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COVID-19 TESTING

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Available at select Aunt Martha’s locations.

Celebrating the Diligence and Determination of our Employees

A Statement from Raul Garza, President & CEO

November 20, 2020

Every seven seconds another Illinois resident is confirmed positive for COVID-19.1 This week Illinois has averaged more than 12,100 new cases per day, a 2-week increase of 58% and a 3-week spike of 133%. According to Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, the data confirms the worst. The plain fact is that COVID-19 is spreading unchecked through our communities.

At Aunt Martha’s, where our frontline staff have unflinchingly faced every challenge the coronavirus has spawned, we have been fortunate to have experienced comparatively low positivity rates. That good fortune is less the result of circumstance and more the result of individual diligence, discipline and organizational design. It is, first and foremost, the result of a conscious, continuous effort – on the part of more than 800 employees – to do the right things to protect one another as well as those we serve.

The individual determination of our staff is buttressed by an organization-wide safety and risk mitigation strategy that was put in place in the first days of the pandemic. Our strategy, which continues to evolve, is not driven by a top-down approach. Instead, its design is reverse-engineered from the individual perspective to the organizational level. Its goal is to achieve the highest levels of both safety and, as the stresses of the pandemic now blend with the stresses of the holiday season, support.

Driven by data and informed by best practice, we continue to exercise extreme caution at every Aunt Martha’s facility. We remain committed to going beyond the PPE, physical barriers, fogging and deep cleaning protocols that have been in place since the outset, and continue to consult with a Certified Industrial Hygienist as we build protective measures into the physical infrastructure of our health centers, shelters and offices, including:

  • The installation of bipolar ionization systems which emit charged particles that attach to and deactivate harmful substances, including the coronavirus;
  • The installation of germicidal ultraviolet lights like those used by hospitals to kill viruses on surfaces; and,
  • The installation of hospital-grade negative air pressure systems that effectively isolate infected individuals from non-infected individuals within the same facility.

All of these things are investments in the physical health of our staff. Our responsibility – as individual executives and as an organization – does not end there. The mental health toll of the COVID-19 pandemic is every bit as dangerous, and potentially more long-lasting than its physical effects. This is why our approach to safety and risk mitigation has turned increasingly to initiatives to support our employees during the time when they are not at work, from offering self-care webinars to providing gift checks for holiday meals. And it is why I have asked my team at the executive level to accept personal responsibility and to reaffirm their commitment to ensuring the physical and mental well-being of our employees.

Nothing, when it comes to the health and safety of our employees, can be left to chance. Where there are shortcomings, they will be swiftly addressed; and where there are additional investments needed, they will be made.

This is what our employees deserve. They deserve it because they are responsible for the unparalleled level of care Aunt Martha’s provides. There is no other health center that rises to the occasion to care for the highest risk youth in our child welfare system, and there is no other child welfare agency whose reach extends into the homes and lives of more than 105,000 people in over 600 communities.

This year more than ever, our employees deserve – and I know they have – our utmost respect and thanks. Please have a safe and healthy holiday season.


Innovating and Investing in a Time of Crisis

A Statement from Raul Garza, President & CEO

October 21, 2020

In a time of crisis, Aunt Martha’s chose to stand up and speak out about the racial and social injustices that too many of our patients and clients, our parents and our children, our employees, our coworkers and colleagues continue to endure. We chose to challenge our peers to become more diverse at all levels, and to advocate for true change. There is progress, but the time has come for strides rather than mere steps. And in this time of crisis – inspired and driven by the courage and commitment of our employees – Aunt Martha’s chose to innovate, to invest in the immediate and ongoing needs of the hundreds of communities we serve. Read more…


Exposing Racism in All Forms

A Statement from Raul Garza, President & CEO

September 21, 2020

I write today because you have always known me to be transparent with you about organizational issues Aunt Martha’s is facing, including at times what our leaders are experiencing personally. Aunt Martha’s has never hesitated, in its history of close to 50 years, to stand up against injustice in any form, in any forum or in any community. Over the past four months, I have written extensively to audiences both personal and public about our clear stance and commitment to racial and social justice. Many of our employees have also expressed their concern and their disgust with the level of inequity that exists within certain outside entities, and it has been my pledge to continue to take this fight to any and all arenas where it is necessary. To meet that commitment, I – and we – must be willing to challenge, even confront those among us who might hear our words but fail to heed our message. Read more…


