The Latest News

Generation Rx Program Available for Teen Groups

The FHN Family Counseling Center has received funding through the Illinois Department of Human Services to implement Generation Rx, a national educational initiative to promote safe medication practices in an effort to prevent the misuse of prescription drugs. The local team is scheduling free educational programs through the end of June.

The Generation Rx program is offered through a partnership between the Cardinal Health Foundation and the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy. The curriculum includes engaging, hands-on activities that focus on teaching teens safe medication practices, as well as techniques for turning down the invitation to misuse.

Studies show that the average age a young adult begins to mishandle prescription drugs - through overuse, sharing prescriptions or using prescription drugs to "manage" life - is in his or her early 20s, so this program aims to reach teens with good information and prevent misuse.

The FHN Family Counseling Center is offering this program free of charge to groups in Stephenson and JoDaviess counties, including the Boys and Girls Club of Freeport and Stephenson County, church youth groups and more. For more information or to schedule a presentation for a group, contact FHN Family Counseling Center Prevention and Education Supervisor Beth Johnson at 815-599-7310 or the FHN Family Counseling Center at 815-599-7300.


UW-Oshkosh Partner to Offer Accelerated Online BSN Program

FHN is partnering with University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh to offer its Accelerated Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program to area Illinois residents. This innovative option allows individuals who have already completed a bachelor's degree in another field and have met rigorous admission criteria to earn a BSN in 12 months.

Theory courses are offered online while clinical rotations are completed at FHN, mentored one-on-one by nurse preceptors and secured by clinical coordinators.

Courses in the accelerated program are completed at a rate of one credit hour per week with few days off throughout the year. The program's National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) first-attempt pass rates consistently exceed the national average, and graduates of the program are well-prepared to assume the role of a professional nurse.

For general information about the UW Oshkosh Accelerated Online BSN program, visit or contact an FHN representative at the Center of Innovative Learning (COIL) at or 815-599-6707 or 815-599-6890.


Drug Take-Back Day Set for April 27

FHN Family Counseling Center, the Freeport Police Department, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration are partnering to give the public a chance to 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, April 27 to Cub Foods at 1512 S. West Avenue in Freeport. (The site cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last fall Americans turned in nearly 460 tons (more than 900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 16 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in almost 11 million pounds - nearly 5,500 tons – of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else's medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines - flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash - both pose potential safety and health hazards.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 27 Take Back Day event, go to


Spring Into Summer with FHN and the YMCA April 27

This year's Spring Into Summer/Healthy Kids Day® event is bigger than ever – we're proud to welcome the Freeport Public Library, Stephenson County Health Department and the All Our Kids Network Baby Expo to the fun!

Join us from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 27 at the YMCA of Northwest Illinois, 2998 W. Pearl City Road in Freeport for a whole bunch of fun activities and good ideas to kick off a healthy spring and summer.

Activities will include a fun obstacle course, a spy game, the YMCA Imagination Station, learning about germ killing and much more. People of all ages can have their blood pressure checked, get some good nutrition tips, find out about the Freeport Public Library's summer reading program and get some gardening tips from the U of I Extension Master Gardeners. We'll have a Safe Kids Car Seat Check and good information to help parents keep their kids healthy and busy this summer!

All activities are free and the event will be held rain or shine indoors at the YMCA.


Free Hearing Screenings, Demonstration at FHN Audiology Event

The public is invited to a special hearing screening and demonstration event at the FHN Audiology Department April 22 – 26, at FHN Specialty Care – 1036 W. Stephenson Street. The event is by appointment only, and is free to attend.

FHN Audiologist Anneliese Hartman, AuD and her staff will conduct free hearing screenings and consultations and will present a demonstration of the ReSound LiNX Quattro, the world's most advanced rechargeable hearing aid solution, for guests at this limited-time event.

Appointments are available throughout each day Monday, April 22 through Friday, April 26. For more information or to make an appointment, call 815-362-7588.

The LiNX Quattro offers exceptional sound quality and anytime access to support and personalization in a convenient, long-lasting rechargeable package. The Quattro battery is a lithium ion battery and is guaranteed for the life of the hearing aid.

FHN Audiology is proud to offer a full line of state-of-the-art hearing technology in a range of affordable, mid-priced instruments.

For those who choose battery-powered devices, FHN Audiology offers a Hearing Aid Battery Club: When you purchase 10 hearing aid battery packages through the FHN Audiology department, the 11th package is free! It is not necessary to be an FHN Audiology patient to participate.


FHN FastCare to Close

With the planned closure of Shopko in Freeport, FHN is announcing that FHN FastCare®, located at Shopko, will be closing permanently at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30. Until then, business hours at FastCare will continue as always:

Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

All FHN FastCare staff have been offered positions elsewhere within FHN.

Community members who have no primary healthcare provider can be scheduled with one before they hang up the phone by calling 1-877-6000-FHN (1-877-600-0346), ext. 965; the lines are staffed Monday-Thursday 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturday 8 a.m. – noon.

Another option for immediate care is FHN/Physicians Immediate Care Urgent Care at 1009 Fairway Drive in Freeport (across the parking lot from FHN Family Healthcare Center - Burchard Hills). This walk-in facility can be reached at 815-986-4200 and service hours are:

Monday – Friday 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

"We are sorry to see Shopko go", said James Kolka, DO, FHN's Chief Physician Executive. "We have been honored to be able to provide excellent walk-in healthcare for our communities at FastCare since 2009."


BLS For Healthcare Professionals Available April 20

Healthcare professionals interested in becoming BLS (Basic Life Support) certified are invited to attend a course at FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport April 20.

The course will cover high-quality CPR individually and as part of a team and will enable participants to recognize and deal with several life-threatening emergencies. It will be held from 8 a.m. – noon Saturday, April 20 at FHN Memorial Hospital, 1045 W. Stephenson Street in Freeport.

The class is open to all healthcare professionals; employment at FHN is not a requirement. The $40 registration fee includes the BLS Provider Manual and reference card and a BLS certification card which is valid for 2 years.

This course is for healthcare professionals only. A Heartsaver First Aid course for the public is scheduled for May 18. For more information or to register, visit


Free Community Health Forums Begin April 9

The Stephenson County Health Department and FHN are collaborating again this year to present a series of free Community Health Forums.

The series will begin Tuesday, April 9 at the Freeport Public Library, 100 E. Douglas Street in Freeport.

The program, What's Safe to Eat These Days? will begin at 5 p.m. It is free to attend; refreshments will be served and no registration is necessary. Dr. Jack Herrmann will talk about organic vs. conventionally produced foods, GMOs, raw food diets and more. The audience is encouraged to take part in the discussion and there will be time for questions.

The series will continue through November with the following programs:

    May 8: Stress and Your Health
    June 11: Get Moving I: Exercise and Cancer
    July 9: Get Moving II: Exercise and Your Brain
    August 13: Get Moving III: Everyday Exercise
    Sept. 10: Chemicals' Effects on Your Health
    Oct. 8: Addicted to Our Devices: Is Addiction Affecting You?
    Nov. 12: The Pot Puzzle: Medical & Recreational Cannabis


Casino Royale FHN Gala Tickets Available Now

FHN is offering a special pre-sale on tickets for this year's Festival of Trees Gala – Casino Royale. It's the first "clue" in FHN's fun spy thriller leadup to this year's Gala.

The event, set for the evening of Friday, Nov. 22 at Freeport's Grand River Hall, will feature a huge hors d'oeuvres buffet, music, dancing, and a holiday silent auction as well as James Bond-quality casino games from roulette to blackjack.

Through April 15, tickets are $65/single or $120/pair. (After that date, the price goes up to $75/single and $130/pair.) Reserve your spot online at or come in to M45 Marketing Services, 524 W. Stephenson Street in Freeport.

The evening's proceeds will help provide funding for FHN Family Counseling Center's new behavioral health stabilization project. The wide-ranging project aims to continue and expand available therapies and programs to help people across the region through life's challenges.

Watch for other spy-worthy clues, ideas, and activities leading up to Casino Royale to keep the game afoot between now and November!


FHN Offers Online Quiz, Free Screenings for Venous Disease

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 surgeon Rafael Castro, MD, FACS, WCC. "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."

FHN has an online tool designed to help identify the signs of venous issues. To take the quiz and learn more about vein health, visit

The FHN Vein Center offers free screenings for leg vein issues each month at FHN Memorial Hospital. The next screening date is Monday, March 4; appointments are available 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.

For more information on venous disease and the FHN Vein Center, visit Vein Center section or call 815-599-VEIN (8346).