spring 2008 $2.95
the tests you
how to stop
BOOK IS A
being a new mom is an
exciting and challenging time—as
salma hayek can attest
features 54 change
not a death sentence,
says a group of women
who have made it their
4 tie a string around your finger so mission to get the word
you don’t forget Women over 40— out about preventing
your annual mammogram shouldn’t the disease.
be forgotten. Why not to be scared of
this sometimes-daunting test.
7 38 departments
hospital to celebrate 80th anniver- gut instincts Everything you
sary St. Catherine Hospital in East wanted to know about irritable bowel
Chicago opened its doors in 1928 syndrome but were afraid to ask.
with an ambitious vision.
42 family style Experts share four science is always
8 community hospital is a dream simple mealtime makeovers that will looking to the
come true A group of physicians benefit those with diabetes, as future, but this
imagined a hospital for Munster in well as the entire family. issue, we’re looking
1964. Now, a new book celebrates back to appreciate
46 is this normal? As you age, some
their efforts to get it off the ground. our roots.
changes are normal, while others
it’s a no-brainer Discover five nutri- signal trouble. Here’s a simple guide 3 making a
ents that will help you stave off dis- that will help you tell the difference. difference Kids go
eases like Alzheimer’s. into surgery with
49 testing one, two, three A list
12 a fun, new fashion
9 steps to one healthy heart Get of important screenings you should
accessory thanks to
heart smart with these nine easy steps have—and when you should be
a caring group of
—everything from squeezing exercise having them.
into your schedule to just chilling out.
52 the heart of the matter
18 56 community
joint resolutions Learn what you A Community Healthcare System
can do to soothe your aching joints. doctor is a best-selling author for his
book about heart care.
22 the power of one Here’s a simple students get
cancer prevention plan that can help a gift for the future A more than hands-on surgical
you thwart the disease. $100,000 donation to the hospital experience at
honors one board member’s late wife.
28 Munster, preparing
nothing to sneeze at Watery eyes?
them to give back
Runny nose? Spring into action against
to the community
these six common allergies.
32 world After
Mexican soap opera star at
age 23, Salma Hayek made
her mark in Hollywood.
Find out what’s in store
for Hayek in her latest
role: new mom.
vim & vigor · s p ri ng 2008
COVER PHOTOGRAPH BY LIME FOTO
making a difference
community healthcare system
is there when you need it
whether it be prompt care, a ride, or a smile on your child
comfortable for the patients in our com-
munity, thanks to the Care Van.
“Many people coming to the hospital
need special assistance due to wheelchairs
or physical difﬁculties. The Care Van is a
vital tool in linking our community with
the hospital’s healthcare resources,” says
Jo Ann Birdzell, hospital administrator. “It pro- Semancik blesses the van
vides transportation for our patients who might into service. More than
St. Mary Medical Center door-to-balloon time team
3,000 trips are provided
otherwise miss an appointment for treatment.”
includes (left to right) Cheryl Alderson, R.T., cardiovascular
yearly free of charge.
The hospital recently purchased the Care
radiologic technologist and manager of the cardiac cath
lab; Paula Rousis, nurse manager of emergency medicine; Van with a lift, room for two wheelchairs and
Debbie Krejci, R.N., patient care services; and John
seats us up to eight people. To request a ride,
Mulligan, M.D., emergency medicine. Not pictured:
call 219-392-7110. The service is free.
Jack Ziegler, M.D., cardiologist.
❋ quick response times rewarded ❋ children’s surgical caps
brighten hospital stay
St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart has been
selected as a ﬁnalist in the 2007 BKD Indiana To help children relax before surgery at
Excellence Awards competition. The honor Community Hospital in Munster, they are
is given out annually by the prestigious BKD given little handmade surgical caps so they can
accounting ﬁrm to Indiana-based businesses dress up like their doctors and nurses. Cancer
and nonproﬁt organizations that make measur- survivors from the Cancer Resource Centre’s
able improvements affecting their surround- Knit One … Nurture, Too group began creating
ing communities. The emergency department the cotton caps last summer, and the project
(ED) and cardiac catheterization lab teams have has grown to involve volunteers from the com-
been able to remain below the national door- munity and area churches. The caps are the
to-balloon time patient care benchmark, set same as real surgical caps but, of course, are
at 90 minutes. Door-to-balloon time refers to smaller, and made of colorful children’s prints
the interval between patient arrival to the ED for pediatric patients.
and inﬂation of a balloon catheter within the “The kids really love the caps,” says
patient’s blocked coronary artery. This standard Marcia Collins, R.N. “They help change
applies to those patients with ST segment eleva- children’s attitudes, especially in the
tion myocardial infarction, or STEMI (heart stressful situation of waiting for surgery.”
attack caused by coronary blockage), who come The pediatric patients take the caps
to the hospital for treatment. Studies indicate home after their surgery. “Parents think
that reopening clogged arteries by inﬂating a the caps are cute,” adds Collins, who
tiny balloon at the blockage is the best way to manages the surgical holding room. The
treat a severe heart attack. The procedure, called children pick out the caps, which range
balloon angioplasty, may reduce a patient’s risk in design from Nemo™ to soccer balls.
of dying by about 40 percent if it is completed To continue creating the caps, dona- Surgical nurses Robin
Pepkowski, R.N. (left), and
within 90 minutes of the patient’s arrival. tions of 100 percent cotton cloth in children’s
Annette Boersma, R.N.,
prints and one-quarter-inch elastic are being
❋ a free ride talk with a young patient,
accepted by the Cancer Resource Centre,
Michael Porter, before his
Getting to and from St. Catherine Hospital in 900 Ridge Road, Suite J, Munster, IN 46321. surgery at Community
Phone: 219-836-3349. Hospital.
East Chicago is now more convenient and
vim & vigor · s p ri ng 2008
around your finger
so you don’t forget ...
… and make it a pink ribbon
Pink ribbons are worn around the world as “Being female and getting older
a symbol of unity in the ﬁght against breast are the greatest risk factors for
cancer and the search for a cure. In addition, getting breast cancer,” she says.
the well-known ribbons remind women of “Only 10 percent of breast cancer
some important recommendations: Women 40 diagnoses are linked to a strong
and older should have a yearly mammogram family history of breast cancer.”
and an annual breast exam by a doctor or nurse Family history refers only to
practitioner, and they should do monthly close relatives—mother, sister,
breast self-exams. daughter, father or brother.
by Kathleen Despite new screening tools such as breast
❋ don’t freak out
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound
Pucalik According to Nicholson and Ruiz,
and biopsy, the annual mammogram is still the
contrary to some beliefs, mammograms are
best way to detect cancer at its earliest and most
usually not painful but may be slightly uncom-
treatable stage. New developments such as digi-
fortable for some people.
tal mammography have made this screening
“What some women ﬁnd tolerable, some
tool even better for certain women.
ﬁnd uncomfortable,” Ruiz says. Nicholson adds,
Suzanne Ruiz, nurse practitioner at the
“Some people may have anxiety, which can
Community Hospital Women’s Diagnostic
cause a less-than-comfortable experience. The
Center, calls the yearly mammogram, doctor
good news is that most results are benign
breast exam and self-exam “the hard and fast
[normal], and we try to give results the same
rules.” She reminds women that breast cancer
day to avoid anxiety.”
does not necessarily run in the family.
There are simple ways to avoid possible
Mary Nicholson, M.D., breast radiologist and
discomfort. A woman can take an over-the-
medical director for breast imaging services for
counter pain medication before the exam
Community Healthcare System, agrees.
4 vim & vigor · s p rin g 2 008
Mary Nicholson, M.D.,
❋ the digital age of reviews full-field digital
and schedule an appointment at a time when
mammogram images to
breasts are not tender.
give same-day results to
St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago uses Community Hospital and St. Mary Medical the patient. Same-day
a disposable pad with each mammogram. “The Center now offer full-ﬁeld digital mammogra- results are available at
the Women’s Diagnostic
MammoPad can give comfort and warmth to phy. According to Nicholson, digital mammog-
Centers at Community
the patient,” says Sally Villarreal, coordinator raphy is the preferred examination for women
of women’s imaging services. St. Catherine younger than 50, who have dense breasts Diagnostic Center in
Hospital Auxiliary donates the pads. according to their mammogram, and who are Munster and at St. Mary
Medical Center’s outpatient
Patients also should take comfort knowing perimenopausal and have not had a period
diagnostic facility in Hobart.
that the compression time of a mammogram within 12 months.
is short. Each image takes less than three sec- “Women will notice little difference when
onds; four images are taken—two of each breast. going for a digital mammogram,” Nicholson
A mammogram can be as fast as four minutes. says. “The procedure is similar to traditional
vim & vigor · s p ri ng 2008
“We offer the same technology and treatments as facilities in Chicago,
but we offer same-day results from your mammogram and/or biopsy.”
ﬁlm mammography, but the resolution is better. Breast biopsy is used instead of surgery to
Both use X-ray to generate images of the breast. check a lump. Local anesthetic is used, and a
However, instead of using ﬁlm to capture and small incision is made (less than quarter inch).
record the image, a digital mammogram uses Results are given the same day or next business
a special detector to capture and convert X-ray day. Ruiz says that four out of ﬁve times the test
energy into a digital image.” shows a lump as benign (noncancerous). The
Mammotome is one of a few types of biopsy sys-
❋ other ways to test a lump tems used at the Diagnostic Centers at St. Mary
Mammograms may be the best way to detect Medical Center and Community Hospital. These
cancer, but other valuable diagnostic tests also biopsy systems allow a biopsy to be less-invasive.
are used. Breast ultrasound may be used when “We offer the same technology and treatments
a mammogram does not determine the state of a as facilities in Chicago, but we offer same-day
breast lump. Breast ultrasound imaging can help results from your mammogram and/or biopsy,”
establish if an abnormality is solid (which may be Ruiz says.
a noncancerous lump or a cancerous tumor) The Community Healthcare System includes
or ﬂuid-ﬁlled (such as a benign cyst). the Community Hospital in Munster,
St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago
and St. Mary Medical Center in
Hobart. Community Hospital’s
are you at a high risk? Women’s Diagnostic Center
is available in two outpatient
For women who are at a greater risk for breast cancer,
centers—at the Community
Community Hospital, St. Catherine Hospital and St. Mary
Diagnostic Center in Munster and
Medical Center offer magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). the Community Hospital Outpatient
With MRI, the radiologist can view and manipulate the Centre in St. John. St. Mary Medical
Center’s services are available at an out-
images on high-resolution computer monitors that enhance
patient center on the hospital’s campus.
visualization of the structures within the breast tissue and zoom in on
Additionally, to ensure that breast cancer
patients receive the best treatment, medical pro-
To help women determine if they may be at high risk for breast cancer, fessionals meet at each hospital to discuss cases
all three hospitals offer a free risk assessment with every mammogram. and the newest and latest treatment options
for each patient. Professionals in attendance
The results of this assessment are sent to your referring physician.
may include a radiologist, surgeon, pathologist,
The American Cancer Society recently issued a recommendation for
oncologist, radiation oncologist, plastic surgeon,
women to have an MRI in addition to mammogram if they meet the fol-
family doctor, obstetrician/gynecologist, cancer
lowing criteria: research nurses and physical therapists.
• BRCA mutation (a gene linked with breast cancer; only about 1 percent
of the population has it).
• First-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter, father, brother) with the
BRCA gene. To schedule your next mam-
• Lifetime risk of breast cancer of 20 to 25 percent or more according to a mogram at Community Hospital,
219-836-4599; St. Catherine Hospital,
standard risk assessment.
219-392-7227; or St. Mary Medical Center,
• Received radiation treatment to the chest between ages of 10 and 30
219-947-6436; or toll free, 800-809-9828.
such as for Hodgkin’s disease.
Additional information is available at
• First-degree relative who carries a genetic mutation causing Li-Fraumeni, www.comhs.org.
Cowden or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndromes.
6 vim & vigor · s p rin g 2 008
hospital to celebrate
80th “we are proud of our roots”
by Kelly Nissan
This year marks a signiﬁcant anniversary for St. Catherine St. Catherine Hospital has prospered on a foundation of
Hospital in East Chicago. On May 17, 1928, the hospital successful partnerships. Many “ﬁrst-ever” procedures were
opened its doors thanks to a successful partnership between performed at St. Catherine Hospital because of successful
the Manufacturers Association of East Chicago and the Poor partnerships and collaboration between doctors, nurses,
Handmaids of Jesus Christ (the Ancilla Domini Sisters). staff and the community. Today we continue to strengthen
St. Catherine Hospital, a modern ﬁve-story institution with the quality of care and treatment services available at
a capacity of 311 adult beds and 63 bassinets, began to serve St. Catherine Hospital and look for opportunities to grow
the sick in the community. by partnering with our community.
In 2008, the hospital is celebrating eight decades of We are celebrating 80 years of providing quality health-
saving lives. care. We plan to commemorate the date with our employees,
“Plans are being made to celebrate with our employees physicians and volunteers, as well as the business commu-
and physicians,” says Jo Ann Birdzell, hospital administra- nity and our neighbors.
tor. “We dug through 80 years worth of photos and patient You, the public, will be invited to join us in celebration,
stories to showcase personal achievements to share with and we look forward to our future in Northwest Indiana.
