Durbin, Duckworth, Shimkus, Bost Discuss COVID-19 Response With Southern Illinois Hospitals

SPRINGFIELD – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Representatives John Shimkus (R-IL-15) and Mike Bost (R-IL-12) today, on a call with more than 30 CEOs of southern Illinois hospitals and AJ Wilhelmi, President of the Illinois Health & Hospital Association, discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois and how hospitals are fighting the pandemic on the ground. The bipartisan members of Congress thanked the hospital representatives for everything their hospitals and health workers have done so far to help Illinois patients and pledged to continue to push for a direct and immediate infusion of funds for our hospitals, as well as increases in personal protective equipment, testing kit supplies, ventilators, and other medical resources health workers need. They also discussed how more than $1.4 billion in CARES Act funding is being allocated to health providers across Illinois, specifically emergency grants for coronavirus-related expenditures and lost revenue. 

“This coronavirus pandemic has struck all corners of our state, and I want to thank all of the hospital leaders and their staff for the heroic work they are doing on the front lines. I will continue to work on a bipartisan basis to bolster the health care workforce, expand our testing capacity, and provide the direct assistance our hospitals in southern Illinois need to do their jobs safely,” Durbin said.

“First and foremost, I want to say how unbelievably grateful I am for all of the doctors, nurses, janitors, administrators and all hospital workers across Illinois,” Duckworth said. “Working in medicine has always been selfless, but right now, it’s courageous, too. I’ll keep working with Senator Durbin to make sure our front line health workers have the support and resources they deserve”

“The men and women working on the front lines of this pandemic deserve our thanks and they need our support,” said Shimkus. “Rural hospitals in particular face unique challenges, and I appreciate hearing from them as policy is made and assistance is provided.”

“Southern Illinois’ doctors, nurses, and hospital workers are on the frontlines in the battle to protect local residents from COVID-19,” said Bost. “It’s important that the Illinois congressional delegation continue hearing from our health care leaders about how we can help them in their mission.  I am committed to doing all I can to ensure that our hospitals can obtain the resources, equipment, and support they need to keep themselves and our communities safe.”