Heart attack risks increase as people with HIV and hepatitis C age, according to recent study

by American Heart Association
DALLAS -- As people with HIV age, their risk of heart attack increases far more if they also have untreated hepatitis C virus, even if their HIV is treated, according to new research published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association, an open access, peer-reviewed journal of the American Heart Association.

Since the introduction of antiretroviral therapies to treat HIV in the late 1990s, the lifespan of people with HIV has increased dramatically. However, even with treatment, studies have found the heart disease risk among people with HIV is at least 50% higher than people without HIV. This new study evaluated if people with HIV who also have hepatitis C – a viral liver infection – have a higher risk of heart attack.

"HIV and hepatitis C coinfection occurs because they share a transmission route - both viruses may be transmitted through blood-to-blood contact," said Keri N. Althoff, Ph.D., M.P.H., senior author of the study and an associate professor in the department of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. "Due in part to the inflammation from the chronic immune activation of two viral infections, we hypothesized that people with HIV and hepatitis C would have a higher risk of heart attack as they aged compared to those with HIV alone."

Researchers analyzed health information for 23,361 people with HIV (17% female, 49% non-Hispanic white) in the North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design (NA-ACCORD) between 2000 and 2017 and who had initiated antiretroviral treatment for HIV. All were between 40 to 79 years of age when they enrolled in the NA-ACCORD study (median age of 45 years). One in 5 study participants (4,677) were also positive for hepatitis C. During a median follow-up of about 4 years, the researchers compared the occurrence of a heart attack between the HIV-only and the HIV-hepatitis C co-infected groups as a whole, and by each decade of age.

The analysis found:

  • With each decade of increasing age, heart attacks increased 30% in people with HIV alone and 85% in those who were also positive for hepatitis C.
  • The risk of heart attack increased in participants who also had traditional heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure (more than 3 times), smoking (90%) and Type 2 diabetes (46%).
  • The risk of heart attack was also higher (40%) in participants with certain HIV-related factors such as low levels of CD4 immune cells (200cells/mm3, signaling greater immune dysfunction) and 45% in those who took protease inhibitors (one type of antiretroviral therapy linked to metabolic conditions).
  • "People who are living with HIV or hepatitis C should ask their doctor about treatment options for the viruses and other ways to reduce their cardiovascular disease risk," said lead study author Raynell Lang, M.D., M.Sc., an assistant professor in the department of medicine and community health sciences at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.

    "Several mechanisms may be involved in the increased heart attack risk among co-infected patients. One contributing factor may be the inflammation associated with having two chronic viral infections," Lang said. "There also may be differences in risk factors for cardiovascular disease and non-medical factors that influence health among people with HIV and hepatitis C that plays a role in the increased risk."

    According to a June 2019 American Heart Association scientific statement, Characteristics, Prevention, and Management of Cardiovascular Disease in People Living With HIV, approximately 75% of people living with HIV are over the age of 45. "Even with effective HIV viral suppression, inflammation and immune dysregulation appear to increase the risk for heart attack, stroke and heart failure." The statement called for more research on cardiovascular disease prevention, causes and treatment in people with HIV.

    "Our findings suggest that HIV and hepatitis C co-infections need more research, which may inform future treatment guidelines and standards of care," Althoff said.

    The study is limited by not having information on additional factors associated with heart attack risk such as diet, exercise or family history of chronic health conditions. Results from this study of people with HIV receiving care in North America may not be generalizable to people with HIV elsewhere. In addition, the study period included time prior to the availability of more advanced hepatitis C treatments.

    "Because effective and well-tolerated hepatitis C therapy was not available during several years of our study period, we were unable to evaluate the association of treated hepatitis C infection on cardiovascular risk among people with HIV. This will be an important question to answer in future studies," Lang said.

    Prep Sports Notebook: Unity top in XC, SJO soccer post another win

    Rockets take 4th place at Reed-Custer Lady Comets Classic

    BRAIDWOOD -- Unity won one match, tied two, and lost two at the Lady Comets volleyball tournament on Saturday.

    The Rockets fell 2-0 to Maroa-Forsyth and De La Salle in close contests. The Trojans prevailed 25-23, 25-14, and the Meteors from Chicago squeaked by UHS, 25-18, 25-20.

    The team split sets against Putnam County, losing the first by three, 25-22, and storming back to take the second set, 25-18. Kaitlyn Schweighart, who finished the tournament with 18 kills and 58 digs, and the Rockets also split sets in their confrontation with the Momence volleyball program, 17-25, 25-16.

    UHS' only victory on the five-match day was 25-23, 25-11, win over Mendota.

    Junior Ruby Tarr had 33 assists and made 22 digs during the tournament. Meanwhile, Jayci McGraww booked 31 assists and five digs, and Julia Ping helped the team's defensive effort collecting 35 digs and nine assists.

    The Rockets are back in action two days next week at the Rocket Center. Starting Monday, Tarr & Co. host the Bulldogs of St. Teresa and then play a conference showdown against the Monticello. The Sages are 0-2 in conference play with straight two-set loses to St. Thomas More and Paxton-Buckley-Loda this season.

    Spartans one win away from 10th

    GEORGETOWN -- The St. Joseph-Ogden soccer team rallied back from a one-goal first-half deficit with two goals to beat Georgetown-Ridge Farm-Westville, 2-1.

    The Buffaloes produced the only score in the first half despite numerous opportunities for SJO. A pass from freshman Ryker Lockhart gave Collin Thomey the opportunity to tie the game 1-all in the second half. Later, Lockhart put the ball between the post around the GRFW keeper to give the Spartans the go-ahead goal. Spencer Wilson got credit for the assist for the 9-3-1 Spartans.

    Senior Hunter Ketchum and backup keeper Jacek Slowikowski, each guarding the goal for a half, made two saves each.

    Luke Barney nailed the first goal of the game for the Buffaloes.

    Unity outscored, 2-0

    Tolono -- The Rockets' soccer team fell 2-0 to visiting Illinois Valley Central Saturday morning. The Grey Ghosts improved to 1-4 in conference play after scoring a goal in each half of the Illini Prairie Conference match.

    Unity (2-13, 0-6) hosts Fisher on Monday at home. Opening kick is slated for 4:30p.

    SJO 4th, Unity 9th at cross-country meet

    St. Joseph -- St. Joseph-Ogden's Jack Fisher turned in a team-best 16:10.32 finish to help the Spartans finish fourth out of 28 participating teams after running in the 50th installment of the Spartan Classic.

    The Rockets, who finished ninth in the team standings, were paced by Brendan Graven. He completed the 3-mile course in 16 minutes and 38.58 seconds Saturday morning. Urbana University High's Pieter Duursma led the Illinek's effort to the finish line, circumventing the course for a 34th overall finish at 16:51.57.

    The St. Teresa boys' team won this year's team title with 60 points. El Paso-Gridley finished in second place with 92 points, and third place went to Tuscola with 113 points.

    Unity girls when Spartan Classic title

    St. Joseph -- The Rockets cross-country team finished first out of 27 teams at this year's Spartan Classic. Uni-High finished in third place with 149 points behind El Paso-Gridley's 97-point second-place effort. Unity's top-five runners finished the 3-mile course under 19 minutes or better for an impressive 38 points.

    The St.Joseph-Ogden harriers finished in seventh place in the team standings.

    Rockets' Erika Woodard, a junior, won the individual title crossing the finish line first for the ladies with a time of 17:12.28. Senior Kate Ahmari, who led the Illinek program around the course throughout St. Joseph, finished at 17:49.40 in 3rd place overall. The Spartans top runner, sophomore Savanna Franzen, clocked in at 18:02.08 for a 6th place finish overall.

    Attention area high school coaches

    If you are a coach at Unity, Urbana Uni-High, Urbana High School or St. Joseph-Ogden, send us your box scores, statistical leaders for each game, and other info via email to sports@oursentinel.com or editor@oursentinel.com.

