The Latest News


FHN's Gridley Answers COVID-19 Safety, Preparation Questions

July 31, 2020 – July 30, 2020 - FHN President and CEO Mark Gridley, MBA, FACHE talks about the organization's preparations for a possible surge of COVID-19 patients and the work going on to prevent the spread of the virus in the latest FHN COVID-19 video update.

"We've been fortunate to have a dip in COVID-19 activity, which has given us the chance to build up our supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and focus on stopping the spread of the virus," Gridley said.

The update includes footage of some of the enhanced and extensive cleaning processes being undertaken at FHN, and Gridley notes that FHN has enough PPE to handle a large influx of patients for more than a month.

Gridley also mentions the numerous sports physical clinics being held across the region. Though the IHSA has ruled out fall football, the $20 physicals offered at these clinic events are good for the entire 2020-21 school year. For more information on upcoming sports physical clinics, visit www.fhn.org/sports-physicals-area.asp.

The video, along with all of the previous weeks' videos, is available on FHN's COVID-19 information site, www.fhn.org/coronavirus. Forthcoming update videos will be shared once every two weeks.

Mammogram Appointments Available to Fit Your Schedule

July 14, 2020 – FHN has announced enhanced availability of an important test: Women in need of a screening mammogram can get a no-wait appointment with just one call.

"Our scheduling experts have made it easier than ever to get this important screening done at our patients' convenience," said FHN Director of Imaging Services Katie Alvarado. "They'll get your mammogram scheduled on your timetable, and eliminate any need for you to wait."

Mammogram appointments are available every weekday and some evening hours, and the staff of the Women's Diagnostic Center at FHN Memorial Hospital follows rigorous cleaning and safety protocols to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep patients safe.

Call 815-599-6860 during business hours to schedule a mammogram today.

FHN, FHS Offering Sports Physical Clinics

July 8, 2020 – FHN and Freeport High School have collaborated to create a safe plan for sports physicals for the 2020-21 season. The physicals will be done on the high school campus to ensure social distancing within the gymnasium while providing a safe environment for participants due to COVID-19 concerns.

Please attend during the designated time for your student's intended sport (below) to ensure attendance capacity is held to the appropriate safety standard. Only the athlete and a parent/guardian are permitted in the building; no siblings or individuals not receiving a physical will be allowed entry. All persons entering the school must wear a mask at all times. Participants should enter through the south main gym doors on Empire; exit will be through the west parking lot by the grass field. Please park in the west parking area; students will be entering the Empire Street side of the school and exiting in the west lot.

Physicals cost $20 upon registration via cash or check only (ATM on site if needed); as in previous years, FHN donates this fee back to the school. The IHSA exam form and FHN consent form can be downloaded at www.fhn.org/sportsphysicals. All forms must be filled out and signed prior to arriving for the physical.

Tuesday July 28
4 - 4:30 p.m. - Phantoms Youth Football
4:30 - 5 p.m. - Tennis and Golf
5 - 5:30 p.m. - Football
5:30 - 6 p.m. - Football
6 - 6:30 p.m. - Dance, Cheer, and Swimming
6:30 - 7 p.m. - Volleyball and Cross Country

Tuesday August 11
4 - 4:30 p.m. - Basketball and Wrestling
4:30 - 5 p.m. - Soccer
5 - 5:30 p.m. - Baseball
5:30 - 6 p.m. - Bowling and Softball
6 - 6:30 p.m. - Track
6:30 - 7 p.m. - NJROTC and any sport

Students will remain in one room for the entire exam, and exam areas will be cleaned after each student. Each exam should take 15 - 20 minutes. Physical forms for all students will be turned over to the school at the end of each event. Athletes may take a cell phone photo of the completed form for their records.

Information regarding sports physicals for other area schools will be coming soon.

FHN, SCHD Offering Free COVID-19 Community Testing July 14, 28

July 8, 2020 – The Stephenson County Health Department and FHN have teamed up to offer additional testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus for individuals age 18 and over, including those without symptoms.

This testing will be available twice, and may be rescheduled in case of bad weather:

5 - 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 14 at Aquin High School, 1419 S. Galena, Freeport
5 - 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 28 at Taylor Park School, 806 E. Stephenson, Freeport

No appointment is required for this testing. Everyone needs to wear a mask and must bring valid photo ID. Those driving to the testing must remain in their car for the testing. Results, which will be communicated by the Stephenson County Health Department to those who are tested, will take at least ten days.

Please note this test will only tell you if you have the coronavirus as of this date, not if you have had it previously.

Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions.

FHN Leaders Talk About Ways to See Your Healthcare Provider

July 1, 2020 – FHN President and CEO Mark Gridley, MBA, FACHE and Director of Patient Access Sarah Graybill talk about the many different ways patients can make an appointment with their healthcare provider in this week's COVID-19 video update.

"While it is safe for patients to make a regular appointment to come in and see their provider, some of our patients may still be uncomfortable going out. They can reach out with a phone call, a message through our patient portal MyFHN, or choose a virtual telehealth visit," Graybill said. "We have people available to help patients arrange and get the care they need, and we often can schedule next-day or even same-day appointments."

