A few hours left to schedule your $100 Mammogram!

Posted on : 05-31-2012 | By : tsimons | In : breast cancer, I Matter Benefits

The Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health is offering digital screening mammograms for just $100 to women who call by May 31 to make an appointment before June 30, 2012. 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.  Don’t have a doctor?  Call 1-888-660-HEAL or visit www.IMatter.silvercross.org for a free referral.

Not sure what the benefits of a digital mammogram are? Watch this and learn more.

Embed: <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/6DJxBf4L4ic” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

No Pain, No Gain? That’s a myth!

Posted on : 05-30-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Events

Millions of people live with chronic pain, which can be mild or excruciating, episodic or continuous, merely inconvenient or totally incapacitating. With chronic pain, signals of pain remain active in the nervous system for weeks, months, or even years and can affect a particular body part like the hip, back, or neck, or are experienced as general all-over body pain. But whatever part of you hurts, the pain can be stopped.

“Chronic pain affects all aspects of the patients’ life. Their pain is real and it impacts their relationships with family, friends and colleagues,” says Dr. Donald Roland, pain management specialist on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. “It is important for people to know their risks and understand there are many solutions to help them regain their livelihood.”

The symptoms of chronic pain include mild to severe pain that does not go away or pain that may be described as shooting, burning, aching, or electrical. It also includes feelings of discomfort, soreness, tightness, or stiffness.If you suffer from fatigue, sleeplessness, a weakened immune system, disability or changes in mood, you may also be suffering from chronic pain. The emotional toll of chronic pain can make the pain feel worse. Anxiety, stress, depression, anger, and fatigue interact in complex ways with chronic pain and may decrease the body’s production of natural painkillers; moreover, such negative feelings may increase the level of substances that amplify sensations of pain, causing a vicious cycle of pain for the person. Even the body’s most basic defenses in the immune system may be compromised. The close relationship between mind and body when facing  chronic pain is why it is so important to seek a medical partner who can help specialize treatment based on your individual needs.

“My goal with each patient is to get to know them well through good communication, outline a personalized plan of care that we both agree on and work diligently to control this pain rather than have the pain control you,” says Dr. Faris Abusharif, pain management specialist on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. “Every person had a different situation so it is very important to communicate with a physician and tailor a remedy that will work for you.”

Join Dr. Faris Abusharif and Dr. Donald Roland, pain management specialists on staff at Silver Cross Hospital, on Tuesday, June 5 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. to learn more about the Common Causes of Chronic Pain in adults.  They will discuss numerous treatment methods available to find pain relief, restore function and get back to living an active lifestyle. This free program will be held at Silver Cross Hospital, Pavilion A, Conference Center Room 1BC, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. Call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325) or visit click here to register.

Celebrate Memorial Day safely

Posted on : 05-24-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Health Tips

As the Memorial Day holiday approaches we take time to honor the United States service men and women who have served – and are serving – in the armed forces and honor those who have died in past wars.  This holiday weekend also is a time when we visit with family and friends to kick-off the start of the summer season. But holidays can pose a safety risk to many. The most dangerous holidays in terms of injuries is the five-day period surrounding Labor Day, followed by Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Halloween.

Here are a few tips to keep you family safe this weekend no matter what you have planned.

 Planning on hitting the road? Many people  enjoy starting the summer season by taking a road trip!  tHere’s what AAA recommends for travelers:

  • Buckle up. “Buckle up and make sure that children are properly secured in child safety seats,” says Dr. Daniel Checco, D.O., Medical Director for the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center in Homer Glen. “These easy steps greatly increase your odds of surviving and reducing injuries if a crash occurs.”
  • Don’t drink and drive. Never drive while impaired. 
  • Do a pre-road trip checkup. To avoid any possible breakdowns during your trip, ensure that your car’s tires are properly inflated, fluids are topped off, and everything under the hood looks all right.
  • Never leave your child (or pet) alone in the car. Cars can get up to baking hot temperatures in just a few minutes in warm weather — even with the window open a crack. Children should never be left alone in a car, even for a few minutes.
  • Get plenty of rest. “Drowsy drivers can be as dangerous as drunk drivers, so be sure to get a good night’s sleep before you take a long road trip,” says Dr. Checco.

 Planning to take it outdoors? There’s no better time  to have an outdoor picnic or bbq. But as always, here are some precautions when taking the festivities outdoors:

  • Insect Bites.  Insect repellents used on children should contain no more than 10 percent of a chemical called DEET.  “Parents need to watch for allergic reactions or infections when using insect repellents on their children as well as themselves, and seek immediate medical attention if a bad reaction occurs,” says Dr. Checco.
  • Sports Safety.  Wear appropriate safety gear when engaging in sports. Helmets are important to avoid simple concussions which can have long-term sequels.
  • Burns.  Keep babies younger than six months old out of direct sunlight.  For all other children, use a sunscreen made for kids, with a SPF of at least 15 although SPF 50 is preferred.  Sunscreen must be reapplied every hour, even if it says it is waterproof.  Make sure to wear hats and sunglasses. Screen grills so children can’t touch them.
  • Fireworks. Attend firework displays rather than purchasing fireworks for home use. “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.”

 Planning on taking a dip? This weekend should be warm and sunny in the upper 80’s, so of course it’s a great weekend to go for a swim!

  • Lifeguards are a must. If you’re going to be around lakes or pools with your kids, make sure there is a lifeguard around.
  • Drowning.  Surround swimming pools with a fence at least five feet high.  Do not let children play around any water—unless an adult is present.
  • Rip Currents: No. 1 Beach Danger. Rip currents are responsible for eight out of 10 beach drownings and are common on many U.S. beaches — even in shallow water. Rip currents occur on a windy day as surf pushes water inside the sandbar, and once pressure builds up there is a collapse of the sandbar. Unfortunately the currents get incredibly strong and swimmers have a difficult time swimming out of the current. The best advice is to swim parallel to the shore and in a short while if you are not outside the current, try swimming parallel to the shore in the other direction and this should get you out of the current and safely back to shore.
  • Tune-up your boat. Have a professional check your boat to ensure it’s working properly, and make sure your safety equipment is in good shape — that the life preservers are fully functional and you have enough of them.
  • Use lifejackets when boating. The American Boating Association encourages you to make sure you have a life vest that is appropriate for your child’s age and adult’s age.
  • Don’t Drink and Boat. Like driving a car, boating should not involve alcohol.

 If you or your child needs medical attention this summer, Dr. Daniel Checco and the rest of Silver Cross Hospital’s board certified emergency medicine physicians and nurses are ready to assist you and your family at The Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center located at 143rd St. and Bell Rd in Homer Glen. The Center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Win tickets to see Sara Evans!

Posted on : 05-24-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Business Sponsors, Events

Spend your summer at Silver Cross Field and you could score some fun prizes! Visit the Silver Cross Hospital kiosk at Silver Cross Field during any Joliet Slammers home game now through June 18 and you could enter in a chance to win tickets to see Sara Evans live in New Lenox on June 22!

The Joliet Slammers Professional Baseball team plays 48 home games in 2012 and every single one of them will have fun promotions for fans to enjoy at the ballpark.To check out the full promotional schedule for 2012 just head on over HERE.

Weekly Promotions this summer at Silver Cross Field:

  • Memorable Mondays Presented By Me-TV: Every Monday home game is a trip down memory lane in 2012. During the Slammers’ Monday home games this season fans will get treated to lots of fun clips from popular and iconic classic TV shows.
  • Two for Tuesdays: Fans can purchase two hot dogs for the price of one and two sodas for the price of one as well!
  • Win It Wednesdays: If the Slammers win, all fans in attendance win a ticket to the next Wednesday home game.
  • Thirsty Thursdays: 12-ounce draft beers for only $2.00.
  • Fireworks Fridays: Stay after every Friday game for the most spectacular fireworks show in the region!
  • Grand Slam Saturdays: Every Saturday home game features a premium giveaway or a fun entertainment act at Silver Cross Field.
  • Signature Sundays: The Slammers players will sign autographs after every Sunday home game. Seniors 55 and older get half off their purchase of a reserved ticket.

Single game tickets for the 2012 season are available now. Learn how to get in on the championship season here!  

Celebrating National EMS week

Posted on : 05-20-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Celebration of Health

It’s your time

Posted on : 05-13-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Health Tips, I Matter Benefits

Our I Matter™ partner, Curves, is celebrating National Women’s Week May 13-19. This is the perfect time to commit to the healthy lifestyle you’ve always wanted. If you are thinking about trying something new, drop by any time to see how Curves can help you get started. You’ll recieve a 30-day FREE MEMBERSHIP just for stopping by! 

Visit these locations with your I Matter™  card through the week of May 13-19 for your free 30 day membership: 

Crete: 1395 C Main St., Ste. 1NW & 1NE, 708-672-3700
Frankfort: 20833 S. LaGrange Rd., 815-464-3276
Joliet (West) :1007 Essington Road,815-725-5588
Joliet (Central): 1704 W. Jefferson Street, 815-725-2007
Manhattan: 25624 S. Gougar Road, 815-478-7824
New Lenox: 1938 E. Lincoln Highway, Ste. 109,  815-462-1336 

Lincoln-Way student intern program

Posted on : 05-12-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Celebration of Health, News, Top 100 Hospitals

Brian Murray, Paramedic, and Seth Nissen, EMT-B, with the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center in Homer Glen pose with Steven Pieczynski and Tyler Lucas, student interns from Lincoln-Way East High School.

