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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 2-24 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.

Upper Endoscopic Ultrasonography

Gastroenterologist, Melissa Martinez, MD, has recently returned from Canada where she completed Upper Endoscopic Ultrasonography (EUS) training.

EUS is a procedure that uses an endoscope that has an attached ultrasound probe in the tip; this allows the physician to examine the wall of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum, as well as other areas that are near these structures, including the mediastinum, lymph nodes, liver, gallbladder, adrenal glands and pancreas.

EUS is used to diagnose certain conditions that may cause abdominal pain, abnormal weight loss, recurrent pancreatitis, especially when other imaging modalities have been negative. EUS can be very useful in the diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis, gallbladder sludge, bile duct stones, staging or follow up of tumors of the pancreas, diagnosis of lumps or bumps in the walls of the gastrointestinal tract. EUS can also be used to treat chronic pain in patients with chronic pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer.

With this additional EUS training Dr. Martinez has received, patients of southern Illinois can now have this test done locally. For more information on EUS, email

New Nursing Opportunities at SIH

Please help us spread the word!

Southern Illinois Healthcare is actively recruiting 75 registered nurses (RNs) for a variety of openings across our system.

Over half of these jobs are due to recent and ongoing surgical expansion projects at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale and Herrin Hospital, and new beds in intensive care and progressive care units.

With the addition of our new hybrid operating room at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale and our successful physician recruitment effort, SIH offers depth and breadth in a variety of nursing opportunities.

SIH offers:
• A competitive benefits package
• Tuition reimbursement
• Loan forgiveness
• Flex scheduling

Learn more about nursing positions at SIH, visit

Woman credits Herrin Hospital staff with saving her life

In September of 2014 Eugenia was overweight, suffered from asthma and had chronic sinus infections. She wasn’t feeling well when she woke up one morning, but attributed it to a sinus infection. “I got up and just didn’t feel good,” said Eugenia. “I had been on steroids and antibiotics – my head felt heavy. I remember talking to my little dog and saying, ‘Mama needs to call the doctor.’”

She made an appointment with her local physician then drove herself to the office. “I was so sick I honestly thought I was going to die. I prayed the whole drive. By the time I got there I couldn’t get out of the car,” she said. “I looked over and there was a man sitting in the car next to me. I motioned for him to help me.” Once inside Eugenia was immediately taken by ambulance to Herrin Hospital.

Eugenia was unaware she was a diabetic

A blood sugar level of 1013 got her admitted to the intensive care unit for a five day stay. “The doctors and nurses were wonderful to me,” said Eugenia. “I wish I could remember their names so I could thank them.” Eugenia was educated on how to test her blood sugar level and how to give herself insulin. “I didn’t do too well with the needle, so I used the pin.” At one point she was sticking herself eight times a day; four to check her levels and four for shots.

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.

In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down the sugars and starches you eat into a simple sugar called glucose, which it uses for energy. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives.
Some people with type 2 diabetes have symptoms so mild that they go unnoticed.

Common symptoms of diabetes:
  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very hungry – even though you are eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Weight loss – even though you are eating more (type 1)
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)

Eugenia said the education she received at Herrin Hospital regarding her diet has played a major role in her return to good health.
“Before I really didn’t watch anything I ate. I just ate whatever I wanted. It took me a while to really get serious. I had to teach myself to live again,” she said.

Eugenia and her late husband, David, operated a farm near the Olney, Illinois area. “He was a big man, and I did a lot of cooking,” said the 73-year-old. Now 50 pounds lighter, she has learned how to prepare her meals to be healthy and she also documents her blood sugar readings in a journal daily. “Today it is 82,” she said with a smile.

“I have a new lease on life”

Since taking charge of her health by losing weight and walking when she’s able, Eugenia is no longer on any insulin medication.
“I used the money I was spending on medication to buy a new car,” she laughed. Eugenia now prepares most of her meals at home, but does treat herself to an occasional piece of Russell Stover sugar free candy or Cracker Barrel sugar free syrup. Since her life style change Eugenia has had less asthma attacks, urinary tract and bladder infections.

“There was no family history of diabetes in my family. Now I tell everyone I can to watch what they eat and to get tested,” she said.
Eugenia keeps all the learning materials she received from the hospital on the refrigerator to remind her to take care of herself. “I have a new lease on life.”

5 Advantages to the new Hybrid Operating Room

The current expansion at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale features a revolutionary trend in surgical services, the hybrid operating room. Here are five reasons why it’s so monumental.

1. Patient safety. Because everything happens in one room, any complications or emergencies can be handled immediately and in one spot without causing further complications or putting the patient at risk.