Although settled in the early 1890s, East Chicago, Ind.,
was for a long time a city without a hospital. The idea of
building a hospital didn’t become reality until nearly four
decades later. Heavily populated with industry, leaders real-
ized that workers who might be injured on the job were
forced to travel a long way for medical care. So, with con-
cern for the workingman, the Manufacturers Association of
East Chicago appointed a committee to investigate building
a hospital in town. Eventually, the idea of a hospital in East
Chicago grew beyond simply serving the emergency needs
of manufacturers; it would come to be described by its plan-
ners as “an institution not only to take care of the plant acci-
dent cases, but be a community hospital open to all persons
regardless of race, creed or color.”
“We are proud of our roots with the industries and the
relationships we continue to have,” says Birdzell. “Several
of the original companies that raised funds to start the hos-
pital are still here today.” While names may have changed
over 80 years, companies like BP, Arcelor Mittal, NIPSCO
and Gary Public Transportation will be invited to participate
in the hospital’s celebration.
vim & vigor · s p ri ng 2008
In 1964, a group of physicians had a “dream”
new book about building a new area hospital. That
dream became reality when The Community
documents Hospital opened in Munster in 1973. Now,
the dream is the subject of a recently
history President and CEO of the Community Foundation of
published book, The Community Hospital –
Northwest Indiana Donald S. Powers and author Jane
an Impossible Dream.
Bomberger pore over the first copy of the new book.
“I’m just a messenger of a lot of years of
by Kathleen history—over three decades of people meeting minutes; legal documents; and staff
coming together to provide quality health- member, physician and citizen interviews.
Pucalik care in Northwest Indiana,” says author Jane “There were days when my desk was piled high
Bomberger, director of special projects for with memorabilia. It was fascinating to sort
Community Foundation of Northwest Indiana. through all that,” she says.
“In those early days, a group of physi-
❋ a sneak preview
cians from the Hammond Clinic formally pro-
Bomberger tells a variety of interesting stories
moted the idea of another hospital in this area,”
in the history book. Here, she gives a taste of
Bomberger says. “Their efforts sparked enthu-
siasm among the townspeople, debate at times,
“For example, people in the dietary depart-
and eventually a plan to go forward and locate
ment grew fresh mint outside the building on
The Community Hospital where it is today.”
hospital grounds and garnished the plates of
Bomberger obtained information from
patients with it,” she says. “Also, there was no
warehouse scrapbooks; ofﬁce attic ﬁles; board
helipad in the early days, so the helicopters landed
on a sectioned-off part of MacArthur Boulevard.”
The ﬁrst day the hospital opened, 100 physi-
great gift idea! cians and 27 employees were ready for work.
“The hospital was ready to go, equipment was in
The Community Hospital – An Impossible Dream, a 300-page, hard-
place, but no patients showed up,” Bomberger
cover, jacketed book is available for $30 at the following locations:
says. “One man showed up, and was asked, ‘Can
Community Hospital’s Red Garter Gift Shoppe; I help you?’ He said, ‘I don’t know, but I’m the
South Shore Arts Gift Shop in the Center for Visual mailman.’ On the second day, only one person
and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster; showed up again, and the admissions person was
so excited she asked if the patient would like a
and the Cancer Resource Centre, 900 Ridge Road,
private or semiprivate room!”
Suite J, Munster.
Bomberger is also writing history books about
You also can purchase the book by mail. Please the Community Healthcare System’s St. Catherine
send a check or money order (made payable to Hospital in East Chicago and St. Mary Medical
Community Foundation of Northwest Indiana) Center in Hobart.
St. Catherine Hospital – A Family is available in
for $35 ($30/book plus $5/S&H) to: The
conjunction with the hospital’s 80th anniversary
Community Hospital – An Impossible Dream, 905 Ridge
this year. The books are designed by Joseph A.
Road, Munster, IN 46321. Please allow two weeks for delivery. Gonzales, Community Foundation of Northwest
Indiana graphic artist.
8 vim & vigor · s p rin g 2 008
by Elise Sims
System: Community Hospital in Munster,
St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago and
St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart are working
together to raise awareness about health issues
faced by over-the-hillers.
