12/08/20 - A Message to Providers from Secretary Hou: IDHS PPE Update

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Dear Partners:

We thank you again for all that you have done and are doing to support the people and communities of our state. As we close this calendar year, we know that even as fatigue is settling in and optimistic projections of vaccine availability are announced, there continues to be a long road ahead. We are doing everything in our power to ensure that you have the resources you need to offer services and supports to those you serve. In this regard, IDHS is working to make PPE, of varying kinds/types, available to community-based provider organizations across the state. This large-scale effort is in its early stages so please be on the lookout for future communications announcing availability and distribution. But first, IDHS is making another round of KN95 masks available to its provider organizations.

In the immediate and ahead of the new effort, IDHS will make non-NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) KN95 masks available to provider organizations beginning next week. IDHS is partnering with Illinois Partners for Human Service to distribute these face coverings. IDHS would like to thank Illinois Partners, a coalition of 800 human service organizations across the State, for assisting the State to get these masks out to the community as quickly as possible.

The process for requesting the PPE will be laid out in Division-specific communications but will require providers to complete an online request form in the communication. Once the request has been confirmed, providers will be able to pick-up the requested PPE during their selected distribution site's designated hours. Those hours, which are included in the request form, will begin next Tuesday, December 15, with most of the site hours beginning next Wednesday, December 16.

Provider organizations funded through the Divisions of Developmental Disabilities, Family and Community Services (except the Early Intervention Program), Mental Health, Rehabilitation Services (except the Home Services Program), and Substance Use Prevention and Recovery, will be able to request KN95 masks through this process.

For the Home Services Program, providers continue to be able to request the KN95 masks through the DRS local offices and the Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living (INCIL).

For the Early Intervention Program, providers will need to stay tuned as we work to finalize a distribution process. A communication will be coming soon.

Again, IDHS appreciates the work you are doing to keep our communities safe. We are honored to partner with you all in this vitally important work. Please know that we are a committed partner in the work you do.


Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS