Football on your mind? Easy Superbowl Sunday Chili

Posted on : 01-31-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Uncategorized

If you are hosting a Super Bowl party this year and want to stick to your New Year’s health resolutions, try this fabulous recipe from Stanley Bielawski, Registered Dietitian & Licensed Dietition Nutrionist at Silver Cross Hospital.

But here’s the twist!

We want you to SHOW US how you make this recipe your own! Create a short video of you preparing this chili or enjoying your own recipe and send us the link of your Youtube video on our Facebook wall or leave a comment to this blog with your link!  Entries will be entered into a raffle to win a $25 Gift Certificate to the Childerguild Gift Shop at Silver Cross Hospital. Drawing will be held Feb. 15, 2011.

Silver Cross Super-Duper Football Chili

Prep Time: 10 minutes     Cook Time: 40 minutes    Total: 50 minutes      Serves: 8-10 people


  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1 cup celery (chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 lb extra-lean beef or extra-lean turkey
  • 1 28oz. can diced tomatoes (with jalapenos, if available)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 15oz. can dark red kidney beans (drained)
  • 1 15oz. can pinto beans (drained)
  • 2-3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin


Heat oil. Add garlic, onion, celery and pepper, and saute` gently for 2-3 minutes. Add ground beef or ground turkey and cook until meat is browned, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes, tomato paste, beans chili powder and cumin. Stir well. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories 244, Total Fat 5.1 g, Sat. Fat 1.7 g, Cholesterol 35 mg, Sodium 536 mg, Carbohydrate 29.4 g, Fiber 9.5 g

Do You Have a Healthy Heart?

Posted on : 01-25-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Uncategorized

Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of American women? Women account for nearly half all heart attack deaths. And although many women still think that breast disease is their greatest health threat, in reality over a lifetime heart disease kills five times as many women as breast cancer.

To help women learn if they are at risk for heart disease, Silver Cross Hospital is offering heart screenings and free health educational programs in February in recognition of American Heart Month.

Dr. Kathleen Drinan will present a free program: Take Heart—You’ve Got Control on Tuesday, Feb. 22, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health, 1870 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. Participants will learn the facts about heart disease and what women need to know to prevent heart attack and stroke and also be entered in a drawing to win a free Baseline Cardiac Risk Assessment.

In addition, Dr. Sunil Shroff, cardiologist specializing in electrophysiology, will talk about Slowing Down a Fast Beating Heart on Monday, Feb. 28. He will discuss the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment for atrial fibrillation—an electrical disorder that causes the heart to beat faster than normal. This free program is open to both men and women and will be held in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1200 Maple Rd. Joliet.

Register to attend one or all programs online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

A Heart Screening, a Little Shopping & a Box of Chocolate?
In addition to heart disease education, through the I Matter™ program, Silver Cross Hospital rewards women for getting their annual cardiac screening and mammogram with unlimited discounts from over 150 local businesses.

“Since heart disease and breast cancer are the leading causes of death in women, the I Matter program encourages women to live a healthier and happier life by taking care of themselves through heart disease and breast cancer prevention and early detection,” says Marybeth Antone, Administrative Director of Cardiovascular and Surgical Services at Silver Cross Hospital. “As a trusted healthcare provider, the I Matter™ program is our way of adding extra value to the most valuable asset of all—your good health.”

There is no cost to become and I Matter member—simply sign-up at or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

To encourage women to get screened, Silver Cross offers a Baseline Cardiovascular Risk Assessment for just $40 at three locations:
Brown Cardiovascular Institute at the hospital,
Silver Cross Health Center in Homer Glen,
Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health located on the replacement hospital campus in New Lenox.

The baseline screening includes measurements of total cholesterol including HDL and LDL levels, blood glucose level, triglyceride level, blood pressure and body fat; 12-lead EKG, health and lifestyle evaluation, and a personal phone consultation with a registered cardiac nurse to review results and answer questions.

In addition to the I Matter member discounts with local businesses, women who call before Feb. 28 to schedule an appointment will also receive a complimentary box of dark chocolate from Dan’s Candies. To schedule an appointment, call (815) 740-7076.

Antique & Collectibles Sale Feb. 4 & 5

Posted on : 01-24-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Uncategorized

Silver Cross Hospital’s resale shop—the Encore Shop, will hold its annual Antique and Collectibles Sale Friday, Feb. 4 and Saturday, Feb. 5, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Some of the items available to purchase include vintage and Barbie dolls, political buttons, school desk, Litho painting by Robert Wood, Iris bowl, exquisite china pieces, old books and comic books. Cash will only be accepted for purchases. All proceeds from the Antique Sale benefit Silver Cross Hospital, a not-for-profit health care provider.

