Monday, September 28, 2009

Pekin Riding Club Ribbon Cutting

Members of the Pekin Riding Club held a ribbon cutting at their facility on Route 29, as part of their year-end awards banquet and fun-fun show. The purpose of the Pekin Riding Club is to promote interest in, enjoyment of, and further the education/knowledge of good horsemanship to the mutual advantage of its membership. PRC is a non-profit organization run by volunteers and elected board members.

Midwestech Ribbon Cutting

Midwestech recently joined the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and celebrated with a ribbon cutting. Owner Bob Johns was assisted in the ribbon cutting by his family. Pictured (l - r) Molly, Ann, Bob Johns, Kyel, Bethany, Peyton and Veronica. Midwestech is a new Information Technology (IT) company located in Pekin and has been providing technology services to customers in the Pekin, Peoria and surrounding areas for over eight years. The owner of Midwestech has served as an Operation's Department Head, Director of Information Technology and as a Senior Windows Network Administrator in several reputable IT companies in Pekin and Peoria. Midwestech has the invaluable skills necessary to serve your company as Support Technicians when you need them. Midwestech is also an authorized Dell retailer and has a broad range of services for both the home user and small business.

Friday, September 25, 2009

5 - Star Car Wash Joins Chamber

Please welcome another new chamber member:

5-Star Car Wash
1401 N. 8th
Pekin, IL 61554
Brad Harn, Owner

Re-opening soon, after the fire damage is repaired and new equipment is installed, 5-Star Car Wash will be open 24 hours with 3 self-serve bays and 1 touchless automatic bay. Watch for the grand re-opening soon!

MIDWESTECH Joins Chamber

Please welcome a new member to the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce

Pekin, Illinois
Bob Johns, Owner

MIDWESTECH is a new Information Technology (IT) company located in Pekin, Illinois and has been providing technology services to customers in the Pekin, Peoria and surrounding areas for over eight years. The owner of MIDWESTECH has served as an Operation’s Department Head, Director of Information Technology and as a Senior Windows Network Administrator in several reputable IT companies in Pekin and Peoria.

MIDWESTECH has the invaluable skills necessary to serve your company as Support Technicians when you need them. This is an optimal solution for your company if you cannot afford to staff full time IT professionals in house. MIDWESTECH is also an authorized Dell retailer and in most cases, can pass their savings on to you when ordering new systems through them. MIDWESTECH has a broad range of services for both the home user and small business.

Methodist ChildCare Observes 20th Anniversary

The Methodist Family ChildCare Center will be celebrating its 20th anniversary Thursday October 1, 2009. The free Family Night celebration will begin at 3:30 with an open house and tours of the Child Care Center and a Family Night Celebration from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The 5:30 program will feature a dance party, red carpet photo opportunity, games, food and reunion with friends, faculty and volunteers. Six current instructors have been with the center since its start.

An estimate 300 people including past and present teachers, volunteers students, and faculty are expected to participate in the anniversary celebration.

For additional information contact the Methodist ChildCare Center at (309) 671-5163.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mark Your Calendars

2010 R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy starts in early January
Applications will be available soon.

Business Expo for 2010 will be held January 16, 2010 at the Dragon’s Dome. Watch for further information in the coming weeks. Reserve your booth space early.

October Calendar of Events

1st Pekin 1st Committee, Holiday Inn Express, 7:30 am

1st Business AFTER Hours, American Fire Service, 4:30~6:00 pm Reservations Appreciated

6th Ambassadors Committee, CJ’s Café, 7:30am /8:00am

7th Member Promotions Comm, Chamber Office, 7:30am

7th Executive Committee, Chamber Office, 4:00 pm

8th Business & Community Recognition Luncheon, Pekin Country Club, 11:30 am~1:00 pm RSVP Required

9th Puttin On Pekin, Knights of Columbus Hall, 6:45 am Reservations Required

12th Columbus Day Holiday ~ Chamber Office Closed

13th Member Services Comm., Chamber Office, 7:30 am

14th Transportation Committee, Pekin City Hall, 8:00 am

14th Board of Directors, Herget Bank, 4:00 pm

15th Marketing Committee, Dist. 108 Board Room, 7:30am

21st Marigold Committee, Holiday Inn Express, 6:30 pm

27th Business Advocacy Comm., Chamber Office, 7:00 am

29th Tazewell County Chambers Business After Hours, Five Points, Washington, 5-8 pm

November Calendar of Events

3rd Ambassadors Committee, CJ’s Café, 7:30am /8:00am

4th Member Promotions Committee, Chamber Office, 7:30am

4th Executive Committee, Chamber Office, 4:00 pm

5th Pekin 1st Committee, Holiday Inn Express, 7:30 am

5th Business AFTER Hours, Timbercreek Rehab & Health
Care 4:30~6:00 pm Reservations Appreciated

10th Member Services Comm., Chamber Office, 7:30 am

11th Veteran’s Day, Chamber Office Closed

11th Transportation Committee, Pekin City Hall, 8:00 am

11th Board of Directors, Herget Bank, 4:00 pm

18th Marigold Committee, Holiday Inn Express, 6:30 pm

24th Business Advocacy Comm., Chamber Office, 7:00 am

26th Thanksgiving Day, Chamber Office Closed

27th Thanksgiving Holiday, Chamber Office Closed

Business & Community Recognition Luncheon

Thursday, October 8th, 11:30am – 1:00pm
Pekin Country Club
Speaker: Bradley University President Joanne K. Glasser
Chamber businesses and organizations with significant achievements in the past year will be recognized at the luncheon. CenturyTel will sponsor the lunch and Pekin Trophy House and Engraved Gifts will sponsor the awards. Tickets are just $20 each and tables of 8 can be reserved. Call the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce at 346-2106 to make your reservations.

Puttin' on Pekin Breakfast

Knights of Columbus Hall, 715 N. 11th Street
Friday, October 9th at 6:45 am
Speaker: Heartland Partnership CEO Jim McConoughey
“Economic Climate Update”

The every-other-month breakfasts provide an opportunity for business people to network while learning about positive events in the Pekin area. Other features of the breakfast include a 50/25/25 drawing, the Spotlight on Business presentation, door prize drawings with prizes provided by local businesses, one-minute reminders, and “Meet the New Chamber Member.” The cost of the breakfast is $10.00 per person for reservations made before 4:30 pm on October 7th. After that, the cost is $15.00 per person. Payment can be made at the door. Make checks payable in the exact amount to the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce. Reservations are required and can be made by email at, or by calling the Chamber at 346-2106.

Business AFTER Hours

American Fire Service
504 N. Main Street, North Pekin
Thursday, October 1st, 2009 4:30—6:00 pm

Take advantage of this great networking opportunity. You might start a new business relationship or meet your best customer. Enjoy the door prizes, refreshments, and visit with your friends, neighbors, and business associates. Admission is free to Chamber members ($10 for future members). Please RSVP to the Chamber at 346-2106 or e-mail us at

Executive Director's Report

Marigold Festival A Success
The weather was perfect, which always helps, but there were many other reasons why the 2009 Pekin Marigold Festival was a success. First to be recognized are the sponsors: NTS Telephone Company, Ameren Illinois Utilities, Pepsi, CenturyTel, Pekin Insurance, Jimmy John’s and CEFCU. In these challenging economic times, we are fortunate to have loyal and generous sponsors who continue to support our community festival.

Another reason for the success of the Pekin Marigold Festival is the volunteers. From the clubs and organizations selling food, to the parade marshals, nearly everywhere you turned you saw a volunteer who was giving up part of their weekend to make the festival a success.
The help provided by the City of Pekin and the Pekin Park District is another reason the Pekin Marigold Festival always has a chance to be successful. We could not hold a festival of this size without the assistance provided by the employees at the City of Pekin and the Pekin Park District.

And finally, the hard work and planning of our Marigold Festival Committee paid off. Led this year by Camille McCarty, and assisted by the chamber staff, this dedicated group of volunteers works year round on all of the details of the festival. In addition to all of their planning, they are at the festival the entire weekend. Some of them even take time off from their jobs the week of the festival to get everything ready. If you see any of these people, thank them and congratulate them: Jan Becker, Todd Campbell, Tom Elliott, Karen Fort, Rich Gafford, Althea Geiser, Gary Gillis, Doug Godke, Rose Marie Hasler, Greg Henderson, Camille McCarty, Barry Neal, Julie Nelson, Greg Ranney, Shannon Sandoval, Doug Snell, Val Springborn, Mike Vonderheide, Eric White and Amy Whiting.

What’s Next?
Now that the Marigold Festival is completed and most everything is put away, many people assume things slow down at the chamber office. Nothing could be further from the truth. The day after the festival, the chamber staff turned their attention to the details of the Business and Community Recognition Luncheon, scheduled for October 8th. We also started planning our Chamber Challenge Trivia Nite, the 2010 Business Expo, and the 2010 R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy. It never slows down at the chamber, and that’s a good thing.

Don’t miss the next Tazewell County Business After Hours on October 29th. It’s put on by all four of the county chambers of commerce. It was a huge event in January, so you’ll want to be there for this one. See the ad elsewhere in the FOCUS.

Spruce Up Pekin Semi Annual Clean up

This is your chance to get a head start on fall cleaning. Spruce Up Pekin is the first Saturday in October from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Locations are:
Mineral Springs Park -- Parking lot east of the lagoon--antifreeze, oil & electronics will be accepted at this location only.
City Services Center, 1130 Koch St-- Tires only (disposal fee)
Southside Park--Knapp & Sapp St.
Northside Fire Station, 1000 N.14th St. Street Department, 1208 Koch St.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Biz Barometer & Consumer Price Index

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.4 percent in August. The index has decreased 1.5 percent over the last 12 months on a not seasonally adjusted basis.

The United States City Average for all consumers—all items—January 2009, 211.1; February, 212.2; March, 212.8; April, 213.2; May, 213.9; June, 215.7; and July, 215.4.

IAAP-Tri County Chapter Meeting

WHO: International Association of Administrative Professionals, Tri-County Chapter

WHAT: Tri-County Chapter Monthly Meeting

WHEN: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 5:15 pm Networking/Dinner /
6:00-6:30 pm Business Meeting / 6:30 pm Speaker

WHERE: HeartCare Midwest, 5405 N. Knoxville Avenue, Peoria, IL, 4th Floor Conference Room

TOPIC: MS Access, Database Tool Every Administrative Assistant Can Use for Fast Easy Information, Speaker: Charbel Mansour, Instructor, Mid-State College

COST: Free to attend meeting (not necessary to be a member to attend)

MEAL: Dinner cost $15.00

RSVP: To Savanna Bohm at 655-2727 by noon 10/1/09

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jaycees Join Chamber

Please welcome another new member of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce -

Tazewell County Jaycees
Michelle Riggio, Chapter President

The Tazewell County's chapter of the Jaycees provides leadership opportunities to empower young adults to achieve more.

Women's Fund

The next First Tuesdays will be held on October 6, 2009, from 5 to 7 pm at A Perfect Pear Boutique (at 4445 N.Prospect Road in Peoria). The Women's Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois invites area women to attend First Tuesdays, a monthly networking opportunity. Come to First Tuesdays and meet other dynamic women who share your interest in funding projects that promote leadership and empowerment for women and girls. Become part of a national movement towards Women's Philanthropy. To automatically receive First Tuesdays' invitations, call The Women's Fund at the Community Foundation of Central Illinois at 309 674-8730 or and ask to receive the 'E-vite' forFirst Tuesdays. Appetizers and beverages will be served and door prizes awarded. Donations will be taken to defray the cost of First Tuesdays and further the work of the Women's Fund.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Trueblood Retirement Reception

A reception was recently held for longtime chamber employee Terri Trueblood. Her retirement came after nearly 10 years of service. Over the years she has been a major reason for the success of many of our chamber events and programs, including the R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy, the monthly FOCUS newsletter, and several Marigold Festival events. We're very grateful for all her contributions over these past 10 years, and know she'll enjoy spending more time with her family. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to wish her well. You can see pictures from this event at

National Rental of Pekin, Inc.

Nationa Rental Company of Pekin now fills propane tanks and can fill recreational vehicles (R.V.'s) They are located at 706 S. 2nd Street.

New Orthopedic Surgeon Joins Pekin Hospital’s Medical Staff

Pekin Hospital is pleased to announce that Orthopedic Surgeon C. Sekhar Sompalli, M.D., recently joined its medical staff and is now accepting new patients.

Dr. Sompalli has joined Pekin Orthopedics located at 2351 Broadway in Pekin.

Dr. Sompalli was trained at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine and completed his Orthopedic Surgery Residency at Loyola University Medical Center. Dr. Sompalli most recently practiced and held hospital privileges in Spring Valley, Princeton, and Mendota.

His areas of interest include arthroscopic knee surgery, shoulder surgery, and sports medicine.

Dr. Sompalli is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the Midwest Orthopaedic Association, the American Medical Sports Society, and the American Medical Association.

To make an appointment, please call (309) 353-4159.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Second Treatment Site Opens for Tomotherapy

Cancer patients in Central Illinois now have two locations to access one of the worlds most advanced cancer treatment systems.

The new location, 7309 N. Knoxville Avenue, was developed jointly between Methodist Medical Center and Midwest Urological Group. Treatment focus at the second radiation site will be on prostate cancer patients along with other cancers.

Known as TomoTherapy, the new treatment system has been available at Methodist Medical Center since January, 2008. An open house for community leaders and the public is scheduled at the new location September 17, 2009 from 10 a.m. until noon.

TomoTherapy is the first system to combine the precision and 3-D imaging of a CT (computerized tomography) scan with the power of high-energy radiation treatment. With TomoTherapy, physicians are able to selectively destroy cancerous tumors while avoiding surrounding tissue. This means more of the healthy tissue in a cancer patient is spared.

Dr. Roby Lal, Radiation Oncologist at Methodist, said, “Since Methodist first opened the in-house TomoTherapy unit last year, we’re seeing significant success with our patients. Fewer side effects allow us to escalate the treatment dosage and have better patient outcomes.” Dr. Lal said the addition of the second TomoTherapy location will significantly increase our outreach in the community and allow additional access to this groundbreaking treatment.”

While the TomoTherapy system is not for every cancer patient, it does provide new treatment options for cancer patients diagnosed with previously untreatable tumors. People with tumors in difficult-to-treat areas such as the spine, lung, throat or upper abdomen now have the option of the new TomoTherapy system because of its pinpoint accuracy.

TomoTherapy is FDA approved and is covered by most insurance plans. For additional information contact ….

Bryan Zowin Michael Namanny
Executive Director Director of Pharmacy and Medical Imaging
Peoria Radiation Therapy Services or Methodist Medical Center
7309 N. Knoxville Ave. 221 NE Glen Oak
Peoria, IL 61614 Peoria, Illinois 61636-0002
(309) 453-9484 (309) 672-5659

TCRC President & CEO Recognized

Ron Hale, President and CEO at Tazewell County Resource Centers, Inc. (TCRC) was recognized with the Heart of Illinois United Way’s H. J. “Hoot” Gibson Service Award at its Annual Campaign Kickoff Breakfast on September 11th. The award is given in the memory of “Hoot” Gibson, former manager of the Peoria IBM office and active volunteer for the Heart of Illinois United Way, to volunteers who have unselfishly spent their time working to help others in the community.

