Author Archives: Admin

CCHCC mourns brilliant and kind activist, Kathy Oberdeck

We have been graced by the steady, compassionate, and righteous presence of our friend and fellow activist, Kathryn Oberdeck.
 
Now, it is with heavy but grateful hearts, that Champaign County Health Care Consumers and our 5th & Hill Neighborhood Rights Campaign is mourning a beloved activist and dear friend, Kathy Oberdeck.
 
Kathy passed away at home on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, after a fierce battle with a very aggressive cancer.
 
As in all other aspects of her life, Kathy faced her cancer and end of life with tremendous grace and strength, and with deep gratitude for the communities she had become such an integral part of, here in Champaign-Urbana, and across the country and the world.
 
Kathy Oberdeck’s involvement with CCHCC and the 5th & Hill Neighborhood Rights Campaign began over six years ago, when Kathy reached out to me and asked if she could attend Campaign meetings. Our meetings at that time took place twice a month and they were at Mr. Pelmore’s home in the 5th & Hill Neighborhood. Kathy started attending meetings, and was immediately welcomed by the 5th & Hill resident leaders, who were pleased that someone at the University cared about their neighborhood and their struggle.
 
From the very beginning, Kathy impressed me and the resident leaders as a very intelligent, insightful, resourceful, and generous Historian, who demonstrated the researcher/practitioner model, and who was also a sensitive, patient, and effective teacher, helping me, our staff, and the neighborhood residents learn about the city and the history of the neighborhood and surrounding community.

Memorial Service for Kathy Oberdeck:

Below are the details for the memorial service for Kathy Oberdeck.

WHEN:  Friday, June 24, 2022

TIME: 11 a.m.

WHERE: St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 2200 S. Philo Road, Urbana

DETAILS:  Out of concern for those who are vulnerable, the family requests that attendees wear masks. The family will be setting up a scholarship fund at the university in Kathy’s memory. In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, the family requests that any memorials be made to that fund when it is set up, to Sola Gratia Farm or to Champaign County Health Care Consumers

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45 Years of CCHCC’s Grassroots Organizing for Health Care Access and Justice!

June 2022

This year, Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) is celebrating 45 years of grassroots organizing for health care access and justice! Thanks to your continued support and involvement, CCHCC has had a definitive and lasting impact on our local health care system and human services since 1977.

You might be surprised to know that many of the local programs and services that improve our community’s health, and that we now take for granted, came about as a result of CCHCC’s community organizing work. This includes services such as school breakfast programs in county schools, hospital financial assistance programs for low-income people, nurse-midwives programs, prenatal care for low-income women, public health for county residents, free dental care for low-income county children, and more! These, and many more programs, are lasting legacies which CCHCC, with your involvement and support, has given our community.

In addition, over the past 25 years, CCHCC has worked on significant environmental issues including protecting the Mahomet Aquifer, as well as forcing a clean-up of the toxic site in Champaign’s 5th & Hill neighborhood (our 5th & Hill Neighborhood Rights Campaign, which still continues its work). Additionally, CCHCC has helped bring the benefits of the Affordable Care Act to our community, helping to sign up thousands of community members for affordable health insurance. We have also started and continue to participate in ground-breaking initiatives to reduce incarceration rates and provide services in the Champaign County Jail, as well as working with individuals going through reentry in our community, following incarceration in prisons. And, during the pandemic, we have been working to help keep our community informed and to expand access to resources for hard-hit individuals and families, including providing direct financial assistance as a result of grants we were able to get.

From its inception, CCHCC has been committed to improving the health care system by making it more responsive to consumer needs. Often, this has required uncovering abuses within the systems and challenging unfair policies. Even though these protests have received the most media attention and fanfare, CCHCC is proudest of the program initiatives and positive developments with our local health care system that are a direct result of our work – work that involves bringing consumers together with health care providers to build enduring programs and services that improve people’s lives and health.

READ ON!

CCHCC Board and Staff – 1986.

Health care news you can use, from your friends at CCHCC!

Please read below for some important health care news, brought to you by Champaign County Health Care Cosumers (CCHCC).

State of Illinois expands Medicaid coverage to ALL immigrants ages 42-54 – regardless of immigration status. Starting July 1, 2022, everyone in Illinois ages 42 and older will have a pathway to healthcare coverage, regardless of their immigration status.

This win is the result of 8 years of campaigning and thousands of hours of work by dozens of organizations and countless individuals. Congratulations to all who have made a phone call, sent an email, shared their story, and helped build this campaign. Because of you, tens of thousands of people in Illinois will have access to healthcare coverage, many for the first time in decades.

Our work isn’t done yet. We’ll keep fighting for healthcare for ALL, until every person in Illinois has access to healthcare coverage, no matter their immigration status. 

Our health is interdependent and we’re all safer when each of us has access to the healthcare we need. Thank you for supporting the fight for coverage for all!

COVID-19 has helped push the U.S. to its highest death total ever. 2021 was the deadliest year in U.S. history, and new data and research are offering more insights into how it got that bad.

The main reason for the increase in deaths? COVID-19, said Robert Anderson, who oversees the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s work on death statistics.

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We are still in the COVID pandemic. CCHCC is here to help you stay safe!

March 28, 2022

The COVID Mask Mandate has ended in most of the U.S. and most of the states. And, unfortunately, and most likely due to political pressures, the CDC has changed its guidelines for measuring risk and keeping communities and individuals safe. But the pandemic is not over, and two new variants are circulating, and more are sure to come – and not all variants will be “mild”. Even so-called “mild” variants have still managed to sicken and kills thousands of people, and produce “long COVID” cases.

Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) urges you to still continue to practice safety measures to keep yourself, your loved ones, and our community safe from COVID. Also, we want to let you know of resources that can help keep you safe.

