Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Patient Story Follow-Up “Quilting Connection”

It is not uncommon for a student to eventually become a teacher, coach or mentor, but occasionally the roles reverse and the teacher becomes the student.

In February 2009, Carla Shasteen was in a severe accident that resulted in her need for care at the Acute Rehab Center (ARC) at Herrin Hospital. Carla’s injuries required a team of doctors, nurses and therapists who worked with her to reach her goal of recovery as well as a personal goal – to quilt again. Speech Therapist, Tracy Dalton, was on Carla’s care team and helped her to speak again. At that point, neither Tracy nor Carla had any idea their paths would cross again years later.

Tracy wanted to make a quilt with some t-shirts for a family member, but there was one problem – she had no idea how to make a quilt. While researching quilting online, something interesting caught Tracy’s eye on Facebook. A class was being offered at John A. Logan College on making a memory quilt and when she read the instructor’s name, she was excited to learn it was Carla Shasteen. Tracy quickly registered for the course.

While Tracy was attending Carla’s quilting class, a thought came to her. “It struck me sitting there in class how much Carla has achieved and I had a part in helping her recover.” The roles of student and teacher don’t often reverse, but when they do it can be a very rewarding experience.

Carla enjoys teaching ladies how to plan and create memory quilts, but she enjoys the fact that she is able to provide this service, even more, thanks to her care team – including Tracy – at ARC.


Widespread Flu Activity Prompts Restricted Visitation

With the increase in regional flu activity, we’re implementing temporary changes to our hospital visitor policy in the best interest of our patients and staff.

Here’s what to expect:

  • Beginning January 3, 2018, visitation is limited to individuals 18 years of age or older and a maximum of two visitors per patient at a time.
  • Possible exceptions include, but are not limited to, end-of-life care.
  • At age 55, women should have mammograms every other year – though women who want to keep having yearly mammograms should be able to do so.
  • In extenuating circumstances, the patient’s nurse will work with the patient and the patient’s family to assess the situation and rule out flu-like symptoms.

We care about your health. If you have any questions about this temporary policy change, please reach out to the hospital’s infection prevention department and/or ask to speak with the house supervisor.

Influenza in Illinois:

The Illinois Department of Public Health reports widespread regional flu activity via this online Influenza Surveillance Update.. Widespread activity means an increase in influenza-like illness (ILI) and/or institutional outbreaks (nursing homes, hospitals, schools, prisons, etc.) in at least half of the regions and recent (within the past three weeks) lab confirmed influenza in the state.

Aortic Stenosis

What is Aortic Stenosis (AS)?

Aortic stenosis (AS) is a serious and potentially life threatening condition that develops when there is a buildup of calcium on the aortic valve. This causes the valve to become stenotic (stiff) and the opening smaller. As a result, your heart has to work harder and less blood can be delivered to your body. As the blood passes through the stenotic valve, it creates a sound called a murmur. Your doctor might hear this sound when using a stethoscope to listen to your heart. This sound may be one of the first indications that you have a heart valve problem.

Normal blood flow through your heart

Your heart has four chambers and four valves. The valves prevent the blood from flowing backward as it travels through the heart. Normally, unoxygenated blood enters the right atrium and travels through the tricuspid valve into the right ventricle. Blood leaves the right ventricle through the pulmonic valve to enter the lungs for reoxygenation. Once the blood has been replenished with oxygen, it returns to the heart via the pulmonary vein and enters the left atrium.Your blood will leave the left atrium by passing through the mitral valve to enter the final chamber of the heart, the left ventricle. The left ventricle is responsible for pumping the oxygen-rich blood through the aortic valve to your body.

What causes AS?

  • Increased age
  • Birth Defects
  • Rheumatic Fever
  • Radiation Therapy

What are the Symptoms of AS?

Although some people do not report any symptoms, it is more likely that they have decreased their activity as their aortic stenosis worsened. More commonly you will experience one or more of the symptoms below.

  • Shortness of Breath
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Passing out or fainting
  • Palpitations or fast heart beat
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased activity tolerance
  • Swelling of the lower legs or feet

What happens if AS goes untreated?

As the aortic valve becomes more stenotic or stiff, your heart must work harder to deliver blood to the rest of your body. Over time this causes your heart muscle to become weak, eventually resulting in heart failure. After the onset of symptoms, patients with severe aortic stenosis have a survival rate as low as 50% at 2 years and 20% at 5 years without aortic valve replacement.

What’s Next?

Aortic stenosis is a complex medical condition best treated by a comprehensive team that can decide which approach is best based on a person’s medical and overall physical condition. A multidisciplinary team of specialists from Prairie Heart Institute, SIH Medical Group Cardiothoracic Surgery and Carbondale Memorial Hospital partner to develop individualized care plans while continuously working together to provide patients with innovative and effective cardiovascular care.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with AS or told that you have a murmur you can call 618.529.4455 to request an evaluation with our Heart Valve Clinic.

By consulting with our Heart Valve Team you will have access to world class, highly skilled interventional and non-invasive cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, cardiovascular imaging specialists, cardiac anesthesiologists, and cardiac nurses.

What can I expect if my primary care provider refers me to the Heart Valve Clinic?

During the initial consultation a Cardiologist will perform a comprehensive history and physical exam.

Family history: it is helpful if you gather the information about your family (parents-siblings) prior to meeting your cardiologist as many conditions run in families.

Medical History: your cardiologist will ask you about your overall health, past surgeries, significant illnesses, current medications, and allergies.

Your cardiologist will perform a physical exam which will include listening to your heart for murmurs. This is the sound made as blood passes through your heart valves and can indicate a diseased valve.
Testing may be ordered to assess the heart valves and overall heart function.

Electrocardiogram (EKG): The EKG will record your hearts rate and rhythm by documenting the electrical condition in your heart. Many abnormalities within the heart will result in changes in the electrical condition.

Echocardiogram: An echocardiogram is a sound wave test performed on your heart that allows the cardiologist to assess the function of your heart muscle and valves.
After your initial exam and testing are complete, your cardiologist will review your case with the Structural Heart Team and advice treatment options.

Observation and possibly medication such as a diuretic (water pill) only if the AS is mild. You will also be scheduled for a follow up visit within 3-6 month to assess any changes in your heart valve. If you notice any change in your symptoms or exercise ability you should contact your cardiologist.

Consultation with a Cardiothoracic Surgeon for possible open heart surgery to replace the aortic valve. Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement (SAVR) through open heart surgery is a very common treatment for aortic stenosis. SAVR has been performed for many years. During SAVR, the surgeon opens the chest cavity, removes the diseased aortic valve and replaces it with either a mechanical valve (made from man-made materials) or a biological valve (made from animal or human tissue).

Consultation with the Heart Valve Team (Structural heart team) to be evaluated for TAVR (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement) where the new valve is implanted though a catheter without open heart surgery. Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) may be an alternative for people who have been diagnosed with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis and who are high-risk or too sick for open heart surgery. This less invasive procedure allows a new valve to be inserted within the native, diseased aortic valve. The TAVR procedure can be performed through multiple approaches; however the most common approach is the transfemoral approach (through an incision in the leg). With the heart still beating, a collapsible heart valve inside the catheter is guided into the chest. This valve is only about the diameter of a #2 pencil. Once inside, the replacement valve is expanded, pushing aside the damaged valves. The replacement valve is then secured into place, where it begins to function immediately. The catheter is then removed. Because the procedure is minimally invasive and requires virtually no cutting, most patients can expect an in-hospital recovery time of three days or less.

Our team will guide you and your family through the evaluation process and will be available to assist in coordinating your care every step of the way.
You can find out more about our valve team at

Celebrating Brian McElheny, MD

Today, we honor and celebrate a man who has worked tirelessly for the past 36 years as a family physician in Carbondale.

Brian McElheny, MD, completed medical school at St. Louis University School of Medicine and then ventured to Carbondale to begin the residency program at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale in 1978. Three years later, he opened his practice and has remained devoted to his patients, staff and the community ever since his first day in 1981.

We invite you to come help us celebrate, thank, and honor him for taking care of the community for the past 36 years.

Friday, August 11, 2017
5:00 – 7:00 pm
The Courtyard at Garden Grove Event Center
1215 E Walnut in Carbondale

“I’m really going to miss my patients. I have learned so much from them. They think it’s the other way around but every day, they teach me something new. It has truly been an honor to serve the people in southern Illinois.”

Back to School!

With school starting soon, it’s a good time for your child to have their yearly well child visit. Children preschool age and older should see their pediatrician at least once a year for a checkup. These appointments are important to address any concerns, monitor your child’s growth and development, and receive immunizations. Immunizations are routinely due at kindergarten age, 6th grade, and high school. Flu shots will also be available in the fall.

For children to perform at their best in school, it is important for them to have the right amount of sleep.

The amount of sleep a child needs depends on their age (these times are including naps)

  • Infants 12 to 16 hrs
  • Toddlers 11 to 14 hrs
  • Preschoolers 10-13 hrs
  • Grade school age 9-12 hrs

It’s also helpful to establish a regular bedtime routine including bath, brushing teeth, reading a book, and then bedtime. All electronics/screens should be turned off at least 1 hr before bed.

Good luck to all the parents, children and teachers who are getting ready to enter the new school year!

Pediatrician, Ashley Kaytor, MD is accepting new patients.
To make an appointment call: 618.993.3300
Logan Primary Care-Herrin
405 Rushing Dr Herrin, IL 62948

Your Guide to Viewing the Total Solar Eclipse

Your Guide to Viewing the Total Solar Eclipse

In May, Second Act members were treated to a special session highlighting the solar eclipse taking place Monday, August 21, 2017. The class featured Dr. Scott Ishman, Co-Chair of the Southern Illinois University Eclipse Steering Committee and Associate Dean of the College of Science. Members learned facts about eclipses including things to do and not to do during a solar eclipse. They also found out why southern Illinois is called the Eclipse Crossroads of America.

To watch the complete video of Dr. Ishman’s 2017 Solar Eclipse presentation, click here (note: You may need to login to Facebook)

Total Solar Eclipse vs. a Partial Eclipse?

A Total Solar Eclipse takes place when the moon crosses the path between the sun and the Earth. During this brief time, the moon completely covers the sun and causes it to become dark as night. Before and after the totality of the eclipse, is the partial eclipse phase. The partial eclipse phase is when the moon is only covering part of the sun. Many parts of the United States have the chance to see the total and partial phases, but Carbondale happens to be the location of the longest viewing of the total eclipse; 2 minutes 38 seconds to be exact.

An Epic Event in Southern Illinois

Viewing a total solar eclipse is often a once in a lifetime event. It’s a huge attraction for people all over the country and world. Many will travel long distances to southern Illinois to not only see the eclipse but also research it. It’s especially historic for our region. Why? Because Carbondale happens to be the point of longest duration in 2017, and will also be the location for a secondary total eclipse on Monday, April 8, 2024. This rare circumstance of two total eclipses within seven years gives researchers the chance to study this event from the same location. It’s so significant, a special team from NASA will be set up at SIU.

How to View a Total Solar Eclipse

During the partial eclipse phases, this is when it can cause the most damage to your eyes and could lead to permanent blindness. Always be sure to wear the proper eclipse glasses or look through the solar film when looking at the partially eclipsed sun. When the moon completely covers the sun, this is the moment it’s safe to remove your eclipse glasses. During this time it will suddenly become dark. Wearing your eclipse glasses filters light. During totality, if you leave them on, you will not see the sun’s glow behind the moon. When the total eclipse phase is complete the sun’s bright rays will begin to reappear and transition back into the partial phase. BE SURE TO PUT YOUR SOLAR GLASSES BACK ON DURING THIS TIME.



  • Wear glasses specifically made for eclipses.
  • Be sure to always watch young children for their safety.
  • Use correct solar film on camera lenses, binoculars or telescopes.
  • Be sure to wear sunscreen and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Enjoy this unique experience safely!
  • Look directly into the sun without the proper eclipse glasses or solar film.
  • Use sunglasses or homemade filters. They do not have the proper filters needed to block out the sun’s powerful rays.
  • Remove your eclipse glasses while looking directly at the sun.
  • Always be sure to turn away from the sun when removing your eclipse glasses.
  • Look at the partially eclipsed or the uneclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars or similar viewing devices.
  • Use scratched or damaged eclipse glasses or solar film.

Acquiring Solar Eclipse Glasses

For information on where to get the proper eclipse glasses and answers to other eclipse questions or safety information please visit the Carbondale Eclipse website at Various locations in the region may have a limited supply of solar glasses for sale.

Alternatives to the Special Eclipse Glasses

Although it is recommended anyone planning to view the partial eclipse wear eclipse glasses, there are a few alternatives. Baader Film or Solar Film is available for purchase on the internet and is recommended for people that do not want to wear the eclipse glasses or the glasses do not fit properly. It is also great for covering the lens of binoculars or telescopes and needed for anyone that plans to take pictures with a camera or cell phone. Another alternative may be to look at the shadow on the ground of the partial eclipse. NEVER look directly at a partially eclipsed or uneclipsed sun without proper viewing glasses or filters.

Is Carbondale or SIU the Best Place to View the Total Solar Eclipse?

While there will be activities in Carbondale and SIU, you do not have to be there to view the total solar eclipse. Most places in southern Illinois south of Benton, Illinois will all be in range to view the total eclipse. Carbondale is just in the path to have the longest viewing time available of the eclipse. If you are unable to attend the eclipse but would still like to participate in the festivities, events will be held the weekend leading up to the eclipse in Carbondale and at SIU. For more information about these events please visit the Carbondale Eclipse website at or

Research contributes to the SIH Cancer Institute standards of excellence

Cancer Survivors: Have you completed treatment in the last 2 years? Have trouble sleeping?

Research contributes to the SIH Cancer Institute standards of excellence and innovation in cancer treatment services. SIH is pleased to announce that they are participating in a new clinical trial through the National Cancer Institute’s Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP). The NCORP is a national network of investigators, cancer care providers, and academic institutions that have the shared objective of bringing cancer research opportunities to individuals in their own communities, like the Southern Illinois region. The main goal of the NCORP is to improve patient outcomes and reduce cancer disparities.

Insomnia and sleep disturbance are two of the most common and distressing problems reported by cancer survivors. This new clinical trial is designed to study the post-treatment management of insomnia and sleep disturbance by comparing the effectiveness of yoga, health education, and cognitive behavioral therapy. By participating in this research, cancer survivors will have the opportunity to receive classes that may positively impact their sleep habits and related overall well-being. Additionally, the findings from this study could influence the standard treatment for insomnia in cancer survivors.

To qualify you must:
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be a cancer survivor who has received surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy
  • Have completed all treatment within the last 2-60 months
  • Meet the criteria for insomnia
  • Be able to read and understand English
  • Be able to provide written informed consent
  • Be available for 75-90 minute class sessions, up to 2 times a week for 8 weeks

If you think that you may meet the qualifications for participation in this study, and are interested in learning more, please contact one of the SIH Clinical Research Specialists listed below who will be happy to provide you with more information and assess your eligibility.

