Labor3.jpg

Recognized as Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care by Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Family Birthing Centers at the hospitals of Community Healthcare System provide quality healthcare for women by maintaining the highest standards of clinical practice and patient satisfaction. Rosa Cisneros-Ortega said she chose St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago for baby Zoe�s delivery first and foremost because she knew she could count on the caring experienced staff, including Lizette Leitelt, BSN RN (pictured, left), who made a difference in her stay. �The people are very friendly, kind and caring � more like family � and made it a wonderful and pleasant experience,� Cisneros-Ortega said.

Methodist Hospitals offering smoking cessation classes

Methodist Hospitals is offering smoking cessation classes at its Merrillville campuses. Since not all smoking cessation techniques are effective for every smoker, this program lets you develop the approach that works for you. Develop skills in assertive communication, coping, self-monitoring, stress management and weight management. Classes are based on the American Lung Association’s "Freedom from Smoking" program, which has helped people across the U.S. take control of their health by quitting smoking

The classes are 5-7 p.m. Mondays from May 16 to June 27 at the hospital's lower-level hospitality room, 8701 Broadway.

Classes are presented by respiratory therapists Maryln Hawkins-Knight and Kathryn Jercha. Classes meet once a week for 90 minutes to two-hour sessions over seven weeks. The class fee is $60. To enroll or to obtain additional information call 888-909-DOCS (3627) or visit methodisthospitals.org. Classes are free for Methodist employees and their spouses covered by Methodist Hospitals’ insurance plan.

NWI hospitals recognized for maternity care

With nearly 4 million babies born in the U.S. every year, childbirth is the most common reason for hospitalization. Prospective parents looking for the best, affordable maternity care available will want to know that the hospitals of Community Healthcare System: Community Hospital in Munster, St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart have been recognized as Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care by Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS).

The BCBS Distinction Centers designation recognizes hospitals that demonstrate expertise in providing quality specialty care and have been evaluated on safety measures.

Hospitals that receive a Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care designation agree to meet requirements that align with principles that support evidence-based practices of care, as well as supporting programs to promote successful breastfeeding, as described in the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative by Baby-Friendly USA. The Blue Distinction program also evaluates hospitals on overall patient satisfaction, including a willingness to recommend the hospital to others.

BCBS companies across the nation have recognized more than 280 hospitals as Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care. Hospitals recognized for these designations were assessed using a combination of publicly available quality information and cost measures derived from BCBS companies’ medical claims.

For more information, visit comhs.org.

Hoosier cargivers make sacrifices

The personal financial support required by a person with Alzheimer’s disease may ultimately deprive care contributors of basic necessities, such as food, transportation and medical care, according to the 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report released last month. Alzheimer’s Association’s Facts and Figures shows that these care contributors were 28 percent more likely to eat less or go hungry while contributing care to someone with Alzheimer’s, and one-fifth of them sacrificed their own medical care by cutting back on doctor visits. Overall, nearly half of care contributors cut back on their own expenses to afford dementia-related care for their family member or friend.

Today it is estimated that 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and nearly 16 million family members and friends are caregivers providing financial, physical and emotional support. Financial depletion related to the support of someone living with Alzheimer’s can occur directly when family and friends contribute to in-home care or other health care resources. The Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures report found that 13 percent of care contributors sold personal belongings, such as a car, to help pay for costs related to dementia, while nearly half tapped into savings or retirement funds. On average, care contributors, many of whom do not live with the person they’re caring for, spent more than $5,000 a year of their own money to care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease; however, amounts varied with many spending tens of thousands of dollars per year.

The financial burden of dementia is compounded for many care contributors, as more than one-third reported having to reduce their hours at work or quit their job entirely while caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, leading to an average loss of income of around $15,000 compared to the previous year. Eleven percent of care contributors have cut back on spending for their children’s education in order to provide support.

Study: Some activity trackers aren’t as accurate as advertised

Several popular wearable activity trackers are not as accurate as users think, according to Alex Montoye, a clinical exercise physiology professor in Ball State University’s Human Performance Laboratory.

In a new report, Montoye’s research team examined how well the Fitbit’s Flex, One and Zip, plus Jawbone UP24, estimate calories burned and steps taken for specific activities and activity categories. Thirty participants tested the devices during sedentary acts (using a computer, lying on a bed), household activities (sweeping, laundry and cleaning) and various exercises (walking, jogging, cycling).

“Our study found that the activity trackers we tested were simply not as accurate as many people believe,” Montoye said. “These devices overestimate the calories for walking and jogging but underestimate for household activities. These items provide accurate measures of steps for structured activity, similar to much less expensive pedometers.

While new monitors are introduced regularly, Montoye said little research has evaluated their ability to accurately measure variable such as heart rate, sleep duration and/or quality.

Gift of Hope sets organ and tissue donation records

Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network, the not-for-profit organization that coordinates organ and tissue donation and provides public education on donation in Illinois and northwest Indiana, helped save and enhance more lives through organ and tissue donation in 2015 than in any other year in its history.

During the year, 379 people became organ donors, resulting in 1,077 organs transplanted. More than 2,000 people became tissue donors in 2015. Gift of Hope is one of 58 organ procurement organizations in the United States. OPOs are responsible for coordinating the donation process and increasing the number of registered donors.

“These achievements underscore the remarkable dedication of Gift of Hope and its healthcare partners in their efforts to honor the decision to donate and bring lifesaving organs and tissue to people in need,” said Kevin Cmunt, Gift of Hope President/CEO. “In 2015, we helped more people than ever before in our 29-year history and made a huge difference in the lives of many people. But none of this would have been possible without the selfless decisions made by individuals and family members to offer the gift of life to others through donation.”

The decision to become an organ and tissue donor gives the precious gift of a new life. Organ and tissue transplant gives recipients a new chance to live healthy, productive, and normal lives and returns them to their families, friends and communities. The selfless decision to be an organ and tissue donor goes a long way. A single organ donor can save up to nine lives and, when combined with tissue donation, a single donor can save or improve the lives of more than 25 people.

Nearly 5,200 people in Illinois are waiting for an organ transplant and 1,500 in Indiana. Thousands more will need tissue transplants at some point in their lives. Nationally, more than 120,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants in the United States.

Register as a donor at GiftofHope.org and share your decision with your loved ones.

Valpo Y’s works to prevent diabetes

February is American Heart Month and as a leading community-based network committed to improving the nation’s health, the Valparaiso Family YMCA urges everyone in Valparaiso, IN to help prevent heart disease by lowering your blood pressure. Two ways to keep the pressure off your heart are by monitoring your blood pressure and reducing sodium intake.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the nation’s number one killer, responsible for 1 in 4 deaths each year in the United States. Additionally, 1 in 3 adults have high blood pressure with less than half having it under control. High blood pressure is most prevalent in minority communities, and is often referred to as “The Silent Killer” because there are typically no warning signs or symptoms.

To address the prevalence of heart disease, the Y has made a national commitment to the Million Hearts campaign, an initiative spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that aims to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes. As part of this commitment is our Diabetes Prevention Program.

At Valparaiso Family Y, we have offered the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program the last year with 23 people who have seen great results over 360 pounds lost. The program provides a supportive environment where participants work together in a small group to learn about eating healthier, increasing their physical activity and making other behavior changes with the goal of reducing body weight by 7 percent in order to reduce their risk for developing diabetes. A trained lifestyle coach leads the program over a 12-month period beginning with 16 weekly sessions followed by monthly maintenance sessions. Increased physical activity and moderate weight loss not only reduce diabetes risk, but also have an impact on lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. This program at the Valparaiso Family YMCA has results of 9.9% weight loss.

“There are many factors in keeping your heart healthy and having a handle on your blood pressure is an effective tool in the preventing heart disease,” said Kari Bukur, Community Health Coordinator. “Whether you have high blood pressure or are at risk for heart disease, the Y has many options available that can help.”

In addition to programs and services offered at the Valpo Y, the Y offers the following tips from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help reduce sodium in your diet.

1. Think fresh: Most of the sodium Americans eat is found in processed foods. Eat highly processed foods less often and in smaller portions—especially cheesy foods, such as pizza; cured meats, such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs, and deli/luncheon meats; and ready-to-eat foods, like canned chili, ravioli and soups. Fresh foods are generally lower in sodium.

2. Enjoy home-prepared foods: Cook more often at home—where you are in control of what’s in your food. Preparing your own foods allows you to limit the amount of salt in them.

3. Fill up on veggies and fruits—they are naturally low in sodium: Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits—fresh or frozen. Eat a vegetable or fruit at every meal.

4. Adjust your taste buds: Cut back on salt little by little—and pay attention to the natural tastes of various foods. Your taste for salt will lessen over time. Additionally, keep salt off the kitchen counter and the dinner table and substitute spices, herbs, garlic, vinegar or lemon juice to season foods.

5. Boost your potassium intake: Choose foods with potassium, which may help to lower your blood pressure. Potassium is found in vegetables and fruits, such as potatoes, beet greens, tomato juice and sauce, sweet potatoes, beans (white, lima, kidney), and bananas. Other sources of potassium include yogurt, clams, halibut, orange juice and milk.

The Valparaiso Family YMCA offers a community of diverse individuals who can support all people in meeting their health and well-being goals. Learn more by www.valpoymca.org or stopping into your local Y.

Hope Center celebrates two year of service

Hope Center recently celebrated two years of service to those battling cancer. The support center, located in Lowell, opened its doors on Jan. 5, 2014. Hope Center offers free education programs, mind/body/spirit classes and support groups for those with a cancer diagnosis and their caregivers.

In March, 2009, at thirty-one years of age, Kerri Midkiff received the diagnosis of breast cancer. Married for eight years, Kerri was married and had two young daughters, 6 and 4 years old. This diagnosis was a life interruption that she never expected.

“The emotional toll of cancer was greater than I had anticipated,” said Hope Center Founder and Survivor. “It was easy to heal from surgeries, but much harder to explain to my six year old what is go in on.” As she began to heal, going to a cancer support center provided her family with peace and understanding. “Unfortunately, for us, the support center was an hour and twenty minutes from home. The drive was a burden,” said Midkiff. “Then, inspiration hit me! I needed to bring this essential help and comfort closer to home. My dream became Hope Center.”

Hope Center offer support groups for cancer survivors, spouses, caregivers, teens and children. The program, nicknamed “SKIPPERS,” is held every other Thursday evening for the entire family. Adult meetings offer acceptance, compassion, coping skills and hope. Newly diagnosed to long-term survivors are invited to share stories, successes and challenges. Teens and children sessions offer games, crafts, snacks and fun. “Sessions are fun!” said Midkiff. “Sharing is encouraged, but never required.”

Hope Center offers family fun nights throughout the year, completely funded by supporters. These events give those battling cancer the opportunity to enjoy much needed care-free time with their families. Families never pay for events.

Hope Center offers Restorative Stretching at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays. Participants are encouraged to breathe and stretch their bodies and minds for stress management. Classes are restorative as well as therapeutic. The class is offered every Tuesday, except the first Tuesday of the month. The free classes are held at 5 p.m. at Lowell Church of Christ for those battling cancer, caregivers, family and friends. Participants should enter the building through the Hope Center entrance, ten minutes prior to class. No experience is needed. All are welcome. No registration is required. Mats are provided. Michele Johnson is the certified instructor. Each class is one hour.

Hope Center is a ministry of Lowell Church of Christ. It is located at 299 N. Burr in Lowell. Call (219) 696-7591 to learn about Hope Center services. All are welcome. For more information, visit lcoc-online.org/HopeCenter.

 

Ingalls achieves accreditation as a Chest Pain Center

Ingalls Memorial Hospital is pleased to announce it has received full Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, underscoring its commitment to providing high-quality care for heart patients. 

Accredited chest pain centers like Ingalls offer a higher level of expertise in treating patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack. Using an evidence-based, protocol-driven and systematic approach to care, accredited centers hasten lifesaving treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack and better monitor patients when it’s not clear whether or not a patient is having an actual coronary event.

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 people dying annually of heart disease. More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. SCPC’s goal is to significantly reduce the mortality rate of these patients by teaching the public to recognize and react to the early symptoms of a possible heart attack, reduce the time that it takes to receive treatment, and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment.

SCPC’s accreditation process ensures that hospitals like Ingalls meet or exceed a wide set of stringent criteria and undergo a comprehensive onsite review by a team of accreditation review specialists. They emphasize the importance of standardized diagnostic and treatment programs that provide more efficient and effective evaluation as well as more appropriate and rapid treatment of patients with chest pain and other heart attack symptoms. They also serve as a point of entry into the healthcare system to evaluate and treat other medical problems, and they help to promote a healthier lifestyle in an attempt to reduce the risk factors for heart attack.

Munster doctors named in list of spine surgeons to know

Munster orthopedic surgeons Nitin Khanna and Dwight Tyndall have both been named in Becker’s list of the 322 spine surgeons to know for 2016. The group represents both U.S. and international spine surgeons who are considered at the forefront of spine surgery. “It is an honor to be included in this list of accomplished surgeons," said Khanna, of Orthopedic Specialists of Northwest Indiana. "We continue to pursue advances in the field of spine surgery and have brought many innovative and minimally invasive spine surgery procedures to the patients of Northwest Indiana and the Chicagoland area for the last 14 years. Our goal is to restore function to patients suffering from spine issues utilizing the most advanced minimally invasive approaches.”

ST. CATHERINE HOSPITAL OFFERS

BONE DENSITY SCREENING

Determine risk related to osteoporosis (bone strength). The screening is performed using the heel of the foot and results are available the same day. Screening is available on Wed., February 17 from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m., at St. Catherine Hospital Radiology Department at 4321 Fir St., East Chicago, Ind.

This program is FREE, but registration is required by calling 219-836-3477 or toll free 866 836-3477. For information on other programs offered by Community Healthcare System visit our website at www.comhs.org.

# # # #

ST. CATHERINE HOSPITAL OFFERS

WELL WALKER’S CLUB

This walking club is for adults over the age of 18. Receive a FREE pedometer when you join. Monthly meetings feature guest speakers discussing a wide range of healthcare topics.

St. Catherine Hospital, POB, 4321 Fir St., East Chicago, 1st Wednesday of the month 11 a.m.; for info call 219-392-7104; Wicker Park Social Center, 2125 Ridge Rd., Highland, 1st Tuesday of the month 1:00 p.m.; for info call 219-313-3934; Whiting Public Library Meeting Room, 1735 Oliver Street, Whiting, 2nd Thursday of the month 1:00 p.m.; for info call 219-392-7135 or 219-392-7104. For information on other programs offered by Community Healthcare System visit our website at www.comhs.org.

# # # #

ST. CATHERINE HOSPITAL OFFERS

TEEN CHILDBIRTH PREPARATION CLASSES

For expectant mothers ages 13-19. Learn about the labor and delivery process, nutrition, pain relief, recovery, resources and educational opportunities on Sat., February 20 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Professional Office Building Conf. Room (North Entrance). A support person is welcome.

This program is FREE, but registration is required by calling 219-836-3477 or toll free 866 836-3477. For information on other programs offered by Community Healthcare System visit our website at www.comhs.org.

# # # #

ST. CATHERINE HOSPITAL OFFERS

FAMILY AND FRIENDS CPR INFANT/CHILD/ADULT

For those who want to learn CPR and Early Heart Attack Care (EHAC) but do not need to be certified, this American Heart Association course coves CPR basics and choking for infants, children and adults on Saturday, February 13 from 8 – 11 a.m. in the Professional Office Building Conference Room (North Entrance). NOT FOR CERTIFICATION. Fee: $15/person. Registration is required by calling 219-836-3477 or toll free 866-836-3477. For information on other programs offered by Community Healthcare System visit our website at www.comhs.org.

# # # #

ST. CATHERINE HOSPITAL PRESENTS

HEART HEALTH FAIR

Join us as we showcase fun, interactive ways to learn about heart health and the effects of cardiovascular disease. Information booths, screenings, interactive displays await you. Heart Health is in your Hands – Sat., February 20; 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., St. Catherine Hospital’s Main Lobby. Free. For more information call 219-836-3477 or toll free 866-836-3477. For information on other programs offered by Community Healthcare System visit our website at www.comhs.org.

Glaros to speak at cancer fundraiser

MUNSTER – CBS 2 Meteorologist Megan Glaros returns home to Northwest Indiana to “Share the Love” as the guest speaker for the 9th annual Share the Love event, Wed, Feb. 10 at the Center for Visual & Performing Arts in Munster. A busy broadcasting professional and mother of three, Glaros will share her insight on effective time management.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Cancer Resource Centre in conjunction with the auxiliaries of Community Hospital, St. Catherine Hospital and St. Mary Medical Center, the luncheon program highlights Dyer native Glaros’ career.

After graduating with a double major in journalism and atmospheric sciences from Indiana University, Glaros worked for the Sinclair Broadcast Group in Baltimore. Her career as an on air meteorologist began at WTAP-TV in West Virginia. She subsequently worked at WPLG-TV in Miami, Florida and at WCBS-TV in New York. Glaros currently forecasts the weather during the CBS 2 Morning News at 4:30, 5 and 6 a.m. broadcasts.

Net proceeds from the luncheon will benefit the Cancer Resource Centre in Munster. The Resource Centre is a program of the Community Cancer Research Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of cancer care in northwest Indiana and the south Chicago suburbs. All services of the Cancer Resource Centre – support groups, mind-body-spirit classes, educational offerings and a resource library - are offered free of charge to those in need.

Beginning at 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., vendor tables will offer boutique items for sale with a portion of those proceeds also benefiting the Cancer Resource Centre. Each reservation is $50 per person. Space is limited. Reservations must be made no later than Feb. 5, 2016.

Luncheon will be served at 12 p.m. Menu items will be prepared by Center for Visual & Performing Arts Executive Chef Joseph Trama. The Center for Visual & Performing Arts is located at 1040 Ridge Road in Munster.

Please make checks payable to Community Cancer Research Foundation, and mail to: Community Foundation of NW Indiana, Attention: Sherri Holt, 905 Ridge Road, Munster, IN 46321. For additional information, please contact Sherri Holt at 219-836-0130 or sholt@comhs.org.

Porter Healthcare System aim to improve cardiovascular health

Porter Health Care System has teamed up with the American Heart Association to join the fight against heart disease and stroke in the Northwest Indiana region. Porter Health Care System has committed to support the mission of the organization and will act as leading sponsor of the 2016 Porter County Go Red for Women campaign and Porter County Heart Walk.

"We are inspired by Porter Health Care System’s commitment to the health of our communities and the impact they will make in this partnership," said Diane Kemp, executive director of the American Heart Association in Northwest Indiana. "This sponsorship will allow us to spread awareness of our number one and number four killers – heart disease and stroke by bringing programs and educational resources to Porter County.”

The partnership launches on February 1st to celebrate American Heart Month, which has been the signature month for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign, and the message that heart disease is not just a man’s problem. Consider these statistics:

• Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year--Killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds.

• An estimated 44 million women in the U.S. are affected by cardiovascular diseases.

• 90% of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke.

Porter Health Care System will help highlight these issues on National Wear Red Day, Friday, February 5 and as a leading sponsor of the Valparaiso Goes Red event at Valparaiso University’s Harre Union Ballroom on February 19.

“The American Heart Association’s mission is one that Porter Health Care System believes in. Every day, we care for patients who suffer from heart-related diseases. We see firsthand the effect these diseases have on patients, residents and their families,” said Steve Lunn, CEO of Porter Health Care System. “Porter’s support will help fund research, advocacy efforts and educational resources as well as the Go Red for Women movement and Heart Walk event. By partnering with the American Heart Association we will be making a difference to help build healthier lives and raise awareness to heart disease and stroke throughout Porter County.”

The Go Red for Women movement continues to gain momentum in Northwest Indiana and it harnesses the energy, passion and power women have to band together and collectively wipe out heart disease. When women know their risk for heart disease and take action it can reduce their personal risk.

"We have incredible respect for Porter Health Care System and its cardiovascular expertise. This partnership will give our community the tools they need to lead a heart healthy life. It will help each of our communities address a very specific and challenging issue – that being women’s heart health through the Go Red campaign and building a culture of health through the Heart Walk campaign,” said Kemp. "We are grateful for Porter Health Care System’s generosity and willingness to work with us to tackle a tangible solution to a real health crisis and look forward to an impactful year."

LaPorte Hospital Auxiliary proves good things come in small boxes

Suggested cutline: The La Porte Hospital Auxiliary provided $10,000 toward the purchase of new wheelchairs for the hospital in 2015, after having given nearly 10,000 transport rides to patients the year before.

La Porte, Ind. – The La Porte Hospital Auxiliary ended 2015 with a very powerful message that came in a tiny box. During the Indiana University La Porte Hospital Volunteer Holiday Party in December, Auxiliary philanthropy chairperson Marcia Morris and Auxiliary President Ed Gondeck presented hospital president and CEO G. Thor Thordarson with a gift of $20,646 in a very clever way.

Thordarson accepted a large wrapped box that held an intriguing message directing him to open a smaller wrapped box inside. After going through a series of nested boxes and clever messages, Thordarson finally came to the smallest box containing the monetary gift, and held it up for all to cheer.

“Our Auxiliary and volunteers have been such an important part of our organization for generations, and I’m so grateful for their support both through monetary gifts and the greatest gift of all – their time. We were able to put these funds to great use right away, for the benefit of our community and the health of our patients and visitors, in body, mind and spirit,” Thordarson said. Volunteers gave more than 30,000 hours of time in 2015.

Of the total gift, $17,000 went toward the Community Health Center, which provides primary care services to individuals in the community who are uninsured or under-insured on a sliding fee scale; $1,000 went toward the Chapel Organ Fund within the La Porte Hospital Foundation; and $2,646 went to the Foundation’s Samaritan Fund, which provides resources for patients to help pay for outlying expenses related to catastrophic illnesses (such as transportation to treatments).

“The La Porte Hospital Auxiliary has always kept community health and wellbeing as a top priority when making our philanthropic selections. We are grateful for the support that our hospital, Community Health Center, and Foundation have provided over the years to improve community health and make our community a better place to live, so it’s rewarding to give back. We look forward to supporting community health initiatives for years to come,” Morris said.

Anyone who enters IU Health La Porte Hospital likely has encountered a volunteer cheerfully and compassionately helping visitors and patients navigate the hospital and campus. In 2015 alone, the Auxiliary Guest Shuttle provided more than 10,000 rides to hospital guests and colleagues, and almost the same amount of wheelchair transports inside the facility as well. The Auxiliary provided $10,000 toward the purchase of new wheelchairs for the hospital in 2015.

The gifts provided were raised by Auxiliary members through various activities including Wishing Well Gift Shop sales, and community sales events of books and chocolate.

For more information about becoming a member of the La Porte Hospital Auxiliary or a hospital volunteer, contact Volunteer Services at 219.326.2451.

Munster doctor presents at conference

Dr. Nitin Khanna, of Munster, presented at the Insurgency Spine meeting in San Diego. The meeting brought 80 key surgeons from major academic institutions around the world together to present on advances in cutting edge spine surgery. “The role of alignment in spine surgery has taken on an increased degree of importance," said Khanna, a surgeon with Orthopedic Specialists of Northwest Indiana. "Long-term outcomes and avoidance of additional surgery seems to be related to addressing alignment from the beginning. We now have advanced tools to quickly and accurately measure and address alignment intraoperatively. These advanced techniques may increase the longevity of these spinal procedures."

