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WELLNESS HOUSE gets certification

Wellness House in Hinsdale has received certification as a provider for the national Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact.

The certification enables the organization to serve participants and their loved ones affected by cancer in Chicagoland and beyond. This is important news, as Special Emergency Orders due to COVID that previously allowed clinical teams to serve cancer-diagnosed participants out of state have expired. PSYPACT is an interstate agreement allowing certified psychologists to practice telehealth clinical work across state lines, with 32 states having passed legislation and engaged in the PSYPACT system. Multiple other states are in the process of legislation.

“This is a pivotal moment not only for us as an organization, but also for the cancer wellness industry as a whole,” said Lisa Kolavennu, Wellness House chief executive officer. “Since the pandemic, we have taken intentional steps to build a culture of innovation where we are creating programs to drive cancer equity and better serve communities that are often overlooked in the cancer space, including men, people of color and the LGBT+ community. With the momentum of telehealth and online programs, and now with this certification, we can expand our reach and provide access to cancer wellness support to more people who can benefit from our services.”

Wellness House participants who reside in one of the PSYPACT states now are able to participate in live Wellness House support group counseling sessions. Wellness House senior oncology support counselor Michael Williams facilitates the groups, which are offered on a variety of topics.

“This certification is about being able to touch the lives of more people who are impacted by cancer in a substantial and more meaningful way,” Williams said. “The support group counseling program at Wellness House aims to create a safe and supportive environment that not only addresses the physical experience of cancer, but also helps those who come to us, at whatever stage they are in their cancer journey, to address their mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, which enables them to experience self-compassion and to see themselves in their full wholeness.”

DILLARD NAMED TO WIU BOARD

Former Illinois state Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale, a partner at Locke Lord Chicago, has been appointed as a member of the Western Illinois University Board of Trustees by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Dillard holds a bachelor’s degree and doctorate of humane letters from WIU and served multiple terms as president of its award-winning Alumni Council.

“Sen. Kirk Dillard has been an advocate for the public for over 30 years,” Pritzker said.

Dillard concentrates his practice in business and governmental relations, and in the representation of manufacturers in product liability prevention and litigation. He is currently chairman of the Regional Transit Authority in metropolitan Chicago — the nation’s second largest mass transit system. He also serves as the independent chair of the privately owned Chicago Skyway Toll Road. Dillard was also recently reappointed to the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission, which was created to assist and advise the Illinois Supreme Court in acquiring, collecting, preserving and cataloging documents, artifacts and information relating to the Illinois judiciary. Dillard has served as a commissioner since 2012.

Dillard served terms in the Illinois Senate from 1993-2014, representing Chicagoland’s western suburbs. He held a number of key leadership positions while in the General Assembly — including Chairman of the Judiciary Committee before stepping down in 2014 to assume the RTA chairmanship. Prior to his election to the Senate, Dillard served with distinction as former Gov. Edgar’s chief of staff and legislative director to the late Gov. Jim Thompson. Dillard also served as a judge on the Illinois Court of Claims.

HINSDALE WRITER HAS NEW BOOK

Jan Janura of Hinsdale has written a new book, “Turning Small Talk into Big Talk,” that was released April 11.

The book, published by Forefront Books and Simon and Schuester, helps readers move below the surface and experience deep, meaningful conversations that are not only interesting, but even life-changing.