They Found a Breast Lump. Now what?

Posted on : 08-26-2014 | By : tsimons | In : breast cancer, Cancer, Mammography, News

It’s every woman’s worst fear—finding a lump in her breast. Before panicking, get advice from experts on the next steps to take. And now Silver Cross is making it easier than ever before with a convenient, one-stop experience.  

“We know women are extremely busy taking care of everyone else in their lives, so we wanted to make it easy for them to get all the necessary information and medical opinions to make an informed decision as quickly as possible,” said Grace Suh, a University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital medical oncologist. “The sooner we can start treatment, the better chance we have to eradicate the disease.”

Front:  Laura Ragauskaite, MD; general surgeon; Alan Chen, MD, plastic & reconstructive surgeon; Patricia Clark, MD, general surgeon; Anne McCall, MD, radiation oncologist; Grace Suh; medical oncologist. Back:  Cagatay Ersahin, MD, pathologist; Matthew Endara, MD, plastic & reconstructive surgeon; Brooke Phillips, MD; medical oncologist; Mark Danielson, MD; general surgeon; Neda Zelahovitis, certified breast health nurse navigator; Aaron Guajardo, MD, radiologist.

Front: Laura Ragauskaite, MD; general surgeon; Alan Chen, MD, plastic & reconstructive surgeon; Patricia Clark, MD, general surgeon; Anne McCall, MD, radiation oncologist; Grace Suh; medical oncologist. Back: Cagatay Ersahin, MD, pathologist; Matthew Endara, MD, plastic & reconstructive surgeon; Brooke Phillips, MD; medical oncologist; Mark Danielson, MD; general surgeon; Neda Zelahovitis, certified breast health nurse navigator; Aaron Guajardo, MD, radiologist.

The multi-disciplinary team meets in the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital for a Breast Conference every Tuesday morning. At the Conference, physician specialists representing general surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, radiology, plastic surgery and pathology reviews radiological images and pathology slides on state-of-the-art equipment and develops a consensus recommendation. The team documents the recommendations and a certified breast nurse navigator provides the recommendation to the patient’s doctor within 24 hours.

“By having all the specialists in one room at one time improves communications among caregivers and makes it easier to provide recommendations for the best course of treatment,” said Dr. Anne McCall, a University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital radiation oncologist.

Patients now benefit from a wide array of breast cancer tests and treatments on the Silver Cross campus including digital mammography, breast MRI, ultrasound and biopsies, and the latest chemotherapy and radiation therapies including clinical trials. With the recent addition of Dr. Matthew Endara to the team, new plastic surgery techniques such as flap microsurgical breast reconstruction are now available at Silver Cross Hospital.

“Early detection as well as prompt and precise treatment is the key to fighting cancer, which is why all the specialists involved in the Breast Conference are donating their time and expertise to provide Silver Cross patients with this unique opportunity close to home,” said Dr. Mark Danielson, general surgeon at Silver Cross.

If you or someone you know could benefit from the Multidisciplinary Breast Conference, please contact your primary care physician for a referral. If you don’t have a regular physician, find one here.





New Outpatient Breastfeeding Clinic

Posted on : 08-20-2014 | By : tsimons | In : News
Pictured from left to right are Silver Cross International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) Margaret Dombrowski, along with new mom and Minooka resident Nicole Belke with her 4-week-old son Kevin, and Marilyn Paolella, Director of Women and Infant Services at Silver Cross Hospital. First time mom Nicole Belke visits the new Outpatient Breastfeeding Clinic now available at the hospital’s New Lenox campus.

Silver Cross International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Margaret Dombrowski along with new mom and Nicole Belke with her 4-week-old son Kevin and Marilyn Paolella, Director of Women and Infant Services at Silver Cross Hospital.

Sometimes new moms need help as they begin breastfeeding their babies or when problems arise during breastfeeding. To address these issues, Silver Cross is offering a new Outpatient Breastfeeding Clinic on the hospital’s New Lenox campus. This new clinic is sponsored by the Silver Cross Women and Infant Services Birthing Center.

“More and more families are choosing Silver Cross for the birth of their first, second or even third child,” says Marilyn Paolella, R.N., 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. We feel by offering an Outpatient Breastfeeding Clinic, we are able to help women find success in breastfeeding even after they go home with their newborns.”

