Health

Governor Pritzker Announces Statewide Health Programs

Statewide Health Programs

Governor J.B. Pritzker announced in a press conference today the launch of a new Remote Patient Monitoring Program and a mental health support line to help Illinois residents with physical and mental health during the coronavirus pandemic.

Remote Patient Monitoring Program

The Remote Patient Monitoring program digitally connects Pandemic Health Workers (PHWs) with members in the community who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and need to stay home or quarantine.

PHWs will virtually check in with people daily, deliver wellness kits that include essential tools to monitor their health, and follow-up over a 14-day period to make sure further assistance isn’t needed. The wellness kits will include thermometers, pulse oximeters, blood pressure cuffs, and alcohol wipes.

The statewide program is a way to help safeguard hospitals from being overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients and limit the spread of the virus. It’s also a way to reduce barriers for underserved communities.

“To help see all our residents through this pandemic, the department has contracted for these specific at-home COVID-19 supports for anyone in the state regardless of whether they are insured,” said Theresa Eagleson, Director of Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

A person is eligible for the program if they are showing coronavirus symptoms or are at high risk for contracting the virus, but don’t require emergency or inpatient care.

The Department of Healthcare and Family Services has formalized contracts for Central and Southern Illinois and is finalizing the partnership for the Northern region this coming week. Residents must call the COVID-19 hotlines for a final determination of eligibility for the programs. That number will be available in the coming week for communities, including Naperville, in the Northern region of Illinois.

Call4Calm

The Illinois Department of Human Services’ Mental Health Division launched Call4Calm, a free emotional support text line for Illinois residents experiencing stress and mental health issues related to COVID-19.

Residents who want to speak with a mental health professional can text “TALK” to 552020 or for Spanish, “HABLAR” to the same number. All individuals will remain anonymous.

Once a text has been sent, a counselor employed by a local community mental health center will respond within 24 hours.

Key words such as unemployment, food, or shelter can also be texted to the number and individuals will receive information on how to access supports and services.

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.

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