Your monthly update on resources and events to support the well-being of people in your congregation and community.
September 2020
Do Not Skip Getting a Flu Shot This Year
By: Brianna Wunsch, public affairs specialist for Advocate Aurora Health

Between 12,000 and 61,000 people die from influenza each year in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control. This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing as the flu season looms, getting a flu shot is more important now than ever.

A bad flu season could pair with the pandemic to cause what some experts are calling a “twindemic.”

“In China and in South America, it was discovered that you can get COVID-19 and influenza at the same time,” explains Dr. Donald Beno, pediatrician at Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay, WI. “We now know that with those two illnesses, the outcomes are much worse when you have both illnesses at the same time.”

Download "Flu Myths vs. Flu Facts" flyer, available in English and Spanish
Advocate Aurora Health Safe Care Promise
Your health and safety is our highest priority. We want you to feel confident that you will be safe when you enter an Advocate Aurora Health site of care. The Advocate Aurora Safe Care promise provides additional measures to protect you and our team members.

Measures include virtual check-in, screening of those who enter, enhanced cleaning and more. See Safe Care Promise video and flyers in English and Spanish.
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, a time set aside to reduce stigma around the topic, share resources and raise awareness about actions we can all take to prevent suicide.

While addressing suicide prevention year-round remains important, you and your community can commemorate National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month by learning about more about suicide: its warning signs, how to support those at risk for suicide and how you can care for suicide loss survivors - friends and family members affected by the suicide loss of a loved one.
Feel free to share the bulletin insert and worship slide (below), with your faith community, as well as this special edition of Faith and Mental Health Quarterly (right), which includes suicide prevention resources, articles and first-person accounts from those personally impacted by suicide.

Suicide Resources for Teens
Advocate Aurora Health-Sponsored Events
Suicide Prevention Workshops

QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) is a suicide prevention course that teaches participants to help someone who may be considering suicide. Participants will learn how to recognize the warning signs of suicide, interact with a person who may be suicidal, and apply the three-step QPR approach to helping someone who may be considering suicide.
Plous Family Virtual Lecture

The 2020 Plous Family Lecture will focus on racial health disparities and COVID 19. Learn how raising awareness about how structural inequalities influence racial disparities brings diverse partners together to devise responses.

Keynote speaker, Rev. Dr. Patrick Smith,PhD., is Associate Research Professor of Theological Ethics and Bioethics, Duke Divinity School; Senior Fellow,Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University; and Associate Faculty, Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities, and the History of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine. He is a trusted scholar in the areas of bioethics, social ethics, Black Church studies, and philosophical theology. His work and service in bioethics and social ethics has spanned academic, professional, community, and ecclesial spaces.

Fall Engagement Walks
Advocate Aurora Health is proud to support our communities and provide opportunities for community members to engage in healthy, fun activities that benefit us all — you and the overall wellness of our community.

Sept. 13 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Naperville-Nichols Library.
Alzheimer’s Association Virtual Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
Register at (search for Advocate)

Sept. 18 from 12 p.m. until Sept. 19 at 5 p.m.
American Heart Association Metro-Chicago Virtual Heart Walk.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer - Details coming soon!

Questions? Email Christine Rybicki, Manager, Community Relations

Human Trafficking Webinars
Session One: Sept. 16, 1:00 p.m.
Session Two: Sept. 23, 1:00 p.m

While some of the issues of our day seem beyond our healing/helping touch, there is one issue in which a few commonsense steps can have lasting impact on our families, neighborhoods and communities: human trafficking. By participating in this webinar series, you will become more aware of what trafficking can look like in your area, access tools to guard your loved ones, and be part of bringing hope and healing to those trafficked.

Support Team Startup Webinar

Support Teams are groups of volunteers who come together to provide practical, emotional, and sometimes spiritual support to people in need of extra care.

During this two-hour online workshop you will discover what makes teams work and successful, participate in simulations on ways to offer practical, emotional and spiritual support, and more.

Gambling in our Community

  • Sept. 18: Gambling and Health - Including Gambling During COVID-19
  • Oct. 23: Safer Sports Betting - What You Need to Know
  • Nov. 13: Think Teens Don't Gamble? Think Again!

Freshstart Smoking Cessation Program

You can improve health, breathe easier and save money when you overcome nicotine dependence. Learn how by attending Freshstart, a free four-week virtual smoking cessation program. Please note: all participants are encouraged to attend all four sessions.

To register, contact Laurie Dlouhy, RN
Prayer Support Line
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.
Grief Support Group

The effects of grief and loss interrupt meaningful connections in our lives. This path can lead to broken hearts, painful detachments and unmet desires. These sessions will offer tools of reconstruction. We will learn how to embrace various feelings associated with loss with courage and anticipation toward wholeness. See flyer.
Events From Our Partners
Sept. 8, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

The Healing Shofar is a workshop for bereaved people anticipating the major Jewish Fall Holidays after the death of a loved one. Please join us for information on the grief process, strategies for coping with loss on the Holidays, some reflective Torah texts on the Days of Awe, ways to memorialize your loved one, ideas to help you move forward at this Yomtov Season, and special support during this era of Covid-19.

Facilitated by Rabbi Joe Ozarowski, D. Min., BCC, Rabbinic Counselor and Chaplain, and Marsha Raynes, LCSW, Coordinator and Clinical Educator of JCFS Chicago.
September 11, 10:00 a.m.

