10/1/20 - A Message from Secretary Hou: Bright Spot - Mabley Developmental Center

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Good Morning IDHS Staff,

As we begin October, today marks the beginning of flu season. IDHS staff are encouraged to receive the flu vaccine shot, which is now available across IDHS's Mental Health and Developmental Centers. In today's Bright Spot, I am excited to highlight Mabley Developmental Center and their activities to educate staff and residents about the flu.

Led by Leslie Ely (Infection Control Nurse), Mabley has been utilizing a variety of fun and interactive activities to empower residents with information and resources about the flu and flu vaccine. One of those activities includes the official kick-off in their campus gazebo, featuring decorative balloons, individualized snacks, and informational flyers and posters. Following social distance and face masks guidance, Leslie, Steve Caudillo, and other employees used the kick-off to inform and answer questions about the difference between the flu and COVID-19. With flu shots beginning today at each of our 24/7 facilities, staff at Mabley and other locations across our organization are encouraged to continue educating themselves through posted flyers, division or department champions, or your facility Infection Control Nurse.

As you can imagine, between the COVID-19 and flu season, it's more important than ever that we take the proper preventative measures to stay healthy. Little is known around how the body responds when a person has both COVID-19 and the flu. With both having some similar symptoms (fever, chills, cough, body ache, etc.), it may also be difficult to distinguish which illness you or your loved one may be fighting, or which form of treatment will be best. Being proactive in receiving the flu shot will not only make you stronger in fighting off the flu, but will also protect the health of those around you at home and in the work place.

All State of Illinois employees, retirees, and their dependents who are members of the State health plan are eligible to receive the flu vaccine shot at no cost at participating flu clinics, pharmacies, and doctor offices. To learn more, visit the Department of Central Management Services website at https://www2.illinois.gov/cms/benefits/StateEmployee/Pages/FluShotInfo.aspx. Please monitor this page for updates and additions.

During this unprecedented flu season, please be sure to protect yourself, and encourage your colleagues, families, and friends to join you.

Thank you,


Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS