Partnership for a Healthy Lee County

  • The Partnership for a Healthy Lee County (PHLC) was established in 2012. After a brief gap in 2020 due to COVID-19, the coalition virtually reunited to reassess both community-based and organizational needs amidst the pandemic.
  • Our mission: Unifying Lee County agencies and organizations to strengthen community supports and resources for COVID-19 and other priority areas. 
The following priority areas were determined by the 2016 Lee County Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). The full version of the CHNA can be found here.

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Food Insecurity
  • Bullying
  • Behavioral Health
  • COVID-19 (added as an interim focus in January 2021)
The following priority areas were determined by the 2016 Lee County Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). The full version of the CHNA can be found here.

PHLC members collaborate on projects throughout the year in order to assess and improve the health and wellbeing of Lee County residents:

  • Camp DREAM (Diabetes, Recreation, Education, Activities. And Me): A summer camp for children with Type 1 Diabetes and their families. The 2020 and 2021 Camp DREAM were cancelled due to COVID-19. Details of a 2022 camp are pending.
  • Illinois Youth Survey: an Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) survey administered in Lee County schools to gather information about a variety of health and social indicators, including substance use patterns and youth attitudes.
  • Summer Eats: Led by the United Way of Lee County, the Summer Eats program provides grab-and-go meals for kids and teens.
As of fall 2020, PHLC is jointly led by the Lee County Health Department (LCHD) and the University of Illinois Extension. Please find our partners’ information below. 



Find Food IL is a community food map from University of Illinois SNAP-Ed that you can use to find food resources close to you.  To search for resources in your area, visit:




Dixon Family YMCA

Location: 110 N .Galena Avenue, Dixon, IL 61021

Mission Statement: “The YMCA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.”

PHLC Representative(s):

  1. Andrew (Andy) McFarlane, Executive Director – I am a twenty-six year YMCA professional, a husband, father of two teenagers, avid kayaker, Star Wars fan, and lover of the outdoors. My hope is to help people encourage individuals to reach their fullest potential in life.
  2. Heather Grobe, Youth Development Director.
Dixon Public Schools (DPS)

Location: 300 Lincoln Statue Dr. Dixon, IL | (815) 285-8630

Mission Statement: “A Place to Grow.”

PHLC Representative(s):

  1. Sherry Hafer, District Nurse.
  2. Chris Pierce, School Nurse.
KSB Hospital

Location: 403 East 1st Street, Dixon, IL 61021

Mission Statement: “The mission of Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital is to restore, maintain and enhance health by providing superior care now and in the future.”

PHLC Representative(s):

  1. Aaron Fox, Community Wellness Coordinator.
  2.  Teresa Strum, Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Director.
  3. Aaqil Khan, Director of Project OPEN.
Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) & Youth WORKS

Location: 1261 IL Route 38 PO Box 100, Nachusa, IL 61057 | (815) 284-7796 Ext. 4162

Mission Statement: “Our mission is to provide youth violence prevention education and awareness to the youth, parents, and community members in Lee County.”

PHLC Representative(s):

  1. Kelsey Kant, Prevention Specialist & Youth WORKS Case Manager.
  2. Sydnie Powell, Prevention Specialist.
  3. Jennell Montgomery, Counselor.
  4. Skip Dettman, Program Director.
The Salvation Army

Location: 409 Ave F Sterling, IL 61081 | (815) 625-1622

Mission Statement: “[The Salvation Army’s] message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”

PHLC Representative(s):

  1. Trevor Belzer, Program Manager – Belzer is a Pathway of Hope representative, social worker, bookkeeper, and volunteer organizer. 
United Way of Lee County

Location: PO Box 382, 98 S Galena, Dixon, IL 61021

Mission Statement: “United Way of Lee County unites people and resources to improve lives and build a stronger community.”

PHLC Representative(s):

  1. Amanda Wike, Executive Director.
University of Illinois Extension


Lee County Office
280 W Wasson Rd, Amboy, IL 61310 | (815) 857-3525

Whiteside County – Main Office
12923 Lawrence Road, Sterling, IL 61081 | (815) 632-3611

Mission Statement: “Illinois Extension provides practical translations of cutting-edge research to help people, businesses, and communities find answers to some of the most pressing issues of our modern world. Our work is guided by a desire to create meaningful progress toward addressing a select group of issues, which we call grand challenges (Community, Economy, Environment, Food, Health).”

PHLC Representative(s):

  1. Veronica Skaradzinski, SNAP-Ed Educator – “In her role, Veronica aims to create health equity by providing professional development opportunities and hands-on assistance at locations that primarily serve low-income families. She works with school wellness committees, school nutrition programs, food pantry volunteers, and community coalitions. Veronica believes small changes can make big differences over time and that values on health play a role in all organizations to impact the larger community.”
  2. Bruce Black, Horticulture Educator – Black is the University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator serving Carroll, Lee, and Whiteside counties. He provides horticulture-related educational opportunities for community members, schools, Master Gardener volunteers, non-profit organizations, and businesses. Black’s primary focus is addressing the different generational horticulture educational needs and inspiring the next generation of gardeners. His primary areas of expertise are in fruit and vegetable production, plant propagation, and community and youth garden education.”
  3. Karla Belzer, Family Life Educator – “As an University of Illinois Extension Family Life Educator, Belzer provides research informed, outcome-oriented programming on life issues affecting families with children, adults, and individuals as they age. Through her interactive, facilitative approach, she promotes healthy lifestyle decisions, effective family communication, and management of life transitions helping people of all ages to live their best life. As an Extension Educator, she provides mindfulness education to promote stress reduction and well-being throughout the lifespan. Through educational efforts focused on brain health, she encourages brain healthy lifestyle factors to adults of all ages. For educators and childcare providers, her focus on trauma and adverse childhood experiences provides professionals with current strategies and techniques to best serve children in their care. As Belzer delivers education content and programming in many life wellness areas, she is most passionate about empowering others to be their best selves.”
YWCA Sauk Valley

Location: 98 South Galena Avenue, Dixon, IL 61021 | (815) 288-1232

Mission Statement: “YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.”

PHLC Representative(s):

  1. Rebecca Munoz-Ripley, Executive Director.

Vicki FreyPartnership for a Healthy Lee County