The Latest News


Drug Take-Back Event Set For Oct. 24 at Freeport Police Department

October 13, 2020 – FHN Family Counseling Center, the Freeport Police Department, and Stateline Area Crime Stoppers are partnering with the State of Illinois and local and national law enforcement agencies to give the public a chance to help prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Bring pills for disposal between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24 to the Freeport Police Department, 320 W. Exchange Street in Freeport. This will be a drive-through collection event and proper COVID-19 precautions will be taken. (The site cannot accept liquids or needles/sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Unused prescription medications thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold. Dumping or flushing unused medications down the drain or toilet can contaminate the groundwater supply. The best way to dispose of old medications is to bring them to a take-back event.

Information on drug use and abuse and other health-related topics will be available at the event.

FHN Sports Physicals Return $860 to Forrestville Valley High School

October 13, 2020 – FHN's series of sports physical clinics, held throughout the spring and summer, helped save time and hassle for many area parents, and raised more than $16,000 for area schools. All proceeds from the $20 physicals are donated back to the schools by FHN.

A total of 21 sports physical clinics were held at FHN offices across northwest Illinois this summer, providing 825 physicals and raising $16,500 to donate back to 14 area schools.

A total of 43 students got their sports physicals at a clinic held at Forrestville Valley High School in Forreston, raising $860 for the school.

For information about sports medicine and other services available at FHN, visit www.fhn.org.

FHN Posts Updated Visitor Restrictions for COVID-19

October 13, 2020 – FREEPORT, Ill., October 13, 2020 -- Due to recent surging of COVID-19 cases in Northwest Illinois, FHN has issued stricter visitor policies for all FHN locations, including FHN Memorial Hospital, to help slow the spread of this highly contagious disease.

Effective Wednesday, October 14, no visitors will be allowed in the hospital for patients hospitalized for general treatment/procedures except for emergencies or end-of-life situations. In the Emergency Room and Birthing Center, patients may have one visitor per day, and Pediatrics, patients may have two parents or guardians per day. Throughout the hospital, no visitors under age 18 are permitted.

FHN office practices, including Family Healthcare Centers and Specialty Care clinics, request that patients attend their appointments alone if possible; if needed, one significant other will be allowed. For patients under the age of 18, two parents or guardians will be allowed. Throughout FHN, including office practices, all patients and any accompanying individuals must wear masks.

"These heightened restrictions reflect the surge in cases of COVID-19 throughout FHN's service area and are being implemented for the health and safety of FHN's patients, staff, and providers as well as the public at large," said Kathryn J. Martinez, MSN, RN, FACHE, FHN's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer/Chief Nursing Officer. "As we move into colder weather where we'll all be spending more time indoors, we know that people are experiencing pandemic fatigue in following the safety procedures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Illinois Department of Public Health. However, we know that we are going to be impacted by COVID-19 for quite some time to come. Please continue to protect yourself and others by washing your hands frequently, maintaining social distance, and wearing a mask, and contact your provider if you think you may be ill."

For more details on visitor restrictions and information about the pandemic in general, visit the COVID-19 section of FHN's website, where a free online screening tool for COVID-19 can also be found.

FHN Experts Talk About Vaccine Development

October 12, 2020 – FHN President and CEO Mark Gridley, MBA, FACHE and Chief Infectious Disease Physician and Medical Staff President Robert Geller, MD, MS, FACP, FIDSA talk about vaccine development and efficacy in the latest FHN COVID-19 update video.

“If you can't be 100 percent sure that an illness you may get won't be serious,” Dr. Geller said, “It's better to get a vaccine that might make you feel tired for a few days.” Both Geller and Gridley are certain that a COVID-19 vaccine will be available next year.

In the meantime, they urge everyone to protect themselves and their loved ones from influenza by getting a flu shot. Taking care of one's general health and avoiding illnesses like colds and flu can help to keep the immune system strong and better prepared to fight off viruses like COVID-19.

Following the now-familiar precautions against the spread of COVID-19 are still important, and will remain so until a vaccine is widely available, Gridley said. “Keep washing your hands, wearing masks and staying away from large gatherings, and keeping high-touch surfaces wiped down to help keep your family safe.

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

FHN Sports Physicals Return $2,960 to Pretzel Fans Club

October 2, 2020 – FHN's series of sports physical clinics, held throughout the summer, helped save time and hassle for many area parents, and raised nearly $8,000 for area schools. All proceeds from the $20 physicals are donated back to the schools by FHN.

Nine COVID-19 precaution-compliant sports physical clinics were held at schools across northwest Illinois this summer, providing 399 physicals and raising $7,980 to donate back to eight area schools.

A total of 148 students got their sports physicals at two clinics held at Freeport High School, raising $2,960 for the Pretzel Fans Club.

