Dealing with Stress Incontinence

Posted on : 06-30-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Uncategorized

Stress incontinence is an involuntary loss of urine that occurs during physical activity, such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercise. Stress incontinence is often seen in women who have had multiple pregnancies and vaginal childbirths, and whose bladder, urethra, or rectal wall stick out into the vagina (pelvic prolapse).  Risk factors for stress incontinence include: being female, childbirth, chronic coughing (such as chronic bronchitis and asthma), getting older, obesity, and smoking.  If you are having trouble holding your urine when coughing, laughing, or sneezing you may be suffering from stress incontinence. Take our FREE risk assessment to help diagnose your symptoms here.

Dr. Sandra Culbertson is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of urogynecologic conditions, including: urinary incontinence; prolapse of the vagina, bladder and/or uterus; and other disorders of the pelvic floor. Watch what she has to say about diagnosing and dealing with stress incontinence. Relief may be found easier then you think.

Still have questions? Visit HERE and learn more about what Silver Cross has to offer for pelvic floor issues.

Celebrate Independence Day Safely this July 4th

Posted on : 06-27-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Health Tips

On the 4th of July in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by red, white and blue flags, parades, road trips, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country. Silver Cross Hospital offers some tips to help you and your loved ones celebrate our nation’s Independence Day safely.

Traveling in your holiday plans?
With more people on the roads during the holiday, it’s more important than ever to drive safely—which means being well rested, buckling up, observing speed limits and following the rules of the road. Also carry a disaster supplies kit in your trunk and pay attention to the weather forecast for your destination. Weather Web sites can help you avoid storms that could impact your safety. If you plan on drinking, designate a driver who won’t drink.

Cueing up the Grill?
Nothing says 4th of July than enjoying a sizzling steak or hot dog on your backyard grill. During the holidays people are more relaxed and may have their guard down when it comes to practicing safety techniques – even when grilling. “We see many patients present to our emergency department with burns from the outdoor grill because they weren’t paying close attention to the fire,” says Daniel Checco, D.O., Medical Director for the Silver Cross 27/7 Free-Standing Emergency Care Center in Homer Glen.

So always supervise a barbecue grill when in use. Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited. And keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire. And make sure everyone else, including children and pets, stay away from the grill. Finally, keep yourself safe by using the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill.

Topping off your celebration with Fireworks?
Here are some powerful numbers about fireworks injuries:

  • There are approximately 8,500 fireworks-related injuries each year in the United States. Of these, about 2,000 are eye injuries. One-third of these injuries result in permanent eye damage and one-fourth in permanent vision loss or blindness.
  • The most dangerous kind of firework is the bottle rocket because they fly erratically, often causing bystander injuries. The bottles and cans used to launch bottle rockets often explode, showering fragments of glass and metal.
  • Sparklers account for three-quarters of all firework injuries in preschoolers. Young children find these sticks of fire – burning as hot as 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit – irresistible to touch.

“Since more fireworks are used on and around the Fourth of July than in any other celebration, there is a larger concentration of injuries during this time,” says Dr. Checco.

You can enjoy a spectacular fireworks show safely by following a few tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Council on Fireworks Safety:

  • Do not drink alcohol and set off fireworks.
  • Always follow label directions on all fireworks to properly use them.
  • Have an adult present when using fireworks; never give fireworks to small children, and never leave older kids unsupervised with fireworks.
  • Use fireworks outdoors only.
  • Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket), and when you’re finished with sparklers and other fireworks, soak them so you know they’re out.
  • Never re-light a “dud” firework (wait 15 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water).
  • Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
  • Wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework.

Finally, what’s the safest way to spend your Fourth of July? “It’s really a lot safer to go to a professional show at one of the many area park districts,” says Dr. Checco. “By letting trained experts light the fireworks, all you have to do is sit there and enjoy the show.”

Summer Skin Care Precautions for the Elderly

Posted on : 06-26-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Health Tips, I Matter Benefits

[Tips provided by Home Helpers, an IMatter partner]

 As you age, your skin grows thinner, more fragile and less likely to protect and rejuvenate itself. Because sun damage is the greatest threat to human skin, people with sensitive, older skin must take diligent precautions to avoid as much sun exposure as possible.

While various methods and cosmetic topical products are effective, understand that no single approach is 100% successful in warding off ultraviolet (UV) radiation, a known cause of skin cancer and other skin-related diseases.

The best advice is to combine smart sun care tools and techniques to protect your mature skin from the harmful effects of the sun. Here are some tips to help keep you sun-safe all season long.

  1. Don’t Tan and Don’t Burn
    Use a sun shade or beach umbrella at the pool or shore. Sunbathing is not a good idea for mature skin that has already sustained a lifetime of damage from the sun’s UV rays. Tanning and sunburn increase your risk for skin cancer greatly.
  2. Pick Shade Over Sun
    Whether you’re at home or out walking, prevent sun damage to elderly skin by staying in shady corridors or porches, especially during the hottest part of the day. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) notes that the sun’s rays are strongest in North America between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  3. Apply Sunscreen Daily
    Sunscreen is the most powerful skin care product you can use to protect aging skin. Dermatologists recommend that you apply an SPF 30 formula to exposed skin daily, whether you’ll be indoors or out. Sunscreen of this strength is scientifically proven to absorb 97% of harmful UV rays, which are able to pass through clouds and glass. Reapply sunscreen after sweating or showering and use it liberally.
  4. Don’t Forget to Moisturize
    Keep skin moist with a high-quality lotion or cream. Elderly skin is already prone to dryness, which sun damage and hot temperatures can make worse. A good moisture barrier created by applying a skin care cream or lotion prevents water loss from the various layers of skin.
  5. Wear Protective Clothes
    Long-sleeved pants and shirts create excellent, inexpensive sun protection for elderly skin. Clothing with a tight weave offers substantial, reusable, and full body coverage, unlike sunscreens that wash off and must be re-applied. The Skin Cancer Foundation suggests using specially designed UV hats and clothing that provide extra sun safety for times when you wish to be outdoors.
  6. Use Protective Accessories
    Fabrics and films that block UV radiation are also used to make umbrellas, sunglasses, window shades and car window tints. Shield your sensitive skin from sun damage with these items that are endorsed by the Skin Cancer Foundation.
  7. Sun & Medication – Beware
    Some people taking over-the-counter or prescription drugs find that their skin becomes oversensitive to the sun. They can get serious skin damage including sunburn, blisters, rashes or swelling when out in the sun. Some of the medications which may set off these reactions include antibiotics (tetracycline and sulfa drugs), diuretics (water pills), anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, anti-diabetic preparations and some acne drugs containing vitamin A or its derivatives.

Everything Designed for Better Emergency Care in New Hospital

Posted on : 06-25-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Replacement Hospital

In an emergency situation, every second counts.  So, when it came time to design the emergency department opening in the Silver Cross Replacement Hospital in New Lenox on Feb. 26, 2012, improving access and throughput were top priorities.

“Our current Emergency Department was expanded and renovated in 2006.  At that time, many patient-family centered care enhancements were included such as glass-enclosed treatment rooms for noise reduction and separate family waiting areas,” said Brandt Fick, Administrative Director of Emergency Services and Diagnostic Imaging.   “In the new hospital, the layout of the department will be very similar; however we have made some adjustments to improve the experience for our patients, their families, our physicians, staff, and paramedics.”

For starters, the Hospital’s New Lenox location is ideal and highly visible.  The new emergency department (ED) is easily accessible from I-80, I-355 and Route 6.  To accommodate the increased traffic, Silver Cross has tripled the size of the Ambulance Bay so that it is now large enough for 9 rigs to pull in.  To transfer Level I trauma patients there is also a Helipad right outside the door.   The Helipad even has heating coils to melt the ice during the winter, which will help the Silver Cross ED team in providing safe and quick transports to Children’s Memorial, Loyola, etc.

The Silver Cross Emergency Medical Services (EMS) System Staff (formerly Will-Grundy EMS System) will also be located in the ED allowing for more frequent communication with the paramedics.   Silver Cross serves as the area’s Resource Hospital for 31 fire departments and ambulance services.

Patients arriving by car will be greeted in the ED Lobby at a Reception Desk and then escorted to one of three Kwik Registration stations before taken to a treatment room.  During high volume times, patients will be triaged and depending on the severity of their illness or injury either taken back to a room or asked to wait in the Guest Lounge or children’s area.   Patients will still be able to check wait times online for both the Replacement Hospital ED and Silver Cross 24/7 Free-Standing Emergency Care Center in Homer Glen.

Each of the 34 treatment rooms will have monitoring capability including cardiac, blood pressure and pulse oximitry as well as computer charting.  Furniture will be mobile allowing staff the flexibility to stock the room according to the patient’s needs.   And all 4 trauma rooms will also have mobile computers.

“To improve physician accessibility, we have turned the patient’s bed 90 degrees to alleviate any anxiety the patient may feel by having to watch the busyness of the nurse’s station,” says Jennie Perry, ED Manager.  “We have also learned that physician best practice is to stand on the right-side of the patient’s bed, which is closest to the doorway.

Physicians, staff and patients alike will benefit from the many departmental agencies eliminating long transports and increasing throughput.  The ED is located next to the Behavioral Health Department, Diagnostic Imaging and Security.  There is also a dedicated elevator inside the ED to transport patients up one floor to the Procedural Care Unit for emergency cardiac procedures or surgery.  And elevators are nearby to take patients being admitted up to their rooms.  No more long transports from one end of the hospital to the other to admit an ED patient.  In the new hospital, it’s just a quick elevator ride up a few floors.

“When we move on February 26, we will be ready to care for 80,000 patients a year in the new Emergency Department,” says Fick.  “This is a 25% increase over our current capacity.”

The Silver Cross Emergency Department is designated as a Level II Trauma Center, certified as an accredited Chest Pain Center and approved by the State to care for pediatric patients.  For more information about emergency services at Silver Cross and the Replacement Hospital follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

$100 Can Save Your Life!

Posted on : 06-23-2011 | By : tsimons | In : breast cancer, Events, Mammography, Video

In a report from the Center for Disease Control, the number of women getting mammograms has dropped over the past few years.  This means that more than 7 million women in the U.S. are avoiding this life saving test.  Yet over 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. 

Early detection is the key to survival.  And Silver Cross is making it easier for women with no prior symptoms or breast problems to get their annual mammography screening. Women who call 1-815-740-7076 or request an appointment online before June 30 at the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health will pay only $100. Cash, check or credit card will be accepted at time of appointment.  Insurance will not be billed. A physician’s order is also required at time of appointment.  Don’t have a regular doctor?  You can find one that is just write for you online or by calling our Free Physician Referral Service at 1-888-660-HEAL.

“If you’re a women age 40 or older or have a history of breast cancer in your family, you really should have a mammogram annually,” said Dr. Aaron Guajardo, radiologist at the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health.  “A mammogram can detect breast changes that may be signs of cancer.  These include tumors, which you may not be able to feel from the outside of the breast, as well as tiny calcium deposits that can accompany cancer.” 

At the Center for Women’s Health, we use only the latest digital mammography equipment.  In our spa-like envirnoment, a certified female mammography technologist performs all the exams.  And an on-site board-certified radiologist studies the images for tumors as small as a centimeter using a computer assisted detection system (CAD) giving women the benefit of a second opinion without any additional procedures.  With CAD, doctors can diagnose breast cancer even earlier catching the disease when it is most treatable.

Following the test, women can access their screening mammography results using an automated hotline.  Patients receive a post-exam card with a number to call to access their results within just a few days.  They receive a message that either the report is normal or they need to contact their physician for results. 

In addition, women who have their mammogram at the Center also recieve a complimentarty I Matter card which can be used for discounts with 150 local businesses.

What’s it like to have a mammogram at the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health?  Watch this video.

Light And Easy Summer Sweets

Posted on : 06-19-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Recipes

Longing for a sweet after-dinner treat but don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen?   These desserts are not only a quick way to satisfy your sweet tooth but they take less then 15 minutes to prepare and  are a delicious way to use summer’s best fruits.

Caramalized Bananas


  • 2 medium-small firm bananas, peeled
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark rum, or orange juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup low-fat vanilla ice cream, or frozen yogurt


  1. Cut bananas in half lengthwise.
  2. Melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add brown sugar and lay the banana slices on top, cut side up. C
  4. ook undisturbed for 20 seconds, then add rum (or orange juice) and cinnamon. C
  5. ook for 10 seconds, then turn bananas carefully and cook for 45 to 60 seconds more, basting with the pan sauce.
  6. Divide the bananas between 2 dessert plates, drizzling the sauce on top.
  7. Serve immediately, with a scoop of ice cream.

Nutrition Per serving: 342 calories; 6 g fat ( 4 g sat , 1 g mono ); 25 mg cholesterol; 58 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 3 g fiber; 50 mg sodium; 500 mg potassium.

