Local Big Brothers Big Sisters Program Closing

Freeport, Illinois — FHN has announced the discontinuation of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Illinois, a program of FHN, effective 2/18/18.

“This is obviously unfortunate,” said FHN Vice President of  Patient Services/Chief Nursing Officer Kathryn Martinez. “We were recently informed by the national Big Brothers Big Sisters organization of a number of new requirements for operating a Big Brothers Big Sisters program that we are not able to meet. These include hiring a full-time program director and two full-time staff, annual revenue of at least $200,000, and a minimum of 100 Big/Little matches.

“Based on our current funding status, these are well beyond our current means,” said FHN Family Counseling Center Prevention and Education Supervisor Beth Johnson.

Martinez said that FHN will begin an exploration into setting up a mentoring program similar to Big Brothers Big Sisters to address the specific needs and resources in northwest Illinois.  If community members are interested in providing input or comments, contact Beth Johnson in FHN Family Counseling (815-599-7310 or Bjohnson2@fhn.org).

FHN also announced a bowling event in April, to be held at about the same time Bowl For Kids’ Sake has been scheduled in the past.  This event will raise funds for preventive/protective services for children in northwest Illinois, including mentoring (funds raised prior to December 31, 2017 have already been used to support the Big Brothers Big Sisters program that is closing). The event will also kick off the 50th anniversary celebration of Jane Addams Family Counseling, which joined FHN to become FHN Family Counseling in 2000.

FHN, a not-for-profit organization with nearly 1,400 employees, is an award-winning regional healthcare system committed to the health and well-being of the people of northwest Illinois and southern Wisconsin. FHN Memorial Hospital has been recognized as one of the state’s top hospitals for safety by the Leapfrog group and Healthgrades as well as by the world’s largest, completely independent, non-profit product- and service-testing organization. FHN caregivers serve an average of 1,500 people each day across FHN’s 22 locations in 5 counties spanning northwest Illinois. Organized in 1995 as an integrated healthcare delivery system, FHN is comprised of FHN Memorial Hospital, the Leonard C. Ferguson Cancer Center at FHN Memorial Hospital, 13 family healthcare centers offering primary and specialty medical care, hospice, occupational and chiropractic health services, dental care and outpatient mental health services. For more information about FHN, please visit www.fhn.org.

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