5/26/20 - A Message from Secretary Hou: Employee Bright Spot and Press Conference Recap

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Good Afternoon, IDHS Staff:

In addition to the healthcare professionals working around-the-clock for IDHS, there are numerous other essential staff committed to the improvement and well-being of our Mental Health Center patients.

These staff members help to run the day-to-day activities of our facilities. They ensure patients are fed, facilities and grounds are clean, residents and staff are safe, and much more. These workers are truly the engines that help keep our facilities running every day.

Today's Bright Spot, Duane Hisel and Dale Allen, exemplify these indispensable services and supports.

Today's Bright Spot: Duane Hisel (Support Service Worker) and Dale Allen (Educator) - McFarland Mental Health Center

While sanitizing and disinfecting has been a daily activity for Duane since joining McFarland in 2014, COVID-19 has taken cleaning to another level. Duane has accepted this challenge and has continued to display a great attitude. He is known for helping out his coworkers whenever needed. Throughout this pandemic, Duane has regularly stepped up, often volunteering to disinfect other units when other staff are not available. Additionally, he has been assisting with the cleaning of the Kennedy Unit, and took it upon himself to clean the Central Programming area in the Administration Building.

As the Educator at McFarland, Dale is responsible for overseeing educational programs and a range of personal development services to assist patients with vocational training. As COVID-19 has impacted McFarland, Dale has, like so many of you, been creative in finding additional ways to help. With the horticulture program currently off limits to its 20 participants, Dale volunteered to till three parcels of ground to prepare for the addition of new plants. Dale stepped up and volunteered, demonstrating the concept of teamwork and care for those we serve.

Fun Facts:

  • Duane is married with three children
  • Duane is a United States Marine Corps veteran who served in Desert Storm
  • Dale first started with the State at Jacksonville Developmental Center. He has now worked for the State of Illinois for 28 years.
  • Dale is an excellent chef, with specialties in deer sausage, chili, and pulled pork

Duane and Dale, thank you for all that you do for our patients and facilities.

Below, please also see the updates from the Governor's press conference yesterday.

COVID-19 Updates for 05-25-2020

  • Statewide Numbers: As of Memorial Day, May 25th, IDPH is reporting a total of 112,017 cases, including 4,884 deaths, in 100 counties in Illinois.
  • Positivity Rate: The statewide 7-day rolling positivity rate is still at 12%.
  • Testing: Over the preceding 24 hours, laboratories in Illinois were able to process 21,643 specimens.
  • Daily Statewide COVID-19 cases: 1,713 new cases reported in Illinois and 31 additional deaths.


Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS