The Latest News


FHN Part of Two FREE Heart Health Events in February

February 12, 2024 – The educators and care professionals at FHN are celebrating American Heart Month this February, offering free information, screenings, and healthy snacks at two community events.

Celebrate Your Heart: 5-6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15 at the Family YMCA of Northwest Illinois (2998 Pearl City Road, Freeport, on the Highland Community College campus). FHN and the YMCA are offering free heart health and wellness tips, heart-healthy snacks, exercise, and more.

• Live exercise demonstrations led by YMCA staff (please bring or wear athletic attire and tennis shoes if you plan to participate)
• Informative sessions with FHN Heart Health professionals
• Free blood pressure screenings
• Heart-Healthy snack station

Boys & Girls Club Black History Month Community Health & Wellness Fair: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Boys & Girls Club, 511 S. Liberty avenue in Freeport.

• Free blood pressure screenings
• Child developmental screenings (0-3 years old)
• Information on food label reading and healthy eating from FHN Registered Dietitians

Both events are free and open to the public. Participants in this year's Get Fit program can earn an extra 5 points for checking in at the FHN booth at both events.

For more information on these events and FHN's cardiac capabilities, visit www.fhn.org.

FHN, HCC Offering CNA Open House Feb. 21

February 7, 2024 – FHN and Highland Community College in Freeport will hold an open house for HCC's Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program this month.

The event, from 2 -5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21 in the Ray and Betty Stamm Health Science Nursing Wing of HCC's Natural Science and Health Center (building N), is an opportunity for interested individuals to talk with students and instructors from HCC's Nursing and Allied Health programs, as well as staff representatives from FHN.

FHN representatives will be on hand to talk to candidates about entering the field of nursing through the “gateway” of becoming a CNA, and interested candidates can register for the HCC CNA program that night.

Student Services staff will be available to help candidates with financial aid, placement testing and any paperwork necessary to get started as an HCC student. Interested students could begin classes as soon as March 11.

HCC CNA program alumna - and current FHN CNA - Sarah Salazar credits her academic achievements from Highland Nursing and Allied Health with helping her secure a job she loves at FHN:

“Highland's CNA program prepared me very well for the real-world work of a CNA. The hands-on training helped me to be able to begin working confidently and to quickly become successful at FHN,” she said. “I'm already considering going back to Highland for my nursing degree and then on to complete a BSN.”

For more information about the HCC program or the open house, contact HCC Basic Nursing Assistant Coordinator and Nursing and Allied Health Instructor Cassie Mekeel, RN, at cassie.mekeel@highland.edu or 815-599-3685.

FHN Offering Two $129 Heart Month Specials

February 5, 2024 – Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, and early diagnosis is key in fighting the disease. FHN is celebrating American Heart Month in February with special pricing on two heart health tests.

Call 815-599-6860 by Thursday, Feb. 29 to schedule a Standard Walking Treadmill Stress Test or Calcium Scoring CT Heart Scan and pay just $129 for the test.

“The treadmill stress test is a screening test for determining a patient's heart health when they are able to walk and have no history of cardiac disease,” said FHN Director of Imaging and Cardiac Services Katie Alvarado, MBA, RT(R)(N), CNMT. “The patient walks on a treadmill while a specially trained registered nurse monitors how his or her heart is working through an electrocardiogram. This test helps determine your exercise capacity and the circulation to the heart, which is helpful in determining the cause of unexplained fatigue, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats during exercise or existing or borderline high blood pressure.”

“Another beneficial screening test that FHN offers is a CT scan to detect plaque in the arteries,” Alvarado said. “The test is non-invasive and is used to predict the probability of future heart problems. Like the treadmill test, it doesn't take long to complete.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 815-599-6860. Tests must be scheduled by Thursday, Feb. 29 and performed by Friday, May 31, 2024 to qualify for the special rate. These tests do not replace consultations with your healthcare provider, and are not appropriate for persons with a history of heart trouble. If you do not have a primary healthcare provider, FHN will work with you to determine how to handle your test results when they are communicated to you. Payment for the tests is due (cash, checks and credit cards accepted) at the time of service.

FHN Locations Opening Late Due to Weather Conditions - Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024

January 9, 2024 – Please note: FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport remains OPEN.

Due to inclement weather, all FHN locations will open at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10.

These locations include:
FHN Family Healthcare Center - Forreston
FHN Family Healthcare Center - Lanark
FHN Family Healthcare Center - Mount Carroll
FHN Family Healthcare Center - Savanna
FHN Jo Daviess Family Healthcare Center - Stockton
FHN Family Healthcare Center - Lena
FHN Family Healthcare Center - Pecatonica

In Freeport:
FHN Community Healthcare Center (Linden Street, Freeport)
FHN Family Counseling Center
FHN Family Healthcare Center - Burchard Hills
FHN Family Healthcare Center - Highland View Drive
The FHN Leonard C. Ferguson Cancer Center at FHN Memorial Hospital
FHN Specialty Care - Harlem Avenue
FHN Specialty Care - Stephenson Street

Thank you.

