When Seconds Matter, One Community Leader Receives Life-Changing Care

Posted by | Posted in Neuroscience, Stroke Center, Testimonial | Posted on 02-10-2016

Leroy-Jordan-Stroke-Patient-Story

Leroy Jordan and Dr. Elias

Leroy Jordan is a man who appreciates structure. He rises at 6 a.m. each morning and almost always eats the same cereal for breakfast. After taking medication to manage his diabetes, he settles into his recliner to read the morning paper. Then, it’s a quick shower and on a good day, a visit to the gym.

But Feb. 25, 2015, was different.

How to Access Physical Therapy

Posted by | Posted in Rehab, Videos | Posted on 02-09-2016

Physical-Therapy-Access-Video-ImagePhysical therapy is often the last step to recovery after a surgery, injury or hospital stay. It’s also an important part of making you whole again and getting back to your everyday life. But because you can’t just walk-in for treatment like you do at your doctor’s office, getting access to physical therapy may seem like a daunting task. It doesn’t have to be!

With the help of this short video, you will be able to navigate through the steps to access the care you need to get back on your feet.

Seasonal Flu Activity Mild for Now

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Flu, Memorial Medical Center | Posted on 01-25-2016

Sick-Woman-Taking-TemperatureChances are this time last year, you or someone you know had already come down with the dreaded flu symptoms. The tired, achy, feel-like-you’ve-just-been-hit-by-a-train kind of feeling. This year, that’s probably not the case. While the standard cold viruses continue to circulate around central Illinois, flu activity is reasonably low.

But don’t celebrate just yet. We’re likely not escaping a regional flu outbreak, it’s just delayed.

Decatur Mom Loses 100-Plus Pounds with Weight-Loss Surgery

Posted by | Posted in Bariatric Patient Stories, Bariatrics, Testimonial | Posted on 01-19-2016

After losing more than 100 pounds

After losing more than 100 pounds

Sparkle Before Surgery

Sparkle before surgery

After a full day working with senior citizens and special needs kids and adults, Sparkle Hill would come home from her job at the Decatur Park District thoroughly exhausted.

Her first stop was the bedroom, where she would lie down and wait until the pain went away. She knew the culprit was her weight, an issue she had struggled with most of her life. By March 2015, she weighed 358 pounds. She was tired of being in pain. She knew something had to change.

Since her mid-20s, the 5-foot-10 Decatur woman had tried almost everything: diet pills, B12 shots, several popular diets. Nothing worked. It was time to pursue the one thing she hadn’t tried, something that had been successful for several of her family members – weight-loss surgery.

Since her surgery, she’s lost more than 100 pounds. And she plans to keep going until she reaches her goal weight of 190 pounds.

A Memorable Gift for a 60th Birthday

Posted by | Posted in JointWorks, Taylorville, Testimonial | Posted on 01-11-2016

Angie Griffin

Angie Griffin

Not many people look back on knee replacement surgery with fond memories, but Angie Griffin is unique. On April 8, 2013, she turned 60 and was gifted with a new knee joint at Taylorville Memorial Hospital (TMH). Before she was wheeled into surgery, the surgical team brought her a birthday cake with candles, gave her a tiara to wear over her surgical head covering and sang “Happy Birthday.”

In May of 2015, Angie was back at TMH for surgery on her other knee.

“I’d do it again tomorrow if I had to,” Angie said. “I can take the stairs like a normal person, walk around the mall or grocery store, work in the yard, sit on the floor. Life is good!”

Angie struggled with intense pain in her knees for several years prior to surgery. She received injections, tried reconstructive surgery and went to therapy to no avail. The pain was constant, and her mobility decreased to the point where she couldn’t go up and down stairs or even walk comfortably.

Yes, You Love Chocolate, But Is It a Food Addiction?

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Weight Loss and Wellness | Posted on 12-29-2015

Food-AddictionUnfortunately, broccoli and carrots don’t top anyone’s list of potential food addictions, but Wendi Schutte, clinical manager for the Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center, says food addictions can be a real challenge for some people who suffer from obesity.

“We are starting to see more research about obesity and the effects certain foods have on the brain, similar to alcohol or heroin,” Schutte said during an interview on WTAX’s Ask The Expert program on the Ray Lytle Show. “The brain responds in the same way as it does to a substance. Often, it’s the unhealthier foods—the more

5 Ways You Can Be a Good Patient

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Physician Services | Posted on 12-22-2015

Male Patient And Doctor Have Consultation In Hospital RoomWe always want the best doctors that we can find. Well, that’s a two-way street. Doctors want good patients.

“We want you to understand that this is a relationship,” said Nicole Florence, MD, an internal medicine physician and pediatrician with Memorial Physician Services-Koke Mill, part of Memorial Health System, during a recent interview on WTAX’s Ask The Expert program on the Ray Lytle Show. “There are certain things we expect of you as our patients.”

Here are a few things that good patients do:

Take Your Medications
A surprising number of patients don’t understand why they’re on medications and why they need to take those meds at the designated times. It’s vital to take your medication as instructed. Many patients don’t ask questions.

If you have to take one or two medications, that can be easy to manage. Some patients with chronic conditions may take 10 or 12 medications and maintaining their schedule can be a challenge. Setting an alarm on your smartphone can help. Using a pill organizer in which you store a week’s worth of pills in separate compartments based on the days of the week you take them can also help.

Keep a Health Journal
You can record your numbers for blood pressure or blood sugar levels in a journal and take that with you to each doctor’s appointment. Many times, patients come in and the only numbers the doctor has are the measurements taken during their visits. That may be one or two blood pressures a year to decide how well your blood pressure medication is working, Dr. Florence said.

You can download free apps to your smartphone to help you record those numbers. “Having those numbers when you go to your doctor can be really helpful in managing your health issues better,” Dr. Florence said.

Don’t Withhold Information
Some people are embarrassed to share some details with their doctor. It may not seem significant to you, but it may be very significant to your doctor. “The better communication you have and the more trusting relationship you have with your physician will help you to receive the best level of care,” Dr. Florence said.

Know When to Call the Office
If you’re not sure if you should call your doctor or go to ExpressCare, Dr. Florence advises that if it’s during office hours, give your doctor a call. “We know your history. We know your other medicines. It’s that relationship that will give you a better level of care,” Dr. Florence said.

However, if it’s after hours or you’re not in a place where you can get into your doctor’s office, it’s appropriate to call ExpressCare rather than wait until your doctor can see you, she said.

Prepare for Your Visits
The first step to preparing for your visit is to arrive on time. “If your appointment’s at 1 o’clock, that’s not when I want you to show up. That’s when I want you to be in the room waiting for me,” Dr. Florence said. Arrive for your doctor’s visit about 15 minutes early so you can be checked in and your vital signs can be taken. It takes only two or three patients to arrive a little late to jam up the schedule for everyone else.

When you make an appointment, make sure you tell the doctor’s staff everything you want to discuss. This allows the doctor’s office to allot the correct amount of time for your visit. “It’s really important for us to give you the time you need,” Dr. Florence said.

Nicole Florence, MD, is an internal medicine physician and pediatrician with Memorial Physician Services-Koke Mill. She is a graduate of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, where she completed residencies in internal medicine and pediatrics. Dr. Florence is board certified in internal medicine, pediatrics and obesity medicine.

The Holidays: A Clash between Norman Rockwell and Everyday Life

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Mental Health | Posted on 12-14-2015

The holidays are supposed to be about relaxing and celebrating with friends and family. Instead, the reality often includes scurrying from one event to the next, extra spending on food and gifts and additional professional and personal obligations. Trish Fehr Logsdon, LCPC, recently discussed holiday stress—what it looks like and how to cope—on radio station WTAX. Logsdon is a counselor with Memorial Counseling Associates, part of Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois.

“People encounter stressors this time of year that include time management challenges with balancing the extra celebrations with peers, schools, churches and family; financial decisions regarding gifts and budget demands; expectations not matching reality; and those suffering from grief, depression or anxiety over missing people who are gone,” Logsdon said. “Also this time of year, we tend to have less sunlight and seasonal affective disorder can add to the blues.”

She shared these coping strategies, among other tips:

  • Avoid sugar highs and lows.
  • Feel emboldened to say, “No, thank you,” in order to protect a more reasonable schedule.
  • Unplug the technology. Be face-focused instead of screen-focused.
  • Incorporate exercise into your daily routine, if possible.
  • Stay well-rested.
  • Recognize and consider the positive things in your life.

“Volunteering to help others who are in need can help get your mind off your problems and onto the larger picture,” she added.

Listen to the entire three-minute interview on WTAX.

Trish Fehr Logsdon, LCPC

Trish Fehr Logsdon is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor specializing in the treatment of adolescents and adults with behavioral health needs. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Eastern Illinois University.

Working Towards Happiness—James’ Story of Recovery

Posted by | Posted in Mental Health, Testimonial | Posted on 12-10-2015

James-Success-StoryJames Macrander’s world seemed to be falling apart. His 12-year marriage ended. He lost his job. Then, when his Social Security benefits dried up, he became homeless.

“My cousin took me in when none of my other family members would,” James said.

Even though he spent countless hours a day cleaning and organizing, making sure everything was perfect, the truth was, his life was crumbling around him.

James was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and received services at West Lake Center, a program of Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois (MHCCI). After seeking services at West Lake Center, James looked for a job in Springfield with no luck. He decided to move to Jacksonville where he met Julia DeGroot, an employment specialist with MHCCI’s Individual Placement and Support (IPS) program. The IPS program provides individual counseling, teaches coping skills and gives people the confidence they need to find a job.

Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants Play Key Role in Primary Care

Posted by | Posted in Physician Services | Posted on 12-08-2015

Shot of a smiling doctor conversing with a senior patient

It can be frustrating to call your physician’s office only to hear it will be several weeks until you can see the doctor, especially during cold and flu season. This scenario is popping up more frequently in today’s primary care setting. The aging patient population, rise in chronic diseases, more newly-insured individuals seeking  primary care, all coupled with the shortage of physicians, leaves a gap in the healthcare market place.

The good news is you can often make same-day appointments with a board certified family nurse practitioner or physician assistant, depending on staffing at your primary care physician’s office. No, they’re not your physician, but you might be surprised what you don’t know about their role in your health.