    Spartan soccer team loses battle at STM

    St. Joseph-Ogden defender Garrett Siems pushes the ball up the field in the second half. The Spartans fell 2-0 to the Sabers on the road on Thursday. Siems and his SJO teammates, with a record of 8 wins, 3 losses and a tie, hit the field again for a non-conference contest at Georgetown-Ridgefarm on Saturday, September 24. Match time scheduled for 9a. Then on Monday, the team will host Judah Christian with the opening touch at 4:30pm. See more photos from this game.
    Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

    Search the PhotoNews Media archives for more photos:

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    Recipe: Chipotle Chicken Flatbread fest

    Family Features -- When dining outside with your loved ones, there are few things better than a tasty dish the whole family can enjoy. This Chipotle Chicken Flatbread makes for a perfect al fresco meal.

    Photo provided

    Prepared along with a fresh salad or simply enjoyed by itself, this flatbread is simple to make and even kids will love adding the toppings and sauce. It’s colorful and fresh, making it a perfect addition to get-togethers on the patio.

    Plus, the cooking time is only 16 minutes, which makes this a quick and delicious solution to defeat.

    For more al fresco recipe ideas, visit Culinary.net.

    Chipotle Chicken Flatbread

    Adapted from butteryourbiscuit.com

    2 flatbreads
    2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
    1 clove garlic, diced
    4 chicken tenders, cooked and cubed
    1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
    salt, to taste
    pepper, to taste
    1/2 cup ranch dressing
    1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle seasoning
    2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped

    Here's how you put it together for your next meal:

    Start by preheating your oven to 375 F.

    Place parchment paper on baking sheet and add flatbreads. Sprinkle cheese on flatbreads. Top with garlic, chicken and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake 16 minutes until cheese is melted.

    In small bowl, mix ranch and chipotle seasoning.

    Drizzle ranch dressing on flatbread and sprinkle with cilantro leaves.

    If you want that side gig to be a success, you need a solid plan

    Photo: Desola Lanre-Ologun/Unsplash

    NAPSI -- Congratulations! You’ve decided to start a business — you’re about to embark on an exciting and challenging journey. Before you dive in headfirst, however, it may pay to take time to understand how to start a business the right way and what it takes to make your new gig, be it a side one or fulltime, a total success.

    Here’s Everything You Need To Know About How To Start A Business

    Whether your startup is creating something new in the marketplace, improving upon an existing product or anything in between, founders need three key elements to get started. When you’re ready to kick off your startup, be prepared with the following:

    1. A Clear Understanding of Your Purpose: Why are you embarking upon this business venture? And why now? Get clear on your WHY. It may seem obvious but if you don’t understand why you’re starting your business, neither will your customers.

    Your WHY should reflect your business’ purpose—its reason for existence. For example, maybe you recognized an unmet need in your community or perhaps you improved upon an existing product. It’s important to be clear about the intention of your business and the value you provide to customers.

    2. A Business Plan: Would you go on a road trip without a map? The answer is probably no. You need directions to get where you’re going. The same rule applies when starting a business.

    With a business plan, you can plot a course from startup to success. Plans typically include:

  • A summary of your business, including the product or service you’re selling, your mission statement and current team members.
  • A breakdown of your product or service, including what makes it viable in your market.
  • Market research that demonstrates an understanding of your industry and your competition. Research your biggest competitors to understand what makes them successful.
  • A SWOT analysis that delineates your business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
  • A compelling marketing strategy that illustrates how you’ll attract and retain customers.
  • Financial projections that show potential investors the viability of your business. Include a financial forecast for the next one, five, or even ten years.
  • As you work through your business plan, check out SCORE’s Startup Roadmap. It offers a step-by-step online guide to help you create a thorough plan for your new business.

    3. A Strong Support System: Your business is more likely to be successful with a support system. Surround yourself with people who can offer guidance, encouragement and constructive criticism.

    That may be friends or family who have a strong understanding of your market, experience running a business, or members of your professional network willing to give you their time and perspective.

    Identifying a mentor is one of the best moves an entrepreneur can make. And the reasons are well-founded. Small business clients who receive more than three hours of mentoring report higher revenues and increased business growth, according to SCORE data.

    Mentors are often business professionals with experience operating a healthy business who can guide you through your entrepreneurial journey. They act as a sounding board as you grow your business, connect you with resources and provide advice when you hit bumps along the way.

    As you prepare to launch your business, SCORE can connect you with a mentor to help you along your journey. With expertise in all aspects of starting and growing a business, SCORE mentors can guide you to resources and tools that can help you succeed.

    To learn more or find a find a mentor, visit www.score.org/find-mentor.

    Federal Affordable Connectivity Program offers low-cost internet to eligible citizens

    NAPSI -- A fast, reliable Internet connection has become a critical part of our daily lives. From remote learning and working to networking and searching for jobs, Americans everywhere felt an online shift during COVID-19. 

    And, while the country gradually recovers from the pandemic, the collective need to stay connected remains stronger than ever. 

    Enter the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

    ACP extends and makes permanent the Internet subsidy for families in need that began under the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program. Falling under the $1.2T bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the ACP is part of a $65 billion broadband Internet initiative designed to bring affordable or even free Internet service to families who qualify.

    Eligible households can save up to $30 a month, or up to $75 if they reside on tribal lands.

    So, who qualifies? Here’s a glance at the different criteria from the FCC of which one or more is required:

  • Household is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  • Participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline.
  • Participates in tribal-specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.
  • Participates in the National School Lunch or Breakfast Program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision.
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year.
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income Internet program.
  • Visit fcc.gov/acp for more details and call 844-844-WIFI (844-844-9434) to find a participating provider nearby.

    Former SJO three-sport athlete Brandi Burnett inducted into Hall of Fame

    ST. JOSEPH -- St. Joseph-Ogden High School will introduce four new inductees to the St. Joseph-Ogden Hall of Fame during the Spartan football team's Homecoming game against Nokomis. The distinquished group includes 1960 graduate Dee Evans, former three-sport athlete Brandi Carmien Burnett, veteran teacher Kermit Esarey, and The Gary Olson Family

    Below is a short biography and highlights about Brandi Burnett provided by the high school.

    Brandi Carmien Burnett

    Brandi is a 1993 graduate of St. Joseph-Ogden High School. She was a three-sport athlete in volleyball, basketball and softball. She earned 11 total varsity letters during her high school career. In volleyball, her awards included ICC All Conference for two years and All-Area 2nd team for one year. In softball, her awards included ICC All-Conference for three years and All-Area 1st team for two years. Her basketball awards included ICC All-Conference MVP two years, All-Area 1st Team two years, IBCA All-State 3rd Team one year, All-State Special mention one year and Prairie State Games three years where two years she was MVP. She ended her high school career with 1456 points scored and 786 rebounds.

    Brandi went on to play basketball at Kankakee Community College for two years. She was a dental assistant and office assistant for two dentists for seven years. She was a pharmacy technician for 12 years. Brandi is currently employed at Gifford State Bank in Gifford in the Risk Management department.

    Brandi served on the SJO Fan Club for 8 years while her kids were in high school. She has been married to her husband, Chad for 23 years. Their three children, Abigail, Crayton and Kennedi are all SJO grads. Brandi is blessed to live on her grandparents' farm north of St. Joseph.

    Congratulations once again to Brandi Burnett and her family for the induction into the St. Joseph-Ogden High School Hall of Fame.

    St. Joseph native Dee Evans inducted into school Hall of Fame

    ST. JOSEPH -- St. Joseph-Ogden High School will introduce four new inductees to the St. Joseph-Ogden Hall of Fame during the Spartan football team's Homecoming game against Nokomis. The distinquished group includes 1960 graduate Dee Evans, former three-sport athlete Brandi Carmien Burnett, veteran teacher Kermit Esarey, and The Gary Olson Family

    Below is a short biography and highlights about Dee Evans provided by the high school.

    Dee Evans

    Dee Evans is a 1960 graduate of St. Joseph High School. That was before it was consolidated with Ogden. He was a three sport athlete in football, basketball and track, earning a varsity letter for three years in each sport.

    In 1959 he was awarded the Little All-State Award for Football. His stats for Football included 22 solo tackles in a game against Young America School. His other academic honors include receiving the American Legion Award, Medallion and Ribbon in 1960. That award was voted on by the staff for honor and service.

