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Roskam secures $50M for area projects

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Location: Chicago, IL

More than $50 million federal dollars will be coming into the area to expand health care facilities and programs and improve traffic congestion in Wood Dale.

U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-6th District, of Wheaton, said the money is part of a fiscal year 2008 Omnibus Appropriations bill signed by President Bush last month that includes projects that are among his top priorities in the district. The $55,066,500 in funds will go towards a variety of projects in both DuPage and Cook counties.

Local items in the bill include $195,000 to fund the expansion of the new emergency room at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital in Glendale Heights, $243,000 to expand mental health programs at the Access Community Health Network's Martin T. Russo Family Health Center in Bloomingdale and $500,000 to make improvements to the Irving Park-Wood Dale Road-Metra line inspection in Wood Dale, which city officials have said is one of the most congested in the state.

"I am honored to the end of my first year in Congress being able to help our community advance and improve through the $55 million I was able to bring home to the 6th Congressional District," Roskam said in a press release issued by his office.

The funds provided for Access Community Health Network will allow the community health center to add a behavioral health team to the list of comprehensive health resources and services it offers the low-income residents of DuPage County at the Russo facility, said Matt Vriesema, a spokesman for Roskam's office.

With this funding, Access will be able o help patients of al ages with chronic disease, depression and the management of psychiatric diseases through a broad array of mental health services, including psychiatry, psychology and social work, Vriesema said.

Brinsley Lewis., president and CEO of Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, said he was honored that Roskam was able to get money to help fund the cost for $7 million newly expanded' emergency room at the hospital. Glen Oaks opened their "no wait" 21,000- square-foot facility last June.

Since then, Lewis said the GlenOaks Foundation has been trying to raise $1.5 million to fund the project. About $1 million has been raised, and the federal funds will go to the foundation, he said.

"We are really pleased with the facility since it opened, and our patients have been satisfied with it", Lewis said.

The no-wait facility means that patients are coming into the emergency room can see a doctor immediately, unlike many traditional emergency room departments at hospitals, Lewis said.

Roskam also highlighted the Irving Park-Wood Dale intersection as one of the area's big priorities, and the $500,000 will be used to design improvements. The close proximity of the intersection to two schools and the Wood Dale Park District Water Park make it even more of a safety concern in the area, he said.

The Wood Dale City Council scrapped a $40 to $50 million plan that would have built a railroad underpass and relocated Irving Park Road to the north because of state and local funding issues. The city previously received $11 million in federal funds from former U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde for design and engineering work at the location, city officials said.

Assistant City Manager Jeff Mermuys said the city has set up a committee to come up with some short term options for the intersection, which could include adding additional turn lanes to help ease traffic.


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