Conscience Laureate

Wednesday, January 18, 2012



Last week, The Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council (MCHC), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) publicized a new public service announcement to raise awareness about Illinois Helps, a statewide database that registers volunteers to respond to major disasters and public health emergencies in the state.   Would you want me as one of the volunteers?  I think not!

MCHC, IDPH and CDPH want both medical and non-medical volunteers to register with IllinoisHelps so they can call on people to respond to any number of emergency situations including blizzards, disease outbreaks like H1N1 and bio-terrorism attacks. The registration process also allows hospitals to verify the licenses and credentials of professional health care volunteers who come to their facilities to care for the influx of patients experienced during emergencies.

I can understand the importance of having such a data base so people do not “fake doctor,” but I don’t like the part about non-medical volunteers.  What if people as pathetic as I am sign up as a volunteer?  What is the vetting process?

I went to the site to register but because I would have had to enter my Social Security number to get through the steps, I chose to not continue.  If anyone actually does register, please let me know the questions volunteers must answer.  I’m worried that people like me might be accepted! 


I used to buy toothpaste that came in very nice stand up containers. This type was more expensive than the tube type, but I liked it better.  In fact, I put this type of toothpaste on my birthday list!  I had not shopped for toothpaste in a while because I had some in my closet inventory. But since I always need toothpaste, it would be a welcome present.

To my horror, I discovered that they are not producing toothpaste in the stand up containers anymore!  My friend Karen Phelan, carefully researched this and even wrote to some of the toothpaste manufacturers, but it was to no avail.  My favorite kind of container only has the bubble gum flavored paste for children.  I hate it.

Karen bought me at least 15 different types of toothpaste as a present for me to try.  I hate them all because I cannot figure out how to get the product from the tube neatly to my brush.  I make a mess every morning all over the bathroom counter!  I just don’t know how to use toothpaste.  Maybe one of the Illinois Helps volunteers can come help me in my toothpaste emergency!


  1. They need to keep you at a desk job!

  2. At least I know you appreciated my efforts regarding your toothpaste. It is damn frustrating when you find something you like and then it is no longer made ... or it is changed. Hopefully, you'll find a stand-up container that you like ...