Wednesday, September 18, 2013

You’re NOT a Bad Parent

When it comes to calling the Illinois Poison Center (IPC), I have heard parents say, “I would have called but I didn’t want to look like a bad parent,” or “I am afraid you will report me to the DCFS?”  I’ve heard this refrain from young mothers, Facebook followers and even a public official; many parents are afraid to contact our free, confidential medical service for fear of being labeled a “bad” parent.

As an emergency physician and toxicologist, and the father of two children, I understand on a personal and professional level, that children can and do get into everything.  In the time it takes you to turn around, a small child can swallow a battery or drink your eye drops.  In fact, close to 49 percent of all calls to the IPC are regarding children 5 years of age and under.

At the IPC, we have a top-notch team of physicians, pharmacists, nurses and specially trained poison experts available 24 hours per day seven days per week to provide treatment advice on poison exposures. This skilled staff manages 90 percent of calls at home without referral to a health care facility. We do not report parents to authorities; that’s not our job. Our job is to ensure your safety and the safety of your loved ones by providing access to comprehensive treatment advice.

I know the overwhelming feelings of anxiety and fear when something may be wrong with your child- panic ensues and your thoughts often turn to the worst case scenario. In that stressful moment when you discover your child in the medicine cabinet or playing with household chemicals or other potentially hazardous substances, I’m encourage you to call the IPC at 1-800-222-1222 to for free, confidential treatment advice for your child.

Dr. Michael Wahl.
Medical Director
Illinois Poison Center

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Help In the Fight Against Breast Cancer!

Bon-Ton has a goal of raising $500,000 for its breast cancer charity partners through its annual trademarked program, Charge Against Breast Cancer™ and the October Pink Shops. Bon-Ton has donated a total of $4.2 million to these charities throughout the years. 

The October Pink Shops will be open in all stores and online at beginning on September 18 for National Breast Cancer Awareness month. 

The shops will feature over 20 items from the women’s, cosmetics and home departments that will support the cause. The shops will include the exclusive Bon-Ton Pink tumbler, which retails for $10. 100% of net proceeds of the tumbler sales will benefit the charities and Bon-Ton hopes to donate $30,000 just from the tumbler alone. Other items include two pink Woodwick candles, a Jasmine Rose plush robe, Coach signature fragrance, Columbia fleece with the Breast Cancer pink ribbon logo as well as tee shirts from Bon-Ton’s exclusive private labels Relativity and Ruff Hewn.

The beneficiaries include: The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center, Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa; Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation; and Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota. This year the charity roster will also include the local Milwaukee Susan G. Komen chapter. Bon-Ton has pledged to raise $100,000 in support of the 15th anniversary of Susan G. Komen for the cure of Southwest Wisconsin.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Silver Cross Offers Health Screenings in October

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month,  Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health will offer  $100 screening mammograms including the radiologist fee for patients who call by October 31 to schedule an appointment before Nov. 31, 2013. The Center is located on the Silver Cross Hospital campus, 1870 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. A physician’s order is required. Cash, check and credit cards accepted at time of appointment—insurance will not be billed. Call (815) 300-7076 and mention SPECIAL MAMMOGRAM to schedule your mammogram. For a referral to a doctor, call the Silver Cross free Physician Referral Service at 1-888-660-HEAL (4325) of visit

Blood Pressure Screening
Silver Cross offers free blood pressure checks daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Silver Cross Health Center, 12701 W. 143rd St., Homer Glen. Walk-ins welcomed. For more information, call (708) 364-6337.

Calcium Artery Scoring
Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox and the Silver Cross Health Center—Homer Glen offers a quick and painless test using a high speed CT scanner that can measure calcium deposits in the coronary arteries to determine your risk of having a heart attack. Calcium artery scoring is ideal for men over age 45 and women over age 55 who smoke, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or a family history of premature coronary artery disease. This scan is available for $200.  Call (815) 300-7076 for an appointment.

