Humana Guidance Center to open Healthy living has become synonymous with Lombard over the last few years—with such initiatives as Healthy Lombard—and now another facet of services to residents is available. The Humana Guidance Center is holding its grand opening today, May 15, at the BreakThrough Care Center, 2050-50 S. Finley Road, to help individuals manage their health plan, personal health and well-being, according to a press release from Stephen Wilson of Coyne Public Relations. The launch of the center comes after DuPage Medical Group (DMG) and Humana Inc. formed a partnership to open the BreakThrough Care Center, which Wilson, in a release this past January, described as a “comprehensive, holistic outpatient clinic serving the most vulnerable Chicagoland seniors struggling with chronic disease.” He also noted that “BreakThrough Care Center was designed to improve medical outcomes while lowering health care costs and improving patients’ ability to manage their health conditions.” DMG opened its Lombard center and another in Naperville on Jan. 2, led by Dr. Richard Krouse and Dr. Brian O’Leary, DMG physicians, in order to help seniors, whose illnesses are complex and chronic, increase their quality of life, reduce hospitalization and decrease the costs of medical care. The BreakThrough Care Center staff includes a registered nurse, health coaches, nutritionists, medication therapy management, physical therapists and social services resources, according to the January release. Patients at the center are required to meet certain health criteria and obtain a referral from a DMG or Edward Medical Group physician, and will primarily be Humana Medicare Advantage plan members; however, other individuals may be accepted, depending on referrals. “Access to affordable, quality care is often a struggle for chronically ill seniors,” stated Tim O’Rourke, president of Humana’s Great Lakes Medicare region. “With BreakThrough Care Center, our goal is to improve the quality of life for those members by providing them with the specialized, coordinated care they need. Humana has a history of developing innovative health care solutions, and we’re proud to be a part of this new type of care model in DuPage County,” he added. Wilson’s latest release explains that the Humana center within the larger center will be “a source of sound guidance and helpful information to both Humana members and non-members.” In addition to helping seniors manage their health and well being, Humana staff will be available to explain to individuals what kinds of health benefits and services are available, such as individual medical plans for seniors over 65, along with Medicare, prescription, dental vision and other “specialty” plans. The Humana center will also offer activities, seminars, social activities and special events, such as crafting courses and video bowling leagues, and is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. “Guidance centers are similar to community centers,” stated Wilson, “just with more of a health focus—and are open to members and non-members.” “In addition to being able to access health information, adults can go to the guidance center for health and fitness classes, craft workshops, video game bowling or just simply to socialize, read the newspaper and drink a coffee,” he reiterated. “DuPage Medical Group is proud to join with Humana in creating this unique clinical care model for our patients who are in most need,” stated DMG CEO Mike Kasper in the January press release. “Through this endeavor, our physicians can offer patients critical services they need to better manage chronic illnesses like COPD and diabetes. BreakThrough Care Center represents DuPage Medical Group’s mission of serving our patients at every level,” he added. Linda Greenwell, manager for Humana Guidance Centers in Illinois, commented, “Humana feels BreakThrough Care Center’s goals and mission are similar to ours in how we aim to serve the health and well-being of community members.” “Since both are champions in the community in getting the word out to local seniors—both members and non-members—about healthy lifestyles, Humana thought it would be beneficial to open its newest location near the BreakThrough Care Center in Lombard,” she added. Today’s event, which is open to the public, will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a grand opening ceremony at noon. It is expected that Lombard Village President Keith Giagnorio will make an appearance, along with Rafal Zakrzewski, Humana’s MarketPOINT director for Chicago, and Lucia West Jones, director of the Northeast Illinois Agency on Aging. A spokesperson from the Chicago chapter of the American Diabetes Association is also expected to attend. The grand opening will feature senior-oriented health presentations, an exercise demonstration by the SilverSneakers Fitness Program, refreshments, door prizes, video game bowling and more, according to Wilson. As one of his first official duties as village president, Giagnorio said he expects to tour the centers. He commented that having the DMG and Humana centers is “going to be a good thing” for Lombard, especially because of its focus on older residents. It is “an outreach to our seniors,” he added. “It’s going to be a positive thing.” For more information about DuPage Medical Group, visit www.DuPageMedicalGroup.com, and for more information about Humana and its Medicare Advantage plans, visit www.Humana-Medicare.com.
