinois State Police. Senate Bill 27, now Public Act #96-0149, helps locate elderly individuals who are missing.

The new Endangered Missing Person Advisory Program, commonly referred to as a “Silver Alert”, establishes a regional system which enhances the ability of local police agencies to rapidly transmit information regarding the older adult who is often afflicted with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia and places a high priority in reporting, investigation and public notification. These new efforts are similar to Amber Alert which has been successful in locating children who are believed to have been abducted and in danger. Unfortunately, we have all read about cases of seniors wandering from home, getting disoriented or losing their way while driving. A delayed search can result in the loss of valuable time to locate a missing person.

The Illinois Department on Aging in coordination with the Illinois State Police is developing a community outreach program to promote awareness among the State’s healthcare facilities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other senior centers. The guidelines and procedures will ensure that specific health information about the missing person is not made public through the alert. State Police will determine whether the missing person is endangered or considered “high risk,” meaning circumstances indicate that the person may be at risk of injury or death. For more information about program services to assist older adults in Illinois and their caregivers, call the IDoA Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966.

In addition, another new law relating to the same topic is House Bill 282, now Public Act #96-0442, which adds to the definition of "missing endangered senior", a person with Alzheimer's disease or related dementias who is reported missing. It provides that the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board shall conduct training programs for law enforcement personnel to assist in finding missing seniors as the population with this disease increases.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Marianjoy Traumatic Brain Injury Support Group: High Hopes in Wheaton

New Year's Resolution for Optimal Living with Brain Injury sponsored by Dr. Nancy Devereux, Licensed Psychologist at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital.

FWD: Henry W. Hochstatter is a Traumatic Brain Injury Survivo... on Twitpic

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Technical assistance call for the Community College Consortia program: Friday, 1/15

The $70 million Community College Consortia Program will seeks to rapidly create HIT academic programs at Community Colleges (as defined by the 1965 Higher Education Act) or expand existing ones to rapidly create or expand health IT training programs at approximately 70 community colleges throughout the nation.

Please note that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) will be hosting a second Technical Assistance call for potential applicants, next Friday, January 15th from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM EST.

Interested parties are encouraged to join the call using the following information:

•To participate:
•Dial in number: 888-769-8716
•Participant passcode: 6123844

A previous technical assistance call was held in December 16, and a PowerPoint slide presentation and transcript from the call is available at

There will be time reserved for a Question and Answer session. Please be advised that the TA call will be a listen only event as questions can only be accepted electronically. You are encouraged to submit questions in advance to During the call, questions will be accepted via the questions tab in the Live Meeting environment.

For detailed information on the Community College Consortia program visit

First Time Users:
To save time before the meeting, check your system to make sure it is ready to use Microsoft Office Live Meeting.

Visit for information on additional HITECH funding opportunities.