January 2021
The COVID-19 Vaccine: Myths vs. Facts
By: Dr. Robert Citronberg, Executive Medical Director of Infectious Disease and Prevention for Advocate Aurora Health

Since March, Advocate Aurora Health team members have worked tirelessly to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Life looks different in nearly every aspect, and all of us want to return to normal. Finally, our way out of this is here – a vaccine.

While mass vaccination is the only way to end the pandemic, many myths circulate about this scientific success. It’s important to know the facts about the COVID-19 vaccine, which recently began rolling out at Advocate Aurora for front line team members. We must use science in our decisions regarding the vaccine, not misinformation spread on social media.

Learn about three common myths here.
Advocate Aurora Health COVID-19 Resources
See the latest COVID-19 vaccine news, care and information in English and Spanish.
Learn about Advocate Aurora's COVID vaccine strategy, vaccine myths, why the vaccines require two doses and more in this video.
See "COVID-19 Vaccine: Top 10 Things You Need to Know" in English
The Advocate Aurora Health LiveWell app offers virtual appointments and virtual visits with physicians 24-hours a day.
The Advocate Aurora Health COVID-19 Resource Center in English and Spanish provides the most up-to-date information, tools and resources.
Anyone experiencing COVID 19 symptoms or who believes they have been exposed, should visit our Symptom Checker in English or Spanish or call our hotline at 866 443 2584 both available 24/7 to find out what to do next.
We want to hear from you!

Advocate Aurora Faith and Health Partnerships is asking you to take a few minutes to complete a set of questions that focus on the COVID-19 vaccination. The survey should take approximately two to three minutes. The information you provide will help us in planning COVID-19 vaccination clinics and education around the concerns of getting the immunization.

Take the survey by clicking here.

Thank you!
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service: Monday, Jan. 18
Honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by serving on Jan. 18.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived his life serving others. You can celebrate the Civil Rights leader’s life by volunteering on Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 18—and beyond. By doing so, you help bring to life Dr. King’s vision of neighbors working together to build a better future.

Share the bulletin insert and worship slide with your faith community.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Events

The five-day virtual event begins with an online program, Jan. 18, from 9:00-10:00 a.m. 

2021 Theme: “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

The week-long virtual celebration will commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honor local community members and organizations dedicated to serving others. Participants will engage in a series of intentional conversations on the social determinants of health: education, food insecurity, health, racism and equality.

Jim Skogsbergh, President and CEO of Advocate Aurora Health, speaks at last year's Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration.

Throughout January

Ensuring an adequate supply of blood and COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma throughout Advocate Aurora Health is part of our commitment to helping people live well. And, we are dedicated to supporting American Red Cross and Versiti by helping collect life-saving donations.

With that in mind, we are hoping you will be a Blood and COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Drive Hero by donating in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. "Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Dr. King exclaimed.

Click here to see upcoming blood drives throughout Illinois and Wisconsin in support of Advocate Aurora Health.

Jan. 18, 8:00- 9:30 a.m.

Sponsored by FaithBridge

The 2021 Virtual Martin Luther King, Jr., Interfaith Breakfast will feature Dr. Mark A. Hicks. Dr. Hicks is the Angus MacLean Professor of Religious Education at Meadville Lombard (Chicago) who also directs the activities of The Fahs Collaborative: A Laboratory for Innovation in Faith Formation.

As a scholar and practitioner of faith formation, Dr. Hicks calls upon the disciplines of philosophy and education, transformative learning, critical pedagogy and arts education as foundations for holistic, spiritually/emotionally grounded teaching and learning. His teaching and scholarship have been acclaimed by colleagues for their impact, and also lauded by participants whose learning is deepened by his ideas and practices.
Advocate Aurora Health-sponsored events
March 10, 17, 24 & 31

Are You Ready to Quit Smoking?

Join Advocate Aurora Health’s 4 Week Smoking Cessation Program, Freshstart, sponsored by the American Cancer Society.

The primary goal of Freshstart is to help participants plan a successful quit attempt by teaching effective ways to overcome nicotine dependence. Freshstart is designed to help any tobacco user, including those who may be unsure about wanting to quit, and specifically addresses ambivalence about quitting. The information, activities and discussion topics help participants
  • Tuesdays from 8:30-9:00 a.m.
  • Thursdays from 6:00-6:30 p.m.

The Prayer Support Line allows us to come together in unity to release our burdens, receive comfort and express our gratitude to God for holding us close during this pandemic.

The Prayer Support Line is a place where we can join with others in prayer for health, healing and spiritual care with the expectation that God will meet us and provide us with encouragement.
  • Wednesdays, through April 28
  • 6:00-7:00 p.m.

“What’s Next?” is a weekly resilience program that combines evidence-based scientific studies with encouragement from faith-based resources. Participants will gain tools to:

  • build resilience amid the difficulties of life
  • learn from their experiences
  • use the knowledge they gain to nourish themselves and the world around them

Attend any or all sessions. LaShondria Purnell, RN, a faith community nurse with Advocate Aurora Health, facilitates "What's Next?" and looks forward to learning alongside you.
Events from Our partners

Jan. 9, 11:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Sponsored by Catholic Mobilizing Network

In collaboration with skilled Catholic restorative justice practitioners, Catholic Mobilizing Network invites you to join ministry leaders from throughout the country to learn more about restorative justice, ways to implement restorative circles in Catholic contexts, and opportunities to promote restorative justice in your community.

This one-day workshop offers an introductory experience with circles. It is ideal for Catholic individuals who are new to restorative justice and wish to learn about circle process and its applications in ministry.

Jan. 12, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

A free event hosted by the IMPACT Alumni Association's Civic Engagement Committee

This webinar will be a panel discussion featuring five prominent Black leaders in the field of public health, communicable disease, and behavioral health, including several IMPACT program alumni.

The webinar is intended to assist Black community members with developing a science-informed perspective on the COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine, and will address the history of vaccines in the Black community, common myths about the coronavirus vaccine, and the pros and cons of taking the vaccine. Webinar participants will receive clear, actionable vaccine recommendations from our panel of experts that are considerate of our community’s history and common pre-existing conditions.

Jan. 13, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Sponsored by Pathways to Promise

Faith communities seeking to improve health, well-being, and equity in persons diagnosed with a mental health disorder must adopt a whole community approach in order to be successful. By improving the vital conditions that persons live in mental health disorders can be prevented and persons experiencing mental health can thrive. This presentation will go over what vital conditions are and how faith communities can impact them. It will also go over the charity to liberation model that supports this approach.

Jan. 14, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Co-sponsored by Response for Teens/JCFS, Mental Health America of Illinois and the Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education

The uncertainty of life right now is stressful for everyone, but can be especially difficult for young people who are craving autonomy while separated from their friends and social circles. What are parents to do? How do you support your child and manage your own stress? How do you problem solve the ups and downs of your new normal together?

This program will help parents and caregivers better understand the developing adolescent brain, and offer ways to find balance between empowering teens and supporting them as they adapt to school, socializing and screen time during the pandemic.
Peace in the Midst of the Storm with Restorative Justice Practices

Sponsored by Nehemia Trinity Rising

Social Wellness Online Peace Circle Check In

Jan. 14 or Jan. 21, 10:00-11:30 a.m.

Share with a diverse group of the community about how you are doing, tips for coping, what you are grateful for and concerned about, and opportunities to make a difference even while sheltered in place. Sessions are one hour each and limited to 15 persons per session. (This is not therapy.)

Restorative Justice Micro Mini Online Educational Sessions:
Transforming Community  

Jan. 21, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Restorative Justice emphasizes building healthy interpersonal, community and systemic relationships which prevent or repair unjust behavior through collective efforts. Share in an interactive educational session about the history, philosophy and practices of restorativejustice and how it can transform communities and unjust systems.

Please sign up for either event by emailing mday2@sbcglobal.net.

Jan. 18 – Feb. 12

Sponsored by the Institute for Empowering Communication

Facilitators: Rev. Joel Westby (ELCA) and Rev. Leslie Ritter-Jenkins (UCC)
We have studied and practiced Nonviolent Communication, also known as Empowering Communication, cumulatively for 30 years and found it invaluable in our work with staff, committees, worship, pastoral care, and self-care. Empowering Communication is not only consonant with Christianity, but in our experience, is a path that liberates the power of love within ourselves and in our relationships. In the workshops, you will learn tools that support congregational vitality and help heal in the world.

Jan. 19, Feb. 16, March 16, April 20
From 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Sponsored by the American Cancer Society and the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center

Engage with a circle of women in an interactive discussion on health and wellness topics identified by African American cancer survivors. Presenters will share various topics to better support you during your journey.

Monthly webinars will focus on:

  • self-care and stress management
  • nutrition and physical activity
  • late-term effects
  • financial resources

Jan. 19, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Sponsored by Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation

The theme of this year’s National Day of Racial Healing is The Sacred Talking Drum.

It’s a free, immersive, virtual event where participants will experience a racial healing circle and connect with others. We will also learn from youth leaders, enjoy multi-cultural drumming performances from venues across Chicago. Action groups will be formed to foster support for the youth movement.

Everyone is invited to participate. Together we can experience collective healing, and make commitments toward confronting systematic racism and transforming our institutions, our neighborhood, and our futures.

Four Day Restorative Justice and Peace Circle Skills Transfer

Jan. 25-28

Sponsored by Nehemiah Trinity Rising

This is a highly interactive, four-day journey to gaining meaningful knowledge and skills for using Restorative Justice philosophy and practices in various settings. The skills transfer involves an overview of the history of Restorative Justice philosophy and its historical and present day use in building and sustaining self-healing communities. It also provides an overview of the various Restorative Justice processes and practices which contribute to creating a restorative community or environment, and much more.

Participants are provided with extensive material to enhance their learning and assist their work after completion of the Four Day Skills Transfer. For an application or questions, please contact 312.852.8520 or mday2@sbcglobal.net.

Jan. 28, 8:30 a.m. to noon

Sponsored by the Conservation Foundation

Spending time in nature has been shown to improve mental health. These panel of speakers will discuss the research and benefits to our mental health especially during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Feb. 2, noon-1:00 p.m.

Sponsored by AJC Chicago

In today’s world we are becoming increasingly polarized and divided when we need to come together. How can we speak with one another and not walk away?

Join us as we launch a series of quarterly conversations focused on how to engage in civil discourse with one another. We will explore civil discourse models and engage in meaningful discussion with community leaders.
Feb. 4, 11:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m.

Sponsored by Hospice Foundation of America

When a death embodies both trauma and loss, the ensuing traumatic bereavement poses special challenges and demands more than mere grief facilitation. Drawing on cutting-edge information from psychology, traumatology, and thanatology, Dr. Rando identifies 12 essential core strategies for effective clinical intervention after deaths from acute natural causes, accident, disaster, suicide, or homicide.
Health and Wellness Resources
Mental Health e-newsletter available

Advocate Aurora Health Faith and Mental Health Quarterly provides updates on mental health resources, events and news to support the well-being of people in your congregation and community.

If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please contact Cindy Novak.

  • Find a Behavioral Health Specialist
  • Services and Treatment
  • Programs for Adults, Children and Adolescents
  • And More!

  • Weight Management Programs
  • Integrative Health Coaching
  • National and Local Resources
  • Fitness and Wellness Centers
  • And More!

Stroke Risk Assessment
Up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable, and many of the risk factors are controllable. Take Advocate Aurora Health’s online Stroke Risk Assessment to estimate your chance of experiencing one and learn about the ways you could minimize it.

If you are interested in starting a health ministry or health council in your congregation, contact Kirsten PeacheyDirector of Faith and Health Partnerships for Advocate Aurora Health. She'd love to talk with you about getting started.
January Observances

Jan. 1:
  • Feast of St. Basil - Orthodox Christian
  • Shogatsu/Gantan-sai (New Year's) - Shinto
  • Baptism of our Lord - Christian
Jan 5: Guru Gobindh Singh birthday - Sikh
Jan 6: Epiphany - Christian
Jan. 7: Feast of the Nativity - Orthodox Christian
Jan. 13: Maghi - Sikh
Jan. 14: Orthodox New Year
Jan. 18:
  • Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
Jan. 19: Timkat - Ethiopian Christian
Jan. 28: Tu B'Shevat - Jewish
Want to hear from you!

We hope you find this update helpful as you promote the health of your members and community. Please contact Cindy Novak or Anya Gordon if you have topics you'd like us to address or if you have questions or concerns.
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