Archive for the ‘awards’ Category

ACR Ultrasound Accreditation

SIH has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in ultrasound as the result of an extensive review by the American College of Radiology (ACR). Ultrasound imaging, also known as sonography, uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of internal body parts to help providers diagnose illness, injury or other medical problems.

What does ACR accreditation mean for SIH patients?

  • SIH has voluntarily gone through a rigorous review process to ensure that we meet nationally-accepted standards of care.
  • Our ultrasound personnel are well qualified, through education and certification, to perform medical imaging and administer your ultrasound examinations. Our radiologists are board certified through the American Board of Radiology to interpret your ultrasound images.
  • SIH equipment is appropriate for the test or treatment you will receive and our facility meets or exceeds quality assurance and safety guidelines.

The SIH Ultrasound departments successfully renewed accreditation at six locations and added an additional accreditation at a seventh site.

  • Memorial Hospital of Carbondale (MHC) Ultrasound.
  • Herrin Hospital Ultrasound
  • Logan Primary Ultrasound
  • Benton Diagnostic Center Ultrasound
  • St. Joseph Memorial Hospital Ultrasound
  • Center for Medical Arts Ultrasound
  • Primary Care Harrisburg obtained their initial accreditation for Ultrasound


The ACR gold seal of accreditation at SIH represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Parameters and Technical Standards, following a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs are assessed. The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report that can be used for continuous practice improvement.

The ACR, founded in 1924, is a professional medical society dedicated to serving patients and society by empowering radiology professionals to advance the practice, science, and professions of radiological care. The College serves more than 37,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.

The Imaging leadership is VERY proud of the work done by their sonographers and radiologists to achieve and maintain American College of Radiology Ultrasound accreditation for the scope of Ultrasound services they offer at numerous SIH locations.

Ultrasound patients at SIH are able to feel confident with the expertise of our entire ultrasound team who work collaboratively to ensure that we deliver high-quality care to our patients.

Herrin Hospital’s Own the Bone® Program Recognized As a Star Performer

The American Orthopedic Association (AOA) has recognized Herrin Hospital’s Own the Bone® program as a Star Performer. Own the Bone® is a national post-fracture quality improvement initiative providing institutions with tools to ensure that patients receive the treatment required to help prevent future fractures.

For Herrin Hospital to earn this status, it had to educate and refer at least 10 patients who were at least 75 percent compliant on half of the AOA’s 10 recommended measures. Even though the facility didn’t initiate the program until February of 2016, the success was readily apparent as 34 patients were screened that year.

The program, originated in the facility’s Orthopedic Bone & Joint Center, now serves as a partner in the well-being of southern Illinois residents, says Stephanie Banks MSN, RN, ONC, Southern Illinois Healthcare’s Orthopedic Program Coordinator.

“The program certainly helps prevent fragility, or secondary fractures,” Banks says. “Those fractures occur as a result of normal activity, such falling and breaking a bone (hip/wrist) from a standing position or of less height. Osteoporosis (weak or brittle bones) is also associated with such injuries.”

Healthcare professionals stress that it is never too early – or too late – to take care of your bones. The program’s prevention measures are designed to reduce the incidence of future fractures and positively impact osteoporosis treatment.

Statistics show that patients over the age of 50 with osteoporosis-related fractures are twice as likely to sustain another injury. Own the Bone® is designed to reduce those odds, as education and preventative treatments can help reduce that risk.

The following steps can help you improve your bone health:

  • Talk to your doctor. Go over risk factors with your physician and ask about a bone density test. Also, talk with your physician about medications that may help prevent bone loss and reduce your chances of breaking a bone.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D. Good sources of calcium include low-fat dairy products and foods and drinks with added calcium. Good sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, saltwater fish, liver and milk with vitamin D. Some people may need to take nutritional supplements.
  • Get plenty of physical activity. Like muscles, bones become stronger with exercise. The best exercises for healthy bones are strength building and weight bearing, such as walking, climbing stairs, lifting weights, and dancing. Try to get 30 minutes of exercise each day.
  • Live a healthy lifestyle. Don’t smoke, and if you choose to drink alcohol, don’t drink too much.
  • Prevent falls. Falling down can cause a bone to break, especially in someone with osteoporosis. But most falls can be prevented. Check your home for dangers like loose rugs and poor lighting, and have your vision checked. You can increase your balance and strength by walking and taking classes such as Tai Chi, yoga, or dancing.

Banks, who says Herrin Hospital is in line for similar Star Performer status next year, says helping others through this type of program is yet another example of important services offered by SIH.

“I am proud to work for an institution that believes in preventive care and treatment for our community,” she notes. “It’s quite satisfying that we are also nationally recognized for improving the quality care we give to our patients.”

To learn more about Own the Bone visit

Memorial Hospital Recognized for High Standard of Heart Care

Prairie Heart Institute Memorial Hospital of Carbondale has received the American College of Cardiology’s NCDR ACTION Registry–Get With The Guidelines (GWTG) Platinum Performance Achievement Award for 2016. The hospital is one of only 223 hospitals nationwide to receive the honor.

The award recognizes the Prairie team for consistently meeting the goal of treating heart attack patients using the highest standards of care outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association. Memorial Hospital has followed these guidelines for eight consecutive quarters and met a performance standard of 90%.

Treatment guidelines include administering aspirin upon arrival and discharge, timely restoration of blood flow to the blocked artery, smoking cessation counseling and cardiac rehabilitation, among others.

“The STAT Heart and STEMI program at Prairie Heart Institute at MHC is one of the finest programs in the country, taking care of the acute heart attack patients in Southern Illinois,” said the program medical director, Dr. Varadendra Panchamukhi. “Besides timely care of these patients, we also pride ourselves in their appropriate follow up as per ACC/AHA recommended guidelines. The award is a tribute to the entire team who work tirelessly to provide state of the art cardiovascular care to the community.”

Treating Heart Attacks is a Group Effort

Prairie Heart Institute at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale is the receiving facility for a hub & spoke model of heart care spanning throughout southern Illinois. Teams of EMS personnel along with 10 hospital emergency departments in the region make up the Prairie STAT Heart Network for treating heart attacks.

These Include:

  • Herrin Hospital (chest pain center)
  • St. Joseph Memorial Hospital in Murphysboro
  • Franklin Hospital, Benton
  • Ferrell Hospital, Eldorado
  • Harrisburg Medical Center
  • Marshall Browning Hospital, DuQuoin
  • Memorial Hospital, Chester
  • Perry County Hospital, Pinckneyville
  • Union County Hospital, Anna
  • VA Medical Center, Marion

A heart attack occurs when a blood clot in a coronary artery partially or completely blocks blood flow to the heart muscle. The primary means of treatment is getting to a facility capable of opening the blockage, like Memorial Hospital of Carbondale. The facilities and EMS personnel collaborate to make this transfer as seamless as possible, so heart attacks are treated efficiently and with the highest level of quality.

About the ACTION Registry-GWTG

ACTION Registry–GWTG is a partnership between the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association with partnering support from the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care.

The American College of Cardiology is a 52,000-member medical society that is the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team. The mission of the College is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health.

Outstanding Performance by SIH Hospitals

Both Memorial Hospital of Carbondale and Herrin Hospital were recently recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. The organization outlines a set of best practice protocols for hospitals to follow. When hospitals like SIH hospitals, consistently implement these best practice measures, you can count on a higher quality of care.

This past month, the hospitals received a number of recognitions for treatment of heart and stroke issues:

Memorial Hospital:

  • Get With The Guidelines® Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award
  • Get With The Guidelines® AFib Bronze Quality Achievement Award
  • Mission: Lifeline Receiving Center Gold Recognition Award (Heart Attack)
  • Get With The Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award
  • Target: Stroke Honor Roll

Herrin Hospital:

  • Get With The Guidelines® Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award
  • Mission: Lifeline Receiving Center Gold Recognition Award (Heart Attack)
  • Get With The Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award
  • Target: Stroke Honor Roll

View the graphic here

The longer the hospital has been actively collecting data and implementing the guidelines, is reflected in whether they received the Bronze, Silver or Gold recognitions.

