Ed McDonald, MD, gastroenterologist and trained chef, helps patients elevate their diets and lose weight
INSIDE | Learn more about our new locations in the South Loop and Orland Park
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SPRING 2017... IN THIS ISSUE
SAVING SANA Other doctors gave her a 50-50 chance of surviving
childbirth. Our high-risk pregnancy
ON THE COVER
experts helped her deliver a healthy baby.
BY HER SIDE Our adolescent and
young adult cancer team tailored
Rachael Elliott’s cancer treatment.
Find these stories and more at SCIENCELIFE.UCHOSPITALS.EDU
MEET A MIDWIFE Erin Irwin, MSN, APN, CNM, director of midwifery services at our new
Edwin McDonald IV, MD, preps fruits
Family Birth Center, discusses
and veggies in the new kitchen at
prenatal care and natural childbirth.
the University of Chicago Medicine’s Center for Care and Discovery. Photo by Kentaro Yamada. See more of Yamada’s captivating images at theuplifted.net.
Rachael Elliott with her physician, Jennifer McNeer, MD, MS.
Nutrition tips and nonsurgical weight loss procedures, plus Dr. McDonald’s
Kind of Blue Smoothie recipe.
ASK THE EXPERT
MPH, our new chief of adult trauma.
VISIT OUR WEBSITES FOR
Vice President, Chief Communications
about life-changing care and
and Marketing Officer: William “Skip” Hidlay
at the University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences. Kenneth S. Polonsky, MD Dean of the University of Chicago
Q & A with Selwyn O. Rogers Jr., MD,
Imagine magazine features stories breakthroughs in medical research
Adult care uchospitals.edu Children’s care uchicagokidshospital.org
Editor: Anna Madrzyk Associate Editor: Gretchen Rubin Design: SBDWorks, Inc. Contributing writers Kathryn Carlton, Thea Grendahl Christou,
Read Imagine online at uchospitals.edu/Imagine Email us at email@example.com Facebook.com/UChicagoMed Twitter.com/UChicagoMed This publication does not provide medical advice
Biological Sciences Division and the
John Easton, Gretchen Rubin, Matt Wood
Pritzker School of Medicine and executive
and Molly Woulfe
or treatment suggestions. If you have medical
David Christopher, Jean Lachat, Eddie
determine your treatment. Do not delay seeking
vice president for Medical Affairs Sharon O’Keefe President of the University of Chicago
Quiñones, Joe Sterbenc, Nancy Wong
and Molly Woulfe
problems or concerns, contact a physician, who will medical advice because of something you read here. For urgent needs, call 911 right away.
THE FOREFRONT OF MEDICINE
in your backyard
World-class care. Easy access. Convenient hours. Find a University of Chicago Medicine doctor at locations throughout Chicagoland.
We’re all over the map! See page 6. Two brand-new outpatient clinics offering primary and specialty care — in the South Loop and Orland Park Adult and pediatric specialty care in Chicago’s suburbs and in northwest Indiana Immediate care and family medicine providers in the city and suburbs
Karen Gamperl walks her dogs Zoe, Maddie and Macy in her Homer Glen neighborhood a few months after a robotic knee replacement at the University of Chicago Medicine. Her husband, Michael, had his knee replaced in January. Instead of making the two-hour round trip to Hyde Park, the Gamperls see their surgeon for follow-up care at our new Center for Advanced Care at Orland Park. “Having the outpatient clinic just 10 minutes from my home is a wonderful perk,” Karen said. | R I G H T | Orthopaedic surgeon Hue Luu, MD, with patient
Karen Gamperl at the University of Chicago Medicine Center for Advanced Care at Orland Park. Find our orthopaedic specialists on our main campus and in the South Loop, Orland Park, River Forest, Tinley Park and Crown Point, Ind. uchospitals.edu/ortho
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SPARKING AN URGE TO LIGHT UP
Optimism that e-cigarettes and vape pens would help smokers kick cigarettes seems to be going up in smoke. Cigarette smokers age 18 to 35 were paired with partners using traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes or vape pens in a University of Chicago study testing the vape pen’s effects on the urge to smoke. “Vape pens have low resemblance to cigarettes, so we did not expect the vape pen to be as potent a cue as the regular cigarette, but it was,” said Andrea King, PhD, director of UChicago’s clinical addictions research laboratory. Even subjects who had not smoked vape pens experienced an immediate, significant and lasting increase in the desire to smoke. King directed the study recently published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.
AT THE FOREFRONT
We’ve earned our 11th consecutive “A” rating for hospital safety from The Leapfrog Organization, an industry watchdog that tracks thousands of hospitals nationwide. In fact, we’ve earned an “A” every time since the semiannual ratings began in 2012. We’re the only major academic center in Illinois to receive Leapfrog’s 2016 Top Academic Hospitals Award, an elite distinction awarded to only 29 hospitals nationwide.
Imagine that! NEVER FEAR! SUPERPATIENT IS HERE!
The latest superhero on the block has a very special mission: raise awareness about inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and spread the word that ordinary people can do extraordinary things in spite of — or perhaps because of — their hidden identity with the disease. David Rubin, MD, chief of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition, teamed up with Marvel Comics to help create Samarium, alter ego of a mild-mannered scientist who happens to have IBD. The comic’s message is empowerment, Rubin explained. “For many patients diagnosed with a chronic disease when they’re young, the disease can inspire them. They decide that, because of this condition, ‘I’m going to do great things.’” You can read the first issue of “IBD Unmasked” and watch a behind-the-scenes video of its creation at IBDUnmasked.com.
READ MORE AT
KIDS BREATHE EASIER
Emergency rooms in communities with indoor smoking bans reported a 17 percent decrease in the number of children needing care for asthma attacks, according to a study led by pediatric allergy expert Christina Ciaccio, MD. “Children are in a unique situation in that they have very little control over their environment,” Ciaccio said. “This study shows that even those short exposures to secondhand smoke in public spaces like restaurants can have a significant impact on asthma exacerbations.” The researchers reviewed asthmarelated emergency department visits from 20 hospitals. Children’s ED visits fell 8 percent one year after an indoor smoking ban took effect, 13 percent after two years and 17 percent after three years. The study was published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
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LOSING THAT TINGLING FEELING
Pain medicine experts use spinal cord stimulators (SCS) to treat chronic back and leg pain, including pain that persists after back surgery. The surgically implanted device transmits an electrical current that interferes with nerve impulses, blocking the feeling of pain. But a common side effect — a tingling, or buzzing, sensation known as paresthesia — can be unpleasant. A new FDA-approved system, the Senza (Nevro) spinal cord stimulator, relieves pain without paresthesia. “While many of our patients fare very well with the conventional devices, now we can help even more patients with this new technology,” said Magdalena Anitescu, MD, PhD, section chief for pain medicine. One patient was referred to the UChicago Medicine Pain Clinic when two spine surgeries failed to relieve debilitating back pain. After implantation of the new SCS system, the patient reports feeling pain free, “recharged” and like her old self again.
more to love
Sana Khan with her husband, Junaid Fahmi, and their children, Aroush, left, and Anzer
Our Family Birth Center
Private suites and comfortable accommodations for parents and families are just some of the amenities you’ll find at our new Family Birth Center. Our midwives and physicians offer the full spectrum of natural and traditional childbirth options as well as comprehensive high-risk pregnancy care.
For someone with a hole in her heart, Sana Khan had a lot of love to give. A large portion is heaped on her two children, Aroush and Anzer. Translated from Arabic, both names mean “angel from heaven.” And in many ways, both children seem like miracles. After losing her first child, Maaz, to a rare genetic disease just 52 days after delivery in 2005, Khan was hesitant to try and conceive again. But almost four years ago, she and her husband, Junaid, welcomed daughter Aroush. Last year, she became pregnant again. A regular visit with her primary care provider revealed the young mother had a heart murmur, which later tests would show was due to a hole in her heart called an atrial septal defect, or ASD, complicated by pulmonary hypertension. Initially, Khan was told she had about a 50-50 chance of surviving after the delivery. Sana and Junaid sought a second opinion at the University of Chicago Medicine and were referred to Sarosh Rana, MD, an expert in high-risk obstetrics. “Congenital heart diseases in pregnancy are rare,” said Rana. “You need a multidisciplinary team to bring a variety of expertise to the table and achieve the best possible outcomes for the mother and the baby.”
