Log in


  • 11 Jan 2022 5:55 PM | Anonymous

    The Illinois Department of Public Health said Thursday it expects to receive two new COVID-19 oral antiviral treatments in the coming weeks for patients with mild to moderate disease. [Health News Illinois]

    Paxlovid and molnupiravir will be available by prescription only, and the agency said it is currently working with pharmacies around the state to offer them to patients.

    "While vaccination, including boosters, is still the best way to avoid infection and prevent severe illness from COVID-19, these new antivirals given emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration can help treat those who get infected and have a higher risk of becoming severely ill,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.

    The agency did not say how many of each antiviral it expects to receive in its initial shipment. Illinois will receive a renewed allocation of antivirals every two weeks.

    The Food and Drug Administration has issued emergency use authorizations for the two antiviral pills to be taken at home within five days of when symptoms begin. Paxlovid is for those over 12, and molnupiravir is for those over 18. IDPH said paxlovid is expected to reduce the risk of hospitalizations by 89 percent and molnupiravir by about 30 percent.

    The announcement comes as Illinois’ post-holiday COVID-19 surge continued Thursday, with IDPH reporting pandemic highs in hospitalizations and COVID-19 cases.

    As of Wednesday, 7,098 Illinoisans were in the hospital with COVID-19, up 256 from Tuesday and up 1,409 from the prior week.

    Of the patients in the hospital, 1,119 were in intensive care units, down 16 from Tuesday and up 109 from the prior week. There were 646 patients on ventilators, down 17 from Tuesday and up 81 from the prior week.

    Those numbers include a rise in pediatric hospitalizations. There has been a three-fold increase at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn over the last month, with about 25 to 38 patients per day, Dr. Frank Belmonte, chief medical officer, said during a Thursday virtual event hosted by the health system.

    Ninety-four percent are unvaccinated, with many coming from households where no one has received the vaccine. 

    “We’re really encouraging parents to vaccinate their child if they’re eligible,” Belmonte told reporters. 

    About half are younger than 5, the age at which children become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. A quarter of pediatric patients hospitalized are in the intensive care unit. 

    Meanwhile, seven out of 10 school-aged children are testing positive in outpatient offices, up from one to two out of 10 previously.

    There were 44,089 new COVID-19 cases reported in Illinois on Thursday, shattering the previous single-day high of 32,279 cases set on Wednesday.

    The total COVID-19 case count is 2,339,534. The death toll is 28,260 after 104 deaths were reported Thursday. It’s the first time deaths have hit triple-digits since 102 were reported on Feb. 11, 2021

    The seven-day average for new cases is 27,141, up 8,820 from a week ago. The seven-day average for daily deaths is 63, up eight from the prior week.

    The seven-day statewide positivity rate for cases as a percent of total tests is 14.7 percent. The seven-day statewide test positivity using the number of COVID-19 positive tests over total tests is 18.6 percent.

    About 77.3 percent of eligible Illinoisans ages 5 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 68.6 percent are fully vaccinated.

    Illinois vaccinators have administered 19,475,871 COVID-19 vaccines, including 3,275,652 booster doses. The seven-day average of doses administered is 43,690.


  • 10 Jan 2022 4:36 PM | Anonymous

    CHICAGO— The Otho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute awarded the Institute of Medicine of Chicago (IOMC) a two-year grant to develop and manage a Black and Latino Male Medical and Dental Student Mentoring Program.  The overall mentoring program objective is to elevate and support Black and Latino male medical and dental students for greater graduation success and foster their participation in caring for underserved communities. Also, one of the goals of the mentoring program is to advocate for more significant health equity and disease prevention in Chicago. 

    The Black and Latino Male Medical & Dental Student Mentoring and Networking Program is a relationship-based, nonpolitical program where currently enrolled in an accredited medical school will learn, experience, and build a network to build more Black and Latino male physicians in more totality in the US. We will focus on currently enrolled Black and Latino male medical & dental students in the Chicago area.  

    President Cheryl Rucker-Whitaker, MD, MPH, FACP, of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago stated, "IOMC is pleased to be part of this initiative to foster Black and Latino male medical and dental students in these important fields, medicine, and oral health. We appreciate the support of this grant from Otho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute to develop this specific mentoring program. These are rewarding, impactful careers and can foster building diversified, multidisciplinary professionals to solve some of our most complex healthcare and public health problems facing Chicago and its communities."