Mr. Hale was recognized by HOIUW Board President Dan Silverthorn for his work on the annual campaign drives, nominating committees, and as Chairman of the “Success By Six” Early Childhood Community Initiative. The Success By Six initiative has created awareness of early development opportunities, improved access to services for young children, and developed a literacy program that impacts school readiness. The literacy program has reached 78 childcare sites and provided 45,000 new books to children in the central Illinois area.

In accepting the award, Mr. Hale said, “I am honored to receive this award because it is service-based and given by the Heart of Illinois United Way. It is a privilege to be a volunteer for the United Way.” Mr. Hale went on to say that TCRC has just completed its own Pacesetter Campaign for the United Way, increasing both dollars raised and percentage of employee participation. “Our staff really came through this year in their support of the needs of the people in our community.”

TCRC is a member agency of the Heart of Illinois United Way and serves children and adults with developmental disabilities and visual impairments in central Illinois.

For more information, please contact Ron Hale, TCRC President and CEO, or Mark Bourland, Assistant to the President and CEO, at (309) 925-2061.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Exhibitors Needed For Night Out Against Crime

The 2009 Pekin Night Out Against Crime will be held on Thursday, October 29th, at the Pekin Dragon's Dome. The event will take place from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. The Pekin police invite you to come and enjoy a great night, and set up an informational booth about your organization.

Since the event is so close to Halloween, organizations are encouraged to wear costumes (optional) and bring candy and goodies for trick or treating. If possible, small games or activities for the kids are also encouraged.

There will also be free food, drinks, music, prizes, inflatable rides and police demonstrations. If you would like to participate with an informational booth, please RSVP as soon as possible to Brandi at 478-5300.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Children's Advocacy Event

Friends of the Tazewell County Children’s Advocacy Center announce an upcoming fundraiser at the Mackinaw Valley Vineyard. The event will take place Sunday, October 4, 2009 from 2-5 pm. The afternoon will feature light refreshments, wine tasting , and entertainment by The Willies. Admission is $20 and all proceeds will benefit the Center’s Raise the Roof, Lift Their Hearts” Building fund.

“Paul and Diane Hahn are generously hosting this event for us, said Barb Strand, Executive Director of the Center. We are excited to have The Willies, a popular Peoria band, provide music for the afternoon. We are counting on people to come and enjoy a relaxing fall afternoon
in a beautiful setting.”

To date, the Center has applied its caring and effective approach to over 2,100 cases of child abuse. The Children’s Advocacy Center in Pekin began accepting cases in December of 1999.
For additional information, contact the Tazewell County Children’s Advocacy Center, 341 Buena Vista, Pekin, IL 61554. Phone: 309.347.6001 Fax: 309.347.6189 E-Mail

Marigold Festival Pictures

Thanks to everyone who made the festival a huge success. We've posted some pictures from just a few of the events and happenings at the 2009 Pekin Marigold Festival. You can see them at:

New Physician Joins Pekin Hospital’s Medical Staff

Pekin Hospital is pleased to announce that Sarosh Ahmed, M.D., recently joined its medical staff and is now accepting new patients.

Internist Sarosh Ahmed, M.D., will join the Family Health Center located at 19 Olt Avenue in Pekin.

Dr. Ahmed began her medical career when she graduated from Dow Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan. She then completed an Internal Medicine Residency at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois.

Dr. Ahmed’s areas of interest include women’s health, preventive medicine, and patient satisfaction.

In her spare time, Dr. Ahmed enjoys reading and cooking.

She is a member of the American College of Physicians.

To make an appointment with Dr. Ahmed, please call (309) 353-6301.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The NTS Marigold Festival Parade was held on Saturday, September 11th. Thanks to everyone who participated and congratulations to our winners:

Queen's Choice Award - Family Plot Haunted House
Sponsor's Choice Award - Community of Christ
Chairperson's Choice Award - Faith Baptist Christian School
Grand Marshal's Award - PCHS Noteables
Chamber President's Choice Award - First United Methodist church
Mayor's Choice Award - Marquette Heights Men's Club Spook Hollow
NTS Traveling Trophy - Central Illinois Tumbling & Trampoline

Pictures from the parade can be found on our photo site at:

A Pekin resident posted his pictures on another website and you can find them at:

Pekin Main Street's Friday Night Family Fest

Historic Downtown Pekin was packed with festival-goers as Pekin Main Street's Friday Night Family Fest kicked off the Marigold Festival weekend. The Lip Sync Contests, two bands, and several food vendors kept everyone entertained on a beautiful evening.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tebben Memorial Dedicated

