Springfield – The Illinois Coalition of Community Blood Centers (ICCBC) recently presented Sen. Pam Althoff (R-Crystal Lake) with the Senator of the Year Award for her strong commitment to making blood collection between state lines more efficient.

Sen. Pam Althoff is the Chief Senate Sponsor of legislation that would make Illinois the 25th state in the nation to become part of the Nurse Licensure Compact.  The initiative is aimed at increasing access to patient care across state lines, by streamlining multi-state licensure requirements.

Currently nurses in all 50 states already have to pass the same certifying exam (NCLEX) for state licensure.  Once legislation is passed in a state to adopt the Nurse Licensure Compact, a nurse from that state can treat patients in other Compact states, either electronically or in person, without having to apply for separate state licensure.

“Several Illinois blood centers collect blood in surrounding states.  Without the Nurse Licensure Compact, an Illinois nurse would have to obtain as many as 4 separate licenses to collect blood in border states, which is a barrier to patient care and a hardship for non-for profit blood centers and hospitals,” explained Ann McKanna, VP Marketing of Heartland Blood Centers and President of the Illinois Coalition of Community Blood Centers. 

“With Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin all being Compact states, our blood center could run much more efficiently for nurses collecting blood in our multi-state region, if Illinois would also adopt the Compact,” explained Louis Katz, M.D., Executive Vice-President of Medical Affairs for the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center

"The ICCBC would like to salute Sen. Althoff’s for her vision and tireless commitment to helping Illinois keep pace with advances in Illinois healthcare delivery," said Margaret Vaughn, ICCBC Director of Government Affairs.

“With someone needing blood every two seconds and blood only having a shelf life of 42 days, there is a constant demand for voluntary blood donation. We as public officials need to do everything we can to make blood collections run as smoothly as possible without unnecessary duplicative requirements among states.  I am grateful for the honor and look forward to continuing to work towards policies which encourage and promote access to health care," said Sen. Althoff

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