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Health Care

Innovation and change in health care are constants across the board,
in the Chamber 630 area as well as the rest of the country. Local
health care providers are constantly updating their facilities, offerings and staffs to keep pace with the industry at large.

Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital

If you have not visited Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital (AGSAM) in awhile, you might not recognize it. The changes and enhancements there have been far-reaching.

AGSAM now boasts 284 private rooms. Ninety-six new rooms have been added in the hospital’s new $76 million West Tower above the critical care unit and 188 semi-private rooms in the original Classic Tower have been converted to private rooms.

“Private rooms have become an expectation for patients in recent years. They want their privacy and we believe that the quiet of a private room promotes better healing and allows any room to be used for isolation,” said Laura Neiberg, vice president of support operations.

Private rooms also allow families to spend the night with their loved ones on sofa beds, allow more room for advanced technology and allow more services to be brought to the patient such as portable X-rays.

Elsewhere on the hospital campus, AGSAM’s Cancer Center, has undergone a $12.2 million expansion, completed in January. The Center, originally built in 2002, has also been renamed the Bhorade Cancer Center, thanks to a generous donation. A second floor for medical offices has been added, as have 12 new infusion bays for chemotherapy and other intravenous therapies on the first floor, overlooking the peaceful and serene Lyman Woods. The addition also features interdisciplinary rooms for consultations with physician specialists and compliments the existing state-of-the-art radiation oncology services.

The new Deb and Alan Feldman Cardiovascular Pavilion opened last summer. This $9.3 million renovation consolidates cardio-diagnostics, cardiac rehabilitation and cardiac catheterization on the lower level of the original Classic Tower, making it easier for patients to have all their cardiac needs met in one convenient location. This newly-renovated space includes private examination and consultation rooms and a spacious new waiting area, along with new, state-of-the-art technology such as a bi-plane interventional X-ray system for detailed 3-D images of blood vessels and a state-of-the-art CZT nuclear camera that reduces radiation exposure and limits test time for nuclear stress testing patients.

Last November AGSAM opened its new $5.3 million Spine Care Center, a 7,000-square-foot diagnostic and treatment space in the Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center for back and spine disorders. Patients now have access to decades of experience with a multi-disciplinary team of spine specialists. Fellowship-trained, board-certified neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, pain management specialists and advanced practice nurses collaborate to develop a personalized treatment plan for each patient that includes advanced treatment and comprehensive support in a compassionate environment. In addition to the spine and back experts, patients have access to physical therapy and fitness services located on the first floor of the same building.

The Spine Center also features the only EOS machine in DuPage County and one of two in the state. EOS is a leading-edge diagnostics technology that instantaneously delivers extremely detailed, 3-D patient spine photos to medical specialists. EOS uses a significantly lower radiation level than a general radiography X-ray and causes much less patient discomfort than other diagnostic tools because it is administered in the standing position.

“Patients are now referred to our Spine Center from both Advocate and non-Advocate facilities all over the state,” Neiberg said.
Now underway is an $8.9 million renovation of the Level III Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in the Classic Tower where care is provided for medically unstable or critically ill newborns that require constant nursing support, complicated medical/surgical procedures, continual respiratory support and/or other intensive interventions, Neiberg said. Expected to open in early 2018, the new NICU will feature 10 private rooms and 10 shared rooms, allowing parents to stay with their babies much more comfortably.

Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center

Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center is the only fitness facility in DuPage County that is certified by the Medical Fitness Association, an international organization that recognizes fitness facilities for their professional expertise, excellence in facilities and programming, and their focus on safety.

The 90,000-square-foot facility, located on the campus of Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, has three indoor pools, sauna and steam room, an indoor track, an extensive fitness floor and weight room, four group exercise studios and a basketball court. Specialty services/amenities include child care services; clinical programming for cardiac, pulmonary and diabetic management; clinical services such as nutrition counseling and weight management; spa services such as massage therapy, a full service hair salon, waxing, manicures and pedicures; and personal training services including land and water-based group and private swim lessons and Pilates Allegros Reformer exercises.

“It is our belief that exercise is medicine, said Laura Neiberg, vice president of support operations. “Studies have shown that only 20 percent of the things that go wrong with us are genetic. The other 80 percent are caused by lifestyle choices like smoking, making poor food choices or being inactive. Research has proven that exercise, at the correct intensity and duration, not only improves the quality of life but also decreases the incidence of disease, chronic health conditions and obesity.”

“The hospital is designed to help people once they get sick, while the Wellness Center is designed to keep people healthy longer and to make sure they stay on the right track after surgery, treatment or inpatient care,” Neiberg added.

Dues may be paid annually or monthly. Rates vary, depending on the type of membership purchased. Most memberships include access to more than 70 free group exercise classes per week, use of all pools, basketball court, track and all equipment, use of a locker and free towels. Specialty services and classes require an extra fee.

