Are Your Kids Ready for Fall Sports Season?

Posted on : 07-21-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Discounts, Health Tips, News, Physicals

Submitted by Priya Shastri, MD, family practice physician

Playing on a school or community sports team is a great way for kids to stay in shape and learn teamwork. No matter which sport your son or daughter plays — whether it’s football, cross country, golf or cheerleading, there’s always a risk of getting hurt.

The casualties of youth sports can range from minor sprained ankles and repetitive strains, to more serious conditions like concussions or exercise-induced asthma.  Some kids may even have serious allergic reactions to bees and other insects found in playing fields.” 

To avoid getting hurt or sick on the field, court, and track, kids need to be prepared. That preparation starts with seeing a health care provider for a sport’s physical or pre-participation physical examination (PPE) to make sure their bodies are ready for the season ahead.   

Ideally athletes should have the exam done about six to eight weeks before sports season starts. That way, if your physician wants to treat a condition, refer you to a specialist, or do a follow-up exam, there will be enough time before the sport begins to be cleared to play.

What to Expect During a Sports Physical

The sports physical starts with a thorough medical history. The physicians will ask about any history of illness, hospitalizations, or injuries that might prevent your teen from playing, or that might limit the amount of activity the child or teen can handle. The medical history will be followed by a physical exam, in which the physicians will:

  • record your height and weight
  • take a blood pressure and pulse (heart rate and rhythm) reading
  • test vision
  • check the heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose, and throat
  • evaluate posture, joints, strength, and flexibility

Additional testing such as blood tests, X-rays, or electrocardiogram may be ordered during the sports physical.  Although most aspects of the exam will be the same for males and females, if a person has started or already gone through puberty, the physicians may ask girls and guys different questions. For example, if a girl is heavily involved in a lot of active sports, they may ask her about her period and diet to make sure she doesn’t have something like female athlete triad, which is disordered eating, amenorrhea and osteoporosis. They may also ask questions about use of drugs, alcohol, or dietary supplements, including steroids or other “performance enhancers” and weight-loss supplements, because these can affect a person’s health.

If everything checks out during the physical, the physicians will approve the athlete to play without any restrictions or he might recommend certain modifications, like using special protective equipment, carrying an epinephrine auto injector for severe insect allergies, or using an inhaler for asthma. It’s unusual for kids to be banned from playing altogether.  Most health conditions won’t prevent kids from participating in sports, but sometimes they’ll need treatment such as therapy and a follow-up exam in order to play.

To make it easy on parents, Dr. Shastri is offering discounted sports physicals for students age 6 years and older through Sept. 30, 2014.  Call (815) 300-1450 for more imformation.

Encore Shop Back-to-School Sale

Posted on : 07-21-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Discounts, Events, News

Silver Cross Hospital’s resale shop—Encore Shop, will host a Back-to-School Sale, Tuesday, Aug, 5 and Wednesday, Aug, 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Some of the items available to purchase include:

  • school and office supplies
  • back packs
  • binders
  • dorm room necessities
  • and other school related materials.  

All proceeds benefit Silver Cross Hospital, a not-for-profit health care provider. In addition, beginning Aug. 5, all other items in the Encore Shop will be half-price.

The Encore Shop is located in the Hershman Building, 1301 Copperfield Ave., Joliet—on the former Silver Cross Hospital campus.  The store is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and the first Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Donations can be dropped off at the Encore Shop in Joliet or in the collection bin outside Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox.  For more information, call either the Encore Shop at (815) 300-7642 or Volunteers Services at Silver Cross Hospital at (815) 300-7117. 

For over 50 years the Encore Shop has been operated by a volunteer group of women called the Silver Cross Advisory Board.  In the past 12 years, the Advisory Board has donated more than $935,000 to Silver Cross for the purchase of a variety of medical equipment.  The group recently completed a $75,000 pledge to purchase the water feature in the Dralle Serenity Garden outside the new Silver Cross Hospital at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox.

Enhanced Services for Your New Grandchildren

Posted on : 07-16-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Fertility, News
First-time mom Amanda Stroud holding her newborn son Jordan with Kathleen Choate, R.N., from the Silver Cross Special Care Nursery

With the opening of the new Silver Cross Hospital in 2012, in the past two years, the physicians and nursing team delivered over 5,000 babies.  Nearly half of all babies in Will County are now born at Silver Cross Hospital

“More and more families are choosing Silver Cross for the birth of their first, second or even third child,” says Marilyn Paollela, Director of Women and Infant Services at Silver Cross Hospital.  “And although patients are giving us high marks for the care we provide, we are always looking at how we can improve the birthing experience.”

