Growing Cancer Services to Shrink More Tumors

Posted on : 01-22-2015 | By : tsimons | In : breast cancer, Breast Reconstruction, Cancer, colon cancer, Mammography, News

 New ImageMore and more patients are choosing the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital prompting the need to expand radiation therapy services.

“Over the past year, we have seen a significant increase in the number of new patients requiring radiation therapy,” said Theresa Quinn, executive director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital.  “And, they are appreciative of the care they receive. In fact, according to Press Ganey, we rank in the Top 1% in the nation for patient satisfaction.”

“To even better accommodate our patients, we have just installed a second TrueBeam™ linear accelerator that uses image-guided radiation therapy to safely shrink cancer cells and hard-to-reach tumors,” said Dr. Anne McCall, radiation oncologist with the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital. “Both hi-tech machines allow for quick and accurate high-dose treatments.

Radiation TherapyThe TrueBeam system often is used to deliver intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), an advanced type of radiation treatment that conforms to the shape of the tumor. With IMRT, the radiation beam is broken up into many smaller beams that can be individually adjusted to deliver varying levels of radiation intensity. University of Chicago Medicine radiation oncologists were the first in the Chicago area to offer IMRT before bringing it to Silver Cross. Combining this advanced technique with years of experience, physicians at the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital can maintain excellent cancer control rates while limiting the long-term side effects of radiation on healthy organs.

“When treating cancer, time is of the essence,” said Dr. Daniel Golden, radiation oncologist with the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital.  “So having two linear accelerators makes it easier for patients to begin treatment even sooner.”

“Many patients are starting radiation therapy just days after diagnosis—especially those participating in our Multidisciplinary Breast and Lung Cancer Conferences,” adds Dr. McCall.

DSC_3260Every Tuesday, a group of cancer specialists meets to review and discuss breast and lung cancer patients’ medical information.  They develop a recommended treatment plan which is shared with referring physicians for consideration.  This saves patients valuable time meeting individually with multiple specialists who can take several weeks or even months.  Instead, this multidisciplinary, collaborative approach allows patients to begin treatment within the shortest time possible.

To learn more about cancer services available close to home or to schedule an appointment with a University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center specialist at Silver Cross Hospital, call 1-855-UCM-1400 or click here.


Cancer Services available at Silver Cross Hospital






Tracy Simons

Director, Marketing & Community Relations

Silver Cross Hospital

(815) 300-7562 phone (815) 241-6002  pager

(815) 300-3561 fax

1900 Silver Cross Boulevard

New Lenox, IL  60451


Thank you for choosing Silver Cross Hospital—

A Truven 100 Top Hospitals National Award Winner for 7 years in a row.


Combatting Cold & Flu

Posted on : 12-29-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Aches & Pains, Emergency, Health Tips, News

Hindo_8069Submitted by Joseph Hindo, MD
Internal Medicine – Primary Care Physicians of Essington




Colds and Flu.  Everyone gets them. You know the symptoms:









What You Can Do to Relieve Your Symptoms
•  Drink plenty of liquids.
•  Get some extra rest though it’s not necessary to stay in bed.
•  Take aspirin or acetaminophen for fever, aches and pains. But don’t give aspirin to children.
•  Combat stuffiness by using a humidifier in your bedroom and by taking hot showers.
•  Avoid cold medicines that treat everything at once. Treat a stuffy nose with a decongestant, coughing with cough medicine and so forth.
•  Use nasal decongestant sprays for no more than three days. Continued use can cause your nose to get more congested.

Try These Home Remedies
•  Make your own nose drops to relieve congestion. Use 1/2 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of lukewarm water. Discard after three days.
•  Gargle lukewarm salt water to relieve a sore throat.
•  Enjoy as much steaming hot tea, chicken broth or hot water as you like. The steam helps moisturize your nasal passages.

imagesCAM7J3B4Preventing Colds and Flu
Colds and flu are not caused by getting cold or wet. They are caused by viruses. People get more colds during cold weather simply because they are indoors more and in closer contact with other people and their germs—especially during the holidays. To reduce your chances of getting or spreading colds and flu:
•  Wash your hands often.
•  If you’re around other people and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
•  Eat and sleep well and get plenty of
•  Exercise to keep up your resistance.
•  Get a flu shot.  While there are many different flu viruses, the seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the main flu viruses that research suggests will cause the most illness during the upcoming flu season. Keep in mind that it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu.

See a Doctor If You Have
•  A persistent or high fever.
•  Swollen glands in the neck.
•  A whitish coating on your tonsils or throat.
•  Any nasal discharge that becomes colored—yellow, greenish, etc.—after five days of a cold or remains colored after seven to 10 days.
•  Persistent earache, cough or sinus pain.
•  Symptoms that get better, then take a turn for the worse.
•  Severe headache with stiff neck, fever, nausea and vomiting.
•  Any cold or flu that lasts more than two weeks.
•  A skin rash.

Don’t have a regular physician?  Dr. Joseph Hindo and his partner, Dr. Anandavally Pillai, are conveniently located on the west side of Joliet in the Silver Cross Professional Building. They offer early morning and evening hours and accept most insurances.  To schedule an appointment, call (815) 744-4440. New patients are welcome!


Specialist Spotlight: Breast Reconstruction

Posted on : 12-29-2014 | By : tsimons | In : breast cancer, Breast Reconstruction, Mammography
Matthew Endara, M.D., Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon at Silver Cross Hospital

Matthew Endara, M.D., Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon at Silver Cross Hospital

At just 32 years old, Dr. Matthew Endara is frequently called upon by his colleagues to help patients after a traumatic injury or illness. The young plastic and reconstructive surgeon is using his advanced training to bring the latest techniques for rebuilding limbs and muscles using the most cutting-edge techniques and technology to patients at Silver Cross Hospital.  His unique approach ensures that each patient has the best opportunity for a successful outcome—regardless of how small or complex the procedure.

“I’m not afraid to use advanced techniques if they work best for the patient,” said Dr. Endara.  “At the end of the day, it is really about what the patient needs to be healthy and happy.”

In the short time that Dr. Endara has been on the Silver Cross Medical Staff, he has worked closely with experts of every kind, from neurosurgeons to primary care physicians to orthopedic surgeons and oncologists.  Just last month, Dr. Endara was the first surgeon in Will and Grundy counties to use the most advanced form of breast reconstruction available today—the DIEP Flap, to reconstruct a patient’s breast following a mastectomy.  During this intricate surgery, Dr. Endara used the patient’s own abdominal skin and fat to reconstruct a natural, soft breast while minimizing the impact on the abdominal wall and muscles.

“Although implants are an excellent option many patients following mastectomy; when the breast is reconstructed entirely with a patient’s own tissue, the results are generally more natural and there are no concerns about problems with implants,” said Dr. Endara.  “By transferring abdominal tissue using the free flap technique and preserving most or all of the rectus abdominis muscle, patients experience less pain, enjoy a faster recovery, maintain their core strength long-term, and have a lower risk of any complications over the more traditional, ‘pedicled TRAM’ flap, which uses the entire rectus muscle.”

“Consideration of reconstructive surgery is an essential component of caring for a patient with breast cancer,” said Dr. Grace K. Suh, medical oncologist with the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross and Conference and Co-Chair of the hospital’s Multi-Disciplinary Breast Conference. “We discuss every patient who has been diagnosed and consider what is the best treatment recommendation for the individual.  We are fortunate to have Dr. Endara with his specialized expertise in complex reconstructive techniques.  I believe that this is a unique offering to our patients.”

In addition to his extensive experience with microvascular free tissue transfer for breast reconstruction, Dr. Endara is also uniquely well-trained in lower extremity reconstruction, peripheral nerve surgery, and cosmetic surgery.

Strong Roots in the Windy City, Volunteering Far from Home

Dr. Endara was born and raised on the Northwest side of Chicago.  After graduating from Northwestern University, he attended Feinberg School of Medicine where he earned his medical degree in 2008.  There he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, a professional organization that recognizes and advocates for excellence in scholarship and the highest ideals in the profession of medicine.  He then moved to Washington D.C. to complete a surgery internship and plastic surgery residency at Georgetown University Hospital.  Since then, he has published dozens of papers in peer reviewed medical journals and presented at numerous conferences.  His research into the roll that high blood sugar levels play in complications following surgical closures garnered national media attention through stories in the Wall Street Journal’s Marketplace, Yahoo News and several other online media outlets.  In 2012, Dr. Endara was awarded a grant from the Curtis National Hand Center for his research on the implications of the use of leg bones for reconstruction of complex bone and cartilage defects; the results of which have been accepted for publication in The Journal of Reconstructive Microsurgery.

With a deep desire to use his skills to help those less fortunate, Dr. Endara spent a good part of the last 10 years participating in medical mission trips to South and Central America.  Last winter, he accompanied his father—a family practice physician, to Ecuador providing free health care and plastic surgery to 41 children in remote areas of the country.

“The importance of helping others has always been a strong part of my family values and an ideal that I have aspired to throughout my life.  I feel lucky that I have been blessed with the training and talents to help those less fortunate in ways that can be truly life-changing.”

Dr. Endara recently moved back to the southwest suburbs to be closer to his family—all healthcare workers.  Both his mother and sister are in the nursing field.

In August 2014, he joined the practice of Dr. Alan Chen in Joliet and couldn’t be happier.  “I am very lucky to have joined such a talented and well respected surgeon as Dr. Chen and plan to follow his example of excellence in patient care.  I hope to really make a difference here for many years to come.”

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Endara, call  (815) 729-9527.



GPS Technology helps Diagnose Lung Cancer

Posted on : 12-29-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Cancer, News, screening
Dr. Kris McDonough is the first physician in the area to offer a new procedure to better locate lung cancer in hard to reach areas without surgery.

Dr. Kris McDonough is the first physician in the area to offer a new procedure to better locate lung cancer in hard to reach areas without surgery.

Silver Cross is the only hospital in Will and Grundy counties to offer a new procedure that allows pulmonologists to better locate and test small, hard to reach abnormalities in the lungs, called nodules, without surgery.  These nodules can be cancerous and if found early, can be successfully removed or treated.

The minimally invasive procedure, called electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy (ENB), helps physicians navigate a patient’s airways in the same way GPS guides drivers to their final destination.  A virtual roadmap of the patient’s lungs and a pathway to the nodule is created by loading the patient’s CT lung scan onto a computer to be reconstructed into 3D images.

“This new technology allows us to get to nodules we would never be able to reach before,” said board certified pulmonologist Dr. Kristopher McDonough, who performed the first procedure in November and has used this advanced technology on two other Silver Cross Hospital patients.

“Not only can we get to the peripheral areas of the lungs where the traditional bronchoscope cannot reach, but we can extract enough tissue to do unique molecular and genetic tests that allow our oncologists to tailor treatment specifically to one patient’s lung cancer.”

Typically, a chest X-ray or CT lung scan will discover nodules in the lungs, Dr. McDonough explained.  For some patients, these nodules require a biopsy to determine whether or not cancer is present.  Nodules can be biopsied in different ways, but the goal is to find the safest and least invasive way to get to the nodule, which is where this new ENB technology comes into play.

For patients undergoing radiation therapy for lung cancer at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital or elsewhere, the ENB technology allows pulmonologists to place locators in the cancerous lesion so radiation oncologists know where to treat it, and how focus that treatment to achieve maximum benefit with a minimum of side effects.  This same technique can be used to aid in the removal of a lung tumor by surgery, if that is part of the treatment plan.

“In the past, we were limited in our diagnostic approach to some nodules deep in the lung, with open surgery being the only possibility.  Now, however, we have a number of options,” said Dr. McDonough.  “In conjunction with other exciting technologies available at Silver Cross, such as endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS), ENB provides us with a comprehensive program for the minimally invasive diagnosis of lung cancer.”

For more information about electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy or to schedule an appointment with Dr. McDonough, call Midwest Respiratory at (815) 725-2653.

