2012 - #1 for Women!

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2012- Achieved #12!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Al Weir has been the Track Meet Director for the Northwestern Illinois Special Olympics Track & Field Spring Games for the last 30 years.  This is the largest Special Olympics event in the State of Illinois with over 1100 competitors and over 600 volunteers. 

In Al’s words: “ I have full responsibility for all of them on the day of the big event.  I got involved in Special Olympics through my involvement with Alpine Kiwanis, a local service organization, and each year over 100 of my fellow Kiwanians turn out to volunteer and support me for the entire day.  We run every event that you would find in a High School or College Track & Field Meet and have added Wheelchair and Assisted Events for some of our more challenged athletes.  We also offer Soccer, Swimming, and Bocce Ball competitions on this day as well.”

The spirit of the Special Olympians is what makes this such a great event.  Each competitor has demonstrated the willingness to train for this event and the perseverance to overcome their disability as well as the courage to compete. Again, in Al’s words: “The simple awards medal or participation ribbon that each Special Olympian receives brings the biggest smiles to their faces and is all the reward that we ask for as Volunteers.  I believe that the Special Olympics Oath sums this up perfectly, “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt”.

Al always lists TRIUNE Health Group as a sponsor of this event, because of the countless, selfless, volunteer hours that Al pours into this event on behalf of others. TRIUNE Health Group is sincerely grateful to Al and his family, and fellow Kiwanians.

“For Greater Glory” takes its cues from a bygone era of Technicolor Golden Age epics and delivers a sprawling political drama steeped in old-fashioned Hollywood romanticism.

During the 1920s, Mexico was thrust into civil war when President Plutarco Calles (Rubén Blades) outlawed Catholicism, banned religious activity, confiscated all church property and exiled clergy. Priests and nuns that protested were arrested or publicly executed and hung on display from roadside posts. Rebel factions formed by schoolboys to farmers to artisans rose up and thus started the Cristero War....keep reading at foxnews.com/entertainment
Monday, June 11, 2012
This month, thousands of beautiful brides will join hands with their dashing grooms and take perhaps the biggest step of their lives, crossing the magical threshold from single to married life. After months, even years, of preparation, planning, and working through fears and uncertainties, they arrive at their wedding day, entirely ready at last to make that big step together.

The initial proposal, in which two persons expressed their willingness to embark on the great adventure of married life, will finally reach its culmination. That initial desire to get married will give them the impulse they need to complete the transformation from singlehood to life as a couple.

How many other instances are there when a person so wholeheartedly embraces such a total life change? We would probably all admit that there are things we would like to change about our lives. We may want to change our weight, our physical appearance, our impulsiveness, our negative attitudes, bad habits or a number of other vices. But sometimes we lack the real desire to change.

It is easy to say: “I know I should lose a few pounds. I know I need to watch what I eat.” Yet when we examine our motivations and desires, we may find that we don’t really want to change our habits. Perhaps we truly enjoy food, and nothing tops our desire to be able to savor it when and how we please.

Oddly enough, we can be quite attached to our defects, even while we know that we shouldn’t be. Perhaps it is smoking or drinking that we don’t really want to let go of. Or maybe we get too much satisfaction from gossiping to stop it. Perhaps we know we shouldn’t be so offensive in our comments or language, but really, we like when people laugh at what we say.

There may be a defect that is so inter-twined with our self-image that we are afraid to lose it. Or we may not know how to get what we need in life without that flawed behavior.  Even though we may be aware of the ideal we should strive for, we are often more content keeping things the way they are. After all, keeping the status quo is always more comfortable.

It is important to be aware of the underlying desires and motivations that lurk deep within as we strive to better ourselves. We can waste energy, create internal stress, and fill ourselves with guilty feelings if we, on one hand, expect a certain ideal from ourselves, and on the other hand, aren’t really motivated to do what it takes to reach that goal.

A marriage proposal without this underlying willingness would be less than impressive. One could imagine the response if a man were to approach a woman with a ring and say, “I’ve decided that I should get married and even though I’m not sure I really want to, and I might back out in a few days, will you marry me?”

Compare this to the simple, perhaps less-than-romantic, yet concise marriage proposal given by the coachman, Barkis, in Charles Dickens’ “David Copperfield.” He sent the simple message to his proposed that “Barkis is willin’.” And that fact was enough for Peggoty, who was able to see his sincere and total desire to give his life for her.

Willingness is usually not an issue for a man and a woman that are truly in love. The reason is that their thoughts are generally consumed with each other, and the love that fills them drives out the fear of change.

In a similar way, if we spend time thinking about the ideal, even “falling in love” with our goal, we will feel more of this desire and less of the fear.

Athletes are encouraged to use mental exercises to imagine themselves successfully completing a physical challenge, for example, dunking a basketball or making a soccer goal. Once they have the image of success imprinted in their minds, they find that it is easier to actually accomplish it.

In a similar way, when we imagine ourselves in terms of our goal, for example, looking great in that bathing suit we haven’t been able to squeeze into for years, we are more motivated to do what it takes to reach that ideal. We have to love our ideal if we really want to reach it. We must be entirely ready to change if we want to grow.

The best stories throughout history always seem to involve an element of change, in which the person went through some major character growth or development. The more dramatic transformations or conversions make for even better stories.

Our stories are being written now. How willing are we to face the fear of change and cross the threshold into a better existence?

Genevieve Pollock M.S. Clinical Psychology

Action items:

 Make a list of the things you would like to change in your professional and personal life. Underline the goals you are truly willing to work on.

 Is there a life goal that you feel divided about? Make a list of the benefits of achieving that ideal versus the costs of not reaching it. If you decide that it is still a worth-while pursuit, imagine yourself successfully accomplishing the goal.

Amanda Ortman recently closed the file of a 46 - year old Injured Worker (IW) who had been employed as a bindery worker.  She was referred for job placement services 4 years following a severe crush injury to her left foot and subsequent development of a Complex Regional Pain Syndrome that was treated with the implantation of a Spinal Cord Stimulator and ongoing narcotic use.  The IW had been released to sedentary employment.  The IW resided in a rural community and was a high school graduate.

Initially, the IW was believed to be cooperative and engaged in the job search process.  Amanda had provided the IW with Job Seeking Skills Training, a resume and hours of counseling.  Entry-level RTW options were explored and appropriate job goals were established.  The IW had multiple interviews over the course of Amanda’s involvement with her, but was never offered a position.  There eventually were compliance issues in terms of the IW’s completing job placement activities, but the larger issue remained why with all of the interviews she was not being offered a position.  Eventually, with the occasional assistance of Deb Murphy in the TRIUNE Health Group Vocational Department, it became clear from discussions with potential employers that the IW was not sincere in her efforts to obtain a position and was in fact, sometimes subtly sabotaging the effort and other times much more obviously doing so.  The IW was confronted on several occasions in this regard, but eventually became quite belligerent and hostile.  At this point placement assistance was curtailed and the IW’s benefits were suspended.  The outcome of this case is not known at this point.

Persistence is often necessary to find the underlying cause of things and Amanda and the other staff in the Vocational Department at TRIUNE Health Group do what we need to do to resolve files while always trying to help the IW to “see the light” and actively participate in the process.  We would welcome the opportunity to assist you with a file.