Provena Mercy Medical Center Performs Significantly Better Than National Average, According to National Study

Posted October 21, 2010 by pmmc
Categories: Cardiovascular, Healthcare

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Provena Mercy Medical Center is ranked in the Top 5% in the Nation for GI  Surgery, according to a comprehensive annual study released today by HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings organization. The HealthGrades study analyzes tens of millions of patients’ outcomes – specifically, mortality and complication rates – at the nation’s 5,000 hospitals.

Patients highly value independent information on hospital quality performance. And in light of recent health reform measures, demand for this information is only likely to increase. In a recent survey of visitors to related to hospital quality, 94% ranked quality outcomes and ratings as very important compared to reputation (89%), volume (78%), and location (58%).  Provena Mercy Medical Center stands committed to a culture of quality and transparency and is proud of the results that it’s Cardiac program has achieved.

Other HealthGrades ratings Provena Mercy Medical Center has achieved includes:



  • Recipient of the HealthGrades Gastrointestinal Care Excellence AwardTM in 2011
  • Recipient of the HealthGrades Gastrointestinal Surgery Excellence AwardTM in 2011
  • Ranked Among the Top 5% in the Nation for GI Surgery in 2011
  • Ranked Among the Top 10% in the Nation for Overall GI Services in 2011
  • Ranked Among the Top 10% in the Nation for GI Surgery in 2011
  • Ranked Among the Top 5 or 10 in State for GI Surgery in 2011 (Ranked 6 in 2011)
  • Five-Star Rated for GI Surgery in 2011
  • Five-Star Rated for Treatment of Bowel Obstruction For 2 Years in a Row (2010-2011)
  • Five-Star Rated for Cholecystectomy in 2011

According to the Thirteenth Annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America study top-rated hospitals had a 53% lower mortality rate than the U.S. national average for 17 procedures and diagnoses ranging from bypass surgery to treatment for heart attack. When the top-rated hospitals were compared to the poorest performers, there was an even greater quality gap: a 72% lower risk of mortality.
The new 2011 HealthGrades hospital ratings were posted today, and are free to the public, at

HealthGrades Hospital Quality Ratings
HealthGrades’ hospital ratings and awards reflect the track record of patient outcomes at hospitals in the form of mortality and complication rates. HealthGrades rates hospitals independently based on data that hospitals submit to the federal government. No hospital can opt in or out of being rated, and no hospital pays to be rated.

For 26 procedures and treatments, HealthGrades issues star ratings that reflect the mortality and complication rates for each category of care. Hospitals receiving a 5-star rating have mortality or complication rates that are below the national average, to a statistically significant degree. A 3-star rating means the hospital performs as expected. One-star ratings indicate the hospital’s mortality or complication rates in that procedure or treatment are statistically higher than average. Because the risk profiles of patient populations at hospitals are not alike, HealthGrades risk-adjusts the data to allow for equal comparisons.

More information on today’s HealthGrades study, including the complete methodology, can be found at

Provena Mercy Medical Center Receives Re-designation as a Level II with Extended Neonatal

Posted August 23, 2010 by pmmc
Categories: Healthcare, Women & Children

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Provena Mercy Medical Center was recently re-designated as a Level II with Extended Neonatal Capabilities Perinatal facility by the Illinois Department of Public Health.  This means that the highly skilled clinicians in the Family Birth Center have the expertise and medical equipment to provide more complex care to high risk mothers  and infants including those as young as 10 weeks premature.   Additionally, as a designated Level II plus facility, Provena Mercy Medical Center has a Special Care Nursery that includes a team of specially trained neonatologists who are readily available to treat newborns who require a higher level of care.    

The Illinois Health department of Public Health distinguishes between three levels of Perinatal Care: level 1 or general care, level 2 or intermediate care, level 2 with extended capabilities and level 3 or intensive care.  In order to determine which level of care a Perinatal Center falls under, facilities are evaluated under strict criteria which include:  access to equipment and facilities, availability of specialists, and the complexity of patients served. 

