Know yourself. Get tested June 26.

Posted on : 06-22-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Celebration of Health, Events, Health Tips

Silver Cross Hospital in partnership with Churches United in the Fight Against Aids (CUFAA) and Regional Care Association are offering free and confidential HIV screenings to the community on Tuesday, June 26 from 9 a.m. to noon in a private screening area at the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health, 1870 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. The simple screening consists of collecting cells by putting a swab inside your mouth with results available after 20 minutes. This screening is open to those thirteen years and older only. If you are under 13 years old and would like a HIV test, or have any questions regarding HIV, please contact Kris Toll of Regional Care Association at 815-722-7000. Regional Care Association receives support from a testing services grant from the Illinois Department of Public Health- Center for Minority Health Services, providing the public an opportunity to receive free screenings. Register for your free screening today HERE or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325). Walk-ins are also welcome.  

 Take control, Take the test. Encourage those you love to get tested also.

“Basically, anyone who has had more than one sex partner should be tested,” says Dr. Patricia Langehennig, HIV specialist on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. “If you’re having new partners from one year to the next, you should be tested on a routine basis, even if you’re using safe-sex techniques.”

HIV is not a fatal disease, and seeking treatment at an early stage can help prevent the AIDS virus, helping people manage to live into their old age. Many people don’t get tested because they feel healthy, but it often takes several years until people with the HIV virus develop the first signs of AIDS. Take control of your health and get tested.

Suffering from vein pain?

Posted on : 06-22-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Events, Health Tips

Don't waste another summer hiding your legs because of your veins. Take control of your vein pain and put your best foot forward this July. Join us on June 26 to learn more.

Do your legs throb in pain, heaviness, or swelling after standing for a long period of time? If so, you maybe one of the 25 million Americans suffering from varicose veins, now is the time for you to seek relief. By walking upright and standing the pressure in the veins of your lower body is increased. These veins become enlarged, knotted, and for some people a more noticeably blue and painful.

Join Dr. Saeed Darbandi, board certified general and vascular surgeon on staff at Silver Cross Hospital, on Tuesday, June 26 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. for a free discussion on the latest treatments for varicose veins and leg ulcers. This program will be held at Silver Cross Hospital, Pavilion A, Conference Center Room 1AB, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. Call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325) or CLICK HERE to register.

 “When a vein is dilated or its valves are damaged, blood moves in the wrong direction. It leaks down the leg vein and “backs up.” This can cause the leg to ache and swell, and feel tired, heavy, or full,” says Dr. Saeed Darbandi. Although varicose veins are unsightly, that is not the only reason to have them removed.  “Your veins are very important,” says Dr. Darbandi.  “After your arteries take the blood to your legs, your veins carry blood back to the heart using one-way valves.  If the valves don’t work properly, blood accumulates in the veins causing them to become enlarged, or varicose.

 Symptoms of varicose veins include throbbing, burning, itching, cramping or restless legs, and a feeling of fatigue or heaviness. In severe cases, inflammation or even ulcers can occur on the lower leg.

 Treatment plans vary for each individual, however, generally, treatment begins with compression stockings. This is recommended to relieve symptoms of varicose veins initially. Then, you will work with your physician to customize a care plan which can include minimally invasive procedures and surgery.All forms of treatment remove bad veins. Therefore, the remaining veins take over the workload, carrying the blood where it needs to go. Blood flow then becomes more efficient. Sclerotherapy, where a tiny needle injects the vein with a medication to collapse it, is usually used for spider veins or smaller varicose veins.  Laser beams are also used to treat small veins.  These procedures are used in combination as well, and usually require multiple treatments. All treatments are offered at in an outpatient clinic setting, allowing for a quick recovery.

Looking to lose weight?

Posted on : 06-21-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Events, Health Tips, News

Join us July 7 to learn how we can help you lose weight once and for all.

Look no furthur. Join Drs. Christopher Joyce and Brian Lahmann, experienced gastric bypass surgeons with Bariatric & Minimally Invasive (BMI) Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital, for a free informational session about Obesity & Your Health: Is Weight Loss Surgery Right for You?on Saturday, July 7 at 10:30 a.m. at BMI Surgery, Silver Cross Hospital Pavilion A, Suite 260, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. Participants will learn about the advantages and risks of traditional and laparoscopic bariatric weight loss surgery, including the REALIZE™ and Lap-Band gastric band systems, find out who is a candidate for the procedure, and hear from area patients about their experiences. Register by calling 1-888-660-HEAL [4325]. 

BMI Surgery has performed over 2,500 surgeries including laparoscopic gastric bypass, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, and Lap-Band, and REALIZE gastric band systems at Silver Cross Hospital.  Click here to see a patient testimony.

Tips to make sure summertime is a safe time

Posted on : 06-20-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Health Tips

According to the Safe Kids USA organization, each year more children between the ages 1 and 4 years die from unintentional injuries than from all childhood diseases combined. An overwhelming majority of these fatalities occur in the home. As children play outside during the summer months, Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center would like to remind families with young children of helpful summertime safety tips.

“Parents and caregivers need to be extra vigilant in keeping children safe and healthy this summer,” Dr. Daniel Checco, Medical Director for the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center in Homer Glen. “After being cooped up inside all winter, children at every age are excited to run and play outside, but it’s important to monitor your kids and review safety tips with them and their caregivers.”

Dr. Checco offers the following prevention tips to help make this summer a happy and safe one for your children.

  • 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 one to two hours, even if it says it is waterproof.  Skin retains lifelong memory of any sunburn.  Make sure children wear hats and sunglasses.  Whenever a fire is lit and children are near, an adult should be watching.  Screen grills so children can’t touch them.
  • Insect Bites.  Insect repellents used on children should contain no more than 10 percent of a chemical called DEET.  Watch for allergic reactions or infections.  Avoid scratching and keep kids nail trimmed.
  • Drowning.  Surround swimming pools with a fence at least five feet high.  Do not let children play around any water—unless an adult is watching from poolside.
  • Sports Safety.  Children should wear appropriate safety gear when engaging in sports. Helmets are important.  Simple concussions can have long-term sequels. Skaters should skate in a rink, rather than on a street.  Don’t let a child ride a bike that is too big.
  • Street Safety.  Children shouldn’t play unattended near traffic.  Generally, children younger than age five should not cross the street by themselves, but may depend on level of maturity and impulsivity. 
  • Falls.  Install window guards on windows located on the ground floor and higher.  Move furniture away from windows.  Frequent falling needs to be evaluated by a physician.  Use stairway guards and avoid the use of infant walkers.  Never have infants sleep in beds or place infant carriers on tables.

Fireworks.  Attend firework displays rather than purchasing fireworks for home use.

 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.Patients can check ER wait times—if any at www.silvercross.org for both the Homer Glen Free-Standing Emergency Care Center as well as Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox.In the same building, Silver Cross also offers MRI, CT, X-ray, Ultrasound EKG and laboratory services. And there are several physician offices including a pediatrician, podiatrist, spine surgeon, urologists, cardiologists, and family practice physicians. For more information, call (708) 364-6337.

Master Chef Shares Tips on How to Cook Healthier

Posted on : 06-15-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Celebration of Health, Events, Health Tips

Harrah’s Casino Joliet Executive Chef gives free cooking demonstration at Silver Cross Grand Opening Celebration for New Cancer Center on June 19th.

Are you interested in learning new ways to prepare healthy meals that will dazzle your family and friends? Join John Woods, Harrah’s Casino Joliet Executive Chef, for a free cooking demonstration at the grand opening of the new University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital located at I-355 and Route 6.  The celebration will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 19, in the Carolyn J. Czerkies Pavilion at 1850 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. 

Woods will give healthy cooking demonstrations at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Woods has been in the hospitality industry since he took a job as a cook at Nordic Hills Country Club in 1975. He worked his way up through the ranks until he became Executive Chef at the Stouffer’s Oak Brook Hotel in 1989. He has since held the Executive Chef position at hotels and resorts in the greater Chicago area. His cooking is strongly influenced by his midwestern roots and regional specialties and products are prominently featured in his repertoire.

After the cooking demonstrations, Kevin Eberhard, Joliet Park District Chief Horticulturist for the Birdhaven Greenhouse/Barber & Oberwortmann Horticultural Center, will hold free gardening demonstrations at 5:00 and 6:00 p.m.  In addition to the healthy living demonstrations, guests can take a tour of the Cancer Center, stroll through a large tent to purchase produce, flowers and plants at a farmer’s market, receive cancer prevention and treatment information, and enjoy complimentary healthy refreshments.  Participants can register to win tickets to a Sara Evans concert as well as to Chicago White Sox and Joliet Slammers baseball games.  Baseball legend Ron Kittle will sign autographs throughout the event.  Advanced registration is not required. 

For more information, visit HERE. Guests will be treated to a self-guided walking tour of the new $21.6 million, 20,000-square-foot two-story outpatient cancer-treatment center on Silver Cross Hospital’s new campus.  The Cancer Center is collaboration between Silver Cross and the University of Chicago Medicine. The partnership brings University of Chicago Medicine cancer specialists and their access to advanced and investigational therapies to a community hospital setting.The state-of-the-art facility opens to care for patients on June 25.  Patients will benefit from a breadth of expertise and cutting-edge chemotherapy and radiation therapy techniques. Radiation therapy, as well as access to innovative clinical trials, is vital to the treatment of a range of cancers. The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center maintains more active clinical trials for the treatment of cancer than any other program in Illinois. To schedule an appointment, call 1-855-UCM-1400.

Can’t snag any sleep?

Posted on : 06-14-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Events, Health Tips

It’s time you take care of that snoring problem. Whether it’s you or your sleeping partner, you’re losing precious hours of sleep and not getting the rest you deserve.

Don’t think snoring is bad for your health? Think again.  “You snore when the flow of air from your mouth or nose to your lungs makes the tissues of your throat vibrate when you sleep. This creates a loud, raspy noise which can make it hard for you and your partner to get a good night’s sleep,” says Dr. Philip Leung, board certified pulmonologist and medical director of the Silver Cross Sleep Disorders Center.  If snoring keeps you or your bed partner from getting a good night’s rest, or if  one or both of you feel tired during the day, then snoring isn’t just annoying, but could be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that can have serious health consequences. So how do you know when you are at risk?

 Join Dr. Philip Leung, board certified pulmonologist and medical director of the Silver Cross Sleep Disorders Center for a free discussion on “Snoring: Nuisance or Serious Health Problem?” on Wednesday, June 20 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, Pavilion A, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. He will discuss the dangers of snoring and treatment options available. Sleep equipment providers will also be on site to answer any questions and provide you with information on the latest technology available to help you catch a solid night’s rest. Register to attend by calling 1-888-660-HEAL (4325) or CLICK HERE.

 Why Do Some People Snore?

  • The actual anatomy of the mouth — having a low, thick, soft palate or enlarged tonsils — can result in obstructions.
  • Being overweight is another likely culprit, putting extra pressure on the throat, which can narrow the airway.
  • Nasal congestion, nose shape and composition can play a part.
  • Alcohol, particularly drinking before bedtime reduces the resting tone of the muscles in the back of your throat.

 When it comes to milder habitual snoring, incorporating simple lifestyle changes can help relieve the snoring. This includes losing weight, quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol and sedatives near bedtime and sleeping on your side instead of your back.  If a stuffy nose makes your snoring worse, use nose strips, decongestants, or nasal steroid sprays to help you breathe.

 ”If these methods do not work, you may be able to use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine that helps you breathe while you sleep,” says Dr. Leung. “The key, of course, is to consult your doctor to figure out what treatment is best for you.”

Silver Cross awarded an “A” for patient safety

Posted on : 06-13-2012 | By : tsimons | In : News, Top 100 Hospitals

Silver Cross Hospital was honored with an “A” Hospital Safety Score by The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits. This is the highest mark a hospital can receive. The Hospital Safety Score was calculated under the guidance of The Leapfrog Group’s Blue Ribbon Expert Panel using publicly available data on patient injuries, medical and medication errors, and infections. U.S. hospitals were assigned an A, B, C, D, or F for their safety.

According to The Leapfrog Group, the Hospital Safety Score is designed to be the first consumer-friendly way of sharing safety data in an easy-to-use format. Each grade reflects how safe that hospital is for patients, and hospitals that receive an A grade have proven to do a better job at protecting patients from harm. The safety measurements the Hospital Safety Score considers represent the very basic blocks of medical care, such as hand-washing, computerized medication control and nurse staffing levels.

“It’s The Leapfrog Group’s goal to give patients the information they need and deserve before even entering a hospital,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We congratulate the hospitals that earned an ‘A’ and we look forward to the day when all hospitals in the U.S. will earn the highest scores for putting patient safety first.”

“At Silver Cross, we see it is part of our mission and unrivaled passion to deliver higher quality care,” said Paul Pawlak, President and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital.  “Patients can rest assured when they come to Silver Cross, they are receiving safe care delivered in a friendly, state-of-the-art environment.   

