This group is open to any current patients who use alcohol or other drugs.  We will focus on learning more about substances and their use as well as how to reduce the harm of using substances. This is a drop-in group and patients are welcome to join at any time.

Where: 845 W Wilson

When: Wednesdays at 10:30 am to 12 pm starting January 10th

December 4, 2017

Heartland held its annual Turkey Raffle, this year at our 2200 W Touhy clinic. Ten families were the lucky winners, and  all came over in record time to pick theirs up. Each turkey was big, fresh and hormone free, ranging  in size from 15 – 20 lbs, depending on the number of people in their household.  Pictured above is one of our patients with Melissa Hart, Site Manager of our Touhy clinic which has just undergone a lovely renovation, with new flooring, windows, electrical and lighting, HVAC, countertops and a new paint job!

November 6, 2017

Knitting is a great way to relax and be mindful. Meet new people, learn a new skill, and reduce your stress in this weekly group. No supplies or experience required!


October 25, 2017

¿Debería mi hijo recibir la vacuna contra la gripa?

¡Sí! Aquí está la razón…

La vacuna contra la gripa previene la gripa (el “flu”).  La gripa es un virus común que causa fiebres altas repentinas, toz, cansancio, y dolencias en el cuerpo.

¿Por qué es importante que mi hijo sea inmunizado contra la gripa?

  • Niños pequeños sufren más con los problemas causadas por la gripa. La gripa causa problemas con respirar, enfermedades pulmonarias, y problemas causadas por las altas fiebres. Estos problemas de la gripa pueden hospitalizar a niños y hasta causar la muerte, especialmente a niños menores de 5 años. Para prevenir esto es importante que todos los niños, especialmente los más jóvenes, reciban la vacuna contra la gripa.

¿Qué puede pasar si mi hijo recibe la vacuna contra la gripa?

  • Lo más común es que el aria donde recibió la vacuna se enrojece y se inflame, y uno entre cinco niños puede tener dolor. Algunos niños pueden tener fiebre, dolor de cabeza, o dolencias en los músculos por 1 ó 2 días, pero no es la gripa. Hay otros efectos secundarios más raros.
  • A su hijo no le puede dar la gripa con la vacuna porque la vacuna está hecha de un virus muerto. La vacuna contra la gripa no es para prevenir los resfriados normales que las personas reciben durante el invierno.
  • La vacuna empieza a trabajar después de 14 días de haberla recibido. Trate de mantenerse alejado de personas que estén enfermas con la gripa en esos 14 días.

¿Cuándo necesita mi hijo recibir la vacuna contra la gripa?

  • Cada niño (entre los 6 meses o mayor) debe obtener la vacuna cada año (septiembre a marzo).
  • Niños entre 6 meses a 9 años, recibiendo la vacuna contra la gripa por primera vez necesitan dos vacunas. La segunda vacuna es puesta un mes después de recibir la primera. Después de esto, su hijo solamente necesitaría una vacuna cada año para prevenir la gripa.
  • La vacuna contra la gripa se puede dar con otras vacunas.

Si su hijo tiene seguro médico, no hay ningún costo para la vacuna contra la gripa. Si usted paga de su bolsillo el cuidado médico de su hijo, no hay costo adicional para la vacuna contra la gripa.

Para más información, visite

Heartland Health Center
1300 W. Devon Ave.
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 751-7850

Lunes-Jueves: 8:30 am – 8:00 pm
Viernes: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Sábado: 8:30 am – 12:30 pm

October 25, 2017

Should my child get the flu shot?

Yes!  Here’s why…

The flu shot prevents the flu.  The flu is a common virus that causes a sudden high fever, coughing, and feeling very tired and sore all over.

Why is it important for my child to be immunized against the flu?

  • Young children suffer more with the problems caused by the flu. The flu can cause trouble breathing, lung diseases, and problems from very high fevers.  These problems from the flu can put children in the hospital and even cause death especially in children under 5 years old.  To prevent this, it is important for all children, especially very young children, to get the flu shot.