The three hospitals regularly offer health and
screenings after 40 are wellness programs. Residents of all ages are
encouraged to take advantage of preventive out-
more important than ever patient tests and screenings, some of which are
free. By increasing early detection and lowering
disease rates, Northwest Indiana residents can
The ever-appreciated phrase “over the hill” is enjoy longer, healthier lives.
sometimes used to describe an age when one
❋ the first step—
has “peaked,” and the body begins to show
signs of aging.
During this second half of life, people are Gautham Viswanathan, M.D., internist with
more prone to have difﬁculties with various body St. Catherine Hospital Care Network, says,
functions and develop chronic or fatal diseases, “Screenings can detect common diseases and
such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. chronic conditions, which, if found early
As unpleasant as that all sounds, this is a enough, can receive proper treatment; some
time in one’s life when staying on top of your prevented altogether.”
health is more important than ever. That’s why Mark Feldner, M.D., family practice physician
the hospitals of the Community Healthcare at the Community Care Center in St. John, says
vim & vigor · s p ri ng 2008
The American Cancer Society and other
medical groups also recommend individuals
older than 50 undergo a sigmoidoscopy every
ﬁve years or a colonoscopy every 10 years. These
procedures, performed on an outpatient basis,
enable physicians to examine the lining of the
colon to check for and remove abnormalities.
Many times these abnormalities can be removed
before they become cancerous.
Community Healthcare System staff physi-
cians regularly offer free PSA blood tests (pros-
tate speciﬁc antigen) and digital rectal exams
Gautham Viswanathan, M.D. Mark Feldner, M.D.
for those who meet certain criteria: men 50 or
he looks to the American Academy of Family older, or age 40 and older who have a family his-
Physicians (AAFP) age recommendations for tory of prostate cancer or are African-American.
preventive screenings, based on current clinical “I think it is important for my patients to
ﬁndings and information. adopt healthy habits and be aware of their own
“The recommendations are only a guide health histories,” Viswanathan says. “Through
for physicians as everyone is different,” regular checkups and screenings, we can better
Feldner says. “We look at each patient—their manage problem areas and sustain good health
family history, their increased risk factors and wellness.”
for disease—and then we form our prevention Other important cancer screenings that are
plan or treatment regimen. The AAFP’s available from the hospitals of Community
recommenda-tions should be used with the Healthcare System include annual mammogra-
understanding that additional research may phy and skin exams.
result in new knowledge and point to other
indicators down the road.”
“One screening strongly
❋ the big ‘c’
recommended for patients
“One screening strongly recommended for
patients 50 years of age and older is the
50 years of age and older
colorectal cancer screening,” Viswanathan says.
“Colorectal cancer is the third most common
is the colorectal cancer
type of cancer. It is also the third leading cause
of death in women and second in men. But,
most importantly, it is preventable.”
It has been estimated that if everyone older
than 50 had regular screenings, at least one-
third of deaths from these cancers could be
avoided. Five primary tests are used to screen
for cancers of the colon and rectum; the fre-
quency and the type of test recommended
depends on the person’s level of risk. The most
common is the annual fecal occult blood test. A
patient picks up special cards, called Hemoccult
cards, from the doctor’s ofﬁce and mails them
back for testing after three consecutive speci-
mens are collected.
50 vim & vigor · s p rin g 2 008
❋ heart care 101 “I won’t hesitate to pursue ideas
Coronary heart disease is the No. 1 killer that can improve on the quality of
in America, with stroke running a close third. patient care, and ultimately help
However, heart disease can be kept in check my patients gain what is rightfully
through proper diet and exercise, and by keep- theirs—a normal, everyday life,”
ing blood pressure and cholesterol levels she says.
within normal range. Physicians on staff at Community
“We treat cholesterol abnormalities in patients Healthcare System hospitals also
with or without heart disease to prevent heart offer blood pressure screenings at
attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular condi- no charge.
tions,” says Mary Tilak, M.D., lipidologist, who
❋ diabetes can be
also is an internal medicine physician on staff at Mary Tilak, M.D.
St. Mary Medical Center Care Network practices.
Although type 2 diabetes is being diagnosed
A simple blood test can determine if you are
in record numbers, the good news is that the
at risk for heart disease. The test is offered regu-
disease is preventable through education and
larly through Community Healthcare System
adapting a healthy lifestyle.
hospitals for a $30 fee. A Coronary Health
Diabetes education classes are offered by
Appraisal includes a cholesterol test (total,
all three hospitals of Community Healthcare
HDL, LDL, triglycerides), blood sugar, meta-
System. Classes at Community Hospital and
bolic syndrome, blood pressure, body mass
St. Catherine Hospital are recognized by the
index and a Heart Health proﬁle. For this par-
American Diabetes Association for Quality Self-
ticular test, a 14-hour fast is necessary to obtain
Management Education and teach patients how
to follow a special diet, exercise and monitor
Tilak says her treatment regimen focuses on
their glucose levels.
diet, exercise, weight loss and medications.
