Health Science Librarians of Ilinois

HSLI Newsletter

Serving Illinois Health Information Professionals

Proposed Federal Budget for FY 2016 Released

Earlier this month, President Obama announced his priorities for the FY 2016 federal budget. Part of the budget is devoted to improving health care for Americans, through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and through other reforms. The specific areas being targeted, and the goals under each one, are listed below.

Supporting Implementation of the Affordable Care Act

  • Preserving coverage through CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program)

Strengthening Medicare and Medicaid

  • Expanding health coverage by improving access to Medicaid, in addition to CHIP coverage and services
  • Promoting access to Medicaid long-term care services and supports (LTSS)
  • Improving care delivery for low-income beneficiaries under Medicare and Medicaid
  • Encouraging high-quality, efficient care among providers of Medicare
  • Improving health outcomes for children and youth in foster care
  • Reducing cost growth by encouraging beneficiaries to use high-value services
  • Improving quality, and decreasing drug costs, for federal health programs
  • Lowering Medicaid drug costs for both states and the federal government
  • Reducing fraud, waste, and abuse in Medicaid and Medicare
  • Requiring prior authorization for power mobility devices and advanced imaging
  • Directing states to track high prescribers and utilizers of prescription drugs in Medicaid
  • Backing efforts to investigate and prosecute allegations of abuse or neglect of Medicaid beneficiaries, specifically in non-institutional health care settings and in the U.S. territories

Reforming Health Care Delivery System

  • Modifying health care payment structures to reward providers for optimal care
  • Supporting practice redesign and creating better capacity to improve care delivery
  • Improving access to information, in order to encourage date-driven decision-making by providers, consumers, and businesses

 Improving Public Health, Safety, and Security

  • Increasing funding to combat abuse of prescription drugs and heroin
  • Modernizing the country’s food-safety system
  • Investing in Native American health care
  • Undertaking a CARB (Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria) initiative
  • Increasing efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious diseases, both at home and abroad
  • Strengthening preparedness for all health threats, including naturally-occurring dangers and intentional attacks

 Strengthening Health Centers and the Health Workforce

  • Improving access to health care services
  • Improving access to providers of high-quality health care

To view the FY 2016 budget, click here. The initiatives that are specific to health care are in the “Investing in America’s Future” section, on pages 60-67.

Posted in HSLI Committees, Legislative Committee | No Comments »

ILA Positions on Illinois Legislative Issues

The Illinois Library Association’s Executive Board has taken the following general positions on legislation that has already been introduced, or is likely to be introduced, during the current session of the Illinois General Assembly.

–Opposes any legislation cutting funding, for counties and municipalities, that comes from the Local Government Distributive Fund

–Is against legislation reducing the amount of funding that units of local government receive from the Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax

–Opposes any legislation that would restrict the power that local libraries have to levy or collect taxes on real property

The ILA has also reiterated its past stances on the issue of pensions, while adding a fourth one.

–Is against legislation that would modify pension benefits an employee has already accrued

–Backs legislation that promotes genuine choice for employees

–Supports legislation that would apply any proposed pension reform uniformly across all local and state plans

–Opposes any mandatory reform that would move the burden of pensions costs from the State to local governments or institutions (new statement)

To give some background on the first point (maintaining levels of funding from the Local Government Distributive Fund), the Fund consists of net revenue that the State draws from personal and corporate income taxes. (The money is transferred from the General Revenue Fund to the Distributive Fund.) The proportion of those taxes that has been earmarked for the Fund has declined in recent years, from 10 percent to about 6 percent. The reduction went into effect in 2011, when the State temporarily increased the tax rates on corporate and personal income but did not correspondingly raise the amount set aside for the Fund. That the tax increase has not been renewed complicates the issue further. As of FY 2014, the Fund brought in $1.095 billion.

Legislation to increase the proportion of money transferred from the General Revenue Fund to the Local Government Distributive Fund has been introduced in this session of the General Assembly. House Bill 0365 would raise the amount back to 10 percent by February 1, 2019. (The increases would come in increments over a three-year period, beginning in February of next year.) The bill was referred to the Rules Committee on January 28. To track the status of the bill, click here.

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House Makes Another Attempt to Repeal Obamacare

Yesterday (February 3), the United States House of Representatives made yet another attempt to start the process of repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. House Resolution 596 passed by a vote of 239 to 186, with the tally split almost entirely along party lines. (No Democrat voted for it, although three new Republican members did join the Democrats in voting against it.) The legislation now moves on to the Republican-controlled Senate. Even if it is put to a vote there and passes, it is unlikely that the resolution will become law, at least in the near future, as President Obama is certain to veto the legislation.

H.R. 596 represents the 56th time that the House has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, either entirely or in part. (Several similar pieces of legislation have already been introduced in either house during the current session, but H.R. 596 represents the first time that such legislation has actually been put to a vote.) Due to the lack of success in formally repealing the Affordable Care Act, the latest attempt represents more of a symbolic effort to draw public attention to what some consider the law’s flaws.

Even with their consistent efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republicans have not actually offered an alternative. That could change, however, since H.R. 596 includes a provision tasking House committees with creating a health-care law that would take Act’s place. Based on the guidelines laid out in the provision, the alternative law should promote economic expansion and private-sector job creation, while lowering health premiums and increasing the number of Americans with health insurance. Committees would need to report back within six months. Also, Republican leaders in the House have put together a task force to create proposals for reforming health care.

These moves are coming in response to an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case, King v. Burwell, that could result in 6 million Americans across 30 states losing the federal subsidies that enable them to purchase health insurance. (For more background on the case, click here.) Republicans would need to take such changes into account when crafting an alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

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Two NLM exhibits in Illinois this spring


  • Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness will be hosted by Trickster Art Gallery in Schaumburg, IL, from January 27 – March 20, 2015.
    Online Exhibition:
  • Every Necessary Care and Attention: George Washington and Medicine will be hosted at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine – Medical Library, Springfield, IL, from March 16 – April 25, 2015.
    Online Exhibition:


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Legislative Alert–Proposed Amendment to Illinois Concealed-Carry Law

Yesterday, an amendment to the “Firearm Concealed Carry Act” was introduced by Representative Ed Sullivan, Jr. (Republican, 51st District–Mundelein), and the bill was referred to the Rules Committee this morning. The amendment would affect the section of the legislation covering the removal of a weapon from a vehicle, specifically if the vehicle is parked in a lot in which concealed carry is not allowed. As the Act stands now, an individual who is licensed to carry a firearm may remove the weapon from his or her vehicle, if the vehicle is parked in a lot not covered by concealed carry, only to store the firearm in the vehicle’s trunk or to remove it from the trunk. Also, the weapon must be unloaded before one takes it out of the vehicle. The amendment would remove the segment of the Act mandating that the weapon be unloaded before it is removed from the vehicle.

For information on House Bill 0319, including its current status, click here.

If you are planning to attend one of the Legislative Meet-ups, this might be a good issue (along with the impact of Governor Rauner’s fiscal policies) to raise with your elected officials.

Also, for an overview of the ongoing impact of the concealed-carry legislation, please see this page from the Illinois Hospital Association’s website. The page focuses, in particular, on the requirements for reporting to the Department of Human Services that an individual is developmentally disabled or poses a danger to one’s self or to others (so that, in certain instances, the Department may determine whether such an individual owns a firearm).



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Legislative Meet-Ups Reminder

With Governor Bruce Rauner having laid out his proposals for slashing spending by up to 20 percent, and with further cost-cutting measures likely to be unveiled in his “State of the State” speech on February 4, it is critical that library advocates act now to ensure that maintaining funding levels at an acceptable level is first and foremost in legislators’ minds. To that end, the annual Legislative Meet-Ups, sponsored by the Illinois Library Association, offer an excellent opportunity to strengthen existing connections with elected officials and to build new ones. The dates and locations for this year’s four meet-ups are below. If possible, try to attend one of the first three, since they fall before the Governor’s is due to submit his budget, on February 18.


Friday, February 13–South Suburban Breakfast in Tinley Park

Friday, February 13–West Suburban Lunch in Oak Brook

Monday, February 16–North Suburban Breakfast in Buffalo Grove

Friday, March 6–Metro East Breakfast in Edwardsville


The deadline for registering to attend a meet-up is February 1. To sign up for one, click here. To see which event covers your legislative district, click here. If you need to check who your current legislators are, you can do so here.

In addition to financial support for education and libraries, Medicaid funding is another area that could face severe cuts . During his campaign for governor, Rauner raised concerns about the potential for decreasing levels of reimbursement from the federal government, meaning that Illinois would have to pick up possibly 50 percent of the funding. (Currently under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government will cover 100 percent of Medicaid funding for newly-eligible enrollees, through 2016. The share of funding covered by the federal government will then fall to 90 percent in 2020.) In addition, due to concerns about fraudulent enrollment resulting from expanded eligibility (400,000 people, or more than double the expected number, have enrolled since then-Governor Pat Quinn signed Medicaid expansion into law this past July), Rauner has suggested further transferring the state’s Medicaid program into a managed-care system.


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Illinois Budget Situation

With a new governor having taken office, the state’s budget situation-already precarious-could become more so, with the potential for many public institutions, among them libraries, to be hit especially hard. Governor Bruce Rauner has inherited a number of crises, including an ongoing operational deficit and a rising state pension debt, both of which have now been exacerbated by the discontinuation of the state income-tax increase. With the projected loss in revenue, several billion dollars will have to be cut in order to balance the budget in FY 2015, which ends on June 30. Unless additional sources of funding can be located, it is likely that the cuts will be twice as large in FY 2016.