Some FHN Locations Closed Due to Weather Conditions - Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024

January 9, 2024 – Please note: FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport remains OPEN.

Due to inclement weather, a number of FHN locations will be closed today.

FHN Family Healthcare Center - Forreston
FHN Family Healthcare Center - Lanark
FHN Family Healthcare Center - Mount Carroll
FHN Family Healthcare Center - Savanna
FHN Jo Daviess Family Healthcare Center - Stockton (closing at noon)
FHN Family Healthcare Center - Lena (closing at noon)
FHN Family Healthcare Center - Pecatonica (closing at noon)
FHN Community Healthcare Center - Freeport
FHN Family Counseling Center (closing at noon)
FHN Family Healthcare Center - Burchard Hills (closing at 1 p.m.)
FHN Family Healthcare Center - Highland View Drive (closing at 1 p.m.)
The FHN Leonard C. Ferguson Cancer Center (closing at 1 p.m.)
FHN Specialty Care - Harlem Avenue (closing at 1 p.m.)
FHN Specialty Care - Stephenson Street (closing at 1 p.m.)

Thank you.

Three Area Students Receive FHN Healthcare Career Scholarships

January 5, 2024 – Three area students have been awarded scholarships to help cover the cost of healthcare education. An outstanding group of students applied for the Healthcare scholarships this year.

The students wrote an essay about their career path along with strengths and personal goals to support the healthcare needs of FHN's service area, and the top candidates were selected for face-to-face interviews.

After the interviews, three Healthcare Scholarship applicants were chosen to receive a $1,000 scholarship. All of FHN's scholarships are funded through donations to the FHN Foundation.

The 2023 Healthcare Career Scholarship winners are:

• Jacob Brown from Morrison, who is pursuing a Pharmacy degree at UIC College of Pharmacy in Rockford.

• Haley Brudi from Stockton, who is pursuing a Physical Therapy degree at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

• Emma Kempel from Winslow, who is pursuing a Nursing degree at University of Dubuque in Dubuque, Iowa.

FHN offers Healthcare Career scholarships each year; the application period opens early each summer. For more information, visit www.fhn.org/scholarships.

FHN Get Fit 2024 Begins Jan. 21 - Registration Open Now

January 3, 2024 – FHN's popular wellness program is back to help participants work toward their best health. Get Fit 2024 is heavy on tips, videos, and recipes to help participants build a healthy lifestyle for years to come!

Get Fit 2024 is a FREE 12-week online program beginning and ending with in-person screenings “ and we're bringing back teams for 2024! (Participants can join as an individual or as part of a 4-person team.)

All participants will receive special Get Fit 2024 newsletters with healthy lifestyle information including exercise tips and healthy recipes. They also can take advantage of special offers from local fitness partners and participate in fun contests, and of course, win great prizes! Signup for FHN's Get Fit 2024 is open now at fhn.org/getfit.

FHN Celebrates December DAISY, BEE Award Winners

January 2, 2024 – Every day, every person at FHN strives to provide exceptional, compassionate care to our patients and their loved ones. We are proud to announce FHN's December 2023 DAISY and BEE award recipients.

FHN's December DAISY award winner is Emergency Department Triage Nurse Doug Munda, who helped an injured little girl stay calm for evaluation and treatment:

“My daughter instantly formed a bond with Doug and was comforted by his gentle demeanor," his nominator said. He gave her a stuffed animal, and asked if she could take care of the animal for him. "She did not require any pain medication, as Doug made sure she had a warm blanket, the Disney Channel on the TV and her stuffed animal next to her.”

The DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Award is an international recognition program for hospitals that honors and celebrates the skillful, compassionate care nurses provide every day. The DAISY Foundation was established by the family of J. Patrick Barnes after he died from complications of the auto-immune disease ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura) in 1999. During his hospitalization, his family deeply appreciated the care and compassion shown to Patrick and his entire family. When he died, they felt compelled to say “thank you” to nurses in a very public way: The DAISY Award.

FHN's December BEE Award recipient is CNA Lillie Curtiss, who provided excellent care to a post-surgical patient.

Her nominator spent the night at the hospital after knee surgery, and said, “When I woke up the next day, Lillie joyfully walked into my room. She did not have to ask any questions about my care. I thought I was at a spa. Any assistance I needed, Lillie was there to help.”

Just like a DAISY would not be able to grow without the help of the BEE, our nurses could not do what they do for our patients without the outstanding teamwork of other health care professionals. The BEE (Being Exceptional Everyday) Award honors patient care (non-nurse) staff who assist a nurse or a patient and his or her family in delivering excellent patient care.