Presented by the Faith Community Nursing and Health Ministries Network. This webinar will describe how social determinants impact health and health outcomes and how one's own faith and individually lived experiences might influence one's perception of social determinants of health

Register by Sept. 4 by emailing Madelyn Humbert at or Janet Banks-McElrath at
Sept. 21, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Madison, WI

Madison Christian Community is pleased to announce an important training, Keeping Faith: Empowering Faith Communities to Recognize and Respond to Child Abuse, on September 21. This interfaith training is co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Conference United Church of Christ and endorsed by Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Sept. 22-Oct. 25

Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation is providing opportunities for the greater Chicago community to confront racism and heal from the traumas of racism by participating in racial healing circles.
The racial healing circle experience relies on intentional listening and opening your heart space to unearth truths and conscious and unconscious biases. Participants can raise their awareness, consciousness, compassion, and empathy for others through the process. It’s a tool that can facilitate trust and build authentic relationships among participants and help bridge divides created by real and perceived differences.
Advocate Aurora Health COVID-19 Resources
The spread of COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation. Continue to check the CDC website for up-to-date information and guidance.

See A list of COVID-19 resources specifically for faith communities, including information on safely reopening, live-stream worship services, prayers and more.

The Advocate Aurora Health COVID-19 Resource Center in English and Spanish provides the most up-to-date information, tools and resources, including the policies for visiting patients in our hospitals, a COVID-19 Symptom Checker, CDC resources, ways you can donate, volunteer and help—and more.

The COVID-19 hotline at 1-866-4-HEALTH is staffed by clinicians who can answer questions about symptoms and determine the next steps in care.

The LiveWell app offers virtual appointments and virtual visits with physicians 24-hours a day.
Flyers to Share

How to Safely Dine at a Restaurant English version

How to Stay Safe at Gatherings and Cookouts English version

How to Protect Yourself and Others While Traveling in English

How to be Safe at Home in Spanish

Phase 4 Reminders English version and Spanish version

Mask Educational Flyer in English and Spanish

Correct and Incorrect Ways to Wear a Mask in Spanish.

How to Prevent Foggy Glasses While Safely Masking in English

What Activities are the Safest? in English and Spanish

For Your Health Shopping List in English and Spanish

The Power of Social Distancing Flyer: English version and Spanish version

COVID-19 Symptom Checker Information English version and Spanish version

COVID-19 Handout English version and Spanish version

COVID-19 Handout #2 English version and Spanish version

Learn the Difference Between Coronavirus, Flu and Allergies English version and Spanish version

E-Newsletters to Share

COVID-19 resource in Spanish that shares important tips to stay safe, flyers you can share with your community, links to the Advocate Aurora Health COVID-19 Resource Center and more.

A resource on safely preparing and sharing food includes information on how to avoid food or food packaging contamination and how to deliver food safely.

Worship Slides

5 Things to do to Help Your Mental Health
By Erica Noonan, social media specialist for Advocate Aurora Health

COVID-19 is stressful. From concerns over health to being cooped up at home, it’s normal to feel some anxiety during this tumultuous time. How can you make your mental health a priority?

Try following these 5 mental health practices to help make each day a little easier:

  • Sleep 8-10 hours per day
  • Eat 3 nutritious meals per day
  • Get up and move 1+ hours a day
  • Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories
  • Maintain a schedule during the day.

Self-isolating with children? Dr. Munther Barakat, Director of Behavioral Health Therapy at Aurora Psychiatric Hospital in Wauwatosa, WI, offers this advice for parents, “Maintaining a schedule during the day is helpful for children. It creates a sense of safety that comes with predictability. Some parents have posted a schedule in the house to provide a visual for the day.”

Want a reliable way to stay up to date on the COVID-19 outbreak and tips on how to protect you and your family while safe at home? Check out this resource center.

If you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath, start with our COVID-19 Symptom Checker or call 866-443-2584. Our symptom checker is the quickest way to find out what to do next.
Mental Health 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.

Mental Health & Substance Abuse Resources

Health and Wellness Resources

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.

Learn more about the Healthy HotSpot Initiative, led by the Cook County Department of Public Health in collaboration with many partners to build healthy places in suburban Cook County.

Learn how to develop a health ministry in your faith community. If you are interested in starting a health ministry or health council in your congregation, contact Kirsten Peachey, Director of Faith and Health Partnerships for Advocate Aurora Health. She'd love to talk with you about getting started.

To get daily articles on a host of health topics that come to you via email, subscribe to our Health eNews service. 

All Advocate Aurora Hospitals offer classes on health topics. See Illinois classes or events.  Select a Hospital/Medical Center and click on search to see what is being offered in your area.
September Holidays and Observances
Sept. 1: Pitru Paksha starts - Hinduism

Sept. 13-14: Exultation of the Holy Cross– Christianity

Sept. 16: Vishwakarma Puja – Hinduism

Sept. 17: Mahalaya Amavasya - Hinduism

Sept. 18-20: Rosh HaShana – Judaism

Sept. 21: Fast of Gedaliah - Judaism

Sept. 27-28: Yom Kippur – Judaism

Sept. 29: Michael and All Angels Day - Christianity
We 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 if you have topics you'd like us to address or if you have questions or concerns.
Faith and Health Partnerships | AdvocateAuroraHealth

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