Ditch Depression and Feel Better

Posted on : 09-29-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Events

You know that diseases like arthritis and diabetes can have a negative impact on health. Yet you may not realize that another disease—depression—is just as serious.

Women Have a High Risk for Depression. As many as 1 in 10 older adults have depression. Besides women, people with an elevated risk include those who:

  • Have a chronic disease, such as arthritis or diabetes
  • Have experienced a stressful life event, such as the death of a loved one
  • Spend a lot of time alone
  • Had depression earlier in life

There is no single cause of depression. Some medicines can trigger side effects that can contribute to depression.The good news is that depression is highly treatable. Recognizing depression and seeking treatment will improve your mental and physical health.

Are You Depressed?
In honor of National Depression Awareness Day, join Dennis Nakanishi and John Jauch from the Joliet Center for Clinical Research for a free depression program in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1200 Maple Rd., Joliet on Thursday, October 6 at 6 p.m.  They will discuss the seriousness of depression and available treatments. Following the program, you will have the opportuinity to participate in a depression screening and meet cofidentially with a  behavioral health professional. 

Treatment Can Improve Your Health

If you have several symptoms for more than two weeks, talk with your doctor. Counseling and antidepressant medicines are two treatment options. Exercise has also been shown to ease depression.  With treatment, depression symptoms can diminish, leading to an improved quality of life. Click here to find a physician who specializes in treating depression.

Make a Difference &Help us Celebrate this fall!

Posted on : 09-28-2011 | By : tsimons | In : breast cancer, Celebration of Health, Events

On Sunday, October 16th, we are joing others who are celebrating women’s health at the Annual American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event.

“More than a walk, the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is a powerful and inspiring event that unites communities to celebrate people who have battled cancer, raise awareness about the steps we can take to help prevent the disease, and raise money to find cures and support programs and services for those facing the disease.” -American Cancer Society

The Walk will be held on Sunday, October 16, 2010 at Centennial Park Soccer Field, 15400 West Avenue, Orland Park, IL – registration begins at 8 a.m. and the walk at 9 a.m. Bring your family along for a fun morning of live msuic, activities, and refreshments along with the walk.

This event is a celebration of survivorship, an occasion to express hope, and a shared goal to end a disease that threatens the lives of so many people we love.  There is no registration fee or minimum fundraising amount, but your donations are welcomed. Your support will assist the American Cancer Society to continue their work in education, screenings, support groups and research efforts aimed at finding a cure. 

Want to join us? Barb Manning, Breast Cancer Support Group facilitator,  is organizing the Silver Cross team.  To join Team Silver Cross, donate, or learn more about the walk, click here

For more information about Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, check out the frequently asked questions.

You’re Invited!

Posted on : 09-28-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Events

$100 Mammograms are for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted on : 09-26-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Uncategorized
In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness month, the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health is offering digital screening mammograms for just $100 to women who call in October to make an appointment before Nov. 30, 2011. The $100 screening mammogram includes the radiologist fee. Cash, check and credit cards will be accepted at time of appointment—insurance will not be billed. Please mention SPECIAL MAMMOGRAM when calling (815) 300-7076 to schedule an appointment with a doctor’s order. You can also request an appointment online.  Don’t have a doctor? Call 1-888-660-HEAL or click here for a free referral. 
Plus, through the Silver Cross free I Matter™ program, Center for Women’s Health patients receive valuable discounts from over 150 local businesses just for getting their regular health screenings. To learn more, visit www.IMatter.silvercross.org. 
What is digital mammography? 
Digital mammography takes an electronic image of the breast and stores it directly in a computer. Digital mammograms are better at detecting breast cancer in women with dense breasts, or who are pre-or peri-menopausal. It provides physicians with a more accurate picture of the breast, allowing for quick and simple diagnosis. 

The Center’s crown jewel is full field digital mammography—the latest breast cancer testing available. “At the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health, we use only digital mammography technology to provide our patients with the best service and care,” says Marci Vasiliades, Manager of the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health. “Patients can bring their old films in and we will scan and transfer them to the digital format for easy comparison.” 

Digital mammograms also simplify the procedure for women. Although compression of the breasts is still important when performing digital mammography, the compression paddles are warmer and more flexible, which ultimately provide women with a more comfortable experience. Following the screening, women can call a 24-hour mammogram hotline to obtain their test results alleviating any anxiety. 

