Women’s Health

Across the world, women tend to live longer, healthier lives than men. The actual reason for this is still a mystery. Several factors have been suggested, including healthier lifestyle choices (less drinking/smoking) and lower testosterone levels (less risk-taking behavior).

Despite these advantages, women also face some unique health risks of their own. Breast cancer, cervical cancer, the struggles of periods, and menopause are all unique to women. Then there can also be the toll on the female body from pregnancy and childbirth.

This is why medical science has an entire department dedicated to women’s health – gynecology. At VNA Health, we have expert gynecologists and OB-GYN specialists to provide high-quality healthcare services to women of all ages. You can look forward to the following services at VNA:

Gynecology

Gynecologists are doctors trained in treating diseases and disorders related to the reproductive system in women. This includes any issues with the major female organs – the breasts, the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.

Apart from treating illness, gynecologists also conduct checkups and screening tests to detect early signs of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and other deadly diseases.

On the topic of pregnancies, a gynecologist can also provide special gynecology care and assistance during childbirth. These types of specialists are called obstetrician-gynecologists, or OB-GYNs for short. Many women between the ages of 18 and 45 use an OB-GYN as their main healthcare specialist.

Here are some possible reasons to consult a gynecologist or Family Practice provider at VNA Health Care:

  • For your annual well-woman exam
  • Any discomfort or pain in the lower belly
  • Issues related to your periods
  • Unusual bleeding or discharge from the vagina

Women’s Health Services and Procedures

You can expect the following services and treatment options when you schedule an appointment with our women’s health specialists at VNA Health Care.

Mammograms

A mammogram is a special x-ray of the breast used to check for signs of cancer. Some forms of breast cancer take years to reach the stage where you can see or feel lumps in your breast. A mammogram can often find such cancers 3 years in advance.

Women in the United States have a 1 in 8 chance of catching this potentially deadly disease at some point in their life, usually after the age of 45. Annual mammograms are a vital defense against breast cancer. You can read more about mammography in our in-depth guide.

Pelvic Exams

Along with mammograms, this is yet another crucial component of an annual well-woman exam. Pelvic exams include internal and external check-ups of the vagina, uterus, and cervix. Doctors look for physical signs of sexually transmitted diseases, and to assess overall gynecological health.

Pelvic exams may also include a special procedure called the Pap test. It involves collecting samples from inside the uterus. The samples are then tested for signs of cervical cancer – a deadly disease if left undiscovered and untreated for long.

Why Preventive Healthcare is Important for Women

Diseases like cancer have different stages. In the later stages, treatment is harder, more expensive, and comes with a lower chance of success. Prevention is always the wiser option when it comes to deadly diseases like breast cancer and cervical cancer.

Annual visits to a gynecologist can significantly improve your reproductive health and help detect signs of cancer. A wellness visit, or well-woman exam, is a total package that looks at all aspects of a woman’s health.

Ideally, you should have well-woman visits at least once per year. Apart from catching diseases in the earlier stages, these visits also help give you more insights into your body. Women experience drastic changes to their reproductive system over the years.

Well-woman visits give you a chance to talk to your doctor about any changes and seek guidance on how to best cope with them. Your healthcare Provider also uses these visits to give advice on appropriate lifestyle changes which can further improve your long-term health.

In addition to preventive care, today’s women should have access to affordable comprehensive care for their health and well being. This should include medical exams using latest technology, in office procedures from trained providers, and exceptional care from their initial appointment to treatment and support during recovery.

Women’s Health and Insurance Coverage

In recent years, access to women’s healthcare services has become easier than ever. For instance, the Affordable Care Act makes it mandatory for insurance plans to include full coverage for “necessary preventive services.”

Mammograms, Pap smears, and annual wellness exams are all included in this category. It doesn’t matter if you have Medicare, Medicaid, or any private insurance plan. They all include fully paid cover for many women’s health services.

Even if you don’t have insurance, there is good news. Federal and state-level programs that provide the uninsured with free mammograms, wellness check-ups, and prenatal care do exist. VNA Health Care is a lead agency for one such program – the Illinois Breast And Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP).

VNA and IBCCP for Women’s Health

Uninsured or under-insured women belonging to low-income groups can receive the following services free of cost at VNA Health Care – breast and pelvic exams, Pap tests, and mammograms. Under the IBCCP, VNA offers these services to eligible women from the following locations in the Chicago metropolitan area: DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Kankakee, and Will counties.

VNA is a not-for-profit organization committed to delivering high-quality health care services to historically under-served communities at low cost. To access our women’s health services, schedule an appointment online today.

Funding provided in whole or in part by the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program

Community Health Workers

VNA Community Health Workers help raise awareness and navigate individuals to care provided by VNA. They are knowledgeable, friendly and a great resource for individuals and community groups. If you would like to invite a Community Health Worker to talk with your clients or participate in a community event, please reach out to us.

VNA Health Care is also part of the Illinois Public Health Association’s Pandemic Health Navigator (PHN) program. If you live in the Chicago suburbs, we can help. Our goal is to help you navigate the care services you need to optimize your health and social needs. These services will be provided free of charge to you and can be reached by phone or in-person.

Midwifery

A VNA Health Care Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner who is also a Certified Nurse Midwife is available to provide midwife services in addition to prenatal, postpartum, and gynecology care. VNA midwives deliver infants at Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora

School Based Health Centers

Parental/Guardian Consent Form
To benefit from this service at school, please click the link below to complete and return the parental/guardian consent form online. In order to fill out the form you will need a valid email address. Two signatures are needed to complete the form – one from a parent/legal guardian AND one from the student. After the parent/legal guardian fills out and signs the form, an email will be sent to the student to sign the form. If there is NOT a signature from BOTH the parent and the student, then the form will be invalid and the student will not be eligible to receive services from the School-Based Health Center.

Click to fill out the digital School-Based Health Center Consent Form for East Aurora or Romeoville High School

Unable to fill out the digital version of the form? Click the link below to a printable version of the form for either East Aurora or Romeoville High School. Once you have filled out the form, turn it into the school’s nurse’s office or mail it to VNA Health Care, 400 N. Highland Avenue, Aurora, IL 60506.

Click to print the East Aurora High School – School-Based Health Center Consent Form

Click to print the Romeoville High School – School-Based Health Center Consent Form

What is a School-Based Health Center?

VNA Health Care has designated School-Based Health Centers serving students from East Aurora High School and Romeoville High School.

Your student can receive care during the school day without requiring a parent to be present when needed with parental consent. Care may include sick and preventive care. No appointment needed.

VNA accepts students with and without insurance and no student is turned away due to inability to pay for services.

Did you know..

You don’t need to take your teenager out of school for general medical care? VNA can communicate with your regular doctor as needed, It is a win/win! Great care for your student and convenient for you.

Convenient services for your student include:

    • School physicals and immunizations
    • Sports physicals
    • Acute illness and injury care (for ear infections, sore throats, or sprained muscles)
    • Chronic illness care (for asthma, diabetes, or seizures, etc.)
    • Reproductive health services (abstinence counseling, menstrual issues, pregnancy and STD prevention or tests)
    • Nutrition & Weight Counseling
    • Wellness exams and routine health screenings
    • Lead screening, TB tests, and other laboratory services
    • Smoking, vaping, alcohol and drug use prevention education
    • Mental health services for stress, depression, emotional support and referrals

Confidentiality between the student and their VNA provider will be ensured in specific service areas designated by law, and will not be discussed with a parent/guardian unless the student agrees. All students are encouraged to involve their parent(s)/guardian(s) in healthcare decisions.

Flu Shots

Flu Vaccination Services: Appointments & Walk-ins
Early Morning, Daytime, Evening & Weekend Hours Available

Call (630) 526-7912 to schedule your appointment at one of our in-clinic locations or walk-in without an appointment (for locations and hours visit: www.vnahealth.com/locations). Walk-in hours are available at the locations listed below. Hours and days are subject to change.

Existing patients, new patients, and the general public are welcome to receive the Flu vaccine at VNA.

Flu vaccinations are free for all individuals, with or without insurance. VNA is not charging Medicare, Medicaid or insurance for the Flu vaccination.

  • High Dose Flu Shots for Age 65 and up
    • Call (630) 526-7912 to schedule an appointment at a VNA Health Center or a visit with Home Health
  • Age Restrictions
    • In-Clinic Vaccination – Age 6 months and up
    • Under 18yrs must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian
  • Get your Flu Vaccination and COVID-19 Vaccination at the same time!

Primary Care

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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

 

Pregnancy Care & Deliveries

You can start your prenatal care at VNA as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. We’ll help you understand how to have a healthy pregnancy and what to expect during both labor and delivery. VNA recommends that you have about 15 visits during your pregnancy. You’ll see your provider once a month on average up to your twenty-eighth week. You’ll then visit every other week up to week 36. After that, you will come to VNA every week until your baby is born. Regular visits help ensure your provider can spot any problems early and treat them so you can have the healthiest pregnancy possible.

We expect you’ll have plenty of questions. Our obstetricians, midwives, doulas, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses will be glad to answer them at each visit. If you have a partner or labor coach, you may want to bring that person with you to some of your appointments.

VNA now offers pregnancy ultrasounds in Aurora and Elgin. VNA also provides ultrasounds in partnership with local hospitals in Joliet and Bolingbrook. Ultrasounds can be used for a variety of reasons during pregnancy including to confirm pregnancy, check the fetal heartbeat, estimate the due date, determine the baby’s sex, check for multiple pregnancies, and to check for birth defects.

When it is time to deliver your baby, you will go to either Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora, Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center Bolingbrook, or AMITA Health St. Joseph Medical Center Joliet. When you come to VNA for your prenatal care you will have a multi-disciplinary care team on hand to ensure that you get the best care possible and your baby will be delivered by your VNA provider. VNA hospital liaisons will visit you during your stay in the hospital to assist in coordinating your follow-up care at your nearest VNA Health Center.