 “This designation gives our patients the assurance that exceptional care is readily available and close to home,” said Naideen Galek, APN and Clinical Nurse Specialist for Women and Children’s Services.   “Having a baby is one of the most important and joyous moments in life.  We’re proud to offer our moms the peace of mind in knowing that they are receiving personalized, high-quality care so they can focus their time on enjoying this memorable occasion .“

Provena Mercy Medical Center has been delivering babies for nearly 100 years.  At Provena Mercy, all stages of birth occur in one spacious, comfortable room.    Not only are new moms provided with top-notch care, but are provided with the luxuries of a 5-star hotel including: private bathroom with whirlpool tub, massage, refrigerator and more.   To schedule a tour of our Family Birth Center, please call 630-801-2767.

Provena Mercy Medical Center Recognizes Certified Nurses

Posted July 29, 2010 by pmmc
Categories: Healthcare, Nursing

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Provena Mercy Medical Center recognized its certified nurses at a luncheon, on Wednesday, July 28 for their commitment to excellence and providing patients with compassionate, high quality care. 

Nurse Certification plays an increasingly important role in the assurance of high standards of care for patients and their loved ones. Nursing, like health care in general has become increasingly complex. While a registered nurse (RN) license provides entry to general nursing practice, the knowledge-intensive requirements of modern nursing require extensive education, as well as a strong personal commitment to excellence by the nurse.

 Certification validates a nurse’s knowledge and skills to patients, peers and supervisors.  Not only does it illustrate a nurse’s commitment to life-long learning, but research has shown that certification contributes to better patient care and safety. Certified nurses are experts in their area of specialty and are raising the bar in the nursing profession.

“We are so proud of all these devoted nurses for taking their knowledge to the next level in the best interest of our patients.  Not only does certification illustrate their dedication to providing better care to their patients by becoming an expert in their specialty, it is an opportunity for professional development” said Suzette Mahneke, Chief Nurse Executive at Provena Mercy Medical Center.  “Continuing education is a priority at Provena Mercy Medical Center and we encourage our nurses to take advantage of the educational assistance programs we offer including; tuition reimbursement, nursing scholarships, a clinical advancement pathway program and several other opportunities for grants and other awards.”

 Congratulations to the following certified nurses:

  • Linda Fisher, Certified Nurse Operating Room
  • Ravana Courtney, Certified Nurse Operating Room
  • Susan Ludwig, Certified Nurse Operating Room
  • Rebecca  Hanks, Certified Nurse Operating Room
  • Misty Hammond, Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse
  • Marina Morrell, Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse and Orthopaedic Nurse Certified
  • Tammie Johnson, Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse
  • Angela Wilkins, Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse
  • Lynn Hunt, Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse
  • Maria Baladad, Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse
  • Mary Carmel Filip, Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse
  • Stephanie Zahm, Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse
  • Amy Gaffino, Oncology Certified Nurse
  • Kim Falk, Orthopaedic Nurse Certified
  • Harriett Miller, Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse
  • Kim Tumbarello, Orthopaedic Nurse Certified
  • Jean Jorgenson, Orthopaedic Nurse Certified
  • Peggy Quirin, Orthopaedic Nurse Certified
  • Shelley Torres, Orthopaedic Nurse Certified
  • Felicia Messier, Inpatient Obstetrics
  • Jill Fisher, Critical Care Registered Nurse
  • Bob Rickert, Critical Care Registered Nurse
  • Douglas Michaelson, Critical Care Registered Nurse
  • Julie Grumbles, Certified Oncology Nurse
  • Sue Quirin, Certified Infection Control
  • Liz Walliser, Certified Professional Healthcare Quality
  • Lisa Bassett, Certified Emergency Nurse
  • Dana Sester, Certified Emergency Nurse
  • Sindu Mohan, Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse
  • Colleen Morley-Wines, Certified Managed Care Nurse
  • Chastity Burgess, Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse
  • Millette Regacho, Certified Oncology Nurse
  • Julia Arp, Certified Cardiovascular Nurse
  • Linda Mulder, Certified Occupational Health Nurse Specialist 
  • Katie Desiato, Certified Case Manager
  • Naideen Galek, Inpatient Obstetrics
  • Jim Witt, Fellow of the American Healthcare Executives
  • Shirley Breedlove, Certification Programs in Utilization, Review and Healthcare Professional Management
  • Maria Aurora Diaz, Adult Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified & Certified Diabetes Educator
  • Janis Noone, Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality
  • Jeff Paul, Critical Care Registered Nurse
  • Felix Fonge, Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurse
  • Vicki Berliguette, Critical Care Registered Nurse
  • Rita Smith, Certified Diabetes Educator
  • Sally Sanchez, Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse
  • Mary Ann Aromin, International Board Certified Lactating Consultant
  • Constance Bell, Certified Case Manager
  • Leah Valverde, Critical Care Registered Nurse
  • Debra J. Haugen, Faith Community Nurse
  • Bonnie Moore, Certified Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
  • Jane Gallegher, Certified Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
  • Jeffrey Hasselberger, Certified Nurse Educator

Provena Mercy Medical Center encourages national certification for all its nurses. Patients are encouraged to inquire whether there are certified nurses on staff when they visit a hospital or their primary care provider.

 Please join Provena Mercy Medical Center in honoring those hardworking, dedicated nurses for their professionalism, and a job well done!

Healthy Eating on a Budget

Posted June 15, 2010 by pmmc
Categories: Healthy Eating

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By Mia Handell RD, LDN- Provena Mercy Medical Center

Eating healthy on a limited budget may seem daunting, but eating a fresh, well-balanced diet will be beneficial in the long run.  Lifestyle choices can dictate your health and wellness. Eating prominently fast foods, processed foods and high calorie snack foods can directly contribute to an increased risk for chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.  Making healthy choices and spending money wisely on healthy food can help you save  money on future doctor’s visits and hospital bills that come with developing a chronic disease.

Although eating healthy on a budget seems difficult, give it a shot!  Here are some tips to help you get started:

Before you shop plan ahead

  • Create a budget for food. Have a dollar amount in mind and stick to it.
  • Plan your meals. Use cook books, friends, family or the internet to get menu ideas and recipes.
  • Plan your snacks. Snack foods can shrink a food budget.  Avoid soda or beverages that are not “diet.”  They cost a lot and only add calories to your diet.
  • Once you have a meal idea, write out a grocery list.   To make shopping easy, create food categories. Write out how much money is spent on each item or food group.

Get organized before you shop

  • Make a list of what you have in the kitchen or pantry.
  • Organize your food to remember what you have. Keep similar items in the same area, such as space for canned foods, dry foods or cereals.
  • Plan meals with what you have at home.  You buy less and eat food before it spoils.
  • Put left-overs in new meals.  Add left-over vegetables to a soup, salad or casserole.  Combine yogurt with fruit salad for a smoothie. This means less food waste.

Save money when you shop

  • Look for store sales or specials.
  • Purchase the store brand or generic brand.  The same food will cost less.
  • Use coupons. It can take time to cut coupons but it will save money.
  • Buy fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season:

o Summer – melon, corn, tomatoes, peaches and berries
o Autumn – pumpkins, squash and apples
o Winter – oranges, grapefruit, apples and grapes
o Spring – strawberries

  •  Eat frozen or canned fruits and vegetables when fresh ones cost more or are not in season. Frozen ones have less salt than canned.   Drain and rinse canned vegetables for less salt. Buy canned fruits that are “lite” or use natural juice and not syrup.
  • Dairy: Try low-fat cheese or yogurt.  Drink milk with 2% or less fat. It still hasVitamin D in it.
  • Grains (bread, cereal, rice, pasta): Eat whole wheat or whole grain bread, pasta and cereal.  Eat brown rice instead of white rice. To reduce waste, freeze bread and save what you need for later. Hot cereals like oatmeal, grits, and cream of wheat can cost less and have a longer shelf life.
  • Proteins (meat, poultry, dried beans, eggs, fish): Choose low fat meats and buy in the “big” package when it is on sale. Split it into several meals and put it into the freezer until needed.
    o Lean cuts of beef: Top round, Top loin steak, Chuck steak
    o Poultry: choose white meat and remove skin. Turkey can cost less than chicken.
    o Eggs: Use egg whites or egg beaters instead of an entire egg.
    o Fish: Choose canned salmon or tuna packed in water, not oil
    o Beans: Beans cost less than meat and are good for you. Try baked beans, fat-free refried beans, or kidney beans. Try dry beans and soak them before cooking. These can be used with meats/poultry to make meals more substantial.
    • Snacks: Avoid chips and candy. Eat fruit, a small piece of low-fat cheese, or a ¼cup of nuts such as almonds, walnuts or peanuts. They will give you energy that last longer than other snack foods. Try animal crackers, vanilla wafers, ginger snaps, popcorn or pretzels. Make your own snack foods by taking what you already have in the house.

Cook For The Week
Use one day of the week to cook all of your meals. This is a great timesaver for busy families. Do all your cooking at once.  Knocking it all out at one time saves you time because you only prep the kitchen once a week. You can also portion control your meals in advance. Lastly, you’ll avoid eating out (money loss AND weight gain) because your food is prepared and ready to go.
Also, cooking from scratch is always healthier and cheaper than using boxed mixes or buying already prepared frozen or fresh foods. It usually takes the same amount of time, and can cut down on salt and sugar.
Plant a Garden
Try your hand at growing produce. There is some upfront labor with planting a garden, but it will save you money. You can grow herbs and chili peppers at your house. You can also grow strawberries, tomatoes, spinach, romaine lettuce, and cilantro. Talk about some savings!

Patients Finding Primal Happiness: Hospital’s Pet Therapy Program Improving Lives of Those With Mental Illness

Posted May 19, 2010 by pmmc
Categories: behavioral health, Healthcare

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The Beacon-News
May 29, 2010
By Karri E. Christiansen, For Sun-Times Media

There are days when people living with severe mental illness can find just getting out of bed an insurmountable task. However, therapists at Provena Mercy Medical Center in Aurora have discovered an interesting new way to help those suffering with everything from depression and dementia to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia not just get out of bed, but enjoy at least a part of their day.

At least once a week and sometimes twice a week, patients in Provena’s Behavioral Health Services unit are treated to pet therapy, during which the patients get to interact and play with the dogs. On Wednesday evenings, dogs and their handlers from the Fox Valley Therapy Dog Club come to the unit to work with elderly patients.

“We use the dogs to build rapport” among patients, said Mary M. (whose last name is not being used to protect her privacy), an occupational therapist for Provena. Mary added that the therapy dogs really help some of her older patients come out of their shells.

Provena has been using pet therapy since last October, Mary said. Hospital officials said research shows that pet therapy can be a useful supplement to traditional treatments, such as talk therapy. Mary said the dogs help stimulate conversation among patients about everything from feelings to self-care and time management.

During pet therapy time, patients are given cue cards of sorts with questions about what dogs like — such as what kinds of activities dogs enjoy and what are some of the dogs’ healthy habits. Those cue cards help patients talk about what activities they like to participate in and what kinds of things they do to take care of themselves, Mary said.

Lora Johnson, a handler with the Fox Valley Therapy Dog Club, said dogs are great animals to use for therapy, in part because so many people keep dogs as pets at home. Johnson also said pet therapy gives some mental health patients something to look forward to while they are receiving treatment.

“I think it’s just the contact with another living thing that helps,” she said. Mary said patients “just light up” when the therapy dogs come to visit.

“Some people don’t respond to conversation, but they will respond to the dogs,” she said. “It does help some people actually get out of bed.”

Some of the goals of the pet therapy program are to provide social stimulation, satisfy the human need for touch and decrease the sense of isolation many mental health patients feel. Bringing in the dogs helps stimulate conversation among patients about their own dogs, Mary said.