According to Press, Ganey, a national patient satisfaction survey organization, the Silver Cross Birthing Center ranks in the Top 5% in the country.  And, several of the obstetrician/gynecologists on the Hospital’s Medical Staff rank in the Top 1% nationally for patient satisfaction. They are:

Specialists In-House 24/7

For the past 18 years, Silver Cross has partnered with Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital) to ensure that a specially trained neonatologist or pediatric hospitalist is onsite 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And if needed, Lurie Children’s pediatric cardiologists are available to analyze a baby’s echocardiogram in real time through a video linkage with Silver Cross.

“Having a doctor from Children’s immediately available is a benefit since they can provide expert specialty care to newborns that may otherwise need to be transported to Chicago or a specialty center outside the community,” says Paollela.    “And if a newborn needs follow-up specialist care, Lurie Children’s outpatient clinic is conveniently located on our hospital campus.

In addition to neonatologists/pediatric hospitalists, patients can find comfort in knowing that Silver Cross has made sure that an obstetrician/gynecologist and anesthesiologist is also now available in the hospital 24 hours and day, 7 days a week. 

Level II Nursery with Extended Capabilities

At Silver Cross, the top priority is to make sure that patients of all ages receive the best possible care.  Therefore, the Hospital voluntarily sought designation by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) for having a Level II Nursery with extended neonatal capabilities.  This designation means that the state recognizes Silver Cross Hospital’s ability to care for low-birth-weight infants (2 pounds, 12 ounces or greater), premature infants (30 or more weeks gestation), and infants on mechanical ventilators.  Now, few babies ever need to be transferred to specialized neonatal care centers.

“This recognition is significant because it ensures the community that Silver Cross has demonstrated that we have highly-skilled physicians and nurses on staff, as well as state-of-the art facilities, equipment and supplies that are needed to provide more complex care to high risk mothers and their babies,” said Paolella.

First-time mom Amanda Stroud is thrilled with the highly-skilled care her infant son is receiving at Silver Cross’ Level II Nursery with extended neonatal capabilities. Amanda’s newborn son, Jordan, was born six and half weeks early on July 3 and will more than likely being staying in the special care nursery until his original due date of August 18.  As a result, his lungs weren’t fully developed which required him to need extended care on oxygen in an isolette.

“My husband and I are so comfortable having Jordan cared for by the wonderful nurses in Silver Cross’ Special Care Nursery,” said the Joliet resident. “The nurses are so knowledgeable on how to tend to his special needs and are so patient in teaching us how to care for him. And we feel so blessed to have him receive this special care at Silver Cross Hospital which is close to our home.”

In addition to the special skills nursery, Silver Cross has brought together cutting-edge medical technology with spa-like amenities in each of the 12 luxurious birthing suites and 30 mother-baby (postpartum) suites. Each suite was designed so parents can have the convenience of staying in the same room through recovery followed by a stay in one of the private mother-baby suites.  Each private suite is fully-equipped with a bathroom with a shower and some have an immersion tub to help with labor pains, blanket warmer, refrigerator, wireless internet access, 30” flat screen TV system, and a comfortable sofa-sleeper so family members can stay around the clock.  Click here for more information about the new Silver Cross Women and Infant Birthing Center or to schedule a tour.

“Ooh and aah” at Fireworks out of harm’s way this July 4th

Posted on : 07-02-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Emergency, Health Tips, News, Uncategorized, safety

Each year as we celebrate our nation’s Independence Day that occurred on July 4, 1776,  fireworks are often used to commemorate the United States  freedom as a sovereign nation. However, the excitement of fireworks can also bring pain and injuries. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2013 there were eight deaths and an estimated 11,400 consumers who sustained injuries related to fireworks. This is an increase from 8,700 injuries in 2012. Silver Cross Hospital encourages you and your loved ones to celebrate our nation’s Independence Day safely.

