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Health & Wellness - page 8

Health Department conducts food-borne illness outbreak investigation

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Kane County—The Kane County Health Department, the Illinois Department of Public Health Laboratories, and other local health departments have reported a recent increase in Salmonella ser. Typhimurium in Northeastern Illinois.

In approximately the past two weeks, 10 cases of Salmonella ser. Typhimurium with a matching PFGE, or genetic, pattern have been reported In Illinois. This pattern is rare in Illinois. At least two additional cases of S. Typhimurium are pending the PFGE results. Cases in other states have also been identified.

While the investigation is ongoing, a common potential link is that seven of the people affected reported having eaten at Portillo’s in St. Charles during the month of April. No specific food item has been identified to be source of the illness.

The management of Portillo’s is actively cooperating with state and local health officials in the investigation. The restaurant was sanitized over night Monday, and is having all its food handlers tested for possible infection.

Before returning to work, the restaurant’s food handlers will need to provide two samples for testing, each one 24 hours apart. Portillo’s has called in workers from some of its other locations so that it can operate while waiting for the test results of the other staff members.

The seven people have tested positive for Typhimurium Salmonella. Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment or ever visiting a doctor. However, in order to assist in the investigation, the Health Department is recommending that anyone who has had these symptoms visit their personal physician.

Stroke, osteoporosis screenings come to Sugar Grove

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SUGAR GROVE—Residents living in and around the Sugar Grove community can be screened to reduce their risk of having a stroke or bone fracture.

Sugar Grove Community House, 141 Main St., will host a Life Line Screening on Thursday, May 26.

Four key points every person needs to know:
• Stroke is the third-leading cause of death,
and a leading cause of permanent
disability.
• Eighty percent of stroke victims had no
apparent warning signs prior to
their stroke.
• Preventive ultrasound screenings can help
you avoid a stroke.
• Screenings are fast, noninvasive,
painless, affordable and convenient.

Screenings identify potential cardiovascular conditions such as blocked arteries and irregular heart rhythm, abdominal aortic aneurysms and hardening of the arteries in the legs, which is a strong predictor of heart disease. A bone density screening to assess osteoporosis risk is also offered, and is appropriate for both men and women.

Packages start at $139. All five screenings take 60 to 90 minutes to complete. For more information regarding the screenings, or to schedule an appointment, visit www.lifelinescreening.com or call 1-877-237-1287. Pre-registration is required.

LivingWell Cancer Center announces‘Living with Chronic Cancer’

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Geneva—Learn ways to cope with the physical and emotional effects of living with cancer during a Q&A session on Wednesday, May 11, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the LivingWell Cancer Resource Center.

After the initial cancer diagnosis, many people are faced with months and sometime years of treatment. Living with chronic cancer or experiencing the continuing side effects from ongoing cancer treatment can take a toll on physical, psychological and social needs. This presentation will offer ways to cope with the ongoing challenges of chronic cancer diagnoses.

This program is free and open to the public, but registration is required by calling (630) 262-1111.

LivingWell is a provider of non-medical support at no cost for people living with cancer. The center is at 1803 W. State St. in Geneva and online at www.LivingWellCRC.org.

Wellness Concepts’ Women’s Health & Weight Loss Symposium

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Symposium on
‘Women’s Health and Weight Loss’
Saturday, May 14
10 am-2 pm
Wellness Concepts conference room
2075 Foxfield Road, St. Charles.

Registration fee is $15 per person.
Food and refreshments will be provided
at the noon break.
Call (630) 587-4338, ext. 1

ST. CHARLES—Feeling fat, frumpy and frazzled? Confused about the pros and cons of various weight loss programs? Would you like to learn how to overcome your adrenal balance, restore your thyroid and lose weight?

If so, Martin Plotkin, MD, and the staff of Wellness Concepts invite you to join them for a symposium on ‘Women’s Health and Weight Loss’ from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, at the Wellness Concepts conference room, 2075 Foxfield Road, St. Charles.

Registration fee is $15 per person. Food and refreshments will be provided at the noon break. Call (630) 587-4338, ext. 1, to sign up. Limited seating is available.

The seminar will be divided into three parts and presented by Karen Connolly, a certified nutritionist, and Dr. Plotkin. Plotkin is a licensed physician, surgeon and educator with over 45 years experience in areas of medical practice that are truly multi-dimensional and unlikely to be matched by other medical doctors.

In addition, state-of-the-art MicroNutrient Testing will be available.

“Join us to learn how to avoid the pitfalls and detours of weight loss, while we provide you with a science based informational and guidance program to ensure your journey is an adventure, rather than an arduous task,” Plotkin said.

Bring a friend to receive a $10 gift card. For more information, visit www.wellnessconceptsllc.com.

Memorial Walk for families grieving infant loss

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ELGIN—Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice, a nonprofit organization offering support for those with life-threatening illnesses and the bereaved, will hold a Memorial Walk for families who are grieving the death of a baby on Saturday, May 7, at 9 a.m. at Bluff City Cemetery Office, 945 Bluff City Blvd., Elgin, Ill.

All family members and friends who have been affected by miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or infant losses are invited to participate in this remembrance service and planting of a tree. Participants are encouraged to bring small memorial items such as pictures, letters, an infant’s toy or any other meaningful item they wish to place in an infant-sized casket, which will be buried during the service. Presiding over the service will be Provena Saint Joseph chaplain Arlene Metcalf and Sherman Hospital chaplain Neris Diaz-Cabello. Coffee, hot chocolate and donuts will be served after the service.

The walk will take place regardless of weather. It is offered in conjunction with Provena Saint Joseph and Provena Mercy Hospitals, and Bluff City Cemetery. There is no charge, but advanced registration is requested at (630) 232-2233.

All programs and services of Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice are offered free of charge to residents of Kane and Kendall counties, and parts of DuPage, Cook, and McHenry counties. For more information on the agency, see www.fvvh.org.

LivingWell Bridge Walk

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GENEVA—LWCRC will hold its sixth annual Bridge Walk to raise awareness and funds for the organization’s 50 programs and services. The 5K Walk and Celebration Walk will take place Saturday, May 14, at Fabyan Park in Geneva.

Most people have had cancer touch their lives in someway, be it through a personal battle or standing by a loved one diagnosed with the disease. Places like Geneva’s LivingWell Cancer Resource Center (LWCRC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by cancer and help ease the journey for patients and families alike.

LWCRC knows that a healthy dose of community support and love go a long way in the fight against cancer. In addition to a 5K walk along the Fox River, the Bridge Walk will include a Celebration Walk for cancer survivors. The whole family will enjoy a fun morning of live music, refreshments, and children’s activities set in the beautiful Kane County Forest Preserve.

The event begins at 7 a.m., rain or shine. Visit http://bridgewalk.kintera.org to register for the walk. Participants can register with a sponsored team, multiple, family, or as an individual.

Successfully stop smoking

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SPRINGFIELD—The Illinois Tobacco QUITLINE has added weekend hours for the first time and expanded its daily hours of operation until 11 p.m. to provide more opportunities for Illinoisans trying to quit smoking, said Dr. Damon T. Arnold, state public health director.

The expanded hours for the QUITLINE, which is operated by the American Lung Association, were made possible by an increase in Tobacco Settlement funding from the General Assembly from $1 million last fiscal year to $2 million in the 2011 fiscal year.

The QUITLINE’s new hours are 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. English and Spanish-speaking counselors are on staff, and translation services are available in more than 150 languages, including sign language. Previously, the QUITLINE only operated on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“Nicotine is highly addictive and … breaking that addiction is harder for some people than others, and different methods, such as counseling or nicotine replacement therapy, may work better for one person than for another,” Arnold said. “The expanded services the Illinois Tobacco QUITLINE now offers can help people determine which smoking cessation method works for them.”

“It takes the average person seven tries before they can quit smoking for good,” said Harold Wimmer, president and CEO of the American Lung Association in Illinois. “This new funding allows us to be a part of more quit attempts and to see our callers through to their last cigarette. For every dollar spent helping smokers quit, the state saves $1.29 due to fewer tobacco disease-related hospitalizations state Medicaid pays for, and through increased productivity of our workforce. Not only will this save money, it will save lives.”

The QUITLINE is staffed by medical professionals and counselors who:
• Ask callers about their readiness to quit, history of tobacco use and previous quit attempts.
• Customize a cessation program to the caller’s need.
• Mail a “quit kit” including self-help materials, information about nicotine replacement therapies and requested health information.
• Maintain weekly communication with participants for a minimum of six weeks. Make follow-up calls at three months, six months and twelve months.
• Discuss all issues relating to lung health and provide physician referrals and information about medicines and treatments when requested.

In fiscal year 2005, the QUITLINE received almost 4,300 calls. Just five years later in fiscal year 2010, almost 34,000 people called the QUITLINE. It’s anticipated the QUITLINE will receive an additional 10,000-12,000 calls this year due to the expanded hours and outreach efforts.

The most recent statistics show that in 2009 approximately 19 percent of Illinoisans considered themselves smokers, compared to roughly 23 percent 10 years earlier in 1999.

For help to stop smoking, call the Illinois Tobacco QUITLINE at 1-866- QUIT-YES (1-866-784-8937). Hearing-impaired persons can call 1-800-501-1068.

Life after Cancer presentation

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Geneva—The LivingWell Cancer Resource Center will offer a panel discussion led by five cancer survivors, who will address the issues that each one of them faced once their treatment ended and how they dealt and are still dealing with them. The presentation will be from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27.

This will be an interactive discussion, so please bring any specific questions you may have. This program is free and open to the public, but registration is required by calling (630) 262-1111.

The center is at 1803 W. State St. in Geneva and online at www.LivingWellCRC.org.

Delnor’s Giving Tree helps make reading fundamental

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Geneva—For the month of April, Delnor’s Giving Tree will collect books for all ages and donate them to both Lazarus and Hesed houses.

Delnor Hospital will collect new and used hardcover, paperback and box sets of children’s, teen, adult, audio and large print books.

The Giving Tree, located in the Delnor Hospital atrium, allows for employees to easily drop off their contribution.

For community members making a donation, just pull in to the entrance of Delnor Hospital. The valet parking staff will take donated items and place them by the Delnor Giving Tree. Valet is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

By the numbers

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Study looks at Kane’s health
KANE COUNTY—The County Health Rankings, a national study released recently, show once again that Kane County residents are some of the healthiest in the state, but they also highlight areas that need to be addressed in order to achieve the Kane County Health Department’s 2030 vision of having the healthiest residents in Illinois. Kane ranked ninth out of 102 Illinois counties in health outcomes, an improvement from 11th last year.

“We are happy that we’re moving in the right direction,” Health Department Executive Director Paul Kuehnert said. “We can see with this study that where we live, learn, work and play influences how healthy we are and how long we live. So much of what influences our health happens outside of the doctor’s office.”

The study shows Kane County dropping to 41st in health factors, a decline from 19th last year. That portion of the study highlights areas that need improvement in order to achieve better health outcomes. Below are some areas to be addressed:
• Adult smoking—17 percent in Kane County; national benchmark: 15 percent
• Adult obesity—28 percent in Kane County; national benchmark: 25 percent
• Teen birth rate—46 per 1,000 female population between 13 and 19 years; national benchmark: 22 per thousand of that population.

“Smoking and obesity tie directly into chronic disease, while a high teen birth rate will tie into infant mortality disparities. We must continue to work as a community to attend to these health factors and make progress in order to move toward having the healthiest residents in Illinois,” Kuehnert said. “We are fortunate that so many Kane community members and leaders—from parents to faith leaders to elected officials at all levels—are working in active health partnerships, like ‘Making Kane County Fit for Kids,’ the Kane County Perinatal Committee, and the Aurora and Elgin ‘Circles of Wise Women’ to address these health issues in Kane.”

The County Health Rankings Report also identifies key measures of social and economic impact on health, as well as the environment. Key measures include:
• Unemployment, which was 10.3 percent at the time of the study in Kane, compared to 5.3 percent in the national comparison counties.
• College education, which was 59 percent in Kane, compared to 64 percent in the national comparison counties.
• Uninsured, which was 19 percent in Kane, compared to 13 percent nationally.
• Air quality improved from last year, with Kane seeing two air pollution particulate matter days, a decline from four last year, and no ozone action days this year, compared to nine last year.
• Access to healthy foods also showed an improvement, with 75 percent of the ZIP codes having access this year, compared to 43 percent last year.