    Dee was offered a football scholarship at three different colleges. He chose Eastern Illinois University and played for one year. But because of financial concerns, he chose not to continue school and began working as a concrete finisher, which he made a career of. He was a Military Police and served in Vietnam in 1966. Dee is a member of the St. Joseph American Legion Post 634. His community service includes establishing the All Veterans Movement at Woodard Park. He and other fellow veterans designed and built the memorial.

    Dee has also donated his time and concrete work to many projects in the community.

    Dee has been married to his wife Wilma for 55 years. Wilma is a 1963 graduate of St. Joseph High School. They have three children, Neal, Helene and Sara. They are all SJO graduates. They have 12 grandchildren and one great grandchild.

    Congratulations once again to Dee Evans and his family for the induction into the St. Joseph-Ogden High School Hall of Fame.

    Recognized for his contributions and dedication, Kermit Esarey is inducted into the 2022 SJO Hall of Fame

    ST. JOSEPH -- St. Joseph-Ogden High School will introduce four new inductees to the St. Joseph-Ogden Hall of Fame during the Spartan football team's Homecoming game against Nokomis. The distinquished group includes 1960 graduate Dee Evans, former three-sport athlete Brandi Carmien Burnett, veteran teacher Kermit Esarey, and The Gary Olson Family.

    Below is a short biography and highlights about Kermit Esarey provided by the high school.

    Kermit Esarey

    Kermit was born and raised in southern Illinois. He graduated from Mt. Carmel High School in 1940.

    He attended the University of Illinois, College of Agriculture, majoring in Agricultural Education. He was drafted into the Army after his junior year as a 2nd Lieutenant. He returned to the U of I after his release from the military and received his Bachelor’s degree.

    He began his teaching career at Scotland High School where he taught for one year. He then taught at Cisne High School for four years. He moved to St. Joseph and started teaching at St. Joseph High School in 1952. He completed his Master’s degree that same year from the U of I and continued his teaching career at what is now St. Joseph-Ogden High School until his retirement in 1982. He was also the FFA advisor while teaching at SJO.

    Kermit was married to his wife, LaDema for 73 years. She preceded him in death in 2017. They had one daughter, Gail, who lives in Arlington, Texas with her family. After Kermit’s retirement, he and LaDema moved to Texas to be closer to their family. While they resided in St. Joseph, Kermit and LaDema were active members of the St. Joseph Methodist Church. Kermit was also a member of the local Lion’s Club and the IAVAT.

    Kermit was awarded the Honorary State FFA Degree in 1979 as well as an honorary membership in the Alpha Tau Alpha fraternity. Kermit supervised more than 20 student teachers during his career at SJO. He would often say that some of his greatest satisfactions in life were to visit with former students and encourage them to become successful in ag related fields.

    In 2020, his daughter Gail established a scholarship at the U of I in his name to be awarded to a student majoring in the agricultural field. Kermit passed away in 2019 at the age of 97. Kermit was the oldest of four brothers. We are honored to have several members of his family here with us tonight to receive this award in his name.

    Thank you to Kermit Esarey for your dedication to the SJO school! Congratulations once again to Kermit Esarey and his family for the induction into the St. Joseph-Ogden High School Hall of Fame.

    The Gary Olson family inducted into Hall of Fame

    ST. JOSEPH -- St. Joseph-Ogden High School will introduce four new inductees to the St. Joseph-Ogden Hall of Fame during the Spartan football team's Homecoming game against Nokomis. The distinquished group includes 1960 graduate Dee Evans, former three-sport athlete Brandi Carmien Burnett, veteran teacher Kermit Esarey, and The Gary Olson Family

    Below is a short biography and highlights about the Gary Olson Family provided by the high school.

    The Olsons

    Gary and Nancy Olson and their three children, Ory, Isaiah and Bria are all SJO grads.

    Gary graduated in 1980. He played basketball and was a member of FFA, serving as President his senior year. Nancy graduated in 1983 and was a cheerleader all four years.

    Ory graduated in 2005. He played basketball all four years, football and track each one year. He was also involved in FFA, serving as President his senior year.

    Isaiah graduated in 2007. He was a three-sport athlete in football, basketball and baseball. His Senior year he was Captain of basketball and football, which was the 2006 Runner-Up state team.

    Bria graduated in 2010. She was a three-sport athlete in volleyball, basketball and track. She was captain of both the volleyball and basketball teams her senior year. She still currently holds the school record in high jump.

    Nancy and Ory both graduated from Parkland College. Isaiah and Bria both graduated from the U of I.

    Nancy was an SJO Cheer coach for several years and helped start the student cheering section, Maroon Platoon. Gary, Isaiah and Bria all coached basketball at the St. Joseph Grade and Middle Schools for several years. In addition Gary and Isaiah coached freshmen basketball at SJO for a few years. They have previously received the SJO Friend of Education award for their countless hours of volunteer service they have given to SJO. They are always willing to provide equipment and give of their time to help the school.

    Gary and Nancy have been married for 37 years. Their children are Ory and his wife Nicki, Isaiah and his wife Kathryn and Bria and her husband Michael. They have nine grandchildren. They all operate the family farm together and reside north of St. Joseph.

    Congratulations once again to the Gary Olson family for your induction into the St. Joseph-Ogden High School Hall of Fame.

    With heart attacks, timing is everything and it can save your life

    by Tim Ditman
    OSF Healthcare
    URBANA -- To say time was of the essence for Tammi Fanson on July 18, 2022, would be an understatement.

    The Gibson City, Illinois, woman had been dealing with high blood pressure, stress, fatigue and shortness of breath, but she chalked it up to life just being difficult. But on that day, she found herself at her local Gibson Area Hospital in the midst of a heart attack.

    Health News on The Sentinel Fanson was then taken by ambulance to OSF HealthCare Heart of Mary Medical Center in Urbana, Illinois – around 40 minutes on a regular drive but half that with the blaring red lights. That, combined with the cooperation between the two hospitals, and Fanson was fast-tracked straight to the cardiac catheterization laboratory at OSF Heart of Mary, something Tammi and her husband Doug say saved her life.

    "They knew me," Tammi Fanson says. "They knew exactly what was going on. There must have been a lot of communication even before I got there. So it was very comforting."

    "The comfort that she had knowing this crew was waiting for her, it’s pretty remarkable," Doug Fanson adds.

    Fanson’s case is an example of the importance of what’s known as door to balloon time. That measures the time between when a patient has first contact with a medical professional to when a balloon is placed in their heart’s arteries to get rid of blockages and resume blood flow. For Fanson, she had a balloon within 27 minutes of arriving at OSF Heart of Mary.

    "Time is muscle here in the cath lab," says Jo Lehigh, a registered nurse at OSF Heart of Mary who was on Fanson’s care team. "Every minute that goes by could be tissue death."

    That means Lehigh and other OSF caregivers in the cath lab have to be agile. For starters, they have a limited response time to get to the hospital once they get the page that a patient is inbound.

    On the balloon process itself, Lehigh says physicians start by accessing an artery through a patient’s wrist or groin.

    "We send in a catheter. We go up into the heart and we shoot in contrast dye. The contrast dye helps us to visualize the artery to see where the blockage is located and how severe it is," Lehigh says. "And from there, the doctor goes in with a small balloon on the catheter and inflates the balloon. Then we'll go in with a stent and another balloon to open it up. So we have blood flow after it's all said and done."

    The Fansons praise Lehigh for the care Tammi received.

    "She was our angel," Doug Fanson says, the emotion in his voice strong.

    Tammi Fanson recalls Lehigh at her side in the heat of the battle to save her life.

    "I said, ‘Am I going to be OK?’" Fanson says. "And she was right there assuring me that everything was going to be OK."

    Lehigh followed up with Fanson, too, during her stay at OSF Heart of Mary.

    "I do go down and check on the patients. I make sure they're doing OK and just kind of show my face because a lot of times they can remember my name and remember my voice, but they don't really remember me or what I looked like." Lehigh says. "So I have to go down there and just kind of keep up on them and make sure they're doing OK. I think that builds a good relationship."

