Book your next Mammogram or DexaScan Online!

Posted on : 06-25-2015 | By : tsimons | In : Mammography, News, Osteoporosis, Rehabilitation

Gone are the days of  “requesting” an appointment online. Now you can actually book your appointment online for your Screening Mammogram or DexaScan (bone density test) at the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health anytime, from anywhere.

It’s about time right?  Actually, Silver Cross is the first hospital in Illinois to offer the convenience of real-time online scheduling for several outpatient tests and therapies. We call it SCHedule NOW.

SCHedule NOW is a free tool that enables patients to easily search and book real-time appointments online.

Here’s how it works:

  • Schedule_NOW_OT_T copySimply go to www.silvercross.org
  • Click on the SCHedule NOW icon
  • Choose the outpatient service and preferred Silver Cross location
  • Then follow the prompts to schedule your appointment. It’s quick and easy.

Once you have booked your appointment online, you will receive reminders via email (and soon via text!), as well as a link to a map for directions. Appointments can be made 24/7 from any internet-connected device including smartphones and tablets.  And remember, you no longer need a physician’s order for a screening mammogram.

Woman-on-Cell-Phone_wo-bgIn addition to Mammograms and DexaScans, you can also schedule appointments for the following outpatient services at several Silver Cross facilities located in Homer Glen, New Lenox and on the west side of Joliet:

CT
EKG
Lab
MRI
Occupational Therapy
Physical Therapy
Ultrasound
and X-ray.

If you need more than one test scheduled, we ask that you call (815) 815-300-7076 to expedite your request.

Special Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer Protects Heart & Lungs

Posted on : 06-25-2015 | By : tsimons | In : breast cancer, Cancer, News, Success Stories
Kimberly De Nardo, BS, R.T.(R)(T), Lead Radiation Therapist; Nicki Fender, RN; Jacqueline Naas; Eugenia Perevalova, Physicist; and Christine Darin, BS RTT, Radiation Therapist

Kimberly De Nardo, BS, R.T.(R)(T), Lead Radiation Therapist; Nicki Fender, RN; Jacqueline Naas; Eugenia Perevalova, Physicist; and Christine Darin, BS RTT, Radiation Therapist

For 43-year-old Jacqueline Naas traveling two hours round trip to receive state-of-the-art prone breast radiation therapy at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital was worth every minute.

Since this specialized radiation therapy was not available near Naas’ home in Ogelsby, she had to decide if she could handle the time consuming commute to get her 33 treatments.

“My husband, Roger, and I agreed that if I can live at least 20 more years, than it’s worth our time to drive an hour each way five days a week, in order to have prone therapy because this method protects my heart and lungs from any radiation exposure,” said Naas.

The Naas’ feel they made the right choice to seek treatment at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital.

“Everyone has been awesome,” exclaims Jacqueline. “Dr. Anne McCall patiently answered all of our questions and gave us a packet of information that has been such a helpful resource. And the radiation therapists were all very positive and thoughtful. They had the softest touch when they would move me and were always so concerned that I wasn’t in any pain.”

Naas had no family history of breast cancer. Two years prior to being diagnosed with breast cancer, she had cystic fibroids removed from her breast. All seemed fine until a tumor was found during her mammogram. In December 2014, she had surgery to remove the cancerous tumor. During this time, three additional tumors were discovered underneath her nipple and were removed as well. After having four chemotherapy treatments, her care plan called for radiation therapy.

Since Jacqueline was a possible candidate for prone therapy, her physician suggested she go see Dr. McCall at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross. Dr. McCall has experience with the state-of-the-art prone breast radiation technique that is offered on the Silver Cross Hospital campus, as well as at the University of Chicago’s Hyde Park campus.

“Prone breast radiation treatment is a wonderful technique for the right patient,” said Dr. McCall, M.D., Medical Director for Radiation Oncology for the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital. “And Jacqueline’s clinical situation made it appropriate to treat her using the prone radiation technique.”

Dr. McCall adds, “Prone therapy is especially beneficial for women with larger breasts and a tumor on the left side that hasn’t spread to the lymph nodes. The dose of radiation is uniform with less skin reaction. There is minimal exposure to the heart and lungs. This lowers the risk of complications, such as future heart disease and lung damage.”

