Conversation with Health Professionals

Since March 2020, we in Illinois, in our nation, and in our entire world, have been living with a health emergency in which every day is a new learning experience.

In the Northern Illinois Synod, ELCA, we have continued to move forward in faith, proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and being the neighbor that we are called to be.

On Thursday, November 19, the Northern Illinois Synod, ELCA, was pleased to offer an opportunity for congregation leaders to hear a conversation facilitated by Bishop Jeffrey Clements about the current state of our Synod as regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The panelists were:

  • Dr. Alan E. Esker, MD, is on the staff of Freeport Health Network (FHN), as a Hospitalist, serving at FHN Memorial Hospital. He has served as a physician at FHN since 1986. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and received his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine.
  • Cindy Graves, R.N., MSHA, is the Director of Community Health, Prevention, Health Promotion and Emergency Preparedness Division, of the DeKalb County (IL) Health Department. She has 35 years of nursing experience, with 27 years working hospital/ER/ Disaster Preparedness. For the past 8 years she has worked in the Public Health arena. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Northern Illinois University and her Masters in Health Care Administration from University of St. Francis.
  • Dr. Mike Polizzotto, MD, is the Chief Medical Officer/CMIO at SwedishAmerican Health System, Rockford. He has served as a physician at SwedishAmerican for over 20 years. He is board certified in Family Medicine and received his medical degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine.

Bishop Clements is pleased to offer this recording of the “Conversation with Health Professionals Regarding COVID-19” to members and leaders of the synod, so that they may benefit from the information shared during the event. 

We are so grateful for the panelists, Dr. Alan Esker, Ms. Cindy Graves, R.N., and Dr. Mike Polizzotto for the generous gifts of their time and experiences as they serve on the frontline of this health emergency.