With each passing year, I’m more and more thankful for my health. Having lost one parent a few years ago, I’m helping the other maintain her independence in an assisted living facility. I am often reminded how we take our normal daily activities for granted—how we are just one misstep or fluke accident away from losing independence and quality of life.

I’m also counting the number of friends and acquaintances who are facing cancer or some other life-threatening disease. The costs—both in dollars and side effects of the treatment—can feel insurmountable, and then there is the cost of caregiving. There’s a hefty price to pay for professional caregiving, and if the caregiver is a family member, there’s the additional cost of their emotional and psychological health. With an aging baby boomer generation, it’s no wonder that home healthcare has become the fastest growing industry in the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Our cover story this issue takes a look at addiction recovery, and specifically, the supportive resources required for long-term, extended care. While the Peoria area has had top-notch treatment centers for some time, there were no local, long-term sober living environments until recently. Located several miles outside of Canton, Invictus Woods has helped fill this need, bridging the gap between rehabilitation and reintegration into society. The story is a very personal one for its founders, Camilla and Dr. Ron Rabjohns—Invictus Woods is their way of giving back.

Likewise, the establishment of the JOLT Foundation was equally personal for Dr. Tamara Olt, who lost her teenage son to a heroin overdose in 2012. We applaud Dr. Olt and the Rabjohns for transforming their family tragedies into community resources so that others in similar situations do not face the same obstacles on the road to recovery.

In recent years, an uptick in heroin and prescription drug overdoses has been felt not only in Peoria, but across the nation, and lawmakers are beginning to pay attention. The shift from a prosecutorial strategy to one focused on prevention and recovery has been a bipartisan effort, as the notion of a “war” on drugs has given way to practical strategies that treat addiction as a disease and a public health problem.

We are fortunate to have a thriving medical community here in central Illinois, one that keeps up on the latest cutting-edge research and treatment options, and its importance will only grow in the future. To everyone on the frontlines of healthcare, we thank you. iBi