How Does Prone Breast Radiation Treatment Work?

Prone breast radiation therapy is a unique approach to treating breast cancer. Radiation is administered on a specially-designed table with a breast board to help the woman lie more comfortably in the prone position, on her stomach, with the breast hanging down from the body for radiation therapy.

“As a patient you really have to be motivated to lay on your stomach for treatments, but I really feel Jacqueline’s determination to get well contributed to her ability to do so,” said Dr. McCall.

Benefits to Prone Treatment

There are many benefits to receiving radiation in the prone position in addition to minimizing radiation exposure to the surrounding organs and tissues. The radiation dose in the prone position is the same as when the patient lies flat on her back for radiation treatment.

“By using the prone technique, the breast falls away from the chest-wall making it easier for radiation therapists to target the tumor more precisely with the radiation,” said Kimberly De Nardo, Lead Radiation Therapist for the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross.

“The goal with every treatment plan is to protect the healthy tissue from radiation,” Kimberly said. “As with every patient, the planning phase was critical in creating Jacqueline’s personal prone treatment plan.”

During the planning phase, Radiation Therapists performed a CT scan which is used by the physics team to delineate the target and organs at risk such as the heart and lungs. “Then the physics team and Dr. McCall develop the best treatment plan,” Kimberly said. “By using the most advanced TrueBeam new-generation linear accelerator system, we were able to deliver precisely targeted radiation therapy to provide the best results for Jacqueline.”

Kimberly brought over 14 years of experience working with cancer patients at the University of Chicago’s Hyde Park campus to her new role on the Silver Cross campus.

“Our job is to make every patient’s treatment and experience easier,” said De Nardo. “Whether we hold their hand or simply listen to their concerns, we are there to offer them support. Patients shouldn’t decide that it’s easier to give up instead of fighting with all the advanced cancer care treatment options available, like those offered here at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross.”

Comforting Advice to Others

“I would highly recommend the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross to cancer patients,” said Naas. “Overall, I had an excellent experience with everyone.”

“By coming to the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross, patients have access to the same advanced technology that is offered at the University of Chicago Medicine at Hyde Park in Chicago,” said Dr. McCall. “We are fortunate to have highly trained and experienced radiation therapists working at Silver Cross who truly make the patients’ treatment so successful.”

To see if Prone Therapy is right for you, talk with your oncologist or call 1-855-UCM-1400 to see a specialist with the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital.

Schedule your Outpatient Tests & Therapies Online

Posted on : 06-15-2015 | By : tsimons | In : Bone Health, Mammography, News, Rehabilitation, screening

Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox has launched SCHedule NOW, a free scheduling tool that enables patients to easily search and book real-time appointments online.

“We are the first hospital in Illinois to offer appointment scheduling for an array of outpatient services through our website,” said Mary Bakken Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Silver Cross Hospital. “We’ve made it more convenient for patients to schedule an appointment anytime from anywhere.  From mammograms and MRIs to lab tests and physical therapy with The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross, patients can now book their appointments at the click of a mouse.”

Schedule_NOW_OT_T copyHere’s how it works: Patients simply go to www.silvercross.org, click on the SCHedule NOW icon, and choose the outpatient service and preferred Silver Cross location. Patients then follow the prompts to schedule their appointment. SCHedule NOW provides appointment reminders via email, as well as a link to a map for directions. Appointments can be made 24/7 from any internet-connected device including smartphones and tablets.

In the near future, patients who schedule online will receive appointment reminders via text and also have the ability to upload a photo or scan of the order from their physician to further expedite care. However, patients no longer need an order for a screening mammogram. Click here or call (815) 300-7076, to schedule an appointment for one of the following outpatient services:

  • CT
  • DexaScan
  • EKG
  • Lab
  • Mammography
  • MRI
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Ultrasound
  • X-ray.

Cancer Clinical Trials 101

Posted on : 05-29-2015 | By : tsimons | In : breast cancer, Cancer, colon cancer, Events, News

IMG_2155 Submitted by Kristin Kipping-Johnson, Research Assistant with University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital

According to the most recent American Cancer Society statistics, the lifetime risk of a woman (living in the United States) developing cancer is approximately 1 in 3. While the numbers can be intimidating – advances in cancer detection, prevention, and treatment are being made every day. The University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross is proud to participate in the process that allows these advances to reach this community. Our patients can often be treated with cutting-edge cancer treatments near their hometown.

Clinical research studies (synonymous with trial and protocol) allow us to prove that an idea is true in a controlled environment. In most cases the idea is a new drug or treatment but can also include any of the following:

  • New imaging equipment that can detect abnormalities earlier
  • New laboratory technology that can detect cancer cells in the blood
  • More effective chemotherapy regimens (combing two or more already approved drugs for better cancer control)
  • Comparing already approved regimens (to determine if one is superior or has less side effects)
  • New formulations of currently approved drugs (comparing the efficacy of an oral version to an infused version)
  • Collecting quality of life data (to help understand the financial, social, mental and physical burdens cancer patients face)

Cancer Center2The process of proving an idea valid is rigorous and long. The average length of time, from drug development to FDA approval, is 14.8 years. One of the reasons this process can be so long and burdensome are the safety and quality measures each institution must commit to when a patient participates. The research staff and physician are under careful scrutiny by the sponsor and national regulatory authorities. University of Chicago Medicine is committed to this process and expanding access to the Silver Cross community.

Are you interested in learning more about the clinical trial process? How you can participate? Have questions regarding a trial that might benefit you or a loved one? Attend our upcoming lecture on Breast Cancer Clinical Trials on Thursday, June 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center. Dr. Brooke Phillips, medical oncologist, and I will be discussing the process in a little more detail and highlighting some of the exciting research efforts that are currently ongoing. You can register to attend online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

Silver Cross Earns an “A” for Patient Safety

Posted on : 05-27-2015 | By : tsimons | In : News, safety

You have one more reason to feel confident in the care you are receiving when you come to Silver Cross for all your healthcare needs – from mammograms to hysterectomies.

DocHoldingA_Spring2015Silver Cross Hospital has just been recognized for its dedication to patient safety with an “A” grade in the Spring 2015 Hospital Safety Score.

The score indicates how well hospitals protect patients from preventable medical errors, injuries and infections within the hospital.

This “A” grade is one of the most meaningful honors a hospital can achieve, and one of the most valuable indicators for patients looking for a safe place to receive care. The Hospital Safety Score is the gold standard rating for patient safety, compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading patient safety experts and administered by The Leapfrog Group, a national, nonprofit hospital safety watchdog. The first and only hospital safety rating to be peer-reviewed in the Journal of Patient Safety, the Score is free to the public and designed to give consumers information they can use to protect themselves and their families when facing a hospital stay.

“At Silver Cross, we see it is part of our mission and commitment 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 care at a hospital that has higher survival rates, less complications, and a safer environment.”

“Silver Cross Hospital’s “A” grade validates its achievement in preventing harm within the hospital, and we are proud to recognize the efforts of the care providers and staff,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, which administers the Hospital Safety Score. “Patient safety requires constant vigilance, and we encourage Silver Cross and all other A hospitals to continue demonstrating unrelenting commitment to patients by consistently providing a safe environment for care.”

Click here to see Silver Cross Hospital’s full score online.

Developed under the guidance of Leapfrog’s Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single A, B, C, D, or F score, representing a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from preventable harm. More than 2,500 U.S. general hospitals were assigned scores in April 2015, with about 31% receiving an “A” grade. The Hospital Safety Score is fully transparent, offering a full analysis of the data and methodology used in determining grades on the website. Now, for the first time, patients can also review their hospital’s past safety performance alongside its current grade on the Hospital Safety Score site, allowing them to determine which local hospitals have the best track record in patient safety and which have demonstrated consistent improvement.

You can also access tips for patients and loved ones visiting the hospital.

Area Resident Gets Relief from Hip Pain from Innovative Procedure

Posted on : 05-08-2015 | By : bhernandez | In : Aches & Pains, Bone Health, Events, News, Success Stories

 

Antkiowak-webAfter three years of enduring shooting pain from his hip down the outside of his leg to his ankle, Jim Langs reached his limit of trying to relieve his pain with numerous medications. “As my medication wore off, the pain became so bad that I would drag my leg as if it were “dead” in order to cope with the pain,” said the Manhattan resident. “I was so fortunate to meet Dr. Antkowiak, who got rid of my pain by performing an innovative and minimally invasive anterior hip replacement.” Dr. Tom Antkowiak performed the cutting-edge anterior hip replacement procedure on Jim’s hip at Silver Cross Hospital enabling him to have a quicker and less painful recovery.

The anterior approach is an alternative to traditional hip replacement surgery. During anterior hip replacement surgery, the hip joint is accessed through a smaller incision by entering through the front of the body and working between the hip. The surgeon works between the tissues without detaching them or cutting them. This leads to less tissue trauma, less pain and often a faster recovery.

The anterior surgical approach is becoming more popular as it is less invasive, hospital stays are shorter, and patients are able to return to their work or chosen activity faster with less pain.

“As a result of this less invasive technique, post-surgical mobility is greatly improved because the muscle tissues are spared during the surgical procedure,” said Dr. Tom Antkowiak, orthopedic surgeon on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. “Jim for example was slowly walking the day of his surgery and climbing stairs a few days later.  I am grateful to Silver Cross for providing the state-of-the-art equipment that is necessary for me to offer this innovative procedure to Jim and all my patients.

Advice to Others

“My advice to anyone with hip pain is simple – don’t waste another minute suffering – get help,” said Langs. “Not only am I thankful to have such an accomplished, down-to-earth, surgeon as Dr. Antkowiak perform my surgery, I am so happy to have received such an advanced procedure at Silver Cross, which is close to my home.  In addition, the nurses and therapists at Silver Cross gave me endless encouragement. They showed me alternative ways to move, while also cautioning me not to overdo things or push too hard until I was more fully healed.”

Symptoms of Hip Pain

Depending on the source that’s causing hip pain, you might feel discomfort in the following areas: groin, buttocks, thigh, outside of the hip joint, or the back.

Get medical attention right away if:

  • The hip pain came on suddenly.
  • A fall or other injury triggered the hip pain.
  • Your hip looks deformed or is bleeding.
  • You experienced a painful popping in the hip.
  • The pain is intense.
  • You can’t put any weight on your hip.

Free Lecture

Join Dr. Tom Antkowiak and Dr. Rajeev Puri, orthopedic surgeons, to learn the latest treatment plans for hip pain and degenerative hip conditions including hip arthroscopy and total anterior hip replacement on Thursday, May 21.  This free program will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox.  Register to attend online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

 

Pet Therapy Dog helps 8 year old Bella walk again

Posted on : 04-22-2015 | By : tsimons | In : News, Rehabilitation, Success Stories
Physical therapist from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital helped leg amputee patient and Mokena resident Bella Rodrigues regain her mobility through therapy.

Physical therapist from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital helped leg amputee patient and Mokena resident Bella Rodrigues regain her mobility through therapy.

When Mokena residents Kurt and Gia Rodrigues learned that their 8-year-old daughter, Bella, went into cardiac arrest they were speechless because days prior, she was her normal active self. Earlier that week, Bella was having cold symptoms, which worsened into a severe H1N1 flu virus causing her heart and other organs to fail. During the next 26 days, oxygen was delivered to her blood through the use of the life-saving Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine. As the ECMO device allowed her to rest while her affected organs healed, she was listed as a Status 1 for a heart transplant. Fortunately, with the use of a stress dose steroid, her heart improved moving her to a Status 7 for a heart transplant. However the aggressive infection didn’t allow her right leg to regain circulation forcing doctors to remove the limb from below the right knee to the foot. As she faced the challenge of learning to walk again with a prosthetic leg, her progress improved as her spirits were lifted when she began receiving physical therapy using a pet therapy dog at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital.

“The days I meet with my pet therapy dog, Max, are fun because we play as he helps me to walk,” said Bella Rodrigues, who has two dogs of her own at home.

“When I first started treating Bella, she was experiencing a lot of pain,” said Patty McQuinn, Pediatric Physical Therapist from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital. “Since incorporating Max in our therapy sessions, Bella’s focus has moved from her pain to interacting with Max. By throwing a ball to Max and taking him for walks, Bella began to make great gains with her mobility. She has even begun to take steps without her walker. It has been so rewarding to see how working with Max has improved Bella’s mood, cooperation and motivation.”

“We continue to be encouraged by Bella’s progress and by how Patty takes the extra time to develop different approaches to her therapy, like incorporating the pet therapy dog, Max, to ensure she gets the most out of her sessions,” stated Kurt Rodrigues, Bella’s father.

Being a therapy dog has also been a rewarding experience for Max, who is an 11-year-old golden retriever and certified pet therapy dog. “Even though Max is an older dog, he still gets excited and wiggles his tail as he interacts with patients,” said Lori Greene, owner of Max. “And it has been so wonderful to see Bella’s face light up when she works with Max. They really have a special bond.”

Reduced Stress with High Quality Care Close to Home

“When we were researching where to take Bella for physical therapy, we learned that the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) was ranked the “#1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America” by U.S. News & World Report for over 20 years. We were ecstatic to find a RIC location with pediatric therapy so close to our home,” said Gia Rodrigues, Bella’s mother. “It has been extremely less stressful for Bella to receive such outstanding care nearby. Instead of spending a couple hours in the car, now she can actually go back to school after her therapy and not be as tired. Plus Bella has excelled in the one-on-one, calming environment that Patty has created during their sessions.”

“By coming to Silver Cross, patients have access to specialized care plans similar to those that are offered at RIC’s downtown Chicago location,” said Valerie Paluszak, Manager of Outpatient Rehabilitation for The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital. “We are fortunate to have such highly trained and experienced physical, occupational and speech therapists working at Silver Cross, who truly make patients’ treatment successful enabling them to thrive, so they can return to their daily routines.”

For more information about pediatric therapy with RIC at Silver Cross, call (815) 300-7110.

 

New eICU provides Second Set of Eyes for extra care

Posted on : 04-01-2015 | By : tsimons | In : News, safety, Stroke Care
Silver Cross staff tested the new eICU technology March 25 which will provide a second set of eyes to help keep critical care patients safe. (l-r) Ann Carpenter, ICU Manager; Saima Ayub, Pharmacist; Dr. Salah Lababidy, critical care pulmonologist; Megan Overcash; ICU nurse; Jane Harris, ICU nurse; Mary Shanahan, Nursing Administrative Director; and Mike Gruber; Information Technology Senior Director; and (TV monitor) Sanya Nikolich, eICU intensivist

Silver Cross staff tested the new eICU technology March 25 which will provide a second set of eyes to help keep critical care patients safe. (l-r) Ann Carpenter, ICU Manager; Saima Ayub, Pharmacist; Dr. Salah Lababidy, critical care pulmonologist; Megan Overcash; ICU nurse; Jane Harris, ICU nurse; Mary Shanahan, Nursing Administrative Director; and Mike Gruber; Information Technology Senior Director; and (TV monitor) Sanya Nikolich, eICU intensivist

Silver Cross Hospital has added another layer of specialized care in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with the launch of an electronic monitoring system, or eICU to help keep patients safe.

The cutting-edge technology features around-the-clock, real-time audio and video monitoring of Silver Cross Hospital’s ICU patients in all 28 private rooms from one central command center, 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, 365 days per year.  The new system, allows board-certified critical care specialists and trained ICU nurses the ability to consult with Silver Cross Hospital’s ICU staff to make real-time clinical decisions.

“The eICU does not replace a patient’s physician or nurse,” said Dr. Amar Garapati, critical care intensivist and Medical Director of the ICU at Silver Cross Hospital. “Instead, it provides and extra layer of support and expertise when we can’t be in the room.”

A camera sits on the ceiling opposite the patient’s bed. When turned on—either by the bedside nurse or triggered by an alarm, the physician or nurse in the remote command center can closely assess the patient.

“They can even zoom in to look directly into the patient’s pupils,” said Dr. Garapati.

The eICU team has real-time access to vital signs, blood tests, X-rays, medications and other information from the patient’s bedside using computers and encrypted, high-speed data lines.  They have the ability to quickly notice changes in a patient’s condition and work with the Silver Cross medical team to determine the appropriate course of action.

“The new eICU technology will tremendously enhance the already high quality of care provided Silver Cross, while also helping to save lives,” said Paul Pawlak, President/CEO at Silver Cross Hospital. “We expect this new program will significantly reduce mortality, complications, length of stay, and overall costs of care.”

What’s Happening at Silver Cross? New Therapies, Technology and Services

Posted on : 03-30-2015 | By : tsimons | In : News, Replacement Hospital

SilverCross Hospital croppedWe  just celebrated our third anniversary in our state-of-the-art 296-bed hospital at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox.  Our staff remains dedicated to treating patients the way they should be treated with new services, enhanced expertise and safe, compassionate care.  This past year Silver Cross earned re-accreditation from the Joint Commission and the Commission on Cancer, and nursing care ranked in the Top 10% in the nation for patient satisfaction.

Since 2012, the medical staff has grown to over 700 physicians—300 with offices conveniently located on the hospital’s campus.  And we have increased our workforce by 25% to over 2,300 employees, many with special training and certification.

Specialty Care Close to Home

Through partnerships with University of Chicago Medicine, The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), Lurie Children’s Hospital, and Cadence Health—now part of Northwestern Medicine, specialists in cancer, rehabilitation, pediatrics, and stroke continue to bring new treatments and therapies to Will County and the surrounding communities.

“We have seen a significant increase in cancer patients requiring radiation therapy prompting the addition of a second linear accelerator and a permanent PET/CT Scanner earlier this year,” said Paul Pawlak, President/CEO of Silver Cross Hospital.

At the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross, many patients are being treated for breast or lung cancer.  This led to the formation of Multidisciplinary Conferences for both diseases where cancer specialists gather weekly to review cases and provide patients and their physicians with a recommended plan so they can begin treatment immediately.  To diagnose lung cancer at the earliest stages when treatment is the most effective, Silver Cross was the first in the area to acquire navigational bronchoscopy technology.  At the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health, patients can take advantage of the latest in breast tomosynthesis (3D mammography). This three-dimensional equipment helps physicians more accurately pinpoint breast tumors providing earlier detection of small breast cancers that may be hidden during digital mammography.

“It is so important that we diagnose and treat cancer as soon as possible, therefore we no longer require a physician’s order for a screening mammography,” said Pawlak.  “Patients can just call (815) 300-7076 to schedule an appointment.”

Through a partnership with RIC, the #1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America, more Silver Cross patients than ever before are advancing their ability and returning home sooner. “Seventy-nine percent of patients who recover on our CARF-accredited rehabilitation unit are discharged home—not to a skilled nursing, assisted living or extended care facility,” said Pawlak.  “That is much higher than the regional average of 71% or even the U.S. average of 74%.”

RIC also oversees Silver Cross’ outpatient rehabilitation programs including facilities at the hospital, West Joliet, Homer Glen and on Route 30 in New Lenox.

Babies, Babies & More Babies

Also since opening the new hospital, we have experienced a baby boom delivering over 6,500 newborns.   “Nearly half of all babies in Will County are now born at Silver Cross Hospital,” Pawlak says.

To ensure that even the tiniest patients have access to the very best care, last year, our hospital received designation from Illinois Department of Public Health to have a Level 2 Nursery with extended capabilities.  This means that few babies ever need to be transferred to specialized neonatal care centers.  Parents can feel confident knowing that Silver Cross has neonatologists from Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago as well as OB/GYNs and anesthesiologists available in the hospital 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Extra Care for Stroke and Critical Patients

Patients suffering stroke can also get all the care they need at right here at Silver Cross.   Last year alone, a comprehensive team of neurosurgeons and neuro-interventional radiologists halted and reversed stroke by performing over 350 lifesaving interventions.

“We want to do everything in our power to make sure all our critically ill patients are receiving the very best care,” said Pawlak.  “So, we are adding an extra level of support and expertise by upgrading our ICU with cutting-edge technology so that patients can be monitored 24/7 by highly trained intensivists in real-time.  These physicians will work in tandem with the ICU staff to monitor patients round the clock.  We are on-track to have the new eICU operational by the end of March.”

To learn more about other programs and services available at Silver Cross Hospital, follow us Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and You Tube.  For a referral to a physician on the Silver Cross Medical Staff, click here.

Tinley Park Mom Suffers Stroke, Recovers after Life-saving Treatment at Silver Cross Hospital

Jacob, Juliana, Jennifer and Henry Arciszewski.  Jacob and Juliana helped save Jennifer’s life after she suffered a stroke and seizure at her Tinley Park home in January.

Jacob, Juliana, Jennifer and Henry Arciszewski. Jacob and Juliana helped save Jennifer’s life after she suffered a stroke and seizure at her Tinley Park home in January.

Jennifer Arciszewski was just about to step into the shower when she fell to the floor in her Tinley Park home on Jan. 9, 2015.  She couldn’t get up or call out for help.  Fortunately, the commotion woke up Arciszewski’s 11-year old daughter Juliana who came to her rescue.  She knew something was wrong with her mom and got her older brother Jacob from his room who called 911.

“I knew what I wanted to say, but my words weren’t making sense. And I couldn’t move my right arm and leg,” Arciszewski remembers.  “Thankfully my kids were calm and knew to get help.”

After an initial assessment, the paramedics took Arciszewski to Silver Cross because of the hospital’s comprehensive stroke program.  Silver Cross Hospital is designated as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission with a staff of experienced specialists offering the full continuum of care –from diagnosis to treatment to rehabilitation, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Upon arrival she was greeted by the Code Stroke Team.  A CT Scan in the Emergency Department (ED) showed Arciszewski suffered an acute stroke.  She also had two seizures – one at home and one in the ED. Since she was not a candidate for clot-busting drugs, Dr. Richard Burgess, neurointerventional radiologist and stroke neurologist with the Silver Cross Neuroscience Institute, immediately took her to the endovascular lab where he performed an angiogram to see exactly which vessels were involved. What he found was a large blood clot the size of a pencil eraser.  Using minimally invasive techniques, Dr. Burgess was able to open the larger of the two main arteries that supplies blood flow to the brain.

“Because of the size and density of the clot, we could not totally remove it without causing permanent damage to her speech and cognitive skills,” said Dr. Burgess.  “We were able to take her from a globally aphasic state (no usable speech) to having occasional expressive word difficulties but not distinctly noticeable.  With blood thinners and other medications, over time the clot will dissolve on its own.”

Recovering with RIC at Silver Cross

Arciszewski spent 16 days in Silver Cross Hospital – six days in the Intensive Care Unit followed by another five day stay on the 6-1 medical-surgical unit.  The last five days were spent in the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago’s (RIC) rehabilitation unit at Silver Cross where she participated in occupational, physical and speech therapy three times a day to help her regain her abilities.

“Dr. Burgess and his assistant Kathy came to see me every day while I was at Silver Cross,” said Arciszewski. He always took time to answer any questions I had; even drawing diagrams to explain exactly what I happened to me.”

“I call her my miracle child,” said Arciszewski’s mom, Jacqueline Szymanski. “Everyone at Silver Cross was wonderful to all of us.  I felt comfortable because of the good care my daughter received.  I was totally amazed at her progress in the two weeks she was there.”

“I am relieved that I can walk and talk, although it has been difficult,” Arciszewski adds.

Eva Ricci, speech/language pathologist with The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital, spent 8 weeks working with Jennifer Arciszewski to improve her speech after suffering a stroke.

Eva Ricci, speech/language pathologist with The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital, spent 8 weeks working with Jennifer Arciszewski to improve her speech after suffering a stroke.

Arciszewski is eager to get back to work at Blue Cross Blue Shield. She just finished eight weeks of outpatient therapy with RIC at Silver Cross.

“Jennifer is a hard worker and has really made significant improvement, said Eva Ricci, speech/language pathologist with RIC at Silver Cross Hospital. “When I first saw her in the ICU, she had difficulty expressing her thoughts verbally.  Today, Jennifer is speaking fluently.”

“We’ve had a lot of tragedy in our family the past few years and I am so fortunate that Dr. Burgess and the staff at Silver Cross saved my life,” said Arciszewski.  “I also hug my kids and thank them every day for their act of heroism. I will be forever grateful to everyone who took care of me in the hospital, my family and friends.”

Save a Life!

To learn more about the warning signs of stroke and treatment available at the Silver Cross Neuroscience Institute, request a free Stroke Awareness Kit at online or 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

For more information about Modern Diagnosis and Treatment of Stroke, join Dr. Richard Burgess, neurointerventional radiologist and stroke neurologist with the Silver Cross Neuroscience Institute, Monday, May 18, from 6:30  to 7:30 p.m. This free program will be held in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. Register to attend at online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).