The Outpatient Breastfeeding Clinic provides support for moms, while helping them to reach their breastfeeding goals. “Many times, women quit breastfeeding because of difficulties they endure, whether it is insufficient milk supply, painful breastfeeding, or poor weight gain in the infant,” said Margaret Dombrowski, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant at Silver Cross Hospital. “The clinic empowers women with lactation education and improves the health status of mothers and babies through nutrition management during their breastfeeding experience.”

How Does the Clinic Work?
The Clinic is staffed by International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have advanced training in breastfeeding management. All lactation consultants are experienced in counseling, teaching, and problem solving with latching or other breastfeeding issues. During the appointment, which is 45 minutes to an hour, specially trained lactation consultants observe and assess a feeding. Patients come to the breastfeeding clinics only to solve issues with breastfeeding. All other medical and developmental issues with the child are referred back to the child’s pediatrician. The Breastfeeding Clinic is available two days a week by appointment. Patients must contact their obstetrician or pediatrician for a referral.

“More and more studies have shown that with continued postnatal support, like what is given to new moms at our Outpatient Breastfeeding Clinic, contributes to increased breastfeeding duration,” said Margaret. “Breast milk has antibodies to disease, is always warm, and releases hormones into the mother’s blood stream that calms her while she is nursing. Breastfeeding is so beneficial in fostering good health in babies.”

New Mom Shares Her Experience 
For new mom Nicole Belke having access to the Silver Cross Outpatient Breastfeeding Clinic gave her a lot of relief. “The Clinic has been a fantastic resource for my husband, Brian, and I,” said the Minooka resident. “As first time parents, we were concerned when our newborn son, Kevin, wouldn’t feed and continued to cry for over four hours. It was so comforting to talk with Margaret. Her reassuring voice and helpful suggestions enabled our newborn son to get fed and all of us get a much needed good night’s rest.”


Cancer-Free in under a Month

Posted on : 08-15-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Cancer, News, Success Stories


Jodi Dozier, a longtime smoker, went to see her physician for an annual physical.  Dr. Nanette Gormley ordered a chest-X-ray, which showed a nodule on Jodi’s lung that required further testing.  She chose to go to Silver Cross Hospital for the CT Lung Scan since it was close to her Orland Park home.  While Jodi was checking in for her test, she noticed a flyer for a new Multi-Disciplinary Lung Cancer Conference where she could have several cancer experts on staff at Silver Cross review her medical information and provide a consensus recommendation on a plan of care all in the same day and at no charge.  She tucked it in her handbag—just in case!    

Jodi’s CT Scan looked suspicious so her physician ordered a needle biopsy at Silver Cross.  On June 10, Dr. Gormley informed Jodi that she had lung cancer.  A tumor the size of a tennis ball was sitting in the upper lobe of Jodi’s right lung.   Jodi immediately pulled out the flyer about the Lung Cancer Conference and showed it to Dr. Gormley who suggested she schedule an appointment.  Jodi called (815) 300-LUNG, explained that she had just been diagnosed with lung cancer, and was told Dr. Lawrence Schilder, medical  director of hematology/oncology with The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross, could meet with her at 10 a.m.     

Dr. Schilder discussed Jodi’s case with the other cancer experts participating in the Conference including a pulmonologist, interventional radiologist, radiation oncologist and thoracic surgeon.     

“The multidisciplinary lung conference provides the opportunity for us to confer weekly with doctors in other specialties, and facilitates the delivery of state-of-the-art lung cancer treatment,” said Dr. Schilder.  “This approach will increase the chance that Jodi will be cured of her cancer, because coordinated care leads to better results.”    

They recommended that Jodi have a PET Scan and MRI the following week to determine the best course of treatment.  The next day, Jodi saw Dr. David Cziperle, a thoracic surgeon, who initially was not convinced that she would be a good candidate for surgery because of how her lungs appeared on the images.  After meeting Jodi, a physically fit 60-year old that had no trouble breathing, and further consultation with Dr. Schilder, the three agreed that Jodi should move forward with the procedure to remove the tumor.     

Jodi talks with The Multi-Disciplinary Lung Cancer Conference physicians.


 Jodi had surgery on June 30 at Silver Cross Hospital—less than three weeks after being diagnosed.  Dr. Cziperle removed the tumor and also several lymph nodes to make sure the cancer had not spread.  Jodi went home after four days in the hospital.  Following a month of recuperation at home, she will begin a preventative round of chemotherapy under Dr. Schilder’s care at the end of August.  Jodi also quit smoking.    

“Jodi’s course is an example of what we passionately strive to achieve everyday in the treatment of lung cancer,” said Dr. Cziperle. “ Customized, expeditious, state-of-the-art lung cancer management is the goal of the Multi-Disciplinary Lung Cancer Conference at Silver Cross Hospital.”    

“I am so blessed to have been part of the Lung Cancer Conference,” said Jodi.  “I never had to wait long for anything—appointments, tests, or results.  I couldn’t be more thrilled with the care I received from all the doctors and nurses, and it was so convenient that I could go to Silver Cross for everything.  I am just so grateful.”    

If you or a loved one could benefit from Silver Cross Hospital’s Multi-Disciplinary Lung Cancer Conference, call (815) 300-LUNG.  Every effort will be made to see patients within a week in order to expedite care.    

Jodi Dozier, a longtime smoker, went to see her physician for an annual physical.

Silver Cross & NHBW awards Scholarships

Posted on : 08-13-2014 | By : tsimons | In : News

Tyashia Pierce, Destiny Alexander, Ardith Neal, Jautece McNear, and Louis Williamson each received $1,000 scholarships from the Joliet Chapter of the National Hook-Up of Black Women through a grant given by The Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission

The Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission gave a $6,000 grant to the National Hook-Up of Black Women (NHBW), Joliet Chapter to provide scholarships to area students. Each the following students received a $1,000 scholarship:  Destiny Alexander, Crystal Malone, Jautece McNear, Christopher Norwood, Tyashia Pierce and Louis Williamson.

“The National Hook-Up of Black Women is thankful to the Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission,” said Lou Ann Johnson, President of Joliet’s National Hook-Up of Black Women. “By providing scholarships to local students to further their education, we are helping these children from our community improve the quality of their life.”

The National Hook-Up of Black Women, Inc., Joliet Chapter is a non-profit 501(c)3 charitable community service organization dedicated to improving the lives of families through support of the arts, culture, health, education, and human services programs. Each year, the organization awards scholarships to students who demonstrate good grades and community service. With the help of Silver Cross’ Healthy Community Commission, they are able to grant new scholarships to six deserving individuals. Scholarship recipients must live within the zip codes 60432, 60433 and 60436.

The purpose of Silver Cross’s Healthy Community Commission is to coordinate and enhance existing programs for workforce development, education and business growth with a focus on health care and construction. One of the not-for-profit organization’s main goals is to create a stronger, healthier future for Joliet. 

In addition to providing scholarships for the area’s youth, NHBW and Silver Cross Hospital also work together to improve the literacy level in Joliet through the Reading for Life Program.   In 2011, Silver Cross donated funds, furniture and computers to help establish the first NHBW & Silver Cross Reading Room in Joliet.  Today, the hospital continues to support the program with annual grants and book donations to 9 locations in Joliet, Lockport and Bolingbrook.   In the Reading Rooms/Corners, children and parents are able to swap, borrow or take a book to keep in their own personal libraries. During the past three years, the Reading for Life Literacy Program provided more than 10,000 books to over 3,000 children and adults in the community.  For more information about the NHBW & Silver Cross Reading Rooms, call either (815) 364-2740 or (815) 727-9079.

Back to School, Back to the Doctor

Posted on : 08-08-2014 | By : tsimons | In : Discounts, Health Tips, News, Physicals

Submitted by Anadavally Pillai, M.D., family practice physician

No matter what grade your child is about to enter, there’s the yearly back-to-school checklist of to-dos: shopping for school supplies, filling out permission forms, and for some, a school physical. In Illinois, a physical examination and updated immunizations are required for children entering Kindergarten, Second Grade, Sixth Grade, and High School. A complete list of requirements is available of the Illinois State Board of Education’s website.

For many students back-to-school checkups are often the only visit most kids and teenagers have with their doctor during the year.  Most parents think of a back-to-school physical as the exam with the stethoscope and other doctor gadgets. While that’s very important, I spend more time discussing nutrition, exercise, sleep, and media exposure and safety, as these things can really impact a child’s future health.

It’s also a good chance to address important questions, especially with teenagers, including adolescent issues of drinking, smoking, drugs, sexual activity, and depression. 

To make it convenient for parents, Dr. Pillai is offering discounted school and sports physicals for students age 6 years and older through Sept. 30, 2014. at her office in the Silver Cross Professional Building-West Joliet Call (815) 744-4440 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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, safety, Uncategorized

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).