4/23/20 - A Message from Secretary Hou: Employee Bright Spot & Press Conference Recap

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Good afternoon, IDHS team:

COVID-19 has brought on many changes in the way people live their lives, the way our businesses operate, and even the way IDHS delivers services.

Madden Mental Health Center (MMHC), one of IDHS' seven psychiatric hospitals, has had to make adjustments like so many others. In addition to meeting the new demands of COVID-19, MMHC focuses on the evaluation, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental, emotional, and behavioral health issues. MMHC also provides substance use recovery programs.

As you will see in today's Bright Spot, MMHC has had great leadership and talent provided by Chief Engineer Patrick Riordan, a creative and persistent IDHS employee. His work in these extraordinary times has helped to ensure that the facility remains capable of providing services to its patients.

Today's Bright Spot: Patrick Riordan (Chief Engineer - Madden Mental Health Center)

Aside from the everyday challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, MMHC was tasked with converting one of its pavilions into an 8,000 square foot containment suite to house potentially infected patients. The suite will allow patients to walk freely in the containment area and to enjoy their meals, watch TV, and play games in a stress-free environment during their care at Madden.

Patrick took on the responsibility to work closely with the Capital Development Board and outside contractors to complete this project in a very short period of time - 14 days. Patrick approached this project as he does all others, consistently showing respect to staff and to the population that Madden serves, taking into consideration patient needs and how best to address them during their admission to the facility. Thanks to Patrick and his efforts, Madden is able to move forward with its important work every day.

Fun Facts:

  • Patrick has three kids.
  • Patrick enjoys traveling and is an accomplished commercial, cave, wreck, and ice scuba diving instructor.
  • Patrick extends his appreciation to Madden Mental Health Center Staff for their continued hard work & dedication.

Thank you to Patrick and to all of you who show up with innovative ideas and great talents to serve our patients. I look forward to learning more about the rest of the great work being done across IDHS.

Please see the important updates from the Governor's press conference yesterday.

COVID-19 Updates from the Governor's 04-21-2020 Press Conference

  • New Drive-Thru Test Sites: Governor Pritzker announced two new drive-thru testing locations: one that opened today at the Chicago Premium Outlet mall in Aurora and one at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford which is opening tomorrow. Between these two new sites, and the three existing sites in Markham, Bloomington, and in Harwood Heights, the five drive-thru will be able to run up to 2,900 tests per day at full capacity.
  • PPE: The Governor reported that his team continues to scour the globe for personal protective equipment; he reported that the State has now sent out over 15 million PPE items and has outstanding orders for over 80 million more.
  • Hospitalization Numbers: IDPH Director Dr. Ezike recapped the current hospitalization numbers. As of the end of Tuesday, there were 4,665 individuals in Illinois who were hospitalized with COVID-19; of those, 1,220 were in the ICU and 747 of those ICU patients were on ventilators.
  • COVID-19 Tests: When asked about the largest to date number of new cases being reported, Governor Pritzker noted that this is primarily the result of increased testing capacity, with about 9,300 tests being run today.
  • Daily Statewide COVID-19 cases: 2,049 new cases reported and 98 additional deaths.

Thank you,


Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS