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Bariatric Surgery Testimonial: Ruth

Posted by | Posted in Bariatric Patient Stories, Bariatrics | Posted on 31-10-2012

Ruth after surgery

Ruth, before 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 Ruth, who lost more than 80 pounds and has seen many health benefits after her surgery.  Read her story in her own words below or click here to enlarge the photo.

Read the rest of this entry »

Squash Breast Cancer

Posted by | Posted in Cancer Care, Nutrition, Recipes | Posted on 26-10-2012

Fall is finally here, the leaves changed color and pink is everywhere. Yes, pink! October is the official month for National Breast Cancer Awareness. We all know preventing and detecting breast cancer early can help save lives.

“One of the most important actions to prevent any cancer is eating a balanced, healthy diet,” says Christina Rollins, Clinical Dietitian III at Memorial Medical Center and spokesperson for the Illinois Dietetic Association. “And by healthy diet, I don’t mean the usual American fare that is high in processed foods and red meats and low in fruits and vegetables.”

Studies have shown that diets low in red meat and higher in fish, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats like olive and canola oil may help protect against a number of health conditions, including heart disease and cancer.

Secret Fall Food to Help Protect Against Breast Cancer Read the rest of this entry »

Questions and Answers from Memorial on the Multistate Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

Posted by | Posted in News | Posted on 24-10-2012

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate fungal meningitis outbreak among patients who have received spinal injections of a steroid drug called methylprednisolone. Memorial Medical Center did not purchase an injectable drug suspected in a fungal meningitis outbreak from a Massachusetts pharmaceutical company.

We recently removed all of the drugs that we bought from the pharmacy under investigation for a fungal meningitis outbreak. While we never bought the specific drug that’s suspected as the outbreak’s source, we took this step because your health and safety are our top priorities. Here’s more from our chief medical officer.

The following list will answer some of the common questions you may have about this incident.

Q: What happened?

A: Federal officials believe an estimated 14,000 patients nationwide may have been exposed to a contaminated steroid, methylprednisolone, which came from the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts. The contaminated steroid is suspected as the source of a multistate fungal meningitis outbreak.

The FDA has issued guidance for healthcare facilities that all products distributed by the New England Compounding Center should be retained, secured and withheld from use. The pharmacy has voluntarily recalled all products that it has distributed.  

Q: What is meningitis?

A: Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It is most often caused by viral infections but can be triggered by other sources, including fungi.

Q: Did Memorial Health System purchase the contaminated steroid from the Massachusetts pharmacy?

A: No. We did not. Only three healthcare facilities in Illinois purchased the contaminated steroid from the New England Compounding Center. All three are in the Chicago region. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Manage Trauma: Warning Signs and Ways to Talk to Your Doctor

Posted by | Posted in Mental Health | Posted on 24-10-2012

70% of adults in the U.S. have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives. That’s 223.4 million people. In public behavioral health, over 90% of clients have experienced trauma. Trauma is a risk factor in nearly all behavioral health and substance use disorders.

Trauma occurs when a person is completely overwhelmed by certain events or extreme circumstances. People suffering from trauma often respond with intense fear, horror, or feelings of helplessness.In some cases, the extreme stress brought on by trauma overwhelms a person’s capacity to cope. But people can, and do, recover from traumatic experiences every day.

Here is an infographic from the National Council explaining some of the warning signs of trauma, and some helpful tips on how to seek treatment and talk to your doctor. Read the rest of this entry »

Jennifer Finley: Like Many Women, No Family History of Breast Cancer

Posted by | Posted in Be Aware Womens Fair Super Survivors, Cancer Care, Women | Posted on 17-10-2012

Jennifer with her friends

Just because you don’t have a family history of breast cancer, it doesn’t mean you’re safe. Jennifer Finley learned that when she was diagnosed a decade ago in her early 30s.

Her first child, Nicholas, was just a baby when she visited her doctor for a routine exam. Her doctor felt something that he thought should be checked out further. It turned out to be cancer and it had grown extremely fast. 

“It was totally out of the blue,” the Buffalo mom of three recalls. “I’d had no family history of anyone having breast cancer.” 

More than 220,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed this year, according to the American Cancer Society. Like Jennifer, more than 85 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease.  Read the rest of this entry »

Flu Season Is Here – Are You Ready?

Posted by | Posted in Flu, Physician Services, Winter | Posted on 08-10-2012

The temperatures have dropped, and the leaves are changing colors. Two good signs the flu season has arrived.

Because influenza viruses are constantly changing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends an annual flu vaccination for protection against the flu. The flu vaccine is commonly available as early as September, and throughout the flu season, which generally ends in early May. It usually takes about two weeks for the vaccine to work, and its protection will last throughout the flu season.

This vaccine is given as an injection into the arm or thigh muscle, which is known as an intramuscular (IM) injection. The vaccine contains an inactive, or killed, virus so it is not possible for someone to get the flu from the vaccine.

There is also a nasal spray version of the flu vaccine available.

In this video, watch Rajesh Govindaiah, MD, Memorial Health System’s Chief Medical Officer, provide more information about the flu and its symptoms and the benefits of getting a flu shot. Read the rest of this entry »

How One Nurse Made the Difference for a Leukemia Patient

Posted by | Posted in Cancer Care, Nursing | Posted on 03-10-2012

Stephen Wilkin and Family

On April 2, Stephen Wilkin was feeling tired. It was a Monday, and after a weekend of family time and riding his motorcycle, he assumed he was coming down with a cold or the flu. He called his physician clinic, which ordered some blood work.

By the end of the day, Stephen was an inpatient on Memorial’s 2E Oncology unit.

“His physician’s office had called back, told him they thought he had leukemia and to get to Memorial Medical Center right away,” recalled Stephen’s daughter, Ashley Creasey. “My mom and I were both in shock.”

Stephen, 56 of Girard, assumed he was coming to MMC for more tests, but he was admitted that night. Read the rest of this entry »