Glucose screenings also are conve-
niently offered at no charge through most of
Community Healthcare System Care Network
physician ofﬁces. In addition, St. Catherine
Hospital offers free glucose screenings from
the Community Outreach area of the lobby at
4321 Fir St., East Chicago.
Also available are screenings to test for
peripheral arterial disease, a circulatory condi-
tion commonly seen in diabetics. The screening
helps to determine if there are blockages in
find the time
To access a complete listing with times and dates of preventive screen-
ings, visit us online at www.comhs.org, then click on the hospital of
your choice and “Calendar of Events.” You also can call 219-836-3477
or 866-836-3477 for information on screenings, educational
programs and physician referral offered through the hospitals of
Community Healthcare System.
vim & vigor · s p ri ng 2008
the of the
matter System cardiologists, is a best-seller on the car-
diotext® website—a site speciﬁcally highlighting
best-selling author is one of ours Although readers consist mostly of the medi-
cal community, Nguyen’s Practical Handbook is
not solely used by cardiologists—which may be
When you think about Barnes & Noble’s best- a contributing factor to its best-selling status.
by Elise Sims sellers, authors like J.K. Rowling and James “I gave it to a family physician, and he liked it
Patterson might come to mind. But joining those because it is easy to understand,” Nguyen says.
well-known names on that list for a while was “I use simple terms—concise copy that features
a Community Healthcare System doctor. real-life cases that occurred at the hospital over
Thach Nguyen, M.D., medical director of car- the past 10 years.”
diology at St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart, Nguyen says one such case features a patient
ﬁrst published his best-seller Practical Handbook who had a heart attack while driving down the
of Advanced Interventional Cardiology in 2003, I-94 freeway. The patient subsequently got into a
where it rose all the way to No. 4 on Barnes & car accident and fractured his left leg, which was
Noble’s online best-seller list before a second bleeding at the wound site. The surgeon on call
printing sold out. refused to operate because the patient was bleed-
Another title, Management of Complex ing and having a heart attack at the same time—
Cardiovascular Problems: The Evidence-Based a deadly combination. When Nguyen arrived on
Medicine Approach, also authored by Nguyen the scene, he determined that the patient’s artery
and edited by several Community Healthcare was not lacerated and that it was safe to perform
“This was a ﬁrst—a pioneering breakthrough,”
says Nguyen. “No one had ever before performed
an angioplasty on a patient who was bleeding.
That is the part of my work that I really like. It’s
Although it took Nguyen one year to pen his
manuscript, he says it is a labor of love and a
rewarding experience, one he has been able to
accomplish with a lot of help from his colleagues
and experiences from his patients.
Community Healthcare System interven-
tional cardiologists, neurologists and internal
medicine practitioners who contributed to these
best-selling books include: Prakash Makam,
M.D.; Rupesh Shah, D.O.; David Jayakar, M.D.;
Feliz Gozo, M.D.; Vijay Dave, M.D.; Olabode
Dr. Thach Nguyen, well-known international author and diplomat (third from left), recently
Oladeinde, M.D.; Adolphus Anekwe, M.D.; Mark
traveled with a group of American cardiologists/delegates to the Central General Hospital
Simaga, M.D., and Sanjeev Maniar, M.D.
of the Chinese Liberation Army.
52 vim & vigor · s p rin g 2 008
a gift for the future by Mylinda Cane
sands family donates more than $100,000 to endowment fund
generous donation of more than $100,000 by long- many Community Hospital expansion projects,” says
time Community Hospital board member Donald F. Donald S. Powers, president and CEO of Community
Sands means that the Munster hospital can look Foundation of Northwest Indiana, the parent company
forward to much growth and development for of the healthcare system.
years to come. Sands is a retired Amoco Oil
Sands says he recognized that the Co. executive who has served
hospital has become a vital part of the on the Community Hospital’s
community and wanted to leave a gift board of directors for more than
that would make a difference. Having a decade. Since 2001, he also has
watched the hospital spend millions of served as a member of the board
dollars over the years to expand and of the Community Foundation of
add new services, he says he felt it was Northwest Indiana. His late wife,
important that the hospital begin to Florence, was a nurse, a Community
“save for a rainy day.” Hospital volunteer and member of
The creation of the Donald the Community Hospital Auxiliary.