Here are some powerful numbers about fireworks injuries:

  • Of the thousands of firework-related injuries that occur each year in the United States, the most injured body parts occur to the following areas: 36% of injuries to hands and fingers, 22% to heads, face and ears, and 16% to the eyes.  
  • The most dangerous kind of firework is the bottle rocket because they fly erratically, often causing bystander injuries. The bottles and cans used to launch bottle rockets often explode, showering fragments of glass and metal.
  • Sparklers account for three-quarters of all firework injuries in preschoolers. Young children find these sticks of fire – burning as hot as 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit – irresistible to touch.

Heather Taras, M.D. emergency medicine physician with Silver Cross Hospital and the Emergency Care Center in Homer Glen

“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  Dr. Heather Taras, Emergency Medicine physician at the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center located at 143rd St. and Bell Rd in Homer Glen. “People need to use extreme caution around fireworks because these types of injuries oftentimes leave patients with permanently damaged body parts.”

Safety Tips

You can enjoy a spectacular fireworks show safely by following a few tips from the CPSC:

  • Do not drink alcohol and set off fireworks.
  • Wear eye protection.
  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

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. Taras. “By letting trained experts light the fireworks, all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the show.”

Emergency Care Nearby

Even with the utmost caution, Fourth of July-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 Silver Cross Hospital’s board certified emergency medicine physicians and nurses. For more information, call (708) 364-6004.

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 visit  


50s and Feeling Fabulous after Weight Loss Surgery

Posted on : 06-26-2014 | By : tsimons | In : News, Video, Weight Loss

VIDEO:  Kim’s Weight Loss Journey

As Kim Stam turned 50 years old, her weight was at an all time high of 269 pounds. She grew weary from dealing with the laborious weight problem that she had since childhood. Her constant exhaustion from performing simple daily activities motivated her to look into weight loss surgery.

“After attending BMI Surgery’s informational meeting, I knew weight loss surgery was the best option for me to lose weight,” said 53-year-old Kim Stam. And now Kim’s endurance has increased after losing over 100 pounds in 15 months as a result of her weight loss surgery at Silver Cross Hospital.

“My advice to others that are considering surgery is if you follow the guidelines, your dream of losing weight will come true,” stated the Bourbonnais resident.

Since Kim’s weight loss, her stamina to perform her job as a nurse assistant for Veterans has greatly increased.  She is also able to work-out longer on the treadmill, bike and elliptical. “Not only has my health improved, but the social aspects of my life have as well,” she said. “I am able to go out more socially with my family and friends. I feel wonderful about myself. I am still shocked when I see my reflection in a store window – it just amazes me that it is really my body!”

After researching quality weight loss programs, Kim decided to attend BMI Surgery’s free informational session.  “After listening to Dr. Brian Lahmann’s presentation, I felt a positive connection with the program, Dr. Lahmann and his staff at BMI Surgery. I felt that I would have this great support of people helping me through each step – and I did,” states Kim. With their support, along with encouragement from her family and friends, Kim committed to the exercise and diet plan and underwent REALIZE™ Adjustable Gastric Band weight loss surgery on January 29, 2013.

Patients benefit from a multidisciplinary approach, with the help of many different departments at Silver Cross. “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.” 

The key to her success was adhering to the nutrition and exercise plan, as well as finding others who had similar experience maintaining their weight loss. “I now practice portion control and exercise,” said Kim.

“What I learned from Dr. Lahmann is that the surgery was merely a tool to lose weight and the real success depended on me making lifestyle and behavioral changes,” stated Kim. “In all of my fifty plus years of life, I can honestly say I now feel the best ever – both physically and mentally. I am so grateful to Dr. Lahmann, his team and the nurses at Silver Cross Hospital, who were so helpful and treated me so warmly.”

“Kim 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 critical in her ability to lose over 100 pounds,” says Dr. Lahmann.

The American Society of Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery defines the morbidly obese as those with a body mass of 40 or above, 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.

BMI Surgery has changed the lives of over 3,500 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.

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 at 5:45 p.m. at BMI Surgery at 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., Suite 260, New Lenox. Register to attend online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

Avoid the Dangers of Texting While Driving

Posted on : 06-25-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Emergency, News, safety

We live in a world where multitasking and communicating is instantaneous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 500,000 young adults each year are injured due to various forms of distracted driving, including texting, mobile instant messaging, updating social media pages, sending photos, etc. It’s a habit deadlier than drunk driving. However, such negligent behavior makes all drivers at risk for a fine, injury and even death.

According to Illinois state law, as of January 1, 2014, a new law bans the use of all hand-held devices while driving in Illinois. Only hands-free technology such as speakerphones, bluetooth, and headsets are permitted. In addition: (1) all cell phone use is prohibited while driving in a school zone; (2) all cell phone use is prohibited while driving in a highway construction zone, and (3) all cell phone use is prohibited if you are a novice driver. All Illinois drivers are prohibited from texting. Fines for violation of the Illinois cell phone law start at $75.

Dr. Daniel Checco, emergency medicine physician at Silver Cross Hospital and Emergency Care Center in Homer Glen

“The popularity of mobile devices has had some very dangerous consequences and are linked to a significant increase in distracted driving, resulting in injury and even loss of life,” says Dr. Daniel Checco, Medical Director for the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center in Homer Glen.

In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,267 in 2010. Research has also found that text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.

To stop this dangerous behavior, the Ad Council, Office of the State Attorneys General and NHTSA created a Texting and Driving Prevention campaign – Stop Texts. Stop Wrecks. The campaign targets young adult drivers and aims to show them the consequences of this seemingly unnecessary behavior.

“As an emergency room physician, I have seen so many young people and adults present with life threatening injuries suffered from a car accident that was a result of a negligent driver texting and driving,” says Dr. Checco. “It’s a shame to see people senselessly hurt especially when the distracted driving could have been avoided.”

Ways to stop texting & driving

Follow these simple tips offered by NHTSA to avoid severe injuries due to an accident caused by texting and driving:

  • Out of sight, out of mind.  When you’re in the car, put your phone where you can’t get it. A place where you won’t even be tempted to look for it. No phone. No texting.
  •  Silence is golden. Turn those notifications off. The less you hear your phone, the less tempted you’ll be to respond while you’re driving.
  •  Designate a texter. Borrow thumbs from a friend. Or lend yours to a friend. Passengers get the privilege of texting while in motion.
  •  Give clear instructions. Give teen drivers simple, clear instructions not to use their wireless devices while driving. Before new drivers get their licenses, discuss the fact that taking their eyes off the road – even for a few seconds – could cost someone injury or even death.
  •  Lead by example. Children learn from their parent’s behavior. No one should text and drive. Be an example for your children and if you need to text or talk on the phone, pull over to a safe place.
  •  Become informed and be active.  Set rules for yourself and your household regarding distracted driving. Tell family, friends and organizations to which you belong about the importance of driving without distractions. Take information to your children’s’ schools and ask that it be shared with students and parents.

If you or your child suffers injuries due to an accident from texting and driving, 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 Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox and the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center located at 143rd St. and Bell Rd in Homer Glen. Both facilities are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Therapy Helps Toddler with Prosthetic Foot Reclaim Mobility

Posted on : 06-18-2014 | By : tsimons | In : News, Rehabilitation

Physical therapist with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital poses with foot amputee patient and New Lenox resident Owen Wills, who has regained his mobility due to therapy he received at the hospital. Pictured from left to right in the front row are Patty McQuinn, Pediatric Physical Therapist with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital; 3-year-old Owen Wills; and his older brother Liam; in the back row are Owen’s parents Carrie and Kevin Wills.

New Lenox residents Carrie and Kevin Wills went into a state of shock as their three-year old son, Owen, suffered a traumatic injury during a lawn mower accident that resulted in his right foot being amputated in the fall of 2013. Owen was left with a Syme’s Amputation and he also needed reconstructive surgery on the back of his left leg. After several surgeries to repair his foot and leg, Owen was fitted with a prosthetic foot and required physical therapy to learn to walk again. 

“When we were researching where to take Owen 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 thrilled to find out RIC had a location at Silver Cross Hospital, and that they offered Pediatric Services. We are really lucky that it is so close to our home instead of traveling downtown for such high quality care,” said Kevin Wills, Owen’s father. 

 Collaborative Care 

“When Owen first got his prosthesis, he was unsure and quiet,” said Wills. “But quickly his therapist, Patty, formed a welcoming bond with him, and he soon was very responsive to her and his physical therapy.  We continue to be impressed with Patty’s team approach to Owen’s therapy treatment. She takes extra time to collaborate with Owen’s prosthetist to ensure his therapy is optimal for his type of prosthesis. We are just so grateful that Owen is able to receive such excellent care.” 

Patty McQuinn, Pediatric Physical Therapist with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital, uses a swing in a therapy session with 3-year-old patient Owen Wills, whose foot was amputated in a lawn mower accident last fall.

In a mere 6 months of physical therapy once a week, Owen has made remarkable strides in improving his mobility. “Owen’s challenge was to learn to support himself on his prosthetic foot,” said Patty McQuinn, Pediatric Physical Therapist with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital. “I’m so happy to report that Owen’s ability to balance and stabilize on his prosthesis has greatly improved. He can jump, hop, and run as well as other children his age.” 

Challenge Not Barrier for Owen 

“Owen has no fears or hesitation to do therapy,” said McQuinn. “In fact, when I ask him to do an activity, he often makes suggestions on new activities he would like to try in therapy.” 

“For me personally, my experience with Owen has been so rewarding to watch not only little Owen heal so well, but his entire family too,” said McQuinn. “It is reassuring to know this injury will not hold him back in achieving goals in his life. He is an adorable, special child that always puts a smile on my face.” 

“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.” 

Advice to Others 

“My wife, Carrie, and I highly recommend the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital to patients,” said Wills. “And I would suggest to others, who are faced with a similar injury, to not give up hope and do the research to build the best care team for themselves just like we have for Owen.”

Latest in Lung Cancer

Posted on : 06-11-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Cancer, Events, Health Tips, News

Every three minutes, someone is diagnosed with lung cancer. But today, the outlook for a person with lung cancer is better than ever, thanks to new medicines and technology, less invasive surgery, and better insights into the disease. 


Daniel Goldn, M.D., radiation oncologist


On Tuesday, June 24, individuals will have an opportunity to learn about the latest in lung cancer diagnosis and treatments at a special program led by Daniel Golden, M.D., radiation oncologist with The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital.  The free event will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., Pavilion A, New Lenox.  Register to attend at or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325). 

Dr. Golden will discuss current controversies in screening for lung cancer, how new drugs are targeting specific mutations in lung cancer, and how innovations in planning and delivering radiation therapy have made treatment safer and more effective for lung cancer patients. “For example, special, four-dimensional treatment planning scans allow us to create a very detailed “map” of the tumor to deliver precise radiation treatment,” said Dr. Golden.   “In addition, technology called image-guided radiotherapy actually gives us a “real time” picture of a tumor’s location during treatment, so that they we can adapt treatment day-to-day.” 

Typically, radiation for lung cancer is given daily for two to seven weeks. Yet one of the newest radiation treatments, called stereotactic body radiotherapy, shortens treatment time substantially. This type of radiation delivers high, targeted doses of radiation five to 10 times the dose delivered in traditional radiation therapy so that patients require fewer treatments. Unlike daily doses of traditional radiation that are spread out over several weeks, stereotactic body radiotherapy requires only three to five treatment sessions. 

“This technique may be especially helpful for treating patients with lung cancer that are not candidates for surgery. Research suggests it is just as effective at controlling lung tumors as surgery,” says Dr. Golden. 

In addition to treating lung cancer with radiation therapy, on June 24 Dr. Golden will also address the latest surgical techniques, chemotherapy, clinical trials, and targeted treatments for lung cancer. 

A Team Approach to Lung Cancer 

Most patients with lung cancer need more than one type of therapy as part of their treatment plan. That’s why Silver Cross now offers a multidisciplinary lung cancer conference every Tuesday in the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center on the New Lenox campus.  Typically, patients who suspect they have or are already diagnosed with lung cancer meet with several different specialists before starting treatment.  This can sometimes take several weeks or even months.  Instead, patients can come to one location and have a team of experts review their medical information and develop a plan of care all on the same day. 

Here’s how it works.  On the day of the Conference, patients meet briefly with one of the specialists who gathers the medical information to share with the other experts.  That afternoon, the multidisciplinary group of community and University of Chicago Medicine specialists representing medical oncology, pulmonology, radiation oncology, interventional radiology, and thoracic surgery convene to review the patient’s case including any related pathology and imaging reports available to them.  The physicians then develop a consensus recommendation, discuss next steps, and present the suggested individualized treatment plan to the patient for their consideration.  

In addition, patients are partnered with a nurse navigator who guides them through the entire process.  If any additional tests are recommended, the patient will have the opportunity to return the following week to discuss results and finalize the treatment plan.  The group’s recommendations will also be shared with the patient’s primary physician in order to enhance coordination of care. To learn more about this free Lung Cancer Conference, call (815) 300-LUNG.

Navigating through Pre-Menopause

Posted on : 06-06-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Events, Health Tips, News

Are you having difficulty sleeping due to night sweats or insomnia? Has your lack of sleep affected your moods, health and ability to function? If so, you may be like millions of females across the country that are experiencing pre-menopausal symptoms. To help understand the causes and treatments of pre-menopause, Silver Cross Hospital is offering a free program in June.

Girl Talk: The Pre-Menopausal Woman

Join Dr. Priya Shastri, family practice physician, for a discussion on hyperactive bladder, mood changes and menstrual irregularities. Find out what symptoms to look for and discover new self-care tips to help you live healthy. This free program will be held Wednesday, June 18, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, Pavilion A, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox.  Call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325) or click here to register

Menopause is the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle and fertility. It happens when the ovaries no longer make estrogen and progesterone, two hormones needed for a woman’s fertility, and periods have stopped for 1 year. Menopause happens naturally with age, it tends to happen on average at the age of 51. But for some women it can happen before age 40. This is called premature menopause. The age when women enter menopause is thought to be mostly determined by their genes. But it can also happen as a result of surgery or treatment of a disease. In these cases it is called induced menopause.

What is Pre-menopause?

Pre-menopause is the time before the actual menopause, when cycles may change and symptoms first start to appear. Pre-menopause can last only a few months or up to several years, and is different for every woman. Some women go through early menopause with no symptoms except changes in their monthly cycles, while others experience hot flashes, mood swings, erratic bleeding, and other discomforts.

“For women who maybe suffering from pre-menopausal symptoms such as a hyperactive bladder, mood changes and menstrual irregularities it is important to seek treatment in order to get relief,” said Dr. Priya Shastri, family practice physician, at Silver Cross Hospital. “During this program, you will learn a lot of beneficial information and tools when it comes to understanding and treating pre-menopause.”


Baby on the Way Have your Back in Pain?

Posted on : 06-04-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Events, Health Tips, News

More than half of expectant mothers experience back pain during pregnancy, which can disrupt their daily routine and deter them from getting a good night’s sleep. To help understand the causes and treatments of this type of pain, Silver Cross Hospital is offering a free program.

Back Pain During Pregnancy

Most women develop back pain at some point during pregnancy. On Monday, June 9, physical therapists with The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross will teach expectant women how to learn to protect their backs, simple exercises to relieve the pain, and when to call the doctor.  This free program will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, Pavilion A, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox.  Call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325) or click here to register.

“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 therapists working at Silver Cross, who make expectant mothers’ treatments successful enabling them to get relief from pain during their pregnancy.”

What causes back pain during pregnancy?

Back pain during pregnancy is related to a number of factors. Some women begin to experience lower back pain with the onset of pregnancy. Women who are most at risk for back pain are those who had back pain prior to pregnancy.

Here is a list of potential causes of back pain or discomfort during pregnancy:

  • Increase of hormones – hormones released during pregnancy allow ligaments in the pelvic area to soften and the joints to become looser in preparation for the birthing process of your baby; this shift in joints and loosening of ligaments may affect the support your back normally experiences
  • Center of gravity – your center of gravity will gradually move forward as your uterus and baby grow, which causes your posture to change
  • Additional weight – your developing baby creates additional weight that your back must support
  • Posture – poor posture, excessive standing, and bending over can escalate the pain you experience in your back
  • Stress – stress usually finds the weak spot in the body, and because of the changes in your pelvic area, you may experience an increase in back pain during stressful periods of your pregnancy

Back pain may not be prevented completely, but there are things that you can do to reduce the severity or frequency. Here are a few steps you can take to help reduce back pain:

  • Use exercises approved by your health care provider that help strengthen the back and abdomen
  • Squat to pick up something versus bending over
  • Avoid high heels and other shoes that do not provide adequate support
  • Sleep on your left side and use a support pillow under your knees
  • Get plenty of rest. Elevating your feet is also good for your back