Farm economics summit to study profitability
This year’s Illinois Farm Economics Summit will address the profitability of Illinois agriculture and how to manage financial stress. The University of Illinois Extension and members of the farmdoc team from the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics in the College of ACES will tackle these topics in a series of five Farm Economics Summit meetings. Speakers from the U of I farmdoc team will explore the farm profitability outlook and management challenges from several perspectives, including the 2018 outlook for crop and livestock prices, soybean yield trends, an update on the next farm bill, the financial position of Illinois farms, habits of financially resilient farm operations, and crop economics for 2018.
The summit will be offered at five locations:
- Dec. 18 – Faranda’s Banquet Center, DeKalb
- Dec. 19 – Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino, Peoria
- Dec. 20 – Crowne Plaza, Springfield
- Dec. 21 – Bretz Wildlife Lodge and Winery, Carlyle
- Dec. 22– iHotel and Conference Center, Champaign
The advance registration fee is $70 per person and includes lunch, refreshments and all meeting materials. The online pre-registration deadline is Dec. 11. For questions about registration, contact Nancy Simpson at email@example.com or (217) 244-9687.
Airport breaks record for passengers in October
The Gen. Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport broke a 3-year-old record in October for the number of passengers who used the airport for the month. The 56,290 passengers surpassed the record of 54,580, set in October 2014.
The year started strong, with March being the busiest month ever. If the airport matches last year’s totals for November and December, then the numbers will surpass 2016’s passenger total.
The airport is one of two Downstate served by four airlines — legacy carriers American, Delta and United and low-cost carrier Allegiant. PIA also flies to four of the five most connected airports in the nation, according to OAG, an aviation data analytics company and its 2017 Megahubs Index. Chicago O’Hare International Airport leads the list, followed by Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas and Denver.
OSF hospitals remain in insurance network
OSF HealthCare hospitals and services will remain in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois health insurance network, the result of recently completed continued negotiations.
The agreement includes all BCBSIL Commercial, PPO, EPO, and Blue Choice products that (Blue Cross) terminated previously, according to the company statement, referring consumers to a complete listing online at osfhealthcare.org/blue.
Blue Cross announced in October that it was dropping OSF hospitals in Peoria, Galesburg and Rockford. OSF then removed its other hospitals in Illinois — with the exception of Alton — from the in-network coverage. OSF’s non-hospital providers were not affected by the move.
At the same time that announcement was made, UnityPoint Health-Methodist announced that effective in January, it would become part of the Blue Cross network for the first time in more than 30 years.
Other UnityPoint Health providers, both Proctor and Pekin hospitals as well as the physicians’ network, were in arrangements to accept Blue Cross already.
Sheriff’s office seek holiday donations
Woodford County Sheriff deputies are collecting donations for the annual Woodford County Sheriff’s Office employees’ Christmas for Kids. Christmas for Kids is an opportunity to help families in the county that might need a little help during the holidays. This event would not be possible without the support of local businesses and individuals who donate their time, money and support. If you would like more information on the event, have questions or concerns, or would like to make a donation, contact Chief Deputy Dennis Tipsword at dtipsword@woodford-County.org.
Hospital gets national recognition for excellence
Advocate Eureka Hospital in Eureka has been recognized by The Chartis Center for Rural Health/iVantage Health Analytics and the National Organization of State Office of Rural Health (NOSORH) for overall excellence in quality, outcomes and patient perspectives, reflecting top quartile performance among all rural hospitals in the nation.
“We’re extremely honored to receive this recognition,” said Anna Laible, Eureka Hospital administrator. “Providing the best possible care for the people of this community is something we strive to do each and every day.”
The rankings are determined each year using iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength Index, the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. In partnership with NOSORH, iVantage Health Analytics has developed a data-driven program designed to identify excellence across a broad spectrum of indicators relevant to hospital performance and patient care. The Hospital Strength INDEX captures performance metrics for all rural and Critical Access Hospitals. Leveraging data from public data sources, INDEX aggregates data from more than 50 individual metrics into three major categories and eight pillars to derive a single strength overall rating for each facility.
The honors for Advocate Eureka and other rural and Critical Access hospitals were announced Nov. 16, as part of National Rural Health Day.
–Woodford County News Briefs–