Stories by Kristen Thometz

4,000-Mile Cycling Trip Raising Funds for Be the Match Stops in Chicago

Fort Collins, Colorado residents Bob Houser (from left) and Bob Falkenberg are cycling across the country with Washington, D.C. resident Annie Lipsitz to raise funds for Be the Match, a nonprofit that helps patients who need bone marrow or umbilical cord transplants. (Bob Houser / Facebook)

A trio of cyclists who have been touched by leukemia are traveling across the country to raise money and awareness for Be the Match, a nonprofit that helps patients who need bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplants. 

10 Things to Do This Weekend: July 4-7

West Fest Chicago (Photo by Ann Phan)

Music fests, hot air balloons, finger-licking ribs and an art fair usher in the holiday weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Health Official Urges Caution if Handling Fireworks This 4th of July

While the dangers around illegal fireworks may be more obvious, legal alternatives like sparklers aren’t necessarily safe, says a local health official. (Free-Photos / Pixabay)

Fireworks are synonymous with the Fourth of July. But too often, celebrations can end with a trip to the hospital if fireworks are mishandled and proper precautions aren’t taken. 

AAA: Friday After July 4th Will be Worst Day for Travel in Chicago

(ruifo / Flickr)

If you plan on hitting the road Friday afternoon, be warned: it’s projected to be the worst time for travelers in Chicago, according to AAA, with delays as much as two times the normal commute. 

Google, University of Chicago Sued Over Patient Data

(Kristen Thometz / WTTW News)

A partnership between Google and the University of Chicago resulted in a violation of patients’ privacy rights, according to a class-action lawsuit filed by a former patient of the University of Chicago Medical Center.

4 Test Positive for Legionnaires’ Disease at Suburban Hospital Since 2018

Colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) with moderately-high magnification depicts a large grouping of Gram-negative Legionella pneumophila bacteria. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Among the cases at Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn are two people treated within the past two months, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

‘I Feel Trapped’: Photos Capture Experiences of People Who Use Drugs

“I need help with direct stuff like free maintenance programs, a stable home, legal help so I can sit and get grounded, and relax. I need a place to sit down.” (Photo by Chicago Recovery Alliance participant.)

People who inject drugs typically aren’t part of traditional advocacy because of risks associated with going public. But a local research project allows them to share their experiences without the fear of potential repercussions.

10 Things to Do this Weekend: June 27-30

Chicago Pride Parade in 2011 (Keith Hinkle / Flickr)

A massive parade, dance lessons, mariachi ensembles and lots of hot sauce usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Survey: Cost, Lack of Time Prevent Parents from Providing Healthy Foods

(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

Finding time for sit-down family meals and the cost of healthy foods are among the top challenges Chicago parents face in providing healthy meals to their children, a new citywide survey finds.

Fireworks on July 4th: Where to Watch Around Chicago

Navy Pier summer fireworks in 2011. (Michael Mayer / Flickr)

Fireworks will light up the skies all over the Chicago area in celebration of Independence Day on Thursday, July 4. Here’s where you can watch.

10 Things to Do this Weekend: June 20-23

(Credit: Vocalo)

Celebrations of pride, music fests, pop-up theater, craft beers and dragon boats usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Cook County Health Program Focuses on ‘Whole Person Care’

(valelopardo / Pixabay)

How addressing homelessness, access to food and other social needs improves a patient’s overall health – and reduces costs. A 2017 study found treating patients with just one risk factor was $65 more per month than those with none.

Rep. Schakowsky: LGBTQ Community, Health Care ‘Under Threat’

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL, 9th District) speaks outside the Howard Brown Health Center Friday, June 14 about how the Trump administration’s policies are limiting LGBTQ individuals’ access to health care. (Kristen Thometz / WTTW News)

As communities across the country celebrate Pride Month, LGBTQ organizations and activists are speaking out against Trump administration policies that limit those individuals’ access to health care.

NIH Awards $2.8M to UIC, Johns Hopkins to Study Cardiac Arrest Drugs

(Image by Arek Socha / Pixabay)

Sudden cardiac arrest can cause death within minutes. There are no drugs to treat the condition, but researchers are hoping to change that by studying the efficacy of two drugs that could improve survival. 

10 Things to Do This Weekend: June 13-16

(Photo by Steven E. Gross)

Finger-licking barbecue, scores of electric scooters, Latin beats and rare books usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Chicago Has the Largest Life Expectancy Gap in the Country. Why?

(Kristen Thometz / WTTW News)

An analysis of 500 U.S. cities by NYU School of Medicine offers a startling view of Chicago, but a local physician says the city’s health inequities have been known for years. What’s causing that gap, and how can it be addressed? 

10 Things to Do This Weekend: June 6-9

(Courtesy of Pilsen Food Truck Social)

Food trucks, street festivals, the Chicago blues and green gooey slime usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Rahm Emanuel Bikes Around Lake Michigan

(Rahm Emanuel / Facebook)

The former Chicago mayor completed the more than 900-mile trip Tuesday, according to a post on Facebook.

Study Finds Most LGBTQ Services Located in White, Wealthy Neighborhoods

(Roman Boed / Flickr)

In Chicago, Black and Latinx residents are three times more likely than whites and Asians to live in areas located at least 3 miles from LGBTQ service providers, according to a new study. 

Mayor Lightfoot Appoints New Chicago School Board

Miguel del Valle, a former Illinois state senator, will serve as the president of the Chicago Board of Education. Mayor Lightfoot announced his appointment and six others Monday morning.

Uptown Clinic Owner Gets 6 Years in Prison for Illegally Selling Opioids

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hailey R. Staker)

Prosecutors say Mohammed Shariff, who illegally dispensed hundreds of thousands of opioid pills, “showed an abject disregard of patients and perverted his companies into engines of unlawful profit.”

6 Weekend Ideas for a Summer Road Trip or Chicago Staycation

A waterfall in Starved Rock State Park. (Arturo Hurtado / Flickr)

In need of a vacation, but don’t want to travel too far? We share our favorite local activities and weekend getaways for a last-minute road trip or a city staycation. 

10 Things to Do This Weekend: May 30-June 2

(Vital Kopy Media)

Music festivals, German beer, an art fair and alternative comics usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in Chicago.

Report Ranks US, China 36th in Protecting and Providing for Children

(cherylholt / Pixabay)

Children have a better chance at reaching their full potential now than at any other time in history, according to a new report released by Save the Children. But there’s more work ahead – particularly in the U.S.

Cook County to Address Perinatal Health Disparities with $4.8M Grant

(culturarte86 / Pixabay)

The infant mortality rate among African Americans in Cook County is twice the county average. Health officials seek to close that gap with the help of a new five-year grant.