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CCHCC Saves Lives, Stabilizes Health,and Increases Economic Security.

Stories from the Front Lines – please support CCHCC!

June 2024

“D” – a young adult male – was sent to live in CU with an older relative who promised to look after him. Instead, “D” was isolated, used, and abused, and left with no prospects for improving his life. “D” and his adult relative became homeless and were living out of a broken down car with the relative’s dog, who was also mistreated. CCHCC’s involvement turned everything around for “D” and for the dog.

Dear Friends,

We at Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) encounter many incredibly difficult situations when we work with individuals and families to help them get the health care and the resources that they need to improve their health and their lives. Our work – whether it is helping people get health insurance or prescriptions, or applying for public benefits such as Disability – can literally help save lives, stabilize people’s health, prevent homelessness, and increase economic security for our most vulnerable community members.

We met “D” and his older relative at the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen. We learned that they, and the relative’s dog, were living out of a broken down car since the relative had lost his home. “D” was shy and withdrawn. The relative was medically fragile. We started working with them to try to find them housing and stability. In the course of working with this small family, we began to suspect that “D” was not being cared for, and we witnessed the dog losing weight. After building some trust with “D” – especially around his deep concern for the dog – we learned that “D” had no ID, no food stamps, no hope for employment or education because of lack of ID and transportation. We were able to extract “D” and the dog from the older family member. The dog had become severely underweight and we knew it would die if it stayed with this relative. One of our co-workers quickly found a loving home for the dog, and the dog is doing well and is quite happy. Our co-worker was also able to help “D” get a State ID, food stamps, a bus pass, and transitional housing. As soon as “D” got his ID, he went out and got a job. We helped him get a checking and savings account at a local bank and he started saving money from his job. “D” was able to get his own apartment and is now living independently and he is happy and secure. He refers to the CCHCC staff who helped him as his “Aunties”.

Clients come to CCHCC in need of a variety of services. In the course of working with clients to address their needs, we often encounter situations that require a deeper and more intense involvement than what appears at first glance. As a small mission-driven non-profit, we have the ability to get deeply involved and to find creative solutions to the messiness of life that can destabilize community members and threaten their health and economic well-being. Some situations seems hopeless. We do not turn away from difficult situations – instead, we dive in and do all we can. To illustrate our work, here are a few more stories from the front lines of our work.


New mental/behavioral healthcare options available at Promise Healthcare

May 20, 2024

Please see the information below to learn more about mental health and behavioral health services now available at Promise Healthcare.
Promise Healthcare’s psychiatric providers can see patients as young as 5 years of age, and up. Promise Healthcare’s Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners can provide medication prescribing, management, and monitoring.
In many cases, same day appointments are available, including for psychiatry.

Promise Healthcare’s Behavioral Health Programs
Information provided by Promise Healthcare’s Director of Behavior Health Services, Jim Hamilton.

Anyone can call Promise Healthcare at 217-403-5433 – if they receive a voicemail, leaving a message is best and the call is returned within 24 hours. It the need is urgent – call Promise’s main number at 217-356-1558.


We have expanded services for special populations – please support CCHCC!!

March 2024

It has now been a year since we expanded our services to better support the needs of our community. Thanks to your help we have been able to help many more people through our dedicated homelessness benefits counselor, senior services specialist, and disability team. Having dedicated staff members for these populations means that we can increase the number of people we can serve and the services we provide!

Helping individuals who are homeless
Through partnerships with the Strides Shelter, Cunningham Township, City of Champaign Township, Daily Bread, Regional Planning Commission, the Continuum of Service Providers to the Homeless, local law enforcement, and our local hospitals, we are making sure that those dealing with homelessness have access to the public benefits that they are eligible for like Medicaid, SNAP, disability, prescription assistance, and more. Our staff members are regularly at the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen and Strides Shelter to connect with clients directly.

