Health & Wellness Center opens outreach services office

The University of St. Francis Health and Wellness Center’s new Outreach Services Office was dedicated at a grand opening Oct. 13. Pictured at the ribbon cutting are (left to right): J.D. Ross, executive director of the Will-Grundy Medical Clinic and chairperson of the University of St. Francis Board of Trustees; Dr. James Wright, collaborating physician; Carol Wilson, dean of USF’s College of Nursing; State Rep. Jack McGuire, 86th District; Mary Maragos, director of the USF Health and Wellness Center; State Sen. AJ Wilhelmi, 43rd District; Michael J. Vinciguerra, University of St. Francis president; Maria Connolly, professor of nursing and retired College of Nursing dean; Kay Ferrario, professor of nursing; and Jeffrey Brickman, president and CEO of Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center.

Joliet, IL- The new Outreach Services Office of the University of St. Francis Health and Wellness Center will bring health care services to an additional 600 patients each year in their homes. Outreach services such as on-site school/sports physicals, immunizations and screenings have the potential to serve yet another 700 patients, according to Michael Vinciguerra, University of St. Francis president.

The new Health & Outreach Services Office has been made possible through a $75,000 grant secured by State Sen. AJ Wilhelmi, 43rd District, from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Funds from the capital construction and jobs bill passed by the Illinois legislature is being put to good use in Will County, said Wilhelmi. “By working together, we are able to bring quality health care to people who not only need it, but deserve it,” he said. Wilhelmi was the first patient, getting a flu shot at the new Health and Wellness Center Outreach Services Office when it officially opened Oct. 13.

Nurse Renee Ludeman Hurstik gives a flu shot to State Sen. AJ Wilhelmi at the new Outreach Services Office of the University of St. Francis Health and Wellness Center in Joliet. The new office opened Oct. 13.

In 2007, the University of St. Francis opened a Health and Wellness Center (HWC) as a primary care clinic that treats the whole person, not just the disease or symptoms. Managed by advanced practice nurses on the faculty of the university’s College of Nursing and Allied Health, it is the first nurse-managed clinic in Will County. Since opening, the center has served 5,354 patients through 8,419 visits.

‘We’re proud of the care that our nursing faculty and students give at the center and pleased that they will now be able to extend that to home care and outreach to schoolchildren,” Vinciguerra said. “We’re also very grateful for the support of Sen. Wilhelmi and many others who care about our community and the well-being of its residents.”

The Health and Outreach Services Office is located in USF’s Motherhouse at the corner of Plainfield Road and Taylor Street.

The Health and Wellness Center also operates at the John C. Murphy Building of the Housing Authority of Joliet, 311 N. Ottawa St. in downtown Joliet; Groundwork Domestic Violence Shelter of Guardian Angel Community Service; and Lamb’s Fold Women’s Center. For more information about the Health and Wellness Center or for an appointment, call 1-877-613-9393 (toll-free).