Paste your Bing Webmaster Tools verification code here Paste your Google Webmaster Tools verification code here

Bariatric Surgery Testimonial: Jennifer

Posted by | Posted in Bariatric Patient Stories, Bariatrics | Posted on 23-07-2012

Jennifer after weight loss surgery

Jennifer before weight loss surgery

For many people who struggle with obesity, dieting and exercise alone are not enough to lose and maintain substantial weight loss to improve their health. For some, bariatric surgery, in addition to lifestyle changes, may be the holistic approach to achieving and maintaining great health.

About 800 central Illinoisans have undergone bariatric surgery through Memorial Medical Center’s Bariatric Services program, all with the intended goal of living a more fulfilling, active life after shedding the weight.

One such success story is Jennifer, who lost more than 100 pounds in less than one year post-surgery! Read her story in her own words: 

Five Tips for Talking to Teens about Suicide

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Mental Health | Posted on 20-07-2012

Sadly, suicide continues to be a serious public health problem, especially among youth and young adults.

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the number of attempted suicides among teenagers has increased from 6.3 percent in 2009 to 7.8 percent in 2011. Suicide remains the third leading cause of death among 10- to 24-year olds.

Most young people don’t really want to die, they just want the pain they are experiencing to end, said Kendra Patton, a licensed clinical social worker at The Children’s Center, a program of Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois (MHCCI).

“Suicide is preventable,” Patton said. “If an adult becomes aware of a young person who is experiencing thoughts of suicide, do not ignore them. Oftentimes they feel alone, and if an adult ignores them, it reinforces their thoughts that no one can help. Every expression of suicide must be taken seriously. This lets the young person know you are listening and you care enough to get them help.”

Thoughts of suicide are also on the rise. Of the teens the CDC surveyed, 15.8 percent said they had seriously considered attempting suicide, up from 13.8 percent in 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

Why One Volunteer Shares His Time with Hospice Patients

Posted by | Posted in Home Services | Posted on 18-07-2012

Kent Hill has been a Hospice volunteer for almost a year.

When Kent Hill’s wife of 32 years, Sandy, was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), an incurable nerve disease also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, he felt alone. With no nearby family and a spouse facing a terminal illness, Kent was relieved when Sandy was admitted into Memorial’s Home Hospice program, which cares for patients in central Illinois with a life-limiting illness in the comforts of home.

“I was kind of on my own with this,” Kent said. “I didn’t have any brothers and sisters; we didn’t have any kids, so I was glad when the Hospice team showed up.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Difference a Nurse Navigator Can Make

Posted by | Posted in Cancer Care, Memorial Medical Center, Nursing | Posted on 17-07-2012

Rhonda Roles, RN, Memorial Regional Cancer Center nurse navigator and Kathryn Peterson, Carlinville

Kathryn Peterson first started seeing flashing lights out of the corner of her eye last December. Several weeks later, a neighbor rushed her to the hospital in her hometown of Carlinville after the lights and pain in her head intensified.

The doctor first suspected a migraine. Until a Computed Tomography (CT) scan revealed a large mass in her brain.

“He turned white as a ghost,” Kathryn said. “I was in an ambulance on my way to Memorial in minutes.”

Estranged from her family and with few friends, Kathryn felt alone. But then she met nurse navigator Rhonda Roles, RN.

Rhonda’s role as the Memorial Regional Cancer Center’s nurse navigator is to ensure patients connect to resources they need. Read the rest of this entry »

Bariatric Patient’s Diabetes Disappears the Day After Procedure

Posted by | Posted in Bariatric Patient Stories, Bariatrics, Diabetes | Posted on 12-07-2012

Margarita before surgery

Margarita Martin had struggled with weight since she was 14 years old. She would gain weight, take some of it off and then put it back on – again and again.

But she reached a point where she no longer cared about her weight. At just under 5-foot-10, the Charleston mother of three had reached 300 pounds, but “I was a healthy girl.” She wasn’t diabetic; her cholesterol numbers were fine. She only had obstructive sleep apnea and wore a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device while she slept.

But then she had her wake-up call.

Margarita is a registered nurse at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, where she serves as the patient care leader in the labor and delivery unit. In 2007, she decided to participate in the hospital’s wellness program.

Her fasting blood sugar was nearly double what it should have been, and her cholesterol was off. Read the rest of this entry »

Sharing Wishes Fund Provides Man With One Final Trip

Posted by | Posted in Foundation, Home Services, Sharing Wishes Fund | Posted on 11-07-2012

Walt learns he gets to take a special trip to St. Louis

Walt McCarty didn’t have a big wish on his bucket list before he died. He only wanted to make one last trip to St. Louis.

Walt has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, a common lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. With limited finances and time, the 79-year-old Springfield man knew that the prospect for a final overnight trip wasn’t good.

But that’s when one of Walt’s caregivers with Memorial Home Services Hospice told him and his daughter, Linda Roberts, about the newly established Sharing Wishes Fund, administered by the Memorial Medical Center Foundation.

The fund was launched in March to help fulfill the wishes of terminally ill hospice patients and their families in central Illinois.

Walt was the first recipient of the fund. On April 19, he and his daughter and her boyfriend made the overnight trip to the Ameristar Casino Resort in St. Charles, Mo. Read the rest of this entry »

Bedtime Breakthrough: Tips for Getting Your Little Ones to Dreamland

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Parents, Pediatrics, Sleep Center | Posted on 09-07-2012

It’s the middle of the night and your child, who had been sleeping soundly in his own bed, has found his way to your bedroom. You allow him to climb in bed with you for some comforting and, more often than not, that is where he stays for the remainder of the night.

Sound familiar? As parents, we have all been there – awakened by a child that can’t sleep and then having to choose between making an attempt to get them back to sleep in their own bed or allowing them to stay with us.

While comforting in the short term, not establishing guidelines for the bedtime routine can have a lasting impact on your child, according to SIU HealthCare physician Joseph Henkle, MD, director of Memorial Medical Center’s Sleep Disorders Center.

“A child’s daytime behavior is affected by sleep,” Henkle said. “It’s the parent’s job to teach children how to fall asleep. They just don’t come with that ability.” Read the rest of this entry »

Easy Tips for Healthy Eating on Vacation

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Nutrition, Summer | Posted on 06-07-2012

Whether you pile your family into the car for a leisurely road trip or jet off to an exotic locale, a vacation is a great escape from your everyday routine. But summer fun doesn’t have to sabotage your diet. Avoiding dieting pitfalls is easy with a little planning.

Plan Ahead
If you know where you’ll be eating, check out the restaurant’s website in advance. Most national chains have nutritional information available online. You can also purchase The Calorie King. This pocket-sized guide provides nutritional information (calories, fat, sodium, etc.) on a wide variety of food and has a special section devoted to chain restaurants. It provides easy access to nutritional information when the internet isn’t available.

Armed with nutritional information, you can avoid poor choices like a gut-busting bowl of fettuccine alfredo. Can pasta really be that bad? Yes – a dinner-sized portion of fettuccine alfredo contains 1,220 calories and 75 grams of fat. That’s about 60 percent of the calories and nearly 100 percent of the fat an average adult needs for a day, based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Read the rest of this entry »

How a Power Wheelchair Opened Up One Boy’s World

Posted by | Posted in Home Services | Posted on 05-07-2012

Owen and his brother, Drew, at a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game.

The world has opened up for an 8-year-old boy with the help of a joystick.

Owen Moffitt is from rural Glenarm. He has cerebral palsy and cannot walk or speak. For most of his young life, he has used a manual wheelchair. His parents, Janelle and Steve Moffitt, often pushed him where he needed to go. 

A second-grader at Ball Elementary School in Chatham, Owen grew steadily frustrated because he couldn’t go where he wanted on his own or clearly communicate what he wanted others to know.

That changed when Memorial Home Services helped Owen’s family get a power wheelchair and install a communication device, both controlled by the same joystick, to help him become more independent.

Owen received the power wheelchair around the beginning of first grade. The family had tried out a demo in the school’s gymnasium, and Owen “did really well in it,” Janelle said. 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.