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  • 18 Mar 2022 9:00 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    AHA releases infographic with keys to prioritizing the mental health of mothers and families. 

    Download the infographic here. 


  • 17 Mar 2022 9:10 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    As part of the Maternal and Infant Health Initiative, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is pleased to announce the Improving Maternal Health by Reducing Low-Risk Cesarean Delivery (LRCD) Learning Collaborative, which will use two strategies to offer technical assistance to states and their partners: (1) a webinar series and (2) an affinity group.

    For more details and to register for the webinars, visit this page. 

    Cesarean deliveries place birthing individuals and infants at higher risk for adverse outcomes. Reducing the rate of cesarean births for individuals at low risk from a vaginal birth provides an opportunity to improve both maternal and infant health. Nationally, the Medicaid LRCD rate was 25.9 percent in 2020, with marked disparities by race (30.6 percent among Black birthing persons and 24.7 percent among White birthing persons). As the largest single payer of pregnancy-related services, state Medicaid and CHIP agencies have an important role to play in reducing the number of LRCD births, reducing disparities, and improving health equity.

    The learning collaborative will begin with a webinar series open to all state Medicaid and CHIP agencies and stakeholders demonstrating the potential impact of LRCD on maternal and infant health, describing disparities in the populations who have LRCDs, and outlining the approaches Medicaid and CHIP agencies may put in place to reduce the number of LRCD births. 

    See full details here.


  • 16 Mar 2022 10:34 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

        WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) secured $211 million through Congressionally-directed spending for Illinois projects in the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Omnibus appropriations bill. The bill passed the Senate and now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

    U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) secured $211 million through Congressionally-directed spending for Illinois projects in the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Omnibus appropriations bill. The bill passed the Senate and now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law. 

    “I’m pleased I was able to secure funding for important projects that will help clean up our water, improve our state’s infrastructure, expand healthcare access, create jobs and tackle environmental injustice issues facing communities across Illinois,” said Duckworth.

    A brief list of projects that are healthcare, mental health, environmental and related to IOMC's mission: 

    • Hospital Upgrades, Dixon: $334,000 to Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital to renovate three labor and delivery rooms to include new casework, lighting and equipment, and restroom facilities.
    •  Community Violence Prevention Initiative, Chicago: $640,000 for Advocate Aurora Health System and University of Chicago Medicine to conduct a targeted neighborhood assessment to understand the specific causes of violence and the local strategies that may work best to prevent and intervene in violence. 
    • Evidence-based violence reduction initiative, Chicago: $500,000 to Heartland Alliance to support READI Chicago, an evidence-based violence reduction initiative providing intensive, innovative programming to men at the highest risk of gun violence involvement. 
    •  Fox River Restoration: $250,000 for the Corps to complete the feasibility study for the environmental restoration of the polluted Fox River.
    • Senior Meals and Workforce Development Programs, Chicago: $1 million to the Chinese American Service League (CASL) to expand their Senior Meals Program.
    • Education/Employment Resources for Adolescents, Cook County: $315,000 to Cook County Health for a new Emergency Medical Technician Apprenticeship.
    •  Health Simulation Lab, Chicago: $450,000 to Chicago State University to purchase science laboratory equipment for the Health Sciences Simulation Lab.
    •  Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, New Lenox: $500,000 to Silver Cross Hospital to build the Cook County’s first and only Level 3 NICU to provide advanced care for premature newborns, full-term babies with congenital disorders, and address infant mortality rate.
    • Hospital Mobile Health Care Unit, Chicago: $600,000 to Lurie Children’s Hospital to deliver health care services and skilled professionals to medically underserved communities.
    • Center for Immersive Learning, Aurora: $775,000 to Aurora University to provide hands-on training opportunities for AU’s nearly 800 nursing students.
    •  Mental Health Center Renovation and Expansion, Quincy: $800,000 to The Knowledge Center at Chaddock to expand and improve child and adolescent mental health care.
    • Nurse Training & Workforce Development, Peoria: $850,000 to Bradley University to support state-of-the-art training and education to nursing students.
    •  Behavioral Health Institute Renovation, Chicago: $900,000 to Holy Cross (Sinai) Hospital to increase access to substance use and mental health treatment for patients.
    • Federally Qualified Health Center Expansion, Belleville: $1 million to Chestnut Health Systems to expand their Federally Qualified Health Center services to Belleville.
    • Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, Chicago: $1 million to Rush University to help establish their Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases.
    •  Outpatient Facility Rehabilitation Project, Carterville: $1 million to Southern Illinois Healthcare to renovate the outpatient rehabilitation buildings at Herrin Hospital and in Carterville, Illinois, into a single location recently acquired by SIH.
    •  Regional Center for Equity and Professional Development, Springfield$1 million to the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine to create a Regional Center for Equity and Professional Development.
    •  Young Adult Program Building Renovation, Chicago: $1 million to Thresholds to renovate and expand existing treatment space to enable it to serve more patients. 
    •  Community Health Clinic Expansion, Whiteside County: $1 million to Whiteside County to expand the county-operated Community Health Clinic.
    •  Special Olympics Programming, Chicago: $600,000 to Special Olympics Chicago to expand its offered activities.
    •  Mental Health Peer Support Program, Chicago$90,000 to expand NAMI’s Peer Support Program for individuals with lived mental health experiences providing support services for families and individuals facing mental health challenges.
    •  Rapid Response Naloxone Program, Will County: $175,000 to Will County to support an opioid overdose intervention program.
    •  Federally Qualified Health Center Expansion, Chicago: $1 million to Esperanza Health Center to support a significant expansion of Esperanza’s flagship Federally Qualified Health Center in the low-income, predominantly-Latino community of Brighton Park.
    •  Facilities and Equipment Upgrades for Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers, Illinois: $1.33 million to the Gateway Foundation Inc. for facilities and equipment upgrades at rehab centers throughout the state.
    • Telehealth Initiative, La Grange: $345,000 to Pillars Community Health, for a telehealth initiative and equipment.
    •  Healthcare Facilities and Equipment Upgrades, Carterville: $3.75 million to Shawnee Health Service and Development Corporation, for facilities and equipment.
    •  Medical School Facilities and Equipment Upgrades, Springfield: $1.05 million to SIU School of Medicine for facilities and equipment.

    Full list of funding appropriations here> 


  • 15 Mar 2022 9:11 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Register for the March 25th virtual program and gain an understanding on this critical question if homelessness is a public health and healthcare issue? 

    Over the past ten years, there has been much attention on reducing poverty and achieving functional zero in homelessness. Nevertheless, unfortunately, government leaders and others have not supported top providers or best practices to make a difference or meet goals.  Chicago is trying to address homelessness and has in many ways over the years.

    If the lack of focus and priority standing among policymakers, corporate among issues and private allocation of resources and worsening trends are the performance metric, then we deserve an "F" on both counts. A recent panelist gave this grade during a virtual program held by IOMC in February.

    As an example, Chicago reduced the number of homeless beds by 10% (from 3300 pre-pandemic to 3,000 now). During the pandemic, there has been a well-documented surge in the mental health, opioid and homeless epidemics, mainly due to the pandemic.

    A dynamic discussion is planned with our outstanding speakers. 

    Moderator: Courtney Avery, MPH, Board Director, Institute of Medicine of Chicago, Billings Society Fellow

    • Neli Vazquez-Rowland, President and Co-founder, A Safe Haven Foundation
    • Representative La Shawn K. Ford (D) - Previous General Assembly (101st) 8th District
    • Joel Segal, National Campaign Director of the Bring America Home Campaign

    More details and to register  visit this page.


  • 14 Mar 2022 6:02 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Albert Bourla, PhD, CEO of Pfizer, said a second booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine is necessary for protection against infection, according to a March 13 interview with CBS News.[ Beckers Hospital Review 3.14.2022]

     Dr. Bourla said the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine provides protection from hospitalization and death, but "it's not that good against infections" and the protection is relatively short-lived. Pfizer is preparing data for the FDA about the need for a fourth dose. 

    "Many variants are coming," Dr. Bourla told CBS. "And omicron was the first one that was able to evade in a skillful way the immune protection that we were giving. But also, in all that the duration of the protection, it doesn't last very long.” 

    The CDC recommends people receive a booster shot five months after receiving their second shot of either the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine or two months after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

    In February, the CDC published a study showing the efficacy of booster shots of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines waned after about four months, but still provided significant protection from hospitalizations during the omicron surge.

    Dr. Bourla also told CNBC that Pfizer is developing a vaccine that will protect against all COVID-19 variants, including omicron, for at least a year. He expects to review data from trials on the long-term vaccine by the end of the month. 


  • 10 Mar 2022 8:52 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Congress is set to grant a five-month extension to telehealth flexibilities, created during the pandemic, as part of the 2022 omnibus spending bill made public March 9.[Becker's Health Review 3.9.2022]

    The $1.5 trillion omnibus legislation, which would set spending levels for defense and nondefense spending for fiscal 2022, would also extend the telehealth federal public health emergency, which is set to expire in April, until Sept. 14. 

    The extension would permit the following telehealth flexibilities to continue:

    • Medicare would cover the cost of telehealth visits, including some audio-only visits, for adults 65 and older.

    • The bill will allow all Medicare-enrolled providers to bill for telehealth services.

    • Medicare will cover all telehealth visits that take place in a patients' home and in medical facilities.

    • The bill would postpone the requirement that older adults, who seek virtual mental health services, must have an in-person visit six months after receiving a telehealth visit.

    The bill also expands practitioners eligible to provide telehealth services to include occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists and audiologists. 

    The telehealth accommodations extended by the omnibus spending bill will be voted on by the House on March 9 and will be sent to the Senate on March 11. 


  • 9 Mar 2022 8:26 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Teledentistry allows patients to take a trip to the dentist from the comfort of their couch, but they're not the only ones reaping the benefits of virtual care. (Becker's Health Review]

    Sonya Zak, COO of Zak Dental in Santa Clarita, Calif., spoke with the "Becker's Dental + DSO Review Podcast" to discuss how patients are adapting to virtual care and the benefits teledentistry has for patients and dentists.

    Note: This is an edited excerpt. Listen to the full podcast episode here

    Full article here> https://www.beckersdental.com/featured-perspectives/38049-patients-are-adapting-to-teledentistry-how-does-this-affect-dentists.html


  • 8 Mar 2022 8:17 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Deadline approaching for the NIMHD Health Disparities Research Institute 2022 | Application Cycle Ends: Monday, March 14, 2022, 5:00 p.m. ET

    NIMHD will host the 2022 Health Disparities Research Institute (HDRI) virtually from August 15–19, 2022. The event will feature:

    -Lectures on minority health and health disparities research
    -Mock grant reviews
    -Seminars and small group discussions

    Opportunities to engage in sessions with NIH scientific staff.
    Please note that applications will only be accepted from extramural scientists who meet NIH's Early Stage Investigator (ESI) eligibility criteria.

    All applications must be submitted via the HDRI online application system. Visit this page> https://summerhealthdisparities.nimhd.nih.gov/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery 

    For questions or more information, email HDRI@nih.gov.


  • 7 Mar 2022 10:21 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    The Institute of Medicine of Chicago joins the Rotary International with over 180 clubs in Chicago to help Ukraine and offer relief at this most difficult time with the invasion by Russia.  

    Download a copy of this information here.

    Emergency medical supplies and goods are greatly needed now. There is no or limited access to medical supplies for people in the field.


    • Bandages
    • Gauze
    • Neosporin or other topical creams
    • Slings
    • Combat action tourniquets
    • Israeli gauze compression bandages
    • 14 gauze at least 2 inch long 
    • Angiocatheter needles
    • Quickclot gauze
    • Chlorine tablets for clean water
    • SAM splints
    • Emergency kits
    • Warm Socks - children and adults
    • Female Hygiene Menstrual kits

    Pick Up of Donations

    To arrange a convenient pickup at your location contact:

    Chris Olson                                Cjo1316@gmail.com

    Drop Off Locations (5 locations)

    Your donations will be sorted and packaged with others by the Rotary volunteers.

    Please send an email in advance of dropping off donations:

    Chris Olsen                                         Cjo1316@gmail.com

    121 South Lincolnway

    North Aurora, Illinois 60542


    Pat Merryweather-Arges                    Dg6450pat@aol.com

    234 DiLorenzo Drive

    Naperville, Illinois 60565

    Items may be dropped off at the front desk. Please call ahead if you have several large boxes of medical supplies for Ukraine being dropped off.  