and Florence Sands and Family A veteran of World War II, Sands
Endowment Fund totaling $102,300 moved with his wife to Northwest
Donald F. Sands donated more than $100,000 to
will provide a lasting source of sup- Indiana nearly 60 years ago, begin-
create an endowment fund in support of projects
port of new projects, including nurs- ning his career as a mechanical
such as a nursing initiatives in honor of the vocation
ing initiatives honoring the lifelong engineer with Amoco. A longtime
of his late wife, Florence.
vocation of his late wife, Florence Sands. resident of Munster, he has been
“We feel very privileged to accept this generous gift a part of many projects in the town, including the building
from Donald Sands, who has already contributed so much of Westminster Church, Hartsﬁeld Village and the Munster
as a board member, providing guidance and advice on school system. The administrative center for the School
Town of Munster is named in honor of Sands,
a 13-year school board member.
how endowments support The donation from Sands represents one
of the largest made by a single individual in
A gift to an endowment fund is a gift that keeps giving—the original gift is the hospital’s 34-year history. Sands is also
among the ﬁrst individuals to contribute to
never spent, rather the interest is used to fund projects.
a newly created endowment giving program.
Endowment funds have been established at each of the three hospitals of
Gifts to endowments are never spent and
the Community Healthcare System. Initial funds have been designated to sup-
instead are invested to generate a lasting source
port the acquisition of medical technology for Community Hospital; screen- of funding for essential healthcare services in
ing and education initiatives and new diagnostic technology for St. Catherine the community.
“Community Hospital could not have
Hospital in East Chicago; and an expansion of surgical services for St. Mary
been built without ﬁnancial support from
Medical Center in Hobart. A general endowment also was created to support
private individuals, businesses and com-
the needs of all three hospitals and another for the Community Research
munity groups,” says John Mybeck, senior
Foundation and its support program, the Cancer Resource Centre in Munster. vice president and chief administrative ofﬁ-
In addition to the newly established Endowment Program, the not-for- cer of Community Foundation of Northwest
Indiana. “Today, at a time of escalating health-
profit Community Healthcare System has begun to offer other options for
care costs, such donations will play a vital role
charitable contributions, including planned giving, donations of real estate,
in ensuring that our hospitals remain strong,
paid life insurance policies, annuities, and bequests from wills and trusts.
and are able to fulﬁll their mission to the com-
For more information, call the parent company, Community Foundation of munity, serving needs of all people, including
Northwest Indiana, 219-836-0130. the poor and disadvantaged.”
vim & vigor · s p ri ng 2008
a group of women pioneer to end diabetes
CHANGE. How many of us
would like to take up this cause? For
a remarkable group of women in East
Chicago, change is the only choice and
the path by which they believe they
can create a better community.
A better and healthier community is
the focus of a new partnership between
Women for Change and St. Catherine
Hospital in East Chicago. Together, the
two groups are working to raise funds
and awareness to combat diabetes.
Since 2004, rates for diabetes have
increased 28 percent in East Chicago.
Helping people diagnosed with
diabetes—and those at risk—change
their lifestyle is at the heart of STOP
Hilda Pabey, first lady of East Chicago and chairwoman for the Women for Change third annual Diabetes, a community outreach initia-
fundraiser, welcomes guests to the dinner benefiting the Center for Diabetes at St. Catherine
tive started by St. Catherine Hospital.
Hospital. Funds raised support diabetics in the community who need self-management education,
With the support of Women for Change,
exercise and counseling services.
the hospital will be able to educate
and support more people in making
changes to prevent long-term complica-
tions, such as heart disease, stroke, or
conditions of the eye, foot and kidneys.
54 vim & vigor · s p rin g 2 008
“We’re a group of women in the community
who believe change can happen, but it has to be
pushed from the bottom up by regular people
who live and work here,” says Hilda Pabey, East
Chicago’s ﬁrst lady and a member of the group.
❋ diabetes hits home
Pabey, who chaired the group’s fundraising
event in November to kick off the effort, has
seen the effects of the disease in her own fam-
ily. Her daughter, Lisette, was diagnosed with
diabetes and came to the realization that major
changes in her lifestyle were needed to combat
“Diabetes is not a death sentence,” says
Lisette, also a member of Women for Change.