The Health Department will use the results of this study as it conducts its Community Health Assessment, which currently is in its initial stages. The five-year update of the Kane’s Community Health Assessment and Community Health Action Plan will be completed by the end of 2011. Working with its partners, the Health Department will use the data in the County Health Rankings report, a comprehensive community health risk behavior survey, data from other surveys, and sources such as the 2010 Census, as well as focus groups and a series of community meetings to develop an updated blueprint for improving the health of Kane County residents over the next five years.

Kane County started to address some of the significant issues raised in the health rankings long before the first rankings were issued last year. Based on the recommendations of the County’s Regional Planning Commission and at the direction of the County Board, the county’s staff in Development and Community Services, Health and Transportation, have begun updating the 2030 Land Resource Management Plan to a new 2040 Plan. The Making Kane County Fit for Kids initiative, with its goal of promoting active living and access to fresh foods, released its Fit Kids’ 2020 Plan in January. The Fit Kids 2020 plan focuses on sector specific issues that each community can address to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity and will be integrated into the 2040 Land Resource Management Plan.

The second-annual study, commissioned and paid for by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and conducted by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Institute, ranks each county in a state in Health Outcomes and Health Factors. Health Outcomes were measured by length and quality of life. Health Factors include clinical care, health behaviors, social and economic factors and physical environment. In simple terms, health outcomes can be described as a snapshot of our resident’s current health, and health factors can be seen as a potential picture of their health in the future.

To find more information about the County Health Rankings, including accessing the full report, visit www.kanehealth.com.

Livingwell announces ‘Laughter to Manage Pain & Stress’

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Geneva—On Friday, April 15, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., certified Laughter Yoga Leader Terri Reasoner will present this fun form of exercise in the main lobby of Joliet Oncology and Hematology Associates, 2614 W. Jefferson St., Joliet. Learn to reduce your stress while you let your inner giggles shine.

Invest an hour in your health by learning fun techniques guaranteed to make you smile and laugh. Laughter can cure tensions, anxieties, worries; boost the immune system, dulls pain, elevates mood, and lessen many physical and emotional stresses.

This program is free and open to the public, but registration is required at (630) 262-1111.

LivingWell is a provider of non-medical support at no cost for people living with cancer.

Batavia Mothers Club Foundation hosts annual 5K

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Batavia—The Batavia Mothers Club Foundation will host its annual Fox Trot 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, April 16, at the Batavia Riverwalk (Island Avenue and Houston Street in downtown Batavia).

The 2011 CARA-recommended-certified race features a scenic course along the Fox River in downtown Batavia. Participants can register online at www.signmeup.com/74038 or at the event on race day.

The start time for the 5K run is 8 a.m. with the non-competitive walk starting at 8:05 a.m. There are awards for the winners of the run in all age groups following the race.

The Fox Trot also features non-competitive kids fun runs. Preschoolers are encouraged to try the Tot Trot, approximately 50 yards. There will also be a Junior Jog (approximately one mile) for grades K-2 and a Youth Run/Walk (one-half mile) for grades 5 and under. The kids events begin at approximately 9:15 a.m. Fun Run registration is available online and will be held until 8:45 a.m. at the event.

Pre-registration is encouraged. The cost is $25 per adult ($30 after April 13) and $8 per child ($10 after April 13). There is a $3 CARA member discount available only through pre-registration. Funds raised through this event will support Batavia Public Schools and other educational opportunities for local families. Participants receive a T-shirt and goodie bag.

Visit www.bataviamothersclub.org for more information.

TriCity Family Services Annual Benefit, Auction

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St. Charles—TriCity Family Services will host its 22nd Annual Benefit and Auction on Saturday, April 9, at the Hilton Garden Inn in St. Charles. The theme for this year’s event is “A Blooming Affair … Growing Healthy Families,” and it will feature extensive silent and live auctions, a split-the-pot raffle, diamond raffle and dinner and entertainment provided by the Mary Hunt Duo.

The Hilton Garden Inn St. Charles is located at 4070 E. Main St, St. Charles, IL 60174.

Cocktail hour begins at 5:30 p.m., with dinner at 7 p.m. Cocktail attire is required.

Tickets are $75 each. Tables of 8 persons can be purchased for $600. All proceeds benefit TriCity Family Services, a local leader in community-based counseling and supportive services for those in need.

Make your reservation online at www.tricityfamilyservices.org or call the TriCity Family Services offices at (630) 232-1070.

The agency is accepting items for the silent and live auctions. They are also accepting advertisers for the event program book. The donation packet is available on the website. Contact Hallie Hudson, Development Associate, at (630) 232-1070 or hhudson@tricityfamilyservices.org for more information.

State provides new info to help make better decisions about health care providers

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Springfield—Illinoisans are now able to find more information that can help them decide where to go for medical care. Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold recently announced several updates to the Hospital Report Card and Consumer Guide to Health Care Web site, including new information about hospital acquired infection prevention and control, staffing and rates of newborn breastfeeding in hospitals.

“It is vital that consumers have a solid understanding about the quality of health care they will receive at a hospital or health care provider. If consumers are informed, they will be able to ask questions of their health care providers to receive the best health care possible,” said Dr. Arnold. “The Hospital Report Card and Consumer Guide to Health Care Web site allows Illinoisans to find average costs for specific medical procedures, nurse staffing levels at hospitals and general quality of care information.”

The Hospital Report Card Act requires all Illinois hospitals to report nurse staffing, infection prevention measures and hospital acquired infections data to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The Consumer Guide to Health Care contains information from hospitals and ambulatory surgical treatment centers about conditions and procedures and shows variation in charges and quality of care. The website includes inpatient and outpatient data with current comparison information related to volume of cases, average charges, mortality rates, complications and hospital associated infections.

The latest additions made to the website include data from 2010 in the following areas:
new infection control staffing data and new breastfeeding data.

The Infection Control Staffing measures now available on the website show the number of infection prevention and control staff for every 100 authorized hospital beds. Healthcare associated infections are becoming an increasingly important focus for quality improvement initiatives. All hospitals in Illinois are required to have an infection prevention and control program. Infection prevention programs and staff are essential in reducing the number of infections acquired during a hospital stay and providing expertise in disease transmission and prevention. These new data supplement the information on central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) already provided on the report card.

The report card also now features the percentage of newborn infants who are breastfeeding upon discharge from the hospital. Breast milk contains antibodies that can protect infants from bacterial and viral infections, and breastfed infants are at lower risk of certain chronic diseases, including diabetes, obesity and asthma. Research shows that women who breastfeed may also have lower risk of some health problems, including certain breast and ovarian cancers, obesity and diabetes. IDPH encourages consumers to ask their hospital if they have a specially trained breast feeding consultant or if their maternal/child nursing staff is trained to offer help with breast feeding.

In addition, the website now includes a link to a preliminary release of the new Illinois Public Health Map. The Illinois Public Health Map feature provides the public with information about the quality of health and health care in communities, and highlights socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities that may exist.

The site also offers hospitals and surgical treatment centers the opportunity to identify quality and safety improvements by comparing information with other facilities. The site will continue to be routinely updated with the most recent data available.

Orthopedic advancements at Delnor

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GENEVA—Imagine repairing a hip through a few small surgical incisions, or using a patient’s owned cleansed blood cells to heal damaged tissue. These orthopedic advancements have become a reality and are being performed at Delnor Hospital in Geneva by Vishal Mehta, M.D., a board-certified orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff at the hospital. Dr. Mehta is one a handful of surgeons in the Central Fox Valley performing these state-of-the-art procedures.

“Over the past seven to 10 years, we have experienced significant advances in the field of orthopedic surgery. The procedures I perform today on my patients are life changing,” Mehta said. “Revolutionary orthopedic procedures that are now available at Delnor include arthroscopy of the shoulder, knee and hip; shoulder and reverse shoulder replacement; cartilage transplantation and platelet rich plasma treatments.”

Keeping the Joints Moving
Arthroscopic technology has allowed orthopedic surgeons to perform surgery without having to make large incisions, a once common practice.

“When athletes and non-athletes of all ages require surgery, there are many new procedures to help them regain mobility and strength with a quicker recovery time,” Mehta said.

Some advanced arthroscopic procedures include hip arthroscopy, a minimally invasive procedure that allows doctors to treat conditions initially only operable by traditional open surgery.

This procedure is performed using two or three small surgical incisions and allows the patient to resume their active lifestyle in a shorter period of time. Hip arthroscopy is done on an outpatient basis and corrects tears or bone impingement in the hip. Other revolutionary procedures include total shoulder replacement, where the joint surfaces are replaced with a plastic socket attached to the shoulder bone and a metal ball with a stem attached to the upper arm; and reverse total shoulder replacements, where the socket and metal ball are switched.