A crowd of about 100 people gathered in front of Pekin's City Hall on the afternoon of September 11th for the dedication of a memorial in the memorial of Mayor R. David Tebben. Speakers at the ceremony included Pekin Mayor Rusty Dunn, Shannon Tebben Sandoval, Congressman Aaron Schock, and Tiffany Tebben. Fred Massaglia was recognized for his efforts to organize and lead the memorial fund raising, and Abel Vault and Monument was thanked for their work on the memorial. Excess money raised by the drive was donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Pekin. You can see more pictures from this event at:

Goodwill Launches Homeless Veterans’ Re-Entry Program

Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois introduced The Goodwill Homeless Veterans’ Re-entry Program today at the site of their new modular classroom at the War Memorial facility in Peoria. The organization recently received a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to develop and implement the new program. Homeless Veterans throughout Central Illinois will have a chance to receive job training, life skills classes and the ongoing support that is necessary to help them put their lives back on track and re-enter the workforce. A number of social service agencies, veterans groups, faith-based organizations, educational institutions and VA departments are collaborating to refer homeless veterans to the program and provide assistance.

Individuals interested in the program must meet with Goodwill’s team and be accepted into the program. Once accepted, the homeless veterans will begin with a two-week mandatory training period. The ultimate goal is for these men and women to learn the skills needed to work and sustain themselves into the future. A number of area employers have offered to work with Goodwill to identify positions they currently have or may create in order to provide jobs for the veterans once they have completed the initial training period. Support continues throughout the process and well after employment begins.

Two new staff members have been hired for the program. Richard L. Glavin recently retired from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs where he worked with veterans’ disability claims. He has extensive experience as a workforce development specialist and recruiting and career counselor for veterans. He retired as a First Sergeant (E8) from the U.S. Army in 1988. Janice M. Tamplin most recently served at Goodwill’s General Wayne A. Downing Home for Veterans as a residential supervisor. She holds a master’s degree in counselor education and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Illinois State University. She has worked as a military family member employment manager with the U.S. Army in Mannheim, Germany; as director of student support services at Illinois Central College; and as an associate director of SOAR Student Support Services at the University of Texas, Arlington.

Cris Mugrage, LCSW, is Veterans’ Services Coordinator for Goodwill. Mugrage holds a master’s degree in social work from St. Ambrose University and has worked as an outpatient therapist and long term care for ten years. She will oversee the grant and program development. According to Mugrage, one of the most difficult components is making homeless veterans aware of this type of program. Presently 11 have come in to learn more and nine have been accepted. Most have been referred by another agency. As part of the grant, Goodwill will hold what’s known as a Stand Down to spread the word to the veterans.

The Stand Down will be held Saturday, October 24 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at O’Brien Field, home of the Peoria Chiefs. Stand Downs provide homeless veterans immediate relief from the trauma and isolation they experience on a daily basis. The event offers a safe and relaxed environment where participants have access to short and long-term resources. Services will include: haircuts, showers, clothing and food, medical assistance, drug and alcohol recovery services, legal resources, veterans’ counseling, benefits services, and more.

The first year goal is to enroll 70 homeless veterans between now and June of 2010. Participants will be accepted on an ongoing basis.

“Our grant proposal included 30 letters of support from various agencies, veterans’ service organizations, employers, faith-based organizations and educational institutions. At a recent informational meeting with these groups, we introduced more details about the job training and work ahead. The enthusiasm and support for this program are tremendous,” stated Patty Fuchs, President and CEO of Goodwill.

A total of 98 grants for Homeless Veterans Reintegration Programs (HVRP) were awarded nationally. Fifty of the grants were for new programs, such as Goodwill’s. The other 48 were awarded for the continuation of existing HVRP programs. Goodwill was one of only four agencies in the state chosen to receive the funding.

Goodwill itself funded the new modular classroom and computer equipment that will be used for training and study by the program participants.

To assist in job placement for the program participants, Goodwill is reaching out to all area employers to identify existing employment opportunities or to develop new jobs. Interested companies should contact Cris Mugrage directly at 309-369-8878.

“The idea that all homeless veterans are drug addicts and incapable of working is a myth. These are individuals who previously had full lives, but have experienced setbacks that have led to their current situation. Some simply need a hand up and training to return to the workforce. With the type of support we can and will provide, we hope to dispel some of these misconceptions,” noted Mugrage.

H1N1 Community Briefing

The H1N1 Community Briefing will:
• Update current situation
• Clarify differences in seasonal flu and H1N1
• Recommend prevention activities to reduce the
spread of illness
• Offer educational materials for the workplace
• Inform the community on clinic schedules
• Educate employers of stay at home guidance

Please plan to attend one:
September 21, 2009

Embassy Suites
100 Conference Center Drive, East Peoria
1:30 pm or 5:30 pm - Business/Community
3:30 pm First Responders

September 23, 2009
Pekin Country Club
310 Country Club Drive, Pekin
1:30 or 5:30 pm - Business/Community
3:30 pm First Responders
RSVP by 9/18/09 to Sara @ 309-925-5511, ext 264


The Pekin Hospital Auxiliary recently awarded financial assistance to eight students pursuing careers in health-related fields. The 2009 recipients and their areas of interest are: Brigette Allen of Pekin, Pharmacy; Sarah Wallis of Delavan, Nursing; Aaron Kelson of Pekin, Nursing; Kelly Rogers of Pekin, Psychology; Rachel Schmillen of East Peoria, Psychology; Mylie Horrer of Hopedale, Nursing; Jenae Dearing of Mackinaw, Nursing. Front row- Ashley Camcen of Green Valley, Nursing; and Emily Mientus of Metamora, Physician and Bryon Hayes of Pekin, Nursing who was not present for the picture.