For more information, visit www.advocatehealth.com/gsam/wellness or call (630) 275-2700.

Midwestern University Clinics

The residents of Downers Grove and surrounding communities are fortunate to be served by a Multispecialty Clinic at 3450 Lacey Rd., operated by Midwestern University. The five-story clinic houses a Dental Institute, a Speech-Language Institute, a Family Medicine Clinic, a Physical Therapy Institute, and an Eye Institute.

Midwestern faculty and upper-level graduate students provide a wide-range of health care services for members of the community at the clinic.

The Eye Institute is Midwestern’s newest clinic. According to Dr. Dena Weitzman, assistant dean, clinical affairs, the more than 10 physicians on staff provide comprehensive family eye care and evaluations (from infants to seniors) and offer a wide range of specialty services including emergency eye care, electrodiagnostics of retinal disorders, vision therapy for strabismus, amblyopia and other pediatric vision problems as well as for brain injuries like strokes and concussions, low vision rehabilitation, management of eye diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration and even ocular prosthetics. The optical department also includes a wide selection of eyeglasses and contact lenses at affordable prices.

Also relatively new is the Physical Therapy Institute, which provides comprehensive outpatient physical therapy and offers a variety of evidence-based treatments to community members. Clinical faculty members evaluate each patient to determine their individual needs and develop unique treatment plans designed to restore health and function. The Institute can address many types of general orthopedic conditions, movement difficulties, post–surgical orthopedic conditions, Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and more.

At the Dental Institute, Midwestern faculty and student dentists use the latest technology and treatments to provide quality care at about half the cost. The physicians at the Family Medicine Clinic provide a full spectrum of care including annual exams, sports physicals, treatment of acute injuries and illness, osteopathic manipulative treatment and more. In addition, the faculty and student clinicians at the Speech Institute help people of all ages learn to be better communicators.

Midwestern University is a graduate degree-granting institution offering degrees in the health sciences with 11 colleges and two campuses. The Illinois campus in Downers Grove is home to over 2,900 students and five colleges specializing in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, health sciences, dental medicine and optometry. The Arizona campus, located in Glendale, is home to over 3,500 students and six colleges. The University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. For more information, visit mwuclinics.com or midwestern.edu.

AMITA Health

AMITA Medical Centers Bolingbrook and Hinsdale are located within an easy drive of Downers Grove and Woodridge. But in today’s digital world, you don’t even have to make that drive to be seen by an AMITA physician or nurse practitioner, according to Kathleen Sievertsen, director of ancillary services and community benefits.

Virtual doctor visits are available over your phone, tablet or computer, using the eAMITA app. If your busy life doesn’t allow time for a trip to the doctor’s office to diagnose common, non-emergent conditions, such as sinus infections, skin conditions, upper respiratory infections, conjunctivitis, lower back pain and the flu, you can see a provider through a two-way video conversation on your digital device. All you need is the free eAMITA web or mobile app. Your provider will diagnose your condition, answer your questions and, if necessary, send a prescription to your pharmacy. eAMITA is fast, convenient and helps keep you well, but is only available for those 18 and older.

eAMITA is available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week and costs $35 per visit. If a professional is not initially available when you sign into the app, someone will contact you as soon as a doctor or nurse practitioner is available.

“Our goal is provide convenient, quality care. People today are very busy with working and running from place to place, so they don’t have a lot of time to spend sitting in a waiting room. The eAMITA app makes good use of their time. In addition, when they use the eAMITA app, they can avoid calling a babysitter to take care of their children during the visit,” Sievertsen said.

Payment is by credit card only. Insurance is not accepted at this time.

Edward-Elmhurst Health

Edward-Elmhurst Health, which includes Edward Hospital in Naperville, Elmhurst Hospital and Linden Oaks Behavioral Health, also in Naperville, has a new System CEO, Mary Lou Mastro, MS, RN, FACHE. With more than 35 years working in health care, Mastro has extensive experience in hospital strategy, operations, planning, licensure and regulatory compliance, public policy and advocacy, physician relations, new business development and, as a nurse, patient care.

Mastro served as president and CEO of Elmhurst Hospital from 2013 to 2016 and from 2002 until 2013 she was CEO of Linden Oaks, a 108-bed behavioral health hospital on Edward Hospital’s Naperville campus.

In her new position, Mastro plans to focus on process improvements and lowering costs so they can better serve patients. “We’re looking at shifting away from the traditional hospital focus on acute care and hospital care to focusing on health. How do we teach people to stay healthy, identify risk factors and diseases earlier and get them treated earlier so they don’t really need to use the hospital,” she recently said in a Daily Herald interview.

Mastro and her team are also considering how they can reduce the number of tests and procedures done on a patient and still get the same diagnosis.

“We also have to follow best practices,” she added. “There’s science out there about the best way to do things and we have to get our physicians and clinicians to agree and ensure that everyone who’s taking care of patients complies.”

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