Over the last few years, the Advisory Board has donated over $250,000 to purchase equipment for the hospital and Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health. The group recently pledged $75,000 to fund a Serenity garden water feature which will be built at the Silver Cross Replacement Hospital in New Lenox.

The hospital’s Advisory Board operates the Encore Shop, which is located northwest of the hospital’s Keck Emergency Pavilion off Walnut Street in Joliet. The Encore Shop is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and the first Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Donations are welcome. For more information, call Volunteers Services at Silver Cross Hospital at (815) 740-7117.

(Low-fat) Game Day Guacamole

Posted on : 01-22-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Uncategorized

Yesterday’s NFC Championship game ended badly for Bears fans, but the silver lining: You probably ate well! Next time you’re having a gameday get-together, here’s a guiltless guacamole recipe you can bust out. It’s quick, delicious, and under 100 calories per serving!

Game Day Guacamole

Recipe by Stanley Bielawski, Registered Dietitian & Licensed Dietition Nutrionist at Silver Cross Hospital.


  • 1 1/2 cups frozen green beans, thawed
  • 1 small avacado
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped


In a blender or food processor, puree the green beans, avocado, garlic and lemon juice until very smooth. Stir in peppers and cilantro.

Serve with whole wheat tortilla chips or veggies.

Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories: 67.6 cal

Fat: 5 g

Sat. Fat: 0.7 g

Cholesterol: 0 mg

Sodium: 3.7 mg

Carbohydrates: 0 mg

Sugars: 0.5 g

Dietary Fiber: 3.2 g

It actually takes longer for your pizza to arrive than it does to get a colonoscopy

Posted on : 01-21-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Health Tips

Did you know it takes less time to have a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer than it does to have a pizza delivered?


Most people think getting a colonoscopy is a huge ordeal. But at Silver Cross Hospital it’s really not as bad as it seems.

First, you’re given a sedative to relax you throughout the procedure. It wears off quickly afterwards.  And there are few, if any, after affects.

Also, most people should only get screened once every ten years,  so it’s not something you have to do often.

If you are worried about the hospital cost—don’t be. Under the new healthcare reform laws, colon cancer screenings are now starting to be covered in full without your having to meet a deductible or pay a co-pay.  Same is true if you are on Medicare.  Plus there is no additional co-payments if a polyp is discovered and removed.

And finally, getting screened may be more important than you realize.  Because if it’s detected early, colon cancer is 90% treatable.

So if you’re over 50, have never been screened and have no history of polyps or colon cancer, schedule your colonoscopy today.  Call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).  One of Silver Cross’s advisors will determine if you’re a candidate for screening, answer your questions, and help set up your appointment with a physician on staff at Silver Cross—one of the 100 top hospitals in the nation for the past 6 years.

Chocolate and Regular Screenings are Good for Women’s Hearts

Posted on : 01-17-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Uncategorized

Silver Cross Offers Free Box of Dan’s Candies with Heart Screenings

Chocolate is good for your heart! According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), small amounts of dark chocolate can be good for your heart. The plant phenols — cocoa phenols, found in dark chocolate, have been known to lower blood pressure and reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol levels.

Regular screenings are also good for your heart. “Heart disease is the nation’s number one killer, and women are its prime target,” says Dr. Kathleen Drinan, cardiologist on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. “One in 10 women ages 45 to 64 has some form of heart disease, and this increases to one in four women after age 65.”

Some women are at a higher risk for developing coronary heart disease than others. Risk factors are related to such things as age, hormone levels, lifestyle and diet, other illnesses and family history. Some risk factors can be modified or even eliminated. The major risk factors that you can control are:

  • Cigarette smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight
  • Physical inactivity
  • Stress

By controlling these risk factors you may help to reduce your risk of heart disease. There are other risk factors that cannot be changed, such as having a family history of heart disease or getting older.

Are you at risk for Heart Disease?
To help you learn if you are at risk of heart disease, Silver Cross Hospital is offering Baseline Cardiovascular Risk Assessments for just $40. The heart screening includes:

  • 12-lead EKG
  • Measurements of HDL/LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, blood glucose level, blood pressure level and body mass index (BMI)
  • History and lifestyle evaluation
  • Personal phone consultation with a cardiovascular nurse to review results and answer questions.

Individuals who call to schedule a Baseline Cardiovascular Risk Assessment before Feb. 28 will receive a complimentary sample box of chocolates from Dan’s Candies in Joliet. Call (815) 740-7076 to schedule an appointment at one of three convenient locations:

And, don’t forget to mention CHOCOLATE when scheduling your appointment to receive the complimentary box of Dan’s Candies at the time of the appointment. Afterall, chocolate—dark and in moderation, is good for your heart!

* Cash, check or credit card accepted at time of appointment. Insurance will not be billed.

Restart Your Life with Weight Loss Surgery

Posted on : 01-11-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Events

Together, we've lost 577 lbs!

We Did! These are just a few of the over 2,000 patients who are living healthier, happier lives after weight loss surgery with BMI Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital. As Will County’s only Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence, our comprehensive program includes:

  • Full screening with renowned bariatric surgeons:  Dr. Christopher Joyce and Dr. Brian Lahmann
  • Pre & post procedure diet and exercise instruction
  • Monthly support group
  • Tools to promote an ongoing healthy lifestyle

The highy skilled surgeons peform the popular LAP-BAND and REALIZE Gastric Banding Sytems and sleeve gastrectomy at Silver Cross Hospital, a 6 time national 100 Top Hospitals winner.


Obesity & Your Health: Is Weight Loss Surgery Right For You? is held every Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. in the Specialty Care Pavilion on the Silver Cross Hospital Campus, 1300 Copperfield Ave., Joliet. Register to attend online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

Unraveling the Source of Neck Pain

Posted on : 01-07-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Health Tips

Most people will have a minor cervical spine problem at one time or another during their lifetime. Cervical spine (neck) injuries mostly occur during sports or recreational activities, work-related tasks, or projects around the home. Determining the cause of your neck pain prior to treatment can lead to a quicker and safer recovery.

“Neck pain may feel like a “kink,” stiffness, or severe pain,” says Dr. Chintan Sampat, orthopedic spine surgeon on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. “This pain may spread to the shoulders, upper back, or arms, or it may cause a headache. Neck movement may be limited, usually more to one side than the other from the area at the base of the skull into the shoulders.”

Dr. Sampat says that neck pain is often caused by a strain or spasm of the neck muscles or inflammation of the neck joints. “Pain from an injury may be sudden and severe and bruising and swelling may develop soon after the injury.”

Severe injuries include:

  • An injury to the muscles in the neck, such as a sprain or strain. When neck pain is caused by muscle strain, you may have aches and stiffness that spread to your upper arm, shoulder, or upper back. Shooting pain that spreads down the arm into the hand and fingers can be a symptom of a pinched nerve. Shooting pain is more serious if it occurs in both arms or both hands rather than just one arm or one hand.
  • A fracture of the spine. This can cause a spinal cord injury that may lead to permanent paralysis. It is important to immobilize and transport the injured person correctly to reduce the risk of permanent paralysis.
  • A torn or ruptured disc. If the tear is large enough, the jellylike material inside the disc may leak out (herniate) and press against a nerve or the spinal cord. You may have a headache, feel dizzy or sick to your stomach, or have pain in your shoulder or down your arm.

Emergency care is required for a neck injury that causes damage to the spinal cord. Symptoms of a spinal cord injury include loss of movement or feeling, numbness, tingling, difficulty controlling the muscles of the arms or legs, or loss of bowel or bladder control.

Health Conditions That Cause Neck Pain
However sometimes neck pain may not be related to an injury.

  • Arthritis or damage to the discs of the neck can cause a pinched nerve. Neck pain caused by a pinched nerve generally affects one side of the neck and the arm on that side. Other symptoms may develop, such as numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arm or hand.
  • Meningitis is a serious viral or bacterial illness that causes inflammation around the tissues of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms come on quickly and include severe headache, stiff neck, fever, and sometimes vomiting. The neck stiffness makes it hard or impossible to touch the chin to the chest.
  • The flu, which usually is not serious, can cause symptoms similar to meningitis. When neck pain is caused by flu, the neck and the rest of the body tend to ache all over, but severe neck stiffness is absent.
  • Neck pain that occurs with chest pain may be caused by a serious problem with the heart, such as a heart attack.
  •  Further stress and tension may make the muscles that run from the back of the head across the back of the shoulder feel tight and painful. You may not be able to move your head without pain.

Seeking Relief from Neck Pain
Treatment for a neck problem or injury may include first aid measures, physical therapy, manipulative therapy (such as chiropractic or osteopathic), medicine, and in some cases surgery.

“The type of treatment you need depends on the source of pain, location, type, and severity of the injury,” says Dr. Sampat. “A person’s age, health condition, and activities also can impact the treatment plan. Individuals experiencing pain should seek help from their doctor to determine the source or cause of the neck pain to ensure they get the correct treatment to properly relieve their discomfort.”

Free Lecture
Join Dr. Chintan Sampat, orthopedic spine surgeon, for a free program on Dealing with Neck and Shoulder Pain on Jan. 17, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Silver Cross Hospital’s Conference Center, 1200 Maple Rd., Joliet. Dr. Sampat will discuss common diagnoses that cause neck pain as well as pain and numbness in the shoulder and arms. Participants will learn prevention tips, exercises and treatment options that are available to relieve neck pain. To register, call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325) or click here.

Exercise & Therapy Can Help End Incontinence and Pelvic Pain

Posted on : 01-06-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Uncategorized

Do you cross your legs every time you sneeze for fear of “leaking”?  Is your tennis or golf game not what it used to be?  Does pain or discomfort limit the enjoyment you can take from intimacy?  These are common issues for women that they either think are part of being a woman simply because they are so common or that they do not discuss at all. What few know is that these problems are treatable and can be addressed through pelvic floor rehabilitationnow available at the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health through a partnership with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC).

“The pelvic floor is made up of the muscles deep within the pelvis that support the trunk,” says Valerie Paluszak, senior physical therapist specializing in women’s therapies with RIC at Silver Cross.  “They control the flow of urine and bowel movements, and they are important for intimacy as well.  Because they support the core muscles that serve as the starting point for all movement, these muscles are a source of inner strength for women throughout their lives. Problems with pelvic floor muscle function can lead to a variety of symptoms including pain and incontinence.”

Pelvic floor rehabilitation can help relieve pain and restore optimal function to muscles and joints, enabling wide-ranging physical improvements.  Therapists like Valerie who have specialized training in pelvic-floor muscle disorders develop a treatment plan tailored to each woman’s needs. A wide variety of treatment options are available to restore this source of inner strength for patients, including:

  • Pelvic-floor muscle exercise and training
  • Manual therapy, joint mobilization and myofascial
  • Manipulation
  • Biofeedback
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Pain management
  • Therapeutic exercise, strengthening and core
  • stabilization
  • Sport-specific strengthening and training

 Who May Benefit from Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation?

RIC at Silver Cross can help women of any age, pregnant or not, experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Urinary urgency and frequency
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Bladder pain
  • Fecal/bowel incontinence
  • Constipation
  • Persistent low-back and pelvic-joint pain, despite
  • previous treatment

 How Can I Get Started?

It’s easy.  Call your doctor for a referral for pelvic rehabilitation with RIC at Silver Cross.  Once you have a doctor’s order, call RIC at Silver Cross at (815) 740-7110 to schedule an appointment for an evaluation with Valerie at either the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health in New Lenox or at the Hospital in Joliet. 

Don’t have a physician?  Don’t worry.  We have 500 to choose from including OB/GYNs, gynecologists, uro-gynecologist, urologists and physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists.  Find one that is right for you online or by calling 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

Stung by the Flu?

Posted on : 01-05-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Health Tips

High fevers, aching bones, cold sweats, diarrhea, severe headaches and vomiting are all signs of the flu that can have you stuck in bed for days. But when these ailing symptoms worsen, it can be difficult to know how to treat them. Silver Cross offers tips to know when to seek medical attention when your flu bug sting takes a turn for the worse.

Most healthy people recover quickly from the flu without complications. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are some “emergency warning signs” that require urgent medical attention.

In children, some emergency warning signs include:

  • High or prolonged fever
  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Pale or bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Changes in mental status, such as not waking up or not interacting; being so irritable that the child does not want to be held; or seizures
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions (for example, heart or lung disease)

 In adults, some additional emergency warning signs include:

  • High or prolonged fever
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Near-fainting or fainting
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting

“To avoid serious health complications, people need to seek medical care immediately, either by calling their doctor or going to an emergency room if their symptoms worsen,” said Dr. Daniel Checco, Medical Director for the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center in Homer Glen.

24/7 Care Just Minutes  Away

The Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center is located at 143rd St. and Bell Rd in Homer Glen. The Center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and staff by board certified emergency medicine physicians and nurses.

Patients can check wait times—if any at for both the Homer Glen Free-Standing Emergency Care Center as well as Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet.

The Silver Cross Health Center also provides laboratory services and diagnostic imaging services including: MRI, CT, X-ray, Ultrasound and EKGs. And there are several physician offices including a pediatrician, podiatrist, spine and colorectal surgeons, cardiologists, rheumatologist and family practice physicians. For more information, call (708) 364-6337.