May is Mental Heath Month in the United States. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nearly one in 17 Americans lives with a serious mental illness. The National Institute of Mental Health has reported one in four adults, or about 58 million Americans, experience some form of mental illness during a given year.

Without treatment like that provided by Provena and other hospitals, consequences of mental illness for individuals can be devastating: unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, inappropriate incarceration, suicide and wasted lives. The NAMI website contains estimates that the economic cost of untreated mental illness is more than $100 billion each year, just in the United States.

However, between 70 percent and 90 percent of individuals living with mental illness have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with a combination of medication, psychosocial treatments and support systems.

At Provena, the pet therapy program has been a big success. Seven different dogs are used in the program.

The Fox Valley Therapy Dog Club is managed in Yorkville.

Provena Mercy Hosts 2nd Annual Powerful Hearts Club Power Walk

Posted May 18, 2010 by pmmc
Categories: Cardiovascular

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View this video from today’s Powerful Hearts Club Power Walk!

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women.  But, it doesn’t have to bring your life to a screeching halt. Rather, it can open the door to healthier, new beginnings.

It is never too early to start the fight against Heart disease.  The American Heart Association recommends Heart Attack prevention by age 20!  

Here are some tips to a Heart Healthy Lifestyle:

  • Don’t Smoke
  • Eat Healthy– choose a diet high in fiber and nutrients and low in fat
  • Manage Your Cholesterol– the American Heart Association recommends that your LDL should be less than 200 mg/dL, your HDL should be 40 mg/dL or higher and your triglycerides should be less than 150 mg/dL
  • Control Blood Pressure – the American Heart Association recommends less than 120/80 mmHg
  • Exercise- The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 5 days of physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day
  • Reduce Stress
  • Control Diabetes
  • Limit Alcohol Consumption- The American Heart Association recommends 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men

If Heart Disease has touched your life or touched the lives of someone you know- Join the Club!

This members-only club provides up-to-date information for your heart health. Connect with other members, enjoy special discounts and get exclusive invitations to exciting events.

Benefits include:

  • Discounts at Provena Mercy Medical Center Health and Wellness Club, Café and Gift Shop
  • Quarterly newsletter
  • Email announcements with the latest in cardiac health
  • Invitations and VIP seating at special events

Complete the online form and you will receive your complimentary t-shirt and membership keychain card within 14 business days. Be sure to put the membership card on your keychain so you have it with you when redeeming your membership benefits.

For more information, call 1-866-PROVENA (1-866-776-8362).

Provena Mercy Surgeon is First in the State to Use New Method of Fixing Broken Tibias

Posted April 30, 2010 by pmmc
Categories: Orthopedics

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Dr. Mark Schinsky recently became the first surgeon in the state of Illinois to use the Trigen Meta-Nail Semi-Extended Surgical Technique to fix a broken tibia otherwise known as the shin bone at Provena Mercy Medical Center.  This technique allows for an alternative approach and a potentially faster procedure that may help improve patient outcomes.

When using standard procedures, an incision is made in the front of the knee and the leg is positioned at a high angle.   The new semi-extended technique allows for a smaller incision made above the knee while the leg is in an extended position.   Because the leg is extended, the surgeon no longer needs to manipulate imaging equipment over and around an angled leg during surgery which could allow for a faster procedure and less time under anesthesia for the patient.  Patients are typically walking the next day after surgery. 

“This procedure works well for patients with certain fracture patterns,” said Dr. Schinsky. “It allows for better bone alignment to help ensure bone healing.” 

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons ( AAOS), a fractured shinbone is the most common long-bone injury.  These injuries can range from common hairline fractures to severe open-fractures.  

 “This is exciting because this gives patients another option to ensure they are receiving the best treatment possible,” Dr. Schinsky said.

Provena Mercy Medical Center offers a wide- variety of orthopedic services that uses innovative techniques and minimally invasive procedures.   The Provena Mercy state-of-the-art surgery center helps to make this possible. The surgery center is among the most advanced in the nation with digital operating suites that offer a revolutionary approach.


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