Connecting Through Crochet

Posted on : 11-30-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Celebration of Health, Replacement Hospital

Hortencia Garcia proudly displays the custom crochet hats and booties she makes for the newborns at Silver Cross Hospital.

Hortencia Garcia, an Environmental Services Technician in the Silver Cross Hospital Birthing Center, knew the power of her knitting long before her time at Silver Cross. “I learned how to crochet from my mother when I was 10, I loved to do it.” She spent a few hours every day learning the basics – taking time to perfect the stitch, add the right colors and create beautiful designs. “When I was 12, I made a beautiful bedspread and my mom gave it away, I was so sad. This is when I realized the impact my crochet had,” shares Garcia.  “I love to crochet. I love sharing that passion with others, when I see a baby go home with my work, I feel good.”

Over the past 16 years, Garcia has dedicated her time to ensuring that each baby goes home with a hand-crocheted hat. She rounds up her yarn and needles and goes to work, spending time customizing her designs for each season. She spends her own money and time creating these beautiful pieces, but is happy to see that her crocheting is part of someone’s start in life. “New moms and dads are delighted to dress their new baby in something that is cozy and cute.  The patient-family centered experience and Hortencia’s crochet designs provide an instant connection for parents and their child to the Silver Cross family,” shares Marilyn Paolella, Director of Maternal/Child Services at Silver Cross Hospital.

The bond Garcia creates with moms on the floor through her hats and booties creates a connection to their lives forever.

New dad, Dominique Allen of Crest Hill agrees, “These knitted hats are wonderful! Our [with wife, Patrice] daughter, Aubri, only wears this hat since it fits so well and is so warm.” It is no doubt that these hats will be worn for many of the baby’s firsts-including her first Christmas. “We will cherish this forever, it is so sweet. We are excited to have her wear this home.”

Routine mammogram saves Manteno woman’s life

Posted on : 11-29-2011 | By : tsimons | In : breast cancer, Mammography, News

Post-procedure room in the Silver Cross center for Women's Health

For the past 20 years, Jan Brent has undergone her annual mammography screening without any concern.  So when she went to the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health this past July, she was surprised when the radiologist told her just minutes after the test that there was something not quite right this time.  The 61-year-old Manteno woman was immediately given the option to have a biopsy taken before she left the Center—a decision she was later glad she made. 

“Biopsies of the breast are non-surgical and take less than an hour,” says Dr. Aaron Guajardo, radiologist with the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health.  “Patients go home with a bandage over the very small incision site and can resume most normal activity the same day.”

“It was the best money Silver Cross Hospital ever spent by building the Center for Women’s Health,” says Jan.  “It’s a beautiful facility with an extremely comfortable environment that puts you at ease when undergoing such an intimate exam and procedure.”

Following the biopsy, Brent’s physician, Dr. Rosemary McGrath, suggested that she see Dr. Reza Gamagami, surgeon on staff at Silver Cross Hospital specializing in the treatment of breast cancer.  Dr. Gamagami performed an ultrasound of both breasts in September followed by surgery to rule out that the cancer had not spread to the ducts of lymph nodes. 

Fortunately, Brent’s cancer was small and discovered early while still treatable. In fact, the Center for Women’s Health team actually removed all of it during the biopsy.  However, Jan is undergoing radiation as a precaution to make sure it does not return.

“The Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health has the best staff,” says Jan.  “They always add the personal touch, making you feel dignified and welcoming like you are an old friend.”

The Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health represents a unique concept in women’s healthcare. 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. Located on the Silver Cross Replacement Hospital campus at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox, the Center is set in a soothing, spa-like environment and offers a variety of healthcare services designed around a woman’s needs and lifestyle. The Center’s crown jewel is full field digital mammography—the latest breast cancer testing available. In addition to digital mammography, the innovative Center offers women diagnostic breast ultrasound and breast biopsies, bone densitometry, and baseline heart screenings. Women can take a video tour of the Center.  To schedule an appointment, call (815) 300-7076.

Jan’s advice to others, “Don’t go anywhere else to have your mammogram done. The Center for Women’s Health is the perfect place to have these exams completed and also convenient to have a biopsy done ASAP.”

Look out Apple and Microsoft!

Posted on : 11-28-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Replacement Hospital

Silver Cross is leading the way with Quick, Reliable Technology

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates aren’t the only heroes when it comes to information connectivity and operability.  The Silver Cross Information Technology (IT) team has been hard at work making sure the infrastructure is in place and all systems are functional when we open our new hospital on Feb. 26, 2012.

“We have spent the last three years developing our IT plan, which includes building a new data center, updating and creating new software applications and moving PCs and other equipment to the new campus,” says Kevin Lane, Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer.  “With confirmation from several outside technology consultants, we are confident we have enough resources in place for a successful move.”

Our new wide area network that connects the New Lenox Campus to the Joliet Campus will not only be fast—moving  6GB  of data back and forth in a split second, but also extremely reliable.  Silver Cross Hospital’s new wide area network utilizes two different network technologies from two different companies.  4GB of the wide area network connection is wireless and has redundant antennas.  The other 2GB connection utilizes fiber optic technology.

In building network infrastructure, our IT team has deployed the latest and greatest technology available.  In fact, Silver Cross is the first hospital in the nation to use Panduit’s Intelligent Patch Panels.  This state-of-the-art technology will help us to manage future risk and assess location problems easily from anywhere without bringing the entire network down.

Double Data Centers
Another way that we are decreasing the risk of any downtime is by operating two data centers for the next two years.  The current data center is located in the Medical Arts Building and will continue to house the servers for Meditechand other applications which are directly tied to our core data system (Meditech).  “We are in the process of selecting a new core system, which may or may not replace Meditech,” says Lane.  “We will make a decision before we move, but not fully upgrade and relocate the servers until 2013.”

The majority of the 35-plus software applications will be housed in the new data center, which is already up and running in Pavilion A.  Over the next two months, the IT team will be migrating and testing the many applications and even installing a few new ones for the Nurse Call system,  infant monitoring, security and building access, MedQuist Speech Recognition and Transcription, and Pyxis

Operating two data centers, switching to the new Cisco Voice Phone technology, and enhancing our Microsoft and Citrix systems also gives us redundancy—which in the IT world is so very important,” says Bill Bisch, Director of Technical Services.  “If something goes down, this automatically kicks in.  No data will be lost.”

New Equipment Supports Patient Family-Centered Care Model
Now that we have taken ownership of the replacement hospital, the Information Technology team has begun installing new equipment such as computers in every patient room for bedside charting and reporting by caregivers.  In addition, each room will be equipped with a Nurse Call System, allowing for more frequent communication between the nurse and patients. 

IT has teamed up with Nursing Leadership to develop a nurse communication system that utilizes wireless Smartphones, allowing caregivers to be mobile throughout the hospital, yet still be immediately accessible.  The Smartphones have a new text messaging feature to help decrease the noise level—an important aspect of the patient-family centered care experience.  Also various approved medical applications can be accessed on the nurse communication device.

Information Technology is also installing several Smart Boards  inside the Procedural Care Unit to increase communication amongst staff.  “Everyone will be on the same page, with the new Smart Boards,” says Jesse Rojo, Director of Information Technology.  “Technology like this enables users to better control quality and patient satisfaction.”

Other important information nuances include the addition of electronic way-finding kiosks in the Hospital’s main lobby and also Pavilion A lobby.  And, there is a video wall art feature in the Lobby that will display nature photos to help immediately calm patients and visitors as they enter through the front doors. 

“Everything that we have done is with the end-user in mind,” says Rojo.  “Just like the rest of our colleagues, at the end of the day, our goal is to create an unrivaled healthcare experience for our patients.”

Black Friday steals & I Matter deals!

Posted on : 11-22-2011 | By : tsimons | In : I Matter Benefits

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Edible Arrangements, 590 Bankview Drive, Frankfort.–Free pineapple pop for every visitor…Free 6 ct. box of mixed chocolate-covered fruit with every order placed over $50*Not valid with any other offer. Mention “Silver Cross” 8am – 7pm

Cold Stone Creamery,16527 W. 159th St, Suite 107,Lockport.–$12.99 pumpkin pies through November

Bella Fiori,1820 East Lincoln Hwy.,New— %10 off all Holiday items

Jeffrey LaMorte,613 N. LaGrange Road,Frankfort./1243 S. State Street,Lemont./15194 S. La Grange Road,Orland— $10 off Shellac Pedicure through November 30. Gift Card Special: Spend $75 in giftcards, get $10 for you, Spend $100 in giftcards, get $15 for you. Through December 31: Jeffrey LaMorte Ltr. Shampuu&Conditioner 2 for $50 (regularly $71.oo each).

Cancer program receives accreditation

Posted on : 11-22-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Mammography, News

The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons has granted a three-year accreditation to the cancer program at Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet.  Less than 25 percent of all hospitals in the United States receive the Commission’s accreditation.

Oncology programs earning recognition from the Commission on Cancer represent those hospitals that offer excellent cancer care.  The Commission recognizes the high quality of comprehensive cancer care available at Silver Cross. Such a distinction is indicative of the hospital’s commitment to residents in the southwest suburbs. Patients will have access to all of the various medical specialists on staff at Silver Cross and at the University of Chicago Medical Center who are involved in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.  Silver Cross recently partnered with the University of Chicago Medical Center to open a $21.6 million outpatient cancer treatment center on the new campus in spring 2012.  The facility will provide state-of-the-art chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as well as access to innovative clinical trials.

Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, the Commission on Cancer is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival rates and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive quality care.  Its membership included fellows of the American College of Surgeons and 42 national organizations that reflect the full spectrum of cancer care.

The Accreditation Program, a component of the Commission on Cancer, sets quality-of-care-standards for cancer programs and reviews the programs to ensure they conform to those standards.  Approval by the Commission on Cancer is given only to those facilities that have voluntarily committed to provide the best in diagnosis and treatment of cancers. To meet the standards necessary for Commission approval, each cancer program, and the organization that controls it, must undergo a rigorous evaluation process and a review of its performance. In order to maintain approval, facilities with approved cancer programs must under an on-site review every three years.

Receiving care at a Commission on Cancer approved cancer program, such as Silver Cross Hospital’s cancer program, ensures that a patient will have access to

  • Quality care close to home.
  • Comprehensive care offering a range of state-of-the-art services and equipment.
  • A multi-specialty, team approach to coordinate the best treatment options available to cancer patients.
  • Information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options
  • Access to cancer-related information, education and support.
  • A cancer registry that collects data on type and stage of cancers and treatment results, and offers lifelong patient follow-up.
  • Ongoing monitoring and improvement of care.

 For a physician on staff at Silver Cross who specializes in cancer care, call 1-888-660- HEAL (4325) or click here.

Revolutionary vein-viewing technology comes to Silver Cross

Posted on : 11-17-2011 | By : tsimons | In : News

Real-time digital image of underlying vasculature as seen on the surface of the skin with VeinViewer® Vision

Silver Cross Hospital is the first hospital in Will County to use the latest technology in vascular imaging, VeinViewer® Vision. The patented VeinViewer is a revolutionary technology that projects the location of a patient’s subcutaneous vasculature directly on the surface of the skin, providing a vascular road map in real time.

“VeinViewer is truly having an impact on patient care,” said Peggy Gricus, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services for Silver Cross Hospital. “With VeinViewer, we have the potential to not only reduce the number of times it takes to start an IV,  but also the levels of stress and discomfort associated with multiple attempts for our patients, the patient’s family and our staff.  This device doesn’t just help us find a vein; it helps us find the option that is best for that patient which can affect their well-being. It’s a win-win for everybody. Patients are pleased because it’s easier for the nurse, and nurses are pleased because it causes less discomfort for their patients and they can initiate IV therapy sooner.

VeinViewer provides medical professionals with a non-invasive adjunct technology for clinical treatments and procedures including, but not limited to, IV insertion, routine venipuncture (blood sampling) and PICC line insertion. Although performed frequently, venipuncture is commonly thought of as one of the most painful and anxiety-provoking invasive procedures performed by nurses. Experts estimate that more than 1 billion venipunctures are performed annually.

“VeinViewer makes our patients’ vasculature visible to the naked eye,” said Chris Duchene RN, BSN, clinical educator for Silver Cross Hospital. “This technology has helped us increase the efficiency of our system and success rate of our needlesticks. Anything we do to improve our efficiency and patient outcomes impacts our bottom line and allows us to reallocate our resources to further enhance patient care.”

Developed by Christie Medical Innovations, VeinViewer is the first and only patented technology to locate subcutaneous vasculature and project real-time images directly onto the surface of the skin. Vision is the third generation of VeinViewer and utilizes near-infrared light, a digital video camera and an image processing unit to build an image of the patient’s vasculature. The device then projects that image, in real time, onto the patient’s skin using visible light. Health care professionals can keep their hands free during procedures while the system accurately maps the patient’s vasculature regardless of age, body type or skin tone.

“This technology is changing the standard of compassionate care. We truly believe it will become a new standard of care throughout the world,” said Chris Schnee, general manager for Christie Medical Innovations. “And we’re thrilled that Silver Cross Hospital is joining the ranks of multiple premier health care facilities nationwide that have adopted the VeinViewer technology.”

Silver Cross Hospital currently has 3 VeinViewers for use primarily in the medical-surgical and pediatric units.  Due to the success of the VeinViewer, additional devices are being secured to implement to use system wide.  In 2004, VeinViewer was recognized by Time Magazine as “one of the most amazing medical inventions” of the year.

Safely Preparing Your Turkey Ensures a Happy Thanksgiving

Posted on : 11-17-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Health Tips, News

In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged  as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November. However, in modern times when we celebrate Thanksgiving our thoughts center on giving thanks and the turkey, pure and simple.

But safely preparing a turkey is anything but simple. So whether you plan to keep your meal traditional with Grandma’s favorite recipes, or want to add a few gourmet options, make sure these safety tips are ingredients in all your dishes.

1)      Keep the stove top free of clutter. Trying to cook all your dishes at once could cause grease to accidentally spill onto a range top and cause a fire.

2)      Do not try to hold your child in one arm while cooking with the other. Holding a child while cooking is an invitation for a burn. “During Thanksgiving families are busy preparing the dinner and can get easily distracted and unfortunately that’s how painful burns can occur,” says Daniel Checco, D.O., Emergency Medicine physician at the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center located at 143rd St. and Bell Rd in Homer Glen. “So to avoid any burns it’s best to keep your child out of the kitchen while you’re cooking.”

3)      Never put a glass casserole or lid on the stove or over a burner. If it gets hot and explodes, it will send dangerous shards of glass in all directions.

4)      Do not pour water on a grease fire. Pouring water on a grease fire can cause the fire to spread. In the event of a range-top fire, turn off the burner, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding a lid onto the pan. Leave the lid in place until the pot or pan is cooled.

5)      Avoid using a turkey fryer because they pose a number of distinct safety concerns, including burn and fire hazards.

6)      Keep a clean work surface. Be sure to wash surfaces, utensils, the sink and hands after handling raw food. It’s a good idea to identify one cutting board for raw meats and one for other uses. “Unfortunately cross contamination commonly occurs when preparing holiday meals and the last thing you want your guests to do is get food poisoning from your holiday fest. Be sure to be mindful of cleaning your food preparation tools and cutting boards,” says Dr. Checco.

7)      Un-stuff the turkey. According to the USDA, for optimum safety, stuffing a turkey is not recommended. For more even cooking, cook the stuffing outside the bird in a casserole dish until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

8)      Thaw the bird with care. If using a frozen turkey, the USDA recommends thawing it in the refrigerator in its original wrapping, in a tray or pan that can catch any juices that may leak.

9)      Call for help. If you’ve accidentally cooked the giblets inside the turkey, melted the “hock lock” or have any other questions about cooking your Thanksgiving bird, be safe and call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline: 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854).

10)  Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of emergency and know how to use it. Read the directions carefully before an actual emergency occurs.

 If an emergency does occur, it’s good to know that help is nearby.  The Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center at 143rd St and Bell Rd. is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and staffed by Silver Cross Hospital’s board certified emergency medicine physicians and nurses. Paramedics are onsite 24/7 to immediately transfer patients by ambulance to the nearby hospital if they need to be admitted to the hospital.

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

Widower gives $1.5 million to new cancer center in memory of wife

Posted on : 11-16-2011 | By : tsimons | In : News, Replacement Hospital

Joliet businessman Edward Czerkies recently donated $1.5 million in memory of his wife, Carolyn, to benefit the Silver Cross Replacement Hospital at 1-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox. This generous gift from the Czerkies family will support the construction of The University of Chicago Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital opening in April 2012. The building housing the Cancer Center will be named the Carolyn J. Czerkies Pavilion. 

Carolyn passed away in 2000 at the age of 58 after suffering from multiple myeloma—cancer of the bone marrow. The couple traveled back and forth to several major academic medical centers to get the best care to treat her cancer.

“I remember how difficult it was for our family,” Ed said. “So when I heard about the new Cancer Center at Silver Cross and discussed it with my sons, we decided this was a good project and something that we wanted to be a part of.”

State-of-the-art Cancer Care
Last year, Silver Cross announced its plans to build a 20,000 square foot outpatient cancer-treatment center with The University of Chicago Medical Center. The partnership brings together The University of Chicago specialists and their access to advanced and investigational therapies in a community hospital setting. The facility will provide state-of-the-art chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as well as access to innovative clinical trials.

“Ed understands the importance of having a state-of-the-art cancer center available close to home,” said Paul Pawlak, President and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital. “We are grateful for his investment in Silver Cross making sure quality care is available for future generations in Will County.”

Local Business Leaders and Philanthropists
Born in the back of the family car on the way to Silver Cross Hospital, Ed Czerkies grew up on Joliet’s eastside as the youngest of 7 children. His father worked at U.S. Steel.  His mother served as a housekeeper at Silver Cross during World War II.

Ed graduated from Joliet Township High School and went on to earn his degree from Northern Illinois University. While working for his brother’s construction company to put himself through college, he recognized his passion for construction, specifically concrete work. “I enjoyed construction so much that I never considered it work,” Czerkies said.

Over the past 40 years, Ed built many homes and industrial facilities in Joliet, Shorewood and Plainfield. In 1992, he built a storage facility, which Carolyn operated until she was no longer able due to the cancer. “She was the brains of the operation,” Ed said.  “I could always count on her for sensible advice.”

Carolyn also grew up in Joliet as the oldest of six children. She graduated from Providence Catholic High School and worked for Illinois Securities, Argonne National Laboratories and Joliet Junior College. The couple met at St. Thaddeus Church when Ed was in college and married in 1965. Together they have three sons (all born at Silver Cross Hospital) and seven grandchildren.

“Carolyn was a devoted mother attending all the boys’ baseball and basketball games when they were growing up,” Ed said. “This new cancer center will be a fitting tribute to her life.”

In addition to this generous gift to Silver Cross Hospital, over the past 10 years the Czerkies family has made several significant contributions to other charitable organizations including the Mayo Clinic, International Myeloma Foundation, and Joliet Junior College Scholarship Program in memory of Carolyn.

For more information about investing in the Silver Cross Replacement Hospital, contact the Silver Cross Foundation at (815) 300-7105.

4 Nutrition Tips to Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

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

coffeeMore than 75 million Americans are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life, an astounding 24% of the country’s population. According to the American Diabetes Association, healthy eating and consistent exercise are the two best ways to stave off this preventable disease.

Today, we’ll be focusing on healthy eating tips you can take home with you. If you’re one of the Americans at high risk for type 2, this list can help you start down a healthier path!

  • Dairy is actually an excellent way to prevent diabetes. We highly recommend you drink skim milk, or at the very most, 1% to get your daily dairy.
  • Coffee is also fantastic! If you’re worried about caffeine intake, decaf coffee is just as effective. Remember to drink filtered coffee, however; unfiltered may spike cholesterol levels.
  • As little as half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day has been shown to keep your blood sugar a healthy level.
  • Go nuts! Daily doses of peanuts, cashews, walnuts, or almonds can drastically lower type 2 diabetes risk.

Our Diabetes Fall Fest is Saturday, November 12 (tomorrow!) from 8 a.m. until noon. We’ll see you there!

What every man in your life should know

Posted on : 11-09-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Celebration of Health, Events

Every woman that has a man in thier life that they love, keep reading. The men in your life are at risk. Every man will experience problems with their prostate at some point in their lives, but for men aged 50 and older the risk for prostate related problems is even higher.Silver Cross Hospital is hosting a free lecture on Healthy Men, Healthy Prostate on Tuesday, November 22, at 6:30 p.m. to help men understand the signs of a healthy prostate.

 Dr. Greg Andros, urologist on staff at Silver Cross Hospital, will lead the discussion on various prostate problems, including prostate cancer, enlargement of the prostate (BPH), and infection of the prostate. Men will learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of these conditions as well as information about prevention and screening. Also covered will be the latest treatments for enlarged prostate and erectile dysfunction, a condition affecting millions of men. This free program will be presented at the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1200 Maple Rd., Joliet. Register to attend here or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).