4/21/20 - A Message from Secretary Hou: Employee Bright Spot & Press Release Recap

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Good afternoon, IDHS Staff:

Thank you for continuing to lead and inspire every day with passion and commitment to serve Illinoisans.

I am pleased to introduce you to Ashley George, today's Bright Spot -- and to share with you a bit about the Rushville Treatment and Detention Facility (TDF). As many of you know, IDHS's mission is broad and encompassing and includes the operation of this facility that provides treatment to individuals determined by the court to be Sexually Violent Persons. The TDF offers individualized treatment and risk management services to promote healthy, prosocial, and law-abiding behavior and individual accountability. Treatment enables offenders to understand and take responsibility for their behavior, to increase motivation to change their harmful behavior, and to learn the skills necessary to change those behaviors.

Today's Bright Spot: Ashley Gregory (Facility Writ Coordinator - Rushville Treatment and Detention Facility)

Employed at TDF since 2006, Ashley has been on a professional path of increasing responsibilities, promotions, and transitions that has led her to the Facility Writ Coordinator position. In this role, Ashley is responsible for collaborating with Illinois courts and other agencies to coordinate 250 trips per month that allow residents to access services.

Ashley goes above and beyond by serving as the TDF's volunteer Employee Assistance Program coordinator. In this regard, she is a place for her colleagues to seek comfort and assistance.

Ashley has developed innovative approaches to the work and identified ways for residents to communicate with their attorneys or physicians, using WebEx and establishing video interviews to fulfill court-ordered evaluations, attorney/client meetings, and a range of other important tasks.

Fun Facts:

  • Ashley is married and has three children.
  • Favorite Quote: "What we know matters, but who we are matters more."- Brene Brown
  • First plan after social distancing: hug all of my friends!

Thank you, Ashley, to the hardworking staff at the TDF, and to everyone on the IDHS team.

Please also see the updates from the COVID-19 press conference from yesterday.

COVID-19 Updates from the Governor's 04-20-2020 Press Conference

  • Hospital Capacity: Governor Pritzker started his press conference by looking at hospitalization history. On April 6th, Illinois hospitals had 3,680 COVID-19 patients; on April 10th that number had risen to 4,020. On April 14th, that number had risen to 4,283. And as of April 19th, we had 4,599 Illinoisans in the hospital with COVID-19, which is a net increase of 316 from April 14th.
  • Capacity Modeling: While the hospitalization numbers do continue to increase, the Governor noted that early modeling showed that without social distancing we would have exceeded our hospital capacity by more than 25,000 beds by April 6th. So while we are still seeing too many Illinoisans hospitalized with this virus, because Illinoisans have come together by implementing social distancing, learning at home, and staying at home, we've so far prevented our worst case scenarios.
  • ICU Beds: The Governor relayed that on April 6th, COVID patients occupied 43% of the 2,900 ICU beds. Since that time we have expanded the number of ICU beds by 400 and today, of the 4,599 Illinoisans in the hospital with COVID-19 right now, 1,239 of them are in the ICU, occupying 40% of our now 3,100 beds.
  • Ventilators: Of the 4,599 Illinoisans with COVID-19 in the hospital right now, 757 are on ventilators. That means 23% of our total ventilator inventory is currently in use by COVID-19 patients, continuing a downward trend from 29% on April 10th, thanks in great part to the State acquiring about 1,000 ventilators since March 23rd, bringing our statewide total to 3,200.
  • Testing Capacity: The Governor highlighted that while the federal Coronavirus Task Force is claiming that states have adequate testing capacity, that calculation is based on theoretical maximum output of machines in a state. However, in reality, the ability to test specimens depends on many factors and supplies, including the actual test swabs, viral transport medium, RNA extractor reagents, and of course the lab techs to run the machines as many hours a day as possible. It is those resources that the Administration is working around the clock to secure.
  • Daily Statewide COVID-19 cases: 1,151 new cases reported and 59 additional deaths.

Thank you,


Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS