In today’s News:
Lutherans help tornado victims
Late Monday, a devastating tornado went through Fultondale, Alabama, leaving a path of destruction through the town that has killed and injured residents as well as destroyed homes, schools and businesses. This tornado was located just a few miles from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Gardendale, where Pastor Ed Brashier, Southern District Disaster Response Coordinator, serves. Kathy O’Day, Lutheran Church Charities (LCC) director of Disaster Response, spoke to Brashier, who has been checking on congregation members and will be assessing damage in Fultondale as soon as first responders say it is safe to do so. He and his L.E.R.T. team began work early Tuesday morning helping a congregation member remove a tree from the roof of their home. LCC L.E.R.T. chainsaw teams are on standby to deploy and assist if requested.
Concordia Texas welcomes nursing students
At a time when the demand for nurses in central Texas is surging, Concordia University Texas has welcomed 288 new students so far this year to its traditional and accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs. But they didn’t report to main campus as usual. In August 2020, under many COVID constraints, the university opened the doors to its Austin Nursing Satellite Campus. The new, interactive learning environment spans 17,000 square feet, complete with a cutting-edge simulation lab, a 10-bed clinical skills lab and simulation debriefing rooms. The building also houses a student lounge and administrative and faculty offices. Rooted in the university’s Christian values, the nursing program features an accredited and rigorous curriculum delivered utilizing an interactive e-learning platform, along with hands-on skills training and clinical rotations at the area’s top hospitals.
Illinois insurance guidelines investigated
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights has informed the Thomas More Society that it is investigating whether Illinois has violated federal law by promulgating and enforcing the Illinois Reproductive Health Act, which generally requires Illinois health insurance plans to cover abortion. A Jan. 19, 2021, letter to the Thomas More Society from Luis Perez, deputy director of the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division of the Office for Civil Rights, states that the Office for Civil rights has reviewed the Thomas More Society’s October 2019 complaint and is investigating whether the state of Illinois, which receives various funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, complies with the federal Weldon Amendment. Specifically, the Office for Civil Rights is investigating whether Illinois, through its Department of Insurance and Department of Central Management Services, is discriminating against health plan issuers and plans that would offer health coverage that limited or excluded abortion coverage but are prohibited from doing so by the Reproductive Health Act.
Connecticut legislature considers euthanasia bill
An assisted suicide bill being considered in Connecticut faces opposition from disability rights activists over what they contend is a lack of safeguards against the abuse of vulnerable populations, such as the elderly or the disabled. The legislature in the Nutmeg State is considering a bill that would allow physicians to provide lethal prescriptions to terminally sick adult patients who want to end their lives.