Posted on : 07-29-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Health Tips

Take a peek at the cancer center

Posted on : 07-25-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Celebration of Health, Events, Top 100 Hospitals

Miss the open house of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital on the brand new Carolyn J. Czerkies Pavilion last month? Take a look at some of the photos. Want more instant updates? Like us on facebook to see the lastest happenings at the hospital in real-time!

Joliet businessman Edward Czerkies donated $1.5 million in memory of his wife, Carolyn. He stands in front of the Carolyn J. Czerkies Pavilion with his 3 sons and thier wives.

Patients are treated in bright and private spaces.

Guests were treated to a tour of the patient care areas with state of the art technology

Robert Rogina, Chairman, Silver Cross Foundation Board of Directors; Scott Czerkies; David Czerkies; Craig Czerkies; James M. Roolf, Chairman, Silver Cross Hospital Board of Directors; Edward Czerkies ; Paul Pawlak, President and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital; Sharon O’Keefe, President, The University of Chicago Medical Center; The Honorable Tim Baldermann, Mayor, Village of New Lenox; and Richard Schilsky, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Chief, Section of Hematology-Oncology, Deputy Director, Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Chicago Medicine; cut the ceremonial ribbon to celebrate the opening of the new University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital during the Grand Opening Celebration June 19.

Patients are welcomed in the beautiful front lobby of the cancer center

Check your spice rack for health benefits

Posted on : 07-24-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Health Tips, Heart Health, Recipes

The best medicine can be found in your pantry– spices are not only great to season your food this summer, they are also packed with antioxidants and health benefits to keep you and your family healthy. Here are a few spices you should start using today and why they are so good for you:

Cayenne Pepper

Benefit: Studies suggest that compounds called capsinoids in cayenne pepper can boost metabolic rate and supress appetite.

Try it: Cayenne is perfect for spicing up summer salad dressings and marinades.



Benefit: This is the yellow powder often used in curry powders. It contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory benefits.

Try it: Add some to marinate grilled chicken or on asparagus with curry



Benefit: Ginger is proven to help digestion while adding flavor.

Try it: Add it to iced teas, summer smoothies, or fresh fruit. A little goes a long way!



Ground Cinnamon

Benefit: Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants and contains polyphenols that can have a positive impact on bloodsugar

Try it: Sprinkle some in your morning coffee, your yogurt, toast, fruit salad…anything!

Benefits of digital mammography (they include massages!)

Posted on : 07-23-2012 | By : tsimons | In : breast cancer, Celebration of Health, Health Tips, I Matter Benefits

The Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health in New Lenox is offering a complimentary 30-minute massage or facial to patients who schedule a screening digital mammogram between July 25 and Sept. 27, 2012.  Spa services are performed by an experienced licensed massage therapist/esthetician. Call (815) 300-7076 before Sept. 15 to schedule an appointment with a doctor’s order.  Don’t have a doctor?  Call 1-888-660-HEAL or visit click here for a free referral.Plus, through the Silver Cross  free I Matter™ program, Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health patients receive valuable discounts from local businesses just for getting their regular health screenings.  To learn more, click here.

What is digital mammography?

Digital mammography takes an electronic image of the breast and stores it directly in a computer. Digital mammograms are better at detecting breast cancer in women with dense breasts, or who are pre-or peri-menopausal. It provides physicians with a more accurate picture of the breast, allowing for quick and simple diagnosis.The Center’s crown jewel is full field digital mammography—the latest breast cancer testing available. “At the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health, we use only digital mammography technology to provide our patients with the best service and care,” says Marci Vasiliades, Manager of the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health. “Patients can bring their old films in and we will scan and transfer them to the digital format for easy comparison. Digital mammograms also simplify the procedure for women. Although compression of the breasts is still important when performing digital mammography, the compression paddles are warmer and more flexible, which ultimately provide women with a more comfortable experience.  Following the screening, women can call a 24-hour mammogram hotline to obtain their test results alleviating any anxiety.