Providing services for seniors
Aging in our community comes with many new situations, one of the biggest being Medicare. CCHCC’s dedicated senior services specialist understands Medicare and knows about the additional programs that might benefit seniors in the area. They have provided over 180 services in the last year related to Medicare Part D, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Savings, Extra Help, and more! They can also help with applying for benefits like SNAP and the license plate discount through the Secretary of State.

Disability application assistance
After seeing the immense need for disability assistance in the community, CCHCC launched the disability assistance program. The disability team has provided over 200 services related to SSDI or SSI applications. That includes completing paperwork, requesting medical records or identifying documents, and completing appeals. These programs are very difficult to apply for, and most applicants in the state of Illinois are denied these benefits. Many applicants give up after numerous applications and appeals, only to suffer as a result of not being able to work and earn an income. CCHCC is able to help at every stage: initial application, appeals, and even multiple appeals. Regardless of the stage of your application, the disability team can help!

Health insurance enrollment work
Now with additional staff members, our Certified Application Counselors (CACs) have more capacity to help with Special Enrollment Periods for the Health Insurance Marketplace. If you have moved, lost your health insurance, or had another type of life change in the last 60 days, you might be eligible to buy a health insurance plan on And as tax season rolls around, it is important to remember to update your income if it has changed. Income changes could affect your financial assistance and CCHCC can help make those updates.


Thursday 2/29 – Community Speaker Series – Hope Village

March 27, 2024

Champaign County Health Care Consumers would you like to invite you to attend an event this week, on Thursday, Feb. 29 at 7 p.m., at the Urbana Free Library on the topic of Hope Village.
The UIUC Humanities Research Institute is hosting a Community Speakers Series with the topic for Thursday focusing on Hope Village.
The event is free and open to the public. The information for the event is at the link immediately below, as well as in the text below:
Event: Community Speaker Series – Hope Village Project
Dr. Wanda E. Ward, Executive Associate Chancellor for Public Engagement, UIUC
Claudia Lennhoff, Executive Director, CCHCC
Moderated by Antoinette Burton, HRI Director and Professor of History
Date and Time: Thursday, February 29, 2024 at 7 p.m.
Location:  Urbana Free Library, Lewis Auditorium
About Hope Village: Hope Village is a unique small homes community that will offer housing solutions for adult community members experiencing chronic homelessness and who are medically fragile.
To learn more about the UIUC Humanities Research Institute, you can visit the link below:
We hope to see you there!

Take action on nursing home care in Champaign County

As you know, the former Champaign County Nursing Home has been totally shuttered. The County Board sold the nursing home to Avi Rothner and his company, which then renamed it University Rehab. Mr. Rothner was to operate the nursing home – as a nursing home – for a minimum of 10 years. Four years into the operation, Mr. Rothner shut down the nursing home, after also failing to pay the bank loan, interest, and taxes for the purchase of the nursing home (despite providing proof from his bank at the time of purchase that he could have paid cash for the purchase of the nursing home).

The bank that issued the loan for the nursing home now wants to sell the nursing home, but needs the County Board to lift the deed restriction in order to allow the sale.

The sad story of this valuable community health asset continues, and the most tragic aspect is that Champaign County is severely underserved in terms of nursing home beds. Too many individuals in need of long term care or post-hospitalization rehab care are having to travel to communities far away in order to get the care that they need. This is a hardship for them and their families, as ease of visiting and supporting a loved one in a nursing facility is made more challenging by distance.

An amazing group of advocates, activists, health care providers, and local agencies have banded together to form a group called Advocates for Aging Care (AAC) and are working to create solutions for this health care crisis in our county. CCHCC is proud to be a member of the AAC. This is community health planning at its best!

To try to address the problem of lack of nursing care and aging care resources in our community, AAC has created a survey to try gather information on our community’s needs, and they will also be participating in the County Board’s Study Session, to be held TOMORROW at 6 p.m.

If you would like to help with , there are a couple of ways to do so.