Ensuring coverage for seniors

News | October 4, 2018

Since she was a little girl, Irene Hanssen wanted to be a nurse. She attended, and graduated from, the Lutheran Hospital School of Nursing from 1958-1961. Her first job was working nights in the newborn nursery, when there was no such thing as a neonatal intensive care unit. She baptized two babies who were declining, when the priest or pastor couldn’t make it to the hospital in time.

Then, two years into her career, in 1963, she made a permanent switch to the operating room. She worked at Mercy Hospital in Davenport, then Good Samaritan in Downers Grove, Illinois, when her husband transferred
there. When they returned to the Quad Cities, she went to work at Genesis West.

“You either love working in an operating room or want nothing to do with it,” she said. “It was challenging mentally and physically. Everything is unique. My favorite was orthopedics.”

Irene’s history is important, because it led to her volunteer work in retirement.

Shortly after she retired in 2004 after Irene Hanssen spent her career as a nurse. Now, she uses her medical background as a volunteer for the Senior Health Insurance Information Program. After more than four decades as a nurse, Irene received a postcard in the mail from AARP, seeking out volunteers for the Senior Health Insurance Information Program.

“My husband said go for it,” Irene said.

She went for five days of training. She wondered a bit what she had gotten herself into.

The Senior Health Insurance Information Program, or SHIIP, was created in 1990 by the Iowa Insurance Division. SHIIP advocates, informs, educates and assists consumers on Medicare and related health insurance issues so they can make informed decisions and access resources to address their needs. The services are free, objective, and confidential.

Local organizations partner with SHIIP to host trained volunteers who provide information, counseling, and education services in communities across the state. SHIIP is funded by a federal grant and by the Iowa Insurance Division. Every state has an insurance assistance program like SHIIP.

Trained volunteers assist thousands of Iowans each year to understand their Medicare benefits and options through individual counseling sessions, community education, special projects and making connections in their communities. Each year, to ensure proficiency, volunteers must complete training, assist a minimum number of clients throughout the year, and complete online reviews.

Volunteers, SHIIP leaders say, must be people who enjoy tackling new challenges. They are people who like to learn complex subject matter, have computer skills and are internet savvy, can work with diverse populations, gain personal satisfaction from helping clients navigate the challenges of understanding Medicare, and can be a trusted and objective source of information.

That volunteer description? It describes Irene to a tee.

Fourteen years after her first training, Irene remains a steadfast volunteer, guiding fellow senior citizens through choosing the best Medicare options for each individual. In addition to the training she goes through each year, Irene also keeps up with news about what is happening with Medicare. One of the more significant changes for 2019 is with the prescription drug plans. It’s why reviewing individual plans every year is important – things are always changing.

Irene evaluates her plan every year as well.

Connecting with Irene and other SHIIP volunteers in the area is as easy as calling one of the numbers on the bottom of this page and making an appointment, she said. The meetings last about an hour. Irene’s office is at the Center for Active Seniors. During open enrollment, she assists about 12 people a week for the eight weeks from Oct. 15-Dec. 7.

Her first question for those who come for help? “How can I help you?”

“It’s an extension of my nursing, caring for people,” she said. “We welcome the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich.”

SHIIP locations in Iowa (www.therightcalliowa.gov)
Genesis Medical Center: (563) 421-1096
Milestones Area Agency on Aging – Davenport:
(855) 410-6222
Center For Active Seniors, Inc. (CASI):
(563) 386-7477 ext. 221

SHIP locations in Illinois (www2.illinois.gov/aging/ship)
Project NOW: (309) 793-6391
Rock Island County Senior Center:
(309) 788-6335
Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging:
(309) 793-6800


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Daniel 12:1-3

The Time of the End

1“Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.2“Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.3“Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

Psalm 16

1Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You.

2I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord;

I have no good besides You.”

3As for the saints who are in the earth,

They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.

4The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied;

I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood,

Nor will I take their names upon my lips.

5The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;

You support my lot.

6The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;

Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.

7I will bless the LORD who has counseled me;

Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.

8I have set the LORD continually before me;

Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices;

My flesh also will dwell securely.

10For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol;

Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

11You will make known to me the path of life;

In Your presence is fullness of joy;

In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Hebrews 10:11-25

11Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;12but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD,13waiting from that time onward UNTIL HISENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET.14For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.15And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying,





He then says,



18Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.

A New and Living Way

19Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,20by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,21and since we have a great priest over the house of God,22let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;24and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,25not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Christ or Judgment

Mark 13:1-8

Things to Come

1As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples *said to Him, “Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!”2And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down.”

3As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately,4“Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?”5And Jesus began to say to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.6“Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He!’ and will mislead many.7“When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end.8“For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

Daniel 7:9-14

9“I kept looking

Until thrones were set up,

And the Ancient of Days took His seat;

His vesture was like white snow

And the hair of His head like pure wool.

His throne was ablaze with flames,

Its wheels were a burning fire.

10“A river of fire was flowing

And coming out from before Him;

Thousands upon thousands were attending Him,

And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him;

The court sat,

And the books were opened.

11“Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire.12“As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time.

The Son of Man Presented

13“I kept looking in the night visions,

And behold, with the clouds of heaven

One like a Son of Man was coming,

And He came up to the Ancient of Days

And was presented before Him.

14“And to Him was given dominion,

Glory and a kingdom,

That all the peoples, nations and men of every language

Might serve Him.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion

Which will not pass away;

And His kingdom is one

Which will not be destroyed.

The Vision Interpreted

Psalm 93

1The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty;

The LORD has clothed and girded Himself with strength;

Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.

2Your throne is established from of old;

You are from everlasting.

3The floods have lifted up, O LORD,

The floods have lifted up their voice,

The floods lift up their pounding waves.

4More than the sounds of many waters,

Than the mighty breakers of the sea,

The LORD on high is mighty.

5Your testimonies are fully confirmed;

Holiness befits Your house,

O LORD, forevermore.

Revelation 1:-4-8

John 18:33-37

33Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”34Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?”35Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?”36Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”37Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”