Archive for the ‘awards’ Category

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.

Today marks the beginning of Nurse Practitioner Week!

According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Practitioners are more than just health care providers; they are mentors, educators, researchers and administrators. By providing high-quality care and counseling, NPs can lower the cost of health care for patients.

With almost 600 million visits made to Nurse Practitioners each year, patients report an extremely high level of satisfaction with the care they receive. Nurse Practitioners bring a comprehensive perspective to health care.

We would like to thank all the Nurse Practitioners for the dedication and compassion they show their patients today and throughout the year.

Primary Stroke Center is on Top of Their Game

Did you know: 82 percent of ischemic stroke patients get treated within an hour at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale?

Yes, you read that right!

The Stroke Team at Memorial Hospital’s certified Primary Stroke Center is on top of their game.

They work at a furious pace together as a team from various departments to get a patient’s history, vital signs, lab results, CT scans of head and stroke diagnosis – all within 45 minutes of admission, so treatment can be started within the hour.

“More often than not, we have the patient receiving treatment in 40 minutes flat,” said Lesley Cranick, stroke program coordinator at Southern Illinois Healthcare. “Now that is 20 minutes below the national 60 minute goal!”

We are on the Target: Stroke Honor Roll

Memorial Hospital’s stroke program was recently given national recognition when it was placed on the Target: Stroke Honor Roll by the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association; the criteria being to provide at least 50 percent of the hospital's eligible ischemic stroke patients with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital (known as 'door-to-needle' time).

However in Memorial Hospital’s case, the number was much, much higher: 82 percent of ischemic stroke patients got treated within an hour! The average treatment time was about 40 minutes; with an all-time record of 30 minutes flat!

How about that!

Why the Urgency?

The only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the urgent treatment of ischemic stroke, tPA, a thrombolytic, or clot-busting agent, can only be given within the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms. The drug significantly reverses the effects of stroke and reduces permanent disability.

At Primary Stroke Centers across the country, only about 8 percent of patients actually get treated with tPA (clot-busting medication). That same rate is about 20 percent at Memorial Hospital.

To date, only three hospitals in Illinois have Target: Stroke Honor Roll status. Two of the three are in the SIH family: with Memorial Hospital of Carbondale and Herrin Hospital receiving honors.

“We have a specific time window to give clot busting medication to a stroke patient,” said Joseph Haake, M.D., Director of ER at Memorial Hospital. “I am proud of our team, which includes lab/phlebotomy, CT techs, radiologists, ER doctors, nurses, neurologists and the stroke coordinator. We follow a failsafe, standardized process to provide the best outcome for the patient.”

Second Stroke Award

In addition to this, the hospital recently received the prestigious American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award.

To receive the Stroke Gold Plus award Memorial Hospital achieved the following:

  • 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals
  • 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures, aimed at reducing death and disability and improving
    the lives of stroke patients. Quality measures included aggressive use of medications, such as antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation.

Stroke Program Less than Three Years Old

Both the award and honor roll publicly recognize Memorial Hospital’s deep commitment and success in providing outstanding quality, evidence-based stroke care on a consistent basis.

“Memorial has racked up some serious national honors in a program that is less than 3 years old,” said Bhargava Trivedi, M.D., medical director for the Stroke Program at Memorial Hospital. “Patients have an improved chance of full recovery as we have the tools and resources in place that dramatically reduce the time between hospital arrival and treatment with clot-busting drugs. We have a gold-standard practice here in Southern Illinois and that makes me happy!”

For more information on Southern Illinois’ first and only certified Primary Stroke Center, covering a 60-mile radius, visit

During a Stroke Every Minute Counts So Act F.A.S.T.

*Source: American Stroke Association