The Latest News

Family Medicine Physician Lucio Martinez, MD Returns to FHN

FHN is pleased to announce that family medicine physician Lucio Martinez, MD has returned and is welcoming new patients at the FHN Family Healthcare Center – Burchard Hills in Freeport.

Dr. Martinez cared for patients of all ages for 20 years at the FHN Family Healthcare Center – Forreston. He also has served as part of FHN's hospitalist team.

He holds a medical degree from Rush Medical College in Chicago, and served his residency at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill.

To make an appointment with Dr. Martinez, call his office at FHN Family Healthcare Center – Burchard Hills at 815-599-7740. He will see patients in the Internal Medicine department on the first floor. Visit for more information on Dr. Martinez and family medicine services available at FHN.


Community Festival of Trees on Display Dec. 2 - 28

Take some time this holiday season to view the FHN Community Festival of Trees entrants at the Freeport Public Library, and vote for your favorite.

The FHN Community Festival of Trees brings organizations from across the area to decorate holiday trees, with cash prizes awarded by a panel of judges and the public. The Community Festival of Trees is on display free at the Freeport Public Library from Monday, Dec. 2 through Saturday, Dec. 28. The Freeport Public Library is located at 100 E. Douglas Street in Freeport.

The public is encouraged to vote for the People's Choice Award winner through Saturday, Dec. 14. The top vote-getter for People's Choice will take home $500. The second-place award for People's Choice is $200 and the third-place People's Choice award is $100. Ballots are available at the library and votes will be taken through the end of the library's operating hours (1 – 4 p.m.) on Saturday, Dec. 14.

The formal panel of judges will award three prizes, as well: First prize is $500, second prize is $300 and third prize is $150.


FHN's Singin' at the King is Dec. 5

Enjoy some holiday music and fun at this year's FHN Festival of Trees Singin' at the King event, set for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5 at the Martin Luther King Center on the King Community Campus, 511 S. Liberty Avenue in Freeport.

The St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church Youth Choir and the Freeport School District 3rd - 4th Grade Elementary Chorus will perform holiday music. The public is welcome; the suggested entry fee is a donation of one non-perishable food item for each person attending. Barrels will be available for donations, and any monetary donations will go to area food banks, as well.


Pertussis Alert for Northwest Illinois

An outbreak of pertussis in nearby Ogle County has health officials in Stephenson County and FHN on alert for more local pertussis cases.

Pertussis – also known as whooping cough – is a highly contagious respiratory disease that can cause serious complications – even death – particularly in babies. It spreads from person to person through coughs and sneezes, and people who are infected are contagious up to 2 weeks before symptoms appear.

“Pertussis is preventable with a vaccine,” said FHN Infection Preventionist Margie Kochsmier MSN RN CMSRN CIC. “Babies can get their first dose of the DTap (tetanus and diphtheria and pertussis) vaccine at 2 months of age, but before then, it's up to the infant's family to keep him or her away from people who are infected and to seek medical attention if symptoms worsen.”

“Because family members and friends can be infected and contagious before they even know they have whooping cough, we are urging everyone to make sure that they are up-to-date on their TDap immunizations,” Kochsmier said.

Whooping cough starts with symptoms much like a cold (runny nose, low-grade fever, and a mild cough). The characteristic “whoop” intake of air after a cough doesn't develop until 1 – 2 weeks after the disease starts.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends people of all ages be vaccinated against pertussis. Babies and children get doses at 2, 4, and 6 months, at 15-18 months, and again between the ages of 4 and 6.

Children should receive a booster dose of TDap at around 11 or 12 years of age, and teens and adults who didn't get a booster as a preteen should get a booster now.

To protect young babies, pregnant women should get a TDap booster during the third trimester of each pregnancy, and those who care for babies should make sure they are up-to-date on vaccinations.

“Even if you've had whooping cough or had the TDap vaccine as a child, you should get a booster to protect the young children in your life,” Kochsmier said.

Download our brochure comparing the symptoms of influenza, the common cold, and pertussis.

Listen to Margie Kochsmier, MSN, RN, CMSRN, FHN Infection Control, talk about Pertussis on the Dial-a-Doc radio show.


FHN Festival of Trees Holiday Family Movie Series Begins Nov. 23

The FHN Holiday Family Movie Series is one of the most popular Festival of Trees events each year, giving families an opportunity to see some of the newest movies at a reduced price thanks to FHN.

This year's Family Movie Series at the Classic Cinemas Lindo Theatre, 115 S. Chicago Avenue in Freeport features a mix of hot new movies and family favorites. Each movie begins at 10 a.m. (doors open at 9:30) and tickets are $4. Seating is limited and there are no advance ticket sales. Each child attending the movie will receive a small holiday gift from FHN. This year's lineup is:

Nov. 23 - Frozen 2 (PG)
Nov. 30 - Polar Express (G) – special FREE movie
Dec. 7 - Playmobil: The Movie (PG)
Dec. 14 - Jumanji: The Next Level (PG-13)
Dec. 21 - Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PG-13)

This year's Classic Movie Series bonus movie is the holiday classic White Christmas (G). Two special showings will be held, at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11. Admission is a free-will offering and/or a food donation (there will be barrels available for food contributions, and monetary contributions also will go to the food drive).