Governor Rauner has already laid out how he plans to bring spending within budget limits. His decision to cease funding for all non-essential services, which has already gone into effect, is likely just the first step. The Governor has warned state agencies that they should not expect to gain additional funding this fiscal year. If this change is applied universally, agencies may be forced to cut their spending by up to 20 percent.


At this point, it is not entirely clear to what extent library funding, particularly for statewide grants, will be affected, since services provided by the Secretary of State may not be directly impacted. Nonetheless, the potential for that agency to be hit by cuts elsewhere certainly exists. Beyond funding from grants, the broader sources of funding for libraries throughout the state will likely be affected if the broader institutions to which different libraries belong (colleges and universities, hospitals, school districts) are hit by cuts. Of particular concern at the K-12 level is Rauner’s support for charter schools, which are not required to have libraries. State funding for the proposed Obama Presidential Library–while perhaps not as much of an immediate concern–is another issue that bears watching.


Interestingly, Governor Rauner does have a history of philanthropic support for libraries, as evidenced by the $5 million donation that he and his wife made to his alma mater, Dartmouth College; the donation contributed to a $10 million renovation of Webster Hall, which was converted into a new library for the College’s special collections. (To read about the Rauner Special Collections Library’s latest acquisitions and other highlights of its holdings, check out the Library’s blog.) It will be interesting to see whether the Governor’s concern for a library at an Ivy League institution extends to those in the public sector or that receive substantial amounts of public funding.

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Library Advocacy Unshushed: Values, Evidence, Action

The American Library Association is proud to announce its partnership with the Canadian Library Association (CLA) and the University of Toronto iSchool in offering its popular MOOC (Massively Open Online Course), entitled “Library Advocacy Unshushed: Values, Evidence, Action” beginning February 1, 2015.


Offered through the EdX consortium, in which the University of Toronto collaborates with other leading universities, “Library Advocacy Unshushed” is now available for registration via this URL:


The course will start on February 2, 2015, and ends March 23, 2015. There is no prerequisite, though basic knowledge of librarianship is recommended. Through this open form of course delivery, including videos, online discussions, quizzes, and video interviews with guest experts, participants will learn how to be powerful advocates for the values and future of libraries and librarianship. Participants should expect to commit four to five hours of study per week.

For more information, visit

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Cleo Pappas nears 1 year in retirement

Cleo PappasCleo Pappas, Associate Professor, retired February 2014 from the Library of the Health Sciences Chicago at UIC.  Cleo is a passionate advocate for health sciences librarianship.  She frequently guest lectured at Dominican University to library school students on health sciences librarianship. She enjoyed mentoring her colleagues within my department and the library school students who completed their practicum at my library.

Her advocacy for health sciences librarianship carried over into her innovative work at the Library of the Health Sciences Chicago.  She was the first clinical librarian in my department.  She went on morning rounds with health care teams at the Children’s Hospital at UIC, teaching classes to various departments within the hospital.  She also opened the door for librarians in my department to serve on committees within our hospital.  For example, she was the first librarian to serve on the Evidence Based Practice Nursing Council and the Ethics Committee.  She was also invited to receive a joint appointment with the College of Medicine.

In addition to being a great librarian, Cleo has published several articles, including co-authoring with physicians. She is an excellent writer and has always been willing to give her colleagues feedback on their papers.

Last year, Cleo wrote an article in the LHS Chicago newsletter, E-ppendix, on her perspective on retirement.   I feel that I should close with the last few sentences she wrote in her article:

“The older years are often referred to as the age of winter or loss. But, in order to experience loss, you have to have had something you cherished first. My hope is that the memory of deeply gratifying experiences, relationships, and work will carry me through and provide the substance tos hare with future generations of family, mentees, and students.”

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Free webinar on instutitional repositories in health care systems

New Services to Enhance a Health Care Network’s Reputation
Tue, Jan 27, 2015 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM CST
Live for a little over two years, Lehigh Valley Health Network’s repository, LVHN Scholarly Works, has enhanced the Network’s reputation and research credibility by increasing the visibility of its scholarship. In addition to enhancing the Network’s reputation, LVHN Scholarly Works has been instrumental in saving time and easing workflows for several of its residency programs as well as for ACGME accreditation, and has even contributed to filling in missing pieces of institutional history. As the initiative moves forward, the library continues to look for ways to further increase the visibility of LVHN’s scholarship and help to solve other challenges.

Over the course of this webinar, Kris Petre, Senior Medical Librarian at LVHN, will provide an overview of their repository initiative and its importance to LVHN, and then dive into some of the specific projects that they have undertaken, including the results of those projects to date.

Presented by Kristine Petre, MLS, AHIP, CM, Senior Medical Librarian, Lehigh Valley Health Network

Register at:

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