    The Otho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute was founded in 1911 as a non-profit foundation with a mandate to pursue "the investigation of the cause of disease and the prevention and relief of human suffering in the City of Chicago, County of Cook, State of Illinois."

    The medical and dental students will interact with the Fellows of IOMC and its colleagues to build relationships in a learning and collaborative networking environment. There has been an increase in female medical and dental physicians in the past several years. This increase is good news as diversity and equity programs work effectively. However, there has been a decline in Black and Latin male physicians and oral health professionals for the past five years.

    IOMC is a 106-year-old independent, non-profit organization with a long history of promoting health care and wellbeing equity. As a leader in the healthcare landscape, IOMC collaborates and creates change to foster equal opportunities for all in healthcare and public health. Its initiatives are diverse as its members are multidisciplinary professionals in healthcare, oral health, and public health. 

    Some of IOMC's many past initiatives include:


    • IOMC promoted fair housing for the homeless and improved safety conditions for workers due to the Great Depression (1930). 


    • IOMC recruited doctors to care for wounded soldiers as the US entered into World War II (1941).


    • IOMC advocated and persuaded the City of Chicago to develop broader, more accessible, emergency public ambulance services. It started with 14 ambulances with restricted use and then expanded to transport sick people (1945).


    • IOMC established the African-American Health Commission to improve access to care in African-American neighborhoods (1949). 


    • IOMC co-authored and disseminated the 'Integration of Medical Care Report' with the Chicago Commission to promote and ensure hospitals hire African-American physicians (1954).  


    • IOMC hosted its first 'State of the Health of Chicago' Conference to identify the challenges and barriers impacting the area's health in 2011. IOMC completed its 8th convening on the State of Health of Chicago last month. IOMC will be presenting a summary report session this month.  More>

    More details about the mentoring program will be available soon.

    The Institute of Medicine of Chicago (IOMC), since 1915, is an independent non-profit organization of distinguished leaders in the health field who collaborate to improve the health of the public. Drawing upon the expertise of a diverse membership and other regional leaders, the IOMC addresses critical health issues through a range of interdisciplinary approaches, including education, research, communication of trusted information, and community engagement. With the public's health at its core, IOMC is building new programs and services to meet better the needs of its members and the Chicago, Counties and the State of Illinois community. 501c3 non-profit organization. Visit www.iomc.org.  



  • 7 Jan 2022 5:48 PM | Anonymous

    CDC now recommends that adolescents age 12 to 17 years old should receive a booster shot 5 months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series.

    Data show that COVID-19 boosters help broaden and strengthen protection against Omicron and other SARS-CoV-2 variants. ACIP reviewed the available safety data following the administration of over 25 million vaccine doses in adolescents; COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

    At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for adolescents aged 12-17.

    For some immunocompromised children aged 5-11 years old, CDC recommends an additional dose of thePfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to complete the primary series – a total of three doses.

    Learn more about myths and facts or get answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines for children.

    More details here>


  • 6 Jan 2022 11:42 AM | Anonymous

    Vermont has the highest rate of fully vaccinated people getting boosters, according to the CDC's COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration data tracker.

    Illinois ranks 15th at 34 percent. See list below.

    The CDC's data tracker compiles data from healthcare facilities and public health authorities. It updates daily to report the total number of people in each state who have received COVID-19 boosters. The numbers reported by the CDC may vary from the numbers published on individual states' public health websites, as there may be reporting lags between the states and the CDC. 

    As of Jan. 5, 72,262,703 Americans had received a booster, or 34.9 percent of the country's fully vaccinated population, according to the CDC's data.

    Here are the states and Washington, D.C., ranked by the percentage of their fully vaccinated residents who have received a booster:

    Note: The list includes ties.

