Prevention programs, screenings, and other health information

OSF HealthCare Little Company of Mary Medical Center Continues Tradition of   Catholic Health Care on Chicago’s Southwest Side 

OSF HealthCare Little Company of Mary Medical Center officially became part of the OSF HealthCare Ministry on Feb. 1, making it the 14th hospital in the Peoria-based health system.  

The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis and the Little Company of Mary Sisters align themselves with the philosophy, mission and values that guide decision-making in a way that respects the dignity of the whole person and puts the needs of the patient first. It is the mission of OSF HealthCare to serve with the greatest care and love in a community that celebrates the gift of life. 

“On January 19, we celebrated 90 years of our health care ministry in Evergreen Park,” said John Hanlon, MD, MMM, president of OSF HealthCare Little Company of Mary. “This merger between OSF and Little Company of Mary assures the continuation – and strengthening – of Catholic health care in the southwest Chicago suburbswhile allowing us to join with OSF in leading health care transformation throughout our community.” 

At the stroke of midnight Feb. 1, the process began to switch all information technology systems, including patient medical records, lab, pharmacy, and every other technology that runs a hospital, over to OSF. The process took several hours, with no disruption to patient care. 
Personalized, innovative care is a priority for OSF HealthCare. Our innovation teams have partnered in and committed to the advancement of care at the most personal level,” said Bob Sehring, CEO, OSF HealthCare. “OSF HealthCare believes that through this partnership, better health can be created and value delivered across our communities.” 

The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved the change of ownership exemption application between OSF and Little Company of Mary in mid-December, with the merge of the organizations receiving canonical approval from the Vatican a week later. 

Technology Feat 

On the OSF HealthCare Little Company of Mary Medical Center website, the changeover was described in detail 

After months of planning that involved thousands of people across the OSF ministry, the systems that powered everything at Little Company of Mary were converted to OSF systems at midnight on Feb. 1It took about two and a half hours to get everything up and running, and then the process of getting everything settled comfortably into place began. 

It was an impressive transition that was accomplished while the hospital continued caring for more than 200 patients during switchover, not including those coming into the emergency department. The conversion covered more than 600 different systems, bringing them live all at one time, explained Jim Mormann, CEO, Integrated Solutions and Chief Information Officer for OSF HealthCare. “There’s a lot of sequence of events and a lot of pieces that have to occur to ensure that patient safety is kept to the highest a degree possible along with keeping all of our systems functioning effectively,” he said in the website coverage.  

Members of the integrated solutions team and others remained onsite to make sure everything is running smoothly and that the new OSF Little Company of Mary Mission Partners are comfortable with them. 

Sharing a Mission 

The merger was more than just the coming together of two hospitals, it was also linking both congregations of Sisters that oversee the organizations. Special moments were woven into their first Mass, celebrated on Feb. 1 by Father William Grogan, Vicar for Health Care for the Archdiocese of Chicago. 

The ritual enhanced the understanding for the transference from the Little Company of Mary Sisters to The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis. Featured was a table with the baptismal record of the many thousands of babies born at Little Company.
Mary Jo Quick, Director of Mission Services for OSF HealthCare Little Company of Mary Medical Center, said it was important to have a prayerful way for both congregations to share the history of their communities, light a candle in front of a photo of each Foundress, and from there light a single candle, together, to symbolize the two communities coming together and continuing to provide care for those they have been called to serve. 

The Little Company of Mary Sisters are dedicated to caring for the suffering, the sick and the dying. The order was founded in 1877 in Nottingham, England by Venerable Mary Potter. The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis were founded in Peoria, Illinois on July 16, 1877, by Mother M. Frances Krasse, O.S.F., the first Major Superior of the religious community, and Bishop John Lancaster Spalding, the first Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria. They are committed to serving the sick, the poor, and all those the Lord sends their way with the greatest care and love.
With the addition of Little Company of Mary, OSF HealthCare employs 23,678 Mission Partners at more than 147 locations including 14 hospitals.  

OSF HealthCare Little Company of Mary Medical Center operates 12 unique facilities, including the hospital, 2800 W. 95th St., which has strong community connections. Learn more at  



Healthy New You in 2020 

By Kristin Boza  

What better time than a new decade to get healthy for once and for all? Bloom Natural Solutions to Wellness, owned by Candice Cuevas, helps people set and accomplish goals, explore new foods, reduce cravings, and increase energy. 

Modifying your lifestyle is not easy, and many people fail numerous times before sticking with a new way of living. Cuevas, an integrative nutritional health coach and licensed clinical professional counselor, blends her experiences in the mental health field and nutrition to help people understand the ‘why’ behind their cravings. 

“Over and over during the course of my career, I noticed how nutrition affects mental health. I also was trying to find a way to stop my migraines for good — without the band-aid of medications,” Cuevas said. “After becoming a certified health coach, I developed a six-month, hands-on program to help people learn and implement healthy habits.” 

Cuevas will basically hold the hands of her clients during their bi-weekly sessions as she comes to their home to clean out pantries, give a lesson in reading labels, identify movement goals, and head to the grocery store for instructions on which aisles to avoid. “Everyone’s health goals are different, but the basics include finding healthy alternatives to sugar, caffeine, and other foods that make you feel sluggish. There is no diet or calorie counting in my program; instead, the idea is to lead a healthier lifestyle and implement good habits,” she said. “How you feed your body will affect you mentally; we’ll work together to learn where your cravings are coming from and how to handle them.” 

Accountability is another essential aspect of the program; Cuevas is determined to hold her motivated clients responsible for following through. “Many of my clients feel lost or trapped; they know they need to lose weight, but nothing else has worked. They are seeking alternative suggestions to get on track and get out of their slump,” she said. 

Two things anyone can start doing are taking probiotics and moving more. Cuevas recommends taking a probiotic at night to improve gut health; if someone has a digestive condition, however, ask your doctor first. “Probiotics are essential to support your gut health, which in turn supports your mental and physical health. Take the probiotic two hours after you last eat at night; when you’re sleeping, your body has the opportunity to repair itself, and probiotics can give your body that essential boost,” she said. 

Secondly, incorporating even the smallest movement changes can make an impact. “The more you move, the more opportunities you give your body to wake up naturally without ingesting sugar. Take a walk around the block, take the stairs at work, or even just get up and stretch. Little adjustments like that can go a long way,” Cuevas said. 

To learn more about Bloom Natural Solutions to Wellness, visit Mention BAPA and get 10% off your program price. 

Healthy Habits from Sutherland Wellness Committee

By Kristin Boza 

Sutherland Elementary School, 10015 S. Leavitt St., initiated a parent-driven wellness committee that began to explore how to enhance recess time and improve school lunches. Now, the committee has taken on additional actions to ensure students are learning how to incorporate a variety of wellness activities in their daily lives. 

“Last year, our parents took the lead on Wellness Committee actions and set up a meeting between the Aramark/CPS food service and our parents and concerned staff members; what emerged was a commitment by Aramark and CPS to work with our school to provide fresher, more appetizing and nutritious options for our children,” said Sutherland Principal Meg Burns. “We have piloted several new alternatives that includes less warmed-over foods and more fresh vegetables and plant proteins. Due to their efforts, our entire lunch program has been transformed.” 

The committee found their purpose and decided to continue their efforts to support Sutherland students in being well, which included fundraising for recess equipment and partnering with the Windy City Rollers roller derby team to provide recess equipment bags for each classroom, and heightening awareness about food allergies.  

“Our PE teacher, Coach Muir, has been extremely supportive of our Wellness Committee and is working with them on developing a program of ‘old school’ recess activities. Coach Muir also works with our students to remain active and engaging each other in productive, fun, and safe playground games, while also utilizing our school-wide tools of Calm Classroom and yoga instruction to help support physical and mental fitness for all of our children,” Burns said. “We are also growing our wellness programs beyond physical wellness and working with staff to provide after school yoga, learning garden activities, and outdoor education.” 

The Wellness Committee is also engaging parents in quarterly workshops designed to inform and support healthy practices. They are also building a strong social emotional wellness program that includes yoga “detention” in place of standard detention. “This is unique to Sutherland, although CPS is definitely advocating for alternatives to standard discipline and punishments,” Burns said. “We have taken the lead in developing our own very comprehensive program.” 

When children are active and engaged in physical and emotional well-being, they will perform better in school, cause less disruptions, and have fun with their friends while building positive relationships. 

Healthy Tips from the Sutherland Wellness Committee
Snacks. Healthy snacks are important for a child’s growth. Apples and pretzels are great alternatives to cookies, candy, pop, or sugary drinks. 

Fitness. Setting fitness goals gives children something to work toward. Sutherland students are working on fitness goals in gym class that set benchmarks for strength and respiratory fitness. Push-ups, sit-ups, flexibility and running endurance tests give students an idea of where they stand and what they need to do to get stronger and more effective. 

Follow the Kid’s Heart Challenge Guidelines: Have children follow the “5 for Life” guidelines: 1. Exercise for 60 minutes a day. 2 Drink water instead of pop. 3. Control sodium intake. 4. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. 5. No smoking or vaping. 

Gear Up for Winter Running 

Gear Up for Winter Running 

The Ridge Run is six months away, but that doesn’t mean you should spend the winter hibernating.  

Bev Lynch, owner of Running Excels, 10328 S. Western, encourages people to keep up with a running schedule so they don’t lose strength, pace and fitness.  

Winter weather does pose some challenges for runners and walkers. Lynch offers the following tips for braving the cold, snow and ice.  

General Safety 

Run with a buddy or a group. Having someone waiting for you keeps you motivated to maintain a running schedule, and it’s more fun and safer when you’re not running alone.  

Keep it light. If possible, run during daylight hours. If not, make sure to wear reflective clothing or accessories in the dark, and bright clothing when it’s snowy. Run against the traffic so you can see vehicles coming toward you, day or night.  

Keep drinking. Hydration is just important in the winter as it is in the summer.  

Warm up. The colder the weather, the longer it will take your muscles to warm up. Before you start running, walk for at least five minutes.  

Adjust your stride. To reduce the chance of slipping on snow and ice, shorten your strides and keep your feet closer to the ground.  

Add traction. You get more traction running on fresh snow, but around here, snow gets packed down and icy pretty fast. Consider running in trail shoes or using traction accessories. 

Take it inside. When the weather gets too cold, train indoors. Treadmills, spinning bikes and indoor running tracks are excellent optionsWinter is a good time to add in disciplines like weight training and yoga that enhance strength and flexibility. Check into local fitness places for a variety of options.  

Dress for the Weather 

Better a little cold than too hot. The general rule is to dress for 10 to 20 degrees warmer than the temperature (make sure to factor in wind chill!). Consider that the longer the run, the faster the pace and the larger your body mass, the warmer you’ll get 

Layer. You want to be warm enough but not too sweaty. Choose clothing and accessories that can be unzipped, adjusted or removed, if needed. Runner’s World magazine offers this as a guide: 

30–39 degrees: long sleeve tech shirt, shorts or tights, gloves and headband 

20–29 degrees: two shirts layered (i.e. long sleeve shirt and jacket), running tights, gloves and headband or hat. 

10–19 degrees: two shirts layered, tights, gloves or mittens, headband or hat, and wind proof jacket and pants. 

0–9 degrees: two shirts layered, tights, wind proof breaker jacket/pants, mittens, headband or hat, ski mask or neck gaiter to cover face. 

Fabric matters. Choose tech fabrics or merino wool for layers closest to your skin and for socks to reduce moisture. Avoid cotton – it holds moisture, which can make you cold and more vulnerable to hypothermia.  

Running Excels sells winter running gear, accessories, shoes and more. They also organize free training groups and other runner activities. Info: Hours:  Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sun., 12 to 5 p.m.  

Winter Tips 

By Kathryn Cavanaugh, RN, MSN,  
LCMH Manager Health Promotions 

Winter in Chicago presents dangers to the elderly and the people who care for them. Chilling temperatures and treacherous snow and ice can terrorize the elderly and their caregivers. There are certain ways to maximize safety for this vulnerable population. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind to help keep seniors safe during the frigid season. 

HypothermiaEach year, half of Americans who die from hypothermia are at least 65 years old. The elderly are particularly susceptible to becoming dangerously chilled because they have less fat, slower circulation and a more sluggish metabolism. A senior can even become hypothermic while indoors; never set the thermostat below 65 degrees for a person who is 75 or older. Make sure that an elderly person is warmly dressed when inside the house as well as outside. 

Dehydration. Seniors are especially prone to becoming dehydrated simply because they eat and drink less than younger people, thus they consume less water. People also feel less thirsty during the winter and so are more prone to not drinking enough as they should. Make sure your elderly loved one is drinking consistently. 

Ice and snow. Sidewalks slick with ice and snow pose a serious falling hazard for an elderly person. Make sure that the porch, driveway, sidewalk, etc. of the senior has been thoroughly cleaned. Try not to let them do it themselves; bring a shovel or hire an outside service. To maximize a senior’s stability, be sure that they have rubber-soled shoes and new treads on their walker or cane.  

Disaster kit. Winter storms can be fierce enough to knock down power lines and confine seniors to their homes. Make sure seniors are equipped with a disaster kit. Each kit should include enough food and water for several days, a few days worth of the senior’s medication, a flashlight, a weather radio, extra batteries and first-aid essentials.  

Space heaters. While they can provide an elderly person with some muchneeded warmth, precautions need to be taken so heaters don’t become health hazards. If the heater is gaspowered, make sure the senior has a functioning carbon monoxide detector. If the heater is electric, make sure the cords aren’t damaged or fraying. Keep all heaters away from flammable materials such as cloth and paper, and make sure the smoke detector is working properly. 

Clothing. Mittens, scarves, sweaters, hats and coats are a few of the must-have articles for seniors in colder climates. Even in indoors, the elderly should be dressed in layers so they can take clothes off if they are too hot or put more on if they are too cold. 

Check in. Stay in touch with a phone call and dropin visits. 


Top Programs in January 

Little Company of Mary Hospital, 2800 W. 95th St.  

Knee and Hip Screening, Little Company of Mary O.P.C.C., 6700 W. 95th. St., Oak Lawn  Free. Dates, times and registration: 7084235774. 

Health Academy: Panel Presentation on Weight Management, Sat., Jan 11, 11 a.m., Oak Lawn Pavilion, 9401 W. Oak Park Ave. Free. Registration: 7084235774. 

Wake Up Call Screening: Assess your risk for heart disease and stroke, Sat., Jan. 18. Onehour appointment includes healthy heart labs, ultrasound screening of abdominal aorta and carotid arteries, peripheral vascular screeningheart rhythm screening for atrial fibrillation and kidney health screening. Includes personalized visit with wellness nurse educator. $160 (payment required at time of registration)Registration: 7084235774. 

The Ups and Downs of Diabetes, Sat., Jan. 18, 8 to 10 a.m. Topics are: changes in diabetic treatment, nutrition and well-being, positive thinking and keeping active. Includes light breakfast. $5. Seating is limited. Registration: 7082295629. 

Meditation Group Supports Calm and Quiet Reflection 

By Susan DeGrane  

The holidays include festive gatherings, but the break from routine also encourages periods of calm and quiet reflection. Along those lines, the Red Lotus Meditation Sangha, which meets 7:30 p.m. on Sundays at Beverly Unitarian Church, 10244 S. Longwood Dr.offers an opportunity to cultivate a sense of calm throughout the year.  

Gathered in a circle for group meditationparticipants sit lotusstyle on floor cushions as well as upright in chairs. Wrapped in a blue prayer shawl, Marcia Curtis, a Unitarian Universalist minister and Buddhist meditation instructor for more than 30 yearsintroduces herself and starts the meditation with gentle tolling of a gong bowl. Within seconds, people close their eyes and calm descends upon the group.  

For the next 30 minutes, the sanctuary is quiet except for the sounds of breathing, the ticking of a clock, the wind in the trees, cars passing on the street outside, and intermittent instructions offered by Curtis. 

“Let your thoughts flow in the background of awareness,” Curtis said, directing the group to focus on the physical sensations of breathing. More calm follows with additional instructions, such as: “And, if you find that your mind has wandered, make the choice to let go of thoughts and bring the foreground of awareness back to the breath.” 

Curtis has taught meditation and Buddhist philosophy in a variety of settings, including prisons, homeless shelters and mental hospitals. Since 2007, she has led weekly meditation sessions at Beverly Unitarian Church where she is a member. Last October, she secured 501c3 status for the Red Lotus Meditation Sangha, enabling the group to book retreats, which she insists are helpful for deepening one’s meditation practice. The next retreat is scheduled for Fri.Jan. 3 through Sun.Feb. 2 in Frankfort.  

“The goal of the practice is to find freedom from suffering,” Curtis explainedadding that meditation has greatly eased her own emotional pain from sexual abuse endured as a child. “The purpose is to be present with what is. And sometimes what is, is frustration or irritation or some other non-calm stateBut doing the breath meditation is generally calming and soothing, and certainly over time the effect is an increase in calm.” 

When the meditation ends, Curtis gently sounds the bowl. Participants open their eyes, press their hands together and bow at the waist. Curtis then leads a 40-minute Dharma discussion exploring one of the 10 Buddhist perfections and other topics related to meditation.  

Curtis also offers quotations from Buddhist masters along with thoughtful explanations of Buddhist virtues. “When we think of having patience with another person’s actions, we have some tolerance for them,” she said. “We don’t immediately lash out. We give them leeway, and thereby we give the same to ourselves.” 

Always, participants are encouraged to ask questions and relate examples of how meditation helps in their daily lives.  

The group finishes up with a “loving kindness meditation” that directs positive loving thoughts toward self and loved ones 

“I’ve seen people grow in wisdom with consistent daily periods of meditation,” Curtis said. Likewise, during discussions, participants have reported reductions in insomnia and anxiety, as well as improvements in work and personal relationships. 

Anyone is welcome at the weekly meditation. Donations are encouraged. For more information, contact Rev. Curtis, 312-431-0381 or visit  

Ten Perfections (dasa pāramiyo) are (original terms in Pali):
Dāna parami: generosity, giving of oneself
Sīla parami: virtue, morality, proper conduct
Nekkhamma parami : renunciation
Pañña parami: transcendental wisdom, insight
Viriya parami: energy, diligence, vigor, effort
Khanti parami: patience, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, endurance
Sacca parami: truthfulness, honesty
Adhitthana parami: determination, resolution
Metta parami: loving-kindness
Upekkha parami: equanimity, serenity 


5 Dangers of Drinking and Driving 

By Kathryn M. Cavanaugh, RN, MSN 
Manager/Health Promotions 
Little Company of Mary Hospital 

Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming alcohol is not only a serious crime, it’s very dangerous. Alcohol has a substantial effect on a person’s judgement, coordination, reaction time, concentration and vision.  Any amount of alcohol in your bloodstream can impact your driving ability, putting you at risk for causing an accident.   

Following are five dangers of drinking and driving 

Poor JudgementAlcohol clouds judgement. Loss of judgement when intoxicated can leave you more prone to distraction and less able to make good decisions.  Driving skills are also impacted, such as the ability to judge the distance needed to stop in time, or to make a turn without hitting anything. Having a clear head helps your judgement by keeping you alert and aware of the conditions around you. Alcohol will impair this ability. 

Slowed Reaction Time & Lack of CoordinationHaving alcohol in your system causes your body to react more slowly to certain situations.  The likelihood of an accident increases because you won’t be able to respond to something happening as quickly as you would if you were sober. A brain under the influence of alcohol takes longer to process a situation and react. Coordination skills are crucial for being able to safely drive a car, and if they are impaired, you will be putting yourself and others in danger. 

Decreased VisionDrinking may cause your vision to blur, or you might even lose control over your eye movement. This vision impairment can influence how you are able to judge the distance between your car and other vehicles or objects on the road. You might even lose your peripheral vision, which plays a very important role in safe driving.  

Increased Likelihood of Having an AccidentThere are about 10,000 deaths caused by alcohol-related crashes each year in the United States. Alcohol plays a role in roughly one in every three motor vehicle deaths in this country. Motor vehicle deaths are the leading killer of people under the age of 24, whether they are a driver or a passenger. No one should drive after consuming alcohol. This is the only way to protect yourself from the consequences of drinking and driving.  

Potential Legal RamificationsAnyone who chooses to drink and drive is putting themselves at risk for serious legal consequences. Beyond the legal penalties, offenders will also be subject to substantial financial penalties.  

The dangers of drinking and driving far outweigh the reward of chancing that you will get home safely. Safely driving a car is difficult even when you are sober, but adding alcohol into the mix is putting your life and the lives of others on the road at risk. Make sure that you make the right choice and don’t attempt to drive drunk.  

Top Programs This Month 

Little Company of Mary Hospital 

2800 W. 95th St. Registration:  7084235774. 

CHEER (Choices, Humor, Enhancement, Education, Renewal) covers outdoor activities and safety in “Winter Wonderland: The Art of Keeping Cozy,” Wed., Dec. 11, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.Cancer Center. Free. 

Assess your risk for heart disease and stroke with a Wake-Up Call Screening Sat., Dec. 14. Includes healthy heart labs, ultrasound of abdominal aorta and carotid arteries, peripheral vascular screening and heart rhythm screening for atrial fibrillation, plus personalized visit with wellness nurse educator and kidney health screening. Payment required at registration. Fee: $160 ($5,500 value). 