Day of Dance celebrates, promotes women’s health

Franciscan Alliance’s fifth annual Day of Dance program will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza, 800 E. 81st Ave.

The Spirit of Women-sponsored event, which has grown in popularity each year, offers free screenings, a Dessert with the Docs health topics program, a vendor bazaar, refreshments and door prizes and hours of dancing. New this year will be line-dance instruction, a healthy habits program, carpal tunnel assessments, hands-only CPR instruction, sleep assessments and Alpha-1 information.

Alpha-1 is a genetic condition that can result in lung disease in adults and in liver disease at any age.

Doors open at 12:30 p.m.; health screenings will take place until 4 p.m.

Keep reading for FREE!
Enjoy more articles by signing up or logging in. No credit card required.

The event is open only to Spirit of Women members. Free enrollment is available at FranciscanAlliance.org/NWISpiritofWomen.

Registration is required and also is available at that website, or by calling (800) 931-3322.

Ingalls to host free women’s heart event

When it comes to your heart, you can’t afford to take chances. But the good news is it’s never too late to protect your heart health.

Ingalls Health System is hosting Hearts in the Right Place III, a free women’s heart event Saturday, Feb. 27, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Ingalls Family Care Center in Flossmoor. This is Ingalls’ third annual heart disease and women presentation.

According to the American Heart Association, nearly 90 percent of all women have at least one or more risk factors for developing heart disease. In fact, it’s so pervasive among the fairer sex, that heart disease is responsible for one out of three deaths in American women every year. Come listen to Ingalls heart experts talk about how you can protect yourself from heart disease.

Highlights of the Feb. 27 Ingalls event include interactive booths, hands-only CPR demonstrations, nutrition demonstrations, free chair massages at three stations, giveaways, prizes and light refreshments.

The event is free, but registration is requested. Call 708.915.CARE (2273) or register online at Ingalls.org.

Heart-healthy education at Porter hospital

To increase awareness during American Heart Month, Porter Regional Hospital will present a series of heart-healthy programs to help educate the community on the prevention and treatment of heart disease – the leading cause of death of both men and women according to the American Heart Association.

The programs are free and will be held in the Community Room at Porter Regional Hospital, 85 East US Highway 6 in Valparaiso. Pre-registration is required. To register, call 1-800-541-1861.

• Regaining Your Rhythm

Atrial fibrillation or AFib is a common heart rhythm disorder that affects about 2.6 million people annually. Symptoms, often described as frightening, include a rapid heartbeat or fluttering in the chest. The presence of AFib increases an individual’s risk of stroke five-fold. Join Cardiac Electrophysiologist Dr. Mark Dixon to learn how AFib is diagnosed and the new medical treatments available. The event will be held at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 2.

• The Heart of a Woman

Women are strong in so many ways, but they’re actually more vulnerable to heart disease than men. Yet the good news is so much surrounding heart disease is preventable, if women choose to take charge of their heart health. Join Cardiologist Dr. Maya Kommenini to learn more about the unique heart health needs of women and how she offers a multidisciplinary approach to women’s cardiac care. The event will be held at 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 11.

• The Subtle Symptoms of Heart Valve Disease

If you’ve gradually been finding that simple tasks make you short-of-breath, or that you’re more fatigued than usual, it may be time to get evaluated for heart valve disease. Join Cardiologist Dr. Jay Shah and Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon Dr. Walid Khabbaz to learn more about the subtle warning signs of heart valve disease, the importance of early detection and best treatment options. The event will be held at 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 18.

• PAD … Are you Listening to Your Legs?

It is estimated that by the age of 65, up to 20% of the population will have peripheral artery disease (PAD), a circulatory problem in which there is partial or total blockage of an artery in a leg, arm or torso. Join Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Sandeep Sehgal to learn more about how PAD is diagnosed and the best treatment options. The event will be held at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 24. Attendees will have the opportunity to sign up for a free ankle-brachial index screening, a test to check for peripheral artery disease of the legs.

Porter Health Care System has two hospital campuses and seven outpatient facilities serving Porter, Lake, LaPorte, Starke, Newton, Marshall and Jasper counties. With more than 350 physicians representing 50 medical specialties, Porter Health Care System is committed to medical excellence and personalized, patient-centered care. Porter is directly or indirectly owned by a partnership that proudly includes physician owners, including certain members of the hospital’s medical staff.

St. Catherine Hospital celebrates Heart Health Month

Tuesday, Feb. 16: Mini Heart Fair in the Professional Office Building, POB, north entrance, at St. Catherine Hospital, 4321 First St., East Chicago. Free health screenings for the community and employees, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Lunch & Learn presentation by Jaime El-Harit, nurse practitioner, on the topic, "Cardiac Risk Factors & Prevention," from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Registration is requested. Please call 219-836-3477 or 1-866-836-3477.

Thursday, Feb. 18: Silver Sneakers class demonstration in the Professional Office Building (POB), north entrance, at St. Catherine Hospital, 4321 First St., East Chicago. Steve Harmon, RN, will put on a free demonstration of the exercise program designed to increase muscle strength, range of movement and skills for daily living to the public and employees, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. A Cardiac Rehab Open House and Fitness Center tour follows from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

Friday, Feb. 19: St. Catherine employees and Cardiac Rehab patients will celebrate Heart Health Month with Go Red Day. All will show their support for cardiac wellness by wearing red and by donating a non-perishable food item for The Salvation Army food pantry in East Chicago.

COMMUNITY HEALTHCARE SYSTEM HOSPITALS TAKING LEAD IN

MONITORING HEART FAILURE PATIENTS

EAST CHICAGO - Heart failure patients are staying away from the hospital longer and enjoying a better quality of life thanks to a new FDA-approved monitoring device. St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart are among the first hospitals in Northwest Indiana to provide patients with The CardioMEMS™ HF System, a new miniaturized, wireless monitoring sensor that manages heart failure and significantly reduces hospital admissions.

“Before MEMS, heart failure management has relied on patients reporting symptoms after their heart failure has significantly worsened,” said P. Ramon Llobet, MD, interventional cardiologist on staff at St. Catherine Hospital. “The new system allows physicians to be more proactive in the treatment of heart failure.”

The system includes an implantable pulmonary artery sensor, a delivery system and Patient Electronics System. The sensor is implanted in the pulmonary artery during a non-surgical procedure to directly measure inside pressure. Increased pulmonary artery pressures appear before weight and blood pressure changes which are often used as indirect measures of a downturn in heart failure.

Patients take a daily reading from home or other non-clinical locations using the Patient Electronics System which sends the information to the doctor. After analyzing the information, the doctor may make medication changes to help treat the patient’s heart failure and reduce the likelihood of hospitalization.

The Patient Electronic System consists of an electronics unit and pillow with a built in antenna that can be used at home, work, travel or other locations. Once each day, the patient lies on the pillow and the antenna wirelessly gathers and transmits information to a secure website which a practitioner looks for warning trends. This report helps reduce hospitalizations for those with congestive heart failure.

CardioMEMS HF System allows patients to transmit critical information about their heart failure status to a clinician on a regular basis, without the need for additional clinic or hospital visits. This provides clinicians with the ability to detect worsening heart failure sooner and adjust treatment to reduce the likelihood that the patient will need to be hospitalized.

"CardioMems is a new technology that has been a game changer for the management of advanced chronic congestive heart failure patients,” said Kais Yehyawi, MD, cardiologist/interventional cardiologist on staff at St. Mary Medical Center. “It helps to decrease, if not altogether avoid, patient hospitalization by catching any issues before they occur. It does so by picking up early warning signs days before the patient could potentially feel any symptoms, and the device wirelessly alerts the physician. Ultimately, it allows the cardiologist to manage the patient in an efficient fashion that is tailored to each specific patient's needs. "

The CardioMEMS sensor is designed to last the lifetime of the patient and doesn’t require batteries. Once implanted, the wireless sensor sends pressure readings to an external patient electronic system. There is no pain or sensation for the patient during the readings.

Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 5.1 million Americans have heart failure, with 670,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Patients with heart failure are frequently hospitalized, have a reduced quality of life and face a higher risk of death.

“With this new advanced technology, our cardiologists and their supportive team of professionals can identify and assist patients earlier, and in some cases, avoid hospitalization,” said Janice Ryba, CEO of St. Mary Medical Center. “The result - positive outcomes and a better quality of life for our heart failure patients.”

Data from a clinical trial showed that the CardioMEMS technology reduces heart failure hospital admissions by up to 37 percent. The CHAMPION trial studied the effectiveness of the CardioMEMS HF System in New York Heart Association (NYHA) Functional Classification System class III heart failure patients who had been hospitalized for heart failure in the previous 12 months. Results of the trial demonstrated a statistically significant 28 percent reduction in the rate of heart failure hospitalizations at six months, and 37 percent reduction in heart failure hospitalizations during an average follow-up duration of 15 months.

“St. Catherine Hospital continues to look at new ways of treating heart failure and helping to improve patient care with innovative technological advances,” said Craig Bolda, chief operating officer.

Roughly 1.4 million patients in the U.S. have NYHA Class III heart failure, and historically these patients account for nearly half of all heart failure hospitalizations. According to the American Heart Association, the estimated direct and indirect cost of heart failure in the U.S. for 2012 was $31 billion and that number is expected to more than double by 2030.

Porter Regional Hospital Offers Childbirth Education Classes for February

Porter Regional Hospital will present the following childbirth education classes in February:

• Childbirth Education

This comprehensive class covers all aspects of pregnancy, labor, and birth, postpartum and newborn care. Natural coping methods will be discussed, such as relaxation and breathing, as well as the use of pain medication and epidural anesthesia. Your partner or support person is encouraged to attend with you. Register in your fourth or fifth month of pregnancy and take the classes in your seventh or eighth month. Classes will meet for four consecutive weeks from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 8, 15, 22 and 29 in the Women & Children’s Pavilion classroom at Porter Regional Hospital, 85 East US Highway 6 in Valparaiso. The cost for the Childbirth Education class is $65 per couple. Pre-registration is required. To register, call 1-800-541-1861.

• CPR for Family & Friends

For those wanting to gain knowledge of CPR but do not need to be certified, this American Heart Association program covers all of the basics of CPR and choking for infants, children and adults. The class will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday,

Feb. 11 in the Women & Children’s Pavilion classroom at Porter Regional Hospital, 85 East US Highway 6 in Valparaiso. The cost for the class is $20 per person. Pre-registration is required. To register, call 1-800-541-1861.

• Breastfeeding Class

This free, one-session class coordinated by an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant is geared for expectant and new parents, designed to promote successful breastfeeding and how to get started. The class will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 9 in the Women & Children’s Pavilion classroom at Porter Regional Hospital, 85 East US Highway 6 in Valparaiso. The cost is free and pre-registration is required. To register, call 1-800-541-1861.

• Fast-Track Childbirth Education

Spend one full Saturday in this expedited version of the Childbirth Education class to learn all of the aspects of pregnancy and birth. The class will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 13 or 20 in the Women & Children’s Pavilion classroom at Porter Regional Hospital, 85 East US Highway 6 in Valparaiso. The cost for the Fast-Track Childbirth Education class is $65 per couple. Pre-registration is required. To register, call 1-800-541-1861.

• New Beginnings Tours

Learn what your experience will be like during a 30-minute tour of the labor, delivery, postpartum and nursery areas at Porter Regional Hospital. Tours will be held at 2 p.m. Saturdays, Feb. 6 and 13, and at 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Feb. 16 and 23. The tours are free and space is limited. To register, call 219-983-8343.

