Thank You Doctors!

Posted on : 03-30-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Uncategorized

Take a tour through the Kidney Mobile

Posted on : 03-29-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Health Tips

On Tuesday, March 15, Silver Cross Hospital partnered with Northeast Nephrology Consultants and the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois to provide free Kidney Disease Screenings to 69 residents  in our community.

 The KidneyMobile®, the nation’s first traveling chronic kidney disease screening program, has traveled nearly 25,000 miles across Illinois, bringing free screenings, providing education and, in many cases, immediate and critical referrals to members of the community.  Over 70% of CKD cases are caused by high blood pressure and diabetes, particularly when left untreated. The National Kidney Foundation’s goal in using the KidneyMobile® is to detect these diseases early on and prevent people from suffering from CKD.

We took a tour of the Kidneymobile with Logistics Coordinator, Robert Hearns, and were blown away with what we learned!   

“The key is knowing what you are putting into your body, and practicing moderation. I love to really open the eyes of our patients and show them what they are doing to thier health” says Robert.

To learn more about kidney disease, staying healthy or all the free screenings we offer, visit us here, or “like” us on facebook to stay up-to-date.

Silver Cross Named 100 Top Hospital for 7th Year

Posted on : 03-28-2011 | By : tsimons | In : News, Top 100 Hospitals

Less than 2% of All Hospitals Recognized for Overall Organizational Performance

For the 7th straight year, Silver Cross Hospital was today named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Thomson Reuters Healthcare, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare.    The award is given to hospitals that have achieved excellence in:

  • Clinical outcomes
  • Patient safety
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Financial performance
  • Operational efficiency. 

Silver Cross is the only hospital in Illinois to win the award every year for the past 7 years.

“Lots of hospitals are regularly evaluated against a broad range of high performance standards but only 100 make this prestigious list—that’s less than 2% of all the hospitals in the entire country,” said Jim Roolf, Chairman of the Silver Cross Board of Directors.  “The confidence, care, and compassion provided by the hospital’s doctors, nurses, clinicians, employees and volunteers are the reasons why we are a 100 Top Hospital 7 years in a row.  It’s their dedication and outstanding performance that makes Silver Cross one of the best places to receive care—not only in the Chicago area, but in the nation.”

According to Thomson Reuters Healthcare, only 4 hospitals in the United States have been recognized as a “100 Top Hospitals” winner for the last 7 consecutive years.  And only 40 of the nation’s hospitals have received the award 7 or more times. 

An Important Award

The 100 Top Hospitals National Award winners demonstrate that high-quality patient outcomes can be achieved while improving efficiency.  The Award looks at hospital-wide performance and is based on objective data that measures excellence across 10 areas:

  • Mortality
  • Medical complications
  • Patient safety
  • Average patient stay
  • Expenses
  • Profitability
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Adherence to clinical standards of care
  • Post-discharge mortality
  • Readmission rates for acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), heart failure, and pneumonia.

The study has been conducted annually since 1993.  

 Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president for performance improvement and 100 Top Hospitals programs at Thomson Reuters says this year’s 100 Top Hospitals Award winners have delivered exemplary results, despite volatility from healthcare reform.  “The leadership teams at these organizations have dealt with enormous ambiguity, yet remained focused on mission and excellence across the hospital which drove national benchmarks to new highs.”

According to Chenoweth, “If all Medicare inpatients received the same level of care as those at the 100 Top Hospitals including Silver Cross more than 116,000 additional patients would survive each year and about 197,000 patient complications would be avoided annually.  In addition, the average patient stay would decrease by nearly half a day and expense per adjusted discharge would drop by $462.  If the same standards of care were applied to all inpatients, the impact would be even greater.”

To conduct the 100 Top Hospitals study, Thomson Reuters researchers evaluated nearly 3,000 short-term, acute care, non-federal hospitals. They used all public information — Medicare cost reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) data, and core measures and patient satisfaction data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare.  Hospitals do not apply, and winners do not pay to market this honor.

“At Silver Cross, we see it is part of our mission and unrivaled passion to deliver higher quality care,” said Paul Pawlak, President and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital.  “This award means that Silver Cross Hospital has higher survival rates, less complications, a safer environment and higher patient satisfaction.”