    1. Vermont: 44.9 percent

    2. Minnesota: 42.6 percent

    3. Wisconsin: 40.3 percent

    4. Iowa: 39.9 percent

    5. Maine: 38.9 percent

    6. Michigan: 37.9 percent

    7. Montana: 37 percent

    8. Colorado: 36.8 percent

    9. Ohio: 36.6 percent 

    10. Rhode Island: 36.5 percent

    11. Nebraska: 36.2 percent

    12. New Mexico: 36 percent

    13. Idaho: 35.8 percent

    14. Oregon: 34.4 percent

    15. Illinois: 34 percent

    16. North Dakota: 34 percent

    17. Connecticut: 33.8 percent

    18. Massachusetts: 33.5 percent

    19. Maryland: 33.3 percent

    20. Wyoming: 33.3 percent 

    21. Washington: 33 percent 

    22. Kentucky: 32.3 percent

    23. Virginia: 32.2 percent 

    24. Alaska: 32 percent

    25. Indiana: 31.6 percent 

    26. Tennessee: 31.3 percent

    27. Delaware: 31.2 percent

    28. South Dakota: 31.1 percent 

    29. Missouri: 30.9 percent

    30. Kansas: 30.2 percent 

    31. New Jersey: 29.7 percent

    32. California: 29.2 percent

    33. New York: 28.1 percent

    34. South Carolina: 28 percent

    35. Florida: 28 percent 

    36. Arkansas: 27.7 percent

    37. Louisiana: 27.2 percent

    38. Arizona: 27 percent

    39. Oklahoma: 27 percent

    40. Utah: ​​26.2 percent

    41. Nevada: 25.8 percent 

    42. Texas: 24.8 percent

    43. Mississippi: 24.7 percent

    44. Alabama: 24.4 percent

    45. Georgia: 24.1 percent

    46. District of Columbia: 23.5 percent

    47. Pennsylvania: 21.3 percent

    48. North Carolina: 18.2 percent

    49. West Virginia: 18.1 percent

    50. Hawaii: 16.9 percent

    51. New Hampshire: 9.8 percent


  • 5 Jan 2022 5:00 PM | Anonymous

    Many states have adopted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on masks

    • Illinois: ​Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a vaccine passport program. As of Jan. 3, 2022, individuals 5 and older must show proof they are fully vaccinated to enter restaurants, fitness centers and entertainment venues where food or drinks are served. The requirement doesn’t apply to those entering the business or venue for less than 10 minutes. Individuals with a medical or religious exemption must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test with in the prior 72 hours.

    Here’s a look at each state’s restrictions: https://www.aarp.org/politics-society/government-elections/info-2020/coronavirus-state-restrictions.html


  • 4 Jan 2022 3:15 PM | Anonymous

    Hospitals in the Chicago area are delaying nonurgent surgeries and other procedures not risking patient safety after a plea to do so from Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Health and Hospital Association, according to the Chicago Tribune. [Becker's Hospital Review 1.3.2022]

    Illinois is among the 34 states where COVID-19 hospitalizations are up. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 have increased 52 percent in the state over the past 14 days, according to HHS data presented by The New York Times

    In a Dec. 30 news release, the governor said he and hospital leaders were making the plea to prepare for a continuing post-holiday COVID-19 surge and ensure healthcare workers are able to handle serious virus cases and other emergencies without jeopardizing patient care. Mr. Pritzker noted that some hospitals have already delayed nonurgent procedures to boost capacity and urged all hospitals to help ensure sufficient capacity in the coming weeks.

    Advocate Aurora Health, which has dual headquarters in Milwaukee and Downers Grove, Ill., confirmed that it is among the healthcare organizations delaying and rescheduling certain procedures as needed. 

    "Like health systems across the country, our COVID inpatient census is rising quickly with the vast majority of patients being unvaccinated. We are monitoring the situation closely. At times, this has resulted in the need to pause or reschedule some [nonurgent] elective procedures, depending on local COVID case numbers, staffing scenarios and bed availability," Advocate Aurora spokesperson Adam Mesirow said in a statement shared with Becker's

    "Urgent and emergent services will continue to be available 24 hours a day, and it is critical that patients seek care when needed," Mr. Mesirow added.

    During a press conference Jan. 3, Advocate Aurora Chief Medical Group Officer Jeff Bahr, MD, told reporters that the health system is not delaying cancer diagnoses, cancer treatment, or lifesaving or limb-saving surgeries and procedures, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal. For nonurgent care, Dr. Bahr said the health system will be rescheduling "certain procedures to times and places where there is appropriate staffing and space and capacity to perform those surgeries and procedures safely." 

    Edward-Elmhurst Health told Becker's that it is not scheduling additional elective surgeries until mid-January at Edward Hospital in Naperville, Ill., and Elmhurst (Ill.) Hospital because of the current surge in COVID-19 cases.

