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Sen. Christopher Belt

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt’s measure will create a statewide program to promote public awareness and early detection of Parkinson's disease was signed into law.

“We want people to take care of their health,” Belt (D-Cahokia) said. “That’s why we are trying to inform everyone what Parkinson’s disease is and encourage people to manage their health more carefully.”

House Bill 3247 would also allow the Illinois Department of Public Health to accept for the program any special grants of money, services or property from the federal government or any of its agencies or any foundation, organization or medical school.

An estimated 1.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. An additional 50,000 are diagnosed annually, and another 1.5 million people have the disease but have never seen a neurologist.

“I’m hoping that this will nudge people to see the doctor regularly,” Belt said. “Even if you are healthy, health protection and prevention is the key to staying that way.”

House Bill 3247 takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020.