For more information about the 100 Top Hospital awards, visit

Silver Cross Gives Back to Community

Posted on : 03-26-2011 | By : tsimons | In : News

The Silver Cross Center for Women's Health offers the latest breast cancer testing available—full field digital mammography, as well as breast ultrasound and breast biopsies, bone densitometry and baseline heart screenings.


For over 115 years, Silver Cross has been devoted to providing all Will County residents with high quality healthcare.  Scheduled to open on February 26, 2012, the Silver Cross Replacement Hospital in New Lenox is being built to help patients heal faster and improve patient satisfaction.  

“We have taken our 6 time 100 Top Hospital Award winning care and all the elements that have made us one of America’s Most Customer Friendly Hospitals and packaged them into a brand new hospital in New Lenox,” said Paul Pawlak, President and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital. 

The 70 acre medical campus is the hospital’s gift for future generations.  The new hospital located at I-355 and Route 6 has been designed to better service patients and their family members.  The large, private family-friendly rooms will be able to accommodate more procedures at the bedside and provide acuity adaptable care.  This means that each room will have 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—allowing patients a greater chance to heal faster and go home sooner. 

And, the new hospital has been designed to be more efficient so that patients and family members won’t have to wait unnecessarily for care or results.  Patients are already experiencing this in the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health, which opened on the new hospital campus on 2009.  The spa-like facility offers 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. 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. There is even a hotline patients can call to hear her screening mammography results helping to alleviate any anxiety.  Click here 

“The women’s center offers patients a glimpse into what the care will be like when the hospital opens next year,” says Pawlak.  “Our goal is to provide an unrivaled healthcare experience for every patient every time.” 

In addition to expanding women’s services, Silver Cross has formed partnerships with the University of Chicago Medical Center to build a cancer center,  and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) to enhance inpatient and outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy, and Children’s Memorial Hospital for pediatric services.  There are currently 32 pediatric specialists with Children’s Memorial seeing patients on the New Lenox hospital campus

Committed to Caring for the Community 

If building a new hospital wasn’t enough, Silver Cross has continued its 115-year commitment to the community with nearly $30 million in charity care and other community benefit.  Last year, the hospital provided more than $8 million in charity care, (the cost of healthcare given free of charge) to over 2,000 people—far exceeding its annual $4 million pledge made back in 2008.  Silver Cross also provided more than $14 million in unreimbursed services at costs through the Medicaid and Medicare programs—a 44% increase from the previous year. 

In addition to charity care and government sponsored indigent care, Silver Cross gave more than $16 million in other community benefit, which included free and subsidized health services, programs and screenings to more than 8,500 people in Will County.  

Locally, Silver Cross Hospital has been extremely active in the community over the years with employees serving in key leadership roles on the New Lenox, Manhattan, and Homer Glen Chambers of Commerce as well as other civic and service organizations.  Silver Cross has also worked closely with many of the schools to participate in free health fairs and career days.  In fact, over the past decade, Silver Cross has partnered with the Lincoln-Way High School District to provide a semester-long internship for students.  Three mornings a week, 20 Lincoln-Way East High School students set aside their text books and come to Silver Cross Hospital for real-life lessons.  The free program offers a valuable experience and great opportunity for seniors enrolled in human anatomy and physiology class allowing them real insight into medical careers.  Over the years, many of the students have gone on to pursue careers in the healthcare field with several returning home to care for patients at Silver Cross. 

In addition to training high school students, for over 30 years, Silver Cross has served  as the resource hospital for the Will-Grundy Emergency Medical Services (EMS) System training hundreds of  paramedics servicing the residents of Homer Glen, Manhattan, Mokena and New Lenox and many other communities.  Silver Cross also operates the first 24/7 free-standing emergency care center in the state located at 143rd St. and Bell Rd. in Homer Glen.  Since opening in 2009, the Emergency Care Center has treated over 150,000 patients with a variety of illnesses and injuries.  The emergency medicine doctors, nurses and staff have also gone out to local schools, sports teams, retirement homes and other community organizations to provide free health education and screenings.  Add on April 17, the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Center staff will be participating in the Lockport Township High School 5K. 

“Giving back to our community is a strong and vital part of our mission to provide quality healthcare services for all,” said Paul Pawlak, President and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital.  “Whether it’s in the form of a brand new hospital or free blood pressure checks, we want to make sure that we are delivering an unrivaled healthcare experience.  Not only is it good business—but it is the right thing to do for our family, friends and the community at large.” 

