4/27/20 - A Message from Secretary Hou: Employee Bright Spots & Press Conference Recap

Monday, April 27, 2020

Good afternoon, IDHS Staff:

As you may know, April 22nd was National Administrative Professional Day. The day is designed to celebrate the many support professionals who keep offices running smoothly every day.

Across IDHS, we are fortunate to have so many Administrative Professionals who lead as partners in advancing the IDHS mission, and often serve as the first point of contact for many Illinoisans when reaching out to our offices and facilities.

One of those facilities includes the McFarland Mental Health Center, located in Springfield, Illinois. McFarland provides a range of support, including Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Project S.A.F.E. (Safe Alternatives Fostering Empowerment).

With multiple services, buildings, staff, and residents, it is imperative to have strong organization, communication, and teamwork. Today's Bright Spots, Haley and Karey Ann, provide just that.

Today's Bright Spots: Haley Friesland and Kerry Ann Hughes (McFarland Health Center)

Haley and Kerry Ann, both military veterans, have multiple years of service within the State of Illinois. As Administrative Assistants, they keep 6 units staffed, schedule all patient trips, perform timekeeping for direct care staff, and ensure the patient units have the medical supplies needed to care for our patients.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Haley and Kerry Ann have worked tirelessly to support direct care staff so that patients can continue to receive services that assist them in their individual recovery.

Haley Fun Facts:

  • Favorite Song: One, U2
  • Favorite Restaurant: Tucker's Place in St. Louis
  • What do you plan to do when the shelter in place order is lifted: Go on vacation!

Kerry Ann Fun Facts:

  • Favorite Food: Crab Rangoon and Salt n Pepper Shrimp
  • What do you plan to do when the shelter in place order is lifted: Go on vacation with my mom and daughter
  • What I enjoy about my job: "Assisting others in whatever way I can to ensure they are able to perform their jobs"

Thank you to Haley, Karey Ann, and the many Administrative Professionals across IDHS that keep us headed in the right direction.

Please see the Governor's updates from yesterday's press conference on COVID-19.

COVID-19 Updates from the Governor's 04-26-2020 Press Conference

  • McCormick Place: Governor Pritzker announced that the State is scaling back operations at the McCormick Place alternative healthcare site, and that personnel are being redeployed to other areas of need, including in nursing homes and other facilities across the state where because of sickness there may be a staffing reduction.
  • Testing Criteria: The Governor reiterated that we have expanded testing across the state and that tests are available for those experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms and/or those who have a compromised immune system, co-morbidity, or known contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19. Additionally, first responders and healthcare workers in any condition are able to get tested.
  • Hospitalization Numbers: As of midnight last night, there were 4,595 hospitalized with COVID-19 in Illinois, and of those 1,267 are in the ICU and 772 of those ICU patients are on ventilators.
  • Daily Statewide COVID-19 cases: 2,126 new cases reported and 59 additional deaths.

Thank you,


Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS