Prevention programs, screenings, and other health information

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is something that can strike fear in the hearts of parents.

By Eileen McNichols, Director of Community Health and Pastoral Care Services 

ASD is a developmental disorder that usually appears in early childhood. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual fifth edition (DSM-5) defines ASD as a disorder that includes communication difficulty, restricted behavior and interference with life activities. 

The severity of symptoms varies greatly.  

Although ASD is not something a child outgrows, it is treatable. The most important piece of information to know about ASD is that the earlier it is identified and intervention begins, the better the outcome for the child.  

There is no known cause of autism.  

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) identifies five behaviors that warrant further evaluation of young children: 

Child does not babble or coo by 12 months. 

Child does not gesture (point, wave, grasp) by 12 months. 

Child does not say single words by 16 months. 

Child does not say two-word phrases on his or her own by 24 months. 

Child has any loss of any language or social skill at any age. 

If a child exhibits any of these behaviors it does not necessarily mean that child has ASD. Regular follow up with a primary care provider who can track a child’s development and help to identify any areas of concern is critical for a child’s wellbeing. If you have any concerns about the children in your life, talk to their primary care provider. Remember, the earlier ASD is identified and intervention begins, the better the outcome for the child.  

Little Company of Mary Hospital has a team of experienced pediatric providers along with the presence of University of Chicago pediatric subspecialists to monitor and address any health pediatric concerns you may have about the children in your life. For a full list of children’s health specialists visit  

Top Programs in June 

Little Company of Mary Hospital, 2800 W. 95th St. Info/registration: 708-423-5774. 

In Balance: The Ups and Downs of Blood Pressure, presented by Charles Lawler, MD, Thurs., June 7, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., North Pavilion Link, Room N1703. Free. 

Health Academy: The Bottom Line on Women’s Health, presented by gynecologist Marjorie Michel, MD, Mon., June 11, 11 a.m. to noon, North Pavilion Link, Room N1703. Free.  

Family Fun Nights: music, activities, food and fun for young families at neighborhood Metra stations, Thursdays, 5:30 to 7 p.m., June 14, 91st Street Station/Maggie Cosme Park; June 21, 99th Street Station; and June 28, 111th Street Station/Bohn Park. Events are held weather-permitting. Bring chairs and blankets. Free admission. Look for details in this issue of The Villager.  

Wake Up Call Screening, Sat., June 23, 7:30 a.m. to noon, by appointment. Assess your risk for heart disease and stroke. Includes comprehensive labs, ultrasound screening of abdominal aorta and carotid arteries, peripheral vascular screening, heart rhythm screening for atrial fibrillation and more.  LCMH Cancer Center. $155 ($4,000 value). Appointments required.  

Your Health: The Emotional Impact of Stroke

By Eileen McNichols, Director of Community Health and Pastoral Care Services

Stroke is a devastating health challenge. An increased awareness of signs and symptoms of stroke and the importance of seeking treatment as soon as the first indication of stroke occurs has had a positive impact on the long-term effects of stroke. But many people are not familiar with the emotional effects of stroke.

Many stroke survivors experience fear, anxiety, frustration, sadness and a sense of loss for the functional changes that accompany a stroke. Some stroke survivors experience Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA), a medical condition that causes sudden and unpredictable episodes of crying or laughing in socially inappropriate situations. PBA is caused brain damage that occurred during the stroke.

The National Stroke Association performed a survey in 2010 about PBA and 53% of the stroke survivors who answered the survey reported symptoms of PBA. Only one in five stroke survivors surveyed were familiar with PBA. Those who experience PBA frequently report that the unpredictable episodes of crying or laughing interferes with their ability to enjoy social activities, even with their own family members and close friends.

The goal of treatment for PBA is to reduce the severity and frequency of emotional outbursts. Some medications may help, such as low doses of antidepressants. A medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration is designed specifically to treat PBA.

There are a few things that one can do to help cope with this difficult condition. First, it is important for family and friends to know about PBA so they are not surprised or confused when episodes occur. During an episode, it is best to take deep breaths, relax the body and change positions. Neurologists who care for stroke survivors are a wonderful resource.  On Mon., May 7, 11 a.m., neurologist Melissa Rooney, MD, will present a free seminar about PBA at Little Company of Mary Hospital (LCMH), 2800 W. 95th St. For information and to register, call 708-423-5774.

Support is key to managing recovery from a stroke for both the survivor and caregivers. LCMH has a free support group that focuses on the specific needs of community members who have experienced a stroke or stroke symptoms. The next meeting is Tues., June 19. For information, call 708-229-5412.

The Joint Commission, the independent not-for-profit organization that reviews healthcare performance standards, recently reaccredited and recertified LCMH as a Primary Stroke Center. After undergoing a vigorous certification process, involving an on-site evaluation and demonstration of compliance with nationally developed standards for stroke, LCMH’s Stroke Center earned the Gold Seal of Approval.

Top Four Programs at LCMH

Information and registration, 708-423-5774

Health Academy:  Pseudobulbar Affect after Stroke, presented by neurologist Melissa Rooney, MD, Mon., May 7, 11 a.m., Little Company of Mary Hospital Conference Room, 1st floor. Free.

C.H.E.E.R Body and Soul: The Importance of Caring for the Spirit, Wed., May 9, 11 a.m., Little Company of Mary Hospital Conference Room, 1st floor. Free.

Lung Cancer Screening, Sat., May 12, 8 a.m. to noon, includes a low dose CT scan of the chest; must meet certain criteria. Outpatient Care Center, 6700 W. 95th St. Registration required. Fee: $125.

Wake Up Call Screening, one-hour comprehensive screening for heart attack and stroke, Sat., May 19, 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Includes labs, ultrasounds of abdominal aorta and carotid arteries, heart rhythm screening for A Fib and more. No doctor’s order needed. Registration required. Fee: $155. (Value $4,500).

The Power of Pink: Beverly Breast Cancer Walk Takes 19th Stroll Through Neighborhood on May 13

The 19th Annual Beverly Breast Cancer Walk (BBCW) will take place on Mother’s Day, Sun., May 13, 8 a.m., starting at Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. Walk planners are expecting more than 14,000 participants to step up and show their care for breast cancer patients, survivors and family members and to raise money to support Little Company of Mary Hospital’s award-winning Comprehensive Breast Health Center in its important work of healing and helping.

Over the past 18 years, the BBCW has raised more than $5.5 million, funding breast health programming and deepening LCMH’s impact on patients, survivors and their families.

Top funding priorities for the 2018 Beverly Breast Cancer Walk include: support to expand breast health programming, assistance through the BBCW Crisis Fund to those who may be in financial crisis during their treatment, and empowering survivors to thrive.

It’s an amazing experience to be among the thousands of men, women and children walking through Beverly/Morgan Park on Mother Day morning, commemorating the countless wives, daughters and mothers who have fought breast cancer. The walk began 19 years ago when three pioneering women came together on Mother’s Day to walk in remembrance of loved ones and keep the fight against breast cancer at the forefront of people’s hearts and minds.

Nearly two decades ago, area resident Carol Moriarty sought treatment at Little Company of Mary’s Comprehensive Breast Health Center to aid her in her battle with breast cancer. After a successful plan of treatments, Moriarty found herself cancer-free with a new profound vision for life.

In 1999, Carol Moriarty, an area resident and breast cancer patient who was treated at Little Company of Mary Hospital, worked with her sister Nancy Mulcahy and longtime friend Lisa O’Brien, to give Southland residents a local option to walk in support of the fight against breast cancer. The walk quickly grew into a community-wide event. A talented group of committee members donate their time and talents to make the BBCW a bigger and bigger success each year. These efforts have helped to save countless lives.

New this year, people can shop for Beverly Breast Cancer Walk apparel online. Options include sportswear such as long sleeve shirts and pants.

To participate in the 18th Annual Beverly Breast Cancer Walk on Mother’s Day, register at www.BeverlyBreastCancerWalk.  Register early to receive a t-shirt with the $30 entry fee. The entry fee for children ages 18 and under is $15. Walk-day registration is $10 more for adults and $5 more for children 18 and under. T-shirt availability is not guaranteed for day-of registrants.

Walk-up registration and T-shirt pick-up will be offered at Little Company of Mary Hospital, 2800 W. 95th St., Cancer Center/main lobby entrance, Sat., May 5, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wed., May 9, 4 to 7 p.m., and Sat., May 12, 9 a.m. to 1 pm.


Work Out to Wipe Out Domestic Violence Benefit Day is March 24

The Morgan Park Junior Woman’s Club will present the 7th annual Work Out to Wipe Out Domestic Violence (WOWO) Benefit Day on Sat., Mar. 24, raising awareness about the serious issue of domestic violence, and raising funds for the local domestic violence agency, A New Direction Beverly Morgan Park (AND).  The agency provides counseling, legal advocacy, education, and support at no charge to families affected by domestic violence.

As the event organizer, the Morgan Park Junior Woman’s Club recruits Benefit Day partners among local fitness businesses and professionals.  One goal for this year’s event is to add new fitness centers and activities, including a center and activity for elementary and high school students. Morgan Park Junior Dena O’Reilly said, “Last year several parents wanted their children to be able to join them. This is a great idea.” St. Barnabas Parish and Bethany Union Church will be the designated sites for family exercise with an all-ages Zumba class as the group exercise event.

Several new partners who will be hosting WOWO events this year. Mother McAuley High School’s National Honor Society (NHS) and Action Reaction Club are hosting WOWO activities around their annual Ice Cream Social, which will be held at the school on Mar. 22.  Students will help to raise awareness about domestic violence and raise funds for A New Direction.

“We love the idea of supporting Work Out to Wipe Out Domestic Violence Benefit Day,” said Cathy O’Grady, World Languages Faculty and McAuley’s NHS moderator. “Using our Mighty Mac strength to give strength to other women makes for a great day.  Exercise is a fantastic tool to help both physically and mentally.”

In addition to Mother McAuley’s participation, Cathy O’Loughlin, the 2018 facilities coordinator for the Morgan Park Juniors, said several new businesses will offer classes on the Benefit Day this year, including Treadfit Beverly, Barre It All, Blazin’ Cycle, Fit4Mom-Palos-OrlandPark, Light House Yoga and Fitness, Running Excels, Sculpt and Shred and Stone Age Cross Fit.

“It’s amazing how every year we are able to offer participants a great variety of workout sites.  There truly is something for everyone,” O’Loughlin said.

Through a generous sponsorship, Marquette Bank provided funds for WOWO T-shirts. Morgan Park Junior Karen Meyer, chairman for this year’s event said, “This is the second year in a row that Marquette Bank has sponsored WOWO.  We are so grateful for their commitment and their help in raising awareness and funds to end domestic violence in our community.”

Meyer added that Bullpen Sports, a baseball and training facility in Crestwood, and Beverly Therapists, donated funds for the event’s printed materials.

A New Direction Beverly Morgan Park is in its seventh year of providing confidential counseling and legal advocacy services for victims of domestic violence, many of whom live in the neighborhood or surrounding suburbs.

“Domestic violence is a reality in every community and we need to work together to create awareness and quality programs to fight it,” said Jessica McCarihan, AND Board President. “WOWO is our second largest fundraiser of the year, thanks to the efforts of the Morgan Park Juniors. With no state or federal funding, the monies raised are critical to the agency maintaining services.”

To participate in the Work Out to Wipe Out Domestic Violence Benefit Day, visit to register online for a suggested donation of $25 and select an activity offered by one of the many fitness centers, churches, schools and businesses on the Benefit Day schedule. Onsite registration on the day of the event is welcome if space at the facility permits.

For those who can’t participate on Mar. 24, donations to AND and purchases of the mint-green event t-shirt ($15) can be made at the same website.  T-shirt supplies are limited. T-shirts will be available for pick up on Mar. 21, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Belle Up Boutique, 1915 W. 103rd St.

The GFWC IL Morgan Park Junior Woman’s Club is a group of women dedicated to making a difference in their community through volunteer service. Since its inception in 1934, the Club has actively initiated various service projects contributing to the quality of life in Beverly/Morgan Park. To learn more about membership and volunteer opportunities visit


Photo: From left to right, Donna Dalton, President of the Morgan Park Junior Woman’s Club, Karen Truitt, Regional Sales Manager for Marquette Bank, and Jessica McCarihan, AND Board President.  


Patient Joins Fight Against Breast Cancer

Michelle Rush, 39, was born and raised in Chicago and grew up with in a large, close-knit family with three siblings. She has always been an outgoing, active woman with a sparkling personality who loves to travel, eat and shop. In early 2017, Rush’s world was forever changed when she discovered a small lump during a routine self-breast exam.

Rush made an appointment with a fellowship-trained breast surgeon at Little Company of Mary Hospital (LCMH) who confirmed her worst fear: the diagnoses was breast cancer. A team of oncology experts at LCMH immediately collaborated and developed a treatment plan for Rush. From March through July 2017, she underwent chemotherapy followed by surgery in August and radiation in November. Currently, Rush is undergoing adjuvant therapy at LCMH, which will be completed in September.

On Mother’s Day, May 13, you will see Michelle Rush among the participants in the 19th Annual Beverly Breast Cancer Walk. The walk starts at 8 a.m. at Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. Over the past 18 years, the Walk has raised more than $5.5 million to support LCMH’s award-winning Comprehensive Breast Health Center and impacted the lives of thousands of breast cancer survivors.

“My number one advice for women is to put their health first and to not be afraid of getting a mammogram,” Rush said. “A mammogram can save your life, and early detection is crucial.”

Along Michelle’s journey, she has utilized the Integrative Therapy services at LCMH that are provided free of charge to patients undergoing treatment, their families and those who support them. The Integrative Therapy department provides patients with support and programming that will allow them to experience a high quality of life throughout their cancer journey. Services include acupuncture, art therapy, breast cancer support group, yoga, guided imagery, hypnosis, meditation, and more.

“What I love most about LCMH is that I do not feel like just a number,” Rush said. “From the physicians to the nurses to everyone in between – I truly feel like I am at home and a part of a tight-knit community.”

Today, Rush is looking forward to living with a fresh new outlook on life. She has begun to plan trips with her family and friends once her treatment is completed. The Bahamas and San Diego are on her list.

“For me, breast cancer was not a death sentence but more so a wake-up call to not take life for granted and to live every day to the fullest,” Rush said.

With generous community support in 2017, the Beverly Breast Cancer Walk was able to sustain its support of current breast health programming and continue deepening its impact with the establishment of a crisis fund to assist LCMH breast cancer patients with emergent financial needs. Additionally, a portion of the 2017 event proceeds supported a “sister-walk” partnership with the international organization, People Helping People, bringing much-needed medical equipment, supplies and services to breast cancer patients in poverty-stricken El Salvador.

In 2018, top funding priorities include continued expansion of breast health programming, assisting those who may be in financial crisis during their treatment and empowering survivors.

Register early for the Walk to receive a t-shirt with the $30 entry fee. The entry fee for children ages 18 and under is $15. Same-day registration is $10 more for adults and $5 more for children 18 and under. T-shirt availability is not guaranteed for day-of registrants. Register at




Your Health – Information from Little Company of Mary Hospital

By Eileen McNichols MSN., RN., Director community Health and Pastoral Care Services

A hernia occurs when the tissue inside a body cavity bulges through a weakness in the surrounding muscle. Hernias may have no symptoms or they may cause bulging with or without mild to severe pain. The pain can occur at rest or be associated with certain movements. All hernias have the potential to become strangulated, which means that the blood flow is cut off to the tissue or organ that is protruding through the weakened muscle. When this happens, the affected tissue will die unless the strangulation is relieved.

Symptoms of a strangulated hernia include nausea, vomiting, fever, sudden pain that gets worse quickly, a hernia bulge that turns red or purple in color, or an inability to pass gas or have a bowel movement. This is a medical emergency that requires surgical intervention.

The most common types of hernia are inguinal, umbilical and incisional. An inguinal hernia presents as a bulge in the area on either side of your pubic bone and is much more common in men. It usually becomes more obvious when you are standing and you cough or strain. There may be an aching or burning sensation at the bulge.  The contents of the abdomen bulge through a weakness in the lower abdominal wall or groin muscles.

Umbilical hernias cause a bulge or swelling in the naval or belly button. They are most common in babies but can also occur in adulthood. These hernias are usually painless in babies but can cause severe pain if they become strangulated and the blood flow is compromised.

Incisional hernias are found when there is a weakness in the muscle as the result of a previous incision or surgical cut in the abdomen. An incisional hernia can form months or even years after surgery. Symptoms include bulging and pain at the site of the previous surgery.

Although many hernias occur without a specific cause, common risk factors for hernias include: Being overweight, smoking, constipation, heavy lifting and pregnancy. As with all health challenges, there are some risk factors over which we have no control such as family health history or being born prematurely. It is important to manage the factors that can be controlled by maintaining a healthy a weight and not smoking.

Little Company of Mary Hospital now offers a hernia screening with Justin Sobinsky, MD, general surgeon with special certification in minimally invasive hernia repair. For more information and to register for this free ten-minute consultation, call 708-423- 5774.

March Programs

Little Company of Mary Hospital, 2800 W. 95th St. Info/registration: 708-423-5774

CHEER brings the lilt of Irish laughter to St. Paddy’s Day to “Tidbits from Tipperary” with humorist and educator Maureen Connolly, Wed., Mar. 14, 11 a.m. Little Company of Mary Hospital. North Pavilion Link. Free

Thyroid Screenings, Mon. through Thurs., three LCMH locations, includes lab test to measure level of hormone in the blood stream and other thyroid testing if TSH level is abnormal. No fasting or doctor’s order needed.  Appointment required. Fee: $20 (value $100).

Wake Up Call, one-hour comprehensive screening for heart attack and stroke, Sat., Mar. 24, 7:30 to 11 a.m. Includes labs, ultrasounds of abdominal aorta and carotid arteries, heart rhythm screening for A fib and more. No doctor’s order needed. Registration required. Fee: $155 (value $4,500).

Morgan Park Sports Center for Fitness and Fun

The Morgan Park Sports Center, 11505 S. Western, offers a variety of ways for area residents to pursue fitness and fun. The complex houses an NHL size ice rink with seating for 1,200 spectators, state -of-the-art gymnastics center, and busy fitness studio, and offers classes and programs, as well as competitive teams. Owned by the Chicago Park District and managed by SMG (which also manages Soldier Field), the Center is ADA accessible and open 7 days a week. Online registration for winter classes begins Tues., Jan. 2 at, and in-person registration starts Sat., Jan. 6, 10 a.m. The winter session begins Jan. 22. Find the class schedule at


Under the supervision of Hockey Director John Gannon, the Center offers co-ed USA Hockey programs that include American Developmental Model (ADM) learn-to-skate and hockey skill-building classes that start with tots, and team hockey for four age levels beginning at age 8 and continuing to age 14. This is the first season for the Chicago Horned Frogs Youth Hockey Club. There are six youth teams with room for more, Gannon said. Adult teams compete throughout the metropolitan area in the Northwest Hockey League.

According to Gannon, hockey is great exercise and good for developing hand/eye coordination and learning the life lessons of team play. It’s also a commitment — the Horned Frogs are on the ice three times a week.

High school hockey teams practice at the Center, and skate times are also scheduled for Stick n’ Puck and Rat Hockey scrimmages.

Gannon has Level 5 coaching certification from USA Hockey, and a long history as a player and coach.

Figure Skating

Figure skating programs focus on building skills and start with classes that familiarize toddlers with moving around on the ice to classes for adults, said Figure Skating Coordinator Kathy Janik. Ice time is at a premium at the busy Center, which opens for classes at 6 a.m. and stays open until midnight to accommodate practice times.

All skaters enrolled in classes are eligible to compete in the Center’s Broadway theme ice show in May, a showcase of skills that includes solo and specialty performances. The show requires complex planning, rigorous rehearsals, the help of volunteers, and costumes for the participants. “It’s like a dance recital,” Janik said. “Sparkly costumes and bright lights.” Reserved seating tickets are sold for the show.

For people interested in recreational ice time, the Center offers public skating times, including adult skate on Mon., Tues., Thurs. and Fri., 12:15 to 1:30 p.m., $3 or $2 for seniors.  For people who love to watch figure skating, the Center has discount-rate tickets to Disney on Ice “Dare to Dream” on Fri., Jan. 26 at the Allstate Arena; contact Janik, 773-840-4622, for information.

Janik has been skating since she was 3, and started coaching when she was 18. She was the Figure Skating Manager at McFetridge Park.


The Morgan Park Yoga and Fitness Studio currently offers classes in yoga, Pilates, barre, Tabata, Zumba, cardio sculpt and core. According to Assistant Fitness Director Brenna Joyce, classes are regularly updated based on what people want. Participation is offered through unlimited 1 and 2 month memberships as well as drop-in visits. Seniors get a 50% discount.

Classes are offered for a wide range of ages and skill levels. Mommy and Me yoga is open to children as young as 18 months and Fit Beginnings classes are designed for seniors and people with mobility problems or who are new to fitness regimens. Kids Yoga is offered in two age groups, 4 to 8 and 9 to 13. The Studio also offers workshops.

Joyce is certified in group fitness, personal training and yoga, and has been teaching fitness classes for ten years.


The Gymnastics Center accommodates a wide range of recreational classes for kids who just want to learn gymnastics, and progression-based skill-building classes for kids who want to compete in the Center’s busy USA Gymnastics (USAG) competition schedule. The program is guided by Gymnastics Coordinator Tammy Findlay who has a staff of 20 coaches. There is also a foam pit and slots for open gym.

Baby Gym offers free play for children age 9 to 18 months, and classes range up through age and skill levels. Girls’ gymnastics training includes balance beam, uneven bars, floor exercise and vault. Boys’ gymnastics includes tumbling, high bar, parallel bars, pommel horse, vault and rings.

Findlay is serious about providing a top quality gymnastics program at Morgan Park Sports Center. She came up through the YMCA system, competing followed by coaching. She has been a Chicago Park District coach for many years, and developed the Center’s gymnastics program.

The Morgan Park Sports Center offers skate rental, a concession stand, party rooms, and the ice rink is available to rent. To find out more, stop by or call 773-840-4622.



Fitness 2018: Body, Mind and Spirit

By Kristin Boza

The start of a new year is a new chance to get or stay healthy, but we’re often doomed by the cold, gloomy weather that encourages hibernation. Luckily, BAPA business members offer numerous opportunities to keep you motivated to follow through on your New Year’s resolutions all year long.


Tai Chi, Kung Fu and self-defense classes are available at the Academy of Chinese Martial Arts, 9109 S. Western. Engage in Chinese martial arts to improve your health, fitness and wellness all in one place. Academy of Chinese Martial Arts is the only academy in the U.S. authorized to teach the rare liu-he-ba-fa internal style. 773-723-2795.

Do you hate group classes? Try small group or one-on-one personal training with Marianne Zarzecki at Beverly Fitness. Training focuses on total wellbeing of the body and mind. Zarzecki is certified in personal training, yoga and counseling. 773-573-2619.

Are you an adult who wants to learn the art of dance? Check out the adult ballroom dance class at Dance Gallery, 10628 S. Western. Group and private lessons available in rumba, jitterbug, swing, mambo, waltz, and many more. Dance Gallery also offers dance for children as young as two. 773-445-8910.

Changing your eating habits is tough, and Registered and Licensed Dietician Kelly Devine Rickert at Devine Nutrition can help. From one-on-one nutrition to group nutrition classes to meal planning to sports nutrition, they have you covered.

Sculpt and Shred Fitness, 1791 W. 95th St. helps patrons rebuild, restore, and revitalize their mind, body and spirit through proper nutrition and exercise. Workouts are custom-designed to shred calories and sculpt your body in accordance with your fitness goals. 773-629-6152. Use your BAPA Card for a discount.

This is the reason to pray for snow: See and Ski Beverly in the Dan Ryan Woods, sponsored by Beverly Improvement Association every Sun. at 1 p.m. when there’s enough snow to cross-country ski. Meet at Beverly Bike and Ski, 9121 S. Western to rent skis, boots, poles or snowshoes ($15/day or $25/weekend) and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate.

Looking for organic food or fresh juice? Check out the selection of all types of healthy food options at Southtown Health Foods, 2100 W. 95th St. Use your BAPA Card for even more savings on vegan, vegetarian, and Paleo food options. 773-233-1856.

Some runners cool down with a cold beer. If that sounds appealing, check in to the Thirsty Thursday Running Club with Running Excels, 10328 S. Western and Open Outcry Brewing Company, 10924 S. Western. If you’re looking to upgrade your gear in 2018, head to Running Excels and use your BAPA Card for discounts. 773-629-8587.

Treadfit, 10458 S. Western, is an intense, innovative fitness program with customized workouts from certified trainers. Each class aims to improve your overall fitness level using interval training on the treadmill and full-body strength training. 773-584-8435. Use your BAPA Card.


Attachment-focused therapy is offered at Begin Within Therapy, 3301 W. 111th St. Therapists approach counseling with the knowledge that within every person lies a story. Through a safe, comfortable space, they also offer trauma treatment. 773-796-3712.

Experience “heart-centered” therapy at Beverly Therapists, 10725 S. Western, 2nd Floor. Therapists create a comforting, warm space offering a mind-body-emotional-spiritual holistic approach to counseling, including monthly wellness events. Beverly Therapists is supportive of the LGBTQ community, and offers a monthly LGBTQ group for teens. 773-719-1751.

Little Company of Mary Health Education Center, 2800 W. 95th St., offers health screenings for coronary risk, asthma, and more, as well as women’s wellness screenings for hypnosis, nutritional counseling, and other risk assessments. Additionally, a variety of wellness education programs and special events are available. 708-423-5774.

MetroSouth Medical Center, 12935 S. Gregory St., Blue Island, offers numerous classes on diabetes education, breastfeeding, childbirth, and more. 708-824-4462.

Are you over 55 years old and looking to learn something new? Check out the Renaissance Academy at Saint Xavier University, 3700 W. 103rd St. The Academy fosters intellectual growth by offering courses in literature, history, genealogy, philosophy, and other fields of interest. Members can facilitate courses. 773-298-3149.


Meditation is one essential part of overall wellbeing. Beverly Yoga Center, 1917 W. 103rd St., 2nd floor, offers tailored classes to help educate, support, and relieve many symptoms associated with their clients’ issues. Classes address anxiety, stress, insomnia, menopause, lower back issues, healthy aging, hormonal balance, and more for those looking for ways to complement Western medicine. Use your BAPA Card.

Get on the track to better wellness this year at Light House Beverly, 11240 S. Western. This yoga, therapeutic massage and wellness center offers hatha, restorative, yin and therapeutic yoga as well as myofascial release, self-care and Goddess Yoga. Release your stress and recharge.

Find a one-stop shop for beauty needs head at Relaxation Station Salon and Spa, 10655 S. Hale Ave. They offer pedicures/manicures, massage, facials, hair styling and hair coloring. The new salon recently added even more opportunities to recharge and restyle. Use your BAPA Card.

No Need to Grieve Alone

By Lisa Catania, LCSW and Aida Pigott, LCSW

Grief is an uncomfortable visitor that visits us all.  It does not matter whether we anticipate a death or are surprised in a most awful way: loss hurts.  The world-as-we-know-it is pulled out from under our feet, and we are suspended in unreality and forced to find a way forward. It is a bleak and difficult journey.

Fortunately, we are not alone.  At the time that we need it most, it is possible to find a community of people who understand and who are walking the same road of profound change. It has been said that a grief shared is a grief halved.  We all realize, deep down, that our loved one cannot return.  It helps to have others who “get” the struggles and can normalize and validate the normalcy of feelings that do not feel normal.  It is helpful to be part of a community where one person supports another.  At one point, you are the newest member of an odd “club” that no one wants to belong to, and later, you become the person who reassures another that there is hope and laughter further on down the road.

If you are grieving and would like support Beverly Therapist, 10725 S. Western, hosts two monthly support groups for individuals grieving the loss of a spouse/partner, and for those grieving the loss of a child,  whether it be through miscarriage or into adulthood.  We each have our own stories, but grief creates a commonality.  A broken heart is an open heart.  For more information visit or call Lisa Catania, LCSW 773-719-1751 or Aida Pigott, LCSW at 773-332-6664.

Lisa Catania, LCSW and Aida Pigott, LCSW are experienced counselors specializing in grief, loss and change.  They are part of Beverly Therapists, a local group of therapists in private practice committed to serving the community. General information: 773-310-3488

By Eileen McNichols MSN., RN., Director community Health and Pastoral Care Services

Many people deal with anxiety at times. Individuals who have had a dangerous or traumatic experience may suffer from a particularly difficult type of anxiety disorder known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Very often people associate PTSD with soldiers. Following World War I, soldiers who struggled with intense anxiety and altered psychological or emotional functioning after returning from the battle field were said to have a condition known as “Shell Shock.” While it is true that up to 30% of soldiers returning from combat are diagnosed with PTSD, any person who experiences a traumatic or life-threatening incident such as sexual assault, child abuse, accidents, bombings, or natural disasters can develop this disabling disorder.

Someone suffering with PTSD repeatedly re-experiences the traumatic event through flashbacks, nightmares and frightening disabling thoughts. He or she may develop a variety of behaviors to avoid the distress and anxiety the experience triggers, such as staying away from people, places and/or objects that remind them of the experience or becoming emotionally numb and unable to relate to loved ones. Sometimes individuals with PTSD have extreme guilt, suffer with depression or worry to the point where they are unable to engage in everyday life. Others may develop amnesia or an inability to remember the dangerous event.

It is also common for individuals with PTSD to be easily startled, frightened or panicky, to always be on edge and or have difficulty sleeping.  Following a dangerous or life threatening experience, these feelings are normal to some extent. However, if they last more than a few weeks, interfere with daily function or begin to manifest after a period of weeks or months, they may indicate PTSD.

Children are susceptible to the effects of trauma but respond differently than adults. Indications of PTSD include regression of development such as bedwetting, losing the ability to speak, becoming unusually clingy with significant adults, acting out or drawing the traumatic event when playing.  Older children and teens may develop disruptive, disrespectful or destructive behaviors. Older children and teens may feel guilty for not preventing injury or deaths. They may also have thoughts of revenge.

The good news is that there are treatments available for this devastating disorder. Therapy is especially important. Anti-anxiety medications and anti-depressants can also be effective. Studies have shown that the sooner the individual receives help, the more likely they are to develop the resilience and coping skills that enable them to heal beyond the traumatic event.

January Programs

Little Company of Mary Hospital, 2800 W. 95th St. Info/registration: 708-423-5774

Courage to Quit, a three week quit smoking program, begins Wed., Jan. 3, 6:30 to 8 p.m. $20.

Health Academy: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with Nadjeh Awadalllah, PhD, clinical therapist with the LCM Medical Group, Mon., Jan 8, 11 a.m. to noon. Free.

January 15th 10:00 a.m. -2:00 p.m. Babysitting Safe and Secure, a program designed to teach sage babysitting techniques to 11- to 14-year-olds, Mon., Jan 15, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  All materials included. Bring a bag lunch; snacks provided. $60. Registration required.

Lung Cancer Screening for people who meet certain criteria, includes a low dose CT scan of the lungs, Sat., Jan. 20, 8 a.m. to noon, Outpatient Care Center, 6700 W. 95th St. $125. Appointment required.