Dealing with Men’s Health

Posted on : 03-22-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Events, News

Here at the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health, we cater to making sure that our patient’s health concerns are priority. However, we know that for many of you, the man in your life is just as important. With that in mind, we are going to dedicate this blog post to  the men who support you, love you, and deserve good health too!

More than 26 million men in the United States each year are affected by an enlarged prostate gland, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). By age 80, 9 out of 10 men will have BPH.  

 As the prostate enlarges, the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body, may become narrowed or partially blocked. The narrowed or blocked urethra is what causes the symptoms of BPH.

Although BPH is a common health problem, many men lack awareness and understanding about the condition, symptoms, treatment solutions and overall health risks associated with delaying treatment. Every man’s experience with BPH is different. Symptoms may be stable, may come and go, or may become more bothersome over time Symptoms include difficulty in urinating, a reduced urine stream, straining to urinate, frequency of urination, and a feeling that the bladder never completely empties.

“BPH symptoms related to difficulty in urination can dramatically affect a patient’s quality of life,” said Dr. Constance Marks, urologist on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. “While BPH does not cause prostate cancer, many of the symptoms should be evaluated to be certain they are not actually caused by prostate cancer.”

 To learn more, join Dr. Constance Marks for a Men’s Health Seminar on Thursday, April 7 from 6 to 7 p.m. in the  Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, Joliet.  She will discuss the latest treatment options and solutions for an enlarged prostate, as well as the  impact of BPH on the quality of life of patients and their partners. Spouses are invited and encouraged to attend. Light refreshments will be available. Register online  or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

Catching up with Carpal Tunnel

Posted on : 03-22-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Health Tips

If you did not get a chance to catch Karen LaBarbara, Senior Occupational Therapist with The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital, don’t worry! Watch this to learn more about what you can do to reduce the risk and pain from Carpal Tunnel Syndrom.

Heard of Ergonomics? Yea, it’s an odd word and it can be just as difficult to apply appropriately. However, this is one word that can really help alleviate the initial pain from Carpal Tunnel. Karen LaBarbara talks about how you can implement this into your daily life. Watch more here.

Still want to learn more? Visit us here or schedule a consultation with a physician’s order.  Contact a convenient location for you:

Over 50? It May be Time for a Colonoscopy!

Posted on : 03-21-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Events, Health Tips

Colorectal cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the US, and it is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. The risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with age.  In fact, more than 90% of cases occur in people age 50 years and older. If everyone were screened regularly beginning at age 50, as many as 60% of deaths from this cancer could be avoided, since screening tests can find and remove precancerous polyps before they become malignant. And if colorectal cancer is detected early, treatment is more likely to be of benefit.

Leading national organizations, including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Cancer Society, and the National Cancer Institute recommend regular colorectal cancer screening tests beginning at age 50. People who have had colorectal polyps, colorectal cancer, or inflammatory bowel disease, or who have close relatives with colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer, may need to begin colorectal cancer screening before age 50 and be screened more frequently. The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that all people be screened regularly for colorectal cancer until they reach 75 years of age, and in certain cases should continue to be screened beyond age 75. Screening tests recommended include:

• Colonoscopy
• High-sensitivity fecal occult blood test (FOBT)

What is a Colonoscopy?

The colonoscopy is considered the gold-standard test for finding colon cancer.  A colonoscope is a long tube is that allows the doctor to see the lining of the entire colon. This is the most thorough exam; it may cause discomfort, but does not usually cause pain. Patients are given a sedative to make them feel relaxed and sleepy during the screening, which takes 15-30 minutes. Beginning at age 50, a colonoscopy should be performed every 10 years. 

Video: What Patients Can Expect

Find a doctor who performs colonoscopies at Silver Cross Hospital.  Call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

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.

What is a Fecal Occult Blood Test-FOBT?

A FOBT is used to find occult or hidden blood in feces. A positive test does not always mean cancer is present. In addition, the FOBT can miss some cancers, so it should not be solely relied on for colorectal cancer screening. Patients receive a test kit and instructions on how to take a stool or feces sample at home. The kit is then returned to the hospital for testing.  Beginning at age 50, a FOBT should be performed yearly.