What can happen if my child gets the flu shot?

  • Most often, the spot where the flu shot was given can become red and swollen and may hurt for 1 out of 5 children. Some children may get a fever, headache, or their muscles can hurt for 1 or 2 days, but this is not the flu.  There are other rare side effects.
  • Your child cannot get the flu from the flu shot because the shot is made from a killed virus. The flu shot is also not meant to prevent normal colds people get during the winter.
  • The shot starts to work 14 days after getting it. Try to stay away from people who are sick with the flu during those 14 days.

When does my child need the flu shot?

  • Each child (ages 6 months and older) is due for a flu shot every year (September to March).
  • The 1st time your child gets the flu shot until 9 years old, he/she will need a 2nd shot one month later. After that, your child will only need to get one flu shot every year to prevent the flu.
  • The flu shot may be given at the same time with other shots.

If your child has health insurance, there is no cost for the flu shot. If you pay for your child’s healthcare, there is no extra cost for the flu shot.

For more information, go to

Heartland Health Center
1300 W. Devon Ave.
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 751-7850


M-Th:  8:30 am – 8:00 pm
F:  8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Sat:  8:30 am – 12:30 pm


¿Debería mi hijo recibir la vacuna contra la gripa?

¡Sí! Aquí está la razón…


Heidi Spielmaker, RN

HHC Devon Community Health Nurse Heidi Spielmaker enjoys going on camping trips in the summer, and says this whole grain pancake recipe makes cooking while camping healthy, easy, and delicious, for any meal. On the origin of the recipe, Heidi says:

“These were created so that when we go camping we can easily have healthy and FAST pancakes, only adding a few items at time of cooking. They cook up so yummy and you can add more or less milk to your desired thickness.  Now, sit by the campfire and enjoy these for any meal!! Don’t forget to add maple syrup and butter!”

This recipe can also simply be made over the stove at home, and preparing the dry ingredients in advance is a great way to save time.



  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of cornmeal
  • ½ cup of old fashioned oats (not quick oats)
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 1 Tbs of cinnamon

Then pack the following items in the cooler to mix with dry at time of cooking:

  • Add 2 Tbs of pure maple syrup
  • 1 small container of natural apple sauce ( I bring the pre-packed plastic cups without corn syrup or sugar)
  • ½ to 1 cup of almond, soy or regular milk, whatever you wish
  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries!


Mix dry ingredients together in advance and place in sealed container. When ready to cook, add maple syrup, apple sauce, milk, and blueberries. Pour batter into a nonstick pan over a fire, or just on the stove, and cook each side until done.



On August 8 a lively mix of people gathered in the parking lot at 3737 W Lawrence to get a firsthand view of the newest piece of community art adorning the wall by Heartland’s primary care clinic at that location. The CPS and Wright College art students who did the painting, family members, representatives of the many local community stakeholders and Alderman Carlos Rosa were among those who came to celebrate.

Community Connections and HealthCare from the Heart are the two main themes of the mural, there for all to see in vibrant color. It was truly a labor of love by the artists to get this massive project done, despite day jobs, crazy weather, scaffolding nightmares, and a myriad of other unforeseen glitches.

A special thanks to lead artist Christina Heyworth and Rene Lopez-Cabrera who recruited students from the GEAR UP program at Volta, Albany Park Multi Cultural Academy and Roosevelt for the key roles they played in bringing this idea of many months ago to fruition.

A final note: We are still collecting donations as we did not meet our budget by a long shot! Feel free to visit this GoFundMe link if you haven’t already.  We will be forever grateful!

En esta clase vamos a aprender sobre topicos de la nutrición y el bienestar, y practicar destrezas de cocinar. Cada semana vamos a cocinar un o dos recetas saludables, deliciosas, y baratas. Despues de cada clase le daremos algunos de los ingredientes para llevar a su casa. A finales del curso, participantes que han asistido a mas que 4 clases van a recibir un regalo de un libro de recetas.