First Recognition for Excellence in AFib Management

This is the first time an SIH facility was recognized for its efforts in AFib management.

Behind the scenes, program coordinators work with hospital staff to identify patients admitted for atrial fibrillation (AFib). Then, the goal is to consistently apply best practices to help those cardiac patients.

“The focus is to help patients transition back into the community with proper medications, resources and education,” said Vicki Miller, program coordinator.

Patients with AFib can be frequent visitors to the Emergency Department if their conditions are not managed. “Adhering to the best practices set forth by the American Heart Association helps keep them out of the hospital and living a better life.”

2015 RIC Strategic Alliance Employee Excellence Award

When Liz (Hawkins) Haas was a little girl, little did she know a movie she was watching would influence her career path; but it did, and it’s one she has found great reward in.

Haas, a Physical Therapist at Herrin Hospital, learned she would receive the 2015 RIC Strategic Alliance Employee Excellence Award during a program at the Carterville Community Center Thursday evening. She will travel to Chicago next month where she will be recognized during a special program.

She was among eight nominees from SIH facilities throughout southern Illinois. Haas was nominated for the work she did with two of her patients, a double leg amputee and a high school athlete.
The first had received prosthetic legs and was using a power wheelchair. When Haas learned he was living in a motel and couldn’t even afford a wheeled walker, she took action. She purchased him a walker and researched until she could find him an affordable housing program.

In the other case, the athlete she was working with had few clothes or athletic shoes – she provided his caregiver with the money to purchase them for him.

When asked why she chose to be a physical therapist, Haas replied, “I know it sounds silly, but when I was a little girl I watched the movie ‘Regarding Henry’, I saw how much physical therapy helped him – and I knew that’s what I wanted to do.” The story is about a lawyer who survived a shooting; however, he lost his memory and had to seek rehabilitation therapy to regain his speech and mobility.

Haas said she was thrilled to receive the award; however, she is humbled by the experience. “I work with such amazing people,” said Haas. “I feel like the whole department should get this award.”


Other nominees include Jennifer Brimm, Physical Therapist Assistant, Rehab Unlimited-Harrisburg; Lori Daine – Rehabilitation Office Specialist, Rehab Unlimited-Logan Park; Zandra Fred, Physical Therapist Assistant, Rehab Unlimited – Murphysboro; Howard Mann, Athletic Trainer , Rehab Unlimited-Marion; Brian McIntosh, Registered Nurse, Acute Rehab; Jay Pardus, Physical Therapist, Rehab Unlimited West Frankfort and McLeansboro and Terra Vineyard, Registered Nurse, Acute Rehab, Herrin.

Jim Osborn, Executive Director of Rehabilitation Services – Southern Illinois Healthcare, said this marks the fourteenth year his department has been a part of the program. “Being nominated shows the character of the people working at our facilities,” said Osborn. “They are not striving to receive an award; they are just doing their jobs.”

Dr. Terrence Glennon, Physiatrist and Medical Director of Rehabilitation Services – Southern Illinois Healthcare said he hears from former patients on the “great” care they received while at SIH- RIC facilities. “We are all so glad to be here,” said Glennon. “We work in a wonderful place, and it’s because of the people in the trenches. Our staffs are hands on people; they are the ones who get it done.”

He also thanked Herrin Hospital Administrator Terence Farrell for always making the staff feel they are valued.

Farrell said he enjoys hearing the stories of how the staff goes above and beyond to help their patients. “It is so uplifting to be here and hear your stories,” said Farrell. “I am so proud of our service line and what you all do.”

SIH Cancer Institute Receives National Outstanding Achievement Award

The SIH Cancer Institute was recently presented with the 2014 Outstanding Achievement Award by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). SIH’s cancer program is one of a select group of only 75 U.S. health care facilities with accredited cancer programs to receive this national honor for surveys performed last year. The award acknowledges cancer programs that achieve excellence in providing quality care to cancer patients.

The purpose of the award is to raise awareness on the importance of providing quality cancer care at health care institutions throughout the U.S. In addition, it is intended to:

  • Motivate other cancer programs to work toward improving their level of care.
  • Facilitate dialogue between award recipients and healthcare professionals at other cancer facilities for the purpose of sharing best practices.
  • Encourage honorees to serve as quality-care resources to other cancer programs.
  • Educate cancer patients on available quality-care options.

“This is a great honor and a direct reflection of dedicated physicians and staff. This recognition shows that we strive every day with every patient to go above and beyond, because that is what each patient and family deserves. We are honored to serve our community,” said SIH Cancer Institute System Director Jennifer Badiu.

SIH’s cancer program was evaluated on 34 program standards categorized within one of four cancer program activity areas: cancer committee leadership, cancer data management, clinical services, and quality improvement. The cancer program was further evaluated on seven commendation standards. To be eligible, all award recipients must have received commendation ratings in all seven commendation standards, in addition to receiving a compliance rating for each of the 27 other standards.

“Our goal at the SIH Cancer Institute is to provide the best individualized care for our patients. We are humbled and honored to receive this national recognition. Of note, this is a continuous effort; one that is ongoing to meet the needs of our patients with best practices and evidence-based cancer treatment today and into the future,” said Dr. George Kao, medical director of radiation oncology.

Click here for a list of all cancer programs in the U.S. that received the award.

About the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer

Established in 1922 by the ACS, the CoC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving patient outcomes and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education and the monitoring of comprehensive quality care. The CoC provides the public with information on the resources, services and cancer treatment experience for each CoC-accredited cancer program. The CoC’s accreditation program encourages hospitals, treatment centers, and other facilities to improve their quality of patient care through various cancer-related programs.

New Life Milestone

In February of 2009, the first Gastric Bypass surgery was conducted at New Life Weight Loss Center. Five short years later, they have surpassed 1000 weight loss surgeries and have become the only Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) in the territory between Poplar Bluff, MO and Louisville, KY.

Not only does metabolic and bariatric surgery assist in life changing weight loss, it also results in an almost 99% cure rate for type II diabetes. 

In addition to surgical procedures, New Life Weight Loss Center also conducts six free information sessions a month, six to eight support groups a month as well as an annual Obesity Awareness Walk.

The comprehensive program is thanks in part to:
  • Naresh Ahuja, MD, FASMBS
  • Deepu Sudhakaran, MD, MBA
  • Physician Assistant, Amy Goetz, PAC
  • Program Coordinator, Heather Fear, MS, RN, CBN
  • The dedicated staff at New Life Weight Loss Center
  • 5 certified Bariatric nurses (CBN)
  • The whole surgery team
  • Nurses on the North Unit
  • Clinical Dietitians
  • Administration

New Life Weight Loss Center, a service of Herrin Hospital, offers the only comprehensive bariatric program in the area.

Are you a candidate for weight loss surgery?

Herrin Hospital: 100 Years of Service

2014 is a watershed for Southern Illinois Healthcare as Herrin Hospital celebrates 100 years of continuous service to its communities.

Herrin Hospital has stood as caregiver and healthcare provider in the face of what can only be described as a tumultuous time in Herrin. In an era of riots and gang wars during the late teens and twenties, the hospital withstood. Perhaps no other building in all of southern Illinois has experienced the contrast of machine gun fire of the warring gangland factions; yet also known the compassion exhibited by doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals for a century; has known the joys and sorrows of birth and death to such a degree; has seen firsthand the willingness to serve others 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Today, the 114-bed hospital stands as a sophisticated provider of health care and an economic anchor for this Williamson County community.

Please join us in celebrating this look back at Herrin Hospital’s storied past and ahead to its vibrant future in this commemorative video honoring the hospital’s centennial.

Extraordinary Nursing Recognized

The Daisy Nursing Award Recipients have been announced! The recipients are Stephanie Little at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale, Robin Russell at Herrin Hospital and Mila Nuss at St. Joseph Memorial Hospital. Nurses touch the lives of so many and a number of patients, their families and colleagues took the time to nominate and share how these nurses touched their lives.

