Color Blaze 5K Supports Memorial Regional Burn Center Patients

Posted by | Posted in Burn Center, Foundation, Memorial Medical Center | Posted on 23-04-2014

198-13-043I was a patient in the burn unit from 10/10/13 discharged on 10/23/13. I received severe steam burns in an industrial accident. I am also retired from the Peoria Fire Dept. During my time at Memorial I received what I describe as the finest medical treatment I have ever seen. The care and compassion by the staff in the burn unit went above and beyond excellent. All of the people in that unit are awesome but I feel I have to mention some who treated my medical needs but also connected on a personal level with not only me but also my family and friends. Special thanks to Kelly, Jill, Christie, Lauren, Robert, and last but certainly not least Eddie. All the staff were great, but these individuals stood out and I will always be grateful to them. Memorial Medical Center has a reason to be extremely proud of this unit.”

As a retired Peoria firefighter who served his community for 30 years, Mike Morrow has had ample experience interacting with a variety of medical professionals. So last October when he was a patient in Memorial’s Regional Burn Center, he knew great care when he received it. Read the rest of this entry »

Local Teen Holds Creative Fundraiser for Burn Center

Posted by | Posted in Burn Center, Foundation | Posted on 26-02-2014

Burn Donation 1Alyson Holder contemplates a career in healthcare and hopes to travel to Haiti someday as a missionary. But for now, the 14-year-old from Raymond will settle with helping patients cared for at the Regional Burn Center at Memorial Medical Center.

Thanks to a 2014 calendar she created featuring members of the Raymond-Harvel Fire Department, Alyson donated $280 to the Memorial Medical Center Foundation to support the Regional Burn Center. Read the rest of this entry »

Fourth of July Firework Safety

Posted by | Posted in Burn Center, Emergency, Expert Tips, Memorial Medical Center, Safety | Posted on 02-07-2013

Fireworks DisplayOooh. Aaaah. Ow.

One of those sounds should not belong.

As the Fourth of July approaches, so do barbecues, pool parties and, sadly, amateur firework artists. And so, as always, Memorial Medical Center is preparing for the annual visits from those who’ve declared their independence from firework safety.

 “In the Burn Center, we typically see between one and five firework-related injuries around this time of year, varying in severity,” says Doug Gregory, RN, nurse manager of Memorial’s Regional Burn Center. “But, every year, ten thousand people are injured nationally.” Read the rest of this entry »

Memorial’s Annual Burn Run Benefits Patients, Community

Posted by | Posted in Burn Center, Events | Posted on 03-07-2012

Burn Survivor, Austin Bennett races in the annual Burn Center 5K Run/Walk

The 222 participants of the sixth annual Regional Burn Center 5K Run/Walk helped raise approximately $1,500, which will help fund the center’s education and outreach programs.

Each year, the Regional Burn Center’s staff presents a wide range of educational programs for professionals, first-line responders, community hospital emergency rooms and nursing students. The staff also presents programs for the community on burn prevention. The program is custom fit to meet the community’s needs. Burney the Bear, the unit’s mascot, is frequently incorporated into the course content with his message on how to prevent fires and what to do should your clothing catch on fire.

Former Burn Center patient Austin Bennett, 12, of Janesville, ran the 5K, held June 23 at Springfield’s Washington Park, with his uncle, Travis Bennett.

“I just wanted to run for the hospital,” Austin said. “It’s really cool up there … and I met a lot of cool nurses.”

Austin’s left leg was severely burned after a cup of gas spontaneously ignited in November. After three inpatient stays and a handful of outpatient visits and procedures, he is back to living an active, pre-teen lifestyle.

Meet Austin in this short video that recaps this year’s Burn Run.


To view photos from the Burn Run, visit or Memorial’s Facebook page at

For information on the Regional Burn Center’s educational classes, please call (217) 788-3325.

6 Ways to Avoid Injury on July 4

Posted by | Posted in Burn Center, Emergency Department, Expert Tips, Safety, Summer | Posted on 27-06-2012

Glowing sparklers, massive booms from afar, and collective “oohs” and “ahhs” are familiar sights and sounds to most Americans. Yes, the Fourth of July will soon be upon us. And once again, Memorial Medical Center is preparing for an influx of firework-induced, avoidable injuries and burns.

“We typically see a spike in burns and firework-related injuries during this time of year,” says Doug Gregory, RN, nurse manager of Memorial’s Regional Burn Center.

Sara Plunk, RN, nurse manager, MMC Emergency Department, says, “Our goal this year is to keep everyone harm-free and inform the public of safe ways to enjoy fireworks this season.”

Fireworks should be handled delicately and cautiously. They have the potential to cause serious harm, even death, if not handled properly. Read the rest of this entry »

How a Boy and Fishing Solidified a Nursing Career

Posted by | Posted in Burn Center, Memorial Medical Center, Nursing | Posted on 22-06-2012

Doug Gregory, RN, Nurse Manager, Regional Burn Center

Nursing is more than a profession. It’s a calling. A desire to help, care and serve those in a time of need. 

Each day, nurses make a difference in the lives of their patients. But most will tell you that sometimes, it’s the patient who leaves a lasting impact.

Doug Gregory, RN, nurse manager for Memorial’s Regional Burn Center, has been a nurse for eight years. Below, he recalls one of his first patients, whose personal story validated his career choice:

“When I was working at a children’s hospital in St. Louis, I met a 12-year-old boy named Kenny.  He had a congenital defect with his liver and it caused a big, protruding belly.

He had been on a transplant list, on which he was waiting for a very long time. So we got to know Kenny very well. The thing that stands out the most is how throughout all his hospitalizations, he just wanted to be a teenage boy and do teenage boy things.  Read the rest of this entry »

Burn Center Gives Young Patient the Royal Treatment

Posted by | Posted in Burn Center, Events, Memorial Medical Center | Posted on 07-06-2012

Austin and one of his Burn Center nurses, Tammy Berry, RN

The day before Thanksgiving in 2011, 11-year-old Austin Bennett of Janesville was playing with a friend when the two came across a can of gas in the friend’s garage. The boys poured the gas into a cup, but before they could do much else with it, the friend’s dad intervened.

How that cup of gasoline spontaneously ignited is anyone’s guess – but that’s what happened next. As the friend dropped the burning cup, the contents were thrown onto Austin’s left pant leg, engulfing it in flames. Austin dropped and rolled, but the flame wouldn’t go out until the friend’s father ripped Austin’s pants off of him. That act likely saved his life.

Burned from his ankle to his knee with third- and fourth-degree burns, Austin’s local hospital in Mattoon determined he needed to be cared for by a Burn Center. He was sent by ambulance to Memorial’s Regional Burn Center, where he immediately underwent skin graft surgery, in which doctors removed healthy skin from the undamaged part of his upper left leg to help heal the damaged part of his lower leg. When a burn reaches third- and fourth-degrees, the skin cells are too damaged to regenerate. Read the rest of this entry »

Childhood Tragedy Becomes Source of Advocacy for Burn Center Supporter

Posted by | Posted in Burn Center | Posted on 18-05-2011

Paul Wappel, assistant vice president of Public Relations and Community Relations for Horace Mann, stopped by Memorial’s Regional Burn Center recently to visit with nurse manager Rosie Mottar, RN, BSN. Wappel has been a strong advocate for the Burn Center for many years. Photograph by Chad Jeffers.

In the summer of 1978, Paul Wappel was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Then 15, Wappel was working at a local pool in Belleville, just east of St. Louis, and was responsible for cutting the grass. When he ran out of gas, he headed to a storage shed for more. There, he noticed a puddle on the floor and smelled gasoline.

“The next thing I know, the room is in flames,” he recalled. Read the rest of this entry »