    Four heart stents later, Fanson is now recovering at home and is doing well. She’s enrolled in cardiac rehabilitation, a typical but vital part of the path back to normal. But most importantly of all, Fanson has a new lease on life. She appreciates the importance of diet, exercise, healthy blood pressure and knowing your family history of heart troubles. And she’s found ways to reduce stress, at least temporarily, like watching the sunrise with no distracting devices in sight.

    "I could have easily went back to sleep that night," Tammi Fanson says, recalling the evening that changed her life. "Don’t do that. Go in [to the hospital]. Get your regular checkups. And listen to your body."

    "Listen to [your health care providers]. Rely on them. Lean on them. They’re experts," Doug Fanson says. "It helps you get through the traumatic times."

    Lehigh concurs with all those sentiments. She adds that if you find yourself in Fanson’s shoes – having sudden, significant symptoms of a heart attack – don’t drive yourself to the hospital. Call 9-1-1.

    "The ambulance is going to have everything there that you need," Lehigh says. "They’re going to have the electrocardiogram, the aspirin. They’re going to have all the equipment and supplies they’d need to help make this a smooth and quicker process."

    Prep Sports Notebook: Atwood paces SJO golf team, Spartan soccer team fall short

    Atwood leads Spartans at triangle meet

    St. Joseph-Ogden's McGwire Atwood hits a shot off the 5th tee at Willow Pond Golf Course. SJO finished just two strokes out of tie for first at the triangle meet on Thursday. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

    RANTOUL -- McGwire Atwood shot a 42 to lead the Spartan contingent during a triangle meet on Thursday at Willow Pond Golf Course. The Spartans finished second in the three-school event by just two strokes over Rantoul's combined score of 178.

    Jacob Kern and Ashten Cafarelli carded 42 and 43 strokes, respectively. Meanwhile, Maddux Carter and Jack Robertson shot a 50, and senior Connor Hale rounded out the top six with a 62.

    Judah Christian's Caleb McCullough lead all players as the day's medalist with a nine-hole best of 37 strokes. The Tribe finished in third place with 187 points on a beautiful fall day in Rantoul.

    Spartan soccer team fall at STM

    There was no shortage of effort or chances by the St. Joseph-Ogden soccer team during their road match at St. Thomas More. The Spartans played a tight 90-minute game yielding one unanswered goal in each half to the host Sabers to lose, 2-0.

    Keeper Hunter Ketchum made four saves for SJO. The Spartan soccer team is just two wins a away from a ten-win season at 8-3-1.

    Unity soccer shutout by Rantoul

    The Rockets were unable to score in their Illini Prairie match against the Eagles. Rantoul managed to get four shots past the keeper to win 4-0 in their regular-season conference match.

    Williams steps up for SJO

    Junior Peyton Williams lodged a team-high eight kills against Pontiac during St. Joseph-Ogden's home match on Thursday. The Spartans improve to 13-4 on the season after taking down the Indians in straight sets 25-16, 25-14.

    Addie Roesch, also a junior, and Shayne Immke contributed six kills apiece to maintain SJO's undefeated conference record, now 3-0.

    The Spartans top four players tallied 30 digs. Setter Taylor Hug, who distributed 20 assists, led the team with 10 digs. Roesch and Williams had seven apiece, and Immke added another six digs to the total.

    The St. Joseph-Ogden volleyball team is off for six days, then resumes competition next Wednesday at Cissna Park. After the non-conference bout with the Lady Timberwolves, SJO is on the road again in search of a fourth Illini Prairie win on Thursday at Rantoul.

    Despite sloppy start, SJO volleyball team rolls past Unity

    TOLONO -- The Unity volleyball team came out swinging against visiting St. Joseph-Ogden in the Illini Prairie Conference match on Tuesday. Unfortunately for the Rockets, the team was unable to maintain the intensity needed in the 2-0 loss to the Spartans.

    It is rare that SJO head coach Abby McDonald calls a timeout early in a match, but four serves into the first set and down 4-0 on the scoreboard against Unity, she signaled to the referees for a brief halt as the Rockets' dominant play had her team out of sorts. After the action resumed, the Spartans struggled, but were able to methodically work brief moments of magic to keep the game in reach.

    The two teams tied up the score five times in the first set until St. Joseph-Ogden's Shayne Immke's block put her team up 19-18. Firmly in system, SJO then won six of the next eight points to win, 25-20.

    Emmalee Atkins tries to tip the ball over St. Joseph-Ogden's Peyton Williams

    Unity's Emmalee Atkins tries to tip the ball over St. Joseph-Ogden's Peyton Williams. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

    Immke would finish the match with five kills and seven digs.

    With the momentum squarely on their half of the court and Taylor Hug at the service line, the Spartans hammered out an 8-0 lead over their headlight-struck host to start the second half.

    "Taylor has a very high volleyball IQ. She is the quarterback of our team." McDonald said. "She will do everything she can to win behind the service line."

    Hug led the team's service effort with three aces. She was the game leader in assists with 14.

    She added, with an appreciative smile, "She typically has a plan even if it is different than mine."

    Hug and the Spartans, who were now firmly playing in system, continued to pile on points building a 15-point lead on the Rockets to go up, 20-5. The match ended with SJO up by 15, 25-10.

    "We were not taking care of the ball," said Unity head coach Erika Yerry. "We need to work on consistency."

    Junior outside hitter Addie Roesch putaway six kills and served two aces for the Spartans. Immke added another five kills and notched half of the 14 digs between her and Hug's defensive effort. Mikyla Haley tallied 10 digs and was credit with two of the team's seven aces.

    "We played with a lot of confidence," McDonald said critiquing her team's second set performance. "When get our left side swinging early and our right, it really affects our opponents."

    Prep Sports Notebook: GCMS too much for Spartan tennis squad to handle

    Road loss for SJO tennis

    The St. Joseph-Ogden tennis team was unable to notch a win on any court in the team's road match at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley on Wednesday. The two team's played 8-game pro sets on two singles courts and for all three doubles matches.

    Senior Abbey Dow pressured GCMS' Katie Steindinger at #1 singles but could not get the momentum shift she needed posting three wins. Spartan doubles pairs Halie Harms/Emma Thurman and Addison Ross/McKennah Hamilton also won three games during their matches.

    Box Score ~

    Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 5
    St. Joseph-Ogden 0

    No. 1 - Katie Steidinger, GCMS def. Abbey Dow, SJO, 8-3
    No. 2 - Lexi Cliff, GCMS def. Katie McDermott, SJO, 8-1

    No. 1 - Lexi Cliff/Syda Schlickman, GCMS def. Addison Ross/Addison Seggebruch, SJO, 8-1
    No. 2 - McKenna Crowley/Kadence Crowley, GCMS def. Addison Ross/McKennah Hamilton, SJO, 8-3
    No. 3 - Anna Goodin/Cecilia Goodin, GCMS def. Halie Harms/Emma Thurman, SJO, 8-3

    Photo of the Day | September 21, 2022

    St. Joseph-Ogden' Aiden Cromwell tries to settle the ball during second half action of St. Joseph-Ogden's road game at Unity. Earlier, Cromwell scored SJO's second goal of the game thanks a nice pass from Spencer Wilson. The Spartans eventually won the conference game 4-0 and improved to 8-2-1 on the season. See more photos from this game.
    Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

    Prep Sports Notebook: SJO golf, soccer, & volleyball post wins on Tuesday

    Cafarelli and Kern medal at IPC golf tournament

    St. Joseph-Ogden's Ashten Cafarelli and Jacob Kern were individual medalists at the Illini Prairie Conference golf tournament on Tuesday. Cafarelli shot a 77 for a 5th place overall finish, and Kern turned in his scorecard with 81 strokes to finish 10th.

    The Spartan golf team finished in third place by two strokes at Willow Pond with 333 behind Rantoul (332) in second place and conference champions Monticello's 317.

    The Spartan six-pack also included Maddux Carter, who finished with 87 strokes and McGwire Atwood with 88. Jack Robertson shot a 105 and James Huisinga rounded out the top-six with 106.

    SJO soccer dominates rival Unity

    Four players scored goals in St. Joseph-Ogden away soccer match at Unity for a 4-0 Illini Prairie Conference victory.

    Despite a solid effort by both teams, Spartans' Jackson Greer punched in the first and only goal on an assist from Collin Thomey in the first half with less than two minutes-15 seconds on the clock.

    After the break, SJO came out determined to challenge the Rockets' fitness. After good pushes by both teams, Aiden Cromwell, on a feed from Spenser Wilson, scored. Teammate Ryker Lockhart (assist Logan Mills) extended the Spartans' lead with another goal in the half.

    Later with the Spartans up 3-0, sophomore Alex Accosta came in off the bench to score an unassisted strike and put the match out of the Rockets' reach.

    The Spartans improve to 8-2-1 on the season.

    In the box, Hunter Ketchum fended off six attacks, and Carter Mabry saw action guarding the post making a pair of saves late in the contest.

    Momentum shift sinks Rockets

    The Unity Rockets were in complete control during the opening set of their home volleyball game against St. Joseph-Ogden on Tuesday. That was until SJO tied the score at 17-all and won eight of the last 11 points for the win, 25-20.

    SJO's momentum continued into the second set behind the defensive efforts of junior Addie Roesch, who posted nine digs, and another 10 came from senior Mikyla Haley against Unity.

    The Spartans opened the period with an 8-0 run before the Rockets called a timeout to regroup. By the time Unity regained their composure and notched four unanswered points to trail by 13 at 21-8, the hole was too deep to recover. St. Joseph-Ogden closed out the set, 25-10, for the conference win.

    Roesch led the team's offensive attack with six kills and two aces. Haley chipped another pair of aces. Meanwhile, Shayne Immke tacked on five kills and contributed another seven digs.

    Taylor Hug, who finished with three aces, 14 assists, and seven digs was at the service line for the first eight second-set points for SJO.

    Money Matters: How to avoid being overcharged for a funeral

    Pavel Danilyuk/PEXELS

    by Carson Kessler

    For the funeral industry, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant flush times. Revenues have surged at Service Corporation International, the largest such chain in the U.S., with more than 1,500 funeral homes and 400 cemeteries. And “COVID impact,” according to a recent investor fact sheet, helped SCI more than double its earnings per share between 2019 and 2021.

    Prices for funerals have always been steep. Funeral homes charged a median of $7,848 for a viewing and burial last year, according to the National Funeral Directors Association, and $6,970 for a cremation. Those costs don’t include the charges from cemeteries, which can add thousands more. ProPublica recently investigated one cemetery whose charges could run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

    The federal government has done little to regulate the industry. Thirty-eight years ago, the Federal Trade Commission tiptoed into this realm, mandating that funeral homes disclose their prices. But cemeteries, some of which are overseen by states, were exempted from those rules. For two years now, the FTC has been conducting a rare review of its rules and examining a wide series of proposals, including extending its rules to cemeteries, requiring that prices be posted online, and disclosing that embalming is not legally required. Presented with a series of questions about the status and timing of the process, an FTC spokesperson would say only “the review is ongoing.”

    Joshua Slocum, executive director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance, the only national consumer organization that monitors the funeral industry, has been advocating for changes to the FTC’s Funeral Rule for decades. Regardless of what the agency decides, Slocum wants consumers to know their rights, as well as have a few tips at their disposal when preparing to put a loved one to rest.

    This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

    Many people might be surprised to know that at least part of the death industry is regulated. What is regulated and what isn’t?

    Let’s talk about the federal [rules] because that’s most important to the basics of what people need to know. There’s something called the Funeral Rule, a regulation from the Federal Trade Commission, which gives consumers particular rights, and they would be very wise to exercise these rights.

    One, they have a right to get price quotes by phone.

    Number two, when they go to a funeral home in person to talk about a funeral arrangement, they have a right to a printed, itemized price list — think of it just like a menu at a restaurant.

    Number three, they have a right to pick and choose item by item. Funeral homes are not allowed to offer you only a package. They will try to offer you a package and they will often say, “You save money if you buy everything together in a bundle.” But just like all bundles, you have to take a look and see, is this actually something I would have spent money on, on its own? Am I really saving money? Or am I just getting a bunch of things that I wouldn’t have picked anyway?

    What are the first steps to take after a loved one’s death?

    Number one, remember that death is not an emergency. When death occurs, by definition, that means the emergency is now over. The worst thing that can happen has already happened. The person isn’t going to get any deader, to put it plainly.

    Get on the phone and call at least five different funeral homes within a 20- to 30-mile radius of where the dead person is. Get price quotes. Take the time to at least look it over and compare some of the prices before you commit to having the funeral home remove the body. If the person dies at a hospital, which is more common, you have more options. Ask the hospital if the body can stay in the morgue for a couple of days while you make a considered decision about which funeral home to call.

    Two, take stock of your budget. You need to know that figure. Decide ahead of time what you can comfortably afford. And for God’s sake, please don’t do this: “Oh, money is no object. It’s my mother. She deserves the best,” and then three months from now, you’ve got a $15,000 bill that you can’t pay.

    What happens when you comparison shop?

    Anytime you pick five or six funeral homes, all within the same city or region, and you canvass them, you will find that there’s a price difference of thousands of dollars for exactly the same service all within a service area available to you. And you will not know this because the vast majority of people will say, “Oh, well, we just use our family’s funeral home.” And I will ask them, “Why is that the one you always go to?”

    The bottom line is nobody has a family car dealer, nobody has a family utility company, nobody has a family anything else. They compare prices and services. The problem here is that because this is the death transaction, and it’s a transaction we’re only going to sign a check for on average once in our lives, we don’t have practice with it. And because it is the most emotional business transaction we will ever encounter, many make the mistake of thinking of the funeral home in the same emotional category that their church lives in. That’s a mistake. Your funeral home is not your minister. Your undertaker is not your counselor. Your undertaker is your car dealer for death. And I do not mean that in an insulting way. I mean it in a straightforward business way.

    How did it come to be that funeral homes are governed by some federal regulation, but cemeteries aren’t?

    The cemetery regulation is so poor that I consider it an unregulated industry, even if it is technically regulated under state law.

    Cemeteries before the 20th century were never considered a capitalistic, profit-making venture. They were, either by law or by community consensus, conceived of as doing a public good, something closer to what the church does. So they were seen as nonprofit community service entities that weren’t subject to regular business regulation. That changed in the 20th century when it did become possible in many parts of the country to run a for-profit cemetery.

    But the regulations never caught up. The same kinds of deceptive practices that were documented that led to the Funeral Rule have always been going on at cemeteries.

    I think there’s very little chance that the FTC is going to bring cemeteries under the funeral rule this time around. We’ve tried many times. There are complicated reasons for it. One of the reasons is that many cemeteries in many states are organized under nonprofit corporation law. The FTC does not have jurisdiction over that, which is an actual genuine, systemic problem.

    What kind of deceptive cemetery practices are you referring to?

    The same things as what funeral homes did before the law changed. The FTC rule doesn’t apply to cemeteries, so they don’t have to give out a printed price list. They don’t have to let you pick a la carte. Many cemeteries get up to nonsense games, like if you don’t want to buy that cemetery’s headstone, they get sore that they’re not getting that profit out of you. So if you go to a third-party monument dealer, the cemetery will tack on what they will call an “inspection fee” that just happens to be the exact difference in cost that they lost if you didn’t buy their stone.

    What has changed now for the FTC to consider amending the Funeral Rule and what needs to happen for some of these proposals to be implemented?

    Well, the FTC needs to act. It’s been two years since the FTC announced that they were reviewing the rule, and a review means considering changes. I don’t have a lot of inside knowledge, but what I can say is in communicating with the staff, I believe that they are taking this issue seriously. I believe that they are seriously considering updating the rule to mandate online pricing for funeral homes.

    The current federal regulations entitle you to a paper price list if you show up in person at the funeral home. We believe that funeral homes should have to post their prices on their website. But until they do, you are probably going to have to telephone shop.

    Do many funeral homes post their prices online, even though it’s not legally required at this point?

    We, the Funeral Consumers Alliance and our partner organization, Consumer Federation of America, have done two surveys on the rate of online price posting. We did one in 2018, sampling 25 cities. We found only 16% of funeral homes posted their price lists online. We just did a new version of the survey, which was greatly expanded to a sample size of 1,046 funeral homes in 35 different states, and we only found 18% of them posting their prices. So no, most funeral homes hide their prices online.

    Do you think the industry’s profits from COVID-19 will affect the FTC’s decision?

    I think our perception and reaction to COVID has played roles in most things. One of the things that was really unfortunate for funeral consumers is that COVID was exactly the period when an online price list would have been most helpful to grieving families and we didn’t have it. People were afraid to go into businesses in person, or there were actually state-based restrictions about transacting business in person. So a lot of people were making arrangements over the phone or in some long-distance way.

    The big corporations, which own hundreds of funeral homes and cemeteries across the country, are opposing changes to the rule — what’s their stated reason? What’s your take?

    Things like, “We believe that this is a very personal transaction, and we believe it’s most appropriate for the price discussion to be had in the traditional manner, and consumers aren’t shopping for price anyway, so there’s no need for this.” That’s what they say. It’s not complicated. It’s simply that they don’t want to be regulated. From my point of view, they have a very weak case. First of all, requiring online posting of price lists literally costs the funeral industry $0. Do you know what it costs them? It costs them the time it takes to click that button that says “upload PDF.”

    More broadly, how have multibillion-dollar conglomerates like SCI changed the funeral industry?

    Here’s the reality: They still only have about 12% of the funeral homes in this country. And that’s been pretty steady over 20 to 30 years. In some cities, places like Seattle, many cities in Florida, where there’s a heavy concentration of elderly people, then SCI has a much greater percentage of the market share. That is true. In those places, SCI particularly tends to be the highest-priced funeral home in any market. So if it matters to you, find out who owns your local funeral home. Just because it still says McGillicuddy on the sign doesn’t mean Mr. McGillicuddy still owns it.

    Are there practical things that consumers can do to bring the cost of a funeral down?

    The most cost-effective thing is to choose a funeral home that already has reasonable prices. Your choice of funeral home is the No. 1 driver of cost. Once you choose a funeral home, look carefully at their offerings and see how much of it you can afford that’s within your budget. Remember that you can shop a la carte. So if your budget says $2,000, you need to face reality. $2,000 is not going to buy you a traditional funeral with embalming, public viewing of the body, metal casket, graveyard burial. You are not going to get that for $2,000 anywhere in the United States. That means your choice is going to be something like simple cremation, even if that’s not your favorite. People have to be realistic.

    Is price negotiation ever an option? How would that work?

    Yes, just the same way you would do it with any other business that you were negotiating with. They don’t have to haggle with you, but you have the right to do so. We get people who are like, “Well, the funeral home has already picked up the body and we do like this funeral home, but they’re more expensive than another one we found in town, we simply can’t afford it.” And my suggestion is talk to the funeral director and say, “Listen, you’ve taken good care of us before, we appreciate that you came to pick our grandmother up, but we literally cannot afford your price on this direct burial. We would love to give you our business. Can you meet your competitor’s price? We realize you don’t have to lower your prices. But we would like to do business with you. If you can’t lower your prices, we’ll have to have her body removed to a different place.”

    And that’s OK to do?

    Well, why wouldn’t it be OK? Here’s what I hear underneath this, and I think you’re channeling it correctly from people: What people are doing is asking for permission. But you’re not breaking a social rule. You’re not being cheap. I know what people are thinking: “I don’t want to do that. It’s gauche. It means I don’t care about my mother.” Stop that. That’s nonsense talk. If you showed how much you loved your mother by how much you spent on her funeral, you’d go bankrupt. Love cannot be expressed by money.

    Lastly, what are some of the biggest misconceptions about navigating this process?

    Most of what people think they are required to purchase is not true. For example, many people think embalming is legally required if you’re going to view the body. That is not true in any U.S. state. It’s also not true that embalming is required as a condition of being buried in the ground. These are in-house funeral home policies, not laws. So there’s very little that you are legally required to purchase. Basically, the only thing that has to happen, when a person dies, in order to satisfy the laws, there has to be a death certificate signed by a doctor, the body has to be buried, cremated or donated to anatomical science within a certain period of time, and that’s literally all that is required. Everything else is optional.

    Go into this transaction knowing that although it’s emotional, you are a consumer, you get to decide what you put in your cart. You’re not obliged to buy these things. These are choices and you should make choices that fit your family’s budget and your family’s emotional preferences.

    • ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox

    Many of the heart-related emergencies seen in ERs are due to uncontrolled high blood pressure

    DALLAS -- The top cardiovascular (CVD) diagnoses from U.S. emergency departments suggest that many cardiovascular emergencies are due to poorly controlled high blood pressure, according to a study of more than 20 million emergency department visits published Sept. 8 in the Journal of the American Heart Association, an open access, peer-reviewed journal of the American Heart Association.

    The researchers found that 13% of all heart-related emergency department diagnoses, representing more than 2.7 million people, were for "essential" hypertension, which is high blood pressure not caused by other diseases. Most cases of high blood pressure are essential hypertension.

    "These visits resulted in hospital admission less than 3% of the time and with very few deaths - less than 0.1%. This suggests that these visits were mostly related to the management of hypertension," said lead author Mamas A. Mamas, M.D., a professor of cardiology at Keele University in Stoke-on-Trent, and a consultant cardiologist at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, both in the UK.

    For the 15 CVD conditions detailed in the study, about 30% were hypertension-related diagnoses.

    The study analyzed cardiovascular diagnoses made during emergency department visits that were part of the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample from 2016-2018. The sample was 48.7% women, and the average age was 67 years. The majority were Medicare or Medicaid participants. Men in the sample were more likely to have other diseases in addition to cardiovascular disease, such as diabetes, while women had higher rates of obesity, high blood pressure and medical conditions that affect blood vessels in the brain.

    The most common heart- or stroke-related diagnoses for women seen in the emergency department were high blood pressure (16% of visits), high blood pressure-related heart or kidney disease (14.1%) and atrial fibrillation (10.2%). The most common diagnoses for men were high blood pressure-related heart or kidney disease (14.7%), high blood pressure (10.8%) and heart attack (10.7%).

    "Previous studies have shown sex differences in patterns of CVD among hospitalized patients," Mamas said. "However, examining CVD encounters in the emergency department provides a more complete picture of the cardiovascular health care needs of men and women, as it captures encounters prior to hospitalization." He also points out that previous studies of CVD emergency visits are limited to suspected heart attack visits. "Therefore, this analysis of 15 CVD conditions helps to better understand the full spectrum of acute CVD needs, including sex disparities in hospitalization and risk of death."

    The study found that outcomes from the emergency CVD visits were slightly different for men and women. Overall, women were less likely to die (3.3% of women vs 4.3% of men) or be hospitalized (49.1% of women vs 52.3% of men) after an emergency department visit for CVD. The difference may be due to women’s generally lower risk diagnoses, said Mamas, but there could be an underestimation of deaths in women.

    "We did not track deaths outside of the hospital setting," said Mamas. "Given past evidence that women are more likely to be inappropriately discharged from the emergency department, and strong evidence for the systemic undertreatment of women, further study is warranted to track outcomes beyond the emergency department visit."

    An additional limitation of the data includes potential misdiagnosis errors in cases where the final diagnosis did not match the emergency diagnosis, particularly after a hospitalization and additional bloodwork and other health information could be obtained. Furthermore, the data is limited in that it does not capture information related to severity of disease, which may make comparisons around mortality differences between different patient groups challenging.

    "Our work with this large, nationally representative sample of cardiovascular emergency visits highlights differences in health care needs of men and women, which may be useful to inform planning and provision of health care services," said Mamas. "We also encourage further research into understanding the underlying factors driving the differences in CVD patterns and outcomes between men and women."

    St. Joseph-Ogden hands Unity conference shutout

    Unity's Nolan Remole challenges St. Joseph-Ogden defender Emily Elsbernd for possession of the ball during the second half of their conference soccer match on Tuesday. The Spartans notched their 8th win of the season after defeating the host Rockets, 4-0. The Spartans play their next match on the road, this time a little further north at St. Thomas More on Thursday.
    Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

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    Unity cross-country team wins girls' title, Rocket boys finish third at Tuscola Classic

    by Daniel L. Chamness
    Special to The Sentinel

    Tuscola -- The Unity Rockets and the Lady Lions of Marshall made it a two-team race for the team title at this year's installment of the Tuscola Cross-Country Classic on Saturday.

    The Lady Rockets tabulated a 13-point advantage, scoring 47 points. Marshall, who had the best one-two punch, took second with 60 points. Shelbyville, who had the individual winner, took third with 93 points. A total of 11 girls' teams posted a team score.

    Unity's Josie Cler runs the course at the 2022 Tuscola Cross-Country Classic. She finished the race at 21 minutes and 35.82 seconds.
    Photo: Moto Johnson/The Sentinel

    "We knew that Marshall would be closer to us this week than they were one week ago," said Kara Leaman, the girl's head coach. "They are very strong up front. We have enjoyed competing against them the last few weeks."

    Emily Decker, Erica Woodard, Mackenzie Pound, and Olivia Shake, all Rocket underclass runners, finished in the top 10. Decker finished the three-mile race in 18 minutes, 59.64 seconds. Woodard entered the chute less than 13 seconds later, crossing at 19:12.03. Pound and Shike, ninth and 10th respectively, finished in 19:36.44 and 19:44.55. Fifteenth place runner and number five scorer for the Lady Rockets, Camryn Reedy finished in 20:44.94.

    "As the race unfolded, Camryn was a bit ahead of Marshall's fifth runner," said Leaman. "We are headed to St. Joseph and the Spartan Classic this week. In the upcoming races, we want the Rocket pack to continue to move up. We have a number of runners coming on at the right time. We are looking forward to having a returning Reagan Stringer. Emily and Erica have both led us. Mackenzie continues to improve and Olivia continues to stay close to the front runners."

    Josie Cler (21st, 21:35.82) and Sophia Stierwalt (29th, 22:01.11) were Unity's sixth and seventh runners. Stierwalt is the only senior in the top seven.

    The Lady Rockets have won three meets this year, including a dominating victory over other Class 1A teams at the First to the Finish Invitational at Detweiller Park in Peoria, which will host the state finals on November 5. Two of their victories were over Marshall, who would finish second.

    The Rocket boy's team was led by a senior, namely Brendan Graven, who would finish 18th in 17:48.84. The boys ran three miles as well.

    Unity's Camden Fairbanks finished the race at 17:57.28 to take 20th overall on Saturday.
    Photo: Moto Johnson/The Sentinel

    But, after the lone senior finished, the Rockets were powered to third place as a team by four freshmen, who were the other scoring runners. The sixth and seventh runners were a junior and a Nicole sophomore respectively. Only 1:12 separated the top-five Rockets.

    Camden Fairbanks would finish the race in 17:57.28 to take 20th. Eli Crowe (27th) and Collin Graven (39th) both broke 19:00 as well, entering the chute at 18:22.08 and 18:57.60. The Rocket top five was rounded out by Carter Tiemann, who finished in 19:00.20, which was good for 42nd.

    "Our team is extremely young this year and I want the athletes to gain experience," said Nicole Bagwell, the Unity boys coach. "The other main goals are to remain as healthy as we can and finish the year with everyone healthy and running their best."

    The Rockets finished with 134 points. Tuscola would win their home meet, which was held at Wimple Park with 102 points. Effingham-based St. Anthony took second with 105 points.

    Prep Sports Notebook: SJO volleyball wins again, Rocket road trip unsuccesful

    SJO outlasts visiting Marshall, 50-21

    St. Joseph-Ogden's Emma Ward served 16 consecutive points in set 2 of the Spartans' home volleyball match against Marshall on Monday. Ward, who had two aces and four digs, and the SJO squad's offensive firing on all cylinders, stretched a two-point lead to a 17-point advantage.

    Addie Roesch led the Spartans' attack with eight kills and three aces. The junior also had five digs. Shayne Immke smashed five kills and Josey Frerichs piled on four more in the 2-0 victory. Peyton Williams was in excellent form notching seven kills and contributing a pair of aces.

    The SJO squad, who won the first set 25-13 and the second 25-9, never trailed on the scoreboard in either of the two games.

    Taylor Hug contributed 24 assists and chalked up three digs in the non-conference win.

    Spartan tennis team schooled at Central

    Despite eventually dropping both sets, St. Joseph-Ogden's Abby Dow, Addison Seggebruch, and Jessica Gadbury won two or more games for the Spartan tennis team in their away match against Champaign Central. SJO lost the dual match, 9-0, against the twin city team.

    Playing on the #1 court for the Spartans, Dow fell 6-2, 6-0 against Mariclare 0'Gorman, the area's top prep player. Seggebruch won three games in the first set in her singles match against Sarah Su to finish, 6-3, 6-0. Gadbury at #6 singles lost to Savannah Stortzum, 6-2, 6-4.

    Champaign Central won all three doubles matches over the Spartans.

    Rockets suffer another loss on the road

    The Unity soccer team returned to Tolono with a loss after the team's road match at Hoopeston Area on Monday. The Rockets were shutout, 3-0.

    Down 2-0 at the half, the Cornjerkers (9-5-1) added a third score with 11 minutes left in the match courtesy of Talan Gredy-Nelson to secure the win.

    The Rockets hope to break their losing streak tonight with a win against visiting St. Joseph-Ogden.

    Hoopeston Area senior Cameron Zorn scored the first goal of the contest, and Owen Root, a junior, put the second ball between the posts on a pass from Gabe Joneikis. Zorns was credited with the assist on the third strike.

    Dylan Judy was the winning keeper, recording just two saves against Unity.

    Attention area high school coaches

    If you are a coach at Unity, Urbana Uni-High, Urbana High School or St. Joseph-Ogden, send us your box scores, statistical leaders for each game, and other info via email to sports@oursentinel.com or editor@oursentinel.com.

    Short-term renting is becoming a popular way to earn extra cash

    Photo provided/BPT
    BPT -- Many Americans are struggling to make ends meet as the cost of living continues to rise. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of inflation in the U.S. increased by 8.5% in the last 12 months, drastically increasing the price of food, gas, utilities and other household items. While some have tightened their belts, others are looking for alternate sources of income to combat rising inflation.

    One popular way to earn extra income is to offer up rooms, homes and apartments as short-term rentals. While offering short-term rentals isn’t new, according to a recent report by Airbnb, the number of new Hosts in the U.S increased by 50% during Q2 of 2022, coinciding with the increasing inflation rate. Also, 41% of U.S. Hosts reported that one reason they host is to earn money to help navigate rising prices.

    According to the numbers, hosting short-term rentals seems to be working, with new Hosts earning a combined total of over $1.8 billion globally in 2021, up more than 30% from 2019. For those who have an extra room or property, offering up their space as a short-term rental has given them the opportunity to earn amid a rising cost of living.

    Jenny’s story

    According to the survey, nearly 40% of Hosts in the U.S. said that the income earned through hosting has helped them stay in their homes in 2021. This was especially true for Jenny Radick a single parent who, in 2016, was overwhelmed by the never-ending cost of day care, rent, car bills and student loans.

    “I was working every moment I could to pay my bills, but it meant sacrificing valuable time with my children,” said Jenny. “I knew that my work life wasn’t sustainable, but I didn’t know how I could balance my desire to parent with my need for income.”

    Luckily, in September 2017 she decided to start hosting her entire home – a cabin in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, on the weekends to earn extra income and took the opportunity to visit family while her home was in use. While every Host’s experience is different — and earnings can vary widely depending on availability, price, listing type, location, and more — in Jenny’s case, the idea eventually paid off: The income she received from her first short-term rental allowed her to pay off her mortgage in the first year and invest her earnings into buying a second home. In the last 12 months alone, Jenny earned $44,496*. “Hosting has removed a huge weight from my shoulders,” said Jenny. “Without the stress of financial uncertainty, I have the freedom to spend quality time with my children that I couldn’t afford before.”

    Become a Host

    If, like Jenny, you’re looking for a way to alleviate your financial burden, consider becoming a Host. Whether you have a finished basement with a separate entrance, a seldom-used cabin or summer home, even a private room, or if you can visit friends and family for the weekend, you can easily start earning extra income.

    To talk to a Superhost to learn more about hosting. You can list your space for free at Airbnb.com/Host. If you’re new to short-term rentals, Airbnb can match you with an experienced Superhost to answer all of your questions and provide personal tips and guidance on hosting.


    *The median annual income for an entire place in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, is $24,154. Your actual earnings will depend on several factors, including your availability, price, and the demand in your area.

    Medical crisis on the horizon, more than a quarter of practicing nurses want to leave the medical industry

    Photo: Hamid Tajik/Unsplash

    StatePoint Media -- According to a new survey, American nurses are overwhelmed by job demands, a long-brewing situation only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the majority of nurses continue to be dedicated to the care of patients, many are considering leaving the profession at a time when staff shortages are part of the problem. But there’s hope, according to industry experts, who say that understanding these challenges can lead to meaningful and necessary reforms.

    The 2022 national survey, “The Future of Nursing: A Profession in Crisis,” of nurses and student nurses, was conducted by Cross Country, a market-leading tech-enabled workforce solutions platform and advisory firm, in partnership with Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing.

    Overall, the study revealed that nurses remain passionate about patient care, with 66% citing helping people through meaningful work as a main driver for staying in the field. Nevertheless, ongoing challenges have created undue burdens for nurses, with pay rates/compensation (86%), staff shortages (53%), stress (39%) and burnout (35%) cited as top career dissatisfiers.

    This frustration has put the industry in crisis: 28% of nurses indicated their desire to leave the profession has increased dramatically since the pandemic, while those who said their desire to stay has dropped from 24% in 2021 to 4% in 2022. This translates to a real potential loss of talent in hospitals, physicians’ offices, long-term care facilities and other healthcare settings. Of those surveyed, 23% plan to look for a new career in 1-2 years and 13% plan to retire in 1-5 years.

    “We had hoped that as the pandemic eased, nurses would have better balance, mental health and working conditions, but we are not there and as a result, nurses are leaving the profession in droves,” says John A. Martins, president and chief executive officer, Cross Country Healthcare. “The time to fix these mounting problems is now.”

    To that end, Cross Country is deploying several strategies to transform the nursing profession. These include an ongoing examination of pay rates and retention practices; identifying new pathways for education, licensing, and talent development; focusing on flexibility and growth opportunities; and investments toward innovation to strengthen the nursing workforce.

    The company continues to invest heavily in technology and digital transformation to support these strategies. Among these initiatives is a new website dedicated to nursing candidates. Found at crosscountry.com, the site aims to help health care professionals find and engage with potential job opportunities more effectively.

    Identifying new pathways for nursing education is also a critical steppingstone towards reforming the profession and addressing healthcare provider shortages. That’s why the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing offers accredited programs at all levels to prepare and train students, including various tracks for a BSN, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), PhD and DNP focused on Caring Science. Also offered are a BSN-DNP program with a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner concentration and post-graduate dermatology and telehealth certificate courses, as well as other concentrations that intersect innovation and technology.

    “Nursing is the greatest profession in the world. The experience you will get is priceless,” said one of the survey respondents. “Make sure you’re getting into nursing for the right reasons because I love coming to work and look forward to caring for patients every day. No two patients are alike, so every day in nursing is like a new experience and adventure. And you make the difference.”

    To learn more about the challenges facing the nursing industry, visit crosscountry.com/the-future-of-nursing, where the complete study results, can be found.

    3 ways a Physical Therapist can help you manage your long COVID


    StatePoint Media -- Long COVID can affect anyone who’s had COVID-19, even those who’ve had mild illness or no symptoms initially. New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that nearly 1 in 5 U.S. adults who have had COVID-19 experience new or lingering symptoms that last three or more months after first contracting the virus. Physical therapists can play an essential role in managing symptoms of long COVID.

    Long COVID is unpredictable, and research is evolving, however common symptoms include extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, racing heart, dizziness, muscle aches and pains, brain fog, problems completing everyday activities and poor exercise tolerance. It’s also important to note that certain types of physical activity may not be appropriate for everyone living with long COVID.

    “A highly-personalized plan of care that includes working with a physical therapist is important,” says Leo Arguelles, PT, DPT, American Physical Therapy Association spokesperson. “People with long COVID can benefit from being monitored during exertion and should follow prescribed exercise dosing that helps them gradually progress, rather than pushing through fatigue on their own, which could potentially set them back.”

    Physical therapists are movement experts who regularly treat individuals with the kinds of symptoms that people with long COVID experience. Here are three reasons to consider including a physical therapist on your long COVID care team.

    Physical therapists:

    1. Take a full-body approach. Physical therapists assess your overall well-being. They can develop a personalized treatment plan to address issues such as fatigue, respiratory function and cardiac endurance. They can work and communicate with your primary care physician and can refer you to other health care providers if they feel you’d benefit from seeing another specialist. Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants collaborate with each other, and with other health professionals, to ensure that you receive the best care.

    2. Help you move safely. Movement is essential to your recovery and your mental health. However, for some people, long COVID includes post-exertional malaise, or PEM, a worsening of symptoms after physical or mental activities. Your ability often may fluctuate — an activity that’s easily tolerated one day may exacerbate symptoms the next. Physical therapists develop prescribed exercise programs based on your symptoms and how your body responds and can monitor your symptoms, blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen levels to ensure your safety while doing exercises. This may include low-intensity stretches, strengthening exercises and balance training.

    3. Help improve your quality of life. Through patient education, a physical therapist can help you find the balance between rest and activity and identify the right kind and amount of movement you should get to improve your tolerance for everyday activities.

    More research is being done on long COVID every day. Your physical therapist will review available research findings and can adjust your treatment plan as needed. To learn more and find a PT near you, visit ChoosePT.com.

    Prep Sports Notebook: Bachert scores for Rockets, SJO soccer notches another victory

    Saunders makes 10 saves for Rockets

    Unity Keeper Cole Saunders had 10 saves during his team's home match on Saturday against Abington/Avon. Teammate Brendan Bachert scored the team's only goal in the Rockets' 3-1 loss.

    Unity plays at home again on Tuesday hosting St. Joseph-Ogden at 4:30p.

    Christie Clinic Shootout schedule released today

    The St. Joseph-Ogden athletic department released the schedule for the next Christie Clinic Shootout on Saturday, January 7, 2023. Fourteen varsity teams will square off in the main gym starting at 11:00 am. The final game of the day, a matchup between Peoria Notre Dame and the Kays of Kankakee, will tipoff at 8:00 pm.

    The Shootout will feature three Illini Prairie Conference programs, with Monticello, Unity, and SJO hitting the hardwood one right after the other starting at 3:30p.

    2023 Schedule

    11:00 AM - Beecher vs. BHRA
    12:30 PM - Addison Trail vs. Champaign Centennial
    2:00 PM - Mt. Zion vs. Bloomington
    3:30 PM - Newton vs. Monticello
    5:00 PM - Normal U-High vs. Unity
    6:30 PM - Nashville vs. St. Joseph-Ogden
    8:00 PM - Peoria Notre Dame vs. Kankakee

    Junior varsity action for all 14 teams will start at 9 am, on Saturday in the high school's practice gym.

    Spartans post shutout on Senior Day

    The St. Joseph-Ogden soccer team scored two first-half goals and got a third from sophomore Alex Acosta in the second half.

    Senior Jackson Greer delivered the first goal of the game courtesy of an assist from Collin Thomey for the Spartans. Thomey added another goal on the scoreboard via a feed from Aiden Cromwell to give SJO a 2-0 lead at the half.

    Hunter Ketchum needed to make only six saves, while backup keeper Carter Mabry came in to make a pair of saves of his own in the program's 7th win of the season.

    The Spartans honored the accomplishments and contributions of 12 senior players. This senior class includes Olivia Baltzell, Will Childers, Aiden Cromwell, Zach Dahman, Emily Elsbernd, Jackson Greer, Hunter Ketchum, Aaron Lane, Carter Mabry, Teagan Miller, Garrett Siems, and Will Page.

    Attention area high school coaches

    If you are a coach at Unity, Urbana Uni-High, Urbana High School or St. Joseph-Ogden, send us your box scores, statistical leaders for each game, and other info via email to sports@oursentinel.com or editor@oursentinel.com.

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