In addition, the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health is uniquely staffed with a Certified Breast Care Nurse (CBCN™). “By having a Certified Breast Care Nurse working at the Center, we are able to offer our patients even more specialized and personalized care,” said Vasiliades. “This specialized nurse guides our patients through the next steps in their care.” 

 Have you been to the Center for Women’s Health? 

The Center for Women’s Health represents a unique concept in women’s healthcare. Located on the Silver Cross Replacement Hospital campus at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox, the Center was the first in the region to provide an advanced level of diagnostics coupled with specialized care for women in one convenient location. Set in a spa-like environment, the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health offers a variety of healthcare services designed around a woman’s needs and lifestyle. In addition to digital mammography, the Center offers breast ultrasound and biopsy, bone densitometry, heart screenings, breast cancer support group, and women’s health specialists including urogynecologist, reproductive endocrinologist, plastic and reconstructive surgeon, and gynecologic oncologist. 


Back by popular demand!

Posted on : 09-25-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Heart Health, I Matter Benefits

Seeking relief from incontinence?

Posted on : 09-24-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Uncategorized

Incontinence!  It’s the best kept secret between 13 million women across the country. And although common, many find it embarrassing especially when they cough, sneeze or exercise. Others find it uncomfortable or painful. So your friends at Silver Cross wanted to share with you some important information from a recent Chicago Tribune article and to let you know that we have several doctors specializing in diagnosing and treating urinary incontinence, prolapse, and other pelvic floor disorders right here in Will County.  Click here or call 1-888-660-HEAL for a free referral to a pelvic medicine specialist at Silver Cross Hospital or take a FREE INCONTINENCE RISK ASSESSMENT today.

Chicago Tribune

Friday, September 23, 2011


CHICAGO — For the 25 million U.S. adults with urinary incontinence, a little leakage can carry a lot of shame. But many people don’t do anything about it.

“Urinary incontinence is a very insidious process,” said Dr. David Glazier, co-director of the pelvic floor center at Virginia Urology in Richmond, Va. “It occurs very slowly; (people) think it’s a normal part of aging.”

Women — 75 percent to 80 percent of sufferers, thanks largely to the wonders of childbirth — endure leakage for an average of eight years before seeking help, Glazier said, even though it’s highly treatable.

Increasingly, women are taking action. They are “more physically active, fit, and they’re not going to tolerate wearing pads all the time,” said Dr. Vivian Aguilar, a urogynecologist at Cleveland Clinic Florida who sees many incontinence patients in their 30s, 40s and 50s.

The most common types of incontinence among women are stress and urge incontinence. Pelvic organ prolapse can be a cause. Most women see improvement or cure through behavioral modification (losing weight, limiting caffeine, alcohol and artificial sweeteners) and Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, considered the frontline treatment for both types, said Dr. Margaret Roberts, attending physiatrist with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. But a third of women don’t do Kegels correctly, she said, and those frontline treatments don’t work for everyone.

Here are other solutions, which depend on what type of incontinence a woman has, drawing from the expertise of Glazier, Aguilar and Roberts:

Stress incontinence

What it is: Leaking urine as a result of abdominal pressure, such as laughing, coughing, sneezing, running, jumping or having sex. It happens as the valve muscle around the urethra weakens and wears down with time, and commonly starts after childbirth, which stretches out the tissues that support the urethra and bladder. It is the most prevalent type of incontinence among women, affecting one-fourth of women over 17, and it becomes increasingly common with age.

Medication: There are no FDA-approved medications for stress incontinence. Duloxetine (Cymbalta), an antidepressant, is approved in the European Union for stress incontinence and is sometimes used off-label in the U.S., but it carries an FDA-issued black-box warning of suicide risks.

Bulking agents: Injecting collagen or carbon spheres into the tissue around the bladder neck and urethra helps close the bladder opening to reduce leakage. Over time, the body might eliminate the agents, so you have to repeat injections.

Slings: A small ribbon of mesh, usually inserted through the vagina, is placed around the urethra to support it. This common outpatient surgical procedure, usually done under general anesthesia, has a 90 percent success rate, but it carries risks. The FDA in 2008 warned of serious complications with mesh used for stress incontinence and prolapse procedures, including infection and migration or erosion of the mesh into the vagina, potentially causing pain during intercourse. The procedure also can be performed using tissue from your own body.

