Health Care

Donations healthy for Crown Point clinic, neonatal ICU

December 13th, 2010 - By Susan Erler

Donations have climbed to more than $4 million in an effort to fund both the St. Clare Health Clinic in Crown Point and a neonatal intensive care unit at St. Anthony Medical Center, fundraising campaign chairman Joe Allegretti said.

The hospital’s capital campaign is nearing its $4.5 million goal before an anonymous donor’s dollar-for-dollar contribution offer ends December 31, and comes despite a weakened economy, Allegretti said. “Most campaigns start at the top and get the people who give a lot and then work down from there,” Allegretti said. “We started with one large donation and then worked from the bottom up. There’ve been a lot of nickles and dimes.”

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New health clinic opens in Robertsdale

December 12th, 2010 - By Times Staff, nwi.com

Capitalizing on its distance from the BP Refinery and the number of steel mills in the area, a new medical practice will focus on family care and industrial/occupational medicine.

“Our location fits the need,” said Shyam Patel, the office manager of the recently opened OccuMed Express Medical Clinic.

The clinic, located at 2230 Indianapolis Boulevard in Whiting, eventually will offer work physicals and physical therapy, Patel said. At the moment, the clinic is accepting patients and also caters to walk-ins and emergency care with a family practitioner, pediatricians, internists and general surgeon on staff.

Patel said the practice’s four partners saw a need in the area and also were enthused about addressing the needs of the nearby industries.

The practice is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call 219.659.0333.

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Hospital to host 15th annual Wings of Healing program

December 10th, 2010 - By The Times, nwi.com

Judy Gresko, president of St. Catherine Auxiliary, places an angel on the Wings of Healing tree during last year’s program. St. Catherine Hospital’s annual Wings of Healing program allows participants to honor or memorialize a loved one during the holiday season. Donations support the hospital’s health care scholarship program. Over the past 15 years, nearly $50,000 has been raised from this event. (Photograph courtesy of St. Catherine Hospital.)

Judy Gresko, president of St. Catherine Auxiliary, places an angel on the Wings of Healing tree during last year’s program. St. Catherine Hospital’s annual Wings of Healing program allows participants to honor or memorialize a loved one during the holiday season. Donations support the hospital’s health care scholarship program. Over the past 15 years, nearly $50,000 has been raised from this event. (Photograph courtesy of St. Catherine Hospital.)

St. Catherine Hospital’s 15th annual Wings of Healing program allows participants to honor or memorialize a loved one during the holiday season.

For a $10 donation, individuals, businesses and organizations can have a personalized angel hung on the Wings of Healing celebration tree. Personalized angel cards are sent to honorees or families to commemorate the event. For a $25 donation, the donor also receives an angel ornament. All Wings of Healing honorees and memorials are recorded in the official Wings of Healing book located near the St. Catherine Hospital donor wall.

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Germ cops help hospitals prevent infection, death

December 8th, 2010 - By Lauran Neergaard, Associated Press
University of Maryland Medical Center ICU nurse Nicole Storck puts on gloves before entering a patients room, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010, in Baltimore. Every doctor, nurse and visitor who enters an intensive care patient's room at the University of Maryland Medical Center dons a bright yellow surgical gown and gloves so germs don't spread. Patroling the ICU like a cop on the beat is an infection preventionist, part of the change under way in U.S. hospitals to slash hospital-spread infections that claim an estimated 99,000 lives a year. (AP Photo/Rob Carr)

University of Maryland Medical Center ICU nurse Nicole Storck puts on gloves before entering a patients room, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010, in Baltimore. Every doctor, nurse and visitor who enters an intensive care patient's room at the University of Maryland Medical Center dons a bright yellow surgical gown and gloves so germs don't spread. Patroling the ICU like a cop on the beat is an infection preventionist, part of the change under way in U.S. hospitals to slash hospital-spread infections that claim an estimated 99,000 lives a year. (AP Photo/Rob Carr)

This is no ordinary intensive care unit: Every doctor, nurse, friend or loved one must cover their clothes with a bright yellow gown and don purple gloves before entering a patient’s room so some scary germs don’t hitch a ride in or out.

It’s part of the University of Maryland Medical Center’s crackdown on hospital-spread infections, and Michael Anne Preas patrols the ICU like a cop on the beat to help keep bacteria in check.

You forgot your gloves, Preas leans in to tell a doctor-in-training who’s about to examine a man with a breathing tube. Startled, the resident immediately washes his hands and grabs a pair.

Peering at the IV tube inserted into another patient’s neck, Preas spots a different opening for bacteria: His long beard is messing up what should be an airtight seal. Let’s shave that spot and put in a new catheter, she tells the nurse.

Nor does a janitor escape Preas’ inspection. Yes, she put on clean gloves between collecting trash and moving carts that nurses will touch.

Infections caught at health care facilities are one of the nation’s leading causes of preventable death, claiming an estimated 99,000 lives a year. Yet chances are you’ve never heard of Preas’ job: She’s an infection preventionist, part of an evolution under way as hospitals are pushed to slash those rates or lose lucrative Medicare dollars.

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Local Tri Kappa chapter donates to St. Anthony Capital Campaign

December 5th, 2010 - By The Times, nwi.com

Members of the Gamma Theta Chapter of Tri Kappa in Crown Point present a check for $3,000 to the St. Anthony Medical Center Capital Campaign to benefit St. Clare Health Clinic. From left are Julie Mallers, St. Clare manager; Mandy Merkel of Tri Kappa, Mickie Hardin, local Tri-Kappa president and a St. Anthony employee; David Ruskowski, St. Anthony president; Mary Rhee of Tri-Kappa, Terri Williams of Tri Kappa and Joe Allegretti, Capital Campaign chairman.  (Photograph provided.)

