Healthcare Heroes

Illinois’ healthcare heroes know no boundaries in the COVID-19 fight. They have undertaken herculean efforts to care for patients and dedicated countless hours to robust response plans.

Stories will be continually added to this page. For resources on the pandemic, please see our COVID-19 webpage.

  • Heroes
  • Training
  • PPE/Beds
  • Testing
  • Telehealth

Advocate Aurora Health

Advocate Aurora Health has discharged over 1,000 grateful COVID-19 patients to recover at home—a testament to the expertise and dedication of the system’s healthcare heroes.

Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital

With visitor restrictions enacted for COVID-19, the healthcare heroes of Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital Health and Fitness Center in Barrington stepped up to deliver meals and comfort inpatients.

Edward Hospital

Amid busy preparations for COVID-19, a surprise engagement sparked joy for patients, staff and especially healthcare hero Juliette Blondis at Edward Hospital in Naperville.

Edward-Elmhurst Health

Healthcare heroes at Edward-Elmhurst Health clapped and cheered during a makeshift graduation for a colleague whose college ceremony was canceled due to COVID-19.

Fairfield Memorial Hospital

The healthcare heroes at Fairfield Memorial Hospital released a musical video to show there’s “no mountain high enough” to stop them from caring for communities in southern Illinois.

Jun 05, 2020

Galesburg Cottage Hospital

The healthcare heroes at Galesburg Cottage were surprised and moved to receive an anonymous wooden plaque of an American flag—complete with a thin red line to honor nurses fighting COVID-19.

Jersey Community Hospital

Jersey Community Hospital couldn’t be prouder of Maj. Victoria Hargrave, FNP-BC, one of its nurse practitioners fighting COVID-19 as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve 807th Medical Command.

La Rabida Children’s Hospital

COVID-19 brought new challenges to La Rabida Children’s Hospital in Chicago. How did the healthcare heroes meet them? With ingenuity, heart and a focus on seamless care for patients and families.

Loyola Medicine

“We are strong. We are dedicated. We are compassionate. Together we can get through this.” The healthcare heroes at Loyola Medicine are giving their all for patients, battling COVID-19 together.

Memorial Health System

Volunteers with Memorial Health System are doing their part in the fight against COVID-19, from sewing face masks to writing notes of encouragement. These healthcare heroes are determined to help.

Memorial Hospital, Chester

The healthcare heroes at Memorial Hospital, Chester are using social media to promote social distancing and provide emotional support for the communities they serve amid COVID-19.

Palos Community Hospital

Muhammad and Aqsa Shaikh of Orland Park donated face shields they made to Palos Community Hospital, where both volunteer. They spent nearly 167 hours and $4,000 on the personal protective equipment.

Passavant Area Hospital

What makes a healthcare hero? For some, it’s what you make. The Passavant Sewing Ladies who proudly serve Passavant Area Hospital in Jacksonville are stitching masks to protect against COVID-19.

Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center

Two advance practice nurses from the Sarah Bush Lincoln Newton Clinic volunteered to conduct the only COVID-19 testing in Jasper County, which was emerging as an infection hotspot.

Sarah D. Culbertson Memorial Hospital

Healthcare heroes at Sarah D. Culbertson Memorial Hospital took a break from screening and testing patients for COVID-19 to connect with their community via social media.

Silver Cross Hospital

Silver Cross Hospital’s first COVID-positive patient in mid-March showed the power of teamwork. Healthcare heroes from several departments provided round-the-clock care until the patient recovered.

Sinai Health System

The healthcare heroes at Mount Sinai Hospital and Holy Cross Hospital in Chicago are working hard to care for COVID-19 patients—and deal with new challenges, such as fear of contracting the virus.

Swedish Hospital

Angela Montejo, a nurse at Swedish Hospital, exemplifies the selflessness and dedication of frontline healthcare workers. “It takes a village,” she said, “and everyone is doing their part.”

UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial

The idea of being on a ventilator without family with her was too much for one patient at UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial. So healthcare hero Shari Para took her patient’s hand and they prayed.