FHN Sports Physicals Return $740 to Stockton High School

October 1, 2020 – FHN's series of sports physical clinics, held throughout the spring and summer, helped save time and hassle for many area parents, and raised more than $16,000 for area schools. All proceeds from the $20 physicals are donated back to the schools by FHN.

A total of 21 sports physical clinics were held at FHN offices across northwest Illinois this summer, providing 825 physicals and raising $16,500 to donate back to 14 area schools.

A total of 37 students got their sports physicals at a clinic held at Stockton High School, raising $740 for the school.

FHN Sports Physicals Return $880 to Eastland High School

October 1, 2020 – FHN's series of sports physical clinics, held throughout the spring and summer, helped save time and hassle for many area parents, and raised more than $16,000 for area schools. All proceeds from the $20 physicals are donated back to the schools by FHN. A total of 21 sports physical clinics were held at FHN offices across northwest Illinois this summer, providing 825 physicals and raising $16,500 to donate back to 14 area schools. A total of 44 students got their sports physicals at a clinic held at Eastland High School in Lanark, raising $880 for the school.

FHN Sports Physicals Return $880 to Orangeville High School

October 1, 2020 – FHN's series of sports physical clinics, held throughout the spring and summer, helped save time and hassle for many area parents, and raised more than $16,000 for area schools. All proceeds from the $20 physicals are donated back to the schools by FHN.

A total of 21 sports physical clinics were held at FHN offices across northwest Illinois this summer, providing 825 physicals and raising $16,500 to donate back to 14 area schools.

A total of 44 students got their sports physicals at a clinic held at Orangeville High School, raising $880 for the school.

Board-Certified Surgeon Javeria Qureshi MD Joins FHN

October 1, 2020 – FHN is pleased to welcome board-certified general surgeon Javeria Qureshi MD, MPH, FACS to its surgical team.

Dr. Qureshi earned her medical degree from Rush Medical College at Rush University in Chicago. She completed her residency in general surgery at the University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill, NC.

She served on a trauma research fellowship at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi while pursuing a Masters in Public Health from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health in Chapel Hill, NC. She has been caring for patients as a general and trauma surgeon since 2015.

Dr. Qureshi is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Midwestern Surgical Association, and the Chicago Surgical Society.

To make an appointment with Dr. Qureshi, call the FHN Surgery department at FHN Specialty Care - Stephenson Street at 815-599-7770. For more information on Dr. Qureshi or surgical services available at FHN, visit www.fhn.org.

FHN Opens Acute Respiratory Clinic in Anticipation of Flu Season and COVID-19 Pandemic Cold-Weather Surge

September 30, 2020 – FHN has opened an Acute Respiratory Clinic (ARC) designed to accelerate diagnosis and treatment of respiratory illnesses such as the flu and COVID-19 during the cold weather seasons ahead, where the confluence of both of these diseases at the same time will likely intensify the need for safe, rapid patient services. One of the first of its type in the area, the ARC at FHN is set up exclusively for patients with acute respiratory symptoms such as those resulting from influenza, COVID-19, or respiratory syncytial virus (RSV); patients with chronic, ongoing respiratory conditions should consult their traditional providers.

“The ARC has been customized to ensure that symptomatic patients are kept separate from other FHN patients,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer/Chief Nursing Officer Kathryn J. Martinez, MSN, RN, FACHE. “The isolated location and design of the clinic and its processes will limit the exposure of patients, the public, and our staff to patients with symptomatic respiratory droplets. During an appointment at the ARC, the provider will provide a quick physical assessment, which can then be followed up with a flu test or a COVID-19 test as needed. Without leaving the clinic, the provider can order medications, do blood work if needed for these conditions, and then direct follow-up care for the patient's FHN primary care provider.”

Martinez added that all ARC patients will receive a follow-up phone call from a nurse at the ARC within 24-48 hours of their visit to relay any test results and discuss further instructions.

The ARC, which is located on the east side of the lower level of FHN Specialty Care - Harlem Avenue at 25 N. Harlem Avenue in Freeport (follow directional signage on Harlem), will be open for appointments 7 days a week (Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). The clinic has three separate treatment rooms and a limited-space waiting room area. If there are more patients at a given time than the waiting room can safely accommodate with required social distancing, patients will be asked to wait in their vehicles and will be called when it is safe for them to enter the clinic. All furniture and equipment have been specially selected for quick, efficient, frequent cleaning and all staff there will wear full-isolation personal protective equipment (PPE) such as wipe-able gowns, high-level masks, and gloves. All patients must wear a mask and adhere to social distancing requirements while at the ARC.

If ARC patients need a COVID-19 test, they will receive it outdoors at a covered, protected area to minimize aerosolized infection transference (research has shown that infection is less likely to occur outdoors where air circulation is much better).

