Peoria County news briefs

The Veterans Assistance Commission of Peoria County (Photo courtesy of Peoria County)



 ENT surgeon joins OSF Children’s Hospital

OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois welcomes David Zaboli, M.D., to the OSF family. Zaboli is a fellowship-trained pediatric ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon.

He provides surgical and medical care for patients ranging from newborn to infancy through adolescence.

His areas of expertise include airway issues; head and neck masses; minimally invasive surgery; sinus infections: sleep apnea; swallowing disorders; and, voice disorders.

“I was drawn to medicine and surgery because of the potential to make a positive, long-lasting impact on patient lives,” said Zaboli.

He is an Illinois native who received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He did his internship and residency in Otolaryngology at Montefiore Medical Center in New York before completing a Fellowship in Pediatric Surgery at Washington University in St. Louis.

His office is located at the Center for Health – Route 91, Suite 300, Peoria.

Police focus on traffic enforcement July 4th week

The Peoria Police Department announced plans for July Fourth traffic enforcement with a focus on impaired and unbuckled drivers.

The safety campaign will run now through July 8 to encompass three summer weekends leading up to and after Independence Day.

“We’re asking all of our residents and visitors to celebrate Independence Day safely,” said Lt. McCall. “It’s simple: If you’re driving, don’t drink or use drugs. Our officers will be out in full force to keep impaired drivers off the road.”

The Peoria Police Department will join the Illinois State Police and more than 160 local police and sheriff’s departments for the increased statewide enforcement effort.

Have a designated driver if going out and if you are drunk or impaired by marijuana or other drugs, call a taxi, take mass transit, use your favorite ride-sharing service, or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.

Promptly report drunk drivers to law enforcement by pulling over and dialing 911.

Make sure everyone in your vehicle wears their seat belt.


Veteran Commission hosts Walk-in Wednesdays

Walk-in Wednesdays are held the last Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. at the Veterans Assistance Commission of Peoria County, 3116 N. Dries Lane, Suite 200, Peoria.

The program is for veterans and dependents to ask questions about Veterans Administration benefits and to complete simple forms such has change your direct deposit.

The commission asks those who are filing an increase or a brand new Veterans Administration claim to schedule an appointment so staff can spend as much time with clients as possible.

For more information, call 309-681-2554 or email at


Bradley U. begins business startup program

The Illinois Small Business Development Center (ISBDC) and Turner Center for Entrepreneurship at Bradley University this month opened a new co-working space for business startups called Brave Launch Extended.

The space, at the Peoria Next Innovation Center, will be available at no charge to all alumni of Brave Launch, a business accelerator program that started in 2016.

Jim Foley, director of the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship, says supporting business startup and growth in the Greater Peoria area is fundamental to the Center’s mission.

The space will be available via key card 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It provides lockers for personal items, a conference table, a seating area, whiteboards, conference phones, and a refrigerator and microwave.

Kevin Evans, Director of Illinois Small Business Development Center at Bradley, says feedback from Brave Launch showed how necessary it is to have this space.


Department of Public Health expands newborn screenings

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is rolling out today a test for adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) for all newborn babies statewide.  ALD is a rare hereditary disorder that affects the brain, nervous system, and adrenal gland.  It affects approximately 1 in 20,000 births.

“Babies born with adrenoleukodystrophy have normal brains at birth.  However, progression of the disorder without treatment can be fatal,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “By adding ALD to the Illinois newborn screening panel, every baby born in Illinois will be tested for ALD.  Babies who test positive for this disorder can then receive therapies during the early stage of the disease.”

Early diagnosis of babies with ALD can lead to potentially life-saving interventions, including adrenal steroid replacement and stem cell transplantation.  These therapies are only effective during a narrow window, which is often missed.  Through universal screening and early diagnosis, treatment options can be evaluated by the baby’s health care providers and initiated in some cases before symptoms develop.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services added ALD to the national Recommended Uniform Screening Panel in February 2016.  Implementing ALD screening required the purchase of new equipment, development of new test methods, Clinical Lab Improvement Amendments lab test validation, and computer system modification to provide laboratory results and facilitate follow up tracking.

Illinois is now the 14th state in the U.S. to screen for ALD.  Additional information can be found on the website.

Flooding, warmer temps often means more mosquitoes

The months of rain and flooding have created conditions ripe for floodwater mosquitoes (Aedes vexans).  Fortunately, floodwater mosquitoes, often called nuisance mosquitoes, are not known to carry disease.

Nine counties in Illinois have reported mosquitoes or birds that have tested positive for West Nile virus this year.

“It is important to protect yourself from insect bites, even if they are not known to cause disease,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “While the mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus prefer hot, dry conditions, even the mosquitoes that flourish in cooler, wet weather bring the potential for infection if you scratch a bite and create a wound.  Taking some simple precautions can help keep you healthy.”

Many counties in Illinois are currently experiencing flooding conditions.  Water that stands in flooded areas for more than 10 days has the potential to produce large numbers of floodwater mosquitoes.  Floodwater mosquitoes can travel up to 10 miles from where they breed.

If we start to see drier weather with higher temperatures as we head into summer, we will start to see more mosquitoes, often referred to as house mosquitoes (Culex pipiens), that can carry West Nile virus.

Nine counties have already reported mosquitoes or birds that have tested positive for West Nile virus.  House mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, like street catch basins, ditches, empty flower pots, tires, and any container that holds water that is not changed weekly.  In stagnant water, house mosquitoes can multiply rapidly.