Health Watch 1/21/21 Telegraph/Intelligencer

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Health WATCH January 2021

Franciscan health care system opens Edwardsville clinic

2 • Thursday, January 21, 2021 • Health Watch


Robotic surgery ‘wonderful’ for cancer patient By Alton Memorial Hospital

3.......Cover Story: Franciscan health care system opens clinic 4.......AMH goes robotic with certain surgeries 5.......When’s the right time for a checkup? 6.......AMH providing ‘Books for Newborns’ 7.......Four AMH departments earn PRC awards

Special to Health Watch

ALTON — Sherri Enlow has had more than her share of surgeries in her life, but the procedure she had done at Alton Memorial Hospital in September was the smoothest one yet. Enlow, 62, of Wood River, underwent a partial nephrectomy for renal cell carcinoma on Sept. 22, with Dr. Arjun Sivaraman doing the procedure using the robotic da Vinci X System for surgery that AMH began using in January. “It was wonderful,” said Enlow, whose only limitations for a few days following the surgery were not to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk. “It was a little odd at first because Dr. Sivaraman walked across the room when the surgery was about to start,” she recalled. “They pointed to this robot that was going to do the work. But there was a lot less pain after the surgery than I had

For Health Watch

Sherri Enlow with just a few of her dogs and cats in her Wood River home. She is doing just fine only weeks after robotic surgery performed by Dr. Arjun Sivaraman at Alton Memorial Hospital to remove a cancerous growth in her kidney.

with any previous surgeries. I was home the next day and I’ve felt great since then.”

Enlow said she had an MRI See SURGERY | Page 7


For Health Watch

ON THE COVER: The Hospital Sisters of St. Francis are women who have dedicated their lives to and for the love of Christ Jesus, and to their brothers and sisters in Christ. Public vows made to God, through the church and community, are the manifestation of a life of simplicity and service to the sick and poor.

HEALTH WATCH PUBLISHER Denise VonderHaar (618) 463-2500 — HEALTH WATCH ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Carole Fredeking (618) 463-2500 —

HEALTH WATCH EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jill Moon (618) 208-6448 — HEALTH WATCH COORDINATOR Regina Harbison (618) 208-6433 —

Heath Watch • Thursday, January 21, 2021 • 3

Franciscan health care system opens Edwardsville clinic For Health Watch

EDWARDSVILLE — Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) has come to Madison County. The previously only St. Clair County-based HSHS Medical Group, Prairie Cardiovascular and HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Outpatient Therapy celebrated HSHS’ new Edwardsville office facility with a socially distanced ribbon cutting and the Edwardsville/ Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce at the new health care clinic, 1188 S. State Route 157, Edwardsville. The now-open HSHS Medical Group Multispecialty Care-Edwardsville offers internal and family medicine. Specialists in nephrology, orthopedic surgery, pulmonology and urology will provide outreach services in the near future. “This new location allows us to provide more convenient, accessible care to the Edwardsville community,” said HSHS’ Melinda Clark, HSHS Medical Group chief executive officer. “Dr. Nueki Naate, and Amy Britt, an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), are wonderful healthcare providers who are well equipped to provide patients with the quality of care they deserve,” Clark said. “We are looking forward to adding specialty care at this location soon.” Prairie Cardiovascular will begin seeing patients at the new clinic early this year. Its physicians Dr. Frederick O. Ochieng’, Dr. Lincoln Shenje and physician assistant Rebecca Riepshoff are accepting new patients. “The doctors of Prairie have a longstanding commitment to our patients in Southern Illinois,” said Prairie Cardiovascular’s Dr. John Scherschel, president. “We look forward to expanding access to care in Edwardsville.” HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Outpatient Therapy offers assessment, personalized exercise prescrip-

For Health Watch

Left to right, Walt Williams, economic development director for the city of Edwardsville, Mary Jo Smith, with Hospice of Southern Illinois, Dr. John Scherschel, president of Prairie Heart Institute, internal medicine physician Dr. Nueki Naate, HSHS Medical Group Multispecialty Care — Edwardsville family medicine provider Amy Britt, HSHS Medical Group Multispecialty Care — Edwardsville, Patti Fischer, president and chief executive officer, HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, HSHS Medical Group’s Melinda Clark, cheif executive officer, Town and Country Bank’s Rob Pickerell and Big Frog Custom T-Shirts and More’s Jeremy Colton, of Edwardsville, celebrate the opening of HSHS Medical Group Multispecialty Care — Edwardsville with a ribbon cutting Dec. 4.

tion, hands-on care/manual techniques and education to help patients both understand their specific condition and improve their function. This new location is the sixth in the Metro East for HSHS Outpatient Therapy. It includes private therapy treatment rooms and a spacious gym. Other locations are in O’Fallon, Nueki Belleville and Mascoutah, in St. Clair County. “We deliver the same high-quality physical therapy services by our expert team of therapists in another convenient Britt location for patients of the region,” said physical therapist Tom Dibadj, who has a doctorate in his field and is the director of therapy services at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. “The primary focus at this location is neurological and orthopedic care with other spe-

cialties, including women’s physical therapy to be added in the near future.” To schedule an appointment with an internal or family medicine provider at HSHS Medical Group Multispecialty Care — Edwardsville, call 618-6925900. For a specialist, call 618-641-5803 or request a referral from your primary care provider if your insurance plan requires it. For Prairie Cardiovascular, call 88 HSHS Medical Group is the physician organization of Hospital Sisters Health System. Launched in 2009, HSHS Medical Group is a critical component of the HSHS Care Integration strategy, which focuses on bringing physicians, technology and patients together to improve the overall health of the communities that it serves. HSHS

Medical Group is comprised of more than 1,300 colleagues in locations throughout central and southern Illinois. HSHS Medical Group is powered by the Franciscan history of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, and its faith-based identity led HSHS to the single-most important tenet of the HSHS Medical Group philosophy — patient-first care. St. Francis of Assisi devoted himself to solitude, prayer and service to the poor. He continues to be the guiding spirit for the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis ministry’s endeavors. Their compassionate care for the poor, outcast and oppressed is the Franciscan spirit. The Hospital Sisters of St. Francis are women who have dedicated their lives to and for the love of Christ Jesus, and to their brothers and sisters in Christ. Public vows made to God, through the church and

community, are the manifestation of a life of simplicity and service to the sick and poor. For more information about HSHS Medical Group, visit www. Hospital Sisters Health System’s mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through high-quality, Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS states that it provides state-of-the-art health care to its patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of its 15 local systems and physician practices in Illinois, including Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield, and in Wisconsin. HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries. Visit for more information. Visit for more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis.

4 • Thursday, January 21, 2021 • Health Watch

AMH goes robotic with certain surgeries By Alton Memorial Hospital Special to Health Watch

ALTON — Alton Memorial Hospital (AMH) is taking a significant leap ahead with the addition of the da Vinci X System for surgery. Dr. Christopher Aldridge and Dr. Matthew Musielak, general surgeons with Alton Surgery, as well as urologist Dr. Arjun Sivaraman of Washington University Physicians of Illinois Inc. have been performing robotic surgeries at AMH since the end of January. “The arrival of the da Vinci surgical system at AMH means that access

to minimally invasive procedures will be increased,” Dr. Aldridge said. “The technology allows operations that once required a large incision to be done using smaller ports, similar to conventional laparoscopy,” he explained. “The robot translates the surgeon’s movements through a variety of wristed instruments with greatly improved binocular visualization. Specifically, we previously had to take patients to St. Louis for some procedures, which can now be done at AMH.” For the patient, the main advantages are a decrease in post-operaAbove: Dr. Christopher Aldridge, a general surgeon at Alton Memorial Hospital, works with the Surgical Services nursing team to prepare a patient for robotic surgery in the AMH operating room. Right: Nurses work with the arm of the robotics system. Photos for Health Watch

tive pain, less bleeding, less use of potentially addicting medication and a quicker recovery time. “The surgeon is at a console in the operating room,” said Cathy Wagner, manager of AMH Surgical Services. “There is a patient cart and a video tower where the rest of the surgery team can see what the surgeon is doing and assist. It’s much less invasive for the patient, which helps decrease the pain after the procedure and quickens the recovery time.” By enabling efficient

access throughout the abdomen or chest, the da Vinci X System, expands upon core da Vinci system features, including wristed instruments, intuitive motion and an ergonomic design. The surgeon is 100% in control of the system, which translates his/her hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments

inside the patient’s body. The surgeons will determine which procedures are best suited for the robotic system. For more information, call Alton Surgery at 618462-3191, or Washington University Physicians of Illinois Urologists at 618463-7174. Visit www.altonmemorialhospital. org for more information.

Health Watch • Thursday, January 21, 2021 • 5

When’s the right time for a checkup? Doctors recommend an appointment every 1 to 3 years By OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony’s Health Center Special to Active Lifestyles

ALTON — One of the best ways to take control of your health, experts say, is to listen to your body, stay in touch with your physicians and make sure to get regular checkups. Most doctors say the frequency of routine checkups are based on age, risk factors and your current Lopez health status. Healthy patients age 50 and older should visit their doctor at least once a year to be weighed and have their blood pressure checked. For people younger than 50 and in good health, one visit every three years is recommended. For people who have underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, heart issues or a history of cancer, appointments could be more frequent, regardless of age.

