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Bariatric Surgery Testimonial: Barb

Posted by | Posted in Bariatric Patient Stories, Bariatrics | Posted on 30-05-2013

Barb before surgey on left; after surgery on right

Barb before surgey on left; after surgery on right

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 Barb, who has lost more than 120 pounds since her surgery two years ago.

Since her surgery, Barb’s blood pressure has seen a dramatic drop and her knees don’t hurt anymore. She has become a runner, has tons of energy and is truly enjoying life.

Barb shares, “This is not an easy journey or a quick fix, but if you use your [surgery] properly, it will change your life.”

Read her story in her own words below. Read the rest of this entry »

When a Nosebleed Means Something More

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Medical Center, Neuroscience | Posted on 28-05-2013

woman with nosebleedEpistaxis, more routinely referred to as a nosebleed, is a common complaint and has been reported to occur in up to 60 percent of the general population according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. They are rarely life threatening. In fact, most nosebleeds are typically harmless, self-limiting, and spontaneous, but some can be recurrent.

Nosebleeds are divided into two categories, depending on whether the bleeding is coming from the front or back of the nose.

Anterior nosebleeds originate toward the front of the nose and cause blood to flow out through the nostrils. These types of nosebleeds are common in dry climates or during the winter months when dry, heated indoor air dehydrates the nasal membranes and are not usually serious.

Posterior nosebleeds originate toward the back of the nose, near the throat. Posterior nosebleeds are less common than anterior nosebleeds, but they can be serious and can cause a lot of blood loss.

You should seek emergency medical care if your nosebleed: Read the rest of this entry »

Stroke Awareness. Know the Facts.

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Medical Center, Neuroscience, Stroke Center | Posted on 24-05-2013


While May has become known as Stroke Awareness Month, the importance of stroke awareness doesn’t end when the month is over. A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, occurs when a blockage stops the flow of blood into the brain or when a blood vessel in or around the brain bursts. Strokes can affect people of all ages and backgrounds, not just adults over the age of 65. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly a quarter of all strokes occur in people younger than the age of 65.

This Stroke Awareness Infographic provides some important stroke facts. For more information on stroke facts and treatmenttvisit Memorial Medical Center’s Stroke Center. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Earn Trust between Teens and Parents

Posted by | Posted in Events, Expert Tips, Mental Health, Parents | Posted on 22-05-2013

Mother and DaughterTrust can be tricky when it comes to teenagers and their parents. The teen wants independence and the ability to make decisions. The parents want to have boundaries and know what’s going on in their child’s life.

Earning trust is crucial on both sides.

Why Trust is Crucial

Because the teen years can be stressful, forming a trusting relationship establishes a safety net, said Ashley Mosely, a therapist at The Children’s Center, a program of Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois.

“When things become too much to handle or bad choices are made, having a parent, who they trust to help, reduces the likelihood of the issue escalating,” she said. “It is important for parents to let their teen know the door is always open for discussion. Don’t force it; allow the trust to develop naturally.” Read the rest of this entry »

‘Memorial Was There to Save My Life’

Posted by | Posted in Emergency, Emergency Department, Neuroscience, Stroke Center, Videos | Posted on 21-05-2013

139-13- 05At age 26, Darah Nelson is far younger than the average stroke patient. Yet on Oct. 18, 2012, she found herself in her office, the door closed, and unable to move or speak. A family friend, who had once experienced a stroke, happened to stop by, opened her door and quickly recognized the signs of a stroke.

Darah arrived via ambulance to Memorial Medical Center, where the Emergency Department team launched its Star 45 program, the 45-minute diagnostic timeline that determines whether patients, like Darah, are candidates for stroke treatment.

The video below chronicles her story. Read the rest of this entry »

Memorial Prepares for Advancing Care by Design

Posted by | Posted in Construction, Memorial Medical Center, News, Videos | Posted on 14-05-2013

GroundbreakingMemorial employees broke ground today, May 14, on the front lawn of the medical center to launch our historic expansion project, Advancing Care by Design, which will transform both interior and exterior features on the campus.