Mask mandates are over – but we at CCHCC are continuing to mask up. Although the mask mandates are over, the virus is still circulating, and we are still in a pandemic. The pandemic is world-wide, and as long the virus continues to circulate (due to inadequate vaccination rates, reduction of precautions, travel, etc.), there will be new variants, and new cycles of increases in infections.

Remember that the singular purpose of the virus is to replicate itself – this is literally its reason for being – and it can only do that by infecting people. It is a very determined virus, and we are not yet out of the woods with it.

The bottom line is that you can still get infected and sick from the virus, because it is still circulating. People who are at high-risk due to age, pre-existing conditions, autoimmune and autoinflammatory conditions, or unknown genetic conditions, can get very sick and die from this virus. Also, you might be at risk for severe illness and not even know it – not everyone is aware of whether or not they have an underlying condition. But whether you get sick from COVID or not, you can still infect others, and they can get sick.

READ ON

March 2022 – We are still in the COVID pandemic. CCHCC is here to help you stay safe!

March/April 2022

En Español: Esta es una carta solicitando una donación para el trabajo que hace CCHCC. Si tiene preguntas sobre esta carta, o para mas información sobre donando a CCHCC, llame a (217) 352-6533 y pregunte por Chris o Adani.

Dear Friends,

The COVID Mask Mandate has ended in most of the U.S. and most of the states. And, unfortunately, and most likely due to political pressures, the CDC has changed its guidelines for measuring risk and keeping communities and individuals safe. But the pandemic is not over, and two new variants are circulating, and more are sure to come – and not all variants will be “mild”. Even so-called “mild” variants have still managed to sicken and kills thousands of people, and produce “long COVID” cases.

Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) urges you to still continue to practice safety measures to keep yourself, your loved ones, and our community safe from COVID. Also, we want to let you know of resources that can help keep you safe.

Mask mandates are over – but we at CCHCC are continuing to mask up. Although the mask mandates are over, the virus is still circulating, and we are still in a pandemic. The pandemic is world-wide, and as long the virus continues to circulate (due to inadequate vaccination rates, reduction of precautions, travel, etc.), there will be new variants, and new cycles of increases in infections.

Remember that the singular purpose of the virus is to replicate itself – this is literally its reason for being – and it can only do that by infecting people. It is a very determined virus, and we are not yet out of the woods with it.

The bottom line is that you can still get infected and sick from the virus, because it is still circulating. People who are at high-risk due to age, pre-existing conditions, autoimmune and autoinflammatory conditions, or unknown genetic conditions, can get very sick and die from this virus. Also, you might be at risk for severe illness and not even know it – not everyone is aware of whether or not they have an underlying condition. But whether you get sick from COVID or not, you can still infect others, and they can get sick.

The perils of COVID go beyond the initial illness and a person’s ability to survive that illness. Long COVID is estimated to affect up to 30% of those who had COVID. It is estimated that approximately 23.44 million Americans have long COVID and many are now disabled by this illness. No one knows how long this can last, but we do know that all organ systems in the body can be affected. Epidemiologists predict that the health “footprint” of COVID will be vast and long-lasting.

Asymptomatic or “mild” cases of COVID are not benign. The medical and scientific communities are learning that even asymptomatic or “mild” infections can cause long-term lasting damage to the brain and cardiovascular system in a significant proportion of people who ever had the virus. The long-term impacts are no joke, and can be devastating. In addition, people with asymptomatic and “mild” cases can also spread COVID.

The virus, in numbers – not a pretty picture. As of the writing of this letter, the unofficial U.S. COVID toll is over 79.4 million cases, and over 966,000 deaths (we are nearing 1 million deaths!).

CCHCC recommends continued precautions.
• Keep masking up! Wear a mask when you are indoors with other people – especially around people who are not part of your “bubble”. This includes when you go to the grocery store, etc. Wear an N95 or KN95 mask if possible.

• Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Wash for 20 seconds with soap and water, rubbing the soap and water all over your hand, including between your fingers and thumbs and up to your wrist. Make sure to fully dry your hands. Viruses thrive in damp environments.

• Continue to socially distance when you are around others who are not in your “bubble”. Keep 6 feet from other people AND wear your mask!

• Ventilate indoor environments when people gather (this can be as simple as opening windows and doors to create a cross-breeze).

Resources are available! There are many tools available to fight this virus, including vaccines and boosters, as well as free masks and testing kits.

To find where you can go to get vaccinated or boosted and where to get tested, please visit the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District website at: https://www.c-uphd.org/

Our work is much harder and more time-consuming during the pandemic. CCHCC’s work to provide free services to consumers, including health insurance enrollment, is much harder during the pandemic while we work remotely and practice social-distancing. We have many more people in need of our services, and providing direct services to consumers is more complicated and time-consuming, but we continue to work with individuals and families, using all the tools available, including phone, email, zoom, text, U.S. mail, and working with people “in the field”. We continue to work “remotely” in order to keep our staff, clients, and our community safe. If you need help with any of these resources, or help applying for health insurance, please contact CCHCC by email at cchcc@cchcc-il.org or by phone at 217-352-6533.

No Annual Awards Dinner. For the third year in a row, CCHCC is foregoing our favorite event, our Annual Awards Dinner. It is simply not safe to hold large, indoor gatherings featuring food and drink. We miss seeing everyone, and look forward to a time when we can gather again!

Thank you for your support! We appreciate your financial support for our services, and your help getting the word out to others about CCHCC. Together, we are working to help our community survive the pandemic, and building a stronger, healthier community. Together, we are giving the gift of health!

DONATE NOW!

Sincerely,

Claudia Lennhoff
Executive Director