2. Cost saving for the patient. Your condition may require multiple procedures. The hybrid OR allows us to treat multiple issues in one room. Fewer individual trips for procedures means more efficiency and less cost.

3. State-of-the-art imaging during surgery. The room features some of the best angiographic capabilities, including a robotic X-ray arm and fluoroscopy (real-time imaging). Typically this technology is available in the Imaging Department of a hospital or in the Catheterization Lab, but not in the OR. For the first time surgeons can make real-time assessments during procedures using instantaneous images. Surgeons can then immediately follow a diagnostic procedure with a therapeutic one.

4. It allows us to do more complex procedures. Advancing healthcare in southern Illinois starts with physicians with skilled, diverse backgrounds. Once in place and given the right environment in a hybrid OR, advanced procedures, such as complex cardiovascular repair, can happen. Here are just a few:

  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
  • Endovascular thoracic aortic repair (TEVAR)
  • Combined angioplasty/stent with structural heart intervention
  • Endovascular abdominal/thoracic aortic repair (EVAR)

5. Physicians with different skills can work simultaneously. Every case is different. If you have multiple conditions, you want the comfort of a team approach to your care. The hybrid allows physicians of different specialties to work together at the table.

Screening Mammography Recommendations

With the changes and differing views on how often screening mammography should be performed what you need to know is that mammography screening is no longer a cookie cutter approach, but it’s still affordable and there have been no changes in insurance coverage.

The Coverage: In December, congressional passage of a new bill, the Consolidate Care Act of 2015, ensured women’s coverage for mammography will remain the same through 2017. Women 40 years and older enrolled in most insurance plans will continue to be covered every one to two years without copays, coinsurance or deductibles. Click here for the full story according to the US Department of Health & Human Services.

The Changes: While several professional associations still recommend screening mammography for all women beginning at age 40, the American Cancer Society recently updated their screening recommendations. The new recommendations encourage women to make an informed choice, and are as follows:

  • Women should be able to start the screening as early as age 40, if they want to and continue to have annual mammography based on their level of comfort. It’s a good idea to start talking to your health care provider at age 40 about when you should begin screening.
  • Women with an average risk of breast cancer – most women – should begin yearly mammograms at age 45 and should continue annual screening until age 55. But they should have the option to begin annual screening at age 40.
  • At age 55 and over, women should have mammograms every other year – though women do still have the option to continue annual mammograms should they wish.
  • Screening mammograms should continue for as long as a woman is in good health.
According to board certified breast surgeon, Dr. Nova Foster, “it all depends on your personal thoughts and a discussion with your doctor.” But know that if you’re 40 and you decide that screening mammography is for you, it’s very likely that you will be covered.

Refueling Post Workout

During the 30 to 60 minutes after exercise, an athlete’s body is extra primed to restock and repair muscles and other tissues. If an athlete waits much longer to refuel, the body doesn’t absorb key nutrients nearly as easily. This problem can lead to longer recovery times, more training time lost to nagging injuries and illnesses and a lack of motivation.

Refueling Basics

Athletes should aim to consume at least a half gram of carbohydrates per pound of body weight, preferably within the first 30 minutes after exercise. If possible, consuming some protein at the same time makes good sense.

The key is to consume roughly three to four grams of carbohydrates for every one gram of protein. It’s not necessary to heavily focus on a specific recovery ratio or formula. Instead, a simple and effective solution is to eat a balanced meal that includes lean quality protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, cooked beans or soy foods like tofu.

If your workout leaves you feeling queasy or without an appetite – refueling with an appropriate sports drink or energy bar is a smart alternative.



Another excellent option is chocolate milk – a “liquid food” that naturally supplies the desired recovery ratio of 4 grams of carbs to 1 gram of protein.


Rehydrating is a key component of the recovery process. When dehydrated, the body has to work much harder to perform critical functions such as bringing nutrients and oxygen to cells and flushing waste products out of muscles. When adequately hydrated, urine will be pale yellow, like the color of lemonade. Darker-colored urine, or if the athlete hasn’t gone for a few hours after exercising, is an indication of the need to drink more. Frequent bathroom breaks and urine that appears clear like water indicate that an athlete is over-hydrated.

Bottom Line

Recovery nutrition involves adequately replacing what the body has lost or used up during exercise. Following these simple guidelines can help improve your performance and keep your body fueled to take on the rest of your day!

This information has been brought to you by Sportsology. Sportsology is the collaboration between certified athletic trainers from Southern Illinois Healthcare’s Rehab Unlimited and Sports Medicine physicians and fellows from SIU School of Medicine.

Questions? Call Sportsology at 877.656.4999 or get more information at