The Latest News

Nine Area Schools Win FHN Miles And Minutes Cash

9/17/2018

Nine area schools will get checks from FHN this fall, thanks to their dedicated fans who counted their exercise minutes through the summer with FHN's Miles And Minutes program. FHN's Miles And Minutes encouraged participants to be active and log various types of physical activity to win prize money for the school of their choice.

Miles And Minutes winners were chosen in two main categories – miles per school system (normalized based on the number of students in each school system to help ensure that all schools had an equal chance to win, no matter their size or how many participants they enlist) and average miles per participant. The winners are:

Miles per School System:

Aquin Schools – 112,625.96 miles ($2,000)
Tri-County Christian – 105,199.52 miles ($1,000)
Orangeville – 75,654.73 miles ($500)

Average Miles per Participant:

Eastland – 497.57 ($2,000)
Dakota – 415.49 ($1,000)
Orangeville – 277.6 ($500)

This year, we added a special prize for the school with the most Family Activity points. (Winners in the other categories were not eligible for this prize.) Freeport was this year's $500 Family Activity winner, with 10,533 points.

Schools that do not win a prize in the two main categories are eligible for Sweepstakes prizes. In the Sweepstakes category, drawn at random, this year'''s winners are:

Pearl City – ($500)
West Carroll – ($400)
Warren – ($300)

The free program had 452 participants who logged a total of 1,713,369 minutes of exercise from May 28 through September 2. (That'''s more than 28,500 hours of exercise!)

Freeport Dental Connections and FHN Family Dental to Combine Forces

9/12/2018

Mark Gridley, FHN President and CEO, and Dr. Thomas McCoy, Freeport Dental Connections CEO, announced today that they have reached a definitive agreement to merge FHN's Family Dental practice into Freeport Dental Connections practice. Subject to final approvals, they expect the transaction to close on or about September 30, 2018.

As part of the agreement, Dr. Donald Doak, Dr. John Thompson, and Dr. Maria Boy will assume management of Dental Connections in Freeport on or about October 1, 2018. Over the next several weeks the FHN Family Dental staff will relocate to the Dental Connections location at 2661 W. Stephenson St. in Freeport. All existing FHN Family Dental patients and insurance plans will transition with Drs. Doak, Thompson, and Boy. Specific details will be communicated directly to existing patients of both practices.

According to Gridley and McCoy, the combination of these two well-established practices will better serve the Freeport area for the future. Gridley stated, "One of our goals was to partner with someone who shared our values and could dedicate more resources to the dental practice. With Dental Connections' sole focus on dentistry, we believe our dentists, dental staff, and most importantly our patients will be even better served for the future."

According to Dr. McCoy, "We wanted to increase our presence in the Freeport market and are excited to have the FHN Family Dental dentists and staff join our team. We appreciate the confidence FHN has placed in us and look forward to continue serving the Freeport community."

FHN Offering Drive-Through, Walk-Up, and Traditional Flu Shot Clinics

9/11/2018

FHN has added three new, convenient flu shot clinics to its regular schedule of clinics throughout northwest Illinois.

This year, adults can choose to receive their flu shot at one of two drive-through clinics at the FHN Family Healthcare Center – Burchard Hills, 1010 W. Fairway Drive in Freeport:

Saturday, Sept. 29, 8 – 10 a.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 3, 4 – 6:30 p.m.

See the full 2018 Flu Shot Schedule

In addition, a special walk-up clinic will be held from 3 – 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26 at the Highland Community College Farmers Market in south parking lot C.

Fees and restrictions for these special flu shot clinics are the same as for FHN's traditional clinics: If you are an adult under 65 years of age, you will get a quadrivalent vaccine that protects against 4 strains of influenza for $28.

If you're over 65, you will receive a high-dose version of the vaccine ($62). There will be no out-of-pocket expense if you are covered by Medicare Part B (please present Medicare card) or a Medicare HMO accepted by FHN (list available at each location – covered persons MUST present the Medicare HMO card instead of the Medicare card for the billing process).

Immunizations may be paid for by cash, credit card, or check payable to FHN. Please note that these prices are only available at these flu shot clinics; other rates may apply in FHN offices. No other insurance coverage can be accepted at these flu shot clinics, and per government regulations, no Medicaid cards can be accepted at these locations. Because of federal guidelines to prevent identity theft, everyone must present a photo ID to receive an immunization.

For their own safety, children should be immunized at their regular healthcare provider's office. Persons with allergy to eggs or the flu vaccine, those with an illness accompanied by a fever or depressed immune system should not receive the flu immunization at these locations. For more information, call FHN Community Services at 815-599-7437.

Free Program: Learn How Activity Helps Manage Appetite, Increase Fitness

8/5/2018

The August Community Health Forum event, presented by the Stephenson County Health Department and FHN, will focus on the importance of activity in our everyday lives.

The forum is free and open to the public. It begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 14 at the Freeport Public Library, 100 E. Douglas Street in Freeport. Refreshments will be served, and no registration is necessary. Dr. Lynn Herrmann will talk about how you can integrate activity into your family's daily life to help manage appetite and weight while improving fitness.

The session will be moderated by Alan Wenzel, and participants are encouraged to participate in the discussion. For more information on the Community Health Forum series and the program presenters, visit www.fhn.org/communityhealthforums.

FHN Hosting CNA Job Fair August 3

7/26/2018

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) play an important role in healthcare, and FHN is looking for CNAs interested in being part of the largest healthcare organization in the area.

FHN is hosting a CNA open interview day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, August 3 at FHN Memorial Hospital, 1045 W. Stephenson Street in Freeport. Interested CNAs will be able to apply, interview and be hired on the spot at this event.

FHN offers competitive compensation for CNAs, along with day-one benefits, flexible schedules, growth and developmental opportunities and education assistance. FHN offers a scholarship program that pays tuition for CNAs interested in pursuing their RN degree.

Learn About Highly Personalized Knee Replacement at Free FHN Program

7/22/2018

FHN is the only healthcare organization in the area to offer TruMatch®, a fully customized knee replacement option providing quicker recovery and better overall results.

Learn more about TruMatch and FHN's other orthopaedic capabilities at a free FHN Speaker Series program beginning at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 8 at the FHN Family Healthcare Center – Burchard Hills in Freeport.

FHN Orthopaedic Surgeon Greg Dammann, MD will talk about the keys to successful joint replacement surgery and other ways to alleviate knee pain at this free program. Refreshments will be served, and registration is requested. Visit www.fhn.org/knee or call toll-free 1-877-6000-FHN (1-877-600-0346) ext. 901 to register.

Learn About 'Mismatch' Diseases and Modern Life at Free Program

7/1/2018

The July Community Health Forum event, presented by the Stephenson County Health Department and FHN, will focus on how our evolution has set us up for a variety of “mismatch” diseases.

The forum is free and open to the public. It begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 10 at the Freeport Public Library, 100 E. Douglas Street in Freeport. Refreshments will be served, and no registration is necessary. Dr. Jack Herrmann will talk about how humans' evolutionary biology has set the modern human up for diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and arthritis, and what we can do to prevent those diseases. The session will be moderated by Alan Wenzel, and participants are encouraged to participate in the discussion.

For more information on the Community Health Forum series and the program presenters, visit www.fhn.org/communityhealthforums.

FHN's Summer Family Movie Series Begins July 7

6/24/2018

Enjoy a great movie at a great price with your family at FHN's Summer Family Movie Series at the Classic Cinemas Lindo Theatre in Freeport.

Each movie will begin at 10 a.m., with limited first-come, first-seated seating. Admission is just $4, compliments of FHN, and the final movie in the series – The Sandlot, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year – is FREE! This year's movies are:

July 7 – Incredibles 2 (PG)
July 14 – Ant-Man and the Wasp (PG)
July 21 – Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (PG)
July 28 – Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (PG)
August 4 – Christopher Robin (PG)
August 11 – The Sandlot (PG) – FREE

Kids who attend the movies will receive a surprise from FHN, and there are plenty of other surprises in store, so join us for some cool fun!

Classic Cinemas Lindo Theatre is located at 115 S. Chicago Avenue in downtown Freeport.

There's a Ride for Everyone in 2018 Gran Fonda Tour Against Cancer

6/11/2018

Enjoy a bike ride and help raise funds for local cancer care at this year's Gran Fonda Tour Against Cancer. There's a challenge to suit everyone – a Family Fun Ride along the Jane Addams Trail to 30- (trail or road), 50-, and 75-mile options on some of the most beautiful roads in northwest Illinois.

The Family Fun Ride is a scenic tip along the Jane Addams Trail, and all other Tour rides begin and end at Tutty's Crossing Trailhead, 250 E. Stephenson Street in Freeport. All rides start at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 30.

In lieu of a registration fee, organizers welcome a donation to the FHN Leonard C. Ferguson Cancer Center at FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport. Participants will be asked to register and sign a waiver form, which can be downloaded at www.fhn.org/TourAgainstCancer.

A route guide and safety card is provided and roads are marked. There will be one staffed rest stop available in Orangeville.

Dave Fonda, the founder of and inspiration for this event, loved cycling and his community. He started this fund-raising activity in 2007, dedicated to parlaying his passion into a cause that could help those fighting cancer. Though Dave lost his own battle in 2018, we keep him a part of this event by renaming it in his honor. (A Gran Fondo – Italian for "Big Ride" – is a timed long-distance road cycling ride officially defined by the Italian Cycling Federation as being at least 75 miles long.) We hope the Gran Fonda Tour Against Cancer will inspire others to ride for a greater purpose.

For more information or to register, visit www.fhn.org/TourAgainstCancer or call Tonya at 815-599-6900.

You can also listen to Tonya Meyer talk about the event on the Dial-A-Doc radio show.

FHN Offering Free Car Seat Check Event June 23

6/10/2018, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

FHN will offer free car seat safety checks at a special event June 23 in Freeport.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 23 at the FHN Family Healthcare Center – Burchard Hills, 1010 W. Fairway Drive in Freeport. The checks take approximately 30 minutes, and no appointment is necessary.

Interested parents and caregivers are asked to bring the child who will be riding in the car seat, the vehicle owner's manual and the car seat instruction manual, if possible, to the event. The techs will work with parents and caregivers to have their car seats checked for proper use and installation.

For more information, contact Melanie Wingo at 851-494-2281.

FHN Introduces DAISY/BEE Awards to Celebrate Exceptional Care

5/30/2018

Every day, every person at FHN strives to provide exceptional, compassionate care to our patients and their loved ones. Now, there's a simple way, as part of an international program, to acknowledge and appreciate a nurse or other caregiver at FHN who makes a difference.

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.

In addition, 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 share their story at www.fhn.org/daisy-bee-2018.asp – 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 publically on their unit, receive a certificate, and award pin and the unit will celebrate with honey-themed treats.

Internationally, over 3,000 nurses have been recognized with a DAISY Award since the program began in 1999. Recipients are honored on the DAISY Foundation website at www.daisyfoundation.org and will also be included on the FHN website.

Miles and Minutes Is Back - With Another Chance to Win for Your School!

5/21/2018

FHN's popular Miles And Minutes program is back, and we've added a brand-new family activity category to the competition! Summer softball and volleyball leagues, other summer exercise, and even everyday physical activity like gardening can pay off in prizes for area schools this summer with FHN's Miles And Minutes program.

This year, we've added a family activities category! If an adult and at least one child participate in one of these activities, your school will earn double points in this brand-new prize category.

Miles And Minutes begins Monday, May 28 and runs through Sunday, Sept. 2. The program encourages participants to be active and log various types of physical activity to win prize money for the school of their choice.

The competition is online-only and there is no charge to participate. Anyone 12 years and older can participate, including student athletes.

Registration and the competition rules, as well as information about how miles will be calculated to determine the winning school systems, is available at www.fhn.org/milesandminutes. A mobile site is available to make it easier to log exercise from a mobile phone or tablet. The mobile link is available on the login page.

A calculator on the website will automatically convert minutes of almost any type of physical activity into miles. This will make it easy to follow the competition, and prizes will be awarded in four categories this year:

  • School system with the most average "miles" logged per participant
  • School system with the most "miles" total
  • Most family activity recorded
  • Schools not eligible for above prizes will be entered into a drawing to win one of three cash prizes.
The program normalizes miles based on the number of students in each school system to help ensure that all schools have an equal chance to win, no matter their size or how many participants they enlist. Prize money will be awarded in September.

Participants from any zip code can support any school system, so family members in Lena, for example, can designate their miles to the River Ridge school system if they wish. Running totals will be displayed on the website and reported throughout the summer, and you can keep up with what's happening on Miles And Minutes Facebook page.

