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Centegra Addresses Community Leaders on Health Status of McHenry County

Today, Centegra Health System unveiled a new, unique wellness program designed to increase the health and wellness of the residents of the greater McHenry County area, “Centegra Wellness on the Move.” The announcement was made, along with the “Health State of the County Address,” to over 170 community and business leaders at Centegra’s Sixth Annual Healthcare Leadership Briefing at the Crystal Lake Holiday Inn.

Centegra Wellness on the Move will provide increased access to vital wellness screenings for diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, peripheral arterial disease, carotid artery disease, and also provide preventive care such as flu shots and school physicals and immunizations. Centegra will offer the services of the mobile health unit at community events, schools, corporations, churches and government offices. The Centegra Wellness on the Move van was funded in whole by the Auxiliary to Centegra Northern Illinois Medical Center.

“As the only healthcare system in McHenry County providing the full continuum of care, Centegra understands the importance of wellness and prevention of illnesses and the introduction of Centegra Wellness on the Move further demonstrates our commitment to improving the health of the people in the community,” Michael S. Eesley, Centegra Health System president and CEO said.

During the Health State of the County presentation, Michael S. Eesley, along with Centegra leaders, Rowena Wermes, director of Planning and Susan Milford, vice president of Strategic Marketing and Planning emphasized the importance of continuing on the collaborative journey to raise the health status of the county and improve the detection rates of our communities’ top killers, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease through wellness and prevention as well as cutting-edge medicine. Chris Krug, editor of the Northwest Herald, also gave an overview of healthcare from a national level by presenting the upcoming Presidential election candidates’ plans for healthcare in the United States.

On a more local level, Rowena Wermes gave leaders a snapshot of the health status of the McHenry County community with an updated overview of the ten health indicators set forth by Healthy People 2010 committee: physical activity, obesity, tobacco use, substance abuse, responsible sexual behavior, mental health, injury and violence, environmental quality, immunization and access to healthcare. While we are moving in the right direction and making progress in the health and wellness of our community, according to statistics, McHenry County has seven areas for improvements which include: immunizations, obesity, tobacco usage, substance abuse, responsible sexual behavior, mental health and access to healthcare. To improve these health issues, Centegra is collaborating with the community through the MAPP (Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships) initiative, which was started in 2006 by community organizations and the Centers for Disease Control and the National Association of County and City Officials, to create a stronger pubic health infrastructure that engages the community to take ownership of public health issues.

“After two years of “mapping” the healthcare needs of our community and determining our strategic priorities, which were determined to be increased access to healthcare, increased awareness and centralization of information and referral and the reduction of cardiovascular disease and death, we are excited to begin implementing the tactics to achieving our goals in January 2008,” Ms. Wermes, commented.

Based upon the health indicators, Mr. Eesley shared with leaders the advancements in technology and services that Centegra has made during the last year to raise the healthcare status of McHenry County in such areas as:

Cardiovascular Care, with the addition of a university-medical-quality open heart surgery program, a state-of-the-art electrophysiology cardiac lab and a third cardiac catheterization lab.

Specialty Orthopaedic Care, with new, revolutionary procedures such as Gender Knee replacement and hip resurfacing
Cancer Care, with the addition of advance technology including a new PET CT scanner and a new tomotherapy unit at the Centegra Sage Cancer Center.

Women’s Healthcare Services, with the addition of a urogynecology program and the anticipated Centegra Women’s Pavilion which will bring a comprehensive women’s center to McHenry County
Behavioral Health Services, where Centegra continues to be only healthcare system in McHenry County to provide vital inpatient and outpatient behavioral healthcare and the introduction of the Cogmed Working Memory Treatment for ADD at Centegra, which is only available in a handful of states.

Increased Access to Care with the addition of Centegra’s Huntley Campus, Crystal Lake Medical Arts, increased specialty care (geriatrics, rheumatology, endocrinology) and primary care physicians with Centegra Primary Care.

“Centegra is working diligently to ensure that the people of the greater McHenry County area have access to the highest quality healthcare possible right here locally,” Mr. Eesley, said. “I am very proud of the impact our organization has had on so many individuals in our community and our whole organization looks forward to implementing the plans we have developed to provide even more extraordinary care right here in McHenry County.”

Pictured: (L-R) Stella Anozie, MD, medical director of Centegra Occupational Health; Senator Pamela J. Althoff and Dale Cunat, president of the Auxiliary to Centegra Northern Illinois Medical Center help to unveil Centegra Health System’s new wellness initiative program, “Centegra Wellness on the Move”  at the Sixth Annual Centegra Healthcare Leadership Briefing at the Crystal Lake Holiday Inn on November 14, 2007. Centegra Wellness on the Move is a mobile health van, which will provide increased access to vital wellness screenings and preventive care for the people of the greater McHenry County area. The Centegra Wellness on the Move van was funded in whole by the Auxiliary to Centegra Northern Illinois Medical Center.