Lisa Barnes, BS, RT(R)(T)
Clinical Research Specialist
1 (618) 985-3333 ext. 68371

Justin Walker, MNS
Clinical Research Specialist
1 (618) 457-5200 ext. 67162

Cardiovascular Services Expand in Marion

In order to better serve surrounding communities in the region, Southern Illinois Healthcare’s Prairie Heart Institute is expanding some services to a larger, more convenient location in Marion.

“A large portion of our patients are from the Williamson County area,” said SIH Cardiovascular Director, Steve Albright. “The effort allows patients to have easier access to heart and vascular experts, and a faster track to Prairie Heart Institute’s advanced services.”

The new location is at in Marion next to Niemann American Flooring just off Redco Drive. The building houses:

Prairie cardiologists. Four doctors, Drs. Nabil Al-Sharif, Gangadhar Malasana, V. Panchamukhi, and Magdalena Zeglin, allow Prairie Cardiovascular in Marion to be available four days a week.
Phone: 618.529.4455

Enhanced vascular services.The location serves as a satellite office for Dr. Mohammed Al-Zoubaidi. SIH Medical Group vascular and endovascular surgeon.
Phone: 618.529.0555

Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center. Various heart and vascular tests are available onsite.
Phone: 618.969.8415

Cardiac Management Center. This specialized clinic helps patients manage chronic heart diseases such as heart failure, and high blood pressure, etc. in an effort to improve lifestyle and prevent hospital visits.
Phone: 618.969.8415

Cardiovascular services begin January 9, 2017.

Giving Tuesday: Be Someone’s Hero

Southern Illinois truly looks out for its own. It’s Giving Tuesday, symbolically set for November 29th each year to usher in the holiday season. Consider a one-time, annual, or monthly gift to the SIH Foundation in support of our many community support funds.

Here’s a snapshot of the need among friends and families in our region:

  • The SIH Foundation’s Patient-Community Support Funds have helped 13,271 patients with costs not covered by insurance
  • The SIH Cancer Institute treated 1,039 new patients since opening its doors in the spring of 2015
  • Herrin Hospital is set to exceed its goal by performing over 1,710 surgeries in 2016

Indeed, you have the power to change a life. Monetary gifts are tax-deductible. Reach out to SIH Director of Fund Development Tanna Morgan at (618) 457-5200 extension 67843 or click here to set up online giving.

10 Things Every Heart Failure Patient Should Know

“Be aware of your condition- ask questions about your heart and your medication and know what you can do at home to help yourself the most. Learning about how your lifestyle affects how you feel will make it easier to make healthy choices.” Kristen Schloemann, PA-C, Prairie Cardiovascular

1. The symptoms of heart failure

  • weight gain
  • shortness of breath/li>
  • bloating
  • swelling in feet and legs
  • fatigue
  • muscle weakness
  • coughing, frothing sputum

2. Weigh daily in the morning after urinating and before eating or drinking. Notify your doctor if you notice a gain of two or three pounds in 24 hours, or five pounds in a week.

3. Take all your medications and do not stop any unless you consult your doctor.

4. Fluid intake should be no less than 48 ounces a day and no more than 64 ounces a day.

5. Sodium causes your body to hold extra fluid. The more fluid, the harder the heart has to work. Limit the sodium in your diet to no more than 1500 mg daily.

6. With the 1500 mg limitation, learning to read the nutrition labels is an essential part of managing heart failure. Watch the milligrams of salt in each service size.

7. Salt has 2400 mg of sodium in a single teaspoon.

8. All food has sodium in it. In fact, there are even some hidden salts in the form of things like MSG (often in Asian food) or baking soda. Do not add any salt to your food.

9. Even if you can only do a small amount, exercise will help you have more energy and manage your weight and your stress. We recommend at least 30 minutes a day or your doctor can suggest a safe level of exercise based on your condition and the stage of your disease.

10. You can learn more tips and get low-sodium recipes at the Prairie Heart Institute’s Heart Failure Support Group on the 2nd Thursday of the month. Open to you and your family at the Cardiac Management Center located in the lower level of the Herrin Medical Arts Building.