School systems in FHN's service area include:

Freeport School District
Aquin Catholic Schools
West Carroll School District
Pecatonica School District
Forrestville Valley School District
Dakota School District
Lena-Winslow School District
Eastland School District
Stockton School District
Durand School District
Pearl City School District
Warren School District
Orangeville School District
Immanuel Lutheran School
Tri-County Christian School
Chadwick-Milledgeville School District
River Ridge School District
Scales Mound School District
Galena School District
East Dubuque School District

FHN Highlights Resources for National Prevention Week

5/13/2018

Tuesday, May 15 is the spotlight day for Prevention of Underage Drinking and Alcohol Abuse, part of National Prevention Week. National Prevention Week is held each year during the third week of May–near the start of summer, an important time for school, communities, and prevention professionals to re-focus on prevention!

Adolescents most often use substances for the first time during June or July, according to SAMHSA National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data on adolescents – 2012. The timing of National Prevention Week provides an opportunity for schools and organizations to host prevention-themed events before the school year ends, raising awareness about this important issue among students and their families. These are key periods of social transitions, a risk factor for youth substance use, and an opportunity to develop or strengthen the community, school, and family bonds that protect young people from substance use.

Educators and parents may find SAMHSA's "Tips for Teens" series of fact sheets useful in starting a conversation about some uncomfortable subjects, from alcohol use to smoking and drug use. Downloadable versions of the sheets are available at store.samhsa.gov.

The SAMHSA National Prevention Week website (samhsa.gov) also is a good resource for information on National Prevention Week topics, including:

  • Mental health & wellness
  • Underage drinking & alcohol misuse
  • Prescription and opioid drug misuse
  • Illicit drug use & youth marijuana use
  • Suicide
  • Youth tobacco use

Physicians Immediate Care/FHN Open House

4/25/2018, 3 – 7 p.m.

The public is invited to an extended open house from 3 - 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 25 to showcase the new Physicians Immediate Care/FHN clinic in Freeport. A Freeport Area Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting will be held at 4:45 p.m.

The facility is located at 1009 W. Fairway Drive in Freeport, just south of the FHN Family Healthcare Center – Burchard Hills. The clinic will be open seven days a week with patient-friendly hours and is equipped with digital x-ray capability, lab testing, and six exam rooms, including a trauma room for treating non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries.

Occupational health services for employers also will be available, including convenient, timely treatment of work-related injuries, drug and alcohol testing, and a variety of work-related physical examinations.

Open house visitors are invited to tour the facility, talk to staff, and enjoy refreshments.

Tour FHN's GI Lab - and the Inside of a Giant Colon!

3/28/2018, 4 – 6:30 p.m.

FHN Memorial Hospital, 1045 W. Stephenson Street, Freeport
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths, but with screening, it is highly preventable. In observation of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, learn more about preventing, screening – and beating! – colon cancer at a special FHN open house March 28.

Join providers and staff of the FHN Gastrointestinal (GI) Lab at FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport from 4 – 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28 to learn about our capabilities and how we can help find colorectal cancer while it's still highly treatable.

Tours of FHN's high-tech GI lab will be available, as well as demonstrations about why there's no need to dread a colonoscopy. Visitors will also be able to walk through a giant colon to see what the inside of this important internal organ looks like, including how polyps and other potential problems appear. Attendees will receive handouts including tips on how to prevent cancer, delicious recipes to incorporate fiber into your family's diet, and more.

This event is free and open to the public. No registration is required; simply enter FHN Memorial Hospital through the east (atrium) entrance and follow the signs to the GI Lab.

Food Fight Against Cancer: Caterers are ALL IN!

3/23/2018, 6 – 10 p.m.

Wagner House, 1 E. Spring Street, Freeport
A group of local caterers, restaurants and bakeries are ALL IN against cancer for a special event to benefit the FHN Leonard C. Cancer Center.

Friends of the FHN Leonard C. Ferguson Cancer Center invite the public to an evening of delicious appetizers and drinks, great music and fun from 6 - 10 p.m. Friday, March 23 at The Wagner House, 1 E. Spring Street in Freeport.

Guests will dine on hors d'oeuvres and desserts and enjoy a cash bar while enjoying the music of Minimal, voted Rockford's best new band (2014), top pop band (2016) and top male vocalist – rock, pop, country (2016).

Each participating business is donating its selection of appetizers for the evening. Proceeds will benefit the FHN Leonard C. Ferguson Cancer Center at FHN Memorial Hospital, which provides medical oncology, hematology and radiation oncology services all under one roof, close to home for patients and their families.

Admission is $35 per person or $65 for a couple. Tickets are available online at www.fhn.org/FoodFight or by contacting the FHN Foundation toll-free at 1-877-6000-FHN (1-877-600-0346) ext. 947. Union Savings BANK is the premier sponsor of this event; the event is presented by friends of the FHN Leonard C. Ferguson Cancer Center.

Listen to Tonya Meyer, FHN Foundation Executive Director, talk about the event on the Dial-A-Doc radio show.

FHN Celebrating Its Dentists, Doctors Throughout March

3/1/2018

FHN is proud to celebrate our healthcare providers throughout March, the month of Dentists' Day and Doctors' Day.

National Dentists' Day is March 6. It was established as a way to show appreciation for dentists and spread the word on how to keep your mouth healthy.

The anniversary of March 30, 1842 – the first time ether was used to anesthetize a patient for surgery – is National Doctors' Day, a chance to acknowledge all that physicians do for their communities.

All month, FHN is offering the chance to send a message to your healthcare provider, just fill out our website form. Messages will be shared with providers and may be featured online (with personal information removed).

Check Your Heart Health for $119 with FHN Heart Month Special

1/21/2018

Most heart attacks could be prevented with early diagnosis of risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD). FHN is offering special pricing on two heart health tests for American Heart Month in February. Call between Thursday, Feb. 1 and Friday, March 2 to schedule a Standard Walking Treadmill Stress Test or Calcium Scoring CT Heart Scan and pay just $119 for the test.

“The treadmill stress test is a screening test for determining a patient's heart health when they have no known history of heart trouble,” said FHN cardiologist Bhadresh Patel MD, FACC, FACP. “The patient walks on a treadmill while a specially trained registered nurse monitors how his or her heart is working with 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 simple screening test that FHN offers is a CT scan to detect plaque in the arteries,” said Dr. Patel. “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 toll-free 1-877-6000-FHN (1-877-600-0346) ext. 944. Tests must be scheduled between Feb. 1 and March 2 and performed by Friday, June 29 to qualify for the special rate. These tests should not replace consultations with your healthcare provider. 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.

Join FHN's Get FiTeam Challenge and Boost Your Health in 2018

12/18/2017

FHN's Get FiTeam Challenge is back for 2018! For just $25 a person, teams of four can compete with other teams in a 12-week health and fitness program aimed at helping participants develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Prizes for winning teams include gift certificates to Hibbett Sports and Shopko.

The challenge officially begins January 14, after all participants have had a chance to get a baseline screening to note height, weight, BMI, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. (Final screenings will be held Saturday, Jan. 13, and there will not be "make up" screening dates.) Participants also will receive a Get FiTeam t-shirt at their baseline screening.

Throughout the challenge, teams will have access to healthy recipes, health-related events and trial memberships at area health and fitness clubs. Teams will earn points for exercise, drinking enough water, and eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

Prizes will be awarded throughout the challenge, and at the end of the competition, up to six teams will have a chance at grand prizes. Each participant in the team that has the largest percent of weight loss will win a $250 gift certificate to Hibbett Sports, and the team that earns the most challenge points will get a $250 gift certificate to Shopko for each team member.

For more information on FHN's Get FiTeam Challenge or to register, visit getfit.fhn.org. You can keep up with the challenge by Liking Get FiTeam Challenge on Facebook.

Parent Enrichment Program Earns Blue Ribbon Status

11/28/2017

National Recognition

We are extremely proud to share the news that our FHN Parent Enrichment 0 – 3 Program has been endorsed by the Parents as Teachers (PAT) organization as a Blue Ribbon Affiliate, one of the top-performing early education and home visiting affiliates in the group's international network of more than 1,300 affiliates.

“Over the past year, we have gone through an intensive quality endorsement and improvement process through the PAT National Center,” FHN Prevention and Education Supervisor Beth Johnson says. “This recognition is the result of years of dedicated teamwork and committed and compassionate work with families.”

The FHN Parent Enrichment Program works with families from the prenatal stage through age 3 to support parents in their role as their child's first and most important teacher. Through home visits and family-oriented activities, Parent Enrichment Program parent educators address parenting questions and provide families with the tools and information they need to do their most important job – being a mom or dad.

“The Parent Enrichment Program team members' professionalism and hard work clearly show through this endorsement,” FHN President and CEO Mark Gridley says. “I'm proud to congratulate and thank them for this achievement.”

The Parent Enrichment Program is open and free to eligible families of a child prenatal through 5 years old in Stephenson and JoDaviess counties. For more information on the program, visit our Parent Enrichment Program page..

FHN Memorial Hospital Earns AHA/ASA Gold Plus Status

11/28/2017

Meeting the Gold Standard

We were proud to announce this September that FHN Memorial Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

Quite a mouthful, isn't it? What it boils down to is a formal recognition of our healthcare team's hard work and commitment to saving lives. We have worked toward this recognition, literally, for years. Hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight stringent quality measures to be eligible for the Gold Plus award.

The Get With The Guidelines – Stroke quality measures are designed to help us provide our patients the most up-to-date, evidence-based care in hopes of reducing death and disability and speeding recovery for our patients who experience a stroke.

“Our caring team works every day to turn these treatment guidelines into lifelines for people who come to FHN Memorial Hospital with stroke symptoms,” says FHN President and CEO Mark Gridley. “We couldn't be prouder of their achievement. Being honored for giving excellent patient care is the best recognition a hospital can get."

The Guidelines

The Get With the Guidelines – Stroke Registery focuses on care for stroke patients, including aggressive use of medications such as clot-busting and anti-clotting drugs, cholesterol-reducing drugs, and preventive action for deep vein thrombosis and smoking cessation counseling.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and this award demonstrates our commitment to ensuring patients receive care based on nationally-respected clinical guidelines,” said FHN Stroke Program Coordinator Tracy Love, MSN, RN, CNL. “FHN is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines – Stroke helps us achieve that goal.” For providers, Get With The Guidelines-Stroke offers quality-improvement measures, discharge protocols, standing orders and other measurement tools. Providing hospitals with resources and information that make it easier to follow treatment guidelines can help save lives and ultimately reduce overall healthcare costs by lowering readmission rates for stroke patients.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

FHN Gala to Feature Local Musician Sean Huguenin

11/5/2017

Attendees of this year's FHN Festival of Trees Communi-sino Gala will have the chance to enjoy live acoustic music from local artist Sean Huguenin.

Huguenin composes and performs music ranging from solo acoustic to progressive and melodic hard rock with his band, Huguenin. He also cares for people in his community as FHN's spiritual care coordinator.

He will perform from 6:30 – 10:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17 on the first floor of the Wagner House, 1 E. Spring Street in Freeport as part of this year's FHN Festival of Trees Communi-sino Gala. Guests will be able to enjoy local beer and wine tastings paired with specially selected snacks and bid on silent auction items on the first level of the Gala; the casino will be located on the Wagner House's 3rd floor.

FHN is pairing with Collaborate Freeport for this year's gala fundraiser, and funds raised will be split between the two groups. FHN's portion of the proceeds will be used to support FHN's community outreach efforts.

Tickets are $50 each, and are available online through Friday, Nov. 10. Reservations may also be made by calling toll-free 1-877-6000-FHN (1-877-600-0346) ext. 901 or visiting M45 Marketing Services, 524 W. Stephenson Street, Suite 100 in Freeport.

For more information on any FHN Festival of Trees event, visit www.fhn.org/festivaloftrees.

The Whole Community Wins as FHN Communi-sino Gala Goes ALL IN

11/2/2017

An evening of fun will benefit FHN and the Freeport ALL IN marketing effort – this year's FHN Communi-sino is coming soon!

FHN is pairing with Collaborate Freeport for this year's gala fundraiser, and funds raised will be split between the two groups. FHN's portion of the proceeds will be used to support FHN's community outreach efforts.

The Communi-sino Gala is open to the public and will feature casino-style games, food, music, entertainment and silent auction shopping from 7 – 11 p.m Friday, Nov. 17 at Wagner House, 1 E. Spring Street in Freeport.

The evening will include a large hors d'oeuvres buffet featuring local culinary delights and delicious desserts, as well as local beer and wine tastings paired with specially selected snacks. Guests can enjoy music while they bid on holiday silent auction items or enjoy Vegas-quality casino games from roulette to blackjack – and there's no experience necessary.

“If you've never gambled before, that's fine – the professional dealers at each table know the point of the evening is fun, so they help non-gamblers learn the games in a non-intimidating way and make it fun for everyone,” said FHN Foundation Executive Director Tonya Meyer.

Tickets are $50 each, and are available online through Friday, Nov. 10. Reservations may also be made by calling toll-free 1-877-6000-FHN (1-877-600-0346) ext. 901 or visiting M45 Marketing Services, 524 W. Stephenson Street, Suite 100 in Freeport.

For more information on any FHN Festival of Trees event, visit www.fhn.org/festivaloftrees.

Shortened ACA Enrollment Period Begins Nov. 1, Ends Dec. 15 2017

10/23/2017

Open enrollment for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA or 'Obamacare') begins Nov. 1 and will end Dec. 15 this year.

FHN has two Certified Application Counselors to help applicants understand and obtain healthcare coverage through the ACA or through the expansion of Medicaid, depending on income.

To be covered on Jan. 1, 2018, applicants must be enrolled by Dec. 15, 2017.

FHN Highlights Work of Local Photographer Frank D. LeFevre

10/15/2017

Visitors to the FHN Family Healthcare Center – Burchard Hills in Freeport may want to take a side trip downstairs to see the season's FHN Featured Artist, photographer Frank D. LeFevre.

LeFevre's work, color-drenched looks at nature, landscapes and the northwest Illinois area, are on exhibit in the Common Room on the lower level of the building at 1010 W. Fairway Drive in Freeport. The public is invited to view the show during business hours; all pieces will be for sale and the artist is available to create commissioned pieces.

"My photos have been featured in the Freeport newspaper, a local bank website, the Freeport Library, several coffee shops in and around Freeport, at Art in the Park, and at several other regional craft festivals," LeFevre said. He takes photos, including commissions, in his free time - he works as a courier for FHN.

For more information about Frank and his photos, visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/frankdlefevre/.

FHN AND PHYSICIANS IMMEDIATE CARE FORM JOINT VENTURE TO OPEN CLINIC

10/11/2017

Parties will jointly operate an urgent care and occupational medicine facility.

In a move designed to increase access and help patients better manage their healthcare, FHN and Physicians Immediate Care have announced the formation of a new joint venture that will operate an urgent care and occupational medicine facility in Freeport, Illinois.

The move supports both organizations' efforts to most effectively manage the care of the patients they serve. The joint venture achieves this by creating more access points for patients, providing needed care in a lower cost setting than an emergency department, and improving care coordination among providers.

Construction has begun on the new state-of-the-art clinic which will be located at 1009 Fairway Drive, Freeport, Illinois. The facility will be open seven days a week with patient-friendly hours. This location will be fully equipped with digital X-ray capability, lab testing and 6 exam rooms, including a trauma room for treating non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses. It is scheduled to open in spring 2018.

The clinic will also offer occupational medicine services to employers for treatment of work-related injuries, drug and alcohol testing, and a variety of work-related physical examinations.

“We're excited to partner with Physicians Immediate Care, expanding the healthcare options available to our community,” said Mark Gridley, FHN President and CEO. “We're committed to providing healthcare excellence to our friends, families, and neighbors, and having a facility like this helps us fulfill that vision.”

“Coordinating care between the family physician, the hospital, and our clinic creates a more efficient and affordable experience for our patients,” added Stan Blaylock, CEO of Physicians Immediate Care.

Under the agreement, Physicians Immediate Care will be contracted to handle day-to-day management of the jointly-operated clinic.

FHN Foundation, Pearl City Elevator Present '100 Bushels From the Heart'

10/8/2017

The FHN Foundation and Pearl City Elevator are teaming up for a new, easy way for members of the ag community to share the bounty of their harvest – the FHN 100 Bushels From the Heart … For the Heart campaign.

“We're working with Pearl City Elevator to raise money for a new cardiac monitoring system that will allow our therapy team to access vital details about a patient's heart and lung function during cardiopulmonary therapy,” said FHN Foundation Director Tonya Meyer.

This information helps the FHN cardiopulmonary team identify and treat a range of conditions, and donating is simple: When they deliver their harvest, producers can simply tell the operator at Pearl City Elevator they'd like to make a 100 Bushels From the Heart Donation. (100 bushels is just a suggestion – producers are free to donate whatever amount they'd prefer.)

Gifts can be made in memory of a loved one or in honor of a heart or lung disease survivor. The FHN Foundation will mail donors a tax-deductible receipt upon notification of each gift.

For more information on the 100 Bushels From the Heart campaign, or other ways to support FHN, contact the FHN Foundation at 815-599-6900 or tmeyer1@fhn.org.

FHN Endows Scholarship at U of I College of Medicine - Rockford

9/27/2017

The University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford is pleased to announce the establishment of the FHN Rural Medical Education (RMED) Program Scholarship Fund, thanks to a $30,000 endowment from the FHN Foundation. This fund will help selected medical students in the college's RMED Program to reduce their burden of debt and may increase the likelihood of students returning to practice in rural, underserved communities after completing their medical education and training.

“We are delighted about this generous gift and the continued support FHN provides,” said Alex Stagnaro-Green, regional dean of the College of Medicine Rockford. “This endowed scholarship will greatly impact our ability to recruit and retain future physicians to our RMED Program. Last year, we welcomed our largest RMED class in our history – 30 students – representing over 50 percent of the first-year medical students. Having scholarships available to offset the burden of debt will be critical for our students and will allow them to focus on being the best scholars and physicians they can be.”

Scholarships will be awarded annually, based on available funds, to selected RMED students with financial need from the Illinois counties of Winnebago, Stephenson, JoDaviess, Ogle and Carroll beginning in the fall of 2018.

“FHN truly values the high-quality medical education that the RMED Program delivers that focuses on meeting the specialized patient needs of rural families throughout the communities in which we are privileged to serve,” said Mark S. Gridley, president and chief executive officer of FHN, which is one of RMED's teaching sites and has been a long-standing partner to the program.

The RMED program is a supplement to the College of Medicine Rockford's Doctor of Medicine Program. FHN and 29 other rural hospitals and health centers across Illinois collaborate with the RMED Program to train health professions students in a rural environment. Through this collaboration, RMED plays a key role in helping health care partners successfully recruit talented physicians.

Recognized nationally as a leader in training rural physicians, RMED's educational delivery method has been designated a best-practice model, used in the development of new rural medical education programs around the world. Since its founding in 1992, the RMED Program, part of the National Center for Rural Health Professions, has graduated more than 250 physicians and over 70 percent have returned to practice in rural areas throughout Illinois.

For more information about the RMED Program or the FHN Rural Medical Education (RMED) Program Scholarship Fund, contact RMED director Dr. John Plescia at plescia@uic.edu.

FHN Welcomes Pink Heals Tour to Freeport Wednesday, Sept. 20

9/20/2017, 3 p.m.

The famous Pink Heals firetrucks will be in Freeport to raise awareness of breast cancer Wednesday, Sept. 20, and FHN is proud to welcome them to town!

The public is welcome to get a head start showing support for the Pink Heals tour – the local chapter of the group is hosting the brat stand at Cub Foods in Freeport this Friday and Saturday (Sept. 15-16), and official Pink Heals merchandise is available now at Lori's Gifts inside FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport.

This year, kids will have the opportunity to get in on the fun when one of the pink fire trucks and the group's blue ladder truck bring special fun kids' activities to the FHN Family Healthcare Center – Burchard Hills in Freeport. They'll be stationed in the parking lot there (1010 S. Fairway Drive) from 3 – about 4:30 p.m.

While that's going on, the tentative schedule has the Pink Fire Trucks arriving at the Leonard C. Ferguson Cancer Center at FHN Memorial Hospital at 3 p.m. and moving on to the hospital itself around 3:45 p.m. They'll remain at the hospital until about 5 p.m., when they'll head to the Freeport Club for a special volunteer event.

The Pink Heals firetrucks and volunteers will start their day Wednesday with a visit to the Pearl Pavilion Rehabilitation Center on Kiwanis Drive. From there, they'll travel to stops at Lincoln-Douglas School, Cub Foods and Bocker Automotive in Freeport.

Nine Schools Win FHN Miles And Minutes Cash

9/18/2017

FHN's Miles And Minutes encouraged participants to be active and log various types of physical activity to win prize money for the school of their choice.

Miles And Minutes winners were chosen in two main categories – miles per school system (normalized based on the number of students in each school system to help ensure that all schools had an equal chance to win, no matter their size or how many participants they enlist) and average miles per participant. The winners are:

Miles per School System:

  • Aquin Schools – 145,919.03 miles ($2,000)
  • Tri-County Christian – 114,464.51 miles ($1,000)
  • Orangeville – 97,332.38 miles ($500)

Average Miles per Participant:

  • Dakota – 368.98 ($2,000)
  • Freeport – 330.34 ($1,000)
  • Eastland – 296.23 ($500)

FHN added a third category to the program this year – a special Sweepstakes category based on participation in Miles And Minutes Facebook contests and events. Winners of the Sweepstakes prizes were drawn at random. (Schools that won a prize in the two regular categories were not eligible for Sweepstakes prizes.) This year's Sweepstakes winners are:

  • Immanuel Lutheran – $1,000
  • Stockton – $500
  • West Carroll – $250

The free program had 649 participants who logged a total of 2,232,056 minutes of exercise from May 29 through September 3. (That's almost 37,201 hours of exercise!)

FHN Offering Free Pre-Diabetes Workshop Sept. 21

9/12/2017

Diabetes, a serious disease with complications that can cause disability and death, has reached epidemic levels in the American population. Millions of people considered at risk of developing diabetes could prevent or delay the disease by changing their lifestyle.

Learn how you could prevent or delay some types of diabetes at Small Steps. Big Rewards., a diabetes education program presented free of charge by FHN and Aramark. This two-hour workshop focusing on the importance of regular exercise and a healthy diet will begin at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21 in the Globe Room on the lower level of FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport.

Registration is required for this program. Call toll-free 1-877-6000-FHN (1-877-600-0346) ext. 970 to register.

FHN Hospice Volunteer Training Begins Sept. 21 in Freeport

9/11/2017

A new session of FHN Hospice volunteer training will begin Thursday, Sept. 21 in Freeport.

Volunteers are a special and important part of the FHN Hospice team, offering companionship, relief for caregivers, help with running errands and delivering supplies, singing with the FHN Hospice singers, walking dogs, sewing memory bears and fidget quilts, recording life stories, and much more. Volunteers also have the opportunity to assist with clerical services at the FHN Hospice office in Freeport.

The seven-week, 14-hour comprehensive training course for new volunteers provides information on all aspects of hospice care and hospice volunteering. It will equip volunteers with skills needed to provide compassionate care and companionship to terminally ill patients in their homes or in nursing homes, as well as prepare volunteers to help in the hospice office. Training includes classes on concepts of death and dying, grief, communication skills, stress management, infection control, safety and the bereavement process.

There is no charge for the training, but registration is required. The training sessions will be held Thursdays from 5:30 to 8 p.m. beginning Sept. 21 and ending Nov. 2; a light supper will be served at each session. Those who wish to become FHN Hospice volunteers must attend all the sessions, which will meet at the FHN Hospice office, 773 W. Lincoln Boulevard in Freeport. Attending the training does not obligate you to become a hospice volunteer.

FHN Hospice covers Stephenson, Jo Daviess, Carroll, Ogle and part of Winnebago counties, and volunteers are needed for each of these counties. For more information or to register for the classes, call the Hospice volunteer coordinator toll-free at 1-877-6000-FHN (1-877-600-0346) ext. 960.

FHN Cancer Center Guarantees 3-Day Follow-Up After Diagnosis

9/10/2017

Patients who receive a cancer diagnosis at FHN will get a follow-up appointment in three business days or less – guaranteed.

"Patients at other treatment centers may wait weeks or even months to consult with a specialist and start setting up treatment plans," said FHN Cancer Center Director Julie Nampel. “That time can be filled with stress, anxiety, and uninformed dread. Our quick follow-up can help patients come to terms with their situation and address it with leading-edge, university-level medical oncology and radiation therapy under one roof, close to home."

The Leonard C. Ferguson Cancer Center at FHN Memorial Hospital offers patients genetic cancer testing, targeted therapy, biologic therapy, and immunotherapy, along with the ability to participate in some clinical trials. The holistic approach of the Center's caregivers - including doctors, nurses, social workers, dietitians, chaplains, and more – can provide emotional and spiritual support for patients at a critical time.

Anger Aside: ACA or AHCA and the Community - a Panel Discussion

7/10/2017, 5 – 8 p.m.

Freeport Public Library, 100 E. Douglas Street in Freeport

FHN President and CEO Mark Gridley and Monroe Clinic CEO Mike Sanders will discuss how possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the possible implementation of the American Health Care Act may affect all of us.

The event is Monday, July 10, beginning with a social hour at 5 p.m. and the panel discussion at 6 - 8 p.m.

The event is sponsored by local community group Anger Aside, along with the Freeport League of Women Voters, Indivisible NW Illinois 17th District Rebels, and the Senior Resource Center. For more information, please contact Pat Leitzen-Fye at 815-291-9000 or lite.zen54@gmail.com.

Free Vein Screenings at FHN Vein Center

6/27/2017, 3 – 6 p.m.

Painful legs can be a sign of venous disease, which can lead to varicose veins, leg sores and even serious circulation problems like blood clots. The experts at the FHN Vein Center can help.

"The veins in your legs have a big job - getting blood back up to your heart for re-oxygenation," said FHN Director of Surgical Services George Lester, BSN, CNOR, RNFA. "When those veins don't work correctly, the swelling and pain that result can keep you from enjoying many of the daily activities of life, and may cause serious health problems."

The FHN Vein Center offers free screenings for leg vein issues each month at FHN Memorial Hospital. The next screening date is Tuesday, June 27; appointments are available from 3 – 6 p.m. by calling 815-599-VEIN (8346).

The FHN Vein Center offers two approaches to venous disease treatment. The first line of treatment, for mild or early cases, involves fitting the patient with compression hose to help the leg veins do their work.

For more advanced cases, outpatient surgical treatment can relieve pain and provide a long-term solution to venous disease. The FHN Vein Center offers a number of outpatient procedures featuring rapid recovery. Non-cosmetic treatment options are covered by most commercial health insurance carriers, including Medicare.

More upcoming free screenings are scheduled for 3 - 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22 and Tuesday, Sept. 26. To schedule an appointment or for more information on venous disease and the FHN Vein Center, visit our Vein Center section, or call 815-599-VEIN (8346).

Union Savings Bank Completes $50,000 Gift to FHN Foundation

6/19/2017

UNION Savings BANK presented the FHN Foundation with a $10,000 donation last week, completing a $50,000 pledge to the FHN Leonard C. Ferguson Cancer Center made five years ago.

This is the largest gift UNION Savings BANK has made to any organization, and it's in line with the bank's focus on the community. In presenting the gift, USB officers stressed that cancer touches nearly everyone's life, and that having the Cancer Center in town is an asset for our community.

USB's gift sponsors one of the Cancer Center's eight chemotherapy stations added in 2012, which make it possible for patients to receive lifesaving treatments close to home, near their support system and without a long drive. The number of treatments at the Center rises each year, averaging about 1,000.

“We are deeply appreciative of this major gift from UNION Savings BANK,” said FHN Foundation Executive Director Tonya Meyer. “Their generosity makes it possible for us to increase our capacity to offer cancer care close to home for people in our communities.”

FHN Offering $20 Sports Physicals That Support Local Schools

5/29/2017

FHN healthcare providers are offering fast and hassle-free sports physicals at an affordable price for all area athletes. All proceeds will be donated back to the schools affiliated with their local FHN clinics.

For just $20, each athlete will receive an exam that meets Illinois and Wisconsin eligibility requirements for all sports. Sport physical forms must be completed and signed by a parent before the exam. If a parent does not accompany student, he or she must bring a Consent for Medical Care form signed by a parent or guardian.

All forms are available at area schools. You can find the full schedule and downloadable forms on our 2017 Sports Physicals page.

$1.3M Scanner/Gamma Camera Ups Diagnostic Precision at FHN

5/21/2017

FHN has installed a $1.3 million combined CT scanner and nuclear Gamma camera to enhance the system's diagnostic capabilities.

The SPECT.CT machine provides exceptional specificity and sensitivity in localizing tumors and infections, enabling FHN's oncologists, surgeons, and physicians to better plan treatments.

The SPECT.CT unit also makes heart nuclear stress tests possible in one day instead of the usual 2 or more, offering more convenience for cardiology patients.

The scanner will be on display as part of the FHN Women's Diagnostic Center open house from 5:30 - 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 24 at FHN Memorial Hospital, 1045 W. Stephenson Street in Freeport. Refreshments and giveaways will be provided at the event - there is no charge to attend and registration is not necessary.

FHN Expands Walk-In Wednesdays to Thursdays, Too

5/8/2017

FHN's Walk-In Wednesdays, a day set aside for no-appointment mammograms at the FHN Women's Diagnostic Center, has been so popular, we're expanding it through Thursdays, too!

Beginning May 11, no-appointment mammograms will be available from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays and from noon to 6 p.m. on Thursdays each week. Simply walk in to FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport, register at admitting, and head back to the Imaging department on the main floor for your all-digital mammogram. No phone calls, no scheduling, no hassle – and no excuse not to get this very important screening done!

For more information visit our FHN Women's Diagnostic Center section.

YMCA Healthy Kids Day and FHN Family Health Fair

4/29/2017, 9 a.m. – noon

YMCA of Northwest Illinois, 2998 W. Pearl City Road Freeport
Healthy activities and fun for the whole family. Open to the public; no cost or registration required.
Find out more...

FHN Introduces Genetic Risk Assessment and Testing Program

4/4/2017

Why one person develops cancer and another doesn't isn't always known. But research has shown that certain risk factors may increase a person's chances for developing cancer.

Some of the risk factors can be controlled, like exposure to certain chemicals or behaviors such as tobacco use. Other factors are beyond our control, like our age, personal health history and our family history.

In an effort to help individuals and healthcare professionals evaluate risk, make more informed decisions and take a personalized, proactive response approach to patient care, the FHN Women's Diagnostic Center is introducing its new Screening and Risk Assessment Program.

“The program is designed to assist people with a strong personal or family history of cancer better understand their own risk of developing certain cancers,” said FHN Women's Diagnostic Care Center Care Navigator Amy Bollon. “It allows people to be more empowered in their healthcare decisions based on the benefits of genetic testing."

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network, US Preventative Services Task Force, and American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have all provided guidance regarding the importance of further risk assessment based on a patient's personal and/or family history of cancer. Individuals found to have a hereditary cancer syndrome or an elevated risk for certain cancers may be candidates for increased surveillance or other prevention options.

Patients will be introduced to the program when they visit the Women's Diagnostic Center for their annual mammogram. A simple questionnaire will be offered to get the information needed to discuss cancer risk and determine if there are any red flags in the personal or family health history.

Indicators may include multiple cancers on the same side of the family, any one cancer diagnosed at age 50 or younger or a rare cancer such as ovarian or male breast cancer at any age. The patient will then meet with the Care Navigator to discuss the benefits of hereditary cancer testing and be offered the myRisk Hereditary Cancer Panel test, a simple blood test.

The myRisk Hereditary Cancer Panel consists of 28 genes that impact inherited risks for eight cancers including breast, ovarian, gastric, colorectal, pancreatic, melanoma, prostate, and endometrial. The patient's panel results are typically available in 2 to 3 weeks, at which time the Care Navigator will personally review each patient's results. If the results indicate that additional screenings or medical management is recommended, the patient will be scheduled to meet with FHN Ob/Gyn Ruhee Sidhu, MD, to discuss next steps, recommendations and management plans.

A copy of the results, along with national guideline recommendations, will be shared with the patient's healthcare provider and included in the patient's electronic medical record to assist in further screening management for high-risk patients. Patients who desire or are in need of referrals to specialists or additional resources will have the guidance and support provided by the team at FHN to help navigate the network of comprehensive services and programs available at FHN and beyond.

The objective of the FHN Screening and Risk Assessment Program is to empower, educate, and provide resources to patients who can benefit from genetic testing. For more information about the program call 815-599-6421.

13 FHN Physicians Named to America's Top Doctors® List

3/20/2017

FHN is proud to announce that 13 of our skilled, dedicated physicians have been named to the 2017 Castle Connolly America's Top Doctors list.

Castle Connolly is considered America's trusted source for identifying Top Doctors and has been recognized by several national media sources including The New York Times, USA Today, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Town & Country, Ladies Home Journal, Good Morning America, the Today Show, 20/20 and more than 100 other television and radio stations.

Physicians do not (in fact, cannot) pay to be included on the Castle Connolly list. The physicians included in America's Top Doctors were nominated by their peers in an extensive survey process of thousands of American doctors each year. Each doctor's education, training, hospital appointments and more are screened by the Castle Connolly physician-led research team. The doctors who are among the very best in their specialties and in their communities are selected for inclusion.

Ten FHN physicians are making repeat appearances on the list, and FHN is proud to congratulate them and the three new additions to the list (noted with a * below):

Surgeon Barry Barnes, MD, FACS
Surgeon Rafael Castro, MD, FACS, WCC
*Urologist David Cheng, MD, FACS
Infectious Disease Specialist Robert Geller, MD, MS, FACP, FIDSA
Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Specialist Timothy Jessen, MD
*Nephrologist Farhan Khan, MD
Cardiologist Prasad Kilaru, MD, FSCAI, FACC
Otolaryngologist Toni Levine, MD, FACS
Family Medicine Physician Michael McFadden, MD
*Cardiologist Madhu Malladi, MD, FACC, FASE
Gastroenterologist Vivek Mehta, MD
Cardiologist Bhadresh Patel, MD, FACC, FACP
Family Medicine Physician Jeffrey Schleich, MD

FHN Hospice to Offer Early Grief Support Group

2/27/2017

This spring, FHN Hospice is offering a support group for people coping with the first nine months after a loss.

Managing Early Grief: The First Nine Months After a Loss is an eight-week group that will meet from 6 – 8 p.m. Thursdays beginning March 16 at FHN Hospice, 773 W. Lincoln Boulevard, Suite 403 in Freeport.

The group is designed for anyone who has lost a loved one in the past nine months. Participants will learn about and share their grief with others who have also recently lost a loved one. This supportive environment will help participants to better understand their grief experience.

Topics to be discussed include how grief affects us; the physical side of grief; moving through grief; coping skills; growing through grief; coping with holidays and special days; and looking ahead to the future.

There is no charge to participate in the Managing Early Grief group, but registration is required. For more information or to register, call FHN Hospice at 815-599-7240.

FHN also offers two ongoing grief support groups, open to anyone in the community who has lost a loved one:

First Steps Grief Group, a bereavement group for anyone who has experienced a loss, meets from 9:30 – 11 a.m. on the third Tuesday of each month. The group offers support as the first steps are taken in dealing with a loss.

Living Through Grief (formerly called Grief Recovery Group) meets from 7 – 8:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. This group uses videos, books, speakers and discussions to help participants learn more about the grief process, share their stories of loss and regain hope for healing. This group provides a confidential place to talk about thoughts and feelings as well as to learn about grief.

Both of these ongoing groups are open-ended and new members are welcome at any time. Both groups meet at FHN Memorial Hospital, 1045 W. Stephenson Street in Freeport. There is no charge to participate and registration is not necessary.

Check Your Heart Health for $99 with FHN Heart Month Special

2/16/2017

Most heart attacks could be prevented with early diagnosis of risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD). FHN is offering special pricing on two heart health tests for American Heart Month in February.

Call before Friday, March 10 to schedule a Standard Walking Treadmill Stress Test or Calcium Scoring CT Heart Scan and pay just $99 for the test.

"The treadmill stress test is a screening test for determining a patient's heart health when they have no known history of heart trouble," said FHN cardiologist Bhadresh Patel MD, FACC, FACP. "You'll walk on a treadmill while a specially trained Registered Nurse monitors how your heart is working with 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 simple screening test that FHN offers is a CT scan to detect plaque in the arteries," said Dr. Patel. "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."

Tests must be scheduled between February 13 and March 10 and performed by Friday, June 30 to qualify for the special rate. These tests should not replace consultations with your healthcare provider. 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.

For more information or to schedule an appointment call 1-877-6000-FHN (1-877-600-0346) ext. 944.

Also find out more by listening to the Dial-a-Doc radio show.

Health Event

2/4/2017, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

St. James CME Church, 1001 E. Empire Street, Freeport
FHN will provide free blood pressure screenings and have eye and vein health information available at this event, which will also include information about the free nutrition and physical activity program Win With Wellness, free hearing screenings, vouchers for cholesterol screenings and lots of health information. No cost or reservation needed; door prizes will be awarded. Download the event flyer.

Hearing Loss Support Group Open House

1/25/2017, 5:30 – 7 p.m.

FHN Memorial Hospital lower level conference room, 1045 W. Stephenson, Freeport
5:30 – 7 p.m. (come and go as you are able)
FHN and RAMP are working together to provide a support group for anyone with a hearing loss (and his or her family members/caregivers).

The group is open to anyone with any type of hearing loss, parents of children with hearing loss, and/or peers and caregivers of someone with hearing loss. There is no charge to attend.

No RSVP is needed. If you are unable to attend this event but are interested in the group, please contact Samuel Carriger at scarriger@rampcil.org.

Join FHN's 12-Week Get FiTeam Challenge

1/2/2017

FHN's Get FiTeam Challenge is back for 2017. For just $25 a person, teams of four can compete with other teams in a 12-week health and fitness program aimed at helping participants develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Prizes for winning teams include gift certificates to Hibbett Sports and Shopko.

The challenge officially begins January 8, after all participants have had a chance to get a baseline screening to note height, weight, BMI, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. (Final screenings will be held Saturday, Jan. 7.) Participants will also receive a Get FiTeam t-shirt at their baseline screening.

Throughout the challenge, teams will have access to healthy recipes, health-related events and trial memberships at area health and fitness clubs. Teams will earn points for exercise, drinking enough water, and eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

Prizes will be awarded throughout the challenge, and at the end of the competition, up to six teams will have a chance at grand prizes. Each participant in the team that has the largest percent of weight loss will win a $250 gift certificate to Hibbett Sports, and the team that earns the most challenge points will get a $250 gift certificate to Shopko for each team member.

For more information on FHN's Get FiTeam Challenge or to register, visit getfit.fhn.org. You can keep up with the challenge by Liking Get FiTeam Challenge on Facebook.

FHN Names Community Festival of Trees Winners

12/21/2016

A tree celebrating Dr. Suess from Liberty Village of Freeport and The Glittering Snowflakes from Open Bible Learning Center captured this year's top spots – and a $500 donation for each organization – in the FHN Community Festival of Trees.

Dr. Suess' Magical Christmas Land was named the judges' top choice of the year, and the Open Bible tree garnered 690 votes to win the People's Choice top prize. All of the trees remain on display at the Freeport Public Library through Saturday, Dec. 31. Prize winners – both the panel of judges' choices and the People's Choice winners – will be marked with a sign.

This year's Community Festival of Trees drew 21 entries, and a total of 1,282 People's Choice ballots were cast from December 4 – 17.

The judges chose Hands Helping You Heal by the CareerTec/HOYA as their second-place winner. The group will receive a $300 check. Find Time to Admire and Appreciate the Glittering Lights on Snowflakes – Debasch Mridha, MD from the Lincoln-Douglas Elementary Fourth Grade earned a $200 second-place check as the People's Choice second-place winner, with 104 votes.

Open Bible Learning Center nabbed the judges' third prize and a $150 check for its tree The Glittering Snowflakes. The creators of the People's Choice third-place winner, the Pecatonica Elementary 4th grade students, will receive a check for $100 for their tree Snow Day!, which garnered 63 votes in the People's Choice competition.

Free Vein Screenings Available Dec. 20 at FHN Vein Center

12/20/2016, 4 – 7 p.m.

FHN Memorial Hospital, 1045 W. Stephenson Street, Freeport
4 – 7 p.m. (by appointment)

Painful legs can be a sign of venous disease, which can lead to varicose veins, leg sores and even serious circulation problems like blood clots. The experts at the FHN Vein Center can help.

"The veins in your legs have a big job – getting blood back up to your heart for re-oxygenation," said FHN Director of Surgical Services George Lester, BSN, CNOR, RNFA. "When those veins don't work correctly, the swelling and pain that result can keep you from enjoying many of the daily activities of life, and may cause serious health problems."

The FHN Vein Center offers free screenings for leg vein issues each month at FHN Memorial Hospital. The next screening date is Tuesday, Dec. 20; appointments are available from 4 - 7 p.m. by calling 815-599-VEIN (8346).

The FHN Vein Center offers two approaches to venous disease treatment. The first line of treatment, for mild or early cases, involves fitting the patient with compression hose to help the leg veins do their work.

For more advanced cases, outpatient surgical treatment can relieve pain and provide a long-term solution to venous disease. The FHN Vein Center offers a number of outpatient procedures featuring rapid recovery. Non-cosmetic treatment options are covered by most commercial health insurance carriers, including Medicare.

FHN Urges Caution in Cold Weather; Won't Participate in Luminary Night

12/18/2016, Dusk

Due to the forecast high of -5 (and low of -18) for Sunday, FHN will not participate in this year's Luminary Night activities. Luminary Night is a traditional event for the Freeport neighborhoods of Stephenson St. and Lincoln Blvd. from West Avenue to Park Boulevard.

“FHN's mission is to improve the health of our community, and we believe that Sunday evening will simply be too cold to be outside for any length of time,” said FHN President and CEO Michael Perry, MD. “Since nearly everyone could be affected by this dangerous weather, we encourage folks both in our neighborhood and throughout northwest Illinois to stay safe and warm inside their homes and limit their exposure to the cold.”

Festival of GivingToy Drive

12/9/2016, 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

FHN, Big Radio, Salvation Army Sponsor Festival of Giving Toy Drive

Help to make everyone's holiday season merrier with a donation to the Festival of Giving Toy Drive Friday, Dec. 9.

Big Radio, FHN, and the Salvation Army are teaming up to host the event from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Highland Community College Student/Conference Center, 2998 W. Pearl City Road in Freeport.

The all-day event will be broadcast live on Kickin' Country K92.1 and will feature numerous interviews, on-air auctions of great items donated by local businesses, and local choir performances recorded the evening before at the FHN Festival of Trees Singin' at the King holiday concert.

Unwrapped toys for kids of all ages will be accepted throughout the day and will be delivered to the Salvation Army, which will distribute them to local children for the holidays. Monetary donations are also welcome.

For more information on how you can help a needy family during the holidays, call the Salvation Army at 815-275-7265.

Win Cash Prizes in FHN's Virtual Festival of Trees

11/28/2016

FHN's Community Festival of Trees draws hundreds of people to the Freeport Public Library each holiday season to see trees decorated by non-profit organizations competing for cash prizes. This year, FHN is offering an online Festival of Trees for the public, complete with cash prizes.

The FHN Virtual Festival of Trees, hosted online on the FHN Facebook page gives the public a chance to show off their holiday decorations and win cash prizes.

To enter, take a photo of your family's holiday decorations – either outside or inside – and submit your photo through the contest app on the FHN Facebook page by Sunday, Dec. 25. (You can also reach the app and enter the contest by clicking on the banner at the top of www.fhn.org.) Once you've entered, share your entry and encourage your friends and family to vote for your photo. Voting ends Saturday, Dec. 31.

All photos that get at least 5 votes will be entered into a random draw, and we'll choose and announce winners Jan. 3, 2017. Three entries will win cash prizes:

First Prize: $250 ** Second Prize: $150 ** Third Prize: $75

You must reside in FHN's service area to win a prize in the FHN Virtual Festival of Trees.

Free Vein Screening

11/22/2016, 4 – 7 p.m.

FHN Memorial Hospital, 1045 W. Stephenson Street, Freeport
4 – 7 p.m. (by appointment)

Painful legs can be a sign of venous disease, which can lead to varicose veins, leg sores and even serious circulation problems like blood clots. The experts at the FHN Vein Center can help.

"The veins in your legs have a big job - getting blood back up to your heart for re-oxygenation," said FHN Director of Surgical Services George Lester, BSN, CNOR, RNFA. "When those veins don't work correctly, the swelling and pain that result can keep you from enjoying many of the daily activities of life, and may cause serious health problems."

The FHN Vein Center offers free screenings for leg vein issues each month at FHN Memorial Hospital. The next screening date is Tuesday, Nov. 22; appointments are available from 4 - 7 p.m. by calling 815-599-VEIN (8346). The FHN Vein Center offers two approaches to venous disease treatment. The first line of treatment, for mild or early cases, involves fitting the patient with compression hose to help the leg veins do their work.

For more advanced cases, outpatient surgical treatment can relieve pain and provide a long-term solution to venous disease. The FHN Vein Center offers a number of outpatient procedures featuring rapid recovery. Non-cosmetic treatment options are covered by most commercial health insurance carriers, including Medicare.

Tom Zuba: Living Through the Holidays

11/19/2016, 9:30 – 11 a.m.

Best-selling author Tom Zuba will present Living With the Holidays at a special free event presented by FHN Hospice Nov. 19.

The program, focusing on coping with the holidays after someone you love has died, will be from 9:30 – 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 19 in rooms 201A and B of the Highland Community College Student Conference Center, 2998 W. Pearl City Road in Freeport. Registration is requested; register to attend www.fhn.org/Zuba.

Zuba, who has appeared on Oprah, has had to learn how to handle grief and create a full, joy-filled life himself, following the death of his 18-month-old daughter in 1990, his wife in 1999, and his 13-year-old son in 2005. He and his son Sean live in Rockford.

"I believe you can actually learn to live WITH the holidays this year," Zuba said. "I believe you can find meaning, and connection, and healing, and even moments of peace this holiday season. I can show you how."

A number of area churches, funeral homes, nursing homes and hospice organizations are co-sponsoring this presentation. For more information on Tom Zuba, please visit www.tomzuba.com.

FHN Memorial Hospital Earns an 'A' for Patient Safety

11/13/2016

FHN Memorial Hospital was one of just 844 hospitals nationwide to receive an 'A' ranking for patient safety from Leapfrog, a national patient safety watchdog group.

It is gratifying to be awarded for our efforts in patient safety," said FHN President and CEO Michael Perry, MD. "The goal of each and every person at FHN is to provide our communities with the best possible healthcare services and to help you and your family work toward and maintain your best health, and patient safety is at the heart of that goal."

New Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, which assign A, B, C, D, and F letter grades to hospitals nationwide to provide the most complete picture of patient safety in the United States, were announced Oct. 31.

Developed under the guidance of an expert panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 30 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice each year. It is calculated by top patient safety experts, peer-reviewed, fully transparent, and free to the public.

"Protecting patients from harm is the most important charge for any hospital," said Lean Binder, President and CEO of the Leapfrog Group. "We recognize and appreciate 'A' hospitals' vigilance and continued dedication to keeping their patients safe."

To see FHN Memorial Hospital's full grade, and to access consumer-friendly patient tips for staying safe in the hospital, visit www.hospitalsafetygrade.org or follow The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade on Twitter or Facebook.

FHN Burchard Hills Exhibit to Feature the Work of Local Artist

11/4/2016

FHN is proud to announce that the artwork of Orangeville artist Linda Vietmeyer will be on display at the FHN Family Healthcare Center - Burchard Hills in Freeport from Friday, Nov. 4 through Monday, Jan. 30, 2017.

The exhibit is in the Common Room on the lower level of the building at 1010 W. Fairway Drive in Freeport. The public is invited to view the show during business hours; all pieces will be for sale and the artist is available to design commissioned pieces.

Vietmeyer's current body of work has been a personal journey using lines and shapes to fabricate a design – inspired by the style of art known as the Zentangle method. Using fine-line micron pens, her surface (whether paper, illustration board, or Masonite) is filled with a dream-like scene that is complex and intricate.

"I have been pursuing a more focused art initiative since 2002, though I have dabbled in art all my life," Vietmeyer said. "Besides painting and pastel drawings, I have fallen in love with the exploration of how to design a work of art that incorporates ink patterns with images of children or animals."

For more information on Linda Vietmeyer or to view more of her artwork, visit www.lindavietmeyer.com or contact her at 815-291-8306.

FHN is proud to showcase the works of local artists in its Burchard Hills location.

FHN Application Counselors Ready to Help with ACA Enrollment

11/2/2016

Open enrollment for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "Obamacare") began Nov. 1.

FHN has three Certified Application Counselors to help applicants understand and obtain healthcare coverage through the ACA or through the expansion of Medicaid, depending on income. Open enrollment runs from Nov. 1, 2016 through Jan. 31, 2017. To be covered on Jan. 1, 2017, applicants must be enrolled by Dec. 15, 2016.

For more information about the Affordable Care Act, visit www.fhn.org. To reach one of FHN's Certified Application Counselors, call 815-599-7950 (toll-free 1-877-720-1555).

Free Car Seat Safety Check

10/26/2016, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER – Will be rescheduled to a later date.
FHN Specialty Care - Harlem Avenue (east parking lot)
According to the American Automobile Association, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury for all children, but a properly installed and adjusted car seat can reduce a child's risk of both. FHN and the Safe Kids Winnebago Coalition are sponsoring a free car seat safety check Oct. 26 in Freeport.

Listen to Michelle Allen talk about the event on Dial-a-Doc.

FHN Grant Funds to Target Underage Alcohol Use in Jo Daviess County

10/9/2016

FHN Family Counseling Center, with funding from the Illinois Department of Human Services, Strategic Prevention Framework-Partnerships for Success (SPF-PFS) grant, is focusing on substance abuse prevention efforts to impact the higher-than-state-average underage alcohol use in Jo Daviess County.

Underage alcohol use is no longer just a college or high school concern. In fact, the age at which kids start experimenting with alcohol is younger than ever. By the time students reach eighth grade, it has been reported that one-third of all Jo Daviess County adolescents have used alcohol. Nearly one-half of Jo Daviess County 12th graders surveyed have reported alcohol use in the past 30 days and one-quarter of the students surveyed admit to “binge” drinking, which is 5 or more drinks at one time in the past two weeks.

Apart from being illegal and risky to both the drinker and the community, the reports have found that drinking increases the risk of motor vehicle accidents among drivers under 21. In addition to motor vehicle accidents, adolescents who drink are also at greater risk for alcohol-induced brain damage and poor performance at school or work. Research shows that adolescents who begin drinking under the age of 15 interrupt key processes in brain development. This interruption makes them more likely to develop serious alcohol problems later in life.