Patients or their loved ones can learn more about the awards and share their story at www.fhn.org/daisy-bee “ and a multidisciplinary selection committee of FHN will select the DAISY and BEE Award honorees from nominations submitted by patients and family members. DAISY honorees will be recognized at a public ceremony in his or her unit at FHN and will receive a certificate, an award pin, and a hand-carved stone sculpture entitled A Healer's Touch. Everyone in the unit will celebrate with cinnamon rolls “ a favorite of Patrick's during his illness. BEE honorees will be recognized publicly on their unit, receive a certificate, and award pin and the unit will celebrate with honey-themed treats.

FHN Adjusts Visitor Guidelines Amidst High Respiratory Illness Rates

January 2, 2024 – As respiratory illnesses spread in the community, FHN Memorial Hospital will implement enhanced visitor guidelines effective Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024.

Visiting hours remain between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily.

No children under the age of 18 should visit the hospital.

Patients are limited to 2 visitors at a time.

Masking is suggested for all visitors; masking is required when visiting patients in droplet isolation AND for visitors experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- ​​​​​​​Headache
- ​​​​​​​Cough
​​​​​​​- Sore throat
​​​​​​​- Fever over 100.4°F or feeling feverish
​​​​​​​- Shortness of breath
- ​​​​​​​Joint or muscle aches
- ​​​​​​​Recent loss of taste and/or smell
- ​​​​​​​Nausea/vomiting
- ​​​​​​​Diarrhea

As always, visitors must sign in at the registration desk to receive a visitor's badge “ a photo ID will be requested. ​​​​​​

People with obvious signs of infection should not visit the hospital. Please DO NOT visit if you have a fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose or congestion, upset stomach or are vomiting. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Learn more about FHN Memorial Hospital visitor restrictions online at fhn.org/visitor-guide.asp.

FHN Hosting Blood Drive December 26

December 19, 2023 – One in three people will need blood at some point in their lifetime. In 2022, FHN Memorial Hospital used 881 units of donated blood for its patients. The public is invited to join FHN team members for a Rock River Valley Blood Center (RRVBC) blood drive Tuesday, Dec. 26 at FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport.

Appointments are available to donate between noon and 6 p.m. in the Globe and Deaconess rooms on the lower level of FHN Memorial Hospital. (Donors should enter the hospital through the east atrium entrance and follow signage to the event.)

Visit www.rrvbc.org to make an appointment or for more information about donating blood. Walk-ins also will be welcome.

Persons at least 17 years old (16 with parental consent) who weigh at least 110 pounds and are in good health can donate blood. The process is relatively quick and painless and can save lives. If you are not sure if you are eligible to donate, call RRVBC at 815-965-8751.

The RRVBC is the only supplier of blood and related services to FHN Memorial Hospital as well as all 4 Rockford hospitals and the UW Carbone Cancer Center of Rockford.

FHN OB Team Recognized for Outstanding Commitment to Care

December 4, 2023 – The Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative (ILPQC) has recognized the FHN Women's Health team at FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport for the team's outstanding efforts to provide equitable quality care to all mothers and babies.

“Of the 74 participating hospitals in Illinois, just 24 managed to meet all the rigorous criteria for this recognition so far. Also, FHN was one of just eight in the state to be recognized at the ILPQC Annual Conference for having a parent partner involved in their teams committee,” said FHN Women's Health Service Line Director Linn Carter, MSN, APN/CNS-BC, NEA-BC. FHN's team hosts quarterly community breakfasts for past patients as a way to receive feedback on what is going well and potential improvements to assure respectful care is given at all times.

“Congratulations to our Women's Healthcare team for their unwavering commitment to improving the lives of women and infants throughout our community,” said FHN President and CEO Mark Gridley, MBA, FACHE. “We're incredibly proud to have them as part of our healthcare family.”

To earn this recognition, the FHN Women's Health team goes above and beyond for all of its patients by screening for social determinants of health (SDOH), economic and social conditions that affect individuals access to healthcare both prenatally and again when admitted to the hospital for delivery. They also screen for access of care for pregnant moms, collect valuable demographic data, and screen for available resources. They also prioritize staff and provider education to stay up-to-date with the latest healthcare practices.

The FHN OB team scored exceptionally high marks for respectful care upon discharge, showing the team's dedication to providing the best possible experience for their patients throughout their healthcare journey.

The FHN OB team is one of the first women's healthcare teams in the state to participate in the Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative (ILPQC) Equity and Safe Sleep of Infants (ESSI) Initiative. Being part of Wave 1 ensures FHN is a leader in expanding team members' knowledge and community involvement in safe sleep for our families.

For more information on the FHN Women's Healthcare team and OB team, visit fhn.org/womens-health.asp.