Three mornings a week for 4 weeks, 13 Lincoln-Way East High School students set aside their text books and came to Silver Cross Hospital for real-life lessons.  The free program offers a valuable experience and great opportunity for seniors enrolled in human anatomy and physiology class allowing them real insight into medical careers.

“This internship has been the most interesting thing I’ve ever done and it has taught me so much, like how to be even more responsible,” said Lincoln-Way East senior Maggie Bisaga, who will be attending Elmhurst College in the fall to study nursing. “From my internship at Silver Cross Hospital, I now know that I want to be a nurse that can do infusions.” BiSaga also has volunteered for the past two years at Silver Cross greeting and escorting patients and their families.

In order to be considered for the Anatomy Physiology Medical class, students must undergo a rigorous selection process weighing their qualifications to other candidates. Students must meet criteria including a combination of excellent grades, interest in the healthcare field as a career, complete an application process, acquire teacher recommendations, exhibit a discipline for a dedicated work ethic and participate in an interview process. During the fall semester the students learned from college textbooks in a classroom.  In the spring semester, they took part in a real healthcare setting. Under the supervision of their classroom instructor and hospital managers, the students rotated through 14 areas including the Post Acute Care Unit (PACU), a nursing unit, diagnostic imaging, endoscopy, laboratory, Infusion Center, Cardiac Cath Lab, The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross, and the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center in Homer Glen.

“This program provides a very unique opportunity for our students to obtain vocational experience and knowledge in the medical field, whereby they are provided the tools to make more educated decisions regarding their future career paths at an early age,” said Scott Fletcher, Dean of Students and teacher for the Human Anatomy & Physiology class at Lincoln-East High School. “It also gives students applying to college a competitive edge.”

One of the highlights of this year’s internship was when the students took a field trip to the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center located at 143rd St. and Bell Rd in Homer Glen. The Emergency Care Center 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 Silver Cross Hospital if they need to be admitted to the hospital. During their time at the Free-Standing Emergency Care Center, students watched as paramedics conducted an EKG on each other to demonstrate how this test is performed and then printed out the results for students to analyze. Afterwards, Habib Abbasi, M.D., emergency medicine physician with EM Strategies at Silver Cross Hospital, gave a heart and EKG in-service to the students. Dr. Abbasi also gave advice to the students on how to be a compassionate physician. He said it is important for a physician to sincerely listen to their patients to really understand their problems, so you can treat them properly.  Then Margaret Hir, MRI Technologist, gave a thorough imaging and x-ray in-service where she printed out MRI images of various sections of the body and had students guess which body part was displayed on the film.

For 12 years, the program has provided students with a window to their future.  Many former interns have even come back after graduation to work at Silver Cross in many areas including admitting, respiratory therapy, nutrition services and the emergency department. 

Top 10 reasons to get active this spring

Posted on : 05-11-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Health Tips, Heart Health, Weight Loss

1. Boost energy – Regular exercise helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently, which helps boost your energy levels.

2. Reduce stress – Exercise helps you relax after a stressful day. Take a 30 minute walk, or work out at the gym to unwind.

3. Get stronger – Exercise can improve your strength and endurance. Start gradually, stick with it and eventually you’ll get stronger.

4. Sleep well – A good night’s sleep can set the tone for your day. Fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly with regular exercise that’s not too close to your bedtime.

5. Lose weight – Regular exercise is a must for calorie balance. When you burn more calories than you need, the pounds begin to melt away.

6. Keep weight off – Studies show that sticking with your exercise routine is the key to avoid regaining the weight that you worked so hard to shed.

7. Boost self esteem – When you lose weight and gain muscle tone, you feel better about your appearance, as well as your health.

8. Get happy – Studies show that exercise releases brain chemicals that improve your mood.

9. Get Smarter – Some studies show that after exercise students perform better on tests that require focus and attention.

10. Live longer – By exercising regularly for as little as half an hour a day you can reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases and increase your life expectancy.

Whatever reason works for you, take advantage of the great weather to get out, get active and get healthy. Want to learn more ways you can fight obesity? Join us for an Obesity & Your Health program every Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. at BMI Surgery, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., Suite 260, New Lenox. Click here to learn more.

My stroke: A reflection by Senator Mark Kirk

Posted on : 05-10-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Celebration of Health

Senator Mark Kirk shares his stroke story from his desk.

On Saturday, Jan. 21, I woke up with a headache. The headache worsened as the morning progressed, but I wanted to keep to my work schedule. At 11 a.m., a member of my staff, Andrew Weissert, picked me up at my house in Highland Park to take me to a noon meeting of my Eastern European Advisory Board in Chicago. In the car, I felt new symptoms — numbness in my hands and problems with my vision. I realized this was not a headache or even a migraine. From the car, I called my physician and good friend, Dr. Jay Alexander. Jay told me to get to the emergency room at Lake Forest Hospital as soon as possible and he would meet me there. Andrew turned the car around and we headed back north. I walked into the hospital and checked in. Jay and the doctors at Lake Forest examined me and conducted a number of tests. My condition worsened. All of my symptoms became more severe. It was determined that my right carotid artery had been “dissected” — that is, blocked — by unknown causes. The reduced blood flow to my brain had caused a moderate ischemic stroke.The medical team decided to transfer me to Northwestern Memorial Hospital late that afternoon in case surgery was necessary. Late Saturday afternoon, I rode downtown in an ambulance with Jay by my side. At Northwestern, I was examined by Dr. Richard Fessler, a renowned neurosurgeon. Dr. Fessler had been involved with me in various health policy initiatives over the years, so I knew I was receiving the best possible care. 

On Sunday, I felt four waves pass through my brain, each lasting approximately 15 minutes. I cannot describe the feeling except to say that something profound was happening inside my skull. Those waves were causing my brain to swell and my symptoms worsened. The strokes affected the portions of my brain that regulate movement on my left side.The medical team at Northwestern, in consultation with my family, decided to operate. Sunday evening, Dr. Fessler and his surgical team removed a 4-by-8-inch section of my skull to relieve the swelling. I am told that I woke up on Monday morning and asked for my BlackBerry, although I have no recollection of that now. 

Senator Kirk works with staff at RIC to help regain his ability to walk.

Over the next two days, the swelling in my brain did not go down, and Dr. Fessler and Dr. H. Hunt Batjer operated again, removing the dead portion of my brain as well as more bone to allow for more swelling. Since that second surgery, I have been on a steady course of recovery. Two weeks later, the removed section of my skull was replaced and my head was back in one piece. A week after that, I transferred out of Northwestern’s intensive care unit and moved into the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, just a few blocks away. For the past two months, I have been working for hours each day to regain my ability to walk and other motor functions.I was very fortunate that the stroke affected the right side of my brain. While I could not at first move the left side of my body, my cognitive and speech functions were not impaired. With a lot of work and a lot of help, I have been slowly regaining movement on the left side of my body. 

Throughout this time, I have been blessed with great care from some of the finest health care workers in the world. Jesserine, “Jazz,” one of my nurses at RIC, has become a great friend. I do not know what I would have done without her skills and professionalism. Jazz and her colleagues saved my life and have facilitated my recovery in more ways than I could list. 

I am most indebted to my family — my mother Judy, my stepmother Bev, my sisters Robin, Maya and Kira, my brother Eric — for standing by me during these past 31/2 months, holding my hand during the darkest hours. I have also been blessed by my congressional family, which has stood by me and my staff during this period. Sens. Dick Durbin, Joe Manchin, Scott Brown, Bob Corker, Mitch McConnell and others in the Senate and House have all gone out of their way to help us continue to work on behalf of the people of Illinois. 

May is Stroke Awareness Month. Approximately 700,000 Americans suffer from strokes each year. Nearly one-fourth of these strokes are fatal. Stroke is the fourth-leading cause of death in our nation, and one of the top causes of long-term disability. Thousands of Illinoisans will die of a stroke this year.Early detection is key to survival. My early symptoms — severe headache, numbness and vision problems — are typical. Other symptoms are dizziness, confusion and trouble speaking. Many strokes are preventable through quitting smoking, improving diet, more exercise and other measures that reduce blood pressure. 

My staff and I are working on a legislative package to help with early detection and prevention programs.Thank you to my family, my health care providers and the people of Illinois for standing by me during this long recovery. I intend to be back at work as soon as possible, working for Illinois and for greater awareness of the challenges we all face from stroke. 

Thank you to Senator Kirk for sharing your story. To learn more about the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital, click here.  

Seeking Relief from Abdominal Pain?

Posted on : 05-10-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Events

Nearly everyone experiences abdominal pain at some point in their life. The pain is usually short-lived and causes minimal discomfort. But when the pain is localized to the upper right quadrant of the abdomen, this is an indicator of serious illness and should not be ignored. Many organs, including the liver, gallbladder and intestines crowd into this area of the abdomen and disease in nearby organs such as the stomach and pancreas can also cause pain .Causes of right upper quadrant abdominal pain may be due to something as simple as increased stomach acid or involve infection or organ damage.

 “The body’s digestion system is very complex, it takes many functions to process the food we eat into the energy we need,” shares Dr. Kamran Ayub, gastroenterologist on staff at Silver Cross Hospital.

Find Relief  Join Dr. Kamran Ayub on Tuesday, May 15 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Silver Cross Hospital, Pavilion A, Conference Center 1, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox for a free program, Commonly Missed Causes and Management of Upper Abdominal Pain. He will discuss the common symptoms, causes and latest treatment options available to help find pain relief. Register to attend this program here or  call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).