Leapfrog reviewed data for more than 2,600 general acute care hospitals including Silver Cross. Calculated under the guidance of The Leapfrog Group’s nine-member Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses 26 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single score representing a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from infections, injuries, and medical and medication errors. The panel includes: John Birkmeyer (University of Michigan), Ashish Jha (Harvard University), Lucian Leape (Harvard University), Arnold Millstein (Stanford University), Peter Pronovost (Johns Hopkins University), Patrick Romano (University of California, Davis), Sara Singer (Harvard University), Tim Vogus (Vanderbilt University), and Robert Wachter (University of California, San Francisco). 

The New Silver Cross Hospital: Designed for Faster and Safer Healing
The new Silver Cross Hospital, which opened in February 2012 at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox was built using many evidence-based design principles that have proven to help patients heal faster within a safer environment. 

Evidence-based design has been shown to improve the hospital environment by:
• Enhancing patient safety through a reduction in infections, risks, injuries from falls, and medical errors;
• Eliminating environmental stressors, such as noise, that negatively affect outcomes;
• Reducing stress and promoting healing by making facilities more pleasant, comfortable, and supportive for patients and families.

“We wanted to create the safest and most efficient rooms that will allow us to give the best possible care to our patients and their family members,” said Peggy Gricus, Vice President of Patient Care.

Rooms in the new hospital are acuity-adaptable, which means there is now space for supplies and staff to deliver the appropriate level of care to the patient rather than transfer the patient between units. The headwall is equipped with electrical and data ports as well as essential gasses (oxygen, med-air, etc.) allowing more procedures to be performed at the bedside. Doctors and nurses can also chart in each room and view images and test results with patients on bedside computers.
 
“Several of the room’s design elements are associated with better quality outcomes and higher patient satisfaction,” said Gricus. “For example, reducing hospital noise can improve patient recovery and sleep time and reduce depression. Factors such as increased sunlight in patient rooms, views of nature, artwork, and even music, also reduce patient stress and can lead to improved outcomes.”

Some ways that evidence-based design is used in the new Silver Cross Hospital include:
•           Large, private patient rooms
•           Natural and enhanced lighting
•           Sound and noise control
•           Cheerful yet calming colors
•           Ties to nature
•           Easy accessible workstations with sight lines to patient rooms
•           Enhanced bedside care
•           Patient access to room controls
•           Nurse servers for better medication control
•           Sinks in patient rooms for hand-washing
•           Handrails near beds and in bathrooms
•           Dedicated family areas

Take a video tour of the new Silver Cross Hospital at www.silvercross.org.  For a referral to a physician on staff, call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

Horticulturalist gives advice on container gardening

Posted on : 06-13-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Events, Health Tips

Photo Courtesy of Patch.com

Are you interested in learning new tips on how to grow an even healthier garden this summer? Join Kevin Eberhard, Joliet Park District Chief Horticulturist for the Birdhaven Greenhouse/Barber & Oberwortmann Horticultural Center, for a free gardening demonstration at the grand opening of the new University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital located at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox.  The celebration will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 19, in the Carolyn J. Czerkies Pavilion at 1850 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. 

Eberhard will speak about container gardening for your health at 5 and 6 p.m. Eberhard is an established garden expert who has worked at the Joliet Park District’s Birdhaven Greenhouse for 25 years and has been the Head Horticulturist for the past 14 years.  He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Plant and Soil Science from Southern Illinois University and has been an avid gardener since he was 9 years old.  

After the gardening demonstration, Harrah’s Joliet Casino and Hotel’s Executive Chef John Woods will hold cooking demonstrations at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.  In addition to the healthy living demonstrations, guests can take a tour of the Cancer Center, stroll through a large tent to purchase produce, flowers and plants at a farmer’s market, receive cancer prevention and treatment information, and enjoy complimentary healthy refreshments.  Participants can register to win tickets to a Sara Evans concert as well as to Chicago White Sox and Joliet Slammers baseball games.  Baseball legend Ron Kittle will sign autographs throughout the event.  Advanced registration is not required. 

Take a Tour
As mentioned, guests will be treated to a self-guided walking tour of the new $21.6 million, 20,000-square-foot two-story outpatient cancer-treatment center on Silver Cross Hospital’s new campus.  The Cancer Center is collaboration between Silver Cross and the University of Chicago Medicine. The partnership brings University of Chicago Medicine cancer specialists and their access to advanced and investigational therapies to a community hospital setting.

The state-of-the-art facility opens to care for patients on June 25.  Patients will benefit from a breadth of expertise and cutting-edge chemotherapy and radiation therapy techniques. Radiation therapy, as well as access to innovative clinical trials, is vital to the treatment of a range of cancers. The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center maintains more active clinical trials for the treatment of cancer than any other program in Illinois. To schedule an appointment, call 1-855-UCM-1400.

Birthing Center Nurses Walk for Healthy Babies

Posted on : 06-12-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Uncategorized

Pictured from left to right are: Julie Bright-Allott, R.N.; Lynda Nelson, R.N., Chrissy Arambasich, R.N., Silvia Villagomez, R.N., Laurie Holmes, R.N. & Vicki Ricketts, R.N.

Along with several hundred families and business leaders, the Silver Cross Women and Infant Services Birthing Center employees participated in the 2012 March of Dimes 3.2 mile March for Babies in Joliet on April 22 at The Westfield Louis Joliet Mall in Joliet. This annual walk March for Babies is the nation’s oldest walk fundraiser honoring babies born healthy and those who need help to survive and thrive.

By walking in March for Babies, participants give hope to the more than half a million babies born too soon each year. The money raised supports community programs that help moms have healthy full-term pregnancies. And it funds research to find answers to the problems that threaten our babies. Supporters of March Dimes have been walking since 1970 and have raised an incredible $2 billion to benefit all babies.

Funds raised by March for Babies in Illinois help support community service, education, prenatal wellness programs, research grants, newborn intensive care unit (NICU) family support programs and advocacy efforts to help improve the health of the nation’s mothers and babies.

 

Urinary Incontinence: You DO Have Options

Posted on : 06-11-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Events, News, Rehabilitation

Have you ever not quite made it to the bathroom in time?

Join us for a free lecture: Urinary Incontinence: You DO Have Options on Monday, June 18 with Dr. Constance Marks

If so, you’re not alone. Urinary incontinence affects millions of women in the U.S. Urinary (or bladder) incontinence is when you are not able to keep urine from leaking from your urethra, the tube that carries urine out of your body from your bladder. Everyday, women are living in shame and fear of their next urge because they don’t understand why this is happening.“Urinary incontinence isn’t a disease, it’s a symptom,” said Dr. Constance Marks, urologist on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. “It can be a result of everyday habits, underlying medical conditions or physical issues.”Although urinary incontinence is possible at any age, it often starts between 30 and 50. By menopause, many women have some degree of incontinence. Common forms of incontinence include:

  • Stress incontinence—the most common form—arises when urinary muscles that support the bladder become weak from pregnancy, childbirth, too much weight, or loss of estrogen at menopause, which causes weakening of the support structures. Dribbling may take place during laughing, sneezing, coughing, jogging, lifting a child, or other acts that stress the abdomen.
  • Urge incontinence—also called overactive bladder—is the sudden, overwhelming urge to urinate several times day and night because the muscle that controls urination contracts abnormally when the bladder is filling. Leakage may occur while attempting to get to the bathroom.
  • Overflow incontinence— or a constant dripping of urine, occurs when small amounts of urine leak from a full bladder. This kind of incontinence affects men more than women, because an enlarged prostate can block the urethra.
  • Functional incontinence— happens to older people, or those with other problems that prevent them from getting to the bathroom in time. Arthritis, for instance, can make it difficult to move quickly.

 If you’re embarrassed about having a bladder control problem, you may try to cope on your own — wearing absorbent pads, carrying extra clothes, avoiding going out. You may even cut back on drinking liquids and risk dehydration to avoid wetting episodes. But there are better ways to manage urinary incontinence through effective treatments.

 Treatment for urinary incontinence depends on the type of incontinence, the severity of your problem and the underlying cause. A combination of treatments is usually recommended, starting with the least invasive options such as physical therapy. The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) at Silver Cross provides pelvic floor rehabilitation. Patients meet with therapists who have specialized training in pelvic-floor muscle disorders and develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to each woman’s needs.  “This is something you don’t have to live with, there are many options to help,” says Valerie Paluszak, physical therapist and pelvic therapy specialist with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross.

 Join Dr. Constance Marks, urologist on staff at Silver Cross Hospital, to learn about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of urinary incontinence, prolapse of the vagina, bladder and/or uterus, and other disorders of the pelvic floor. This women’s only discussion will be held on Mon., June 18 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health; Pavilion B, 1870 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox.  Call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325) or CLICK HERE to register.