“Shoulder replacement surgery is an option for treatment of severe arthritis of the shoulder joint. As the cartilage lining wears away, the protective lining between the bones is lost. When this happens, painful bone-on-bone arthritis develops. Most people get the replacement only when they can no longer tolerate the pain,” Mehta said.

Reverse shoulder replacements can be used to treat the arthritis that accompanies irreparable rotator cuff tears where previously there was no good solution. This generally requires only one or two days in the hospital. A rehabilitation plan also follows, generally for about 10 to 12 weeks.

To really understand the benefits of such advancements in orthopedic surgery, ask Elgin resident Delores Gammon. Delores, a self-described average but avid golfer, underwent two total shoulder replacements: the first in November of 2009 on her left shoulder, and then again in October 2010 on her right shoulder.

“I was experiencing very little mobility and lost a lot of range of motion due to advanced arthritis. I was having trouble lifting my arm, reaching a shelf, and most importantly, swinging my golf club,” she said.

Her experience with Mehta and Delnor was positive and she was impressed from the beginning.

“I was comfortable with Dr. Mehta; he explained everything to me in detail, what I could expect with the surgery and rehabilitation,” she said.

When Delores began experiencing extreme pain in her left shoulder, she scheduled an appointment with Mehta. After a second opinion with a physician at a university teaching hospital in Chicago, she decided Delnor was the way to go.

“I liked being closer to home and knowing I could get the same advanced orthopedic procedure at my local hospital,” she said.

Delores had a two-day hospital stay with both shoulder replacement surgeries, followed by three months of outpatient rehabilitation. Both shoulder surgeries were successful, and Delores is anxiously waiting for spring to begin golfing again.

“I am really glad Dr. Mehta was my surgeon and that I had my surgeries at Delnor. I could not have had better care. Now I am anxious to get back on the golf course; with my two new shoulders, I expect to be the most improved golfer in our ladies’ league.”

Cutting-Edge Transplants
In addition to surgery, transplants are some of the newest and most advanced ways of treating orthopedic injuries, including those for knee cartilage and the use of platelets in tissue regeneration.

In a cartilage transplant, the meniscus, or shock absorber in the knee, is worn down through injury or general wear, and painful arthritis can result. Tissue is removed from a cadaver—similar to the process of organ donation. That tissue is then surgically inserted into the joint of a person with reduced cartilage, where it can form new cartilage that attaches itself to surrounding bones. Unlike with organ transplants, rejection of the new tissue by the recipient is not a concern.

Another advancement in orthopedics is the use of platelet-rich plasma, in which a patient’s own blood elements are used to stimulate a healing response within a damaged tissue or joint. Blood is comprised of many types of cells (red, white, plasma and platelets). Research has proven that, in addition to helping blood clot, platelets are activated by injured tissues and consequently release growth factors.

“These growth factors stimulate a powerful healing response in the body. By injecting these healing components into injured/damaged tissue, the body’s natural healing capacity is accelerated. This may lead to a more rapid and efficient tissue recovery,” Mehta said.

All of these state-of-the-art procedures are being performed on the avid athlete as well as the average citizen.

“Orthopedic injuries can sideline you temporarily, but new techniques are helping patients get back in the game of life faster than ever,” Mehta said.

Ongoing programs offered for those dealing with cancer

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SYCAMORE—The following events are held at the Kishwaukee Community Hospital Cancer Center. For more information, call (815) 748-2958 or visit www.kishhospital.org/programs.

The Men and Caregivers Networking Breakfast
The Men and Caregivers Networking Breakfast is an opportunity for oncology patients and caregivers to give and receive support and share information. The free group is open to all those with cancer for discussion over breakfast; no registration is required. The group meets on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, from 9 to 10 a.m. at The Cancer Center at Kishwaukee Community Hospital.

Caring Through Food
Do you or a loved one have cancer? Are you concerned about getting the proper nutrients and maintaining a healthy diet? Join Becky Sisler, registered dietitian, for Caring Through Food, to learn tips, strategies and simple recipes that nourish and care for those with cancer. Caretakers and patients are welcome. The group meets on the second Tuesday of each month from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at The Cancer Center at Kishwaukee Community Hospital. This group is free, and registration is required.