New Support in Our Fight Against Racism, Discrimination in the Village of Midlothian and the Battle Against COVID-19

A Statement from Raul Garza, President & CEO

August 17, 2020

Backed by a $5 million donation from The Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation, the Live Healthy Chicago collaborative informed Aunt Martha’s last week of a $50,000 grant award to offset a portion of the cost of the negative air pressure system installed in April at our Children’s Quarantine Center (CQC). The CQC represents Aunt Martha’s response to calls from DCFS for agencies with the capacity to safely care for youth in the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, it is the state’s only facility designed to care specifically for foster children whose living situation is disrupted by COVID-19. Read more…


Reflecting on our Shared Journey

Excerpt from a Memo to Aunt Martha’s Employees from Raul Garza, President & CEO

July 2, 2020

On Tuesday, June 30, I published a statement following that days hearing before the US District Court in Aunt Martha’s discrimination suit against the Village of Midlothian. The judge had extended the emergency temporary restraining order that prevents the Village from shutting down our Children’s Quarantine Center. The individuals representing the Village, however, have never been more transparent in either their desire or intent to shutter the CQC. They couch their motives in a message of public safety. But let me be absolutely clear. The protection they seek is not protection from a virus. They are fighting to keep diversity out of their community. Read more…


A Statement from Raul Garza, President and CEO, on Aunt Martha’s Continued Stand Against Racism and Against the Discriminatory Practices in the Village of Midlothian

June 30, 2020

Last month, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and a level of racial and social upheaval our country has not witnessed in a generation, Aunt Martha’s filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the Village of Midlothian for violating the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act in an effort to shutter the state’s first children’s quarantine center for DCFS youth affected by the COVID-19 pandemic…. This discrimination case has been and continues to be one of fairness. It is, at its core, the issue we are all challenged to confront and represents the systemic inequities we have allowed to become so deeply entrenched in our society and, at our own fault, in our own communities. Read more…


Juneteenth, the Supreme Court and Living up to our Ideals

A Statement from Raul Garza, President & CEO

June 19, 2020

Today, June 19 – or Juneteenth – commemorates the freedom of the last Black slaves in America. It has been 155 years since the date was first recognized in 1865. As recent events have demonstrated, our country and each of us as individuals still have a great deal of work to do in the name of equality and justice. It is a day to reflect on the type of country we are, and the type of country and the type of people we must still strive to become. Read more…


A Landmark Decision for Diversity and Inclusion

Excerpt from a Memo to Aunt Martha’s Employees from Raul Garza, President & CEO

June 15, 2020

I have mentioned the work being done to restructure the design of our orgnization to best support our employees and thrive in the new reality of COVID-19; and, more importantly, strengthen our ability to contribute to a social environment of racial equity and justice. I am pleased to report that we have completed the design phase of that effort. Now, we must all go to work. The changes we make and the work we do together will represent an extension of our collective fight against the racial and social injustices faced by so many members of the communities we serve. Read more…


A Continued Call-to-Action

A Statement from Raul Garza, President & CEO

June 12, 2020

In calendar year 2019, more than 70 percent of the patients and clients who turned to Aunt Martha’s were people of color. One-third of those we served identified themselves as being Hispanic or Latino in ethnicity. More than half (55 percent) identified themselves as African American.

These numbers are more than statistics. They represent this organization’s commitment – your commitment – to serving and to caring for those who historically have been underserved at best, and often left to fend entirely for themselves. They also represent Aunt Martha’s. They represent you and I. Today, for the first time in its proud history, Aunt Martha’s has people of color serving in the roles of both CEO and Chief Operating Officer. Overall, more than 75 percent of the agency’s staff (including close to 60 percent at the leadership level) are people of color, representing and reflecting at every level of the organization the experiences and challenges faced every day by the people we serve. Read more…


We Stand Against Racial Injustice

A Statement from Raul Garza, President & CEO

May 31, 2020

The overt acts of racism that have occurred across our country over the past few weeks are truly disturbing. The tragic events that have been covered extensively by the media recently are truly some of the worst examples, but they are not the only racist events that have occurred in the past month, past week, or even the past day. Racism of varying degrees occurs every minute of every day – some with tragic outcomes such as the heartbreaking cases of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. May they both rest in peace.