The Pekin Hospital Auxiliary was established in 1941 to provide service to Pekin Hospital. The financial assistance program began in 1962 to provide assistance to local students pursing careers in health care.

Assistance funds are raised through the Auxiliary's annual holiday bake sale, raffle and other Auxiliary fundraisers.

Methodist Offers 10th Annual Grief Camp for Kids

Methodist Medical Center is accepting camp registrations for children age 5 to 18 who are working through issues of grief following the death of a loved one. Camp Courageous is a free one-day outing for 65 young people.

The Methodist Hospice Program first established the camp in 2000 with a goal of providing a safe arena for kids to share their grief with others and to learn healthy ways of coping with their loss.

This year’s camp will be held at Camp Manitoumi in rural Lowpoint on Saturday, October 3, 2009 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Buses will leave the Methodist Atrium Building (900 Main Street) at 8:00 a.m. and return by 5:00 p.m. The camp agenda will include games, face-painting, crafts, sports, and horseback riding. Methodist will provide lunch as well as transportation to and from the camp free of charge.

Coordinated by Linda McKinney, M.A.; M. Div. and Frank Valente, M.A., pastoral counselors with the Methodist Hospice Program, Camp Courageous is staffed by many Methodist employees and volunteers as well as a number of skilled professionals and volunteers from the Central Illinois area.

Linda McKinney says, “Statistics show that one out of twenty children will experience the death of a parent by the age of 18. The number of grieving children goes much higher when you consider those who have experienced the death of a sibling, grandparents, classmates and others who are important to them.”
She continued, “Children who have lost a loved one to death can experience a wide range of emotions, including sadness, fear, anger, and guilt. It helps tremendously for them to share their thoughts and feelings in a setting with both their peers and caring adults.”

McKinney says most participants in the camp are referred through a variety of sources including schools, churches and funeral homes.

For additional information and registration, contact the Methodist Medical Center Hospice Office at (309) 672-5746. Funding for the one-day camp is provided by the Methodist Medical Center Foundation.

Methodist Medical Group Adds New Physicians

Methodist Medical Group has added three new physicians. Bojan Pavlovic, M.D. is an Interventional Pain Management Specialist and has joined the Methodist Comprehensive Spine Center and the Methodist Comprehensive Pain Center located in the Methodist Atrium, 900 Main Street, Suite 780. Dr. Pavlovic graduated from Chicago Medical School, completed a Pain Management Fellowship at Henry Ford Hospital, a Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Residency at the University of Chicago and an Anesthesia Residence at University of Minnesota. He also completed an Internal Medicine Residency at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Pavlovic is board certified in Anesthesiology and is accepting new patients by calling 672-5950.

Chris Miles, M.D. specializes in family and sports medicine and joins the Methodist Medical Group at Washington, 205 N. Cummings Lane, Washington. Dr. Miles graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria and completed a Family Medicine Residency at Methodist Medical Center and a Sports Medicine Fellowship at Wake Forest University. Dr. Miles is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and is accepting new patients by calling 444-2090

Also joining the Methodist Medical Group is Jill Wirth, M.D. who joins the Methodist Medical Group at Peartree office, 6831 Peartree Lane, Peoria. Dr. Wirth graduated from Southern Illinois University in Springfield and completed a Family Medicine Residency at the University of Illinois at Peoria and a Primary Care sports Medicine Fellowship at Southern Illinois University Quincy. Dr. Wirth is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and is accepting new patients by calling 691-1250.

Methodist Medical Center Earns Five Quality Awards in Medicare, Premier Healthcare Alliance Value-based Purchasing Project

Methodist Medical Center has been awarded for attainment in five clinical areas in a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Premier Healthcare Alliance value based purchasing project that rewards hospitals for delivering high quality care. The five categories include (Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI), Heart Failure, Pneumonia, Hip and Knee and Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG). Due to its successes, Methodist will receive a bonus payment from CMS, which awarded incentive payments of approximately $12 million to 225 hospitals.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Methodist has been recognized for this quality performance. CMS has awarded more than $36.5 to hospitals receiving top performance recognition over the first four years of the project.

“Providing outstanding patient care has always been our primary mission,” said Michael Bryant, President and CEO of Methodist. “Our successes in this project are a testament to our ongoing efforts to improvement the quality of care we offer our patients.”

“The successes of the hospitals – small and large, urban and rural, teaching and non-teaching – in the HQID project have led to its consideration as the basis for key national health reforms,” said Susan DeVore, Premier president and CEO. “As the proposal of a national value-based purchasing program becomes a reality, hospitals participating in HQID will have six years experience with such a model.”

