Your monthly update on resources and events to support the well-being of people in your congregation and community.
October 2020
Ask the Experts: Pediatrics and Mental Health Edition

Join us for our fifth virtual community town hall on Facebook Live to hear from Advocate Aurora Health pediatric experts. Our physicians will answer questions related to the upcoming flu season, as well as address questions and trends with a heavy focus on mental health and well-being for children across all age groups.

You’ll hear from Advocate Aurora Health CEO Jim Skogsbergh, who will be joined by a panel of our top pediatric physicians and experts, including:

  • Malcolm Vandrevala, MD, Child Psychiatry, Advocate Children’s Hospital
  • Gabrielle Roberts, PhD, Psychology, Advocate Children’s Hospital
  • Kevin Dahlman, MD, pediatrician, Aurora Children’s Health
  • Markeita Moore, MD, pediatrician, Advocate Children’s Hospital
  • Veronica Vallejo, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, (LCSW) Advocate Children’s Hospital

RSVP "Going" so you get a notification when the video goes live.
Advocate Aurora COVID-19 Virtual Care Program
Advocate Aurora Health and the State of Illinois have partnered to help people recover from COVID 19 safely at home. The program is available to all residents over 12 months of age with known exposure to COVID 19 or experiencing COVID like symptoms. The program is free and there are no insurance requirements.

The program offers:
  • Daily virtual check ins via our LiveWell app or website for a period of 14 days
  • Educational information
  • Symptom self management and support
  • A home monitoring kit for those who qualify

If you’re an Illinois resident, call 866 443 2584 to enroll.

Fighting the Flu in Underserved Communities
Over the course of the next month, Advocate Aurora is distributing thousands of no cost flu vaccinations in local neighborhoods that have historically faced challenges getting access to health care. Offering free flu vaccines represents our latest effort to address health inequities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), everyone over six months old should get a flu vaccination annually, but CDC data shows nearly half the population won’t get one this season. Data compiled by Advocate Aurora reveals those numbers drop significantly for communities of color and oftentimes it comes down to limited access.

Community Flu Shot Clinics
This year, getting a flu shot is more important than ever. Make sure you vaccinate yourself and your family by stopping by a community flu shot clinic near you. Our clinics are mobile, so you’ll find no-cost flu shots available at new locations every few days. 
There's no cost for a flu shot, and no appointment or insurance is needed. All clinics are open for walk-ins of all ages. 

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.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time set aside to raise awareness of the facts and warning signs of domestic abuse and how to help someone experiencing abuse by a partner, family member or other person else close to them.

Feel free to share the bulletin insert and worship slide with your faith community:

Additional Domestic Violence Awareness Resources
The Advocate Trauma Recovery Center is a health care-based violence intervention program that provides quality services and resources to survivors of intentional trauma with compassion, respect and care. Our purpose is to aid individuals who have experienced trauma in rebuilding, restoring and strengthening their sense of safety by ending the cycle of violence. We provide access to trauma-informed care by acknowledging how past and present traumatic experiences and stress may impact the individuals and families we are serving. Our team is specially trained to support the unique needs of survivors and their families to foster hope for a better future.
Advocate Children’s Health Resource Center offers online resources on a wide variety of children’s health topics including violence and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).



The KidsHealth Online Library offers an array of additional resources.
“Reimagining Our Future with Children, Justice, and Joy”
The 29th Annual National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths® Celebration takes place Oct. 16-18

The multi-faith Children’s Sabbath weekend engages places of worship across the country in focusing prayers, worship, education programs and action on learning more about the urgent problems facing our nation’s children. Faith communities do this in a variety of ways, such as:

  • exploring sacred texts and teachings that call us to love and protect children,
  • responding with outreach and advocacy,
  • inspiring new, year-round action to improve the lives of children.

Some Children’s Sabbath celebrations are community-wide, multi-faith gatherings. Others take place in individual places of worship.

The Latest Resources from Advocate Aurora Health
See flyer in English and Spanish
See flyer in English
See flyer in English and Spanish
See flyer in English and Spanish
See flyer in English and Spanish
See flyer in English and Spanish
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 in Illinois and Wisconsin, including resiliency resources, mental health resources, guidance on safely reopening your house of worship and more.

The Advocate Aurora Health 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 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, 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.

See additional COVID-19 resources in English and Spanish, including flyers, e-newsletters, videos and public service announcements.
Advocate Aurora Health-Sponsored Events
Support Teams and Mental Health Care

During COVID-19, mental health needs have skyrocketed and our volunteers are not always comfortable and trained in addressing them. In this workshop, we will:

  • Look at how to equip our volunteers and help them to be comfortable in addressing mental health issues with those they care for.

  • Learn about different mental health challenges, and how to train our volunteers to use active listening skills, maintain good boundaries and when and how to make a referral to a mental health professional.

Participants will walk away with practical tips and ideas for how their teams can best serve those within the community who are experiencing mental health issues.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk

Due to COVID-19, the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk has gone virtual. You still can support our vision for a world without breast cancer by registering to walk and donating to Team Advocate today! Any registered participant who raises $25 or more qualifies to purchase a Make Healthy Happen t-shirt for an additional $15

Questions? Email Christine Rybicki, Manager, Community Relations, at
Gambling in our Community

  • Oct. 23: Safer Sports Betting - What You Need to Know
  • Nov. 13: Think Teens Don't Gamble? Think Again!

Email for more details, or to ask about the sessions we will hold in Spanish.

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.
What's Next? A Resiliency Program

The dictionary defines resilience as the ability of something to return to its original size and shape after being bent, compressed or stretched. Resilience also means the ability to recover after experiencing illness, depression, trauma or other adversity.

Join us for “What’s Next?” - a weekly resilience program that uses evidence-based scientific studies, combined with encouragement from faith-based resources, to enlighten us on this important topic.

Together, we will gain the tools to help us:
• build resilience amid the difficulties of life
• learn from our experiences
• use the knowledge we gain to nourish ourselves and the world around us. See flyer.
Events From Our Partners
Sept. 28, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

In recognition of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, join NCOA for a discussion of community-based strategies to support older adults in managing mental health. This webinar will discuss the prevalence of suicide among older adults as well as the unique risk factors present for an aging population both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Speakers will highlight two community-based interventions, including one focused on training meal delivery providers in suicide first aid and another on implementing the evidence-based Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives (PEARLS) in collaboration with clinical partners.
Sept. 28, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

The Opioid and Substance Abuse Crisis continues to rage, especially in the Context of COVID 19. Overdoses, deaths and addiction related events are on the rise, giving even more urgency to the faith- based community’s response.

The Greater Milwaukee Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has begun a partnership with “Faith Partners” to join faith leaders with prevention specialists, recovery support specialists and other community stakeholders to identify and develop tailored readiness and recruitment strategies to engage clergy and congregational representatives to respond to behavioral health issues.
Through 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.
Faith as a Social Determinant of Health
Oct. 5, 2:00-3:00 p.m.

Henry Ford Macomb Hospitals will present this webinar that addresses how social determinants impact health and health outcomes. The webinar will:
describe how one's own faith and individually lived experiences mightinfluence one's perception of social determinants of health
outline potential strategies for integrating a social determinant of health perspective into health ministry.

To register, email Madelyn Humbert at or Janet Banks-McElrath at
Oct. 5-9, 10:00 a.m.-noon

Through a series of workshops, we will explore systemic trauma, learn about mental health and emotional well-being, explore the impact of social media on community violence and create an action plan on how to address social justice. We will end this series with a community panel to look at trauma from a different lens and celebrate with a healing circle of different artist performances.
Grief Support Group
Tuesdays, from Oct. 6-Jan. 12, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

GriefShare is a special weekly seminar and support group designed to help you rebuild your life after losing a loved one. Our group is led by caring people who have experienced grief and want to help you through the difficult days ahead.

To register, call 708-366-6900 or email
Oct. 27-30

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought attention to long-standing problems in our healthcare system which keep the most vulnerable among us from receiving high-quality care. The 2020 Coalition to Transform Advanced Care Summit will offer leaders and advocates the chance to connect and share best practices that they can bring back to their own communities. The Summit will tackle pressing issues in serious illness care through the lens of health equity. Sessions include:

  • building community with caring and practical engagement,
  • recognizing and supporting the needs of diverse family caregivers,
  • tackling inequity in health through community health worker engagement,
  • faith leaders partnering to support caregivers.
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.
October Observances
3-9: Sukkot - Jewish
4: St Francis Day - Catholic Christian
4: Blessing of the Animals - Christian
10: Shemini Atzeret - Jewish
11: Simchat Torah - Jewish
12: Thanksgiving - Canada - Interfaith
17-24: Navaratri - Hindu
18: St. Luke, Apostle & Evangelist - Christian
20: Birth of the Báb - Baha'i
20: Installation of Scriptures as Guru Granth - Sikh
22: Christ the King - Christian
25: Dasara - Hindu
28: Milvian Bridge Day - Christian
29: Mawlid an Nabi - Islam
31: Reformation Day - Protestant Christian
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.
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.
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