VNA offers TOLAC (Trial of Labor after Cesarean) and VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean) services which you may consider after consultation with your obstetrician.

Pediatrics

VNA Health Care family practice and pediatric doctors and nurse practitioners provide acute, chronic and preventive medical care to children from birth through age 21. A VNA hospital liaison may visit you after the birth of your baby to arrange for your baby’s first visit with a VNA pediatric care doctor or nurse practitioner. At age 21, young adults continue receiving care at VNA with a family practice doctor or nurse practitioner.

VNA Health Care providers manage your child’s physical and emotional well-being throughout every stage of development. They provide routine care and are involved in the prevention and early detection of potential health issues. Your child’s healthcare provider will:

  • Deliver care during all well-child visits including vaccination services and screenings
  • Conduct an annual exam or sports physicals
  • Treat various health issues including illnesses, infections, and injuries
  • Confirm your child is meeting all developmental milestones
  • Assess for developmental delays, disorders, and behavioral problems
  • Provide guidance regarding appropriate safety, nutrition and fitness needs for your child
  • Refer your child for specialist care if necessary

Family Practice & Internal Medicine

Family practice doctors and nurse practitioners provide care to people of all ages. These generalists treat chronic conditions, evaluate symptoms, offer preventative care, and let people know when they need to see a specialist.

Family practice doctors and nurse practitioners work with patients of all ages and deliver a wide range of care services. Among other things, they offer:

  • Care for when you are sick.
  • Routine checkups, including well-baby and child visits
  • Health risk assessments
  • Immunizations
  • Screening tests
  • Healthy lifestyle counseling
  • Prevention and management of chronic conditions

Mental & Behavioral Health

At VNA Health Care, our specialists surround you and your family with nonjudgmental, individualized support. Mental health encompasses emotional, psychological and social well-being and is important at all ages and stages of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, more than 50% of the United States population will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime. At VNA, we also recognize the connection between physical and mental health. VNA provides a holistic approach to care. This means that your mental and behavioral health provider collaborate in order to keep you at your peak mental and physical health.

Mental health may effect how a person thinks, feels and acts. Adverse changes to mental health can be the result of environmental and biological factors. VNA psychiatrists, licensed clinical social workers and nurse practitioners will provide the resources needed to navigate these potentially complex health issues. VNA providers work with patients to develop methods to cope with stress, relate to others and make healthy choices.

Unfortunately, there is still stigma around mental health disorders. VNA provides a safe and supportive environment for patients to seek treatment. There are many myths and misunderstandings which make patients reluctant to seek help when they are in need. The CDC offers a short quiz to help dispel some of these myths.

We are always here to assist you and your loved ones with any behavioral or mental health issues. We have 16 convenient locations serving Kane, Will, DuPage, and Kendall County as well as portions of Cook County.

Treatment

Behavioral and mental health disorders frequently occur alongside other mental or physical illnesses. Treatment at VNA is individualized to each patient and may include a combined approach in order to address underlying issues at the root of the patient’s diagnosis.

Psychiatric treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy, “talk” therapy, play therapy, and art therapy are some techniques that may be used dependent upon the nature of the diagnosis and the mental and physical age of the patient.

While biological factors play a significant role in your mental health, an individual’s actions have the potential to impact mental health as well. Risky behaviors, such as drinking, substance abuse, sex addiction, or eating disorders may adversely affect a patient’s quality of life and necessitate the need for treatment.

Ultimately, receiving an accurate diagnosis and the appropriate treatment is essential.

Getting the Right Diagnosis and Treatment

It’s critical to obtain the correct diagnosis from an expert in the field before proceeding with any treatment plan. This is because you’ll need a precise diagnosis to determine the combination of treatment that is best for you. VNA providers will carefully evaluate your symptoms to assess your physical and mental health before developing a treatment plan tailored to your needs.

In some cases, mental illness can be challenging to diagnose, but our healthcare providers will rule out other conditions that may affect your mental health. For example, they may order blood tests and other various types of examinations.

Therapy and Treatment

VNA’s therapists and medical providers provide mental and behavioral health services to children, teens, and adults. Therapists work one-on-one with clients to address issues such as depression, addiction, generalized anxiety disorder, or other behavioral disorders through counseling sessions. Nurse practitioners and psychiatrists can prescribe and monitor medications and provide therapy. Appointments are available at various locations in the western suburbs of Chicago or virtually via telehealth.

All patients have access to affordable, high-quality mental and behavioral health services. VNA accepts Medicare, Medicaid, and many private insurances. Those who don’t have insurance pay on a sliding fee discount scale.

VNA Health Care providers are well-equipped to guide you on the journey of healing.

Call us at (630) 892-4355 or contact us online to connect with a VNA mental and behavioral health team member today!

If you Need Help Immediately

If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States. The Lifeline is available for everyone, is free, and confidential. Simply dial 988 to reach the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.