It's Time to Connect the D.O.T.S.

As we all know, our communities have individuals with significant health and wellness challenges. For many of them, those challenges impact nearly every part of their lives, every day. To help address this situation, FHN is leading an effort called Connect the D.O.T.S. where D.O.T.S. stands for Doors of Team Support. We are leading this effort with the involvement of many other partners from first responders to transportation providers to various agencies whose missions include the type of expanded assistance these patients need.

Significant research has been done, both by FHN and community partners, to determine areas of focus for the program. We are beginning by focusing on the following major needs within the community:

  • Health and well-being
  • Chronic disease management
  • Barriers to healthcare
  • Poverty and the economic burden of disease

These broad areas have been further focused on these specific needs:

  • Transportation
  • Supportive care for individuals coping with congestive heart failure, COPD, and cancer care
  • Medical management of chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, renal failure, and dementia
  • Child nutrition and disease prevention

The community-wide goals of Connect the D.O.T.S. are to promote well-being – and being well – by helping individuals meet their basic physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs, and to work together as partners to optimize processes that connect us while fostering communication that can help all of us succeed in our respective missions.

One way we're enabling that communication is by sharing the collective capabilities of all organizations that could be a resource for these individuals – and those working to help them – in a common database accessible 24/7 to all.

We have already begun working with our community partners to Connect the D.O.T.S., and we'll share more as we achieve our first successes. We're starting in the Freeport area and plan to expand support in other areas as we grow. Early partners in the effort include:

  • Amity Daycare and Learning Center
  • Boys & Girls Club of Freeport/Stephenson County
  • City of Freeport
  • Church organizations
  • Freeport Fire Department
  • Freeport Police Department
  • Freeport School District 145
  • Joseph’s Pantry
  • Mt. Calvary Church of God
  • New Jerusalem Church of God
  • NICAA Head Start
  • North Central Illinois Council of Governments (NCICG)
  • Pretzel City Area Transit
  • Salvation Army
  • Senior Resource Center
  • Star Ambulance
  • Stephenson County Farm Bureau
  • Stephenson County Health Department
  • United Way of Northwest Illinois
  • YMCA

We know that by working together to Connect the D.O.T.S., we will be able to provide the support needed by individuals who may otherwise not be able to improve or even maintain their own well-being. As the saying reminds us, sometimes it takes a village...

If you have ideas, questions, or are interested in learning more, please contact FHN's executive sponsor of the initiative, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer/Chief Nursing Officer Kathy Martinez, MSN, RN, at 815-599-7529 or