Berry Sundaes


  • 1 cup strawberries, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup raspberries, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt


  1. Puree strawberries and raspberries with sugar and lemon juice in a blender.
  2. Serve over frozen yogurt and top with sliced strawberries and raspberries, if desired.

Nutrition Per serving: 130 calories; 0 g fat ( 0 g sat , 0 g mono ); 2 mg cholesterol; 28 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 2 g fiber; 65 mg sodium; 293 mg potassium. 

(recipes courtesy of

Keeping Heart Failure Patients out of the Hospital

Posted on : 06-17-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Heart Health

Is someone you love living with Congestive Heart Failure?  If so, we can help!

More than 5 million Americans are affected by Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), and it is one of the leading causes of hospitalizations and readmissions across the country. To better serve our patients, Silver Cross provides specialized outpatient nursing care with the aim of preventing hospital readmissions.

Located in the LaVerne and Dorothy Brown Cardiovascular Institute at Silver Cross Hospital, our outpatient setting provides convenient and easy access to Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) services.

Heart failure management is a team effort–making you and your doctor the key players on the team. Our staff will work closely with your doctor to provide the treatment you need.  We provide:

  • Vital assessments
  • Lasix infusions to treat fluid retention and high blood pressure
  • Lab draws
  • Medication management instruction

 How to Get Started
Once we’ve received your doctor’s referral to our program, simply call (815) 740-7134 to schedule your first appointment. Your health status will be evaluated by a registered nurse in our Infusion Center  during your first appointment. Our goal is to help you live well with CHF.

Fun Ways to Celebrate Father’s Day

Posted on : 06-13-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Celebration of Health, Heart Health, I Matter Benefits

Whether you’re changing diapers or changing tires,  dad’s never fail to come to the rescue.  No matter how old we get, the love and support of a father  make the rocky roads smoother. Father’s Day is a day to celebrate and commemorate dads, stepfathers, godfathers, grandfathers, and fathers-in-law, even uncles, mentors and big brothers — any man who has played the role of father figure and has earned the appropriate respect.  Take time this Father’s day to show the men in your life just how grateful you are.   Here are a few fun ways to celebrate dad on June 19th.

Catch a ball game. The Joliet Slammers offer family fun at an afforadable price and on Sunday, June 19 (Father’s Day) they play the Rockford RiverHawks at 6:05 p.m. Be sure to visit the Silver Cross kiosk for your chance at some fun prizes and spend the afternoon watching the game, having a picnic on the lawn and making new memories. Call 815-722-BATS for ticket information.

Relax over man food. Show him you love him with a meal you’ll know he loves: pizza & ribs!!   Use your IMatter discount at Chesdan’s Pizza or Nick’s Barbecue. Located nearby, dad will enjoy the savory eats either place provides while your family can share gifts and laughter with dad. Make sure to save room for dessert and treat Dad to a special sundae at Coldstone Creamery. With so many toppings to choose from, let dad be a kid again and divulge in this special treat.

Protect his heart. Every year, cardiovascular problems cause nearly half of U.S. male deaths—a third of them by complete surprise. Get every man in your life the gift of good health. For $40, Silver Cross offers a Baseline Heart Screening.  This screening provides a comprehensive health assessment and is available at 3 convenient locations.

Get him new digs.  Keep dad even cooler in all this heat with fun fashion. Instead of a tie or a button down shirt, get dad sunglasses to protect his eyes or pick up his favorite team’s jersey. Make it a family affair and spend the day playing catch outside with his new, relaxed look.

New Cornea Transplant Surgery Available at Silver Cross

Posted on : 06-11-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Events, News

In a first for the Will-County area, a surgeon at Silver Cross Hospital is removing patients’ diseased layer of the cornea and replacing it with a similar layer of healthy human donor tissue in a surgery called DSEK (Descemet Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty).

The DSEK procedure provides significant benefits over the traditional cornea transplant. “DSEK is a safer, more effective and overall superior treatment for corneal endothelial disease than the traditional method,” says ophthalmologist and corneal surgeon Timothy Kisla, D.O., who performs the surgery at Silver Cross Hospital.  “The advantages include a faster recovery time with a more rapid visual rehabilitation since a smaller incision with fewer stitches is placed in the cornea. Further benefits include improved optical stability, less risk for intraoperative complication such as expulsive choroidal hemorrhage, and a reduced risk to subsequent trauma, suture-related complications, and tissue graft rejection.”