Women with Cancer Network
Women with Cancer Network is an opportunity for women with similar experiences to give and receive support, and share information. Participants can learn from each other, meet new people, have discussions, and listen to presentations. The group meets on the third Tuesday of each month from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at The Cancer Center at Kishwaukee Community Hospital. The group is free and no registration required.

Cancer center benefit raises $300,000 for charity

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Geneva—On Saturday, Feb. 19, Ed and Karen French hosted the 6th Annual Winter Wine Festival, benefiting the LivingWell Cancer Resource Center. The evening not only entertained the guests, but also brought in a record amount of contributions for the charity.

“We are so thrilled at the generosity of our community. This year’s benefit brought in the highest total ever, which reached $300,000,” said LivingWell’s Development Director, Susan Mielke. “Our deepest thanks go to the many people and organizations that have made this possible.”

Highlights of the benefit included champagne and caviar served in Karen French’s boutique-like master closet; a sushi bar by Wok ‘n Fire in the three season’s room, and performances by DMaC, the DePaul Men’s acappella group.

Chef John Riedle of A Private Affair catering organized the cuisine, which included appetizers and desserts from the leading restaurants of the Fox Valley; Sommelier Debra Metzinger coordinated the wine and champagne, poured by top wineries and restaurants; Scott Mackay of 95.9 The River emceed the event with entertaining commentary, while the auctioneer, David Goodman, kept the bidding at a rousing pace throughout the live auction.

“Every year, I am amazed at how our development team, led by Susan Mielke and Jennifer Sommers, and their amazing volunteer committee outdo themselves. We are so thankful to Ed and Karen French, who hosted this magnificent event, and to all of our sponsors, donors and volunteers who supported this event,” said Nancy Vance, executive director of LivingWell. “If it weren’t for the tremendous generosity of our entire community, LivingWell would not be able to grow at the rate that we have over the past five years. We are now able to offer over 50 programs and services, all free of charge, to thousands of cancer survivors and their families.”

LivingWell Cancer Resource Center is the one place in the Fox Valley region where people living with cancer, their families and friends, can go for information and support services that address the challenges of living with cancer free of charge to the participants. LivingWell offers networking and support groups, educational programs, mind-body fitness classes, youth programs, a library, individual psychological and nutritional counseling and much more. LivingWell is located at 1803 W. State St., in Geneva, and online at www.LivingWellCRC.org.

LivingWell presents info on vitamins, supplements, and cancer treatment

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GENEVA—Christopher George, MD, of LaGrange Oncology Associates/Delnor Hospital, and Sandra Hunter, Registered Dietician of Delnor Hospital will present “The Truth about Vitamins and Supplements in Cancer Treatment,” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22, at the LivingWell Cancer Resource Center, 1803 W. State St. in Geneva.

Dr. George will cut through the conflicting information about vitamins, herbs and other supplements, discuss their safety, and provide an update on what the research shows for the use of these therapies during and after cancer treatment.

“A well-balanced diet is the foundation of good nutrition before, during and after cancer therapy,” Dr. George said. “Still, there can sometimes be a role for vitamin and other dietary supplements as an adjunct to the healthy foods we eat. This talk should help clarify when this is appropriate, as well as explore potential dangers in using supplements indiscriminately.”

Hunter, RD, LDN, MS, will also discuss the functions of nutrients and what may or may not be right for a person to include in their diet during or after cancer treatment.

“Eating healthy during cancer treatment is important for the healing process,” Hunter said. “Your body needs a variety of nutrients to help recover and feel good. While eating nutrient-rich foods including fruits, vegetables and whole grains is safe, taking dietary supplements may not offer the same benefits.”

This program is free and open to the public, but registration is required at (630) 262-1111.

Cherished Children: Grief support for parents

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GENEVA—Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice is offering Cherished Children, a support group for parents whose child has died, from March 16 to April 27, 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the FVVH offices, 200 Whitfield Drive in Geneva.

The group helps parents cope with the sorrow and emptiness in their hearts. Cherished Children provides a safe place where parents who are left to deal with an unimaginable depth of emotions can cry, question, remember and find ways to hold on to cherished memories.

An intake interview is required prior to registration. There is no charge, but registration is required by calling Carol Ann Richeson at (630) 232-2233, ext. 224, by Monday, March 14. Spanish interpretation is available.

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