3 Tips for Managing Stress

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Memorial Behavioral Health, Mental Health | Posted on 05-23-2016

Stressed-Man-and-FamilyLet’s face it, everyone experiences stress from time to time. Stress can come from anywhere. It could be caused by being late to meet a work deadline, arguing with your children or dealing with traffic. Instead of letting stress get the best of you, try these three easy tips to reduce stress.

Nurse Helps Patient Find Calm in the Storm

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Medical Center, Nursing | Posted on 05-19-2016

Bryce Damery, RN

Bryce Damery, RN

Radio disc jockey Kellie Michaels wasn’t expecting an emotional roller coaster after coming out of surgery, but there it was—anxiety, discomfort and an intense desire to go home—all culminating in what she described as “a mini-meltdown.”

“I asked the nurse to let me go home, even though I knew he couldn’t make that call,” Kellie said. “The feelings ranged from being uncomfortable to feeling very confined to the bed and not being able to get up and move around. What he did next really made a huge difference, though.”

Teenager Takes Hearing Loss in Stride

Posted by | Posted in Hearing Center, Testimonial | Posted on 05-10-2016

Aimee-Brunk-Hearing-CenterAimee Brunk remembers receiving her first set of hearing aids at four years old.

“It was a little overwhelming,” said the now 16-year-old AC Central High School sophomore. “Before, I couldn’t hear birds or even air conditioning. All of the sudden, I could hear cars rushing by and everything else.”

Aimee had been a frustrated toddler, throwing fits and not listening or speaking clearly. Her mom, Billie, knew there was something more than the “terrible twos” going on. After visiting a speech therapist and their primary care physician, she took Aimee for testing at the Hearing Center at Memorial Medical Center.

“They were so good with her,” Billie said about the audiologists at the Hearing Center. “They played games and put her at ease. I could tell they were used to working with kids.”

Too Young for a Stroke

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Medical Center, Neuroscience, Stroke Center, Testimonial | Posted on 05-09-2016

Knapp-FamilyYou could say Brad Knapp had it all: a beautiful family with the recent addition of a sweet baby girl, a successful career as a chemical engineer at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), and a healthy workout regimen including hitting the gym every day for endurance to pursue his passion for water sports.

Just about the last thing on the 37-year-old Decatur resident’s mind was the possibility of a stroke. But that quickly changed last February.

In the middle of the night, he woke up to give his then 6-month-old baby, Paloma, a bottle. His 12-year-old son, Caleb, and 8-year-old daughter, Aubrey, were asleep in another room. He started fumbling around. Hearing the noise, his wife, Brooke, went in and turned on the light and saw him fall to the floor.

5 Things that Create an Exceptional Nursing Environment

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Medical Center, Nursing | Posted on 05-05-2016

Brian DeLoche speaks about his experience as a JointWorks patient.

Brian DeLoche speaks about his experience as a JointWorks patient.

When you or a loved one are admitted to the hospital, your nursing care will make an important impact on your recovery. But what makes an exceptional nurse? Some qualities are easy to recognize: a personal touch, an attentive eye, knowledge of a patient’s medical situation and compassion. Other qualities happen behind the scenes and provide nurses with the support they need to provide the best care possible for their patients.

Former Memorial Medical Center patient Brian DeLoche is a three-time cancer survivor, a sepsis survivor and a knee replacement recipient. He jokes that he has spent a lot of “quality” time in Memorial Medical Center’s patient care system.

How to Recognize Childhood Depression

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Mental Health, Pediatrics | Posted on 05-02-2016

mental-health-in-childrenEvery parent wants their child to be happy and healthy. They want them to play with friends and to be carefree. Unfortunately, not every child feels this way. Some children may struggle with mental health issues such as depression.

Thursday, May 5, is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day and is a perfect opportunity for parents to speak to their children about the importance of emotional and behavioral health.

“Noticing the signs of depression in children can be viewed in two ways,” said Amanda Chahalis, MSW, on-site school clinician with the Children’s MOSAIC Project, a program of Memorial Behavioral Health—Springfield Children’s Center. “The first, the one we typically think of, is feeling sadness more often than not and having a loss of interest or pleasure in everyday things. The second is becoming easily irritated and having difficulty controlling anger.”

Here are a few warning signs that a child may be experiencing depression:

  • Showing irritability or anger
  • Feeling down or having a lack of interest in things
  • Isolating oneself from peers and family
  • Sleeping too much or not enough
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Yelling or crying without reason

Many parents will say their child, especially teens, demonstrate these symptoms of depression on a regular basis. So what’s normal and when should a parent be concerned?

“Please keep in mind how long the symptoms have been going on, how often they are happening and if there is some other reason your child could be showing these behaviors, such as grieving the loss of a loved one or moving to a new school,” Chahalis said.

If your child is exhibiting symptoms of depression, seek professional help.  Schedule an appointment with a mental health professional for an assessment. If you believe your child is in crisis and in need of immediate assistance, call the CARES Line at 1-800-345-VOICE (9049).

At Memorial Behavioral Health, we understand how emotional or mental health issues affect your life. Our caring team provides help, hope and the path to wellness–close to home in central Illinois.

Amanda Chahalis, MSW

Amanda Chahalis, MSW, is an on-site MOSAIC school clinician with the Children’s MOSAIC Project, a program of Memorial Behavioral Health – Springfield Children’s Center. Amanda is trained in school social work and trauma-based behavioral health interventions. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from University of Louisville and her Master of Social Work from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Tutu-Clad Runner Celebrates Loss of Nearly Half Her Body Weight

Posted by | Posted in Bariatric Patient Stories, Bariatrics, Testimonial, Weight Loss & Wellness Center Patient Stories | Posted on 04-28-2016

Nichole Jones prior to her surgery and healthy lifestyle.

Nichole Jones prior to her surgery and healthy lifestyle.

What would it take to get you to don a tutu and run a 5K?

For Nichole Jones, it was a celebration. Celebrating the loss of nearly half her body weight. Celebrating the reversal of the dangerous path she was on toward diabetes.

Born and raised in Springfield, Illinois, Nichole struggled with her weight since she was in elementary school. She spent her summers with her grandparents, and like any doting grandparents, they made sure she ate. Her grandma’s cooking was on a par with Paula Deen’s high-calorie recipes, and her grandpa could always be counted on to pick up her favorite fast-food meals.

As she grew into adulthood, Nichole’s eating habits stayed the same. She couldn’t shake her habit of mindless eating, consuming food not because she was hungry but because she was bored.

Improve Your ‘Fitness Age’ with Over 40 Fitness

Posted by | Posted in Exercise, SportsCare, Testimonial | Posted on 04-26-2016

SportsCare-Older-Athlete-TrainingScott Phillips was experiencing the usual aches and pains of growing older. The sixty-plus-year-old knew he was out of shape, but didn’t fully realize the extent of his condition until he attended a Memorial SportsCare “Over 40 Fitness” class.

“The toughest part of the class was seeing the biometric testing results and ‘fitness age’ calculation,” he said. “While I knew I was out of shape, these results provided actual numbers that I could no longer ignore. That information continues to provide me with an ongoing source of motivation to exercise and improve my health.”

A Food Lover’s Dream

Posted by | Posted in ALMH | Posted on 04-19-2016

People-At-Farmers-MarketThe sweet smell of homemade pastries, a bright rainbow of fresh seasonal produce and the sound of warm, welcoming chatter as you casually stroll by each stand. Your local farmers market is designed to ignite all your senses and keep you coming back for more. And for the regulars who have discovered this best-kept secret, there is nothing like it.

If you’ve never been to a farmers market, you’re not alone. According to a 2013 study, most consumers continue to purchase groceries at big-box retailers. However, if there was ever a time to try something new, it’s now.

Three Ways to Donate Life

Posted by | Posted in ALMH, Memorial Medical Center, Passavant Area Hospital, Transplant | Posted on 04-07-2016

DONATE LIFE – organ donation call from Doctor

In the United States, nearly 124,000 adults and children await an organ transplant—more than 5,000 in Illinois alone. In April, National Donate Life Month, please consider these steps to significantly impact the lives of others from Sara Danner, transplant financial coordinator at the Alan G. Birtch, MD, Center for Transplant Services at Memorial Medical Center.