Burch procedure: Through an incision in the abdomen, a surgeon pulls up the bladder and sutures it to ligaments behind the pubic bone, giving support to the urethra. It has a slightly lower success rate than a sling, but it has fewer side effects, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Urge incontinence

What it is: Having the sudden urge to urinate and not always making it to the toilet. While the causes aren’t well-understood, it happens when abnormal nerve signals cause bladder contractions when you’re not ready and can be brought on by infection or nerve injuries, such as multiple sclerosis or stroke. It is associated with overactive bladder, which also includes urinary frequency (needing to urinate more than seven to 10 times per day), and nocturia (waking up at least twice a night to go to the bathroom). Urge incontinence and overactive bladder affect one-fifth of adults older than 40 and are twice as frequent in women as in men.

Medication: Medications such as VESIcare, Ditropan and Toviaz help with overactive bladder symptoms by relaxing the bladder muscles.

Neuromodulation: Interstim is the brand name for a pacemaker-like device that is implanted under your skin, just above the buttocks, to deliver electric pulses that calm the bladder. You do a two-week trial before implantation to confirm it works before committing. Possible complications include discomfort and infection. Because it’s metal, you can’t have an MRI.

A less invasive option is peripheral nerve stimulation, wherein a doctor places a small needle in one of the nerves in the foot, next to the ankle bone, and sends an electric signal to the bladder nerves to calm down. You must do half-hour sessions once a week for 12 weeks, and then once a month after that. Unlike Interstim, it’s not covered by most insurance.

Botox: The FDA in August approved Botox bladder injections to treat urinary incontinence in people with neurologic conditions such as spinal cord injury or multiple scerlosis. The effect lasts for up to 10 months, so you’ll need repeat visits. Some people have trouble emptying their bladder afterward and must use a catheter.

Augmentation cystoplasty: The end-of-the-road treatment for overactive bladder, this involves cutting into the bladder to increase the capacity and decrease contractility. Afterward, patients may have to catheterize themselves.

Pelvic organ prolapse

When childbirth, hysterectomy or other surgery weaken the muscles and tissues supporting the pelvic organs, a woman’s bladder, uterus, bowel or rectum can shift from their normal positions and drop into the vagina. Stress incontinence can result, or the drooping organs can kink the urethra, causing urinary retention. POP affects as many as half of women who have given birth, but only 10 percent to 20 percent experience symptoms.

Pessary: A diaphragm-like device that you insert into the vagina to help keep the organs in place. You must remove and reinsert the pessary regularly for cleaning.

Surgical repair: Surgeons can fix a prolapse as they would a hernia, pulling up and securing collapsed organs. When a prolapse is accompanied by incontinence, they would install a sling during the same procedure. For women who have had several unsuccessful repairs, some doctors insert mesh through the vagina to hold up the sagging organs, but mesh has risks. In July, the FDA updated its warning on using mesh to correct prolapse, citing serious complications including mesh protruding through the vaginal wall and organ perforation during insertion. The greater risk does not come with greater clinical benefit, the FDA said, and removing the mesh may not be possible and may not resolve complications.

Save the Date: Silver Belles Bazaar Nov. 5

Posted on : 09-23-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Events, News
The Will County Union of King’s Daughters and Sons will hold its annual Silver Belles Bazaar Saturday, Nov. 5, from 7:30 am. to 1:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Cafeteria, located in the Francis Pavilion, 1200 Maple Rd., Joliet. Admission is free. Strollers are welcome. Handmade craft items, homemade baked goods and lunch will be available. In addition, raffle tickets will be sold for $1 each or six for $5. Prizes include a laptop computer, $500 cash, and spa, sport, and entertainment gift baskets. The drawing will be held on Nov. 5 at 1:30 p.m. Winner need not be present. 

 The Childerguild Gift Shop and Encore resale shop, located in the hospital, will also be open. 

 Proceeds from the Silver Belles Bazaar benefit the Silver Cross Renal Centers, the largest provider of dialysis services in Will and Grundy counties. For more information, call Volunteer Services at Silver Cross Hospital at (815) 300-7117. 

 About the Will County Union of King’s Daughters and Sons                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Founded in 1890, the Will County Union of King’s Daughters and Sons continues to support the dream and project started by a small group of local women over a century ago—to build Silver Cross Hospital. Today, the Union is comprised of 101 men and women in 8 circles. It is one of the oldest Christian service organizations in the United States.