    And NorthShore University HealthSystem, a six-hospital system based in Evanston, Ill., has largely suspended elective surgeries for two weeks, said CEO and President J.P. Gallagher, according to the Chicago Tribune. Mr. Gallagher said the health system is also dedicating beds at Glenbrook Hospital in Glenview, Ill., solely to COVID-19 patients. 

    Illinois is among the 34 states where COVID-19 hospitalizations are up. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 have increased 52 percent in the state over the past 14 days, according to HHS data presented by The New York Times

    Nationwide, hospitalizations for COVID-19 have increased 35 percent over the past 14 days while case counts increased 204 percent during that time, the data shows.


  • 30 Dec 2021 12:35 PM | Anonymous

    The U.S. reported nearly 489,000 new COVID-19 cases Dec. 29, nearly twice as high as the worst days from last winter's surge, according to The New York Times database. The new cases brought the seven-day average for new daily cases to more than 301,000, another record. [Becker's Hospital Review 12.30.2021]

    While the omicron and delta variants have increased cases substantially, hospitalizations and deaths remain far below levels during last year's winter surge, before vaccines were widely available.  

    During a Dec. 29 COVID-19 briefing at the White House, Rochelle Walensky, MD, CDC director, said the seven-day average of hospitalization admissions is about 9,000 per day, about 14 percent higher from the previous week. The seven-day average of daily deaths are about 1,100, a decrease of about 7 percent over the last week. The "comparatively low" hospitalizations and deaths may be due to the fact that hospitalizations tend to lag behind cases by about two weeks "but may also be due to early indications that we’ve seen from other countries like South Africa and United Kingdom of milder disease from omicron, especially among the vaccinated and the boosted," Dr. Walensky said. 

    Five more recent updates: 

    1. U.S. pediatric hospitalizations are up. An average of 1,200 children were hospitalized with COVID-19 each day last week, up from about 800 at the end of November, according to HHS data cited by The New York Times.

    Data from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows nearly 199,000 cases were reported among children for the week ending Dec. 23, a 50 percent increase over the weekly new cases since the start of the month. New York has been particularly hard hit by the surge in pediatric cases, with hospitalizations more than doubling in the last few weeks from 70 as of Dec. 11 to 184 as of Dec. 23. The rise in admissions has been particularly concentrated in New York City, where hospitalizations among children increased from 22 to 109 across the same period. 

    Although more children are being treated for COVID-19, it has more to do with low vaccination rates and the sheer number of kids becoming infected with the highly transmissible delta and omicron variants than a higher risk of disease severity, according to health officials. 

    "I think the important story to tell here is that severity is way down and the risk for significant severe disease seems to be lower," David Rubin, MD, physician scientist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, told the Times

    Nearly all children who are currently hospitalized and severely ill from COVID-19 are unvaccinated, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a Dec. 30 NewsNation interview. "Virtually all, not 100 percent but close to that, the children who are seriously ill in our hospitals from COVID-19 are children whose parents decided they did not want to vaccinate them," he said. "That is avoidable." 

    About 34 percent of Americans ages 5 to 25 were fully vaccinated as of Dec. 28. Children younger than age 5 are not yet eligible for vaccination. 

    Full article here> 


  • 23 Dec 2021 12:26 PM | Anonymous

    U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy recently released a powerful report on how we can better address youth mental health. It’s time we paid more attention here in Illinois because the consequences of ignoring the growing crisis can be dire, particularly for marginalized communities that face unequal access to treatment. Without proper treatment, young people can face a lifetime of spiraling difficulties and disabilities. Our lawmakers must take decisive action. [Chicago Sun-Times 12.22.2021] 

    Download report on youth mental health here.

    Even pre-pandemic, the trends in young people’s mental health needs were troubling. According to the report, between 2009 and 2019, the number of high school students reporting constant feelings of sadness or hopelessness increased by 40%, and suicidal behavior increased by 44%. During the pandemic, the number of young people experiencing depression and anxiety doubled. Last year, the National Center for Health Statistics estimated over 6,600 deaths by suicide among this group.


    As U.S Surgeon General Murthy put it, “This is the moment to demand change, with our voices and with our actions.”