Van Matre Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital

After 48 years of marriage, COVID-19 threatened to separate a husband and wife—but the healthcare heroes at Van Matre Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital made sure they were safely reunited.

Weiss Memorial Hospital

Four Chicago Fire Department trucks pulled up to Weiss Memorial Hospital on April 18 in honor of the hospital’s healthcare heroes. The firefighters saluted hospital staff, bringing some to tears.

West Suburban Medical Center

A team of healthcare heroes at West Suburban Medical Center brought to life a new rehabilitation unit to provide COVID-19 patients with physical, occupational and speech therapy needed to recover.

Advocate Aurora Health

Existing pandemic plans equipped Advocate Aurora Health to implement measures system-wide to conserve valuable supplies and keep patients and team members safe amid COVID-19.

Blessing Health System

Before WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic, Blessing Health System’s team was hard at work fine-tuning its emergency preparedness strategies and creating additional isolation rooms.

Memorial Hospital Chester

Through advanced planning and preparation with local alliances, Memorial Hospital Chester procured necessary supplies and reorganized operations to fight COVID-19.

NorthShore University HealthSystem

By assembling a cross-functional team in January 2020, NorthShore University HealthSystem began planning and preparing for how COVID-19 would affect operations across the care continuum.

Vista Health System

With critical care nurses key to caring for COVID-19 patients, Vista Health System cross-trained clinicians at its Waukegan hospital. The planning paid off as a critical care surge came days later.

Edward-Elmhurst Health

With emergency preparedness a year-round effort, Edward-Elmhurst Health took swift action to conserve resources and expand capacity for COVID-19 patients.

Mercyhealth System

Mercyhealth conserved personal protective equipment for COVID-19 by starting preparations early, reorganizing operations and delaying non-urgent surgeries and visits.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital

As part of a CDC-sponsored project, Northwestern Memorial Hospital is a pilot site with a real-time inventory of personal protective equipment to promote resource sharing with other hospitals.

Riverside Healthcare

Negative pressure rooms reduce airborne pathogens and enhance safety for patients and staff. Riverside Healthcare in Kankakee worked quickly to add these rooms in anticipation of COVID-19.

Rush Copley Medical Center

PPE coaches at Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora stay on top of the latest guidance on personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure frontline staff are using this essential equipment correctly.

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

Gov. JB Pritzker called on healthcare partners—including Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago—to help ramp up testing for COVID-19 in African American communities.

Carle Health

Carle Health leveraged its expertise and partnership with the University of Illinois to expand COVID-19 testing, reduce the wait time for test results and design a new ventilator prototype.

Hopedale Medical Complex

A designated triage area outside the Hopedale Medical Complex emergency department provides screening for COVID-19 symptoms, separating potential cases from other patients in the hospital.

Memorial Health System

Memorial Health System added COVID-19 screening of anyone with a respiratory issue at two of its urgent care clinics. The Springfield and Decatur clinics have provided screenings since March.

NorthShore University HealthSystem

With testing slow to roll out across the U.S., NorthShore University HealthSystem is conducting in-house COVID-19 testing for symptomatic patients and sharing data with labs around the country.

OSF HealthCare

With travel screening protocols from the 2014 Ebola outbreak already in place, OSF HealthCare added extra precautions to prepare for the novel coronavirus.

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

Researchers at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and Northwestern University developed a wireless, flexible device that can monitor for COVID-like symptoms, such as cough and fever, rapidly and remotely.

Rush Health

Rush Health is protecting staff, patients and their families across Chicagoland by using telemedicine to continue vital treatment and adhere to social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Southern Illinois Healthcare

As an alternative to office visits, telehealth is helping primary care patients with Southern Illinois Healthcare keep up with routine healthcare crucial to their well-being during COVID-19.

Weiss Memorial Hospital

Nurses and social workers at Weiss Memorial Hospital work together to arrange virtual family visits for inpatients in isolation due to the highly contagious novel coronavirus.