A quick look at the numbers tied to the expansion includes:

  • 3 new patient floors, which will accommodate a total of 114 private rooms designed with specific “zones” for the patient, family members and nursing staff to optimize care giving;
  • 6 new operating rooms, for a total of 23, in our soon-to-be-expanded lower-level Surgery Center;
  • 2 additional lanes of traffic in our main drive, for a new total of 3, to improve flow of traffic;
  • 1 new Memorial Center for Learning & Innovation, a three-floor building that will enhance learning and training opportunities for Memorial employees as well as our medical partners. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Recognize Signs of Childhood Depression

Posted by | Posted in Events, Expert Tips, Mental Health, Pediatrics | Posted on 09-05-2013

Depressed GirlEvery parent wants their child to be happy and healthy. They want to see their child playing with buddies and laughing about something silly that happened at school. They want their kid to be carefree. Unfortunately, for children and adolescents who suffer from depression, that isn’t always possible.

Today, May 9, is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day and a perfect opportunity for parents to speak to their children about emotional and behavioral health.

“From birth, we are developing skills to regulate our emotions and behaviors,” said Kari Welch, a licensed clinical professional counselor with the Children’s MOSAIC Project, a program of The Children’s Center. “As a parent, it is critical to respond to an upset child without judgment or criticism for what they are feeling, and help them recognize healthy ways to express uncomfortable emotions.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Heart of a Woman

Posted by | Posted in Events, Expert Tips, Heart, Women | Posted on 07-05-2013

celebrate the heart of a womanMany women mistakenly think that heart disease primarily affects men. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. According to the National Institutes of Health, one in four women in the United States dies of heart disease, while one in 30 dies of breast cancer, and an astonishing 80 percent of women ages 40 to 60 have one or more risk factors for heart disease.

“Early identification and management of risk factors for heart disease through a healthy diet, weight management, exercise and stress management, can greatly reduce a woman’s risk for heart disease,” said Paula Harwood, RN, BSN, and manager of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and heart failure at Memorial Medical Center.

 Harwood suggests women take these steps to reduce their chances of developing heart disease: Read the rest of this entry »

2012 Top 10 Nursing-Led Innovations at Memorial Medical Center

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Medical Center, Nursing | Posted on 06-05-2013

Harmon, Betsy 08Nurses are thought of as compassionate care providers who are the eyes and ears of the physician. While this is certainly true, a nurse’s job description doesn’t end there.

Nurses seek to care for patients beyond the bedside in ways that often go unseen by patients and their families. Patient safety and comfort are two of the driving factors that lead nurses to seek new processes and best practices that ultimately transform the care delivered to patients.

In recognition of Nursing Excellence Week, May 6-12, here’s a look at 10 outstanding innovations in patient care that were implemented or achieved great results at Memorial in 2012, all of which Memorial nurses contributed to significantly. Read the rest of this entry »

Hospice Patient’s Final Wish Takes Her Soaring ‘Like an Eagle’

Posted by | Posted in Foundation, Home Services, Sharing Wishes Fund | Posted on 06-05-2013

20120622-mhs0153On a warm summer evening, with a sky as blue and clear as it comes, Carol Cray set off in a hot-air balloon to fulfill a longtime dream.

“I’ve always wanted to glide and soar like an eagle,” she said as she watched the colorful balloon inflate on its takeoff spot — an empty plat of grass near the Wal-Mart in Lincoln.

A doting grandmother to three girls ages 6 to 18, Carol spent much of 2012 pursuing and fulfilling dreams and wishes she had for her life. After more than two years battling various cancers, her doctor placed her in the care of Memorial Home Services Hospice, where a team of nurses, social workers and aides worked together to ensure her comfort during her final days.

Carol’s daughter, Angie Kruse, made it her duty to help fulfill her mother’s final wishes and had made all but one come true: a hot-air balloon ride, which Carol and her husband, Pat, had talked about for years. For six months, her daughter searched until Carol’s hospice social worker, Laurie Dobrinich, suggested the family apply to Memorial Medical Center Foundation’s new Sharing Wishes Fund, which grants wishes of hospice patients in central Illinois. Carol’s was the fourth wish granted by the fund, which was established in March 2012. Read the rest of this entry »