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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 17, 2009

Nursing Home Safety Task Force to Hear Public Testimony
Launches Interactive Website NursingHomeSafety.Illinois.Gov

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CHICAGO – October 17, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn’s Nursing Home Safety Task Force will hear testimony from a wide range of advocates, service providers and residents in an open, public meeting on Tuesday, October 20. The meeting will be held at 10:00 a.m. in the James R. Thompson Center, Room 16-503, 100 West Randolph Street in Chicago.

The Nursing Home Safety Task Force also announced a new website to share information and ask for public input: NursingHomeSafety.Illinois.gov. The site offers the public the opportunity to submit comments and recommendations, and also includes information on past and future meetings, links to relevant agency websites, and a description of the Task Force and its mission.

“All of us have a role to play in ensuring the safety and well-being of nursing home residents, and we urge the public to join us in this critical work,” said Task Force leader and Senior Health Policy advisor Michael Gelder. “We need to hear from all of Illinois to meet this challenge, and we welcome you to bring your knowledge and experience to our public meetings and website.”

The October 20 meeting audio will be streamed live over the internet, at: http://www.state.il.us/streaming/gov/nursing-home-safety.asx. For those attending this meeting in person, please note that identification is required for the standard lobby-level security clearance at the Thompson Center.

Governor Pat Quinn formed the Nursing Home Safety Task Force to respond to concerns for the safety of nursing home residents by examining regulatory policies and coordination among state agencies, considering alternatives to institutional placement for populations with special needs, and identifying necessary changes in legislation, regulation, contracting, training and policy.

The Task Force includes senior executive leadership from all state agencies with responsibilities that relate to these issues: Department of Public Health, Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Department on Aging, Department of Corrections, Department of Human Services, Department of Veterans Affairs, Illinois Housing Development Authority and Illinois State Police. The Task Force has committed to completing a report to the Governor no later than January 31, 2010 and implementing immediately achievable reforms as soon as possible.

A subsequent public meeting is currently being scheduled in Springfield.

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