ARC patients must have an FHN primary care provider and can make appointments to be seen at the ARC through that provider or by contacting FHN Ambulatory Patient Services or FHN Central Scheduling at (815) 599-7530. In cases of severe respiratory distress or other life-threatening symptoms, individuals should call 911 or go to the emergency room at FHN Memorial Hospital.

FHN Sports Physicals Return $400 to Chadwick-Milledgeville High School

September 30, 2020 – FHN's series of sports physical clinics, held throughout the spring and summer, helped save time and hassle for many area parents, and raised more than $16,000 for area schools. All proceeds from the $20 physicals are donated back to the schools by FHN.

A total of 21 sports physical clinics were held at FHN offices across northwest Illinois this summer, providing 825 physicals and raising $16,500 to donate back to 14 area schools.

A total of 20 students got their sports physicals at a clinic held at Chadwick-Milledgeville High School in Milledgeville, raising $400 for the school.

FHN Sports Physicals Return $740 to Pecatonica High School

September 29, 2020 – FHN's series of sports physical clinics, held throughout the spring and summer, helped save time and hassle for many area parents, and raised more than $16,000 for area schools. All proceeds from the $20 physicals are donated back to the schools by FHN.

A total of 21 sports physical clinics were held at FHN offices across northwest Illinois this summer, providing 825 physicals and raising $16,500 to donate back to 14 area schools.

A total of 38 students got their sports physicals at a clinic held at Pecatonica High School, raising $760 for the school.

FHN Sports Physicals Return $500 to West Carroll High School

September 29, 2020 – FHN's series of sports physical clinics, held throughout the spring and summer, helped save time and hassle for many area parents, and raised more than $16,000 for area schools. All proceeds from the $20 physicals are donated back to the schools by FHN.

A total of 21 sports physical clinics were held at FHN offices across northwest Illinois this summer, providing 825 physicals and raising $16,500 to donate back to 14 area schools.

A total of 25 students got their sports physicals at a clinic held at West Carroll High School in Savanna, raising $500 for the school.

FHN Leaders Share Tips to Strengthen the Immune System

September 21, 2020 – FHN President and CEO Mark Gridley, MBA, FACHE and Chief Hospitalist and FHN Community Healthcare Center Medical Director Clarence Parks, MD talk about the importance of keeping one's immune system healthy and upcoming free community testing in the latest FHN COVID-19 update video.

“While we can't control some factors about our immune systems like age and genetics,” Dr. Parks said, “We can work on maintaining a healthy diet, getting physical activity and enough sleep to strengthen our immune systems.” Working on one or all of these factors can help the body fight off illnesses like cold, flu, and even COVID-19.

Gridley talks about herd immunity and the increased risk it poses for people who are vulnerable to the serious effects of COVID-19 up to and including death.

“It's important to continue all of our precautions against the spread of COVID-19 to help protect those who are at greater risk,” Gridley said. “Keep washing your hands, wearing masks and staying away from large gatherings, and don't dismiss the importance of getting your annual flu shot.

The Stephenson County Health Department, Stephenson County Emergency Management Agency, Illinois Department of Public Health, and Highland Community College will offer free community COVID-19 testing Sept. 21-23 at HCC in Freeport. Details on these, as well as FHN's COVID-19 precaution compliant flu shot clinics, are available at www.fhn.org.

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

FHN to Build New Family Healthcare Center in Jo Daviess County

September 17, 2020 – FHN is pleased to announce the plan for a new Family Healthcare Center to be built in Stockton, Illinois. The new facility, which will be located just off of Illinois Route 20 and South Park Road, north of Stockton High School, will replace the current FHN Family Healthcare Center at 725 North Pearl Street. Construction is expected to begin this fall with opening anticipated in early to midyear 2021.

"This investment is a significant expression of our commitment to the people of Jo Daviess County," said FHN President and CEO Mark Gridley. "It will be much larger than our current office in Stockton, and incorporate more state-of-the-art technology, including telehealth and digital x-ray capability." The office will be large enough to accommodate more specialty service appointments and will provide more convenient access for all patients and visitors. In-person behavioral health services will also be a key offering on-site.

"This new clinic will be a great addition to the Village of Stockton," said Village President Rodney Brandt. "We're happy that FHN has had a presence here for many years and very pleased that this new facility will enhance healthcare services available in Stockton as well as the surrounding area."

Michael McFadden, MD, who currently serves patients in FHN's existing Stockton office, said, "I look forward to being able to offer area residents additional services close to home. The location and hours will also provide added convenience for patients' busy schedules."

Residents of northwest Illinois can stay current on the new project with updates on construction which will be posted frequently on FHN's website and Facebook page.