    Youth ages 16-26 are often caught between services tailored specifically to either younger children or adults, with neither serving them well. This group has unique needs as they navigate the transition to adulthood, and they require distinctive treatment models. For this reason, the Surgeon General separates children from young adults in his report. Serious mental health conditions are most likely to begin in this age range, yet young adults are least likely to seek help.

    In addition, the onset of conditions like schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder often begins in young adulthood, requiring early intervention to prevent a lifetime of disability. Recognizing the signs of psychosis and connecting young people to the right services as early as possible can make a lifelong difference. Too often, families are sent through years of revolving doors before finding help. According to a Duration of Untreated Psychosis study, the average time from onset of psychosis to receiving treatment for a young person is 74 weeks.

    Research shows the earlier we intervene, the better chance young people have of getting back on track. A few mental health nonprofits provide that critical early intervention for young adults. Thresholds’ Youth & Young Adult Services has pioneered life-changing, team-based care to address and prevent long-term mental health needs in young adults. However, further investment is needed to support these programs.

    How Lawmakers Can Help

    The Surgeon General’s report speaks to the effectiveness of a multi-disciplinary team to support the complex needs of young people and their families. This approach is used in dozens of other states to engage young adults in life-altering services. Isn’t it time for Illinois to step up?

    In 2018, the Illinois General Assembly passed the Early Mental Health & Addictions Treatment Act. The act requires the state’s Medicaid program to develop a treatment model specifically aimed at the needs of older teens and young adults at the start of serious mental health conditions. It also recognizes the need for young adult-tailored services. However, implementation of this act has yet to begin.

    Illinois lawmakers also need to address a workforce shortage in the mental health sector. The few programs that exist struggle to retain staff. People are often placed on long wait lists, leading to hospital visits that have inadequate capacity for the increased demand. Providers need increased Medicaid rates and payments to compensate staff, attract new talent, and expand services to meet demand. Majority Leader Greg Harris is championing legislation (HB4238) to inject $130 million to address the staffing crisis.

    We urge Illinois policymakers to meet the Surgeon General’s call to action. We know that with the right investment, we can address the mental health crisis in a generationally impactful way.

    Marc Fagan is vice president of Clinical Operations and Youth Services at Thresholds and is a licensed clinical psychologist.

    Check IOMC's website for its upcoming virtual session on Mental Health and Suicide Crisis which will be held in February 2022. 


  • 22 Dec 2021 12:59 PM | Anonymous

    With NIH support, scientists across the United States and around the world conduct wide-ranging research to discover ways to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability. Groundbreaking NIH-funded research often receives top scientific honors. In 2021, these honors included Nobel Prizes to five NIH-supported scientists. Here’s just a small sample of the NIH-supported research accomplishments in 2021.

    COVID-19 spread and vaccines

    Drug Delays Type 1 Diabetes Onset 

    Gene Therapy effective in Human Trials 

    Low Fat Diet compared to Low Carb Diet 

    Supplement Targets Gut Microbes to Boost Growth in Malnourished Children 

    Test May Help Reduce Racial Disparities in Kidney Disease 

    and more 

    Download the PDF here> 

    Visit this page> 


  • 21 Dec 2021 9:48 AM | Anonymous

    Despite important advances in the understanding and treatment of oral diseases and conditions, many people in the U.S. still have chronic oral health problems and lack of access to care, according to a report by the National Institutes of Health. Oral Health in America: Advances and Challenges, is a follow-up to the seminal 2000 Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General. The new report, which is intended to provide a road map on how to improve the nation’s oral health, draws primarily on information from public research and evidence-based practices and was compiled and reviewed by NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) and a large, diverse, multi-disciplinary team of more than 400 experts.

    The report updates the findings of the 2000 publication and highlights the national importance of oral health and its relationship to overall health. It also focuses on new scientific and technological knowledge – as well as innovations in health care delivery – that offer promising new directions for improving oral health care and creating greater equity in oral health across communities. Achieving that equity is an ongoing challenge for many who struggle to obtain dental insurance and access to affordable care.

    “This is a very significant report,” said NIH Acting Director Lawrence A. Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D. “It is the most comprehensive assessment of oral health currently available in the United States and it shows, unequivocally, that oral health plays a central role in overall health. Yet millions of Americans still do not have access to routine and preventative oral care.”

    Full article here> 

    Download PDF of report here> 


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software