Hand/Wrist Screening with LCMH board certified orthopedic surgeon Ramsey Ellis, MD, Tues., Dec. 17. Free. 

Healthy Heart Screening including CBC with differential, chemistry, blood sugar, cholesterol profile, thyroid, hs-CRP, BP and BMI, plus kidney health screening to determine the amount of protein in the urine. Monday through Thursday, two locations. By appointment only. Fee: $70 ($2,500 value).   

Your Health: Living Well With Congestive Heart Failure 

By Kathryn Cavanaugh, MSN, RN 
Manager Health PromotionsLittle Company of Mary Hospital 

The term “heart failure” can be very daunting when your doctor tells you that you have this significant health challenge.  Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a very common medical condition that varies widely from person to person and can be managed effectively with medications and lifestyle changes. Simply put, heart failure occurs when the heart muscle becomes unable to pump blood to the lungs where it picks up oxygen to carry to other muscles and systems of the body. Indications of CHF include tiredness, dizziness, swelling of the legs and ankles (edema) with sudden weight gain over a period of days, shortness of breath and cough due to a build-up of fluid in the lungs. Common causes of CHF include high blood pressure, diabetes and coronary artery disease. The good news is that the problem develops gradually and can be managed with medications and lifestyle changes. Here are a few tips to help you accomplish that goal. 

Watch your salt intake. This is very effective in lowering blood pressure and helping to eliminate fluid from the body. High blood pressure is a serious risk for developing heart failure. 

Maintain a healthy weight. Carrying around that extra weight puts a strain on your heart. Losing as little as 10% of your body weight can make a huge difference on the overall health of your cardiovascular system. 

Follow a healthy heart diet. Incorporate healthy fats in your diet, such as plant oils (i.e. olive oil) and omega-3 fatty acids (i.e. fish) and load up on whole grains, vegetables and fruits. One thing to keep in mind is that you may need to restrict your fluids to less than 1.5 liters per day. This is about five  8-ounce servings. 

Keep track of your body. Weigh yourself and take your blood pressure every day. If you gain more than three to five pounds in a matter of days or notice your blood pressure creeping up, call your doctor. 

Take your medications. Your doctor will work closely with you to determine the medications that work best for you. Take medications as prescribed. If you have concerns about the medications, talk with your doctor before you make any changes. 

Little Company of Mary Hospital has a Heart Failure Clinic that works with you and your doctor to keep you out of the hospital and managing your symptoms successfully at home. For more information, call 7082294278 

Top November Programs  

Little Company of Mary Hospital, 2800 W. 95th St. Registration: 7084235774   

CHEER (Choices, Humor, Enhancement, Education, Renewal) “Relax and Regroup Singing Crystal Bowls,” Wed., Nov. 13, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Free. 

Calcium Scoring Screening, noninvasive CT scan of the heart to calculate risk of developing coronary artery disease by measuring the amount of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries, Thurs., Nov. 14Fee: $99. 

Wake-Up Call Screening to assess risk for heart disease and stroke, Sat., Nov. 16. Includes healthy heart labs, ultrasound screening of abdominal aorta and carotid arteries, peripheral vascular screening, heart rhythm screening for atrial fibrillation, kidney health screening and personalized visit with wellness nurse educator. Payment required at time of registration. Fee: $160. 

Skin Cancer Screeningtenminute screening for one area of concern with Sonya Kenkare, M.D., board certified dermatologistThurs., Nov. 21. Free. 




Help for Weighty Issues 

By Eileen McNichols 
Little Company of Mary Hospital 

One of the most common health challenges in the United States today is obesity. Obesity is a medical term that refers to a Body Mass Index (BMI) that increases the risk for serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer and joint disease. Many people who struggle with their weight have all the information they need to lose weight, yet they struggle to maintain a healthy weightObviously, there is more to it than just having the information.  

Obesity occurs when one takes in more calories than the body needs. Being overweight and obesity are related to genetic, behavioral and environmental factors. There are myriad weight loss programs available. However, research from the National Academy of Sciences shows that the percentage of people who are able to lose weight and keep it off is as small as one to three percent. Many factors contribute to consuming more calories than the body needs. Some people develop unhealthy eating habits as children and struggle to change those habits as adults. Most adults are less physically active than they were as children.  Additionally, busy schedules of working adults can make it difficult to shop, plan healthy meals and make time for exercise.   