Watch this to learn more about the digital mammography:

8 steps to better sleep

Posted on : 07-21-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Health Tips

Feeling crabby lately? Or simply worn out? Perhaps the solution is better sleep.Think about all the factors that can interfere with a good night’s sleep — from pressure at work and family responsibilities to unexpected challenges, such as layoffs, relationship issues or illnesses. It’s no wonder that quality sleep is hard to get. While you might not be able to control all of the factors that interfere with your sleep, you can practice habits that encourage better sleep. Get started with these simple tips:

1. Stick to a sleep schedule Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, holidays and days off. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night.  If you don’t fall asleep within about 15 minutes, get up and do something relaxing. Go back to bed when you’re tired. If you agonize over falling asleep, you might find it even tougher to nod off.

2. Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Don’t go to bed hungry or stuffed. Your discomfort might keep you up. Be cautious using nicotine, caffeine, alcohol and other liquids– to prevent disruptive middle-of-the-night trips to the toilet. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine — which take hours to wear off — can wreak havoc with quality sleep. And even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy at first, it can disrupt sleep later in the night.

3. Create a bedtime ritual. Do the same things each night to tell your body it’s time to wind down. This might include taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, or listening to soothing music — preferably with the lights dimmed. Relaxing activities can promote better sleep by easing the transition between wakefulness and drowsiness.Be wary of using the TV or other electronic devices as part of your bedtime ritual. Some research suggests that screen time or other media use before bedtime interferes with sleep.

4. Get comfortable.Create a room that’s ideal for sleeping. Often, this means cool, dark and quiet. Consider using room-darkening shades, earplugs, a fan or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs.Your mattress and pillow can contribute to better sleep, too. Since the features of good bedding are subjective, choose what feels most comfortable to you. If you share your bed, make sure there’s enough room for two. If you have children or pets, set limits on how often they sleep with you — or insist on separate sleeping quarters. Need some earplugs? Stop by the Silver Cross booth at the Joliet Slammers this summer to pick up your free pair!

5. Limit daytime naps. Long daytime naps can interfere with nighttime sleep — especially if you’re struggling with insomnia or poor sleep quality at night. If you choose to nap during the day, limit yourself to about 10 to 30 minutes and make it during the midafternoon.If you work nights, you’ll need to make an exception to the rules about daytime sleeping. In this case, keep your window coverings closed so that sunlight — which adjusts your internal clock — doesn’t interrupt your daytime sleep.

6. Include physical activity in your daily routine. Regular physical activity can promote better sleep, helping you to fall asleep faster and to enjoy deeper sleep. Timing is important, though. If you exercise too close to bedtime, you might be too energized to fall asleep. If this seems to be an issue for you, exercise earlier in the day.

7. Manage stress. When you have too much to do — and too much to think about — your sleep is likely to suffer. To help restore peace to your life, consider healthy ways to manage stress. Start with the basics, such as getting organized, setting priorities and delegating tasks. Give yourself permission to take a break when you need one. Share a good laugh with an old friend. Before bed, jot down what’s on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow.

8. Know when to contact your doctor. Nearly everyone has an occasional sleepless night — but if you often have trouble sleeping contact the Silver Cross Sleep Disorders Center at 1-815-300-REST (7378) for a free consultation on  identifying and treating any underlying causes that can help you get the better sleep you deserve. Learn more about it here.

Using the da Vinci robot for a hysterectomy

Posted on : 07-18-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Fibroids, Uncategorized, Video

Planning on having a hysterectomy? Don’t be afraid! It’s common for many women to get this procedure, and with robotic surgery, your recover will be easier &  quicker! Watch the video below to learn more:

Interested? Have Questions? Join us for a free program, Big Decisions, Small Incisions” with Dr. Nahla Merhi, gynecologist on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. She will discuss the common symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment for chronic pelvic pain, endometriosis, hysterectomy and fibroids. She will discuss the latest surgical options using the da Vinci Si surgery system.  This discussion will be held on Tuesday, July 24 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Silver Cross Hospital, Pavilion A, Conference Room 1BC, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox.  Click HERE or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325) to register.

A taste of good health

Posted on : 07-15-2012 | By : tsimons | In : breast cancer, Events, Health Tips, Recipes, Top 100 Hospitals, Video

Over 750 area residents attended the new University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital located at I-355 and Route 6.  The celebration was kicked off with a Dedication Ceremony for the family of Carolyn J. Czerkies and later was followed up by a Community Grand Opening Celebration in the Carolyn J. Czerkies Pavilion at 1850 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox on June 19. Guests strolled through a large tent and purchased produce, flowers and plants at a farmer’s market, received cancer prevention and treatment information, and enjoyed complimentary healthy refreshments.  Guests were also treated to cooking demonstrations by Harrah’s Joliet Casino and Hotel’s Executive–Chef John Woods. Missed out? Don’t worry, watch this segment below and catch some great cooking tips!

Mammograms & Massages, Oh my!

Posted on : 07-13-2012 | By : tsimons | In : breast cancer, Events, I Matter Benefits, Mammography

Posted on : 07-10-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Health Tips, News

Safely Light Up Your July 4th

Posted on : 07-04-2012 | By : tsimons | In : Health Tips

 The smell of  hot dogs sizzling on the grill lingers in the steamy air. Flags and streamers in red, white, and blow are festively strewn everywhere. Today is a day to celebrate!

The makings of a good Independence Day celebration, however, usually  include fireworks.  From sparklers to multi-colored fountains, the Fourth of July holiday is one of the few times a year that Americans get the urge to light fireworks.

 While this may be entertaining, setting off fireworks isn’t exactly the safest way to celebrate our independence — and in some cases it’s even illegal. Even though there are many states that allow some type of fireworks, there are restrictions at the county level and city level. It’s important to check with your local fire department to clarify the law in your town. So this year if your laws permit, before you light up that firecracker, be sure to learn some fireworks safety tips to help bring in Independence Day with a bang, and without injury.

“Since more fireworks are used on and around the Fourth of July than in any other celebration, there is a larger concentration of injuries during this time,” says Daniel Checco, D.O., Medical Director for the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center in Homer Glen.

 According to the U.S. Fire Administration (FEMA), in 2010 U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,600 people for fireworks-related injuries. Of these injuries:

•65 percent were to males and 35 percent were to females.

•an estimated 900 injuries were associated with firecrackers. Of these, an estimated 30 percent were associated with small firecrackers, 17 percent with illegal firecrackers, and 53 percent where the type of firecracker was not specified.

•an estimated 1,200 injuries were associated with sparklers and 400 with bottle rockets.

“The hands, fingers, eyes, and head and face are most frequently injured, and more than half of these injuries are burns,” says Dr. Checco.  FEMA’s numbers confirm the types of injuries that Dr. Checco has seen while working in the Emergency Room. In 2010, the parts of the body most often injured were hands and fingers (30 percent), legs (22 percent), eyes (21 percent), and head, face, and ears (16 percent).

Kids and Fireworks: While kids are the most likely to get hurt, for parents, this means that you should never leave your children alone with fireworks — even fireworks such as sparklers, since 50% of sparkler injuries happen to children under the age of five, according to FEMA. In addition, children under 15 years old accounted for 40 percent of the estimated overall fireworks-related injuries.

Safety Tips:According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Council on Fireworks Safety, follow these tips to safely celebrate your independence:

  • Do not drink alcohol and set off fireworks.
  • Always follow label directions on all fireworks to properly use them.
  • Have an adult present when using fireworks; never give fireworks to small children, and never leave older kids unsupervised with fireworks.
  • Use fireworks outdoors only.
  • Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket), and when you’re finished with sparklers and other fireworks, soak them so you know they’re out.
  • Never re-light a “dud” firework (wait 15 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water).
  • Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
  • The shooter should always wear eye protection and not have their body over the firework.

Finally, what’s the safest way to spend your Fourth of July?

“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.”