February 2021
February is African American History Month
Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as African American History Month. It allows us to pause and remember the countless contributions African Americans have made to our country over the decades and centuries, through law, the arts, religion, sports, politics, medicine, research, the Civil Rights movement and many other ways.

Share the African American History Month bulletin insert and worship slide with your faith community.

African American History Events

Feb. 15 and 16, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Sponsored by the United Church of Christ

Join Chuck Alphin, certified Kingian Non-Violence Trainer, for two teach-in sessions to explore:

  • the myths and facts of non-violence
  • types and levels of conflict
  • six principles of Kingian non-violence
  • six applications of Kingian non-violence

Feb. 18, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

The event will feature six to eight African-American artists from Christian and Muslim communities expressing socially conscious and personally inspiring messages.

This event is being coordinated by Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago's A Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement in partnership with the American Islamic College and the Inter-Religious Institute at Chicago Theological Seminary. Inner-City Muslim Action Network, Interfaith Youth Core, Silk Road Rising and Young Chicago Authors are also partners in this program.
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day: Feb. 7
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is observed annually on February 7 to increase awareness, spark conversations, and highlight the work being done to reduce HIV in African American communities.

The CDC's campaign, "Let’s Stop HIV Together," aims to empower communities, partners, and healthcare providers to reduce HIV stigma and promote preventiontesting, and treatment among all people in the United States. With campaign resources, partners and other organizations can play a role in preventing HIV and helping people with HIV stay healthy. The Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign is part of the national Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative.

How HIV Efforts Supported a COVID-19 Response
Jan. 28, 4:00 p.m.

Sponsored by HIV Vaccine Trials Network and COVID-19 Prevention Network

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on many communities, including Black, Latinx, other communities of color, and trans communities. These communities are also vulnerable to HIV and other chronic health conditions due to structural and systemic racism. In this session, we will discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Black and Latinx LGBTQ communities, what lessons learned from the HIV response have informed the COVID-19 response, and how we can support each other during this time.

Advocate Aurora Health Leadership Changes
Effective Jan. 31, precipitated by a change in health status, Bonnie Condon, Vice President for Community Health, Community Relations and Faith Outreach, will be transitioning to a part-time role for six months before retiring.

Rev. Kirsten Peachey will assume the role of Vice President for Faith Outreach and will oversee Advocate Aurora Health's partnerships with its faith community stakeholders and affiliated denominational partners.

Mark Huber will be elevated to serve as the System Vice President of Community Health to manage the implementation of Advocate Aurora’s Community Strategy and develop synergies in the Community Health model across the system.

Read the full statement here.
Tell Us What You Think
We invite you to take the annual Faith and Health Partnerships e-newsletter survey. The feedback you provide will prove invaluable as we plan upcoming issues.

Thank you in advance for your responses!

Take the survey here.
COVID-19 Vaccination: Our Shot at a Brighter Future
There is a significant amount of interest from our patients and communities in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Along with other health providers and business partners, we will expand vaccinations to the broader community in line with the phased guidelines as supply of the vaccine increases. 

Our greatest priority is to deliver the vaccine safely, and thoughtfully in keeping with our Safe Care Promise. We believe vaccination of our population is the way to end this pandemic. 

Visit the Advocate Aurora Health consumer vaccine page in English and Spanish for the latest vaccine updates, information about eligibility, FAQ's and more.

Mask up – even after your shot!
It's important that you continue to wear a mask, social distance and wash your hands after your vaccination – because while you may not get sick from the virus, you could still spread it to others.
Get the facts on the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine. Download flyer.
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 LiveWell app makes it easy for families to manage their health all in one place.
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.
Advocate Aurora Health-sponsored events
February is Heart Month

Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, remains the leading global cause of death. Advocate Aurora Health is joining with other organizations to highlight the fact that one in three women lose their life to cardiovascular disease, ONE Is Too Many!

The American Heart Association’s Chicago Go Red for Women Campaign offers two ways to get involved:

Wear Red Day: Feb. 5. Plan on wearing red this day to raise awareness of heart disease in women. Learn more: WearRedDay.org.

Go Red for Women Metro Chicago Executive (virtual) Luncheon: Feb. 26. Learn more.

Download this Go Red for Women calendar for health and wellbeing activities to keep your heart healthy.
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.
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.
Events from Our partners

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.

February 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.

Feb. 10, 1:00-1:45 p.m.

Sponsored by Lutheran Services in America

Join Dr. Christine Cauffield, Chief Executive Officer of LSF Health Systems, for a discussion on the many physiological effects that long-term stress and emotional trauma have on the body and the tools leaders can use to recognize and address crisis fatigue.

Through 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.

Feb. 16, 2:00-3:00 p.m.

Sponsored by Population Health Learning Collaborative

Across the nation, many faith communities are wondering what they can do to help address different aspects of the housing crisis. They often have significant assets that could be leveraged in a broader strategy, but they have questions, concerns, and limitations that often hold them back from taking action.

This live, interactive webinar builds on the content from the Solution Summit for the Housing Crisis, and everyone who registers will be sent the recordings of two sessions from that online event from November of 2020 as well as the recent recording of the Panel Discussion + Q&A.

An important part of this webinar is the introduction of a six-month group coaching program that will guide interested faith communities through the journey of putting many of these ideas into practice.

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

March 11, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

The great tragedy of today's migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers must be at the center of the mission of the church, and engaging in such a mission requires a deep spirituality of mercy, tenderness, compassion, hospitality, and prophetic courage.

Peter Phan's Keynote Address will ground such a spirituality in the very being and mission of God. To be God, he suggests, is to be a migrant, to be on a journey in search of and in solidarity with all of humanity and the entire created world.

For more info, email Ken Sawyer ksawyer@mccormick.edu or VănThanh Nguyễn tnguyen@ctu.edu or Peter Vethanayagamony pvethana@lstc.edu.
February Observances
Feb. 1: National Freedom Day
Feb. 2: Candlemas - Christianity
Feb. 3: St. Blaise Day - Christianity
Feb. 3: Setsebun - Shintoism
Feb. 4: Rosa Parks Day
Feb. 5: National Wear Red Day
Feb. 8: Nirvana Day - Buddhism
Feb. 12: Chinese New Year
Feb. 14: Transfiguration Sunday - Christianity
Feb. 16: Shrove Tuesday - Christianity
Feb. 16: Vasant Panchami - Hinduism
Feb. 17: Ash Wednesday - Christianity
Feb. 21: Triodion - Orthodox Christianity
Feb. 26: Purim - Judaism
Feb. 27: Magha Puja Day - Buddhism
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.
Click here to subscribe to health enews, a news service of Advocate Aurora Health, which offers breaking health stories, weight loss tips, exercise advice, the latest treatment options and much more.
Follow Advocate Aurora Health on social media for the most up-to-date resources and news.