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December 20th, 2010 - Staff

Get Healthy is proud to introduce a redesign of its website. We’ve packed it full of all the great content you’re used to, plus the site will be the new home for engaging news stories about health care in Northwest Indiana.

Please bookmark our new URL here.

With access to the leading health experts right here in the region, Get Healthy offers readers a local perspective on what’s best for your health, including nutrition, fitness, mental health and environmental health. Along with the magazine, email newsletter and Facebook page, Get Healthy offers an array of valuable content that is both relevant and proactive.

The easy-to-navigate Get Healthy site will have even more beneficial content in the near future—including blogs and expert columns—so stay tuned. We’re here for you 24/7, so check it out, and let us hear from you!

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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Outpatient surgery center latest Franciscan Point addition

October 20th, 2010 - By Susan Erler

A planned new outpatient surgery center at Franciscan Point is the latest addition to a fast-growing medical complex first conceived of more than five years ago by St. Anthony Medical Center officials.

“We started talking about the need for outpatient services,” said Kevin DeBraal, St. Anthony assistant vice president of administrative services.

Technology-driven innovations in health care were helping to drive many patients from inpatient to outpatient surgery, DeBraal said.

That, combined with a growing focus on preventive health services, helped spur development of Franciscan Point, which opened in August 2008 at the Interstate 65, U.S. 231 intersection on Crown Point’s southeast side, DeBraal said.

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Crown Point hospital plans outpatient surgery center at Franciscan Point

August 26th, 2010 - By Susan Erler

St. Anthony Medical Center is planning an addition to its Franciscan Point complex to house an outpatient surgery center, a hospital official said.

The hospital hopes to break ground in October on the addition, pending city approval, said Kevin DeBraal, hospital vice president of administrative services. DeBraal said plans are to seek Crown Point Plan Commission approval in September for the 27,000-square-foot building.

The addition would be the third of three adjoining buildings on the Franciscan Point medical complex on the fast-growing campus at Interstate 65 and U.S. 231 on the city’s southeast side. Doctor offices also are planned for the addition, DeBraal said.

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Government—Skip mammograms in 40s

November 18th, 2009 - By Susan Erler

A 33-year cancer survivor, Ann Peters recalls finding a malignant lump in her breast herself. Now 66, Peters was shocked Monday to hear a government task force is advising not only that women wait until age 50 to get mammograms but that breast self-exams are of no value.

“I can’t imagine not doing it,” Peters said. “I don’t know a woman who wouldn’t share my thoughts.” Peters is president of the Pink Ribbon Society, which provides services to scores of breast cancer patients and their families throughout Northwest Indiana.

The new guidelines were issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, whose stance influences coverage of screening tests by Medicare and many insurance companies. The panel recommends getting a mammogram every other year after age 50. The advice is a major reversal that conflicts with the American Cancer Society’s long-standing recommendation of annual screening starting at 40.

Some skeptical of president’s health care plans

September 10th, 2009 - By Susan Erler

President Barack Obama addresses a joint session of Congress on healthcare at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Jason Reed, pool)

President Barack Obama addresses a joint session of Congress on health care at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Jason Reed, pool)

Retired bread truck driver Anthony Lickwar favored health care reform even before watching President Barack Obama’s televised speech Wednesday.

Afterward, “I’m even more in favor of it,” the 73-year-old Griffith resident said.

Others from across the region, including several health care professionals, were less enthusiastic in their reactions.

“I’m skeptical,” said Gene Diamond, CEO of Sisters of St. Francis Health Systems Northern Region, with hospitals in Hammond, Dyer and Crown Point.

Local Health News—Better Blood Glucose Testing

May 2nd, 2009 - By Susan Erler

LaPorte Hospital has implemented a new incentive that allows nursing units to provide finger stick blood glucose testing at patients’ bedsides. The initiative allows staff to manage glucose levels for patients, particularly with diabetes, in a more timely and efficient manner so health care decisions can be made at optimal times during their hospital stay. Previously, the testing was performed by a phlebotomist with blood work being transported to the laboratory, where it was processed. The initiative, which got underway late last year, includes a data management system to collect and display glucose results in a chart and graph format. Although the testing is performed mostly on patients with diabetes, it is also available for all patients in need of monitoring their blood sugar levels.

Local Health News—Error-Free Surgeries

April 30th, 2009 - By Susan Erler

A computer-assisted sponge-counting program is in use at Sisters of St. Francis hospitals in Northwest Indiana to reduce cases where surgical sponges are left inside patients. The Safety-Sponge System uses individually bar-coded surgical sponges and a portable scanner to assure an accurate count, reducing the chance for error. The Food and Drug Administration approved the system two years ago, and it is in use in about 28 hospitals nationwide, according to Tony Embre, Midwest vice president of the California-based SurgiCount Medical Inc. St. Margaret Mercy hospitals in Hammond and Dyer, St. Anthony Medical Center in Crown Point and St. Anthony Memorial Hospital in Michigan City all either already have the system in place or soon will have, according to sisters of St. Francis Health Services Inc.

Local Health News—Status-Tracker Technology

April 28th, 2009 - By Susan Erler

Families are able to track a loved one throughout the surgical process with technology available at St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago, and soon at St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart. The SmarTrack system uses color-coded lines on displays in waiting rooms to update patients’ status as they move from pre-op through surgery and into recovery. Each line lists an anonymous number for each patient and is highlighted with a color indicating the patient’s location. A St. Catherine Hospital staff member also is available on weekdays to assist families seeking information. The technology helps to ease stress related to waiting for someone undergoing surgery, says Lori McBride, St. Catherine Director of Surgical Services.

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Local Health News—Single Incision Surgery

April 25th, 2009 - By Susan Erler

St. Margaret Mercy hospital in Dyer has incorporated single incision laparoscopic surgery, which requires only one incision for procedures such as gall bladder surgery. The technique eliminates any visible scar in the patient’s abdominal wall. Dr. Teoman Demir performed the hospital’s first single incision laparoscopic surgery procedure late last year. The patient was able to return home that day with no restrictions on normal activity. The procedure was performed through a single skin incision located within the patient’s umbilicus, or belly button. The procedure is part of a trend to decrease the number of incisions and accompanying pain in laparoscopic procedures, Demir says.

St. Mary Medical Center Auxiliary donates $100,000

March 27th, 2009 - By Susan Erler

A $100,000 donation from the St. Mary Medical Center Auxiliary has helped to buy infant bassinets and other equipment for the hospital.

The donation helped in the purchase of special LED lights that help reduce jaundice in newborns, reducing hospitalization time, as well as warmers, all for use in the Labor and Delivery department. The money also helped fund new equipment for patients who are immobile or who need assistance standing, as well as new blood pressure monitors and stands.

The Auxiliary last year provided more than 61,000 hours of volunteer service to the hospital and raised funds through sales from the hospital gift shop and the Garden Cafe, as well as a variety of events.

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