About the HQID project
The HQID is the first national project of its kind, designed to determine if economic incentives to hospitals are effective at improving the quality of inpatient care. Through the project, which has been extended by CMS for an additional three years, Premier collects a set of more than 30 evidence-based clinical quality measures from almost 250 hospitals across the country. The quality measures were developed by government and private organizations (for more information on the indicators, visit:

HQID tracks process and outcome measures in five clinical areas – acute myocardial infarction (AMI), heart failure, coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), pneumonia, and hip and knee replacement.

Improvements in quality of care saved an estimated 4,700 acute myocardial infarction (AMI/heart attack) patients across the first four years of the project, according to an analysis of mortality rates at hospitals participating in the project. In addition, patients received approximately 500,000 additional recommended evidence-based clinical quality measures, such as smoking cessation, discharge instructions and pneumococcal vaccination, during that same timeframe.

For hospitals participating in the HQID project, the average Composite Quality Score (CQS), an aggregate of all quality measures within each clinical area, improved by 2.2 percent between the project’s third and fourth year for total gains of 17.2 percent over the project’s first four years.

Additional research by Premier using the Hospital Compare dataset showed that, by March 2008, HQID participants scored on average 6.9 percentage points higher (94.64 percent to 87.36 percent) than non-participants when evaluating 19 common Hospital Compare measures.

About Premier Inc., 2006 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient The Premier healthcare alliance is more than 2,200 U.S. hospitals and 58,000-plus other healthcare sites working together to improve healthcare quality and affordability. Premier maintains the nation's most comprehensive repository of clinical, financial and outcomes information and operates a leading healthcare purchasing network. A world leader in helping deliver measurable improvements in care, Premier works with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the United Kingdom's National Health Service North West to improve hospital performance. Premier has offices in San Diego, Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia and Washington.

About Methodist Medical Center
Methodist Medical Center ( is a 353-bed facility with almost 600 board-certified physicians providing a full spectrum of health care services. Our physicians are backed by a dedicated team of healthcare professionals who combine high-tech medicine with genuine warmth and caring.. Methodist also features state-of-the-art diagnostic technology; the area’s most comprehensive behavioral health services; Emergency/Trauma Department with Chest Pain Center; and Methodist Medical Group, a network of primary care and specialty physicians located throughout Central Illinois. At Methodist, we are dedicated to delivering outstanding healthcare. Period.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mary Burress Joins the Chamber

Please welcome Mary Burress of Pekin, who recently joined the chamber. As the Deputy Treasurer for 21 years and being in the Treasurer's office for over 25 years, Mary is a Republican candidate for the 2010 Tazewell County Treasurer position. The current Treasurer, Duane Gray is retiring. She is also the newly elected Cincinnati Township Trustee.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Regent Broadcasting Honors Employees

J.R. Greeley, Market Manager and Bob Swinehart, Director of Sales for REGENT BROADCASTING OF PEORIA, are proud to announce that August's Employee of the Month is Tim Ylinen and Sales Representative of the Month is Bradley Stegall.

"I'm amazed by Brad's drive, ambition and work ethic. He's one of the hardest working sellers I've ever seen. He's a great asset to our sales effort," stated Bob Swinehart.

Mr. Stegall has been working in the radio industry for over 8 years, all of which have been with the same radio stations and has been nominated by his industry peers for the RAB’s Streetfight of the Year award 4 times. Brad also has a thriving Real Estate business.

“Tim Ylinen has been stalwart of Peoria Radio since 1991 and for the past 14 years, has entertained Peoria on the legendary 95 5 GLO. He wears many "hats" at REGENT, disc jockey, computer expert and assistant Chief Engineer. Tim's selection as August 2009's Employee of the Month by his peers, shows their respect and love for him,” stated J.R..

Mr. Ylinen has worked in the Radio industry for over 18 years starting out at an AM radio station here in Peoria. Tim currently carries the on-air shift on 95.5 GLO while also assisting in engineering duties.

REGENT - Peoria owns Radio stations WGLO-FM, WFYR-FM, WIXO-FM, WZPW-FM, and WVEL-AM in Peoria, Illinois.

Regent Communications is a radio broadcasting company focused on acquiring, developing and operating radio stations in middle and small-sized markets. Upon the completion of all announced transactions, Regent will own and operate 62 stations located in 13 markets. Regent Communications, Inc. shares are traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol “RGCI.”

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Grand Victorian of Pekin Hosted Business After Hours

A nice crowd of chamber members and guests enjoyed the hospitality of The Grand Victorian of Pekin, as they hosted the September 3rd Business After Hours. Thanks to Kim, Cindy and all of their staff. You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at:

Women's Marigold Golf Outing

40 women enjoyed a beautiful August morning at Parkview Golf Course for the third annual Women's Marigold Golf Outing. Thanks to everyone who participated and all of our sponsors. See more pictures from this event at:

Goodwill Industries Nonprofit Auction Site

Nonprofit Auction Site Enjoys Success with Thirty-Three Percent Growth

It started ten years ago. Since then it has experienced an average annual growth rate of 33 percent. And with more than 1.4 million page views per day, the nation’s first and only nonprofit online auction site has earned in excess of $75 million. Some say the key is its mission. Others say it’s the easy website and volume of collectibles. Whatever the reason for its success, 64 million generous donors are to be thanked as celebrates its tenth anniversary.

