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Safe Weight Loss Program Can Help Kick Off Successful New Year

Posted by | Posted in Bariatrics, Classes, Expert Tips, Nutrition | Posted on 31-12-2012

An 11-week program offered by Memorial Medical Center’s clinical dietitians can teach you the skills to conquer unhealthy eating habits – and help you conquer that hard-to-attain New Year’s resolution to lose weight.

And the first class is free!

Choosing to Lose will hold its introductory session at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, in the Florence Nightingale Conference Room (Room B-115), which is on the first floor of the hospital in the Capitol Zone. At the end of the session, you can decide if you want to enroll in the remaining 10 weekly classes.

Unlike many fad diets, Choosing to Lose teaches you how to make permanent lifestyle changes and prepares you for long-term success. Additional information is available on Memorial’s website, which explains how you can receive a $50 discount.

Emily Marshall, an employee at Memorial Medical Center who learned about the program through the MMC employee newsletter last year, shares her success story as a result of the program.

To register call, (217) 788-3333 or visit


Sharing Wishes Fund Grants Modest Yet Meaningful Wish for Hospice Patient

Posted by | Posted in Foundation, Home Services, Sharing Wishes Fund | Posted on 27-12-2012

Sharon Mills in her new Christmas dress with Tom Culberson, Hospice RN, Heather Danport, Home Health Aide, and Laurie Dobrinich, Hospice Social Worker

In her 65 years, Sharon Mills of Hillsboro has never had a Christmas dress.

A patient in Memorial’s Home Hospice program, Sharon confided to social worker Laurie Dobrinich and Hospice nurse Tom Culberson, RN, that all she wanted this holiday season was to look and feel beautiful.

Thanks to the Memorial Medical Center Foundation’s Sharing Wishes fund, she did. Established in the spring of 2012, the fund helps provide the money necessary to make the small yet very special wishes of hospice patients, like Sharon, become a reality. Read the rest of this entry »

12 Tips to Slim Down Your Holiday Cocktails and Beverages

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Heart, News, Nutrition, Winter | Posted on 21-12-2012

Many of us worry what the endless stream of munching does to our waistlines during the holidays, but we often forget that we’re drinking calories, too. And sometimes, a lot of them.

“Every meal – and there are many! – is preceded by drinks, paired with cocktails and wrapped up with aperitifs,” said Christina Rollins, MS, RD, LDN, CNSC, a clinical dietitian at Memorial Medical Center. “It’s no wonder we’re bloating more than Saint Nick himself.”

While holidays are meant to be enjoyed, the key to smart holiday cocktail prep is having some good tricks in your back pocket to help minimize that post-holiday bulge, Rollins said. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Talk with Children About Tragic Events

Posted by | Posted in Mental Health, News, Pediatrics | Posted on 19-12-2012

Traumatic events, such as the recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., can be a challenging topic for parents to discuss with their children. Not only is it an emotional topic, but there are questions that cannot be answered. For many adults, the natural instinct is to protect their child from tragic events so they avoid talking about what happened.

Melissa Stalets, a licensed clinical professional counselor and director of the Children’s MOSAIC Project, a program of The Children’s Center at Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois, advises that parents talk to their children, answer questions and provide reassurance when tragedy strikes — especially when it involves children and schools, a place many consider a safe haven.   

Tips for Talking to Children about Tragic Events

The approach a parent takes for the conversation should depend on their child’s age and developmental level. Very young children, such as those 6 and younger, should not be introduced to this tragedy. But shielding them entirely may prove impossible.  Read the rest of this entry »

Experts Urge Bounce House Safety Precautions

Posted by | Posted in ExpressCare, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Safety, SportsCare | Posted on 17-12-2012

Inflatable bounce houses are becoming a staple at backyard birthday parties and other outdoor gatherings. But with children’s more frequent exposure to these popular party attractions comes a higher likelihood of injury, experts are finding.

A new study, which looked at numbers from 1990 to 2010, found that more than 11,300 children were treated for bounce house-related injuries in 2010, twice the number from 2008. The study found that most injuries occurred from falls and collisions with other jumpers; more than half of the injuries included fractures, sprains and strains.

While the study couldn’t pinpoint a reason for the increased number of bounce house-related injuries, the authors suggest their growing popularity, which Paul Kircher, ATC/L, an athletic trainer with Memorial SportsCare, said he agrees with. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Easy Tips for Healthy Eating — During the Holidays and Anytime!

Posted by | Posted in Nutrition, Winter | Posted on 12-12-2012

Healthy holiday eating. Is it possible?

Yes. It’s not only possible, it’s quite simple to do, according to Gayle Jennings, MS, RD, LD, Clinical Dietitian III/Outpatient Dietitian at Memorial Medical Center. Here are Jennings’ top 10 ideas for healthy eating at the holidays or any time:

1. Cook more often.

As a society, we tend to eat about one-third of our meals from restaurants. That equals one meal every day. Take the time to plan, purchase and prepare meals at home. That way, you have more control over what you eat and how the food is prepared. Read the rest of this entry »

Put the ‘Happy’ in Happy Holidays — How Giving to Others Can Boost Your Mood

Posted by | Posted in Mental Health | Posted on 11-12-2012

This time of year is often referred to as the season of giving. We buy presents for friends and family. We bake cookies for our postal carrier and garbage collector. We sign up to be a bell ringer for The Salvation Army. We volunteer to help children shop at Mini O’Beirne Crisis Nursery’s Children’s Holiday Store.

We give and then give some more.

That’s good because it turns out that giving is good for a person’s mental health.

“Giving allows people to experience an increased connection with their community,” said Linda Nowack, a therapist with Memorial Counseling Associates in Springfield. “By giving their time to others, people combat boredom, loneliness and isolation because they are building relationships with individuals and organizations in their community.” Read the rest of this entry »

Are You At Risk? 5 Steps to Help Prevent Osteoporosis, the ‘Silent Disease’

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Orthopedics | Posted on 07-12-2012

For many people, staying healthy means exercising, eating a well-balanced diet and making positive lifestyle decisions to prevent future health conditions such as cancer and heart disease. Too often, however, little or no thought is given to bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones in which the bones become porous or spongy, creating low bone mass. Randy Wise, RN, an orthopedic research and outcomes nurse at Memorial Medical Center, said an estimated 10 million to 25 million Americans have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and millions more are at risk because of low bone mass. Read the rest of this entry »

Memorial Medical Center’s Capitol Lobby Tree Honors Designer

Posted by | Posted in Events, Winter | Posted on 06-12-2012

The beautifully decorated 9-foot Christmas tree in Memorial Medical Center’s Capitol Lobby — a new feature this year — was attracting plenty of second-glances and compliments the first morning it was on display Nov. 27.

As visitors and employees walked past the red, white and silver tree, many made comments to one another regarding its splendor.

If they knew the tree’s back story, they’d be even more inspired.

Last year, Elena Kezelis, executive director of the Memorial Medical Center Foundation, was asked by Ed Curtis, president and chief executive officer of Memorial Health System, to help decorate the lobby with what Kezelis called a “magnificent” tree to better connect MMC with Memorial’s Festival of Trees, which ended its successful nine-day run on Nov. 25. Read the rest of this entry »

15 Substitutions to Make Your Holiday Recipes Healthier

Posted by | Posted in Bariatrics, Nutrition, Recipes | Posted on 04-12-2012

When the winter holidays roll around, sometimes it seems easier to just surrender to all the tasty but calorie-rich foods and drinks.

But whipping up healthier versions of your favorite holiday recipes can be easier than you think, says Kathy Levin, registered dietitian at Memorial Medical Center.

Here are 15 substitutions from the American Heart Association that can help you reduce the calories, sugar, salt and fat from your favorite recipes. Read the rest of this entry »