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Jeremiah 33:6 is offering educational sessions for Ford County residents to learn about how to boost their immune systems.

Thanks to a generous grant from Apex Energy, Dr. Jenna Vogel and Dr. Valerie (Bachman) Wright are collaborating again to provide an Immune-boosting training with a focus on enhancing the quality of life within Rural Health in Ford County.

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions and limitations, these educational sessions will continue to take place via Zoom and will last approximately 30 minutes per session. These trainings were first conducted in October of 2020 where they were able to train 30 individuals, most of whom resided in Paxton, Loda, Melvin, Sibley and Gibson City. The October trainings were also funded by a generous grant from Apex Energy.

Sessions are scheduled for: 5:30 p.m. Feb. 19, 4 p.m. Feb. 20 and 9 a.m. Feb. 23.

“There is an old saying that nothing is free, but this training really is free to all participants because the cost of the training and the immune-boosting kits were paid for by a very generous grant from Apex Energy,” Wright said.

Wright, who is a professor at Mennonite College of Nursing at Illinois State University, said she saw an ad for the grant and applied for it as she felt it would be a great opportunity to do some trainings in Ford County.

Wright praised Apex Energy for providing the grant.

“They’ve been great,” she said. “We wouldn’t be able to do the training without them.”

In order to apply for the grant, Wright collaborated with five other women to create Jeremiah 33:6

Jeremiah 33:6 is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide “preventative maintenance” health education to community members in rural Central Illinois.

“As an organization, we believe education on preventative medicine is key to individuals being on the offensive, rather than the defensive side of disease and illness,” Wright said.

Jeremiah 33:6 Board of Directors consists of a diverse group of women with a background in healthcare, organic farming, fitness and education. Jeremiah 33:6 Board Members include: Dr. Valerie Wright, President (Registered Nurse w/ a Doctorate in Nursing Practice and Certified Nurse Educator);

Dr. Ann Marty, Vice-President (Retired MD with a primary focus of holistic health); Dr. Jenna Vogel, Secretary (Pharmacist with a focus on alternative medicine); Rita Glazik, Treasurer (Organic farmer in Paxton); Dr. Gay Adams, Director (Chiropractor with a focus on holistic health); and Kia Williams, Director (Fitness and Nutrition expert).

Wright treasures the chance the grant has provided for Jeremiah 33:6 to offer these sessions in Ford County since she grew up on a farm in the area and drew parallels between how farmers maintain their equipment and how the human body needs similar upkeep.

“I grew up on a farm just outside of Loda. Growing up as one of three Bachman girls, I knew I would likely never be the one driving the combine and tractor. However, as a nurse, I can be the one helping to teach farmers how to care for themselves. Just like a farmer wouldn’t take the combine out for the first time without doing some ‘preventative maintenance,’ our bodies also need this same ‘preventative maintenance’ to keep us performing at our best. Although the farm equipment these days can drive itself, they still need the farmer to ‘control the wheel’ and if the farmer is sick, he/she can’t be in the field, where they need to be.”

Wright said that keeping your immune system healthy year-round is key to preventing infection and disease.

“It is especially important during our current healthcare crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

Making healthy lifestyle choices by consuming nutritious foods and getting enough sleep and exercise are the most important ways to bolster your immune system, she said.

In addition, research has shown that supplementing with certain vitamins, minerals, and herbs can improve immune response and potentially protect against illness.

Participants who attend the 30-minute educational session via Zoom will be provided with a voucher (via email) to receive a free “immune-boosting kit” from Doug’s Compounding Pharmacy which will include the top two supplements known for their immune boosting potential (Zinc and Vitamin D3). Attendees will also receive a coupon from both Doug’s and Hudson Drug and Hallmark Shop good for 20 percent off additional supplement purchases. This follow-up email will provide them the details about receiving their free Immune-Boosting Kit as well as a summary of the training for them to share with their family and friends. Participants will also have the ability to call Doug’s Pharmacy for additional questions regarding the “immune-boosting kit” and/or other supplement questions/needs.

“The healthier we are individually means the healthier our community will be. It’s a win win for all,” Wright said.

The training will include further information about how to promote a healthy immune system and will be conducted by Wright in consultation with Dr. Jenna Vogel.

Wright feels it is important to offer trainings such as these in rural areas like Ford County since access to health care facilities in rural areas can be limited and residents can be reluctant to seek utilize health care facilities.

“My dad, Kevin Bachman, has been farming and trucking his entire life, and I am pretty sure his arm would need to be almost falling off for him to go to the doctor,” she said.

Wright said she wanted to find ways for Ford County residents to learn how to naturally boost their immune systems so they can stay healthy and hopefully avoid needing to go to the doctor as much.

“I can’t prevent a farm injury, but I can try to help educate them on being as healthy as they can be,” she said.

Asked if she hopes to offer more sessions like these in the future, Wright said they may look at offering sessions related to other health and wellness topics.

She hopes that future sessions can be presented in-person rather than via Zoom.

Wright also mentioned the possibility of doing on-site trainings on farms around the area in the future.

“Driving out to the fields and hopping in the combine and having the conversation is likely going to be the best way I can get it out in the farming community,” she said.

To reserve your spot for one of the Zoom trainings, simply email or phone Doug’s Compounding Pharmacy at 217-379-3684. Space is limited to 10 people per session.

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