In 1999 Goodwill Industries of Orange County in Santa Ana, California created with readily available technology and hundreds of specialty items culled from its vast inventory of goods. Today more than 70 Goodwill agencies, including Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois, participate in the site.

By eliminating the ‘middle man,’ not only does produce revenue to support Goodwill’s mission, it also provides jobs and technology training for Goodwill employees. “Our e-commerce employees research and post more than 800 special antiques, collectibles, musical instruments, vintage clothing and other unique items on shopgoodwill every month. Nationwide, more than 30,000 items are available to bidders every day. The site is secure and easy to use,” states Scott Jenkins, Director of Operations.

Recently recognized as one of the best websites in the country.
There are no fees to sign up and bid on items. The site boasts more than 165 categories and sub-categories, with features such as “Personal Shopper” that alerts bidders to items they’re seeking. With “Watch List” shoppers can quickly return to and bid on items they’ve already researched. Thumbnail images allow bidders to quickly browse items on the virtual auction block. New mobile technology provides easy navigation for cell phone users as well.
Goodwill’s mission is to help improve the economic self-sufficiency of individuals and families through the dignity and power of work. Whether consumers shop at Goodwill stores or online, the revenues earned by the nonprofit organization fund free job training and career services for people with disabilities or who otherwise have a difficult time finding employment. For further information on programs offered by Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois, call 309-682-1113 or visit the general website

Pekin Hospital Circle Drive Closed

Pekin Hospital Circle Drive to be Closed for Renovations

The circle drive located outside Pekin Hospital’s Main Lobby will be closed to all vehicle traffic for exterior renovations beginning on September 9. The project will take approximately four weeks to complete.

To accommodate our patients, staff, and visitors:
· The Front Lobby Entrance will remain open via a construction tunnel that will be adjusted as the project progresses. Patients and visitors may also use the ER Entrance as an alternative. Maps and signage will be available to assist the public.

· For patient drop-off, please use the circle drive located outside of the ER.

· Transportation vehicles that normally use the front lobby circle drive to drop-off or pick-up patients should instead use the Hospital’s Park Avenue Entrance or the Women’s Diagnostic Center Entrance on 14th Street.

· The parking lot located on 14th Street outside of the Women’s Diagnostic Center will re-open on Tuesday, September 8.

· Patients will be discharged through the Women’s Diagnostic Center Entrance on 14th Street.

The circle drive will reopen, weather permitting, on October 9.
If you have any questions or concerns about these plans, please call (309) 353-0465.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Life's Not a Spectator Sport

Pekin Hospital Presents Life’s Not a Spectator Sport Seminar for Women

Central Illinois women are invited to attend Pekin Hospital’s informational and entertaining seminar called Life’s Not a Spectator Sport on Saturday, September 19 from 9 – 11 a.m. at Pekin Country Club. This seminar will help women understand that it is not normal to experience pain in their joints or wince as they move. With modern medicine’s knowledge and increasing options for bone and joint health, women never need to become a spectator in the game of active living.

“We all want to live a long and healthy life full of activity, good health and happiness. But many of us do not know how to protect that life,” said Carrie Warner, Director of Marketing at Pekin Hospital. “This program gets women to think about their personal risk factors as well as things that they can do every day to protect their mobility and current active lifestyle. Women will be exposed to information and education on bone and joint health as well as learn about lifestyle choices that can make a difference in their lives. All of this is wrapped up in our brand of “health-u-tainment”, where serious information is balanced with a seriously good time. At this event, part of the fun will include an opportunity for women to test their skills at Wii Golf.”

Attendees will learn how to recognize signs and symptoms as well as learn tips for preventing bone and joint disorders that can lead to impaired mobility in their everyday lives. These include arthritis, osteoporosis, repetitive stress injuries and fractures (bone breaks). Pekin Hospital wants every woman to know that it is never too late to improve her bone and joint health.

There is no cost to attend the event. For more information or to attend Life’s Not a Spectator Sport, contact Pekin Hospital at (309) 353-0662. You can also visit

About Spirit of Women
The Spirit of Women Health Network is a national coalition of hospitals and healthcare facilities in more than 80 U.S. cities joined together to improve women's health by inspiring access and action on local, regional and national levels. Utilizing national resources to improve healthcare in local communities, Spirit of Women aims to educate and care for women in a unique way that emphasizes total well-being — body, mind, and spirit – and impacts all aspects of a woman’s life, including family, health and work. Though a variety of means, including educational events, networking opportunities, consumer loyalty programs, national awards, and promotion of research, Spirit of Women addresses health topics such as menopause, cancer, incontinence, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, healthy pregnancy, and many more. For more information, visit

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Spruce Up Pekin

Spruce Up Pekin is the first Saturday in October from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Locations are:

  • Mineral Springs Park -- Parking lot east of the lagoon--antifreeze, oil & electronics will be accepted at this location only.
  • City Services Center, 1130 Koch St-- Tires only (disposal fee)
  • Southside Park--Knapp & Sapp St.
  • Northside Fire Station, 1000 N.14th St.
  • Street Department, 1208 Koch St.