Anita Thomas Lost 166lbs thanks to surgery

Posted on : 09-22-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Celebration of Health, Health Tips, News, Weight Loss

In order to deal with stress, for decades Anita Thomas overate which led to weighing over 400 pounds and having to use a walker and cane to move around. “One day I looked into the mirror and something just clicked in my head,” said 67 year old Anita.  “I was so disgusted with my weight and wanted to become healthier so I could be around to spend time with my four children and three grandchildren.” Fortunately, Anita’s health has greatly improved since she lost over 166 pounds after her REALIZE™ Adjustable Gastric Band weight loss surgery at Silver Cross Hospital in 2009. As Thomas began losing weight, her outlook on life dramatically changed. “Now I am motivated to live and I look forward to enjoying every day.” 

Prior to her surgery, Anita suffered from high blood pressure, severe pain in her knees and in 2003 she had to have a pacemaker implanted. Now she walks pain-free without the assistance of a cane or walker and has no high blood pressure. “I have more energy to live each day to the fullest,” stated Anita. 

Both her cardiologist and a friend of Anita’s referred her to Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgery (BMI Surgery) at Silver Cross Hospital.  She attended her first educational seminar where weight loss surgery physicians explained how difficult it was for her body to lose weight because her metabolism was so out of sync due to a lifetime of yoyo dieting. Thomas then felt hopeful that surgery maybe a successful option for her to become healthier. 

“After attending the seminar, many of my apprehensions with weight loss surgery were alleviated,” said Anita. “Since I was over 60 years old, I was also concerned that my age would disqualify me from having the surgery. But when the doctor shared that he performed weight loss surgery on patients that were in their seventies, I felt more comfortable.” Free informational seminars are held every Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. on the Silver Cross Hospital Campus in Joliet. 

Her surgeon was Dr. Christopher Joyce with Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgery (BMI Surgery) at Silver Cross Hospital. Dr. Joyce and his partner, Dr. Brian Lahmann, have performed over 2,000 surgeries including laparoscopic gastric bypass, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, and Lap-Band and REALIZE™ gastric band systems. BMI Surgery is a Bariatric Center of Excellence as well as a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery. They are dedicated to helping patients win their personal battles with obesity and enjoy happier and healthier lives. 

Patients benefit from a multidisciplinary approach, with the help of many different departments at Silver Cross. “Patients see an exercise physiologist, dietitian, cardiologist, psychologist, pulmonologist, and a bariatric nurse to get them ready for surgery,” says Dr. Joyce. “We screen our patients very carefully to ensure their success and safety.”  

“The BMI Surgery and Silver Cross Hospital staffs were wonderful! I felt Dr. Joyce and the hospital’s staff were extremely focused on my post-surgical care as they described everything at each step of the process. Dr. Joyce’s nurse, Cherrish, always was available to answer my many questions making it easier for me to succeed at reaching my goal weight. They all were truly a key in my success.” 

But once the surgery is over, the work has just begun for the patient. They achieve their weight loss goals by adhering to a post-operative lifestyle, which includes changed eating habits and regular exercise. They achieve their weight loss goals by adhering to a post-operative lifestyle, which includes changed eating habits and regular exercise. Thomas says “In order to be successful after the surgery you must understand that it is a process to lose the weight. Also, I’ve learned that it’s never too late to have the surgery. Once I got used to a healthier lifestyle, I realized how bad I was feeling prior to the surgery and really was amazed at how much better I felt after losing the weight.” 

“Anita‘s new found zest for life is inspiring and her dedication to adhering to the program by eating well and exercising are impressive,” says Dr. Joyce.   

The American Society of Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery defines the morbidly obese as those with a body mass of 40 or above, or, for a normal height woman, being more than 100 pounds overweight. Patients with a BMI of 35 and higher, who are suffering the medical consequences of obesity, are often best treated with bariatric surgery as opposed to nonsurgical weight loss. Those who are morbidly obese are at a higher risk of mortality and such extreme obesity puts people at risk for numerous life threatening disease, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. 

To find out more about the bariatric surgery program at Silver Cross Hospital, attend a free informational session on both traditional and laparoscopic surgery on any Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. in the Specialty Care Pavilion at the hospital, 1300 Copperfield Ave, in Joliet. To attend, register here or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

Smaller patient units at new Silver Cross

Posted on : 09-21-2011 | By : tsimons | In : News, Replacement Hospital, Video

When we open our beautiful new hospital at 7 a.m. on Feb. 26, each unit will have 18 beds with two nurses stations or Care Centers as they will be called since these Centers truly are the gathering and consulting area for many patient care disciplines—not only nurses.

