Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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.

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.