Factors such as stress, anxiety and lack of sleep also can lead to weight gain People who quit smoking often experience weight gain. Women may also have trouble losing the weight gained during pregnancy and/or during menopause. In some cases, these factors contribute to the onset of morbid obesity and a host of health problems including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, and joint and back pain 

What is the secret to losing excess pounds and maintaining a healthy body weight? There really is no easy answer. Every person is an individual with unique genetic makeup, behaviors developed from childhood, life stressors and environmental factors. The good news is that there is help available to find the underlying cause of your particular struggle and solutions that work for you.  

A comprehensive approach includes nutritional education and support, psychological counseling, medical weight management with specialized physician supervision and if needed, surgical optionsUtilizing the most current research and ongoing support and encouragement, Little Company of Mary Hospital has a multidisciplinary approach to help you be successful. For more information on the final solution to help with lifelong healthy weight management call 708-423-5774. For more information about Little Company of Mary’s bariatric program, go to 

Top four programs this month 

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

In Balance: “Updates on Bariatric Surgery” with bariatric surgeon Scott Schimpke, MD, Thurs., Sept. 5, 1:30 p.m.  Free.   

Health Academy: “Updates on Ovarian Cancer” with gynecology oncologist Carrie McIlwain, MD, Mon., Sept. 9, 11 a.m. Free.    

Lung Cancer Screening, Sat., Sept. 14, 8 a.m. to noon, Outpatient Care Center, 6700 W. 95th St. Includes a low dose CT scan of the chest; must meet criteria. Registration required. $125. 

New! Calcium Scoring Screening, a noninvasive CT scan of the heart to calculate risk of developing coronary artery disease. Registration required. $99. 


Overwhelmed by all the bad in the world, and ready to give up? 

By Lisa Catania, LCSW 

Recently I became disheartened when someone I love and respect said that they weren’t sure if they could get behind forgiveness given the state of the world.  This broke my heart a bit because this person is generous with understanding and optimism, and is the voice of reason in almost every situation.  

Flashback to 25years ago: My heart was so ready to have children, but I was in a real state of depression over the ills of humanity. I feared that I would be adding to overpopulation, depleting resources and dooming my children and possible grandchildren to a sick, dying, polluted earth and so much suffering.  A kindhearted, church-going woman heard my angst at the right time and said“We need good people in the future.  Simple, yet freeing words. I had the bravery to have my children and have tried my best to help them be good in this deeply troubled, yet still-so-beautiful world. 

People are in a state of fear and polarization, and teetering on hateful rage, right? How do we find the right path when it is so easy to hate right now?   

I don’t know the answer, but I know deep in my soul that it has to do with the revolution/evolution of the collective consciousness and empowered action. And that it starts from within. We need to show up where we live first, within ourselves, and eradicate our own voice of entitled justification to judge and condemn. I invite you to stop and ask yourself repeatedly: Whatever I want to condemn, do I possess that in myself?  And: How am I adding to the collective problem? And: How can I be the change I want to see? 

On my personal Facebook page, I recently went on a small rant about people making a million forms of pollution on a beautiful beach.  Friends cheered me on. But then had to call myself out – I am as much a part of the problem as everyone else.  Sure, I pack up my plastics, carry them from the beach and place them in the garbage. But then the garbage goes to a dump and flies up in the air and lands on the beach, and when I see it, I’m blaming other peopleI got humble and walked the beach, picking up a big bag of stuff.  I said hello and smiled at each person I met, thinking“I am you, you are me, we are each wonderful and awful, and so worthy of respect and compassion” and hoping that they could feel something stir in their soul that might propel them to see our collective mess and grab a garbage bag too.   

Weach need to wake up, stop being so complacent/detached/disempowered/critical and look at how we are perpetuating the problemWe need to take steps to create what we value It is a big, but essential, endeavor requiring a lot of humility, self-compassion and self-forgiveness, and a lot of accountability and action. And it’s also surprisingly empowering, softening, and hopeful. 

Please don’t give up!  Please continue to love, hope and forgive. Please be accountable and responsible. The world needs YOU to be the difference.  Anyone want to join me in a new movement? #letmetellyouhowiamtheproblem and #whatiamdoingaboutit.