Preventing underage drinking is a primary mission of the SPF-PFS Grant. Assisting everyone in understanding the significance of the problem and what they can do to prevent underage drinking is important to this initiative, as well as evidence-based prevention approaches. Some dangers of underage drinking are:

    Drinking and Driving. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for adolescents aged 15-20. The rate of fatal crashes among drinking drivers under 21 is more than twice the rate for those drivers age 21 and older.

    Suicide. Alcohol use interacts with conditions such as depression and stress that contribute to suicide, which is the third leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 14 and 25.

    Sexual Assault. Sexual assault, including rape, occurs most commonly among women in late adolescence and early adulthood, usually within the context of a date. Research suggests that alcohol use by the offender, victim, or both increases the likelihood of sexual assault.

    High-Risk Sex. Research has associated adolescent alcohol use with high-risk sex such as having multiple sexual partners, failing to use condoms, and having unplanned sex. The common consequences of high-risk sex at this age are unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.

Effective prevention efforts among adolescents are vital to reduce the risks associated with alcohol use. Data from the Illinois Youth Survey, as well as data from other community sources, helps to pinpoint contributing factors that are most prevalent and need to be addressed. Once the contributing factor(s) is (are) identified, there are a number of different evidence-based strategies that can be implemented to impact them.

Examples of evidence-based strategies include:

  • Youth prevention education
  • Compliance checks and responsible beverage service
  • Shoulder tap operations
  • Party prevention and controlled dispersal
  • Sobriety checkpoints
  • Communication campaigns
  • Policy adoption/enforcement – school
  • Policy adoption/enforcement – community

The most successful prevention strategies will address the identified local contributing factors and are effective, relevant strategies that are suitable for the community context. FHN Family Counseling Center, with the support from the Illinois Department of Human Services SPF-PFS Grant, seeks to increase the community capacity and readiness of Jo Daviess County community members to address the issue of underage drinking.

Be a part of the solution and volunteer to be part of the Jo Daviess County Coalition on underage drinking prevention. For more information, contact Nathan Hesselbacher at FHN Family Counseling Center – Jo Daviess County at 815-599-8123.

FHN Announces 2016 Flu Shot Clinics Open to the Public

9/28/2016

FHN will offer seasonal flu shots to the public this year at a series of clinics scheduled throughout northwest Illinois. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is again recommending “universal vaccination” for everyone 6 months of age and older.

For adults aged 18-64, this year's flu shot will be given with an intradermal needle, which is 90 percent smaller than the traditional needle used in a flu shot. It is injected just under the skin, and provides an immune response similar to the regular flu shot, which is injected into the muscle. If you are an adult under 65 years of age, you will get a quadrivalent vaccine that protects against 4 strains of influenza for $40.

If you're over 65, you will receive a high-dose version of the vaccine ($57). There will be no out-of-pocket expense if you are covered by Medicare Part B (please present Medicare card) or a Medicare HMO accepted by FHN (list available at each location – covered persons MUST present the Medicare HMO card instead of the Medicare card for the billing process).

Immunizations may be paid for by cash or check payable to FHN. Please note that these prices are only available at these flu shot clinics; other rates may apply in FHN offices. No other insurance coverage can be accepted at these flu shot clinics, and per government regulations, no Medicaid cards can be accepted at these locations.

Because of federal guidelines to prevent identity theft, everyone must present a photo ID to receive an immunization.

Children can only be immunized if a written prescription from a physician indicating dosage is presented. Persons with allergy to eggs or the flu vaccine, those with an illness accompanied by a fever or depressed immune system should not receive the flu immunization at these locations. For more information, call FHN Community Services at 815-599-7437.

Review the full schedule at http://www.fhn.org/flu-shots-2016.asp.

FHN Receives IDHS SAMHSA-CSAP Grant for Jo Daviess County Underage Drinking Prevention

9/26/2016

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) has awarded FHN Family Counseling Center a five-year grant to address underage drinking among eighth to twelfth graders in Jo Daviess County. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (SAMHSA-CSAP) grant supports agencies and their multi-sector coalitions – which includes at minimum, representation from law enforcement, schools, and governmental officials - to deliver services in communities that have higher rates of underage drinking compared to the state average.

The grant will support FHN, the Jo Daviess County Juvenile Justice Council, and other community members to deliver services to Jo Daviess County. Under this grant, FHN and the Juvenile Justice Council, with help from key stakeholders in the community, will use the Strategic Prevention Framework to identify the risk factors that lead to underage drinking, identify evidence based strategies that are known to be effective in reducing such risks, and then implementing those strategies.

The five steps of the SPF will offer Jo Daviess County a comprehensive process for addressing underage drinking and related behavioral health problems facing the county. The effectiveness of the SPF begins with a clear understanding of community needs and involves community members in all stages of the planning process.

The steps of the SPF include:

Step 1: Assess Needs: What is the problem, and how can we learn more?
Step 2: Build Capacity: What do we have to work with, and what more do we need?
Step 3: Plan: What should we do and how should we do it?
Step 4: Implement: How can we put our plan into action?
Step 5: Evaluate: Is our plan succeeding?

The Strategic Prevention Framework planning process is a dynamic, data-driven approach to underage drinking prevention. The SPF will focus on sustainable, population-level change to guide the prevention efforts in Jo Daviess County.

FHN, the JDCJJC, and other community members are beginning the process of assessing the needs of the county based on the Illinois Youth Survey data and other data sources for the county. Once the needs of the county have been assessed and the priority contributing factors have been determined, a strategic plan will be developed to identify the strategies needed to impact these priority needs in Jo Daviess County.If you have further questions or are interested in being part of this process, contact Nathan Hesselbacher at 815-599-8123 or nhesselbacher1@fhn.org.

FHN Announces 2016 Miles And Minutes Winners

9/12/2016

Nearly 800 people logged their exercise time to benefit their school district this summer, and five school districts – and their students - will benefit!

FHN's Miles And Minutes encouraged participants to be active and log various types of physical activity to win prize money for the school of their choice.

Winners were chosen in two categories - miles per school system (normalized based on the number of students in each school system to help ensure that all schools had an equal chance to win, no matter their size or how many participants they enlist) and average miles per participant. The winners are:

Miles per School System:
Aquin Schools – 149,258.68 miles ($2,000)
Tri-County Christian – 147,788.66 miles ($1,000)
Orangeville – 130,365.85 miles ($500)

Average Miles per Participant:
Eastland – 431.86 ($2,000)
Orangeville – 308.89 ($1,000)
Pearl City – 296.86 ($500)

"Our goal for Miles And Minutes was to get people excited about exercise, and to reward that with support for schools in our communities," said FHN President and CEO Michael Perry, MD. "Our participants logged more than three million minutes of exercise over the summer, so we feel like it is a double bonus – better health for them and extra money for their school."

The free program had 799 participants who logged a total of 3,080,272 minutes of exercise from May 29 through August 28. (That's 51,337 hours of exercise!)

FHN Speaker Series: Anyone Can Have Diabetes

8/17/2016, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

FHN Family Healthcare Center – Burchard Hills, 1010 W. Fairway Drive, Freeport
Diabetes is one of the fastest-growing health problems in the United States, with rates nearly doubling in the past three decades largely due to increases in obesity and sugary diets.

Some types of diabetes are hereditary, some are situational (like gestational diabetes), and some can be prevented. Join FHN dietitian and diabetes educator Nicolette Drane for a free presentation on how to recognize your risk factors as well as how to prevent or manage the disease. You'll also be able to pick up a stash of healthy recipes designed to help keep diabetes in check.

Refreshments will be served, and registration is requested. Free and open to the public; registration is requested. Register online at www.fhn.org/diabetes or call toll-free at 1-877-6000-FHN (1-877-600-0346) ext. 901.

FHN Technology Advances and Investments Continue

6/13/2016

Continuing a commitment to providing high-quality, personalized healthcare, FHN has announced the implementation of OurFHN, an overarching electronic health records (EHR) initiative. FHN began its EHR journey several years ago and OurFHN is the latest and most all-encompassing phase of its transformation to all-digital health records. "While we will be implementing this major organization-wide system architecture change over the next few months, it's important to also note that EHR is a process that will continue indefinitely as new advances in healthcare and information technology are made," said Mark Gridley, MBA, FACHE, FHN Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

"When we looked at naming this system, which will integrate nearly every technology-driven aspect of FHN from clinical care to health records and business operations, we looked first to how we were interacting technologically with our patients," said Gridley. "MyFHN, our online patient interface, was launched in 2014 and has been successfully transforming the way we communicate with patients in today's digital world. From there, it was a logical and clear step to the name for our enterprise-level electronic health records transformation journey: OurFHN. This name has meaning not just for FHN staff, but for all of our patients as well as the communities in which we do business. It represents our complete commitment to the ongoing importance of technology in healthcare, positions us broadly for the future, and will benefit everyone connected with FHN."

EHR systems, which include a number of mandates from the federal government, offer many benefits to both patients and providers, including greater convenience, quicker and better communications, reduced opportunity for miscommunication, automated reminders, faster test results, greater protection of patient privacy and records, and the ability to access the entire world of medical knowledge and information instantaneously. They also empower patients to take a more active role in their own healthcare and that of their families, and have proved to increase patient satisfaction.

"More efficient, more coordinated, more personalized," said Gridley. "That all adds up to our ability to deliver even more healthcare excellence for our patients, which is what OurFHN is all about."

During the transition, which will begin with testing in June and will be complete at year-end, patients may experience minor delays in scheduling appointments, particularly in October. FHN has prepared to minimize this impact by ensuring that staff are well aware of options that can be offered as needed. Patient safety will be maintained as a top priority at all times.

The current OurFHN initiative represents a major technology investment in patient care and our community health system by FHN, estimated at $8 million. It will increase convenience for FHN's healthcare consumers as well as resulting in better patient outcomes overall due to increased efficiency, coordination amongst providers, and communication throughout the whole organization as well as with patients and their families. OurFHN encourages patients to be more involved in their own healthcare, and provides optimum security and privacy for protected health information (PHI).

It's a very worthwhile investment, according to Gridley, in that in addition to the patient and provider benefits outlined earlier, it will help increase the organization's competitive advantage and enhance the community's economic development appeal for prospective businesses desiring locations with state-of-the-art healthcare options. It will also strengthen FHN's ability to attract healthcare professionals. Gridley anticipates that the cost will be recouped within just a few years in increased FHN productivity and growth as well as enhanced quality of care and advanced care metrics for patients, and the ability to better assist the community as a whole in achieving success in population health initiatives.

FHN Miles And Minutes is Back - Make Your Exercise Count This Summer!

5/30/2016

Summer softball and volleyball leagues, other summer exercise, and even everyday physical activity like gardening can pay off in prizes for area schools this summer with FHN's popular Miles And Minutes program.

Miles And Minutes began Sunday, May 29 and runs through Sunday, August 28 and encourages participants to be active and log various types of physical activity to win prize money for the school of their choice.

The competition is online-only and there is no charge to participate. Anyone 12 years and older can participate, including student athletes.

Registration and the competition rules, as well as information about how miles will be calculated to determine the winning school systems, is available at www.fhn.org/milesandminutes. A mobile site is available to make it easier to log exercise from a mobile phone or tablet. The mobile link is available on the login page.

A calculator on the website will automatically convert minutes of almost any type of physical activity into miles. This will make it easy to follow the competition, and prizes will be awarded in miles in two categories:

• School system with the most average "miles" logged per participant
• School system with the most "miles" total

The program normalizes miles based on the number of students in each school system to help ensure that all schools have an equal chance to win, no matter their size or how many participants they enlist. First prize for each category is $2,000, second prize is $1,000 and third prize is $500. Prize money will be awarded in September.

Participants from any zip code can support any school system, so family members in Lena, for example, can designate their miles to the River Ridge school system if they wish. Running totals will be displayed on the website and reported throughout the summer, and you can keep up with what's happening on Miles And Minutes Facebook page (www.facebook.com/FhnMilesAndMinutes) and on Twitter @MilesAndMinutes

Generous Gift Establishes FHN Shari Murphy Nursing Scholarship

5/25/2016

The family of the late Shari Murphy has established a scholarship in her honor to help future nurses get their education and achieve their goals.

Shari Murphy cared for patients as a nurse at FHN Memorial Hospital for 10 years. She died in 2016, and her husband, Brian, established the scholarship to honor her dedication to helping others.

The Shari Murphy Nursing Scholarship will augment the salaries of FHN nurses holding CNA certification who voluntarily cut their hours back to go to nursing school and earn their RN. One recipient will be chosen each year for the next decade.

"The current nationwide nursing shortage has had an impact on nearly all clinical departments at FHN Memorial Hospital and supporting offices," said FHN Chief Nursing Officer Kathryn Martinez, RN. "Helping our own CNAs to continue their education has been very successful, and we're so grateful to Shari's family for helping us continue this program."