Lung Cancer Symptoms

Most lung cancers do not cause any symptoms until they have spread too far to be cured, but symptoms do occur in some people with early lung cancer. If you go to your doctor when you first notice symptoms, your cancer might be diagnosed at an earlier stage, when treatment is more likely to be effective. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are:

  • A cough that does not go away or gets worse
  • Chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
  • Hoarseness
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite
  •  Coughing up blood or rust-colored phlegm
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that don’t go away or keep coming back
  • New onset of wheezing

CT Lung Cancer Screening

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends annual screening for lung cancer with a low-dose CT Scan in adults aged 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.  As of Jan. 1, 2015, Medicare covers the cost annual for individuals who fit the USPSTF’s recommended criteria.  A physician’s order is required for the screening. To schedule an appointment for a CT Lung Cancer Screening at Silver Cross Hospital, call (815) 300-7076 or request an appointment online.

Shopping til she Drops after losing 90 lbs

Posted on : 12-29-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Interview, News, Success Stories, Video, Weight Loss
Edna Lopez lost 90 lbs with Lap-Band Surgery at Silver Cross

Edna Lopez lost 90 lbs with Lap-Band Surgery at Silver Cross

VIDEO:  Edna’s incredible weight loss story

For many women shopping at the mall is a fun activity, but for 45-year-old Edna Lopez, the idea filled her with anxiety. “When I weighed over 200 pounds, I did most of my shopping online because I felt so self-conscious at the mall,” Edna said. “I didn’t want people looking at me because of my weight.” But since losing over 90 pounds after having weight loss surgery at Silver Cross Hospital, Edna loves to walk the mall and shop.

Prior to her weight loss, Edna suffered from joint pain, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Since her surgery, she no longer takes high blood pressure medication.

“As a line operator at a corn oil processing plant, I’m on my feet a lot. Since my weight loss, I have no pain in my feet which really allows my work day to be pain free,” said the Joliet resident. “I now enjoy walking without being out of breath. I can climb stairs and even wear high heel shoes!”

“My advice to others that are considering surgery is to do your homework and work with your doctor to figure out what surgery would be best for you,” Edna adds.

After researching quality weight loss programs, Edna decided to attend BMI Surgery’s free informational session. “After listening to Dr. Brian Lahmann’s presentation, I felt comfortable with the program, Dr. Lahmann and his staff. They made me feel confident that I could be successful and they would help me through each step,” says Edna. With their support, along with encouragement from her family and friends, Edna committed to the exercise and diet plan and underwent LAP-BAND™ weight loss surgery on February 11, 2012.

Weighing in at over 200lbs, Edna suffered from joint pain, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Weighing in at over 200 lbs, Edna suffered from joint pain, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Patients benefit from a multidisciplinary approach, with the help of many different departments at Silver Cross. “Our patients see an exercise physiologist, dietitian, cardiologist, psychologist, pulmonologist, and a bariatric nurse to get them ready for surgery,” says Dr. Brian Lahmann. “We screen our patients very carefully to ensure their success and safety.”

“Dr. Lahmann explained that surgery is merely a tool to lose weight and the real success depended on me making behavioral changes,” says Edna. “I am so grateful to Dr. Lahmann, his team and the nurses at Silver Cross Hospital. They knew what my needs were and surpassed them. Plus my experience at Silver Cross Hospital was like staying at a fine hotel with beautiful surroundings and simply wonderful care.”

“Edna is an excellent example of how bariatric surgery can positively enhance one’s life. Her dedication to adhering to the program by eating well and exercising was essential in her ability to lose over 90 pounds,” says Dr. Lahmann.

Is Weight Loss Surgery Right for You?

The American Society of Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery defines the morbidly obese as those with a body mass of 35 or above with comorbidities, or for a normal height woman, being more than 100 pounds overweight. Patients with a BMI of 35 and higher, who are suffering the medical consequences of obesity, are often best treated with bariatric surgery as opposed to nonsurgical weight loss. Those who are morbidly obese are at a higher risk of mortality and such extreme obesity puts people at risk for life threatening disease, including heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.

Drs. Chris Joyce and Brian Lahmann have helped over 4,000 patients obtain a healthier and happier life.

Drs. Chris Joyce and Brian Lahmann have helped over 4,000 patients obtain a healthier and happier life.

BMI Surgery has changed the lives of over 4,000 patients with life changing surgeries including laparoscopic gastric bypass, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, and LAP-BAND and REALIZE gastric band systems at Silver Cross Hospital. Board certified laparoscopic and bariatric surgeons Brian Lahmann, M.D., and Christopher Joyce, M.D., are dedicated to helping patients win their personal battles with obesity and enjoy healthier lives. Their office is located on the new Silver Cross Hospital campus at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox. Silver Cross has been named a Bariatric Center of Excellence by the American Society of Bariatric Surgery and a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery.

Free Informational Session To find out more about the bariatric surgery program at Silver Cross Hospital, attend a free informational session on both traditional and laparoscopic surgery on any Wednesday at5:45 p.m. at BMI Surgery at 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., Suite 260, New Lenox. Register to attend online or by calling call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

Colon Cancer Cured with Robotic Surgery

Posted on : 12-29-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Cancer, colon cancer, Interview, News, Success Stories, Uncategorized
Raymond Martinez and Dr. Gamagami talk about his recovery after beating Stage 1 colorectal cancer.

Raymond Martinez and Dr. Gamagami talk about his recovery after beating Stage 1 colorectal cancer.

This past July, Raymond Martinez drove to the Silver Cross Emergency Department after noticing blood in his toilet.  This had happened before—four years earlier.  Then, the blood was caused by polyps in the lining of his colon.  But this time, it was much more serious.  Raymond had a cancerous tumor in his large intestine (colon) that needed to be surgically removed.

“I was tired and wanted to sleep all the time,” said the 87-year-old New Lenox resident. “But when I saw the blood, I thought ‘here we go again’.  I called my daughter who took me to Silver Cross where they admitted me to run some tests.

With Raymond’s history of colon polyps, a colonoscopy uncovered a tumor on his large intestine.  The biopsy showed that Raymond had a cancerous polyp, which could be completely removed surgically.

“I asked my nurses who I should have perform my surgery, and they all said Dr. Gamagami without hesitation,” Raymond stated.

Dr. Gamagami, who specializes in colorectal cancer surgery, is a leader in advanced minimally invasive procedures using the da Vinci robot.  Silver Cross has been designated as part of an elite group of nationally recognized General Surgery Epicenters due to the demonstrated excellence of R.A. Gamagami, M.D. as an educator for general colorectal robotic surgery.

“Dr. Gamagami came to see me while I was in the hospital and talked with me about all my options.”

“Based on the size and location of the tumor, we decided the best way to treat the cancer was to perform a laparoscopic robotic colon resection,” said Dr. Gamagami.  “Fortunately for Raymond, we can now perform complicated abdominal procedures laparoscopically through just a few small incisions using the da Vinci robot.

The da Vinci robotic system allows specially trained surgeons to perform complex surgeries with more precision and dexterity than standard laparoscopic surgery.

Da Vinci is a robotic surgery system with which specially trained surgeons control a robot through advanced technology to treat a variety of conditions including colon cancer.

At Silver Cross Hospital, we have performed twice as minimally invasive colon resections than any other local community hospital. According to Dr. Gamagami, 85% of his patients benefit from this new technology as compared to less than 10% in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Patients who undergo robotic colectomy (colon surgery) tend to have superior clinical outcomes, which include less pain, smaller incisions, shorter hospital stay, and most importantly, less complications such as infections.

Dr. Gamagami performed Raymond’s laparoscopic right hemi-colectomy (colon resection) robotically at Silver Cross Hospital on Aug. 21, 2014 and Raymond required only a two-day hospitalization after his surgery, which is the norm for Dr. Gamagami’s patients. Raymond’s final pathology revealed Stage 1 colon cancer.

“The morning after my operation, I was up walking around the hospital corridors and had no pain,” commented Raymond.  “I couldn’t believe it didn’t hurt at all.”

Raymond’s cancer was completely gone.

“I just need to see Dr. Gamagami every six months following my surgery to make sure everything is working the way it should,” Raymond said. “I am lucky I went to Silver Cross when I did.”

Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Having a colonoscopy starting at age 50 can actually prevent many cases of colon cancer, or reveal it at an early stage when treatment is most likely to be successful.

However, if you are over age 30 and are experiencing one or more of the symptoms below, you should see a doctor right away to evaluate the need for a diagnostic colonoscopy:

  • A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days;
  • A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by doing so;
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Blood in the stool which may make it look dark
  • Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain;
  • Weakness and fatigue; and/or
  • Unintended weight loss.

For more information about colon cancer diagnosis and treatment, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. R.A. Gamagami in his office, located on the Silver Cross Hospital campus in New Lenox, call (815) 717-8730.

You can also visit his website at


Resolve to Live Healthier in the New Year

Posted on : 12-29-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Celebration of Health, Emergency, Health Tips, safety

131219131204-new-years-resolutions-diary-story-topAs we countdown to the New Year, making resolutions are a big part of the holiday for many. So why not choose to make 2015 a healthier year? According to the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can create a healthier life for you and your family in the New Year by following the following tips:


  • Make an appointment for a check-up, vaccination, or screening. Exams and screenings can 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. Heather Taras, emergency medicine physician at the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center in Homer Glen. “Ask your physician what vaccinations and tests you should get based on your age, lifestyle, medical history, and family health history.”
  • Make better food choices. Learn healthy eating tips that take 5 minutes or less like grab a healthy snack such as fruit, nuts, or low-fat cheese, and drink more water.
  • Be active. Try simple things such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Be active for at least 2½ hours a week. Children and adolescents should get at least 1 hour of physical activity each day.
  • 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 Dr. Taras. “By simply washing your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds, you are reducing your exposure to harmful pathogens that can make you ill. 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.”
  • Get enough sleep. Remember that sleep is a necessity, not a luxury.
  • Manage stress. 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.
  • Be smoke-free. If you are ready to quit, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free counseling.
  • Travel Safely. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t let anyone else drink and drive.  Reduce auto-related injuries by using seat belts, child safety seats, and booster seats that are appropriate for your child’s age and weight.
  • Protect yourself from injury or disease by wearing a helmet, sunscreen, or insect repellent when necessary.

By talking these tips over with your family members, you can 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.

Homer Glen-FEC_2Emergency Care Nearby

Even with the utmost caution, New Year-related injuries can still occur. It is good to know peace of mind is just minutes away at the Silver Cross Emergency Care Center located at 143rd and Bell Rd. in Homer Glen. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the Center is staffed with board certified emergency medicine physicians and nurses.

Located in the same building is the Silver Cross Health Center offering MRI, CT, X-ray, Ultrasound, EKG and laboratory services. A physician’s order is required. To schedule an appointment for a test, call (815) 300-7076. There are also several primary and specialty physician offices and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross. For a referral to a physician at the Homer Glen medical center, call 1-888-660-HEAL or click here.

Judy’s Husband was Having a Stroke

Posted on : 12-15-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Heart Health, Stroke Care, Success Stories, Video
Judy and Wayne Waddell can enjoy the holidays because he was in the right place when he suffered a stroke earlier this year.

Judy and Wayne Waddell can enjoy the holidays because he was in the right place when he suffered a stroke earlier this year.

Wayne Waddell was getting ready to go home from the hospital when he suffered a stroke on May 29, 2014. Just days before, paramedics had brought the Lockport resident to Silver Cross Hospital after experiencing a cardiac arrhythmia. This resulted in Wayne having a defibrillator placed to protect his heart from the rhythm happening again. While Wayne was eating lunch, his wife, Judy, noticed that something was not right. He was trying to eat his soup using his fingers. His face had begun to droop, and couldn’t communicate. Judy quickly called the nurse and within seconds, he was surrounded by a Code Stroke Team.

“I really don’t remember much except seeing a lot of people in the room,” said Wayne.

Luckily, Dr. Kathleen McCahill, Medical Director of Silver Cross Hospital’s Stroke Program, was in the hallway outside Wayne’s room and rushed in to help. After a quick evaluation, she identified the stroke and called Dr. Harish Shownkeen, who took the 75-year-old to the Neuro Interventional Lab.  Using cerebral angiography, Dr. Shownkeen was able to locate the clogged artery in Wayne’s brain causing the stroke and then drive a tiny suction catheter through his arteries to the blood clot. Using that suction catheter he was able to pull out the clot and restore blood flow, preventing permanent damage.

“Wayne was very lucky. If he had been anywhere when his stroke occurred, the outcome could have been much different,” said Dr. Shownkeen, Medical Director of the Neuro Interventional Program at Silver Cross Hospital. “Since he just had surgery and could not safely receive clot busting drugs, this was his only chance.”

After a short hospital stay, Wayne was discharged under the care of a Silver Cross Home Health nurse. Excited about getting his health back on track, Wayne attended physical therapy and even continued his exercise regimen at a local gym.

“I have worked out regularly over the past 15 years, which may be why I am doing so well. You would never know that I had a stroke,” comments Wayne. “Judy and I recently took a trip to the Dominican Republic, and I feel great.”

Are you at risk for a stroke?  Find out by taking a free Stroke Risk Assessment


Tips to Avoid a Christmas Tree Fire

Posted on : 12-12-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Emergency, Health Tips, News

stxmco001christmas_tree__fireplace-800x333According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), each year, fire departments respond to an average of 210 structure fires caused by Christmas trees. Carefully decorating Christmas trees can keep your home and loved ones safe. In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that approximately 15,000 people are treated in emergency rooms every holiday season for injuries related to Christmas trees and holiday decorating.

“The last thing anyone wants in their home is a Christmas tree-related fire and end up in the emergency room hurt,” says Daniel Checco, D.O., emergency medicine physician at the Silver Cross Emergency Care Center in Homer Glen. “Although if they find themselves seriously injured from a burn, seek medical attention immediately.”
Follow these Christmas tree safety tips to keep the holiday season safe for all:

Picking the Tree
•  If you have an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant.
•  Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

Placing the Tree
•  Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 1″ – 2″ from the base of the trunk.
•  Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
•  Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
•  Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.

Lighting the Tree
•  Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
•  Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of LED strands to connect.
•  Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
•  Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

After Christmas
Get rid of the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program. Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

Emergency Care Nearby
Even with the utmost caution, Christmas-related injuries can still occur. It is good to know peace of mind is just minutes away at the Silver Cross Emergency Care Center located at 143rd and Bell Rd. in Homer Glen. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the Center is staffed with board certified emergency medicine physicians and nurses.  Located in the same building is the Silver Cross Health Center offering MRI, CT, X-ray, Ultrasound, EKG and laboratory services. A physician’s order is required. To request an appointment for a test, click here or call (815) 300-7076. There are also several primary and specialty physician offices and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross.



I Matter: Give the Gift of Flowers

Posted on : 12-09-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Business Sponsors, Discounts, Heart Health, I Matter Benefits, Mammography, screening

Flowers can be a brilliant way to decorate your home during the holidays. They bring a more natural feel to a room’s décor than some ornaments and decorations. You can also use flowers to add color to the table on Christmas Day and can play a huge part in your festive decorating.

Here are 10 Christmas flowers you should have in your home this year or send to someone special.

  1. imagesCAGSRXU2Roses
  2. Poinsettias
  3. Chrysanthemums
  4. Orchids
  5. Carnations
  6. Lilies
  7. Anemone
  8. Lisianthus
  9. Calla Lily
  10. Hyacinths

Now you can save 5-10% off every bouquet or arrangement with the following florists when you present your I Matter card—not only at Christmastime, but all year long. Consider it our gift to you for taking care of yourself by getting your annual mammogram and/or heart screening.

If you don’t have an I Matter card, you can sign-up for this free rewards program today. Next time you come to Silver Cross Hospital for your health screening, you will receive your card. It is that easy.

Request an appointment for a screening online or call (815) 300-7076. A physician’s order is required for a mammogram.