• eLearning Online Childbirth Education

This online version of the Childbirth Education class offers an alternative for women and their support person who cannot attend a conventional prepared childbirth class due to bed rest, scheduling conflicts or time constraints. The interactive Web-based program includes animated illustrations, videos and games. Your partner or support person is encouraged to participate with you online. Register to participate in the online learning during your sixth or seventh month by calling 219-983-8692. The cost for the class is $75.

New Mindfulness Therapeutic Support Group to Begin for

New Moms in Northwest Indiana

CROWN POINT, IN – Crown Counseling announced a new therapeutic support group for new moms in the region. The Mindful Moms Therapeutic Support Group offers a safe and nurturing environment for new moms struggling with the challenge of parenthood.

This 8-week group session, rooted in Mindfulness-Based practices, will focus on a variety of topics including life balance, body image, intimacy and relationships, as well as providing tools to help reduce stress and anxiety while juggling the responsibilities of parenthood. The group setting allows for new moms to share experiences and learn from each other, in addition to offering relevant parenting education and resources, in a setting that welcomes babies so that moms can also be available to their newborns.

Mindfulness Meditation is a research-based, non-sectarian form of meditation that has been clinically shown to reduce symptoms of chronic pain, anxiety and depression. Studies show that participating in an 8-week Mindful Meditation group begins the cultivation of coping strategies and tools for potential life-long benefits.

The group will meet on Tuesdays at Crown Counseling – 1308 Main Street in Crown Point – from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and will be $249 for the 8-week class. Babies are welcome to attend with their moms. For more information about the group, please contact Erin Swinson at erins@crowncounseling.org or Kristen Oberc at kristeno@crowncounseling.org.

Crown Counseling is a mental health agency located in Crown Point, Indiana, committed to improving the lives of individuals and their families affected by abuse, addiction, mental illness, mood and anxiety disorders, gender identity concerns and academic struggles. Crown Counseling offers individual therapy, as well as family and group therapy interventions.

A Heart Healthy Month of Education at Porter Regional Hospital

During American Heart Month

To increase awareness during American Heart Month, Porter Regional Hospital will present a series of heart-healthy programs to help educate the community on the prevention and treatment of heart disease – the leading cause of death of both men and women according to the American Heart Association.

The programs are free and will be held in the Community Room at Porter Regional Hospital, 85 East US Highway 6 in Valparaiso. Pre-registration is required. To register, call 1-800-541-1861.

• Regaining Your Rhythm

Atrial fibrillation or AFib is a common heart rhythm disorder that affects about 2.6 million people annually. Symptoms, often described as frightening, include a rapid heartbeat or fluttering in the chest. The presence of AFib increases an individual’s risk of stroke five-fold. Join Cardiac Electrophysiologist Dr. Mark Dixon to learn how AFib is diagnosed and the new medical treatments available. The event will be held at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 2.

• The Heart of a Woman

Women are strong in so many ways, but they’re actually more vulnerable to heart disease than men. Yet the good news is so much surrounding heart disease is preventable, if women choose to take charge of their heart health. Join Cardiologist Dr. Maya Kommenini to learn more about the unique heart health needs of women and how she offers a multidisciplinary approach to women’s cardiac care. The event will be held at 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 11.

• The Subtle Symptoms of Heart Valve Disease

If you’ve gradually been finding that simple tasks make you short-of-breath, or that you’re more fatigued than usual, it may be time to get evaluated for heart valve disease. Join Cardiologist Dr. Jay Shah and Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon Dr. Walid Khabbaz to learn more about the subtle warning signs of heart valve disease, the importance of early detection and best treatment options. The event will be held at 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 18.

• PAD … Are you Listening to Your Legs?

It is estimated that by the age of 65, up to 20% of the population will have peripheral artery disease (PAD), a circulatory problem in which there is partial or total blockage of an artery in a leg, arm or torso. Join Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Sandeep Sehgal to learn more about how PAD is diagnosed and the best treatment options. The event will be held at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 24. Attendees will have the opportunity to sign up for a free ankle-brachial index screening, a test to check for peripheral artery disease of the legs.

Porter Regional Hospital Offers Support Groups in February

Porter Regional Hospital will offer the following monthly support groups in February:

• Breast Cancer Support Group – Hope & Healing

Porter Regional Hospital offers Hope & Healing, a support group for people coping with breast cancer, whether newly diagnosed or a long-term survivor. The group offers emotional support, information, education, and guest speakers. It also provides the opportunity for individuals to share their unique concerns and feelings brought on by breast cancer. The Hope & Healing Support Group meets on the first Tuesday of the month. The next meeting will be from 5 to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 2, at Fagen Pharmacy, 3400 N. Calumet Ave in Valparaiso. For more information, contact Peggy Banks at 219-983-6128.

• Diabetes Support Group

Whether you are newly diagnosed or have been living with diabetes for a while, it is important that you take care of yourself to reduce the chance for complications later on. Eight times a year, Porter Regional Hospital hosts a support group where a variety of topics are discussed and shared, and a nurse educator or dietitian will be on-hand to facilitate. The next meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9 in the Community Room at Porter Regional Hospital at 85 East US Highway 6 in Valparaiso. For more information, call 219-263-7353.

• Ostomy Support Group

Porter Regional Hospital offers a support group for ostomy patients. The group helps patients learn from others, share concerns and talk with one of the hospital’s certified wound ostomy and continence nurses. The group meets on the fourth Thursday of each month. The next meeting will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 25 in the Community Room at Porter Regional Hospital, 85 East US Highway 6 in Valparaiso. For more information, contact Sarah Grcich at 219-309-5939 or Michele Kaplan-Jones at 219-406-0019.

• Stroke Survivor Support Group

Porter Regional Hospital offers a support group for stroke survivors, their caregivers, family members and loved ones. The monthly gathering offers an environment to share experiences and struggles, as well as connect with other survivors and local resources. The next meeting will be from 2 to 3:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 25 at the Duneland Family YMCA at 215 Roosevelt St. in Chesterton. For more information, call 219-983-8355.

BrightStar Care of Valparaiso awarded accreditation

BrightStar Care of Valparaiso today announced that it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for home care accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal of Approval® is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective care.

BrightStar Care of Valparaiso underwent a rigorous on-site survey in December 2015. During the survey, compliance with home care standards reflecting key organization areas were evaluated, including the provision of care, treatment and services, emergency management, human resources, individual rights and responsibilities, and leadership. The accreditation process also provided BrightStar of Valparaiso with education and guidance to help staff continue to improve its home care program’s performance.

Established in 1988, The Joint Commission’s Home Care Accreditation program supports the efforts of its accredited organizations to help deliver safe, high quality care and services. More than 6,000 home care programs currently maintain accreditation, awarded for a three-year period, by The Joint Commission.

“BrightStar of Valparaiso is pleased to receive accreditation from The Joint Commission, the premier health care quality improvement and accrediting body in the nation,” states owner Rick Lijana. “Staff from across our organization continue to work together to strengthen the continuum of care and to deliver and maintain optimal home care services for those in our community.”

The Joint Commission’s home care standards are developed in consultation with health care experts, home care providers and researchers, as well as industry experts, purchasers and consumers. The standards are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help organizations measure, assess and improve performance.

WHAT IS MEDFIT?

Exercise is Medicine-The MedFit Way will be held on Feb. 10 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. at the Community Hospital Fitness Pointe, located at 9950 Calumet Ave., Munster, Ind. Find out how you can attain better health and live longer with a chronic condition such as diabetes, heart disease or obesity in this presentation.

This program is FREE, but registration is required. Call 219-836-3477 or toll free 866 836-3477. For information on other health-related programs offered by Community Healthcare System visit our website at www.comhs.org.

-more-

FREE ALZHEIMER’S/DEMENTIA SUPPORT GROUP

An Alzheimer's and Dementia Support Group will be held for those caring for someone with Alzheimer's or other types of dementia on Feb. 10 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. The group meets at Hartsfield Village, located at 10000 Columbia Ave., Munster, Ind.

This support group is free. Call (219) 934-0750 to register. For information on other programs offered by Community Healthcare System visit our website at www.comhs.org.

-more-

EXPLORING PERIPHERAL ARTERIAL DISEASE (PAD)

Community Care Network of Indiana and Board Certified Cardiologist Samer Abbas, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.S.C.A.I. invites you to join him for a FREE seminar to discuss the facts about PAD and other cardiovascular conditions that can critically restrict blood flow through various parts of the body. Straight from the Heart: Exploring Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) will be held on Feb. 11 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. at Community Hospital located at 901 MacArthur Blvd., Munster, Ind.

This program is FREE, but registration is required by calling 219-836-3477 or toll free 866 836-3477. For information on other programs offered by Community Healthcare System visit our website at www.comhs.org.

-more-

FREE WEIGHT LOSS CLASS

Internal Medicine Practitioner Mary Tilak, MD, PC, will discuss the different aspects of the medical weight loss journey. Learn how you can reveal the "New You" empowered with good health, self-esteem and confidence with the support of our experienced team. Weight Loss Options to Fit Your Life will be held on Feb. 15 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. at the Community Hospital Medical Office Building, located at 801 MacArthur Blvd., Munster, Ind.

This program is FREE, but registration is required by calling 219-836-3477 or toll free 866 836-3477. For information on other programs offered by Community Healthcare System visit our website at www.comhs.org.

-more-

$30 CHOLESTEROL SCREENING

Community Hospital offers a Coronary Health Appraisal on Feb. 16 from 8:00-10:30 a.m., at the Community Hospital Outpatient Center located at 9660 Wicker Ave, St. John, Ind. The screening includes cholesterol (Total, LDL, HDL, triglycerides), blood sugar testing, blood pressure & more.

The fee is $30 and registration is required by calling (219) 836-3477 or toll free (866) 836-3477. For information on other programs offered by the Community Healthcare System, please visit our website at www.comhs.org.

FREE GRANDPARENTS CLASS

New grandparents can review basic baby care and learn new practices and recommendations for infant care at the Grandparents Class on Feb. 8 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at 800 MacArthur Blvd, Suite 30, Munster, Ind.

This program is FREE, but registration is required by calling 219-836-3477 or toll free 866 836-3477. For information on other programs offered by Community Healthcare System visit our website at www.comhs.org.

New emergency department a thing of beauty to Munster

Franciscan Health-Munster recently received a Beautification Award from the town's Chamber of Commerce, following the opening in January of a new Emergency Department, which is the highlight of a massive hospital renovation project, other components of which will be completed soon. Shown with the award plaque are, from left, Sean Leahy, hospital director of ancillary and support services; Sister Maria Kolbe Elsto, chaplain; Sister Aline Shultz, chief operations officer; Sister Cecilia Clare Stoffel, patient advocate; and Laura Mannion, a member of the chamber's Board of Directors and Franciscan Alliance Foundation director of development. Not pictured is Wendy Mis, chamber executive director, who earlier presented the award. During the presentation, Mis said, “The $70 million investment to improve health care in Northwest Indiana, by offering a five-level emergency department, is just the beginning of a massive expansion project here in Munster. The high level of quality health care services offered, as well as the beautiful facilities, made the decision to present the award to Franciscan Health an easy one.” The chamber established the annual award in 1987, to encourage and recognize businesses that make extraordinary efforts to improve and beautify their property, whether inside or out, not only for the benefit of their business, but for the enjoyment of the community as a whole, Mis said.

Be the first to know - Sign up for Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.
0
0
0
0
0

Health Reporter

Giles is the health reporter for The Times, covering the business of health care as well as consumer and public health. He previously wrote about health for the Lawrence (Kansas) Journal-World. He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.