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Local News Archives for 2023-09

Breaking. Carlinville Funeral Home Being Investigated After Allegations of Misidentified Cremains and More

A Carlinville funeral home is under investigation by the Sangamon County Coroner and the Sangamon County Sheriff. Heinz Funeral Home/Family Care Cremations in Carlinville faces signficiant allegations regarding   the identification and treatment of human remains.  Sangamon County Coroner Jim , Allmon's office was contacted by a Springfield hospital about a body that had been in its morgue for more than a month.  Allmon said the family was rovided with what they thought were the cremated remains of their mother. Allmon had to tell the family those remains were not those of their mother and that her body was still at the hospital morgue.   After meeting with the family, Allmon said the remains they possessed were those of another Sangamon County resident.  Allman's office says their investigation  discovered numerous similar incidents   involving Heinz.  Families were told that their loved one had been cremated, that they had then been provided with remains, when in actuality, a cremation never even took place," The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations, the Carbondale Police Department and the Macoupin County Coroner have all joined the investigation. , 

There, Allmon said they discovered the remains of three people that were not in a refrigerated setting and in an advanced state of decomposition. The bodies were not able to be identified at that time. 

Four Vehicle Crash on Route 16

With harvesting moving full speed ahead, law enforcement is urging everyone to make safety a top priority as farm vehicles make their way onto the highway.  A major accident Wednesday on Route 16 involved farm equipment.  Here are the details from the State Police.


LOCATION: Illinois Route 16 between Litchfield and Hillsboro, Montgomery County

DATE and TIME:  September 27, 2023 at approximately 2:24 p.m.

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Preliminary information indicates the following occurred: ISP Troop 8 responded to the location above for a report of four-vehicle head-on crash, involving a pickup truck that struck a piece of farm equipment. One person was transported by medical helicopter to an area hospital with serious injuries

Montgomery County Health Department Hosting Flu Shot Clinic on Thursday (9/28)

Montgomery County Health Department will be holding a flu shot clinic at the Litchfield Community & Senior Center tomorrow, Thursday, 9/28/23, from 9:00 to 11:00 am.  It will be held inside the Center (not a drive-thru format).  Regular vaccines and 65+ vaccines will be available.  This clinic will be for flu vaccines only, as MCHD does not currently have COVID-19 vaccine.  For any questions, please contact Montgomery County Health Department at 217-532-2001.

McGraw Family Donating AED's, Application Process has Reopened After HSHS Cyberattack

The McGraw family  always had great hearts and now they’re taking on a heart related fight and it’s personal.  They are working to get more AED’s, the user friendly automatic external defibrilators that can save a life, much like the nation saw with the revival of Demar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills.  He received the initial CPR but out of the view of the cameras then got the life saving jolts from an AED on site.   The McGraws  have partnered with Prairie Heart Institute and the Prairie Heart Foundation to begin the Community AED Program in memory of Rick McGraw.  For more information about the program or to apply, visit or contact Brandy Grove, manager of philanthropy for Prairie Heart Foundation, at 217-814-5177 or

Litchfield Resident Suffers Burns in Grease Fire

A Litchfield resident is being treated for second degree burns and soot on their face after a Thursday afternoon house fire. The Litchfield Fire Department was called to the scene in the 400 block of North Madison just after 4:45 pm. The lone occupant was able to escape with the burns suffered. The first arriving firefighters reported a 2-story house with smoke showing and requested additional resources. The victim refused transport and traveled by personal vehicle to the hospital. Fire attack crews swarmed to the point of origin, the kitchen. They were able to extinguish the fire and isolate it to the kitchen. No additional flames or victims were found and mutual aid requests were cancelled, although Hillsboro Ambulance still came to the scene to cover Litchfield with the fire dept continued its work. The kitchen was overhauled to ensure the fire was out.The origin and cause of the fire was investigated and was determined to be an unattended grease fire on the stove. 

The Litchfield Fire Department would like to remind you that grease fires are dangerous because the fuel source is a liquid that can easily splash and spread to cabinets or other flammable areas of the kitchen. Nearly 10% of residential cooking fires spread beyond the cooking vessel and can cause significant damage and injuries. Leaving the stove unattended while cooking is a leading cause of home cooking fires. Grease fires happen when oil, grease, or fat on a stovetop, oven, or deep- fat fryer gets hot enough to ignite. These fires burn very hot and can spread if not handled properly. 

The instructions for how to put out a grease fire must be followed in this exact order: 

1. Turn off the stove. 

2. Cover the pot, pan, or fryer with a lid. 

3. Douse the fire with baking soda, salt, or a fire extinguisher—never water. 

HSHS Records Breakthrough in Recovery from Cyberattack

This morning, HSHS successfully restored functionality to the EPIC platform, our electronic health records platform, which includes MyChart applications. We will provide any other updates as they become available.

We will respond to patient messages as quickly as possible, and we encourage patients to reach out to their health care provider’s office to speak with a member of their health care team, should they require urgent assistance.

We remain focused on restoring the rest of our systems in a methodical manner, which will take time to complete. We appreciate your continued patience and look forward to continuing to care for our valued patients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I now schedule appointments through MyChart?

Yes, patients are now able to schedule appointments.

Q. I submitted a message through MyChart. When will I receive a response?

We appreciate your patience as we work to respond to your messages as quickly as possible, while giving the personal attention each of our patients deserves. Should you require urgent assistance, please telephone your provider’s office to speak with a member of your health care team.