The video, along with all of the previous weeks' videos, is available on FHN's COVID-19 information site, www.fhn.org/coronavirus. Forthcoming update videos will be shared once every two weeks.

FHN Offering Outpatient Lab Services at Hospital Starting July 6

June 24, 2020 – FHN's Outpatient Lab Services, which were relocated to FHN's Freeport Family Healthcare Centers in April to ensure patient and staff safety during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, will again be available at FHN Memorial Hospital effective Monday, July 6.

"For our Lab patients as well as all others, we have implemented many precautions at the hospital and throughout our office locations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect our patients and staff," said FHN Chief Quality Officer and Family Medicine physician Rebecca Pedersen, MD, CPE, FAAFP. "For example, hospital patients who may be affected by COVID-19 are isolated from other patients, and the caregivers helping them do not 'cross over' and treat non-COVID patients."

The temporary hospital outpatient lab locations at FHN's two Freeport Family Healthcare Centers (Burchard Hills, at 1010 W. Fairway Drive, and Highland View Drive, at 3001 Highland View Drive) will be available until the end of business on Thursday, July 2.

To learn more about how FHN is ensuring the safety of its patients, staff, and communities, please view our safety video at www.fhn.org/wereopen.

FHN, Jo Daviess Juvenile Justice Council Wrap Up Prevention Grant

June 23, 2020 – In 2014 FHN, in partnership with the Jo Daviess County Juvenile Justice Council (JJC), was awarded a Strategic Prevention Framework Partnership for Success (SPF-PFS) grant by the Illinois Department of Human Services to decrease 30-day alcohol use by 8th - 12th graders in Jo Daviess County. The results of the 2014 Illinois Youth Survey revealed that the Jo Daviess County youth 30-day use of alcohol rate exceeded the state average by 8 percent, one of the highest use rates in the state.

The five-year grant, which was extended an extra year, supported a comprehensive community assessment which identified four contributing factors to the high youth alcohol use rate. Youth reported a low perceived risk of using alcohol; permissive community and family norms that enable the use of alcohol by youth; and parents providing alcohol to youth in multiple settings.

Following the assessment, FHN and JJC developed a strategic plan which identified two evidence-based strategies, a youth prevention education program, and a parent communication campaign.

The parent communication campaign launched in the fall of 2017. Over the past three years, messaging has been delivered via multiple media sources including direct mail, newspaper ads, posters, billboards, social media, and even a video contest. (The winning video can be seen at http://tinyurl.com/FHNIYS.)

The youth prevention education program, All Stars Building Bright Futures, was started in the spring of 2018 at four of the county middle schools. Thanks to the support of the schools' administration, by the end of 2019, all 7th and 8th grade students at all six middle schools completed an All Stars youth prevention education program.

The goals and outcomes of the parent communication campaign and the youth prevention education program will be measured by the biennial Illinois Youth Survey (IYC). The results from the 2018 IYS showed an overall 7 percent decrease in 30-day alcohol use by 8th - 12th graders compared to 2014. The county results from the 2020 survey will be available late summer, and will be shared online at www.fhn.org/IYS.

The funding from the SPF-PFS grant will end on June 30. The strategies will be sustained in Jo Daviess County through an extension of FHN's Substance Use Prevention Services grant from the Illinois Department of Human Services. A copy of the June 2020 Jo Daviess County Underage Drinking Parent Communications Executive Profile Report is available at www.fhn.org/IYS.

FHN Offering Healthcare Scholarships

June 11, 2020 – 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.

Multiple 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
Diversity Healthcare Career Scholarship Program for up to three $1,000 scholarships
Volunteer Resource Scholarship Program for one $500 scholarship to an active member of the FHN Student Volunteer Program with a minimum of 40 volunteer hours

The deadline for all applicants is Friday, Sept. 4. For more information and application forms for each scholarship, visit www.fhn.org/scholarships

FHN Leaders: We're Open, We're Safe and Ready to Care for You

May 13, 2020 – FHN has created and made available the latest weekly video update from FHN President and CEO Mark Gridley, MBA, FACHE on the organization's COVID-19 preparations. Videos have been released every week since mid-March to update the community on how FHN has prepared for the pandemic - and continues to do so - while welcoming patients back for non-COVID-19 treatments and procedures.

Gridley and FHN Chief Physician Executive James Kolka, DO, discuss the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) ruling allowing Illinois healthcare organizations to "open up" for elective procedures and routine appointments.

Dr. Kolka, an emergency medicine physician, points out that Emergency Department visits are down, but the patients coming in have been sicker. "We've had more cardiac patients coming in via ambulance, in more serious condition, than the previous three months," Kolka said. "We want to stress that our hospital and clinics are open, and it is safe to come in for routine visits to monitor and manage chronic conditions like diabetes, COPD, and heart disease."

The video, along with all of the previous weeks' videos, is available on FHN's COVID-19 information site, www.fhn.org/coronavirus.