She says she believes many Hispanics diag-
nosed with diabetes overreact and think they
are going to die. “Only if you don’t know what
to do—that’s why we’re raising funds for anyone
in our community who needs to be educated
“We’re a group of women in the
❋ how change happens
community who believe change
STOP Diabetes helps to provide everyone diag-
nosed with diabetes the education and support
can happen, but it has to be pushed
for making the necessary lifestyle changes to
keep the disease in check. The hospital also
from the bottom up by regular
promotes early detection by hosting a number
people who live and work here.”
“We know many people in our community do
not know how they can live well with diabetes
or how this disease can be prevented,” says Julie
Pena-Ruiz, diabetes educator. “We are working assistance so those who don’t have insurance or
to support and empower people to learn more resources can enroll in classes. STOP Diabetes
and to control diabetes before it controls their also will be expanded to include a special
health and their life.” exercise program for diabetics as well as coun-
To address barriers to learning, STOP seling at St. Catherine Hospital’s Daybreak
Diabetes is taking education into area churches Center for people who need help coping with
and community settings, according to Kelly the diagnosis and overcoming feelings of anxiety
Nissan, director of marketing, community and or depression.
business relations at St. Catherine Hospital. “We’ve been fortunate that with a grant from
Partner churches include Tabernacle Missionary the East Chicago Community Development
Baptist, New Ebenezer Missionary Baptist, Foundation, 85 area residents have completed
First Baptist Church, Mission of Jesus Christ our self-management program at no charge,”
and Greater First Church International. Nissan says. “Thanks to the generosity of Women
With the support of Women for Change, for Change, we’ll be able to continue to reach out
the hospital will be able to stretch its ﬁnancial to more people diagnosed with diabetes.”
vim & vigor · s p ri ng 2008
community update by Kathleen Pucalik
munster’s future doctors get
hands-on surgical experience early
community will benefit from expertly skilled physicians
Doing procedures typically reserved for fourth- hysterectomies that you wouldn’t have the oppor-
year residents, third-year OB/GYN residents tunity to do at Rush,” she says. “The OB/GYN
from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago attendings are very good and let you do surgery,
may be a step ahead of their colleagues by gain- and they’re always teaching.”
ing real, live, hands-on surgical experience.
❋ always there to help
Community Hospital in Munster is advancing
medical education by giving residents a hands- The residency program began in July 2005.
on education. These young doctors can then use Third-year residents from Rush University
these skills as they give back to the community Medical Center in Chicago rotate for two
performing procedures now, and when they months at Community Hospital. The focus is
become practicing obstetricians/gynecologists. primarily on surgery, with some obstetrics.
Through Community Hospital’s rotation for Community Hospital’s goal is to work with a
Rush, residents have the opportunity to perform well-established academic program and upper-
abdominal and vaginal hysterectomies, lapa- level residents (third year) who do not require
roscopic surgery on tubes and ovaries, tubal constant supervision. Henry says that doctor
ligation and Essure (a permanent birth control and patient participation is voluntary, and
procedure). Residents have an attending physi- participation is rarely denied.
cian at their side at all times providing hands-on “I’m very pleased with the program,”
supervision during procedures. Henry says. “The residents get good reviews
“There is always a need for residents to get by attending physicians. They seem to like to
plenty of clinical experience and always a need work here.”
for surgical experience, which is usually monop- “What has impressed me the most is how
olized by four-year residents,” nice everyone is,” Patsavas says. “No matter
Don Henry, M.D., site direc- where I turn, someone is always there to help
tor, says. “Here, there is no me. I went to the pathology ofﬁce to get pathol-
competition, so residents can ogy reports on patients that we operated on,
take their pick of cases and get and the pathologist dropped what he was
valuable experience they nor- doing and went over the reports. He even let
mally wouldn’t get before their me look at slides under the microscope and
fourth year.” explained them.”
One plus for the residents is In addition to clinical skills, the residency
learning to perform the vaginal program focuses on professionalism and main-
hysterectomy. taining good relationships with other physi-
“It’s an art,” Henry says. cians, nurses and patients.
“It takes time and experience According to Henry, residents are restricted
to learn it.” to an 80-hour workweek, which is typically
Kristia Patsavas, M.D., third- what they work, including night call. In addition,
year resident, is pleased with residents are another resource for assistance
the opportunity. “At Community in emergency cases such as a C-section coming
Don Henry, M.D.
Hospital you do a lot of vaginal through the Emergency Department.
56 vim & vigor · s p rin g 2 008