Misunderstanding Leads to Tense Moments and False Alarm at HHS

A positive moment took a negative turn Wednesday at Hillsboro High School. Feedback on the HHS intercom or paging system caused a misunderstanding with significant consequences. Someone was sharing a message of student academic success but because of the feedback, some in the school thought the presence of an active shooter was announced. Police swarmed to the scene but there was never a threat. Hillsboro School District officials are apologizing for the disturbance and upset this incident has caused. Superintendent David Powell says such malfunctions have been rare with the current system, but its days are numbered as a new system will be installed with the new Main Building.  

HSHS Confirms Cyber Attack Triggered Phone/Internet Outage, Update on Service Impact

Patient Services Update

As we continue to work diligently to address the recent cybersecurity incident, Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) remains focused on providing safe care for our patients.

As of September 4, 2023, access to patient services includes the following:

  • Hospitals and emergency departments remain open and are receiving and treating patients
  • Patients can schedule elective and non-elective procedures
  • Nearly all our hospital and clinic phone lines are back in service
  • Patient billing services are currently suspended


Phone System Availability

HSHS is pleased to report that all phone systems in our Illinois and Wisconsin hospitals and clinics are now available. Please note that callers may continue to experience some delays or connectivity issues this week.


HSHS St. John’s Hospital, Springfield ?217-544-6464
HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, O’Fallon 618-234-2120
HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital, Decatur? 217-464-2966
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, Highland ?618-651-2600
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, Breese 618-526-4511
HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital, Effingham? 217-342-2121
HSHS St. Francis Hospital, Litchfield? 217-324-2191
HSHS Holy Family, Greenville? 618-664-1230
HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital, Shelbyville 217-774-3961


HSHS St. Vincent Hospital, Green Bay 920-433-0111
HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center, Green Bay 920-498-4200
HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital, Sheboygan 920-459-8300
HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, Oconto Falls 920-846-3444
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, Eau Claire 715-717-4121
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, Chippewa Falls 715-723-1811

Prevea Health


Restoration Progress

HSHS leaders, clinicians and colleagues continue to work around the clock to restore the clinical, administrative and communications systems that were impacted by the recent cybersecurity incident.

We are prioritizing patient safety as we establish a process for restoration. With the support of third-party experts, we are bringing our systems back online as quickly and as safely as possible. A health system of our size operates hundreds of system applications across thousands of servers, and as such, our restoration and investigative work will take some time to complete. That is why we are approaching the process with such clarity of purpose: patient safety must come first.

In the meantime, we continue to use alternative processes for our colleagues to aid them in providing safe care to our patients.

We appreciate your continued patience. We will continue to provide updates as we are able. Our goal is to help patients and communities manage their health during our system restoration process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are your hospitals open? Are you continuing to see patients?

Yes. Please know most HSHS hospital and clinic locations remain open, and we continue to safely care for all patients.

Q. When will all systems be restored?

We are working diligently to bring all of our systems back online as quickly and as safely as possible, and we are prioritizing patient safety as we establish a process for restoration. We are making steady progress in our restoration process.

While we undergo this restoration process, please know that we have implemented alternative processes to ensure that we can continue receiving and treating patients. We will continue to provide updates on the restoration process, as appropriate.

Q. Is my information compromised?

The investigative process into the scope of the incident is ongoing and will take time to complete. If we determine any patients’ sensitive, personal information is involved, we will notify them in accordance with applicable law.

Q. Will I be charged a penalty for late payments on my bills?

HSHS does not charge late payment fees.

Q. I received a suspicious communication that appears to be a fraudulent bill. What should I do?

At this time, HSHS is not collecting payments from any patients for outstanding bills. We will notify you when billing processes are back up and running. That being said, we are aware of certain HSHS partners in Wisconsin and Illinois that are sending out bills to patients. You should review all bills carefully to ensure they are for services that were rendered. Should you have any questions, please reach out to your provider.

Additionally, we have received some reports that people are receiving emails, texts and phone calls claiming to be HSHS representatives seeking payment for services. Should you receive such a message that looks suspicious, please do not respond. We ask that you save them so that we can track and investigate the source. Please forward the information to

Q. How do I schedule an appointment?

To schedule an appointment, please contact your provider or refer to the hospital contact information and reach out to the HSHS hospital where you receive care.

Q. My appointment was canceled. When will I hear from someone to reschedule?

We apologize for the inconvenience. We will be contacting patients to reschedule as soon as we can and as our systems become available.

Q. Can I get my prescription from your pharmacies?

Our inpatient pharmacy is successfully operating in downtime as we continue to care for our hospital inpatients.

Currently, our outpatient HSHS St. John’s Community Pharmacy is unable to access or fill digital prescription orders. Please contact your provider to supply an alternative pharmacy with your prescription.

Additionally, some of our hospitals are providing patients with written prescriptions to take to the pharmacy of their choice.

If you have questions regarding your prescription, please contact your provider.

Q. How/when will I get my test/lab results?

Once MyChart is available, patients will be able to access their results.

Q. I don’t recall when or where my appointment is – how do I figure that out?

Once MyChart is available, patients will be able to access their future appointments. In the meantime, patients whose appointments are with a provider in the next week can call the practice to verify their appointment date/time.

Q. I need to get ahold of my home health or hospice nurse – how do I do that?

Your nurses will call the night before or the morning of to schedule your visit time. Clinicians use your home calendars to let you know what days your visits are scheduled. If you need to get a hold of your home health or hospice nurse, you may call 1-800-551-6566. This number is available 24/7.

Additional Information

Please visit our website for updates:


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