FHN Offering Healthcare Scholarships for Local Students

5/9/2016

Pursuing a career in healthcare begins with passion and education. In continuing to encourage ambitious students in our community, FHN is proud to offer multiple scholarships for students in the FHN service area who are pursuing careers in healthcare. Up to four scholarships will be offered this year, each with different application criteria and financial amounts.

  • Healthcare Career Scholarship Program for up to three $1,000 scholarships
  • Volunteer Resource Scholarship Program for an active member of the FHN Student Volunteer Program with a minimum of 40 volunteer hours

The deadline for all applicants is Friday, Sept. 9. For more information and application forms for each scholarship, visit www.fhn.org/scholarships.

Defend Your Clothes: Make Your Own Apron!

4/28/2016, 6 – 8:30 p.m.

No sewing experience is required to make your own apron at a special Strong Women, Strong Communities program April 28 at Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts in Freeport.

Choose from retro-style fabrics and patterns to style your own apron reminiscent of the 1940s and '50s. The Freeport Art Museum is hosting this event, which will run from 6 – 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28 at Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts, 1611 S. West Avenue in Freeport.

There is a small fee to take part in the class; contact the Freeport Art Museum at 815-235-9755 for more information or to sign up.

Culver's Share Day for BBBS

4/12/2016, 4 – 9 p.m.

Have dinner at Culver's April 12 and benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Illinois.

Culver's Share Night for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Illinois will be held from 4 - 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 12 at Culver's, 1690 Dirck Drive in Freeport. Ten percent of the evening's sales will be donated to BBBS to help recruit and support mentors in Stephenson and Jo Daviess counties.

"We are planning to be at Culver's that evening with information about how you can make a difference in a child's life by becoming a mentor," said Janet Plante, BBBS case manager and community educator at FHN Family Counseling Center. "We're so glad to have this opportunity to get the message out about mentoring!"

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Illinois, a program of FHN Family Counseling Center, makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers ("Bigs") and children ("Littles"), ages 6 through 18. The program helps develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. Big Brothers Big Sisters operates under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life.

Learn how you can help celebrate Big Brothers Big Sisters by "Liking" the local chapter on Facebook (Facebook.com/BigBrothersBigSistersofNorthwestIllinois) and following on Twitter (@BBBS17).

Listen to Janet Planke on the Dial-a-Doc radio show talking about BBBS.

Learn How to Preserve Your Family Heirlooms

4/5/2016, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Learn from an expert how to properly care for and preserve family heirlooms April 5 as part of the month-long Strong Women, Strong Communities celebration.

Executive Director of the Stephenson County Historical Museum Sharon Welton will talk about what causes damage to heirlooms including textiles, books, papers, photographs, and other objects, and ways to store and display artifacts safely. A question-and-answer time will be included, and participants are invited and encouraged to bring an item or two to the presentation for discussion.

This free program will be held from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 5 at the Freeport Public Library, 100 E. Douglas Street in Freeport. No registration is required to attend.

Strong Women, Strong Communitie is a month-long celebration of local women and home arts sponsored by FHN, the Freeport Art Museum, University of Illinois Extension, Freeport Public Library, and the Stephenson County Historical Society. These events have been inspired by the painting Home Defense by Freeport artist Florence Furst, which is a work in the permanent collection at the Freeport Art Museum. It is also part of a traveling exhibit organized by the Peoria Riverfront Museum called Making Their Mark – Illinois Women Artists 1940-1960, sponsored by FHN and being exhibited at the Freeport Art Museum through May 7.

Home Defense Prints Available, Benefit Freeport Art Museum

3/31/2016

The painting at the heart of the Strong Women, Strong Communities celebration is available in a limited-edition, archival quality print, with all proceeds benefiting the Freeport Art Museum.

The painting, a 30x40 oil-on-canvas work created by Florence Furst in 1944, depicts Marie R. Hull canning peaches at her home in Freeport. Marie's husband, John. M. Hull, Sr., was credit manager at Furst-McNess, an agricultural company in Freeport started in 1908 by Frank E. Furst (the artist's husband) and Frederick W. McNess. Marie was a proofreader for The Journal-Standard.

Limited-edition, archival-quality prints of Home Defense are available for $50 at the Freeport Art Museum, 121 N. Harlem Avenue in Freeport. Printing was provided courtesy of FHN, so all proceeds benefit the Museum. Through this contribution and sponsorship of the exhibit, FHN pays tribute to the exceptional contributions of women throughout the communities of northwest Illinois is the arts, business, education, healthcare, and, of course, in the home.

Strong Women, Strong Communities is a month-long celebration of local women and home arts sponsored by FHN, the Freeport Art Museum, University of Illinois Extension, Freeport Public Library, and the Stephenson County Historical Society. These events have been inspired by the painting Home Defense by Freeport artist Florence Furst, which is a work in the permanent collection at the Freeport Art Museum. It is also part of a traveling exhibit organized by the Peoria Riverfront Museum called Making Their Mark - Illinois Women Artists 1940-1960, sponsored by FHN and being exhibited at the Freeport Art Museum through May 7.

FHN COMMUNITY GARDEN SPACES AVAILABLE FOR 2016

3/22/2016

Get out in the garden for some exercise, fresh air and – eventually – healthy, fresh produce this year by taking part in FHN's Community Garden!

Spaces are available in FHN's Community Garden for this growing season. The raised garden beds, 4 x 8 feet, are $25 each. The Community Garden is located just west of the FHN Family Healthcare Center – Burchard Hills, 1010 W. Fairway Drive in Freeport.

Applications for the 2016 growing season are due by Friday, May 27, and planting can begin as soon as the beds are prepared.

FHN's Community Garden project is led by a team of FHN staff and Master Gardeners from the University of Illinois Extension, who will be sharing tips on planting and making each plot as productive and maintenance-free as possible. Several learning sessions and other events are planned in connection with the 2016 growing season.

FHN Honors Physicians on National Doctors' Day March 30

3/20/2016

On March 30, 1842, Dr. Crawford Long of Barrow County, Ga., performed surgery to remove a tumor on a patient's neck. He used ether to anesthetize the patient – a first for medical science.

Years later, Congress and the President would declare the anniversary of that surgery to be National Doctors' Day, a chance to acknowledge all that our physicians do for their communities.

FHN is proud to salute its physicians March 30 for being the heart of community-based healthcare. Send a message to your FHN healthcare provider for Doctors' Day. Selected messages will appear on the site in the future.

"Our patients depend on FHN physicians for everything from one-time emergency care at the hospital to a lifetime of care as their family doctor at our healthcare center locations throughout northwest Illinois," said Mark Gridley, chief operating officer of FHN.

FHN Hospice Volunteer Training Begins April 4 in Freeport

3/7/2016

A new session of FHN Hospice volunteer training will begin Monday, April 4 in Freeport.

Volunteers are a special and important part of the FHN Hospice team, offering companionship, relief for caregivers, and help with running errands and delivering supplies. Volunteers also have the opportunity to assist with clerical services at the FHN Hospice office in Freeport.

The seven-week, 14-hour comprehensive training course for new volunteers provides information on all aspects of hospice care and hospice volunteering. It will equip volunteers with skills needed to provide compassionate care and companionship to terminally ill patients in their homes or in nursing homes, as well as prepare volunteers to help in the hospice office. Training includes classes on concepts of death and dying, grief, communication skills, stress management, infection control, safety and the bereavement process.

There is no charge for the training, but registration is required. The training sessions will be held Mondays from 5:30 to 8 p.m. beginning April 4 and ending May 16; a light supper will be served at each session. Those who wish to become FHN Hospice volunteers must attend all the sessions, which will meet at the FHN Hospice office, 773 W. Lincoln Boulevard in Freeport. Attending the training does not obligate you to become a hospice volunteer.

FHN Hospice covers Stephenson, Jo Daviess, Carroll, Ogle and part of Winnebago counties, and volunteers are needed for each of these counties. For more information or to register for the classes, call the Hospice volunteer coordinator toll-free at 1-877-6000-FHN (1-877-600-0346) ext. 960.

FHN Foundation's Egan Named to AHP Journal Advisory Council

3/1/2016

FHN Foundation Executive Director Terry Egan has been named to the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy's Journal Advisory Council.

Volunteers on the AHP Journal Advisory Council review articles submitted for each issue and as a group, make decisions on the final editorial content of the magazine.

The journal, titled Healthcare Philanthropy, is a full-color magazine designed to represent the interests of the industry. Topics include professionalism in the field, ideas and methods for creating successful development programs, analyses of the current healthcare environment and projections of future trends. Published in the spring and fall, it is mailed to all AHP members and is posted as an e-book on the AHP website, www.ahp.org.

As Executive Director of the FHN Foundation, Egan directs community and organizational fund-raising efforts to help FHN provide exceptional healthcare to our communities. He was born at FHN Memorial Hospital and raised in Freeport, and has been with FHN since 2010.

A Slice of Time Just for You!

2/29/2016, 5:30 – 7 p.m.

Cannova's, 1101 W. Empire Street, Freeport
Join women's care providers from FHN for an evening of pizza and conversation about YOU. Presentations on heart health, super foods, and how to deal with potentially awkward conversations, plus a chance to chat with the FHN Women's Healthcare team over pizza and beverages. Registration is required for this FREE event, however, we are fully booked.

Permission to Mourn: A New Way to Do Grief

2/27/2016, 9:30 a.m.

Best-selling author Tom Zuba will present Permission to Mourn: A New Way to Do Grief at a special free program presented by FHN Hospice this month.

The program, focusing on coping and living through loss, will be from 9:30 - 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 27 at the Freeport Public Library, 100 E. Douglas Street in Freeport. Registration is requested; register to attend at www.fhn.org/Zuba.

Zuba, who has appeared on Oprah, has had to learn how to handle grief and create a full, joy-filled life himself, following the death of his 18-month-old daughter in 1990, his wife in 1999, and his 13-year-old son in 2005. He and his son Sean live in Rockford.

Permission to Mourn: A New Way to Do Grief deals with the fact that everyone grieves, but nost of us have forgotten how to mourn. In order to heal, we must give ourselves permission to mourn. Once you understand the difference between grief and mourning, you can begin to take steps to heal. In this session, Zuba will offer tools, knowledge and wisdom to those learning to live with the death of someone they love.

A number of area churches, funeral homes, nursing homes and hospice organizations are co-sponsoring this presentation. For more information on Tom Zuba, please visit www.tomzuba.com.

FHN Reports Theft

2/25/2016

As required by the Department of Health and Human Services, FHN Memorial Hospital ("FHN") is informing the public that on December 30, 2015 a computer hard drive containing some patient information was stolen from the private office of an FHN employee. The compromised computer was located in a secure nonpublic area of the hospital. FHN has reviewed the device backup records and is directly notifying any individuals who may have been affected by this incident. Appropriate law enforcement authorities have been notified and an investigation is underway.

The compromised computer did not contain any medical records but did contain internal reports and spreadsheets relating to some patient data. However, as required by law, FHN is advising the public that the data could have possibly included name, phone number, address, date of birth, ethnicity, email address, medical record number, FHN patient identification number, unique patient encounter number, social security number, date of service, brief description of procedure, procedure billing code, type of examination, diagnosis, name of treating physician, name of health insurance provider (company), medication information, and/or date of discharge. FHN has already advised all individual patients as to which type(s) of information might apply to them specifically.

FHN is directly informing each individual whose information was included on the hard drive of the steps they may wish to take to protect themselves from any potential harm arising from the incident, such as carefully monitoring financial and health insurance records for inaccurate information or contacting credit reporting agencies. FHN has also placed an internal alert on each of the affected medical records to ensure they remain carefully monitored.

Additionally, in order to protect against future similar incidents, FHN's information security professionals - together with an external consulting firm - are working to implement new security measures, such as enhanced network monitoring and extending computer encryption procedures to include devices that are stored in physically secure areas.

Individuals with questions may call FHN at a hotline set up for this purpose at 815-599-8038 or toll-free 866-345-0373 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Freeport Police Department: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over!

2/1/2016

The Freeport Police Department announced today it will be out in full force this Super Bowl weekend, looking for and cracking down on alcohol and drug-impaired drivers.

The Freeport Police Department is working with the FHN Family Counseling Center's Partnership for Success project to promote sober, safe driving this weekend.

"We are reminding everyone to drive sober this weekend in Freeport or get pulled over!" said Chief Todd Barkalow. "If you plan on drinking alcohol while cheering your team on to victory, pass your keys to a sober, designated driver before the Super Bowl party begins. Follow the rules, or law enforcement will penalize you with a DUI."

"Weekends are often a deadly time on our roads and this weekend in particular can be even more dangerous, due to impaired drivers," said Chief Barkalow. "That's why we will be working diligently to catch and arrest anyone who is driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs in an effort to keep the streets safe."

