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Memorial Encourages You to Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T.

Posted by | Posted in Stroke Center | Posted on 29-10-2013

MHNS-036 FAST 500x333

As part of World Stroke Day, Memorial Medical Center is encouraging its employees to learn the warning signs of a stroke and to teach others in the community a quick test to determine if someone may be experiencing a stroke.

“We want to encourage the people in our profession and the community to pay it forward by taking the time to learn a simple screening,” said Amanda Conn, a registered nurse who serves as Memorial’s stroke center program coordinator for neurosciences. “It only takes five minutes to learn and could save a lot of lives.”

World Stroke Day is Oct. 29. The test is called FAST, which is an acronym for Face, Arms, Speech, Time.

Here’s how the FAST screening works: If you suspect someone may be having a stroke, you should first check for facial weaknesses – anything that’s different from one side of the face to the other, such as an uneven smile. Read the rest of this entry »

Bariatric Surgery Testimonial: Jason

Posted by | Posted in Bariatric Patient Stories, Bariatrics | Posted on 25-10-2013

Jason before surgery

Jason before surgery

Jason after surgery

Jason after 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 Jason, who has lost 230 pounds since his surgery in 2010.

Tired of being a burden to his family and longing to have his hip replaced, Jason turned to Memorial Bariatric Services to lose weight and become healthy again. Since surgery, Jason no longer has swelling in his legs and ankles, can perform strenuous activities without becoming short of breath and has less joint pain.  He has since been able to take his family on vacation and has joined the local fire department.

Jason says, “Thanks to the Memorial Bariatric team, I am finally able to enjoy my life. The team saved my life and I can’t thank them enough!”

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

Tips for Keeping Things Consistent for Kids with ADHD

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Mental Health, Parents, Pediatrics | Posted on 22-10-2013

Mother and DaughterThis is second in a two-part series on the important role consistency plays when raising children with ADHD, as part of October’s ADHD Awareness Month. Read part one.

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be challenging for the adults in their lives. Their symptoms of inattentiveness, impulsive behavior and hyperactivity can cause disruptions and frustration.

It is important for parents and educators to remember the one word that can help make life with a child who has ADHD more manageable: consistency.

“Depending on the emotional maturity of the child, inconsistency can make their world a scary place,” said Brandi Paluska, a licensed clinical professional counselor at The Children’s Center, a program of Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois. “A consistent schedule makes their days as predictable as possible. Consistent discipline reinforces what behaviors are appropriate. But, most importantly, consistent love lets the child know you love them, even if you do not love their behavior all the time.” Read the rest of this entry »

Stomach Flu vs. Seasonal Flu: Know the Difference

Posted by | Posted in Flu, Physician Services | Posted on 17-10-2013

200214561-001It’s common to hear the term “flu” this time of year. October marks the beginning of flu season, and vaccines are now available at your doctor’s office as well as retailers around town. But as you take steps to protect your family this season, learn the difference between the often confused stomach flu and seasonal flu.

Both the stomach flu (gastroenteritis) and seasonal flu (influenza) are caused by a virus. Peak months for influenza are usually October through March, but you can catch the stomach flu any time of the year. While they share some symptoms like fatigue, muscle aches and fever, they are completely different illnesses.

Avinash Viswanathan, MD, a physician at Memorial Physician Services-Koke Mill who is often referred to as “Dr. Avi,”outlines the differences between the two: Read the rest of this entry »

Memorial’s Festival of Trees Gala: A Special Holiday Event

Posted by | Posted in Events, Foundation | Posted on 15-10-2013

336-12-022What started out as a small thank-you celebration for the sponsors and designers of Memorial’s Festival of Trees, the event’s annual Gala quickly evolved into its own exciting preview party and fundraiser that is open to the public and attracts nearly 1,000 guests.

Gala-goers have the opportunity to get an advanced peek at the dazzling displays created by dozens of volunteer designers who together transform the Orr Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds into a festive family-friendly destination. Read the rest of this entry »

Friendship, Scrapbooking Help Super Survivor Through Breast Cancer Journey

Posted by | Posted in Be Aware Womens Fair Super Survivors | Posted on 14-10-2013

AngelaEven though breast cancer ran in her family, Angela Moore didn’t think anything was seriously wrong when she felt an unusual mass in her breast.

She knew to be alert for a lump in the breast. Her mother had passed away from breast cancer as well as an aunt and a grandmother. This mass, however, didn’t feel anything like what she had expected and so she thought it was harmless.

“I felt something in there, but it was long and felt like a vein. I didn’t think anything of it. It wasn’t a lump,” she said.

Six months later, Angela brought it up during a visit with her gynecologist, who referred her to have it examined. She learned that she had two tumors in the same breast, one positioned on top of the other, which had caused the unusual formation she had felt. Read the rest of this entry »

Sleep Tips for Night Workers

Posted by | Posted in Sleep Center | Posted on 08-10-2013

alarm clockNo offense, Dolly Parton, but workin’ 9 to 5 isn’t what it takes to make a livin’ for everyone. Many of us work late or odd hours—and our sleep likely suffers for it.

“Most people who work nights tend to short-sleep themselves,” said Mike Davis, RRT, RPSGT, a registered sleep technician in Memorial Medical Center’s Sleep Disorders Center

The average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Of course, getting that kind of sleep can be difficult for most people—even if they work the day shift.

“If someone with a regular schedule loses one or two hours in a night, that’s not a big deal,” Davis said. “But people who regularly short-sleep themselves one to four hours may have health issues.”

Results of long-term sleep deprivation

According to Davis, long-term sleep deprivation can impair the body’s regenerative ability and can weaken the immune system, leaving you more susceptible to illness. Also, the irritability and emotional effects of sleep deprivation that we experience on a short-term basis can grow and more severely impact our lives—which may be why there is a noted link between sleep deprivation and depression. Read the rest of this entry »

Kristi’s Story: Be Aware Women’s Fair Inspires Attendee to Quit Smoking

Posted by | Posted in Testimonial, Women | Posted on 03-10-2013

An avid hiker, Kristi is now able to climb without getting winded.

An avid hiker, Kristi is now able to climb without getting winded.

Kristi Kramp, like many, was a smoker. Unlike many, she had no desire to quit.

“I loved smoking,” Kristi said. “Quitting was the furthest thing from my mind.”

That is, until she attended the 2011 Be Aware Women’s Fair.

With a group of friends and family members, Kristi walked in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk that precedes the fair.

“I was walking in a cancer walk while smoking cigarettes,” she said.

After the walk, Kristi and her group visited the Be Aware Women’s Fair exhibition area. Her aunt brought her to an American Cancer Society booth where they displayed a pig lung, tarred and damaged by the affects of cigarette smoking.

“I didn’t think much of it,” Kristi said. “I actually gave them a hard time, asking, ‘Oh, did this pig smoke cigarettes?’”

Then, she and her group participated in the booth’s free bone-density screening. Everyone received positive results.

Everyone, that is, except Kristi. Read the rest of this entry »

Are There Effective Techniques for Helping an ADHD Child?

Posted by | Posted in Mental Health, Pediatrics | Posted on 01-10-2013


This is first in a two-part series on raising children with ADHD as part of October’s ADHD Awareness Month. Read part two.

ADHD – an acronym may parents and teachers know well.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of the most common mental health disorders of childhood. The symptoms of ADHD – inattention, impulsive behavior and hyperactivity – can be challenging for parents and teachers.

During ADHD Awareness Month, it is important for adults to remember the one word that can help make life with a child who has ADHD more manageable: consistency.

Importance of Consistency

“Consistency is important with all children, but especially for children with ADHD. Consistency makes things predictable for them,” said Brandi Paluska, a licensed clinical professional counselor at The Children’s Center, a program of Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois. “Children with ADHD have a lot going on in their brains. We see it when they jump from one activity to another or hear it in conversations when they cannot stay on topic. External consistency, from parents and teachers, may be the only stability those children have in their day.”

Here are three examples of consistency Paluska encourages: Read the rest of this entry »