During a DSEK procedure, the surgeon uses special instruments to enter the eye through a less than 1/4 inch incision in the front clear part of the eye (cornea). The back portion of the cornea is then painlessly stripped away and replaced by a similar piece of healthy graft tissue from a human donor. Although only a small piece of cornea is actually replaced, the graft will help keep the entire cornea clear.

Approximately 50,000 cornea transplants are performed each year in the U.S. and the majority of these cases use the DSEK technique for patients with damage to the endothelial area of the cornea. “Patients who are good candidates for the DSEK procedure are those that have impaired vision or pain due to cornea swelling secondary to corneal endothelial disease, such as Fuchs’ corneal endothelial dystrophy or trauma/damage to the endothelium, for example from complicated cataract surgery,” says Dr. Kisla. 

Many patients can regain useful vision within one to two months and driving vision within two to three months following the DSEK procedure, as opposed to 12 to 18 months, as seen with the traditional transplant method.

Frankfort Woman Maintains Independence

For Frankfort resident Lidio Filippo, who suffered from poor vision due to cornea swelling, life after his DSEK surgery has been nothing but wonderful. “My vision has improved so much that I can now drive at night and even read the street signs,” said the 83-year old. “If I didn’t get this surgery, I’m sure I would have failed my driver’s license exam because my vision was so poor. Thanks to Dr. Kisla and the wonderful nurses at Silver Cross Hospital, I have improved my quality of life and maintained my independence.”

Lidio’s wife is so grateful that her husband was able to have the new DSEK surgery at Silver Cross Hospital. “Lidio and I were so pleased with the care he received from Dr. Kisla and the nurses at Silver Cross. They made us both feel so at ease during the entire process,” said Shirley Filippo. “After the surgery Lidio was able to get his eye glass prescription reduced. He can also read the newspaper and navigate around the house with ease even sometimes without his glasses.”

Like conventional transplantation, DSEK surgery is covered by most major insurance carriers, including Medicare.

Free Lecture

Join Dr. Timothy Kisla, ophthalmologist, for a program titled “Future of Cornea Transplants” on June 20 at 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1200 Maple Rd., Joliet.  Participants will learn a new option for patients needing corneal transplantation that has a faster recovery time, less astigmatism and can be combined with cataract surgery. For more information or to register, call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325)

Silver Cross Home Health Receives State Award

Posted on : 06-10-2011 | By : tsimons | In : News

In addition to celebrating 25 years of caring for patients in their homes, Silver Cross Hospital’s Home Health Division was awarded the “2011 Great Illinois Home Health Care Award” by AdvisorMed which compiles a list of the top-performing home health agencies in the state based on quality successes and patient reviews.

Donna Yack, Manager of Home Health Services at Silver Cross Hospital credits strong dedication to teamwork and high quality standards with the company’s ability to rank as one of the “2011 Great Illinois Home Health Care Award” winners. She said, “Silver Cross is thrilled to be recognized for our quality and customer service successes which are a direct result from our dedicated team of Home Health professionals. By continuing to enhance the quality of home healthcare we provide to our patients, we can ensure to deliver the best healthcare experience to our patients in the comfort of their own homes.”

To determine award winners, AdvisorMed uses a variety of national standard data to compare agencies, including information from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) along with consumer reviews from the Home Health Care Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HHCAHPS), to compile a list of the top-performing home health agencies in the state.

Silver Cross Home Health offers comprehensive in-home services for patients who are ready to complete their recovery in the comfort of their own homes. Our expert staff provides a full range of skilled services including wound care, catheter care, infusion therapy, disease and medication management. Also included in our scope of services are physical, occupational and speech therapy.  When therapy is incorporated into the patient’s plan of care, an improvement in the patient’s functional and safety status as well as a marked independence relating to their activities of daily living is often evident. Staff carefully monitor the patient’s progress, identify and report any condition changes to the patient’s physician. Patients and their caregivers are taught how to manage the patient’s healthcare needs independently which allows the majority of Silver Cross Home Health patients to remain in their home after the patient’s individual goals have been met.

Silver Cross Home Health is Medicare Certified, licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the first home health agency in the area to be accredited by the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The organization is also a member of the National Association of Home Care and the Illinois Home Care Council.

If you or a loved one could benefit from Silver Cross Home Health, call (815) 740-7124.