“The bottom line is there are things you want to make sure are healthy and you really want to check on them yearly,” said OSF HealthCare’s Dr. Leonardo Lopez, a family practice physician. “Seeing a provider will make sure those things are done, but at a minimum you should do those things every three to five years,” he said. “For women it’s particularly important for cervical cancer screening. Once you establish with a provider, you can certainly talk about your risk factors and how often you need to be seen. That can change with recommendations as you get older because certain risk factors increase with age.” Before your appointment, Dr. Lopez suggested preparing a list of questions or concerns to discuss with your doctor. During the checkup, your medical team will discuss your medical history, medication list and vaccination history. Your doctor will perform a thorough exam, listen to your heart and lungs, and might

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6 • Thursday, January 21, 2021 • Health Watch

Alton Memorial Hospital providing ‘Books for Newborns’ By Alton Memorial Hospital Special to Health Watch

ALTON — Getting a head start on reading is valuable for all children. At Alton Memorial Hospital, that process is already in motion before mother and baby are headed home. Books for Newborns, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization based in St. Louis, recently delivered 300 bags of books to AMH for distribution to new mothers. Each bag has five age-appropriate books that parents can use to help the newborn in those developmental years. Each bag also contained a reading instruction card for new parents. There were also additional book bags for older siblings. “Alton Memorial is our first hospital on the Illinois side,” said Mike Hogan, chairman of Books for Newborns. “It all goes back to when Elaine Kane (curriculum director for the Alton School District) saw our founder, Richard Nix Sr., interviewed on television during the St. Louis Thanksgiving Day parade a couple years ago.” Kane said that was in 2018, just a year after the organization started, and was the first she had heard about Books for Newborns. “Because our literacy mission is in complete alignment, I reached out to Richard in an email,” she said. “We have maintained contact over the past year and a half. During that time, Mike Hogan has been advocating for a sponsorship. We are thrilled that Ameren Illinois stepped up with a $5,000 donation to start the book distribution at Alton Memorial.” “At the Women’s Health and Childbirth Center, we are very committed to making sure that all of our newborns have a healthy, safe start,” said Jessica Mossman, manager of AMH Obstetrics. “We are very thankful to the Books for Newborns program for donating books to us so that we can be advocates in another way and help stress the importance of reading to newborns. Any partnerships that we make will only continue to make our community stronger.”

For Health Watch

The Books for Newborns initiative gives new mothers a great start on their child’s development.

The organization was started primarily to help low-income families, as studies show that books are one thing missing from such households, and that can perpetuate the cycle. “Every child deserves a fair shot at a bright future,” Hogan said. “Reading — and all that accompanies it — enhances their chances. We are fortunate to join with St. Louis Black Authors of Children’s Literature, Ready Readers and Missouri Humanities in our shared effort to overcome gaps and build literacy among children living in under-resourced communities.” Books for Newborns also works with Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Cardinal Glennon and St. Mary’s in St. Louis. “Families have a tremendous sense of responsibility when they bring their newborn home,” Kane said. “These books will

be a wonderful resource that reminds parents to spend time reading while enjoying their baby. This early literacy experience promotes bonding and the love of reading, while also developing essential language for literacy. Children deserve to have quality literature in their homes and this gift ensures that home libraries can start at birth.” Hogan said that more than 7,800 book bags have been delivered since the organization began in 2017. The recent addition of the St. Louis Black Authors of Children’s Literature as a new partner has been very important. “Children are more likely to read books if they feature people who look like them,” Hogan said. “So the book bags contain racial equity, which is a great thing all the time and even more important now.” Visit for more information.

Appointment From page 5

do other types of exams or tests depending on your age and health risks. In addition, your doctor will inquire about your mental health. “Other things we would look into is a possible risk for depression, possible risk for substance abuse,” Dr. Lopez said. “They’ll ask you these types of questions to make sure you’re not at risk or having difficulties, as well as your lifestyle and exercising — all these things are important to living a healthy lifestyle.” Knowing your family history is also important and could help you avoid serious health problems down the road. “Ask your family if there is anything that runs in the family that might be helpful to know,” Dr. Lopez said. “Sometimes you might not know that your uncle has a certain disease or a cancer and that can affect the way we approach things when you come in for your well-exam.” He said it’s important to have open and honest conversations with your doctor about anything that is troubling you or questions that you might have about your health. Your doctor is there to help you, and not judge you, he said. “A lot of times I see people come in and they feel like they’re coming in for a test,” he said. “They say, ‘Did I pass my physical examination?’ It’s not about passing or failing; it’s about what can we do to make things less risky for you and improve your health.” Dr. Lopez recommended establishing with a primary care physician if you don’t already have one. The best way to find a doctor is to do some research online or ask family and friends for recommendations. Sometimes word of mouth is the best way to find the doctor that is right for you. For more information, visit www.osfhealthcare. org.

