Patient Celebrates the End of 13 Years of Dialysis with MMC’s 900th Organ Transplant

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Medical Center, Testimonial, Transplant | Posted on 07-06-2015


Tandra Perkins

Tandra Perkins

For the first time in nearly 13 years, Tandra Perkins of Urbana woke up and didn’t have to think about dialysis. It had been her routine three times a week, four hours at a time.

On June 10, the 44-year-old became the 900th patient to receive an organ transplant from The Alan G. Birtch, MD, Center for Transplant Services at Memorial Medical Center. The transplant program is a cooperative initiative between MMC, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and Springfield Clinic.

“This milestone is another reminder of our privilege to be involved with a program that serves the needs of so many throughout central and southern Illinois,” said Marc Garfinkel, MD, surgical director of the transplant program and an associate professor with the SIU School of Medicine’s division of general surgery. “And now we’re looking forward to our 1,000th patient.”

TEN Helped This Nurse Zero in on Career in Nursing

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Medical Center, Nursing | Posted on 07-06-2015

Alison is now an RN at Memorial Medical Center

Alison Kirchgesner is an RN at Memorial Medical Center today

Alison Kirchgesner, like most high school students, wasn’t sure what job she wanted to pursue after high school, but a Memorial Medical Center initiative helped her zero in on a nursing career.

“I knew back then I wanted to do something in the medical field, but I was on the fence about nursing at the time,” the 24-year-old said.

A guidance counselor told her about Memorial’s Teens Experiencing Nursing (TEN) Camp, a free summer camp for high school students interested in a nursing career. Students have the opportunity to job shadow and interact with nursing staff on several nursing units throughout Memorial.

Kirchgesner attended TEN Camp during the summer of 2009 when she was a student at Glenwood High School in Chatham. Today, she is a registered nurse at Memorial Medical Center serving on the day shift on 7C ICU.

Survival Guide for Picnics and BBQs

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Nutrition, Recipes, Weight Loss and Wellness | Posted on 07-03-2015


Summertime celebrations often have us gathering around the grill, which can wreak havoc on our plans for healthy eating. We go to these events with the best intentions, only to leave feeling as though we’ve failed, or worse—our entire healthy-eating plan fell to the wayside.

“With a little bit of planning and strategy, healthy eating will not be as challenging at your next celebration. You will leave feeling satisfied, not starving for more,” says Erin Walker, a registered dietitian at the Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center.

Walker recommends these tactics to help you stay on track:

Meet Noelle, the Life-Size Childbirth Simulator

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation | Posted on 07-02-2015

MCLI-Birthing-MannequinPreparation. It’s the key to a smooth childbirth.

Whether you’re a new mom finding comfort in the structure of a birth plan, a dad-to-be learning how to console his wife during labor or even the doctor in charge of delivery, preparation helps pave the way to success.

And before success comes practice. In the wild world of childbirth, things can change in an instant. Doctors and nurses must be prepared and ready to handle any scenario.

That’s where Noelle comes in.

Three Surprising Health Benefits of Volunteering

Posted by | Posted in News | Posted on 06-25-2015

Male-Volunteer-MMCMany people, particularly after retirement, choose to volunteer as a way to give back to their community. Another bonus is that volunteering is good for both the physical and mental health of the person donating their time.

Memorial Medical Center currently has more than 300 volunteers who serve the hospital in a variety of ways. From delivering flowers to patients, to transporting patients and visitors, to knitting hats and scarves, MMC could not operate without the generosity of our volunteers. Here are just a few of the health benefits our volunteers enjoy:

Experimental Treatment Gives Patient with Brain Tumor Hope

Posted by | Posted in Cancer Care, Memorial Medical Center, Neuroscience | Posted on 06-24-2015

Barbara Arenz and her grandaughter, Calli

Barbara Arenz and her grandaughter, Calli

After a long day of work last March, Virginia native Barbara Arenz decided to relax by watching one of her favorite shows—Grey’s Anatomy. It showed a patient undergoing a unique treatment, where a special drug was given to make the cancerous parts of the brain glow during surgery.

“I’d never heard of anything like it before,” said 57-year-old Barbara. “I thought it was weird but really incredible too.”

One week later, Barbara would undergo a similar treatment when it was discovered she had a four-inch tumor growing in her brain.

“What are the chances?” she said.

It started simply enough. First, it was vision problems that she just attributed to getting older. And then there was the ongoing headache she thought was just part of her chronic sinus infections. However, when she started to run into walls, her doctor told her to go straight to the emergency room—and fast.

Trying to Lose Weight? Find Out What May Be Missing From Your Workout Routine

Posted by | Posted in Biathlon, Events, Exercise, Expert Tips, SportsCare | Posted on 06-23-2015

Young-Woman-JoggingYou’ve probably been on the weight-loss roller coaster a time or two. You vow to start a healthy routine by working out an hour every day while living on 1,200 calories. However, three days later, you’re on the couch with a pint of ice cream wondering what happened and promise to start the whole unrealistic regimen again the next day.

Sound familiar? According to Gabe Stinson, Memorial SportsCare sports enhancement specialist, we set ourselves up for failure by taking the all or nothing approach. Turns out, more time off from working out and the occasional burger and beer may be just what you need.

“For optimal results, you need to have three to four rest days in your weekly workout,” Stinson said. “More advanced athletes need one to two days of rest. And if one meal a week or one day a week you want to splurge on eating, go for it. It’s not going to derail all the changes and improvements your body is undergoing.”

Down 60 Pounds and Medication Free after Three-Year Battle with Diabetes

Posted by | Posted in Diabetes, Men, Weight Loss & Wellness Center Patient Stories, Weight Loss and Wellness | Posted on 06-18-2015

A healthier Greg Mayes

A healthier Greg Mayes

The week leading up to Father’s Day—this year, June 15-21—is known as National Men’s Health Week. It’s a chance to encourage guys to seek regular medical advice and raise awareness for prevention and early detection of preventable health problems. Greg Mayes, a former patient at Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center, experienced firsthand how much life can change by simply asking for help.

At 31, Greg was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Three years later, he was still having trouble regulating his blood sugar, and he was beginning to notice increasing health complications due to his diabetes.  Both of his parents are diabetic, and at 5 feet 10 inches and 275 pounds, the 34-year-old knew something had to give.

“My body was handing me a pink slip,” Greg said.

The Good News and Bad News about Your Summer Glow

Posted by | Posted in Physician Services, Summer | Posted on 06-08-2015

Sun Protection At The Beach

Bad news first. There is still no safe sun exposure. Nada. Not ever. Don’t do it. And if your kids are going to be out in the pool, on the playing field or just hanging outdoors, they need to be protected by high SPF products.

Cara Vasconcelles, MD, with Memorial Physician Services – Koke Mill, recommends aerosol sprays for children over three – if application is done by an adult and the spray is SPF 50 or more. She cautions to apply in an area without wind or dust to ensure an effective coating of protection.

Pregnant Stroke Patient Survives Thanks to Rapid Care

Posted by | Posted in Emergency, Memorial Medical Center, Neuroscience, Rehab, Stroke Center | Posted on 06-04-2015

Brianne Buckmaster

Brianne Buckmaster

Brianne Buckmaster didn’t know what was happening to her when she was rushed to Memorial Medical Center in the early morning hours of a January winter.

She knew something was wrong when she tried to get out of bed and promptly fell on the floor. What she didn’t know yet was that she had had a stroke. But she was only 22. And she was 13 or 14 weeks pregnant.

Fortunately for Brianne, her father heard her fall and checked to make sure she was OK. He called 911, and an ambulance was soon whisking her to Memorial Medical Center.