Fall & Balance Screenings
According to the National Council on Aging, every 15 seconds an older adult is seen in an emergency room for a fall-related injury. To help reduce preventable falls, The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross is offering FREE Fall and Balance screenings on Thursday,Oct. 17 at Silver Cross Professional Building, 1051 Essington Rd., Joliet; Tuesday, Oct. 22 and Wednesday, Oct. 23 at Silver Cross Hospital-Pavilion A, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox; and Tuesday, Oct. 29 at Silver Cross Health Center, 12701 W. 143rd St., Homer Glen.  The screening includes blood pressure readings, balance assessment, recommendations referrals for treatment if needed.  If you or a loved one experiences dizziness or vertigo, frequent falls, near falls or is simply afraid of losing balance, schedule an appointment by calling (815) 300-7110.

Incontinence Risk Assessment
Bladder control issues are not a normal part of aging and they are not something women should have to live with.  Take control of your pelvic health by completing a Sliver Cross Hospital’s short quiz at to find out if it is time you reached out for help.

Prostate Cancer Screening
Prostate cancer remains a leading cause of death among men.  But when diagnosed early, can be treatable. Silver Cross Hospital
 in partnership with Advanced Urology Associates  will offer free prostate cancer screenings for men Friday, Oct, 11 from 8 to 9 a.m. in the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital, 1850 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. Two simple methods are often used in screening for prostate cancer—a digital rectal exam, in which a doctor feels the prostate gland through the rectal wall, and a blood test, in which a blood sample is tested for the presence of a substance called prostate specific antigen (PSA). Men should begin screening for prostate cancer at age 50, unless there is a family history of prostate cancer. Those men should be screened at age 40. To schedule an appointment, visit  or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325). No walk-in appointments will be accepted.

Scoliosis Screenings
Dr. Anthony Rinella, spine surgeon, will offer free scoliosis screenings Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Silver Cross Health Center, 12701 West 143rd St., Homer Glen. To register, call (877) 694-7722. The screenings are free and available for children and adults.

Sleep Disorders Assessment
Having trouble sleeping?  Silver Cross Sleep Disorders Center now offers a free online risk assessment at

Stroke Risk Assessment
Each year, nearly 800,000 Americans suffer a new or recurrent stroke. That means on average, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds. Find out if you are at risk and what you can do to prevent a stroke from occurring by taking the Silver Cross Neuroscience Institute’s free stroke risk assessment at

Friday, September 13, 2013

Love Should Be the Foundation of Parenting

Parenting is the most important and rewarding part of life for any human being who has children.  We have the divine opportunity to teach love, confidence, compassion, discipline and responsibility to another person.  We will know what kind of parent we are by how we see our children get along and interact in the world.  Love should be the foundation of parenting. 

10 Steps to Nurturing Self-Love in Your Children by Sherrie Campbell, Ph.D. author of LOVE YOURSELF: THE MASTERY OF BEING YOUR OWN PERSON

1) Practice Attachment/Emotional Parenting:  Children who are provided as sense of well-being from infancy forward will spend the rest of their lives striving to keep this feeling.  Children who are valued emotionally and given security, touch, eye contact and patience from birth become motivated to repair their sense of well-being when they lose it because it has already been integrated into their sense of self.

2) Your child's self-love is taught it is not a "given": Assess how you were parented and learn to give your child what you were never given.  Take note of what your parents did that was correct for you which built your self-image and take note of the things which did not build your self-image.  Take what was good and give all of that and more to your child and take what did not work for you and avoid doing those things.  

3) Be Human:  No one can be happy all the time and sometimes life is really hard but a parent's unhappiness can transfer over to their child because children look to their parents as a mirror for their own feelings.  If you are having a rough time be honest with your child so they learn that emotions are natural and that life is full of up's and down's but let them know that you are strong enough to handle them and that you are ok with them. 

5) Be Playful with Your child. When you play with your child it gives them the message that they are worth your time effort and love.  Children learn a lot through play and it improves their behavior by giving them a feeling of importance and accomplishment.  

6) Use your child's name:  When you use your child's name this is a way of making them feel important. Use their name when you are giving them compliments, so they take that compliment as being directly related to their value.  It tells them that they are real and special.  Using their name also helps to soften discipline because you are making them a person not a faulty behavior. 

7) Rewards carry over. As your child gets older make sure to encourage and compliment their talents and interests. Celebrate them that they are able to do something well.  As they get this feeling of gratification it will carry over and help them to be more open to try new things.  

8) Set your child up for success:  Children assess their value by how they are perceived by others.  It will be important to not let your child quit what they start but also not to force them to do what they really don't want to do.  This balance helps your child to learn they must finish what they start but if they really aren't interested at the end.  This is good for their exploration of their identity and also to learn the value of commitment. 

9) Home is always available:  The child, as they grow, will have times of being attached to home and times of needing independence as they learn to become their own person.  All children are going to need to periodically retreat into the comfort of their home where they feel safe to be vulnerable in between times of venturing out into the unknown.  Home is where the emotions and vulnerabilities should be nurtured so the child can again get the fuel they need for independence.  

10). Give your child responsibilities:  Children need jobs. One of the main ways children develop self-love, confidence and values is through helping maintain the family home. Giving children household duties helps them feel more valuable and it gives them a sense of accomplishment and reward. They can learn that hard work has reward and value. 

In parenting children need three things. They require time, attention and listening.  We can give children too many things but we can never give them too much love.  When they are loved by their parents they learn to love themselves.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Little Company of Mary’s Heart Connection Grief Support Program Offers Much Needed Help to Heal Little Broken Hearts

    Little Company of Mary’s Heart Connection Grief Support Program Offers Much Needed Help to Heal Little Broken Hearts

Little Company of Mary’s Heart Connection Program Offers Children Healthy Ways to Grief the Loss of a Loved One

Children showing pictures of their deceased loved ones while
attending the Heart Connection Program
At Little Company of Mary Hospital, ‘caring for the community’ means going beyond the physical needs of area residents. Through a variety of programs and services, the hospital tends to both emotional and spiritual needs. Heart Connections is a special program designed to help bereaved children cope with the loss of a loved one. During the past 17 years, Heart Connections has served more than 900 families and more than 1,300 children and teens.

Little Company of Mary’s Heart Connection grief support program was named a 2012 Program of Excellences as a part of the Hospital Charitable Services Awards, a national program sponsored by Jackson Healthcare, which recognizes programs demonstrating sustainable community impact. 

Little Company of Mary’s Heart Connection program is a unique program of its kind in
Chicago Southwest side area. Little Company of Mary was the first to bring bereavement services of its kind to the community. Proving much needed grief support to an underserved population that was grieving and dealing with the pain of loss of a loved one in silence. “The program truly indicates the community’s need to be served, supported, and guided while they grieve the death of their loved one,” said Peg Schneider, Chaplain in the Pastoral Care department, and co-coordinator of Heart Connection and Bereavement Services at Little Company of Mary. The mission of the program is to provide a safe and trusting environment for both the children and teens of the community.

The eight-week program is offered twice a year, with 30 to 50 children participating in each session. The children meet weekly for 75 minutes with a group of children of the same age. A team of 20 volunteer grief counselors use a variety of creative activities, such as music therapy, poetry and art, to help the kids express their grief.

Parents or guardians meet separately and receive counseling and support of their own. Recently added, was the Spanish-language counseling to better serve the growing Hispanic participants. The program serves a culturally and economically diverse group of families from Chicago and its southwest suburbs and it is provided at no charge. Heart Connections is funded primarily by Little Company of Mary, with some additional support from donors and foundations.

In addition, the hospital added a separate program, when Death comes to the classroom for educators. “When kids don’t get help, they can have unresolved grief and it can affect them the rest of their lives,” says Meghan Llanes, LCWS at Little Company of Mary. ”Here, they can connect with kids who are going through the something similar; they can get support and have a place to talk about their grief.”

Enrollment in the program is recommended at least three months after the death of a loved one; however, consideration is always given to the family circumstances of loss. For more information on Little Company of Mary’s Heart Connection grief support programs include dates and times, please call the Pastoral Care Department at 708-229-5484. 

Monday, September 2, 2013


Slate of events planned celebrating honeybees, including Honeybee Hikes, beehive tours and talk by noted bee expert May Berenbaum

September is National Honey Month and The Morton Arboretum will be a beehive of activity during Honey Bee Weekend September 7 and 8. Join the Arboretum’s beekeeper and learn about honeybees during a beehive tour, peruse honey- and bee-themed products at the Honey Bee Expo, enjoy the ancient drink of mead during a Honey Mead Dinner, or attend a Lunch & Learn talk to hear one of the country’s top bee experts discuss the future of honeybees. 