Health Watch • Thursday, January 21, 2021 • 7


Four AMH departments earn PRC awards

From page 2

By Alton Memorial Hospital

after experiencing lower back pain in August, which is when the spot on her kidney was discovered. Then it was just a matter of scheduling the surgery with Dr. Sivaraman, a urologist with Washington University Physicians of Illinois Inc. “Sherri was very appreciative that we did the surgery at AMH rather than having to travel to St. Louis,” Dr. Sivaraman said. “It was a centrally located renal mass very close to the renal vein. It was a challenging surgery to avoid vein injury and prevent removal of the whole kidney. But we were able to remove the tumor only and preserve the kidney. The final pathology was renal cell cancer with negative margins. “ Enlow was most pleased that she didn’t have to go back for a follow-up until April. “It was a wonderful experience with Dr. Sivaraman,” she said. “I would recommend (robotic surgery) for anyone who can have it done that way.” For more information, call Alton Surgery at 618-462-3191, or Washington University Physicians of Illinois Inc. Urologists at 618-463-7174. Visit for more information.

For Health Watch

Dr. Arjun Sivaraman, a urological surgeon with Washington University Physicians of Illinois Inc., performed the surgery on Sherri using the da Vinci X surgical system at AMH. He sits at the pictured console and directs the arms of the robotic system across the room.

Special to Health Watch

ALTON — Four Alton Memorial Hospital departments were recognized with top 2020 awards from national health care research leader Professional Research Consultants Inc. (PRC). The Digestive Health Center (DHC), which earned a 5-Star Award last year, earned a Top Performer award for 2020. This award recognizes health care outpatient service lines, inpatient units, outpatient clinics, and physicians/providers that score at or above the 100th percentile compared to PRC’s national client database for the prior calendar year. “The Digestive Health team works very well together, like a well-oiled machine,” said Amy Toenyes, manager of the DHC. “I have some amazing employees who have worked in this department for several years. The knowledge base of the nursing staff is outstanding and their attention to detail is what helps make the care excellent. They work very well with our physicians to make sure that our patients get the best care possible.” The Digestive Health Center offers a full range of diagnostic tests to uncover stomach and intestinal disorders, and provide therapeutic procedures for treatment. For more information or to schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist, call 618463-7874. The Women’s Health and Childbirth Center and the Human Motion Institute received 5-Star Awards, which are awarded to health care facilities, outpatient service lines, inpatient units, and outpatient clinics scoring in the top 10 percent of the PRC national client database for the prior calendar year. The

For Health Watch

The Digestive Health Center staff at Alton Memorial Hospital celebrates with its PRC Top Performer Award.

WHCC delivers close to 1,000 babies each year and is committed to providing an optimal level of care for the entire family. For more information, call 618-463-7455. “The Woman’s and Infants staff, together with the obstetricians and pediatric providers, are an extremely dedicated group of individuals who make every effort to delivery safe, compassionate care, and work with families to deliver the birth experience that they would like,” said Jessica Mossman, manager of the WHCC. The Human Motion Institute team offers impatient and outpatient physical, occupational, and speech therapy with a team approach. Outpatient services are offered at three convenient locations: the AMH campus (ground floor, Olin Wing); Alton North, 226 Regional Drive; and, Bethalto at 155 E. Bethalto Drive. For more information, call 618463-7429. “I’m proud of our talented therapy team, dedicated to providing genuinely excellent quality of care,” said Sue Walker, a physical therapist and

manager of Rehab Services at AMH. “We provide the best therapy close to home.” The Emergency Department earned a 4-Star Award, which is awarded to inpatient facilities and emergency departments scoring in the top 25 percent of the PRC national client database for the prior calendar year. AMH operates one of the busiest emergency departments in the Metro East area, yet each patient receives timely and attentive care. All of our doctors and nurses are sensitive to the diverse populations we serve, and are attuned to the unique needs and fears these patients can bring to the Emergency Department. “In the Emergency Department, I am lucky to have an amazing group of hardworking and knowledgeable staff,” said Megan Fitzgerald, manager of the Emergency Department (ED). “The teamwork and compassion displayed by this team on a daily basis is second to none. Working in an area where seconds matter, the ED staff makes those seconds count.”

“Everyone in our hospital works extremely hard to earn the respect and trust of our patients, physicians and the communities we serve,” said Dave Braasch, president of AMH. “I’m very proud of the staff and physicians in all of these departments. We will continuously strive to improve the quality, safety and experience of our patients and their families. Our team’s focus is to always make medicine better.” Professional Research Consultants is a national health care market research company. For more than 35 years, PRC has facilitated millions of interviews, delivered insightful reports and provided customized research solutions to hospitals and health care organizations. Services measure community perceptions, brand positions, patient experience, physician alignment and engagement, and employee engagement. PRC is also a certified vendor for governmentmandated CAHPS surveys and has partnered with more than 400 communities across the U.S. to conduct Community Health Needs Assessments.