Request a Free Colon Cancer Screening Kit (FOBT).

Be the One to Burnout Heartburn

Posted on : 03-18-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Events, Health Tips, News

Millions every year are affected by chronic heartburn or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease also known as GERD.  Don’t let it stop you from eating your favorite foods or getting a good night sleep.

If you’re experiencing chronic heartburn, regurgitation and nausea — we can help.

Hear from Dr. Kamran Ayub, gastroenterologist on staff at Silver Cross Hospital, on how we treat chronic heartburn, GERD and Barrett’s Esophagus.  Attend a free seminar–Healing Heartburn, Thursday, March 31 at 6:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center.  To reserve you spot, register online or call 1-888-660-HEAL.

What is Barrett’s Espohagus?

Barrett’s esophagus occurs when severe acid reflux, or GERD, causes the cells lining the esophagus to undergo genetic changes that can set the stage for cancer development. Barrett’s has traditionally been managed with frequent endoscopic biopsy surveillance; however, many physicians believe in a more proactive treatment of Barrett’s esophagus. One such proactive treatment is through the use of ablation which is the use of electrical energy to remove the diseased layer of cells from the esophagus. This option may eliminate the disease before it has the opportunity to progress to cancer.

New Treatment Available at Silver Cross

The HALOFLEX system is the first among existing ablation tools to treat Barrett’s esophagus in a uniformed and controlled manner. The technology can remove a thin layer of diseased tissue and allow the regrowth of normal cells without injuring healthy underlying tissue.  Doctors at Silver Cross Hospital are able to use the HALO360+ Ablation Catheter to treat patients with large segments of Barrett’s tissue. Following ablation, the diseased tissue in most patients is replaced by new healthy tissue within three to four weeks time. In the largest study conducted with the HALO technology, 98.4% percent of patients were Barrett’s-free (at 30-month follow up).

The ablation procedure, which typically takes less than half an hour, is performed without incisions using conscious sedation in an out-patient setting. Using a catheter, the physician directs the HALO catheter down the throat to the diseased area of the esophagus. The HALO energy generator is activated to deliver a short burst of ablative energy, which removes a very thin layer of the diseased esophagus.  Dr. Auyb is one of the first in the area to offer this option at Silver Cross Hospital for the management of Barrett’s esophagus.

Now that technology is available to treat Barrett’s disease before it progresses to cancer, there is an opportunity to improve the quality of life for the millions of Americans living with Barrett’s esophagus.

For more information about Barrett’s esophagus, radiofrequency ablation, or the risks associated with esophageal adenocarcinoma, visit

News Alert: Cancer Survivors in the U.S. Increases

Posted on : 03-12-2011 | By : tsimons | In : breast cancer, News

The Center for Disease Control and National Cancer Institute issued thier latest report, and the number of U.S. cancer survivors  has increased to 11.7 million in 2007.  Breast cancer has the largest group of survivors, followed by prostate cancer and colorectal cancer.

“It’s good news that so many are surviving cancer and leading long, productive and healthy lives,” said CDC Director Thomas Frieden, M.D.

Healthy behaviors such as smoking cessation, healthy eating, and regular physical activity can reduce the risk for cancer, and early detection of cancer can improve the quality of life and increase the likelihood of survival. Silver Cross Hospital offers free screenings and programs throughout the year to help you fight cancer. Women should commit to an annual mammogram and Men, an annual prostate screening to ensure good health.

Don’t forget, throughout the month of March, Silver Cross is providing FREE Colon Cancer Screening Kits. Click Here to get yours.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Posted on : 03-11-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Uncategorized

In honor of St. Patrick, Go Green EVERYWHERE this week, even at your meals! Today is all about green (and saving some green!!) Try these healthy and affordable recipes and keep your St. Patrick’s spirit all year round! (courtesy of

Potato-Asparagus Casserole This sauce-free side dish is full of  fresh potatoes, asparagus, and onion leaving your family with a fresh & flavorful specialty!

Green Chilli Stew A hearty meal-in-a-bowl.  The recipe makes several servings, so invite a crowd or serve as leftovers the next day, when the flavors have blended together even more.

Easy Grasshopper Cake Plan ahead before you make this minty treat. The flavors are refreshing, and the recipe is very easy!