Second fundraiser to help Drury family Kate Drury says her son Charlie, 8, is making strides since he was diagnosed with pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococci (infections), or PANDAS, after first having strep throat in November 2012. “Out and About” featured the Drury family’s story on April 3, when a fundraiser, “Change for Charlie,” was being organized, by Drury’s cousin, at Fitz’s Spare Keys in Elmhurst. The family has incurred numerous medical expenses after the illness left Charlie with such debilitating symptoms as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)—he wouldn’t touch anything with his hands, for instance—as well as having to be hand fed, when he would eat. He was not able to go to school. Charlie developed an aversion to scents, along with separation anxiety, and after seeking psychiatric help, the medications he received apparently exacerbated the symptoms. As it turns out, the illness was making his own antibodies attack his brain. Drury and her husband Rodney endured many medical visits before their son received the diagnosis of PANDAS. Charlie then received Motrin to help ease the swelling in his brain, and another round of antibiotics, but it was a specialized therapy called IVIG, or intravenous immunoglobulin, to replace blood antibodies, that was Charlie’s best chance to beat the disease. The procedure, while covered for other illnesses, was not covered for PANDAS, which is why Drury’s cousin organized the fundraiser to help defray the $12,000 cost of the IVIG treatment. Drury said the fundraiser raised enough money to pay for the first treatment, and Charlie hovers between being 85-95 percent better as a result. He even made his first communion recently. He may need another treatment—some of which will be paid for from proceeds raised at the April fundraiser—yet the family faces other disease-related medical expenses, such as psychological services for the next few years, as well as dental work. Drury explained that the disease took its toll when Charlie would not brush his teeth for a few months—he would not touch water—and also he cannot have any dental work done for at least six months after the IVIG treatment, because it could damage or interrupt the treatment. Drury said she and her husband are paying for probiotics, vitamins and antibiotics, and hope to get further help through homeopathic and chiropractic services. “We’re trying to heal him completely,” she continued, so that their son can enter puberty as a healthy pre-adolescent. Andy Isaacson, who teaches at Willowbrook High School, and whose son Dallas is Charlie’s best friend, has helped organize another fundraiser, which has seemingly gone viral after so many people have donated items, time and money to the cause. He said he has used the Drury family’s situation to teach his students about giving back to others and making worthwhile contributions to society, and from the sound of things, they are listening. The students have donated money as well as time—some 25 students are slated to volunteer on Saturday, May 18, for another fundraiser. Not just students have joined in the effort, Isaacson continued, as Willowbrook faculty, hall monitors, cafeteria workers and more have donated items, time and money to help the Drury family. He said secretaries from Addison Trail High School also made a donation, as did Janice Kiefer of the Lauren Kiefer Foundation. Kristi Isaacson, who coordinates outings for Cub Scout Pack 140, also enlisted the pack’s help to organize the fundraiser, saying that she, Den Leader Kelly Piar and Cub Master Dave Poirier all pulled together to involve their young scouts in the process. The leaders, she added, also came up with games for a kids carnival that will be part of the fundraising festivities. Andy Isaacson commented on how his students have given of themselves, saying, “That’s the real learning,” and added that the community’s rallying together from so many directions is all about “extending the concept of family.” “Having Fun Raising Funds for Charlie!” will be held Saturday, May 18, from 1-4 p.m., in the St. Pius X Church/School gym, 1025 E. Madison St., Lombard (not a school-sponsored event). There will be a bake sale, kids carnival for ages 5-10 and a silent auction. Auction items include sporting event tickets, a one-night stay at a Wisconsin resort, signed sports items and more. For more details, contact the Isaacsons at 630-279-2297 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Piar at 630-240-5786 or Kpiar@safewayins.com, or Poirier at 630-620-2410 or Poirier531@gmail.com.