Designed to offer movie-goers the experience of viewing time-honored American film classics on the big screen, the Classic Movie Series is hosted every spring and fall by the Lindo Theatre in Freeport in partnership with the Stephenson County Historical Museum and Highland Community College.

For more information on any of FHN's Festival of Trees events, visit


Find Your Holiday Spirit at This Year's FHN Festival of Trees Events

FHN's 2019 Festival of Trees kicks off Nov. 22 with a Gala for grown-ups and lasts through the end of the year, with fun activities for the whole family. All Festival of Trees activities are free of charge unless noted.

The theme of this year's Festival of Trees is a quote from spiritual author Michael Holbrook: If You Can't Find the Spirit of the Holidays in Your Heart, You'll Never Find it Under a Tree.

You can find details on all of our Festival of Trees events at


FHN Celebrates Rural Physician of Excellence Terry Miller, MD

FHN honored its 2019 Rural Physician of Excellence Award recipient, family medicine physician Terry Miller MD, with a special celebration Nov. 7.

Each year, the Illinois Rural Health Association (IRHA) recognizes physicians who exhibit an extraordinary commitment to providing healthcare to Illinois' rural residents.

“One of the biggest healthcare challenges across our nation is the shortage of physicians who practice in rural settings. IRHA feels it is important to recognize those who have accepted this calling and gone out of their way to make an impact,” said Margaret Vaughn, IRHA Executive Director.

Dr. Miller has been caring for FHN patients since 1992 and now practices at the FHN Family Healthcare Center – Highland View Drive in Freeport.

Dr. Miller's efforts were recognized with an Illinois House of Representatives resolution, introduced at the celebration by Rep. Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport), and with an Illinois State Senate congratulatory certificate presented by Sen. Brian Stewart (R-Freeport).

“We're proud of Dr. Miller and his dedication to the health of the people in our communities both big and small here in northwest Illinois,” said FHN President and CEO Mark Gridley. “He has worked to improve FHN and his patients' health over the years, and he richly deserves this recognition.”


FHN Parent Enrichment Program Receives $4,567 Grant

The FHN Parent Enrichment Program (PEP), a program of FHN Family Counseling Center, recently received a $4,567 grant from the Freeport Community Foundation to support program services.

The purpose of the Parent Enrichment Program is to partner with parents in giving their children the best possible start. The program supports parents in being their child's first and most important teacher and has been serving families in Stephenson County for more than 30 years.

Services include home visits focusing on parent-child interaction, family well-being, and developmental-centered parenting, as well as monthly group connections and developmental check-ups for children. PEP also has certified infant massage instructors and car seat technicians.

The organizers and beneficiaries of the Parent Enrichment Program are very grateful to the Freeport Community Foundation. The resources made possible with these funds will truly have a meaningful and lasting impact on the families in the PEP program.

For more information on the Parent Enrichment Program, call 815-599-7300


FHN Awarded Breast Cancer Awareness Grant

FHN Foundation is one of eight organizations nationwide to receive a Medline Foundation Community Impact Grant for Breast Cancer Awareness.

The $10,000 grant will enable FHN to help breast cancer patients find the correct prosthesis after mastectomy and enhance the cancer care services already available at the Leonard C. Ferguson Cancer Center at FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport.

"This generous gift will allow us to have a certified breast prosthetic fitter available to help patients after they've had a mastectomy," said Tonya Meyer, FHN Foundation Executive Director. "We're grateful to have this help from Medline to allow us to better help our patients recover after breast cancer surgery. Our Cancer Center staff takes pride in helping their patients throughout their journey."

"We are very impressed by the overwhelming number and quality of applicants we've seen this year, and are proud to partner with organizations all across the country that are working tirelessly to eradicate breast cancer and improve the care of patients affected by it," said Karen Frey, senior philanthropy manager at Medline.

The goal of Medline's Community Impact Grant Program for Breast Cancer Awareness is to give grants to organizations actively working to address breast cancer-related challenges, including those related to prevention, early detection, improving patient care or enhancing the quality of life for breast cancer patients and survivors.


FHN Debuts Virtual Provider Visits with FHNow

FHN is pleased to offer 24/7 care, 365 days a year virtual healthcare provider (telemedicine) visits at $59 a visit through a new app, FHNow.

FHNow is designed to be a convenient way to consult a healthcare provider when offices are closed or when patients aren't able to schedule an appointment in person. It is not a replacement for in-person visits with your primary healthcare provider.

FHNow is available to anyone - you don't need to be an FHN patient to see a board-certified physician via smartphone, tablet or desktop computer. FHN patients can have the notes from their e-visits forwarded to their FHN primary care provider.

It is appropriate for non-emergency illnesses and injuries such as sinus and ear infections, colds, flu, sore throats, upper respiratory infections, ear problems, and pinkeye as well as dermatologic conditions like rashes, eczema, warts and cold sores.

Appointments are available immediately or can be scheduled in advance, and FHNow physicians can send prescriptions to area pharmacies. Lab work, x-rays and other services requiring in-person care are not available through FHNow, and children under 36 months with a fever must be referred for in-person care. Support for multiple languages is available through FHNow.

Virtual visits are $59, payable by credit or debit card. No insurance can be processed through the FHNow service; check with your insurance provider to see if the fee is reimbursable. The fee may qualify for reimbursement from HSA or FSA funds; check with your HSA/FSA provider for details.

For more information visit