Gwenn Rausch is the CEO of Heartland Health Centers, a community health center whose mission is to improve the well-being of communities by providing accessible, high-quality healthcare to those most in need, particularly low-income individuals, the uninsured, under-insured, immigrants, and refugees.

“I was at the lowest end of my life before, and now, I feel like I’m at one of the highest,” says Pat Parsons, 70. “I’m involved, I’m enjoying life… what more could you ask?”


Parsons came to Heartland Health Centers to get medication she needed but was unable to purchase after her company abruptly closed and canceled its insurance policy in 2009. A friend told her she could afford Heartland, which primarily serves the un- and under-insured and is required by law to offer sliding-scale fees. But the “whole patient” care she received — part of our commitment to put patients first — was what prompted Parsons to stay, get engaged, and ultimately to commit to serve on our all-volunteer board of directors.

Her story may be unique, but the solutions that her care and the experiences of other community health center patients represent offer lessons for the country as we move forward in solving the health-care crisis. In honor of National Health Center Week, here’s a perspective on community health centers from the CEO of Heartland Health Centers, Gwenn Rausch.

It may be surprising given the headlines about partisan battles on health insurance most of us have been reading, but officials from across the political spectrum mostly agree on providing primary care to people in need. Many will visit one of the 1,375 publicly-funded community health centers across the country that serve as the family doctor to more than 25 million Americans. That includes Heartland Health Centers and a dozen others in Chicago that staff nearly 100 clinics in schools and communities.

The program started more than 50 years ago as a small but bold demonstration project to provide health care in medically underserved areas. They reach beyond the walls of conventional medicine to address the factors that may cause sickness, such as lack of nutrition, mental illness, homelessness and opioid addiction. Their work has also been demonstrated to save money: on average Medicaid spends 24 percent less on treatment at community health centers compared to other types of medical providers, according to a 2016 study in the American Journal of Public Health.

The patient-centered approach to care builds on community health centers’ legacy of producing innovative solutions to the most pressing health care issues in communities. One promising practice emerging from our work that our healthcare systems should adopted widely — not just in care for the un- and under-insured is to connect mental and physical care in a more integrated way.

A 2006 study found severe mental illness shortened Americans’ life expectancy by 25 years. The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors found that three out of every five persons with serious mental illnesses die due to a preventable health condition. Those afflicted with mental illness are 3.4 times more likely to die from heart disease, 3.4 times more likely to die from diabetes, 3.8 times more likely to die from an accident, 5 times more likely to die from respiratory ailments, and 6.6 times more likely to die from pneumonia and influenza.

While progress has been made, in 2015, JAMA Psychiatry reported that people with mental disorders lived on average 10 years less and attributed 8 million deaths worldwide per year to mental disorders.

Several years ago, Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare and Heartland Health Centers started providing primary-care clinics inside mental-health treatment centers, providing one-stop shopping for patients who need both kinds of care. Putting patients’ needs first helped us to see that this saved multiple trips for patients who might not have access to reliable transportation.

Co-locating physical- and mental-health care providers also made it easier to put them on the same team and let them share information about patients’ issues and treatment plans. Half of the Trilogy patients who got their primary care from the Heartland Health Centers integrated clinic showed significant weight loss, nearly 60 percent reduced cholesterol levels, and a third quit smoking.

Meanwhile, community health centers have also added more social workers and psychiatrists at community and school health clinics. Quite simply, there is a great need for behavioral health care among our un- and under-insured population. In Rogers Park, for example, mental health disorders cause by far the largest portion of hospitalization rates for mental disorders other than drugs or alcohol and occur 52 percent more frequently than the Chicago average.