Although the internet and social media has, at times, allowed racism to be more readily exposed, racism in our country is not a new reality. The dark history of mistreatment of people who are perceived to be “different” than those in power has scarred this country and all who call it home. The disadvantages created by the vicious cycle of historic and ever-present racism is immense. And the COVID-19 pandemic has only intensified the inequalities that already existed. Read more…

We encourage everyone to get tested for COVID-19, whether you are experiencing symptoms or not, and follow the precautionary protective guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Click to find out more and to find a testing location nearest you.

Back to School Physicals

Call 877-692-8686 to schedule your youth or child physical and immunization today!  Safe, In-person Appointments. Read more about our Patient Safety measures.

Do you think you might be pregnant?

See all our reproductive health services.  No appointment necessary.  Insurance NOT required.

 

Aunt Martha’s Heroes!

We are proud of the enthusiasm and commitment of our staff in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Here are a few pics from various locations!

News

October 15, 2020 – Aunt Martha’s mobile health unit offers free COVID-19 testing

October 8, 2020 – Aunt Martha’s teams with State Rep. Kathleen Willis, Senate President Don Harmon to curb spread of COVID-19 in vulnerable communities

September 14, 2020 – Watch the Video: Aunt Martha’s Virtual Fundraiser is a Success 

September 4, 2020 – Aunt Martha’s health care provides thousands of masks in underserved communities

September 1, 2020 – Aunt Martha’s, County Board Commissioner Deborah Sims team to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Chicago’s most vulnerable communities

August 13, 2020 – Aunt Martha’s receives grant from Live Healthy Chicago supporting services at Illinois’ only center for DCFS youth affected by COVID-19

July 8, 2020 – Raul Garza Addresses Racial Inequities and Health Disparities on Chicago Tonight, WTTW-Chicago

July 6, 2020 – Dr. Forrest Moore, Carrie Muehlbauer Bring New Perspectives, Expertise to Aunt Martha’s Leadership Team

June 30th, 2020 – Aunt Martha’s Teams with UIC John Marshall Law School Fair Housing Legal Clinic in Civil Rights Case against Village of Midlothian

June 23rd, 2020 – Chicago Bears Legend Mike Singletary Discusses COVID-19 Study and Testing Offered at Aunt Martha’s

June 11, 2020 – A Memo from Raul Garza, President & CEO – A Continued Call-to-Action

June 11, 2020 – Raul Garza Elected VP of Board of Directors of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago

June 1, 2020 – A Memo From Our President & CEO Raul Garza to Staff on, Standing Up To Racial Injustice

May 27, 2020 – U.S. District Court Grants Temporary Restraining Order against Village of Midlothian

May 18, 2020 – Aunt Martha’s seeks Emergency Temporary Restraining Order to keep Village of Midlothian from closing Center for DCFS Youth affected by COVID-19

May 12, 2020 – Aunt Martha’s sues the Village of Midlothian citing Violations of the Fair Housing Act relating to the state’s first children’s quarantine center for DCFS Wards affected by COVID-19

May 1, 2020 – President & CEO Raul Garza Keynote Speaker in Virtual Forum on Behavioral Telehealth & COVID-19

About Aunt Martha's

Aunt Martha’s is a health and wellness not-for-profit organization serving over 105,000 children and adults throughout over 600 communities in Illinois. Through our Integrated Care Model, we provide primary and family health care, including behavioral health, pediatrics, family planning, parent support, and women’s health.  We are also a licensed child welfare provider with foster care and intact family services. Our Integrated Care Center serves to stabilize DCFS involved youth and prepare them for long term placement.