Stephanie Little, RN | Memorial Hospital of Carbondale

Stephanie Little
Little works in Obstetrics at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale where miracles happen everyday, but that doesn’t make each of them any less special! Little was working a shift in late September when she met an expectant birth mom and adoptive parents before helping them through their delivery journey. The adoptive mom said, “Working in healthcare, I see a lot of poor excuses for nursing, but that is not what we got.” Little had to push the baby back up in the birth canal to allow doctors to rescue the baby from where she was lodged by performing a C-section. “To say the least she is a lifesaver… She had a rapport and a way about her that conveys care, compassion and ultimately a respect for everyone involved. Little made a huge impact on our lives.” She added, “Our little girl is a gift from God and so is our birth mommy and in that hospital on those days so was Little. I can say I truly saw the fingerprints of God!”

Robin Russell, RN | Herrin Hospital

Robin Russell
Russell, a nurse of 33 years, works in the Intermediate Medical Care Unit (IMCU) at Herrin Hospital. She was nominated by a colleague who states that “Russell is so happy caring for even the most difficult patients and always sees the positive instead of the difficulty.” Russell also teaches nursing–paving the way for future nurses. Her colleague added, “My hope is that the students will emulate her and model themselves after her.”

Mila Nuss, RN | St. Joseph Memorial Hospital

Mila Nuss
Nuss was working in Infusion Services at St. Joseph Memorial Hospital when she met a patient who was just began her first round of chemotherapy. Soon after meeting her patient Nuss could see that she was very sick and called the patient’s doctor to ask about some medications to help her patient during her chemo sessions. It really meant a lot to the patient that Nuss would take the time to help her feel better during this difficult time. Over the course of her treatments, the patient said that Nuss “always had a smile on her face and eased my fears… Nuss felt like part of my family.”

The DAISY Award is brought to you through the collaborative efforts of the SIH Shared Leadership Council. Click here to nominate a nurse that made a difference in your life or a loved one.

About the Daisy Foundation

The DAISY award was established in memory of Patrick Barnes as a way to honor the extraordinary nursing care that Patrick Barnes received while at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. At the age of 33 and just two months after he and his wife Tena welcomed their first child, Pat was diagnosed with the auto-immune disease, ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura), the disease that ultimately took his life a few months later.

The Best of Nursing

Pat’s family experienced the best of Nursing—the clinical skill that dealt with his very complex medical situation, and the fast thinking of nurses who saved his life more than once—nursing excellence that took years to hone to the best of the profession.

What They Did Not Expect

What Pat’s family did not expect was the way his nurses delivered that care—particularly the limitless kindness and compassion they showed Pat and his family every day. Pat’s family was awed by the way the nurses touched him and spoke with him, even when he was on a ventilator and totally sedated. The way the nurses informed and educated the family eased their minds. These nurses truly helped the family through the darkest hours of their lives, with soft voices of hope and strong loving hugs that to this day, they still feel.

Giving Back

Shortly after Patrick’s passing, the family wanted to honor his memory and create a way to say Thank You for the gifts nurses give their patients and families every day, just as they had experienced. That is how the DAISY Nursing Award (where DAISY stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune System) was created in 1999.

Paul Schalch, MD is welcomed as a Fellows of the American College of Surgeons (FACS)

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to improve the quality of care for the surgical patient by setting high standards for surgical education and practice. Members of the American College of Surgeons are referred to as “Fellows.” The letters FACS (Fellow, American College of Surgeons) after a surgeon's name mean that the surgeon's education and training, professional qualifications, surgical competence, and ethical conduct have passed a rigorous evaluation, and have been found to be consistent with the high standards established and demanded by the College. The College has more than 79,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.

SIH Medical Group Otolaryngologist, Paul Schalch, MD at Center for Medical Arts in Carbondale was among 1,622 Initiates from around the world who became Fellows of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) during the Convocation ceremony at the College's 2013 annual Clinical Congress in Washington, DC in October. Dr. Schalch received a medical degree in 2002 from The National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City. Dr. Schalch has a strong professional interest in all aspects of otolaryngology (ENT) and head and neck surgery for adults and children.

We congratulate Dr. Paul Schalch in his initiation into the Fellows of the American College of Surgeons.

For more information or to make an appointment with Dr. Schalch, call 618.549.5361.