But adding behavioral health care is also just good sense, allowing health centers to perfect what we call the “warm handoff,” where a general practitioner, in session, can offer a patient the option to see an LCSW before they leave the office that day. A typical recent case was a 12-year-old who came to a Heartland Health Centers clinic after being hit by a car. Her pediatrician suggested she speak to the social worker after the young woman said she had become too anxious to cross the street by herself.

The social worker and patient discussed deep breathing techniques for relaxation. The following week, the young woman came back saying it had worked well enough to let her cross the street by herself, and she was already using deep breathing to stay calm before taking tests at school.

These practices are helping to save money and provide excellent care in underserved communities. Community health centers come by our whole-patient orientation for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is, we are required by law to have half our board members come from the patients we serve. In the case of Heartland Health Centers, Parsons is not just a customer, she also helps govern the organization. Perhaps that is the most important lesson of all: when consumers have a strong voice in health-care delivery, good ideas result.

Hopefully we will see progress in improving the health care system in the coming year and that progress will enshrine tested practices from community health centers as it comes.

Rina Tang

When she is not busy working as a Health Information Management Clerk at HHC, Rina Tang makes and sells homemade juices, teas, popsicles, and other healthy food products through her small business, From Roots to Juice.  

From Roots to Juice has its own roots in Rina’s long-standing love of healthy eating, cooking, and especially juicing.  Rina would post pictures of her homemade juices on Facebook, and found that friends were interested in learning about, trying, and even buying her products. Rina founded From Roots to Juice in 2013, taking orders through the company’s Facebook page, and the business has continued to grow ever since.

Word has started to spread: a local cafe in Hyde Park, Ancien Cafe & Cycle, recently started selling three of Rina’s drinks, including her pineapple ginger lemonade, after discovering From Roots to Juice on social media.

Rina hopes to continue expanding From Roots to Juice and to partner with more local vendors. Meanwhile, she has been taking online nutrition classes with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and hopes to incorporate the knowledge she gains into her business. Check out From Roots to Juice on Facebook and on Instagram at @fromrootstojuice, and try out her recipe for strawberry mango ginger popsicles at home!

Strawberry Mango Ginger Popsicles

All natural, 4 ingredients, and no sugar added!

Tools you need: Blender, Hand Juicer, Knife, Popsicle Molds, Grater, measuring spoons, measuring cups, small dish

Prep Time:15 mins, 30 mins and 4.5hrs freeze time


  • Strawberries: 1 cup, plus 5-6 additional, stems removed
  • Mango: 2 ripe, seeds removed
  • Ginger-root: 1 tablespoon fresh juiced. Peel and grate approx 1 inch knob, squeeze the juice out with your fingers into a small dish.
  • Orange Juice: up to 2 fresh oranges squeezed. OR 1 cup of juice not concentrate, divided.


In blender, mix strawberries with 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, blend until pureed. Pour mixture into 8 popsicle molds.  To achieve the half mango/strawberry design, place molds in freezer securely tilted. Leave in freezer for 30 mins. Gather remaining 5-6 strawberries and slice thinly. Set aside.

Rinse the blender out and add the mango, remaining 3/4 cup orange juice and 1 tablespoon of juiced ginger, blend until smooth.

Remove the molds from the freezer. The strawberry mix should be a slushy consistency by now. Pour the mango mixture over the strawberry puree, leaving room just below the top. Use a knife to gently swirl some of the strawberry mixture into the mango puree. Add 2-3 of the pre-sliced strawberries along the sides of each mold.  Top off the molds with the remaining mango puree and then insert the stick part of the mold to cover each one.  (If using traditional wooden popsicle sticks, place the filled molds into freezer for 30 mins. BEFORE inserting the wooded sticks).

Place molds back into the freezer and allow a min of 4.5hrs.freeze time.

To pull the  popsicles from the molds once they have completely frozen, run each popsicle underneath a steady stream of warm water (10 seconds for each) to loosen the popsicle from the mold.  Do not twist! Twisting will loosen the popsicles from the stick. Enjoy!