Wishing you a happy & healthy New Year

Posted on : 12-29-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Celebration of Health, Health Tips

As we prepare to ring in the New Year, we often reflect on our past accomplishments and how we can improve our life in the upcoming year. As we know the holidays are a time to celebrate and give thanks, but we should also be mindful of how we can improve our wellbeing and the health of our loved ones. Here are some tips from  U. S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention to ensure that you and your family are on the road to living a healthier and safer year in 2012! 

1. Wash hands often to avoid spreading germs and getting sick.“Keeping hands clean is one of the most significant steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others,” 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. “By simply washing your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds, you are killing bacteria that can expose you and your family  to many severe viruses. If soap and clean water are not available, use an alcohol-based product. The key thing to remember is that clean hands do save lives.”

2. Bundle up and stay dry to keep warm.Cold temperatures can cause serious health problems, especially in infants and older adults. Stay dry, and dress warmly in several layers of loose-fitting clothing.

3. Manage stress. Keep a check on over-commitment. The holidays don’t need to take a toll on your health. Keep a check on over-commitment and over-spending. By balancing work, home, and social commitments, you can keep a more relaxed and positive outlook.

4. Travel safely. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t let anyone else drink and drive. Whether you’re traveling across town or across the country, help ensure your trip is safe. Don’t drink and drive, and don’t let someone else drink and drive. Wear a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle. Always be sure to buckle your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt according to his/her height, weight, and age.

5. Avoid smoking. Avoid smoking and breathing other people’s smoke. If you smoke, quit today! If you think you cannot do it alone seek help, talk to your healthcare provider who can give you valuable assistance in your efforts against smoking.

 6. Get check-ups, vaccinations, exams and screenings. Ask your healthcare provider what exams and tests you need and when to get them. Exams and screenings can help find problems before they start. They can also help find problems early, when the chances for treatment and cure are better. Further, vaccinations help prevent diseases and save lives. Schedule a visit with your health care provider for a yearly exam. “It’s important to be proactive with your health in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle,” says Dr. Checco. “Ask your physician what vaccinations and tests you should get based on your age, lifestyle, medical history, and family health history.”

7. Monitor your children. Children are at high risk for injuries that can lead to death or disability. Keep a watchful eye on your kids when they’re eating and playing. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, choking hazards (like coins and hard candy), and other objects out of kids’ reach. Learn how to provide early treatment for children who are choking.

8. Prevent injuries. Practice fire safety. Most residential fires occur during the winter months. Never leave fireplaces, stoves, or candles unattended. Have an emergency plan. Use step stools instead of furniture when hanging decorations. Don’t use generators or grills inside your home or garage. Install a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector in your home. Test them once a month, and replace batteries twice a year.

9. Handle and prepare food safely. As you prepare holiday meals, keep you and your family safe from food-related illness. Wash hands and surfaces often. Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs (including their juices) away from ready-to-eat foods and eating surfaces. Cook foods to the proper temperature. Refrigerate promptly. Do not leave perishable foods out for more than two hours.

10.  Eat healthy, and be active.Eat healthy, and get moving. Limit your portion sizes and foods high in fat and sugar. Be active for at least 2½ hours a week. With balance and moderation, you can enjoy the holidays the healthy way. Choose fresh fruit as a festive and sweet substitute for candy.

Take some time to go over these tips with your family, and decide which ones can realistically be achieved together. So as the clock strikes midnight this New Year’s Eve, kiss your loved ones and commit to living a healthier lifestyle.


Empowering communities through empowering families

Posted on : 12-28-2011 | By : tsimons | In : News

Pictured are Gwen Ulmer, Community Relations Coordinator at Silver Cross Hospital; Betty Washington Vice President for the Silver Cross Health Community Commission; Lou Ann Johnson, President of the Joliet Chapter of National Hookup of Black Women; Geraldine Littlepage, 1st Vice President of the National Hookup of Black Women presented a $9,000 grant to the National Hookup of Black Women –Joliet Family Empowerment program.

Thanks to the support of Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission to the National Hook Up if Black Women (NHBW) Joliet group. The Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission awarded the National Hookup of Black Women (NHBW) of Joliet with a $9,000 grant to help fund their new “Family Empowerment”  program.  This program will focus on strengthening families and the community by expanding their literacy program through health and financial education.

“It has been proven that reading is the foundation to all future success,” said Lou Ann Johnson, President of Joliet’s National Hook-Up of Black Women. “Unfortunately children who fall behind at an early age never make up the educational gap and illiteracy limits their future employment options.

 The National Hook-Up of Black Women in partnership with Silver Cross Hospital currently operates two Reading Rooms on the eastside Joliet community at 201 S. Briggs St and in the Fairview Community Center at 1426 Englewood Ave. This resource provides both children and parents access to swap, borrow or take a book to keep in their own personal libraries and also allows families to enjoy the adventures of reading while increasing literacy. In addition, NWBW & Silver Cross will be opening a third reading room this February. All are invited to join the activities which include: “Real Men” Read Day, ladies open-mic night, participation in the National Council of Teachers of English “African-American” Read-In, a city-wide book donation day, movie night, and culminating with the ribbon cutting of the third reading room while highlighting local African-American authors in honor of African-American History Month.

“We are proud to work together with the National Hookup of Black Women to improve the access and progress of literacy for the children of Joliet,” said Margie Woods, Chair of the Healthy Community Commission.

Dr.Seiko Yamada is now here!

Posted on : 12-28-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Welcome!

Dr. Seiko Yamada specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of gynecologic cancers. She is the principal investigator at the University of Chicago for the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG), a cooperative clinical trials group supported by the National Cancer Institute.Her areas of interest include: Complex surgery for gynecologic malignancies including ovarian cancer, Prophylactic surgery for women at high risk for the development of hereditary ovarian and endometrial cancersm, Management of high grade uterine cancers.Her recent research focuses on the regulation and radiologic imaging of ovarian cancer metastasis and the unique biology of aggressive uterine cancers. She conducts clinical trials targeting ovarian cancer as well as endometrial and cervical cancer through the GOG.

Year Started Practice 1999

Board Certifications
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Gynecologic Oncology

Medical School

University of California at Los Angeles

Internship and Residency

Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA


University of California–Irvine, Orange, CA


American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American Society of Clinical Oncology
Association of Chicago Gynecologic Oncologists
Gynecologic Oncology Group
Society of Gynecologic Oncologists

Language Spoken


RIC at Silver Cross Rise to the Top

Posted on : 12-27-2011 | By : tsimons | In : News

Employees from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) at Silver Cross Hospital at the top of the Willis Tower in Chicago after they climbed the building’s 103 flights of stairs during RIC’s SkyRise Chicago challenge. Employees pictured from left to right (front row): Paty Hollingsworth, Regina Bailey, Amy Davisson, Juliana Rago, Samantha Lehner, Mandy Baumgartner, Holly Meadors, Krista Schomig, Jennifer Zolp (Back row) Matt Boebel, Melissa Sparr, Jeff Hoornaert, Heather Sparr-Hoornaert, Pat Baumgartner, Dr. Muellner, Matt Muellner, Katrina Baldys, Hans Schulte. The Silver Cross group raised $3,925 which was added to the overall total of more than $1 million that was raised to benefit rehabilitation research.

Employees from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) at Silver Cross Hospital participated in the Third Annual SkyRise Chicago event on Sunday, November 6. Together, they raised $3,925 and climbed all 103 flights of stairs in the Willis Tower. This event will fuel RIC’s cutting-edge patient care and innovative rehabilitation research, offering thousands of adults and children the greatest hope for the future.The overall SkyRise top climber reached the 103rd floor in 13:04 (minutes: seconds). The top five climbers of the RIC at Silver Cross team included Jennifer Zolp: 24:49, Melissa Sparr: 26:42, Matt Boebel: 27:42, Heather Sparr-Hoornaert: 30:01, and Juliana Rago: 30:55.

New technology to help cancer diagnosis

Posted on : 12-26-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Health Tips, News

Dr. Lababidy stands with the EBUS, a new technology that helps diagnose cancer.

Lung cancer is one of the deadliest cancers because it is often diagnosed after it has spread. There is now a technological breakthrough to help patients with lung and lymph node tumors to be more accurately diagnosed – and diagnosed earlier – so patients can have more treatment options.An endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) is a procedure that provides detailed information to help diagnose or determine the stage of lung cancer. This technique allows doctors to view regions of your lungs and surrounding chest area without a more invasive surgical procedure such as a sinusocopy. The EBUS procedure allows physicians to perform a technique known as transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA) to obtain tissue or fluid samples from the lungs and surrounding lymph nodes without conventional surgery.  

“Not only are we able to provide patients with a one-time procedure that has a faster recovery time, but EBUS also allows us to display real-time, improved images of the surface of the airways, blood vessels, lungs and lymph nodes,” shares Dr. Salah Lababidy, pulmonary specialist on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. “This allows physicians to view hard-to-reach areas, smaller lymph nodes and tumors for biopsy compared to conventional surgery.  

Dorothy Smeets, 69, of Joliet, was recently diagnosed with lung cancer after an EBUS procedure with Dr. Lababidy. A heavy smoker, Smeets visited the hospital this past September because she was suffering from severe pain in her right rib. Dr. Lababidy performed a CT scan which revealed a mediastinal mass. This mass concerned him, so Dr. Lababidy suggested Smeets come in for an EBUS procedure. “This procedure was painless,” says Smeets. “I was in and out within a few hours, the doctor and his staff was so helpful.”  

Smeets was placed under conscious sedation while a small bronchoscope was passed through the mouth down through the trachea and into the airways of the lungs. The scope is equipped with an ultrasound device that produces images of lymph nodes and other structures in the lungs. If abnormal areas are seen on the ultrasound, the doctor can then take a sample of tissue with the painless aspiration needle guided by the ultrasound.  The first sample was examined by a pathologist who confirmed the diagnosis of lung cancer, on the same day the patient’s oncologist was notified and further work up and treatment plan was discussed.  

“In order to create the best treatment plan for lung cancer, it is important to understand which stage the cancer is in and how much it has spread,” says Dr. Lababidy. Accurate staging can reduce the amount of tissue that is removed during surgery and may also spare you from going through unnecessary surgery if your cancer would be best treated with another method. “Traditionally, accurate staging required invasive tests, but the ultrasound is virtually painless which is why it is an ideal alternative.”   

Today, Smeets is recovering from her on-going chemotherapy and radiation treatments. She is glad she was able to diagnose her cancer early on and can now fight to cure herself.

Merry Christmas to you and yours

Posted on : 12-25-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Welcome!

Thank you for sharing another beautiful year with us. Merry Christmas from the team at the Center for Women’s Health!

Wrapped in warmth

Posted on : 12-23-2011 | By : tsimons | In : News

Thank you to the employees at TownePlace Suites by Marriot in Joliet for generously donating handmade blankets to our Pediatric floor. Our patients are so grateful to receive such kind gifts during their stay, and your gift is sure to warm their hearts.

The staff at the TownePlace Suites by Marriott donated blankets to the staff on the Pediatric floor.

Healthy Community Commission committed to Meals on Wheels Program

Posted on : 12-22-2011 | By : tsimons | In : News
Pictured are, Bessie Caldwell, Senior Services of Will County Board Member; Vince McGirr, Senior Services of Will County Board Member; Duffy Blackburn, Senior Services of Will County Board Member; Gwen Ulmer, Silver Cross Hospital Community Relations Coordinator; Pat Hensley, Senior Services of Will County Executive Director; and Howard Wright, Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission Member. Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission recently gave a $40,000 grant for the Senior Services of Will County Meals on Wheels program.

The Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission awarded the Senior Services Center of Will County with a $40,000 grant to help fund their Meals on Wheels program to help enhance the lives of area seniors.

“We are proud to work together with Senior Services to improve the quality of life for area residents, particularly those of senior citizens,” said Margie Woods, Chair of the Healthy Community Commission.

Silver Cross’s Healthy Community Commission is a not-for-profit organization of community members.  The Commission is focusing on the re-development of the Silver Cross Hospital campus, education and workforce development, and to improve the quality life of the residents of Will County, particularly those on the east side of Joliet. To learn more, click here.

A healthy twist on tradition: holiday fruit salad

Posted on : 12-21-2011 | By : tsimons | In : Recipes

Let go of the traditional fruit cake and serve this healthy (and fresh) version this holiday season. This Winter Fruit Salad is packed with healthy anti-oxidants to help you fight this season’s germs  and tastes refreshing.  Make it a family affair and ask the kids (or your guests) to help you chop and make preperation quick and festive.

What you need:

  • 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out (or use vanilla extract)
  • 1 lemon
  • 5 large navel or blood oranges
  • 2 mangoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 firm bananas, peeled and diced
  • 5 kiwis, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 pineapple (chopped in cubes)
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1 pomegranate)*To remove pomegranate seeds, cut the fruit into quarters, then break apart in a bowl of water. Skim off the pith that floats to the top and drain the seeds
  • 1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute
  • How to Prepare:

    Combine the sugar, 2 cups water, the ginger and vanilla seeds and pod in a saucepan. Use a vegetable peeler to remove wide strips of zest from the lemon and 1 orange, add to the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes. Refrigerate until cold.

    Meanwhile, peel the remaining oranges with a paring knife, cutting along the natural curve of the fruit. Hold an orange over a large bowl and cut along both sides of each membrane to free the segments, letting them fall into the bowl. Squeeze each empty membrane to release the juices. Repeat with the remaining oranges. Add the mangoes, bananas, kiwis, pineapple and pomegranate seeds and gently toss. Pour the syrup over the fruit and chill overnight.Before serving, remove the citrus zest, ginger and vanilla pod. Spoon the fruit and syrup into bowls.

    Center for Women’s Health designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence

    Posted on : 12-20-2011 | By : tsimons | In : breast cancer, Mammography, News
    The Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health has recently been designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR).  The designation includes full-field digital mammography, stereotactic breast biopsy, breast ultrasound, and ultrasound-guided breast biopsy.  Each modality was evaluated separately by board certified physicians and medical physicists. They determined that the Center for Women’s Health has achieved high practice standards in image quality, personnel qualifications, facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs.

    “With this accreditation, patients with breast disease can feel secure in knowing that Silver Cross’s imaging services meet or exceed national care standards,” says Dr. Darius Keblinskas, Chairman of the Department of Radiology at Silver Cross Hospital.  “Our Center for Women’s Health patients are getting high-quality 100 Top Hospital care, close to home.”

    The Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health opened at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox in 2009 and 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 soothing, spa-like environment, the Center offers a variety of healthcare services designed around a woman’s needs and lifestyle.

    “Diagnostic test results are available the same day as your appointment and screening results within just 24 hours,” said Marci Vasiliades, Manager of the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health.  “And before you ever leave the Center, you will have the opportunity to consult with a board certified radiologist or meet with a registered nurse to assist with the next steps in your care.”

    In addition to imaging services, there are also several specialists including a gynecologic oncologist, urogyncologist, reproductive endocrinologist and plastic/reconstructive surgeon.  A Breast Cancer Support Group also meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month from 7 to 9 p.m. And women who have a mammogram or cardiac test at the Center receive discounts at 150 local businesses through the free I Matter™ program.  Take a video tour.    To schedule an appointment for a mammogram or other diagnostic test, call (815) 300-7076 or click here.