A Publication of WTVP

The Wealth of Health in Food
It’s no secret there has been a sure and steady rise in health consciousness regarding what we eat and consume. From replacing sugar to adding antioxidants, the trend of amping up nutritional value—and rejecting less wholesome ingredients—is causing industry leaders to rethink their processes and find innovative ways to make their products healthier. Julie Jargon and Annie Gasparro of The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted some up-and-coming trends… and some of them may surprise you!

Source: “The Next Hot Trends in Food,” The Wall Street Journal, October 17, 2016

NAMI: A Friend in Mental Health
With an abundance of resources available on and offline, it can be overwhelming for those who suffer from mental illness to find the assistance they need. If you’re looking for a place to start, the Tri-County Illinois chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) can help.

With more than 1,000 affiliates, NAMI is the largest grassroots mental health organization in the country. From advocacy to support to research, it seeks to educate the public on the nature of mental illness while providing support and resources to those who suffer from it. Among its offerings, the Tri-County Illinois affiliate has monthly educational meetings on the first Thursday of each month, where local mental health experts speak on various topics. The group also hosts classes on understanding and coping with mental illness, and offers two support groups: one for people with a mental health condition, and another for family members.

In addition to its direct services, NAMI provides a nationwide network of related resources, news and public policy information. Those interested in becoming a member or participating in the group’s services can call the Tri-County Illinois affiliate at (309) 693-0541 or

10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer's
Alzheimer's is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. There are 10 warning signs and symptoms:

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life.
  2. Challenges in planning or solving problems.
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure.
  4. Confusion with time or place.
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.
  6. New problems with words in speaking or writing.
  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
  8. Decreased or poor judgment.
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities.
  10. Changes in mood and personality.

For details on each of the 10 signs, visit If you notice any of these signs in yourself or someone you know, don't ignore them—schedule an appointment with your doctor. For more information, visit the Alzheimer’s Association, Central Illinois Chapter website at, or call the 24/7 helpline at 1-800-272-3900 for confidential answers to your questions.

New App Takes Flight
An app designed to improve care to patients experiencing medical emergencies during flights was unveiled last year—the product of a collaboration between Peoria-based CSE Software Inc. and Dr. Raymond Bertino, a retired Peoria radiologist.

Dr. Bertino has assisted in three in-flight emergencies—and was once an in-air patient himself. Having identified a lack of clear information about a plane’s medical resources, as well as the uncertainty of quick diagnosis and treatment in flight, he resolved to do something about it. A conversation with Dr. John Vozenilek, chief medical officer at Jump Trading Simulation and Education Center, sparked the idea of a mobile app, and from there, Dr. Bertino worked with several other doctors to compile the relevant content. CSE Software was chosen to develop the app… and airRX was born.

airRX serves as a mobile reference guide, walking its user through a variety of scenarios. Among its features:

airRX is available on Android and Apple iOS. For more information, visit

Win Back that Lost Week of Vacation
by Don Welch, Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

Vacations are powerful. They have the ability to recharge and better connect us to the world, all while making lasting memories. They have the ability to lift up the communities to which visitors travel. And while vacations can be to far-flung locales, they can just as easily be in your own backyard.

The number of vacation days Americans take has been on a steady decline for years. Between 1976 and 2000, Americans took an average of 20.3 vacation days each year. In 2015, the average declined to 16.2—the equivalent of nearly an entire week of paid time off wiped away.

Consider: If Americans were to use their allotted vacation days, it would deliver a $160 billion jolt to the U.S. economy, create 1.2 million new jobs and generate $21 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues. In Illinois, the tourism industry generated $37.1 billion in direct spending, $2.9 billion in state and local tax revenue, and 314,380 jobs in 2015. That’s why the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is supporting the U.S. Travel Association’s “Project: Time Off” coalition to encourage Illinoisans to use their well-earned vacation days with a simple strategy: take two- or three-day weekend trips right here in Illinois.

As we begin 2017, the tourism industry invites you to #PlanForVacation in Illinois—and consider easy trips in the Peoria area. Some great examples include a day trip along the Peoria and East Peoria riverfronts, a tour of Wildlife Prairie Park and stops at a number of amazing festivals. The PACVB has resources to help you explore and plan at—or look for ideas at

Health Spending vs. Life Expectancy
While the U.S. spends far more on healthcare services than any other country, the life expectancy of Americans is actually shorter than many other developed countries. Health spending per capita in the U.S. is about $9,024.21—about 25 percent higher than the next highest-spending country, Switzerland, which clocks in at $6,786.57 in spending, yet boasts a life expectancy nearly four years greater.

Ranked by per-capita spending, the U.S. performs worse than the next 24 countries on the list—at No. 25, the Czech Republic has a lower life expectancy (78.28) than the U.S., yet spends just $2,386.34 on health per person. In the most extreme case, Americans spend five times more than Chileans, yet the population of Chile actually lives longer. Why is this? Experts cite two primary causes:

Source: Our World in Data, August 3, 2016, using data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and National Institute for Health Care Management.