    A Safe Haven                                      773.425.8300

    2750 West Roosevelt Road

    Chicago, Illinois 60608

    If you are dropping off at the transportation company, you must have all of the donations sorted with a paper detailing the contents on the outside of the box and on the inside of the box.  Do not seal as it may need to be inspected before it is shipped.

    MEEST-Karpaty- Lombard 820 N Ridge Ave J, Lombard, IL 60148

    MEEST-Karpaty-Palentine 1645 Hicks Rd Unit K, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

    Weekly shipments will be airlifted to Lviv and when possible, directly to Kyiv.

    Financial Contributions

    Please consider making a monetary donation to help Ukraine to send Emergency  Medical Supplies to Ukraine.

    Donate here: The Charitable Foundation of Rotary 6450



  • 4 Mar 2022 5:49 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Dear Leaders, Partners, and Supporters,

    As Aunt Martha’s continues our year-long celebration of “50 years of leading the way,” we are excited to announce that on Friday, April 1st, 2022, Aunt Martha’s and the Institute of Medicine of Chicago will be co-hosting a free workshop on Value-Based Care Principles and Implementation Strategies with sessions from a highly regarded Harvard University researcher and researchers from Health Management Associates (HMA) Community Partners! Please plan to join us for the workshop and cocktail reception as we come together to re-envision systems that are holistic in care, that generate better outcomes for their patients and clients, and in doing so, create systems that reduce costs.

    Our keynote speaker, Dr. Junaid Nabi, Senior Researcher in Health Care Strategy at Harvard University Business School, will join us to offer a workshop on value-based care (VBC) principles and implementation strategies with a question and answer session to follow. Dr. Nabi is a physician and health systems researcher who looks at how value-based care strategy can transform care delivery and promote equity across the value chain. This workshop will introduce principles of value-based care designed exclusively for our guests by Dr. Nabi, including invitees from health care, managed care, child welfare, community/social services, policy makers, and policy shapers. The practical steps to be discussed require no background in value-based care. To paraphrase Dr. Nabi’s approach, in order to deliver high-value care, it takes partnering across expertise and industry to create a solution that addresses such complex problems.

    Following this session, Health Management Associates (HMA) will present the findings of their yearlong evaluation of real-world application of value-based care in the child welfare setting – Aunt Martha’s Integrated Care Center (ICC). At the ICC, Aunt Martha’s has taken value-based principles and applied them within a child welfare setting.

    The HMA report details the outcomes for youth at the ICC and its return on investment for the State of Illinois, offering the first case study on value-based care within Illinois’ child welfare system. HMA will address the results of this study, including metrics to understand how youth are getting better and an analysis of the savings generated. A question and answer session will also follow their presentation with the HMA researchers and a panel of Aunt Martha’s practitioners who have implemented this work, moderated by the President of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago (IOMC), Dr. Cheryl Whitaker.

    Let’s think differently about what’s possible; how can we reengineer systems of care to ensure every single patient and client within the health care, child welfare, and other systems have the care they deserve? How can we be more cost effective? Whether you represent a hospital system, Federally Qualified Health Center, child welfare provider, or are a partner in this work, please join us to consider these questions – and to begin to answer them – the afternoon of Friday, April 1, 2022 at the Gleacher Center on the University of Chicago’s downtown campus. The schedule is as follows:


    ·        1:30-3PM – Value-Based Care Session with Dr. Junaid Nabi

    ·        3-3:15 PM – Break

    ·        3:15-4 PM – Q&A with Dr. Junaid Nabi

    ·        4-4:25 PM – HMA Report Presentation

    ·        4:25-5 PM – Q&A Panel moderated by Dr. Cheryl WhitakerM MD, MPH, FACP

                                   President of IOMC Board of Governors

    HMA Researchers

    -Dr. Charles Barron – Aunt Martha’s Chief Medical Officer

    -Dr. Wanda Parker – Aunt Martha’s Vice President of Clinical and Therapeutic Services

    -Philoniese Moore – Senior Vice President of ICC/CQC Operations,

    ·        5-6:30 PM – Cocktail Hour Reception

    While admission is free, space will be limited, so we ask that you register no later than Friday, March 18, 2022 to secure your seat. Additional details and registration can be found online here. I look forward to these discussions, and to building a bright future together for the youth who come into our care.


    Raul Garza

    President & CEO, Aunt Martha’s Health & Wellness

    Vice President, Board of Governors, Institute of Medicine of Chicago 


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