Honeybees are vital to our ecosystem and the foods we eat, according to Arboretum beekeeper Greg Fischer. “Many don’t realize that most honeybees are friendly,” he says. “And while we enjoy the honey they produce, they do so much more for us. In fact, every third bite we eat depends on pollination by honeybees.” 

• Statistics show how crucial honeybees are to our economy and crop production. Western nations rely heavily on managed honeybees – the bees that ride in trucks from farm to farm – to keep commercial agriculture productive
• About a third of our foods – nearly 100 key crops – rely on honeybees, including apples, almonds, blueberries and raspberries
• In total, honeybees contribute more than $15 billion to US crop production

Honey Bee Weekend Events
Explore the Honey Bee Expo, where you can shop for locally produced honey, honey- and bee-themed products including honey beer and mead, honey breads and jams, candles, lotions and beekeeper kits. The Arboretum’s honey is very popular; the store has sold more than 20,000 jars in the past 10 years. Plus, check out an observation beehive and learn how to identify various pollinators. Throughout the Expo, the Arboretum will be offering drop-in lectures provided by the Cook-DuPage Beekeepers Association.

Over a honey-themed buffet lunch, nationally-known entomologist and author May Berenbaum of the University of Illinois will discuss the health of our honeybee populations during a Lunch & Learn talk, “Healthy Bees, Healthy Food,” on Saturday, September 7, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Arboretum. Learn about honeybees, their biology, and what they eat, hear the latest on Colony Collapse Disorder and more. The cost is $22 for members and $30 for nonmembers. Register at <> , in the Visitor Center or by calling 630-719-2468. Berenbaum will sign her books at 2 p.m. at the Honey Bee Weekend booths in Arbor Court. 

Learn all about honeybees, their favorite flowers and how honey is made on a “Family Honeybee Hike” The hike will include viewing Arboretum beehives and sampling Arboretum honey. The hikes, 45 minutes long, are available Saturday, September 7, or Sunday, September 8 at 11:30 a.m. and 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30 and 3 p.m. The cost per person is $5 for members, $6 for nonmembers. The hikes are designed for families with children ages 2 and up. Register at <> , in the Visitor Center or by calling 630-719-2468.

Take a Bee Hive Tour on Friday, September 6, or Sunday, September 8, from 9 to 11 a.m. at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle with Greg Fischer, the Arboretum’s beekeeper. Protective bee netting will be provided. Enjoy a sample of honey for a sweet finish to the tour. The cost is $22 for members and $30 for nonmembers. Register at <> , in the Visitor Center or by calling 630-719-2468.

Enjoy honey-inspired food paired with mead, a honey wine, at the second annual Honey Mead Dinner on September 5 at 6 p.m. at the Arboretum. Arboretum beekeeper Greg Fischer will be present to explain the pairings and how mead is made. The cost is $50 for members and $55 for nonmembers. Register at <> , in the Visitor Center or by calling 630-719-2468.

Wish the Children’s Garden a Happy Bee-Day at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle. Celebrate the garden’s 8th birthday by making bee masks, meeting a real beekeeper and checking out the hives in the Children’s Garden. The party will be happening September 7 and 8 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free with admission. The Cook-DuPage Beekeepers Association will be present with their observation beehive. 

Interested in starting your own hive and harvesting your own honey? Already have a hive and want to learn more about managing it? Come to The Morton Arboretum in Lisle for a “Beginning Beekeeping” class with Arboretum beekeeper Greg Fischer. Explore the history of beekeeping, bee anatomy, starting and managing a colony, equipment basics, honeybee pests and diseases, harvesting honey and more. Each participant will receive a hive tool to take home. This four- week class will be held on (what days), September 10 to October 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. Cost is $80 for members, $94 for nonmembers. Register at <> , in the Visitor Center or call 630-719-2468.

NEW THIS YEAR:  Win free passes to Honey Bee Weekend by entering The Morton Arboretum’s Honey Bee Photo Contest.  Visit the Arboretum’s Facebook page from August 12 to 18 to submit your photos of honeybees. One lucky winner will receive a four-pack of tickets to the Arboretum.  Enter on the Arboretum’s Facebook page.

Submit your own honey in our second annual Honey Competition on September 6. A certified judge will award best in class and best in show ribbons in a variety of categories.