Even before the ground was broken, the leadership team at Silver Cross staff knew that they wanted to design the replacement hospital to provide the best possible care for area patients and their family members while creating a supportive work environment for staff.   The Replacement Hospital Care Delivery Team spent many months querying the staff and researching best practices at other new hospitals.  The Hospital even performed a few tests of their own including a Time and Motion Study to measure how many steps and how long it took a nurse to perform a simple task on a unit.  The end result—smaller 18-bed patient care units in the Silver Cross Replacement Hospital at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox.

“Today we have 54 beds on a typical Medical-Surgical Unit.  That means 27 beds per centralized nurses’ station,” says Peggy Gricus, Vice President of Patient Care. “This equates to less time at the bedside and frankly, quite a bit of walking by staff to hunt and gather supplies. When we open our beautiful new hospital at 7 a.m. on Feb. 26, 2012 each unit will have 18 beds with two nurses stations or Care Centers as they will be called since these Centers truly are the gathering and consulting area for many patient care disciplines—not only nurses.”

In the new 289-bed state-of-the-art hospital, nurses will work out of the Care Center closest to their patients.  There will be a large Care Center in the middle of the unit with a pneumatic tube system and a smaller Care Station at the end closest to the center core of the hospital where the visitor elevators are located.  Each Care Center will have a couple of computers, area to confidentially store patient charts, monitor to help locate caregivers, and a small work station for staff and physicians to collaborate.   The majority of the charting and documentation will happen at the bedside allowing staff to spend more time with patients and family members.  Supplies will be stored in nurse servers outside of each large private patient room or in the Clean Utility room right next to the Care Center.  Clerks will travel between units carrying a portable communication device.  They will work closely with Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs) who will also be processing orders.  Because the units are smaller, the caregiver teams will also be smaller fostering even more staff cohesiveness and teamwork.

“We anticipate that smaller units will provide staff with an opportunity to render even more specialized care,” says Mary Shanahan, Administrative Director of Nursing at Silver Cross Hospital.  “Each patient room will be acuity-adaptable and large enough for procedures to be performed at the bedside.  Patients will also have more consistency of caregivers enhancing our seven-time 100 Top Care even further.”

Learn more! Watch a short video about the Silver Cross Replacement Hospital.

How to talk to the men in your life about prostate screenings

Posted on : 09-16-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Health Tips, News

Full disclosure: this post was written by a 28-year-old male, but he’s totally going to get his prostate screened when it comes time.

September is an important month in men’s health, as Prostate Cancer Awareness is in full swing. Well, it should be.

But typically, men aren’t likely to talk about uncomfortable topics. And in terms of discomfort, there aren’t many subjects that rate higher than prostate health, screenings, and cancer.

But the simple fact is prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in America, affecting 1 in 6 men. It’s much too prevalent to sweep under the rug. A screening takes about 15 minutes and can potentially add years and years to a man’s lifespan.

So how do you tell the man in your life to get screened? Well, you know him better than I do. Whether you’re talking to a husband, father, family member, or friend, there are a couple methods you can try.

Method 1: “Man Up!”
Some men respond well to having uncomfortable decisions such as prostate screenings out of their hands. If he has thick skin and can handle strong words, this could be an easy way to get him screened. “I signed you up for a prostate screening and you’re going because I need you around.”

But chances are, the situation will be a bit more delicate.

Method 2: Sympathize
It may seem odd to you that men are so hesitant to get prostate screenings. It’s not terribly painful, it’s a quick process, and it can literally add years to life. But for men, the fear in getting screened isn’t simply physical discomfort. There is a stigma attached to these screenings thanks to years upon years of bad jokes and fear of the unknown.

So tell him that you understand his hesitancy to get screened. In his mind, a screening could make him less of a man. It’s up to you to show him why this is not the case.

Once he’s been convinced, support him and tell him how much you admire him for getting his prostate examined. Then, tell him his job is not done. Tell him he must be open with his friends about it and urge them to get screened.

If a man in your life is in his 50s or 60s (or even his 40s if there’s some family history of the disease), it’s time for him to get his prostate screened. Use those amazing powers of persuasion to see that he follows through this September.