Free Kidney Disease Screenings on March 15

Posted on : 02-28-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Events, Health Tips, I Matter Benefits

More than 20 million Americans – one in nine adults – have chronic kidney disease. More than 20 million others are at increased risk.

People with diabetes, hypertension and a family history are all at risk of kidney disease. African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans and people over 65 are also at increased risk.

“Chronic kidney disease is a growing epidemic.  People aren’t realizing that  a modification of their diets and managing  your hypertension and diabetes could save you from dialysis, could save your kidneys,” says Dr. Nagarkatte, Nephrologist at Silver Cross Hospital.

Find out if you are at risk for kidney disease HERE.

Silver Cross Renal Centers in partnership with the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois & Northeast Nephrology Consultants will offer free kidney disease and diabetes screenings Tuesday, March 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Specialty Care Pavilion Lobby on the Silver Cross Hospital campus, 1300 Copperfield Ave., Joliet. Registration is mandatory for KidneyMobile® free screenings, visit here or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325). For more information on the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois’s KidneyMobile®, visit

Countdown Begins: Just 1 Year until Silver Cross Replacement Hospital Opens

Posted on : 02-26-2011 | By : tsimons | In : News

The drywall is up. The electrical, plumbing and mechanical equipment have been installed. And several of the patient rooms already have a coat of paint. With 80% of the construction completed, plans are well underway to open the $400 million Silver Cross Replacement Hospital next year at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox. Patients will move in on Feb. 26, 2012.

“We are on schedule and under budget,” Paul Pawlak, Silver Cross Hospital President and CEO says of the construction. “Even with the recession still troubling the nation, this is an exciting time for healthcare in Will County. Not only is the new medical campus creating over 250 local jobs, but we are building on our six time 100 Top Hospitals performance to further enhance quality healthcare in the region.”

Each year, the 100 Top Hospitals National award is given to only 100 hospitals throughout the country that have achieved excellence across several areas—not just in one specialty like other awards. This broad spectrum encompasses clinical outcomes, patient safety, patient satisfaction, financial performance and operational efficiency. Only the highest performing hospitals are named to the 100 Top Hospitals list year after year. In fact, Silver Cross is the only hospital in Illinois to win this award every year for the last 6 years. The 100 Top Hospitals award is the most prestigious award a hospital can receive.

Relocating 100 Top Hospital Care
In the next year, Silver Cross staff will be taking this ‘100 Top Care’ and relocating it to a brand new, state-of-the-art facility to make the patient-family experience even better. The impressive 6-story hospital is being built using evidence-based design, which has been proven to help in the healing process and contribute to a speedier recovery for patients. Some of the many ways that evidence-based design has been integrated into the replacement hospital is with large, private patient rooms, natural and enhanced lighting, sound and noise control, cheerful yet calming colors, ties to nature, bedside care and dedicated family areas.

“Several of the design elements have been proven to provide better quality outcomes and higher patient satisfaction,” says Peggy Gricus, Vice President of Patient Care at Silver Cross. “For example, reducing hospital noise can improve patient recovery and sleep time and reduce depression. And factors such as increased sunlight in patient rooms, views of nature, artwork, and even music also reduce patient stress can lead to improved patient outcomes.”

Some Silver Cross patients and family members are already getting a sneak peak at the hospital of the future. Silver Cross has created a “mock patient room” inside the current Joliet hospital retrofitting it to the very last detail. “By trying-out the latest equipment, furniture and amenities now, we have been able to make necessary changes before we build-out all 289 patient rooms in the new hospital,” said Gricus. “We want to build the safest and most efficient rooms that will allow us to give the best possible care to our patients and their family members.”

Just like all the rooms in the new hospital, the mock-room has been designed to be acuity-adaptable, which means that the room has the space, supplies and staff to deliver the appropriate level of care to the patient rather than transfer the patient between units as needs change. And soon, staff will begin performing some procedures at the bedside such as EEGs, carotid ultrasounds and echo cardiograms in the mock-room. Bringing more care to the bedside will be commonplace in the new hospital.

Now Open on the New Lenox Campus
Even before the mock-room existed, patients have had an opportunity to experience many of the new healing elements in the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health. The spa-like Center opened in the fall of 2009 in the medical office building on the replacement hospital campus. Offering a variety of healthcare services, the Center for Women’s Health is designed around a woman’s needs and lifestyle and includes the latest breast cancer testing available—full field digital mammography, as well as breast ultrasound and breast biopsies, bone densitometry and baseline heart screenings.

“Diagnostic test results are available the same day as your appointment and screening results within just 24 hours,” said Marci Vasiliades, Manager at the Center for Women’s Health. “And before a woman ever leaves the Center, she has the opportunity to consult with a board certified radiologist or meet with a certified breast health nurse to assist with the next steps in her care. We even have a hotline patients can call to hear her screening mammography results helping to alleviate any anxiety.”

Along with advanced testing services, women can also see top-notch specialists from University of Chicago at the Center including a reproductive endocrinologist and a urogynecologist specializing in incontinence and pelvic medicine. There is also a pelvic rehabilitation therapist from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross as well as a breast cancer support group that meets monthly in the Lobby of the women’s center. For more information about the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health, call (815) 300-6350.

In addition to the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health, the two-story building is also the home to:

  • Children’s Memorial Outpatient Center
  • Hinsdale Orthopaedics Associates
  • Partners in Obstetrics and Women’s Health
  • Advanced Eye Care and Spectrum Eye Institute
  • Will County Medical Associates.

A second medical services building will open in early 2012 offering hospital outpatient services such as testing, dialysis, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, physical, occupational and speech therapy, wound and diabetes care. There will also be even more physician offices including:

  • Advanced Urology Associates, S.C.
  • BMI Surgery
  • C&R Medical Associates
  • Cardinal Sleep Disorder Centers of America
  • ENT Surgical Consultants, Ltd.
  • Heartland Cardiovascular Center
  • Kathleen McCahill, M.D.
  • Southwest Suburban Neurological Surgery
  • Midwest Respiratory Ltd.
  • Mohammad Toor, MD
  • Northeast Nephrology Consultants, Ltd.
  • Progressive Surgical Associates, S.C.
  • Zafer Jawich, M.D.

This 5-story building is located between the hospital and the medical office building and connects all three.

Partnerships with Top Academic Medical Centers
Not only is Silver Cross building a state-of-the-art hospital, but the hospital has expanded its partnership with Children’s Memorial to bring 32 pediatric specialists to the new campus. And last year, Silver Cross teamed-up with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago to manage all inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation care. Most recently, Silver Cross joined forces with the University of Chicago Medical Center to open a $21.6 million cancer treatment center on the new campus.

“When the 2-story cancer center opens in spring of 2012, patients will soon have the best of both worlds,” said Pawlak. “The Cancer Center will provide patients and their families with convenient access to University of Chicago Medical Center’s specialists and advanced therapies in a brand new facility close to home.

The University of Chicago Medical Center has consistently been ranked as one of the best cancer hospitals in U.S. News and World Report. In addition, UCMC is one of only two hospitals in Illinois designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute and offers more clinical trials than any other hospital in the Chicago area.

In the University of Chicago Cancer Center at Silver Cross, patients will have access to clinical trials, medical oncologists and UCMC specialists, chemotherapy, infusion services, radiation therapy, cancer support groups, preventative screenings, clinical trials, and a comprehensive resource center. The Center will have a new generation linear accelerator. TruBeam™ uses image guided radiation therapy to provide the safest and most accurate results.

The Cancer Center will be located next to the medical office building already opened on the Silver Cross Replacement campus. HSA, the same real estate developer that built the first medical office building, will lease the 20,000 sq ft. facility to UCMC and Silver Cross. HSA plans to break ground in spring 2011.

Know your Colon Health

Posted on : 02-24-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Events, Health Tips

Colorectal cancer ranks as the third most common cause of cancer deaths in women and will claim the lives of more than 25,000 American women this year.

Are you at risk?   The most common risk factors include:

Age: As women grow older, the risk doubles every five years. Post-menopausal women are at higher risk.

Cancer history: Women with breast or uterine cancers also have an increased risk of developing colon cancer.

Weight: Being overweight or  those who have a sedentary lifestyle or consume a high fat diet are at a greater risk.

Calcium: Not having enough calcium intake can also affect your risk.

Common symptoms include:

  • Changes in bowel habits (diarrhea, constipation or caliber of the stool)
  • A feeling that your bowel does not empty completely
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
  • Abdominal discomfort (gas, bloating or cramps)
  • Unexplained loss of appetite or weight, weakness, fatigue or jaundice
  • Learn more about colon cancer.  Join us for a free girls only discussion on Keeping Your Colon Healthy with Dr. Riten Sheth, gastroenterologist, on Tuesday, March 15 from 6:30 to7:30 p.m. at the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health in New Lenox.  Register onlineor call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).  Participants will recieve a free colon cancer screening kit.

    How To Slow Down a Fast Beating Heart

    Posted on : 02-22-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Events, Heart Health, News

    It’s astonishing to think that over 3 million people in the U.S. have a fast beating heart.  And that by 2050, that number will double.

    If you are over the age of 40, you have a one in four chance that this will happen to you.  It’s called A-Fib (Atrial Flutter or Atrial Fibrillation) and can be treated at Silver Cross Hospital using a relatively new technique called ablation therapy!

    What Is Atrial Flutter/Atrial Fibrillation? 

    Electrical system problems of the heart may make the atria of the heart beat faster than normal. “If the atria beats quickly, but still evenly, it is called atrial flutter. If the atria beats very quickly and unevenly, it is called atrial fibrillation,” said Sunil Shroff, M.D., cardiologist at Silver Cross Hospital who specializes in electrophysiology.

    With atrial fibrillation, cells in the atria (upper chambers of the heart) send extra electrical signals to the ventricles (lower chambers of the heart). These extra signals make the atria beat very quickly and unevenly. As a result, the atria beat so fast and unevenly that they may quiver instead of contracting fully for each heartbeat. “If the atria don’t contract, they don’t move enough blood into the ventricles. This is what leads to symptoms such as dizziness and weakness,” said Dr. Shroff.  “So blood that isn’t kept moving can pool and form clots in the atria.  These clots can move into other parts of the body and cause serious problems, such as a stroke.”  Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation are palpitations (a fluttering, fast heartbeat), weakness or tiredness, shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness, dizziness or lightheadedness, or fainting spells.

    What are the Causes of A-Fib?

    • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
    • Valvular heart disease- especially mitral stenois and mitral insufficiency
    • Open heart surgery
    • Heavy alcohol use or binge drinking
    • Extreme emotional or physical stress such as severe infections, severe pain, and illegal drug use.
    • Antihistamines, bronchial inhalants, local anesthetics, tobacco use, caffeine (in coffee, tea, sodas) and chocolate (in large amounts)
    • Sleep apnea
    • Thyroid problems
    • Lung disease

    Can A-Fib Be Treated?

    Currently only selected facilities nationwide offer ablation treatment for Atrial Fibrillation, leaving drug treatment as the only alternative for patients without access to ablation therapy. Many medications have a low success rate and are associated with multiple side-effects. Fortunately for local residents, Silver Cross Hospital offers Atrial Fibrillation Ablation Therapy.  In fact, Silver Cross is the only area hospital that offers such therapy. Cardiologists with specialized training in electrophysiology (Electrophysiologists) on staff at Silver Cross are at the forefront of treating patients with abnormal heart rhythms, including implantable cardiac defibrillators, and resynchronization therapy, as well as ablation for atrial fibrillation and other abnormal heart rhythms called supraventricular and ventricular tachycardia.

    “During Atrial Fibrillation Ablation Therapy, we insert electrode heart catheters through the patient’s groin and advance them into the heart under X-ray guidance,” said Dr. Shroff. “We then guide the ablation catheter to tissue surrounding the pulmonary veins within the left atrium, and to other areas that start and maintain abnormal heart rhythms.” Real time continuous imaging of the heart and catheters is achieved by placing an ultrasound probe into the heart to monitor and prevent overheating from radiofrequency ablation, which may lead to complications.

    “We can literally visualize each individual’s specific anatomy from the inside, enabling accurate catheter navigation and precision ablation point delivery for treating a variety of complex cardiac arrhythmias,” said Dr. Shroff. “This is a major improvement in cardiac care.” 

    How Can I Learn More?

    Join Dr. Sunil Shroff, electrophysiologist, Monday, Feb. 28 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center.  He will discuss symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of atrial fibrillation.  Register to attend online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

    Vein Pain, Go Away!

    Posted on : 02-21-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Events, Health Tips

    Standing and walking upright increases the pressure in the veins of your lower body. These veins become enlarged, knotted, and for some people a more noticeably  blue and painful. While any vein can become varicose, it happens most often in the lower body because we are always on our feet!

    Get a leg up!

    Varicose veins do not usually cause any pain, but here are a few signs you may have them.  Your veins:

    • Are dark purple or blue in color
    • Appear twisted and bulging; often like cords on your legs

    If you feel any pain or discomfort such as

    • An achy or heavy feeling in your legs,
    • Burning, throbbing, muscle cramping and swelling in your lower leg,
    • Worsened pain after sitting or standing for a long time,
    • Itching around one or more of your veins,
    • Skin ulcers near your ankle, which can mean you have a serious form of vascular disease,

    Join Dr. Saeed Darbandi, general surgeon, on Monday, March 7,  from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Conference Center.  He will be discussing the latest treatments available for varicose veins and leg ulcers. Register online to attend this free program or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

    Eat Your Way to a Healthy Heart PartII

    Posted on : 02-21-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Health Tips, Heart Health

    In Honor of American Heart Month, here is part two of heart healthy foods you need to try! For more recipes and heart healthy tips, click here

    Walnuts and almonds are packed with Vitamin E, plant sterols, fiber, and heart healthy fats. Just a handful a day of these nuts can help lower LDL cholesterol. Try to eat these nuts fresh and unsalted for the most nutritious value. Toasted almonds are a great addition to salads and fish, or munch on a few for an afternoon snack.

    Salmon, tuna, and other Omega-3 packed fish are a great addition to your heart healthy diet. Try to substitute these fish in place of other meats just a few times a week to get the beneficial nutrients.

    To learn more about keeping your heart healthy, join Dr. Kathleen Drinan, cardiologist at Silver Cross Hospital, on Tuesday, February 22 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health. She will host a free ladies only program, Take Heart—You’ve Got Control. Women will learn the facts about heart disease and what they need to know to prevent heart attack and stroke. Those who register to attend will be entered into a drawing for a free Baseline Cardiac Screening. Register to attend online or call 1-888-660-HEAL.

    Spotlight on Your Health

    Posted on : 02-19-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Events, Health Tips, I Matter Benefits

    This past Wednesday, Dr. Corinne Nawrocki, family practice physician at Silver Cross, hosted a wonderful discussion on women’s health. She covered an array of health issues and provided valuable advice that women of all ages need to know.

    Most importantly, she reminded all of us why our health is so important. As she discussed tips and risks, she reminded us that, ” remember, you are so valuable, so important to so many people, and your health allows you to continue the work that you do…”

    Wise words! Click the link below to hear her enlightening message.

    Spotlight on Women\’s Health

    Ranked One of America’s Top 10 Friendliest Hospitals

    Posted on : 02-14-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Uncategorized

    Last week, the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers (AAHCP) announced that Silver Cross has been recognized as one of the Top 10 winners of the Hospital of the Choice Award for 2011. This is the 7th time that Silver Cross has been recognized as one of America’s Most Customer Friendly Hospitals.

    Only 100 hospitals are chosen each year putting Silver Cross in the same company as the renowned Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, and Massachusetts General in Boston.

    “We are pleased to be the only Illinois hospital recognized as one of the Top 10 friendliest in the country and also a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospital,” says Paul Pawlak, President and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital. “Winning these awards year after year shows our commitment to treating patients the way they should be treated by consistently providing an unrivaled health care experience.”

    Each year AAHCP evaluates approximately 400 hospitals for consideration of this annual award. Winners are posted on the website. The Hospital of Choice Award is designed to find America’s most customer-friendly hospitals based either on an extensive application process, or by a secret review of a facility’s public communication and staff interaction with customers. The application process requires a review of six principal areas of consideration including Standards of Conduct, Performance Management and Improvement, Staff Development and Training, Systems of Communication, Good Citizenship, and Educational and Promotional Material available to consumers.

    “The hospitals selected for this honor must display a remarkable affinity toward quality care, customer satisfaction and community service,” explains AAHCP President R. Vincent Parr. “In short, we recognize hospitals that care about all their customers.”

    See for yourself why Silver Cross is one of America’s Most Customer Friendly Hospitals. Request an appointment for a test or find a doctor on staff at Silver Cross.

    Send a Healthy Treat for Valentine’s Day!

    Posted on : 02-12-2011 | By : tsimons | In : I Matter Benefits

    Kiss your ordinary Valentine’s Gifts Goodbye!
    Send love and romance for Valentine’s Day with a sweet fruit arrangement, or a box of decadent chocolate covered fruit. This February 14th, share the love with your one and only by sending an Edible Arrangements Valentine’s Day or love-themed fruit arrangements, including cute heart-shaped pineapple and yummy hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries. You can even add a cuddly teddy bear or custom balloon to make your romantic gift extra special.

    And, if you have a Silver Cross I Matter discount card, you can save 5-10%. Just present your card at time of purchase.

    What’s I Matter, you ask?
    Women who join the free I Matter program receive benefits just for getting their annual health screenings at Silver Cross. It’s quick and easy to sign-up. And after you register, you’ll receive a welcome kit in the mail, which includes information on how to schedule a mammogram and cardiac screening as well as details on how to take advantage of the discounts. Upon completing the first screening—breast or heart, you will receive a card for 5% off unlimited purchases at I Matter™ business partners. When you complete your second screening, you will receive a 10% discount card. As an I Matter member, you will also be invited to participate in free health screenings, programs and special events and receive e-newsletters filled with plenty of health tips, recipes and special offers from Silver Cross Hospital as well as our business partners.

    There’s no time like the present to start living a healthy life! And, if you call (815) 740-7076 before Feb. 28, 20120 to schedule your heart screening, we will even throw in a box of dark chocolate from Dan’s Candies in Joliet-just for you. Afterall, you matter too!

    Take the Dark Chocolate Challenge!

    Posted on : 02-09-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Heart Health

    Dark Chocolate is high in antioxidants known as flavonoids (and it is yummy!) Studies show that modest amounts–no more than 1 to 2 ounces–eaten every day can reduce risk of blood clots, lower blood pressure, increase endurance, improve skin quality, and even sharpen problem-solving skills.

    With this in mind,  we found this recipe for you to try at home. This is a perfect treat for Valentine’s day, and it’s almost guilt-free!

    Here’s the challenge:

    “Like” us on Facebook then post a photo or video of the completed recipe on our wall by February 28, and you will automatically be entered into a drawing for a FREE Baseline Cardiac Screening.

    Double Chocolate Cupcakes (Courtesy of CookingLight)

    Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 cupcake)


    • 1  cup  all-purpose flour (about 4 1/2 ounces)
    • 1/3  cup  unsweetened cocoa
    • 1  teaspoon  baking soda
    • 1/8  teaspoon  salt
    • 2/3  cup  granulated sugar
    • 1/4  cup  butter, softened
    • 1/2  cup  egg substitute
    • 1  teaspoon  vanilla
    • 1/2  cup  1% low-fat buttermilk
    • 1 1/4  ounces  dark (70 percent cocoa) chocolate, finely chopped
    • 2  tablespoons  powdered sugar


    Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir with a whisk.

    Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined (about 3 minutes). Add egg substitute and vanilla, beating well. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to granulated sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in chocolate. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups lined with muffin cup liners. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving.

    Nutritional Information:

    Calories:150 (31% from fat)

    Fat:5.2g (sat 3.2g,mono 1.2g,poly 0.2g)