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2014 9,967 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes in the United States - 31 percent of all vehicle crash fatalities in the nation. The numbers go even higher on weekends. (There were 5,447 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities, making up 40 percent of all fatalities that occurred during weekends.)

Chief Barkalow said that always designating a sober driver and not letting friends drive impaired are just two of several simple steps to help avoid a tragic crash or a DUI arrest. Other important tips include:

  • Call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely;
  • Report impaired drivers to law enforcement;
  • Spend the night where the activity is being held and sleep it off;
  • Monitor your alcohol intake
  • Always buckle up - it's your best defense against an impaired driver.
“We will show zero tolerance,” said Chief Barkalow. “So remember, designate your sober driver before the parties begin."

FHN President and CEO to Retire at Year-End

1/31/2016

FHN Board Chair Carol Schuster and FHN President and CEO Michael Perry, MD have announced his retirement, effective December 31, 2016. Perry will be succeeded on January 1, 2017 by Mark Gridley, currently Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer.

Dr. Perry became CEO of FHN in January 2006. Under his leadership, the organization has made great strides in achieving excellence in many areas. Celebrations of those achievements will be planned later in the year. “I'd like to thank the board and everyone at FHN for their support in making FHN the best it can possibly be for our patients, our families, and our communities,” said Perry. "I look forward to working with Mark this year on the transition of FHN to his capable leadership, and to taking on new challenges and spending time with my family after I retire."

Gridley, who joined FHN in 2010 as Vice President of Physician Affairs, brings over 25 years of healthcare experience to the role of President and CEO. Prior to coming to FHN, he served as Administrator, Clinic Operations & Patient Service Market Leader for Washington, Dodge, and Ozaukee Counties in Aurora Health Care, located in Hartford, Wisconsin. Before going to Hartford, he was an Associate Administrator at the Allergy & Asthma Clinic of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, where he also was an instructor and lecturer at the University of Wisconsin in the College of Health Sciences.

Gridley served on active duty in the US Army as a combat medic at the U.S. Army Eisenhower Medical Center in Augusta, GA and as a licensed practical nurse and non-commissioned officer at U.S. Army Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He received his LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) degree from the Academy of Health Sciences in San Antonio, Texas, graduated summa cum laude from Upper Iowa University with a B.S. in science business, and earned an M.B.A from Cardinal Stritch University. Gridley is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

FHN Initiates Emergency Water Plan After Water Main Break in Freeport

1/19/2016

A boil order has been issued for the entire city of Freeport through (at least) Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 19. FHN is still operating under its emergency water plan, and will take steps after the boil order is lifted to ensure that its water supply is safe.

FHN has initiated its emergency water plan. This includes:
• 3-day emergency water supply
• Ample water for Food & Nutrition
• Procedures handled on a case-by-case basis, prioritized based on patient safety.

Water will be sent for testing before the city supply is utilized again. We are in constant contact with the city, and are implementing all city requirements (boil order, etc.).

FHN will continue to use its germ-killing Xenex machines to thoroughly disinfect patient rooms and treatment areas. The Xenex system uses UV light to upgrade cleanliness beyond what any manual process can achieve and is proven to be 20 times more effective than standard chemical cleaning – even against dangerous "superbugs" like C. difficile (C.diff) and MRSA.

What to Do During a Boil Order - and After

In the meantime, here are some additional safety points for you in your home. Remember, do not drink tap water or use it for cooking, brushing your teeth, or washing your hands.

Why is it OK to shower but not wash my hands with tap water?

It is not considered safe to wash your hands in tap water during a boil order. From the Cook County Department of Public Health:

Can I wash my hands with this water? The Cook County Department of Public Health recommends that bottled water or water boiled for 3-5 minutes should be used for hand washing. When this is not practical, it is recommended that if tap water must be used to wash and rinse, it should be followed up with the use of a hand sanitizer. Swallowing unsafe water is the most likely way to become ill, and we touch more things with our hands, including our food. Using extra precautions with hand washing ensures that hands are clean for eating.

Can I shower or take a bath in this water? Yes, it is safe to shower or bathe in the water, although showering is preferred. The primary concern is that water not be swallowed. Instruct children not to get water in their mouths when they are bathing. When bathing infants, extra precaution should be taken and the Cook County Department of Public Health recommends the use of bottled water or water that has been boiled for 3-5 minutes and cooled for use.

What if I accidentally swallow water that might be contaminated?

As the City has stated, it is improbable that people would become ill. However, if you or a family member does accidentally swallow tap water before the boil order is lifted, keep watch for several days to see if any symptoms – most likely diarrhea or stomach aches – occur. If so, contact your family doctor. Pay particular attention to elderly individuals and children, who could be more susceptible.

PLEASE be careful when boiling water!

When boiling on a stove...

• Do not lift large pots filled with boiling water that are too heavy to manage – use smaller pots.
• Do not let pots boil over, or boil dry.
• Be careful of hot surfaces or items placed on hot surfaces that conduct heat – for example, metal utensils touching a burner quickly become hot enough to burn your hand. Keep flammable items away from the stove.

When boiling in a microwave oven...

• Be sure containers are approved for use in a microwave oven.
• Do not use containers that are too large for the space – containers should not touch the walls of the microwave oven.

When using either your stove or a microwave oven...

• It doesn't matter what temperature the water is to start with – just make sure it comes to a rolling boil for at least 3-5 minutes. Don't overfill containers • Use potholders.
• Place boiling water far away from counter edges or other accessible locations while cooling.
• Watch children and pets to ensure their safety around boiling water and hot stoves.
• Refrigerate boiled water in clean containers that have been washed with boiled water and/or disinfected with bleach.

Back to Safety

Once the boil order has been lifted...

1. Turn on the faucets in all of your sinks, tubs, showers, and so on to flush your home's water lines and clean your faucet screens. Let the water run full-force for at least a minute or so.
2. Change the water filter in your kitchen or on your refrigerator since it is probable that the existing filter will have been exposed to contaminated water. Note: Standard house tap water filters cannot remove contaminants that boiling can, so don't assume that having a filter means you don't have to pay attention to the boil order. Activated charcoal filter systems (i.e. Brita or other brand names) are also not effective – they are not designed to remove contamination from an unsafe water supply. If you have run the water through these types of filters during the boil order, discard the filter and replace it with a new one once the boil order is lifted.
3. Discard any ice or drinks made with tap water.
4. Watch your water for any unusual tastes or odors for the next few days. If you observe anything, contact the Freeport City Water Department Monday-Friday until 4 p.m. at 815-233-0111 or 815-233-0711 after 4 p.m. or on weekends.
5. If you don't feel well and think your discomfort might be related to contaminated water, contact your doctor.

While it is not safe to use water to clean your hands, please use hand sanitizer to avoid the spread of germs.

Here is some information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Water Works Association in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:

Water filters: Boil tap water even if it is filtered. Most kitchen and other household water filters typically do not remove bacteria or viruses.

To boil water

• Fill a pot with water.
• Heat the water until bubbles come from the bottom of the pot to the top.
• Once the water reaches a rolling boil, let it boil for 1 minute.
• Turn off the heat source and let the water cool.
• Pour the water into a clean container with a cover for storage.

Disinfecting water

If you are unable to boil your water, disinfect it instead.

If tap water is clear:

• Use unscented bleach (bleach that does not have an added scent).
• Add 1/8 teaspoon (8 drops or about 0.75 milliliters) of unscented household liquid bleach to 1 gallon
• (16 cups) of water.
• Mix well and wait 30 minutes or more before drinking.
• Store disinfected water in clean container with a cover.

If tap water is cloudy:

• Filter water using clean cloth.
• Use unscented bleach (bleach that does not have an added scent).
• Add 1/4 teaspoon (16 drops or 1.5 milliliters) of unscented household liquid bleach to 1 gallon (16 cups) of water.
• Mix well and wait 30 minutes or more before drinking.
• Store disinfected water in clean container with a cover.

Remember that containers may need to be sanitized before using them to store safe water.

To sanitize containers:

• Use unscented bleach (bleach that does not have an added scent).
• Make a sanitizing solution by mixing 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) of unscented household liquid bleach in 1 quart (32 ounces, 4 cups, or about 1 liter) of water.
• Pour this sanitizing solution into a clean storage container and shake well, making sure that the solution coats the entire inside of the container.
• Let the clean storage container sit at least 30 seconds, and then pour the solution out of the container.
• Let empty container air dry OR rinse it with clean water that has already been made safe, if available. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaners. Open windows and doors to get fresh air when you use bleach.

Preparing and cooking food

• Wash all fruits and vegetables with boiled water that has cooled or bottled water.
• Bring water to a rolling boil for 1 minute before adding food to cook.
• Use boiled water when preparing drinks, such as coffee, tea, and lemonade.
• Wash food preparation surfaces with boiled water.

Feeding babies and using formula

• Breastfeeding is best. Continue to breastfeed. If breastfeeding is not an option:
• Use ready-to-use baby formula, if possible.
• Prepare powdered or concentrated baby formula with bottled water. Use boiled water if you do not have bottled water. Disinfect water for baby formula if you cannot boil your water (see above for directions on how to use bleach to disinfect water). • Wash and sterilize bottles and nipples before use.
• If you cannot sterilize bottles, try to use single-serve, ready-to-feed bottles.

Ice

• Do not use ice from ice trays, ice dispensers, or ice makers.
• Throw out all ice made with tap water.
• Make new ice with boiled or bottled water.

Bathing and showering

• Be careful not to swallow any water when bathing or showering.
• Use caution when bathing babies and young children. Consider giving them a sponge bath to reduce the chance of them swallowing water.

Brushing teeth

• Brush teeth with boiled or bottled water. Do not use untreated tap water.

Washing dishes

• Household dishwashers generally are safe to use if the water reaches a final rinse temperature of at least 150 degrees or if the dishwasher has a sanitizing cycle.

To wash dishes by hand:

• Wash and rinse the dishes as you normally would using hot water.
• In a separate basin, add 1 teaspoon of unscented household liquid bleach for each gallon of warm water.
• Soak the rinsed dishes in the water for at least one minute.
• Let the dishes air dry completely.

Laundry

• It is safe to do laundry as usual.

Pets

• Pets can get some of the same diseases as people. It is a good idea to give them boiled water that has been cooled.

Rich Chang Joins FHN Foundation Board of Directors

1/17/2016

Freeport native, author, retired information and technology expert, high-school teacher and basketball coach Rich Chang has joined the Board of Directors of the FHN Foundation.

Rich was born and raised in Freeport, the sixth of seven children of Dr. D.J. and Theresa Marchinetti Chang. Dr. Chang was a well-known and respected physician in the area and was a founding member of the Freeport Medical Clinic on Kiwanis Drive. Rich graduated from Aquin High School in 1981 and magna cum laude from North Central College in 1985. He joined the global consulting firm Accenture, where he was admitted to the partnership in 1996.

He served numerous Fortune 100 clients around the world and, upon retiring in 2005, was the partner responsible for Accenture's Financial Services Worldwide Information and Technology Strategy and Transformation (IT&T) practice. He is a co-author of two books as well as several published articles.

In 2006 Rich became a part-time math instructor at Aquin High School and served as the school's head basketball coach from 2006 - 2015. His teams earned a 174-85 record, winning four conference championships, four regional titles, four “Sweet 16” appearances, and finishing seasons in the top 10 state rankings three times.

FHN Welcomes Craig Davenport, MD

1/11/2016

FHN is pleased to welcome Craig Davenport, MD as part of a clinical collaboration with the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford which includes a faculty University of Illinois physician providing clinical primary care services within FHN's facilities. Dr. Davenport is now providing part-time services in Same Day Care at FHN Family Healthcare Center - Burchard Hills every Monday and Tuesday. In addition to his clinical services provided at FHN Same Day Care, Dr. Davenport is the director of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford's Rural Medicine Program as well as an assistant professor of Clinical Family Medicine. In this role, Dr. Davenport is directly involved with both University of Illinois medical students and the organizations/sites that support their educational endeavors throughout their years in medical school.

Dr. Davenport, who is board-certified in Family Practice medicine, received his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford and completed his residency at Cedar Rapids Medical Education Foundation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians.

FHN and the University of Illinois have been affiliated for educational purposes in the past through students performing clinical rotations. Additionally, FHN has been a longstanding representative on the College's Rural Medicine Recruitment and Retention Committee. This new collaboration is one that will not only expand FHN's primary care capability but also enhance the organization's ability to provide medical students with exposure to FHN and its service area.

Since 1972, the College of Medicine at Rockford has focused on building an academic medical institution committed to education, research and innovation, and clinical service in the surrounding communities. The College has become a center for internationally recognized research efforts funded through grants awarded by government agencies, private foundations and other resources. Today, the College is a regional health sciences center, home to the regional College of Pharmacy program, the College of Nursing advanced degree program, the master's in medical biotechnology program, a public health certificate and Health Systems Research.