Members of the Gamma Theta Chapter of Tri Kappa in Crown Point present a check for $3,000 to the St. Anthony Medical Center Capital Campaign to benefit St. Clare Health Clinic. From left are Julie Mallers, St. Clare manager; Mandy Merkel of Tri Kappa, Mickie Hardin, local Tri-Kappa president and a St. Anthony employee; David Ruskowski, St. Anthony president; Mary Rhee of Tri-Kappa, Terri Williams of Tri Kappa and Joe Allegretti, Capital Campaign chairman.
(Photograph provided.)

The outside temperature was frightful, but it couldn’t chill the generosity displayed by members of the Gamma Theta Chapter of Tri Kappa December 2.

The Crown Point organization donated $3,000, which will be matched by a local philanthropist, to the St. Anthony Medical Center Capital Campaign, to support the new home of the St. Clare Health Clinic and its programs, which provide free care and assistance for underprivileged area residents.

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Health care providers pledging less radiation

December 3rd, 2010 - By Associated Press

Heath care providers are pledging to stop the overuse of radiation on patients during medical exams in a new, nationwide safety effort launched this week in Chicago.

The first step in the Image Wisely campaign is a pledge—signed so far by nearly 700 health care providers—to use the least radiation necessary on patients for a procedure. An expert panel at a radiology meeting Thursday said the campaign may lead to more review of protocols, more accreditation of imaging facilities and more widely shared standards on proper radiation doses.

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New business provides care for Indiana residents

December 1st, 2010 - By Andrea Holecek
Sandi Schantz, left, and Ginny Anderson run In Home Personal Care in Dyer, a licensed Personal Service Agency. It employs 10 independent contractors. (Photograph by Jim Bis/The Times.)

Sandi Schantz, left, and Ginny Anderson run In Home Personal Care in Dyer, a licensed Personal Service Agency. It employs 10 independent contractors.
(Photograph by Jim Bis/The Times.)

Sandi Schantz and her mother, Ginny Anderson, know sometimes people need help, and they’ve started their new business to provide it.

“Our goal is to assist individuals to remain in the comfort, familiarity and routine of their own home,” Schantz said. “We provide personal, homemaking and companion care for individuals needing some assistance, supervision and/or guidance with daily living routines.”

Schantz, a registered nurse, and Anderson, who’s been a caregiver for two decades, recently were licensed in Indiana and opened In Home Personal Care and an office in Dyer so it can become more visible.

“We’re trying to contact people to let them know what we have available,” Anderson said. “We don’t have much money for advertising, so we’re pounding the pavement and handing out literature at doctor’s office and clinics.”

They started the business with the aid of their backgrounds, about $2,000 in savings and knowledge that there‘s a need for their services.

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Advances in knee replacement lead to more precise surgery

November 29th, 2010 - By Erika Rose

Dr. Jonathan Javors is performing a new type of knee replacement surgery using a joint replacement piece created from a new alloy called oxinium. The new knee is expected to last 30 years which is double the current expectation and the surgery is computer-assisted which makes it more precise. (Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

Dr. Jonathan Javors is performing a new type of knee replacement surgery using a joint replacement piece created from a new alloy called oxinium. The new knee is expected to last 30 years which is double the current expectation and the surgery is computer-assisted which makes it more precise. (Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

Julie Tetens, 47, of Munster, along with many of the estimated 400,000 people who undergo a total knee replacement each year, would prefer a new knee that will last much longer than the typical 12 to 15 years. Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Jonathan Javors of Medical Specialists of Indiana gave her just that thanks to a new type of material expected to last her nearly 30 years.

Javors explained that about 10 years ago, joint replacement manufacturer Smith & Nephew, Inc. started using a new alloy called oxinium which he described as a cross between chromium cobalt—used in most other joint replacements—and ceramic. Oxinium combines the durability of chromium cobalt and the smoothness of ceramic. The latest hardware also contains a cross–linkage plastic which adds to its durability, he said.

St. Catherine Hospital celebrates new stroke center

November 26th, 2010 - By Kathleen Quilligan

Joseph Hetzel is unsure what would have happened if he had his stroke at home because he would have brushed off his symptoms as the flu.

Instead, in September, the 57-year-old Crown Point resident had a stroke while working at the BP refinery and was rushed to St. Catherine Hospital. The right side of his body was paralyzed, but after receiving medication, as he drifted off to sleep, he felt his right foot tingle. He could move it. He fell asleep with a smile on his face.

Increasing popularity of gender specific services

November 23rd, 2010 - By Heather Augustyn

When it comes to serious health issues, like infertility or ovarian cancer, or when it comes to simple matters, like annual checkups or allergies, finding a doctor that not only has the right kind of knowledge and skill, but also a doctor who truly understands, is critical. That is why when many women choose a doctor for themselves they turn to another woman, selecting a female doctor, to advise and to identify with their issues and their needs.

According to the Boston Globe, “Nearly half of medical school students nationwide are now female, and as they enter the profession, they are making patient care friendlier and therefore may be less likely to get sued than male physicians. Women physicians also are more likely to serve minority, urban, and poor populations and are twice as likely to go into primary care.”

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