Khan underwent multiple procedures, including a cardiac catheterization, an ultrasound and an MRI of her heart to confirm the diagnosis. After carefully reviewing the case with the cardiac imaging, pulmonary hypertension and interventional cardiology teams, Rana determined that Khan could have a safe pregnancy and delivery.
Learn more, schedule a tour and register for prenatal classes: birthcenter.uchospitals.edu
Rana and the team monitored Khan closely throughout her pregnancy, managing her medications and fluid volume and developing a plan for her recovery in the coronary care unit. The delivery team would include experts in obstetrical anesthesia as well as neonatal specialists from the Margaret M. and George A. Stephen Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Comer Children’s Hospital. “I think Sana had a very good outcome because she was very involved in her own care,” Rana said. “She trusted the whole team. She also has a very supportive husband. They have a beautiful family dynamic.” On August 8, 2016, Rana performed a cesarean section and Anzer, a healthy baby boy, was born. Sana, Junaid and their care team were overjoyed. “I love these doctors, and I love this hospital,” Khan said. In March, Khan had robotic cardiac surgery at UChicago Medicine to repair the hole in her heart. Three days later, she was back home with her family.
Where to find our specialists in gynecology, obstetrics, high-risk pregnancy and infertility: SOUTH LOOP STREETERVILLE ORLAND PARK HYDE PARK CAMPUS NEW LENOX SCHERERVILLE, IND. Make an appointment
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WE’RE EXPANDING! Bringing our primary care physicians and specialists closer to you and your family
PRIMARY CARE See a physician at our neighborhood primary care practices in Bridgeport, Englewood and Flossmoor; outpatient clinics in Orland Park and South Loop; 150 E. Huron in Streeterville, and Ingalls Family Care Centers in the South suburbs.
We’re here because we’re passionate about working in the community. When I meet a new patient, I like to get to know them and listen to what really matters to them, because that will become an important part of my care. My goal is to understand their values so I can give Learn more | A B O V E | Family medicine physician Cindy
Iglesias, MD, cares for patients at the University of Chicago Medicine Care Network Physicians at St. Bernard on Chicago’s South Side.
them everything they need to make decisions about their own health. Cindy Iglesias, MD
CANCER CARE Find cancer care services on our Hyde Park campus, at our Comprehensive Cancer Centers at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox and Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, in our new Center for Advanced Care at Orland Park, and at Ingalls, our new health care partner.
Call us at
1-855-702-8222 for a cancer second opinion
| L E F T | The oncology team at the Center for Advanced Care at Orland Park includes
Andrew Howard, MD, left, Ardaman Shergill, MD, and Murtuza Rampurwala, MD, MPH.
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AND WE’RE MAKING IT EASY Our new South Loop and Orland Park clinics offer » Extended and weekend hours » Easy parking » Same-day appointments » Self-check in kiosks “Care to the Chair” brings many services, such as blood draws and vaccinations, directly to you in the exam room.
SPECIALTY CARE Visit one of our specialists at our new Centers for Advanced Care in Orland Park and the South Loop and at locations from Streeterville to Schererville.
Patients get to see their doctors much closer to home, and we are able to do more diagnostic and therapeutic procedures at the new clinics. If we need something more, we can still do that on the main campus. Having grown up in Orland Park, and now living in the Loop, I can’t emphasize enough the personal satisfaction and gratitude I feel to be able to return to, and give back to, the community.
Learn more uchospitals.edu/ south-loop uchospitals.edu/ orland-park
We’re all over the map! Turn the page.
Ankur Shah, MD
| L E F T | Cardiologist Ankur Shah, MD,
at our new Center for Advanced Care at Orland Park. He also sees patients in the South Loop.
KIDS’ CARE Bring your child to see one of our pediatricians or pediatric specialists at Comer Children’s Hospital in Hyde Park, Comer Children’s at Little Company of Mary Hospital, Comer Children’s at EdwardElmhurst Healthcare and other locations.
| R I G H T | Pediatric dermatologist Adena Rosenblatt, MD, PhD, left, sees young patients
on our Hyde Park campus and at Comer Children’s at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park. Here, she examines a baby with Comer Children’s colleague Sarah Stein, MD.
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Ed McDonald, MD
HEALTHY WEIGHT LOSS Patients who come to see Ed McDonald, MD, for weight-loss help are 15, 20, 30-plus pounds overweight. Diets have failed and they’re frustrated. They may be heavy enough to get winded climbing stairs, but they are too light to be considered for obesity surgery. McDonald knows their pain and hunger pangs. The gastroenterologist packed on 40 pounds during his medical residency. He wasn’t getting enough sleep, and found himself eating unhealthy foods during his long hospital shifts. To complicate matters, he was sampling entrees while taking culinary classes at Kendall College. McDonald switched to a plant-based diet, lost the weight and gained a fresh perspective on cooking and counseling patients. Weight management is not a one-size-fits-all deal, he says. The key is to understand patients’ emotions, behavior and lifestyle and give them practical tools to empower change. “I tell people, ‘The world is your gym.’ Even if you are watching TV, you don’t have to sit
Lifestyle modification is the foundation of any good treatment program. ED MCDONALD, MD
there. You can get up and clean the house during commercials. At the end of the day, every little bit matters.” At the Center for the Endoscopic Treatment of Obesity, McDonald teams up with Christopher Chapman, MD, to offer custom, comprehensive weight management services at the University of Chicago Medicine in Hyde Park and at the new Center for Advanced Care at South Loop. Chapman is director of bariatric and metabolic endoscopy. The interdisciplinary care team assesses each patient’s health, contributing weight factors, food intake, activity rate and behavioral patterns. The team provides guidance on dietary and lifestyle changes, and where applicable, the use of nutritional supplements or pharmacotherapy. Both physicians perform reversible, endoscopic procedures to motivate patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 27 to 30 to jumpstart their weight loss and mobility. McDonald, 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds, is happy to share recipes and ways to steam, sauté and grill vegetables.
The self-described “flexitarian” admits he can’t pass up a good brisket. He also grills an occasional steak for his wife and his children request his roast chicken tacos. Still, plant-based soups, entrées and sides — seasoned just right — are the stars of his menu. They are as delicious as they are filling. “As for food, it is a friend,” he said. “Know good food, and food good for you.”
Where to find us for weight loss services Center for Endoscopic Treatment of Obesity
The Chicago Weight Program
Center for the Surgical Treatment of Obesity
Nonsurgical therapies to facilitate weight loss
Minimally invasive surgical options for severe obesity
SOUTH L LOOP
Personalized weight management plans for adults
HYDE PARK CAMPUS
HYDE PARK CAMPUS
Christopher Chapm Chapman, MD
150 E. HURON CLINIC
Ed McDonald, MD
Silvana Pannain, MD
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HYDE PARK CAMPUS John Alverdy, MD Mustafa Hussain, MD Vivek Prachand, MD
Christopher Chapman, MD
The Center for the Endoscopic Treatment of Obesity offers reversible, nonsurgical procedures to enhance or facilitate weight loss. INTRAGASTRIC BALLOON A saline-filled, silicone balloon is temporarily placed in the stomach for six to eight months to promote healthy weight loss. The grapefruit-sized balloon helps patients adapt to smaller portion sizes.
ENDOSCOPIC SLEEVE GASTROPLASTY Also known as an endoscopic stomach sleeve, this procedure is done through the mouth without requiring an incision. The physician uses a suturing device to reduce the size of the stomach to much less than its original capacity.
ASPIRATION THERAPY Aspiration therapy is a new, FDA-approved weight loss solution that reduces calories absorbed by the body. A small tube is placed in the stomach that allows the patient to aspirate (or evacuate) up to 30 percent of a meal after eating, preventing those calories from being absorbed into the body.
Dr. Ed McDonald’s Kind of Blue Smoothie ½ cup blueberries (fresh, frozen, or a combination) 1 peeled clementine 2 medium sized strawberries (whole) 2-3 dried apricots 1 handful/cup loosely packed arugula (or baby spinach) ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons grated ginger 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 cup water Combine ingredients in a blender and blend for 30-60 seconds until all ingredients are liquefied. Add additional water if the mixture is too thick. Variation: Add a serving of a plant-based protein powder for additional calories. I often throw in grated ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and/or freshly squeezed lemon juice for an extra flavor boost. Serves 1
I always use a variety of fruits, but blueberries are one of my favorites for their antioxidant properties. One recent study demonstrated that consuming at least half a cup of blueberries led to detectable changes in bloodstream antioxidant levels. ED MCDONALD, MD
Approximate values per serving: Calories 128, Total Fat 0.7g, Sodium 25mg, Potassium 257mg, Total Carbohydrate 32g, Dietary Fiber 8.3g, Sugar 14.8g, Vitamin A 35%, Vitamin C 65%, Calcium 10%
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Rachael Elliott was getting ready to spread her wings. We didn’t let cancer ground her.
The 18-year-old from Leaf River, Ill., was attending community college with plans to transfer to a four-year college and become a teacher. But while working as a cashier at Blain’s Farm and Fleet store during the 2012 Christmas season, Elliott passed out. She started feeling more and more tired, but blamed it on holiday stress and studying for finals. A few days later, Elliott — who almost never stayed home ill — looked at her mother and said, “I don’t feel well enough to go to school.” After nearly fainting at an immediate care center, she was brought by ambulance to Swedish American Hospital in Rockford, Ill.
Flashes of Hope photo by Tony Mitchell
The diagnosis was acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a blood cancer that is highly curable in children and young adults. Elliott recalls the moment as “upsetting, but also encouraging, because I got reassurance right away.” Hematologist/oncologist Harvey Einhorn, MD, referred her to the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital, which treats a large number of patients with childhood leukemias, “to give you the best chance of a cure.”
Comer Children’s also has an Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology Program tailored to patients Rachael’s age. “Teens and young adults have different needs than children and older adults who have cancer,” said Elliott’s physician, Jennifer McNeer, MD, MS, a member of the AYA care team. “Rachael’s life was just taking off. We didn’t want her putting it completely on hold during treatment.”
Rachael’s attitude during treatment was amazing, always upbeat and positive. JENNIFER MCNEER, MD, MS
Comer Children’s is more than a two-hour drive from Leaf River. So McNeer asked Einhorn to take care of some of Elliott’s infusion sessions in his Rockford clinic. She could attend school when she felt up to it. After the first four weeks of chemotherapy, the leukemia went into remission — a
| L E F T | Rachael Elliott was photographed while undergoing treatment for cancer by
Flashes of Hope photographer, Tony Mitchell. The volunteer organization connects professional photographers with children fighting cancer to help “change how kids with cancer see themselves.”
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good predictor of a positive outcome. Even so, the side effects of treatment led to several hospitalizations at Comer Children’s, including 10 days in the intensive care unit. “It was tough,” Elliott said, “but also amazing to see how strong my body was.” She decided not to work or attend school for 12 months, calling it her “gap year, a little late.” Elliott went back to school, earning her associates degree in May 2015 — the same month she finished treatment. She transferred to Grace College in Warsaw, Ind., and will graduate this year. She wants to teach English in middle or high school.
WE NOW PROVIDE CANCER CARE SERVICES CLOSER TO YOU The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital
Comer Children’s at Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare NAPERVILLE Pediatric cancer
The University of Chicago Medicine Health Specialists
The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Little Company of Mary Hospital
Ingalls FLOSSMOOR, TINLEY PARK AND HARVEY
The University of Chicago Medicine Center for Advanced Care at O RLAND PARK
Today, Elliott, 23, closes her emails and text messages with a distinct signature: “With brave wings she flies.” It comes from a poem she found on Pinterest, a website she spent many hours visiting while undergoing treatment. With brave wings She flies Over the cliffs of wonder, Into the abyss of surprise. She doesn’t know what’s coming next, And I think that’s for the best, Her courage and her heart Will get her through the rest. “The words really spoke to me back then,” she said. “I had a sense that I could do this.”
| A B O V E | Robert Aucone was the first infusion patient when the Center for
Advanced Care at Orland Park opened in December. He watched ESPN on a flatscreen TV in his private treatment room, and joked about not missing the traffic on I-94. His nurses are Eileen Ford, BSN, RN, left, and Kristin Oriente, BSN, RN.
Ask the Expert JENNIFER MCNEER, MD, MS
Jennifer McNeer, MD, MS, is a pediatric cancer specialist at Comer Children’s Hospital and a member of the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology care team. She sees patients at the UChicago Medicine Hyde Park campus, Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox and EdwardElmhurst Healthcare in Naperville. WHY A SPECIAL PROGRAM?
Teens and young adults facing a cancer diagnosis have different medical, emotional and psychosocial needs than younger children and older adults. We dedicate a large care team to AYA patients, which
includes adult and pediatric hematologist/ oncologists, advanced practice nurses, social workers and child life specialists. Additional services come from experts in survivorship, psychology, fertility and genetics.
adults with ALL. This research changed cancer treatment for AYA patients across the U.S.
WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT CANCER
TREATMENT FOR THIS AGE GROUP?
A landmark 2008 study by UChicago Medicine researchers found that survival rates of young adults, ages 16 to 20, with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) were significantly higher with a pediatric treatment regimen, which is more intensive than the course of chemotherapy used for
HOW ELSE DOES THE AYA PROGRAM SUPPORT YOUNG PEOPLE WITH
We help them to keep moving forward in life while undergoing treatment. We also assist patients and their families in navigating the health care system and in taking an active role in their care. Most young cancer survivors require lifelong monitoring. So it’s important for them to be involved from the beginning.
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Ask the Expert S E LW Y N O . RO G E R S J R . , M D , M P H
Selwyn O. Rogers Jr., MD, MPH
Founding director, University of Chicago Medicine Trauma Center
Selwyn O. Rogers Jr., MD, MPH, is leading the University of Chicago Medicine’s development of the South Side’s only adult Level 1 Trauma Center. A trauma surgeon and public health expert, he is building a multidisciplinary team of specialists to provide high-quality, personalized care for patients who suffer life-threatening injuries. WHAT TYPES OF PATIENTS WILL BE TREATED IN THE TRAUMA CENTER?
We will care for patients who suffer from traumatic injuries, ranging from a 21-year-old gunshot victim to a 51-year-old severely injured in a car crash to a 91-year-old with a brain injury from a fall. Patients will be brought to us by ambulance from surrounding communities and by helicopter from as far away as northwest Indiana.
Our new and expanded emergency department, which will provide adult trauma services, is scheduled to open in early 2018.
of violence heal. And, we will work to maintain trust in the community and continue to advocate for and resource the health needs of the South Side.
HOW ELSE WILL THE NEW TRAUMA CENTER CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMMUNITY AND THE CITY OF CHICAGO?
The trauma center is part of an integrated approach to solving the issue of violence in our communities. UChicago Medicine is bringing our experience to bear to provide access to quality care, engage with the community and use a holistic approach to solving complex problems.
annual increase in demand for adult ED care at UChicago Medicine
patients treated a year by 2021
The University of Chicago Medicine contributed $373 million in fiscal 2015 to address the pressing health needs of South Side residents and provide other assistance to the community.
WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY FOR TRAUMA CARE SERVICES?
First of all, we will treat each and every patient with high-quality care and compassion, as if he or she were a family member. The trauma center will provide patients the same access and level of care for which UChicago Medicine is already well-known. However, our work will not stop in the emergency room or on the operating table. We will also take an active role in prevention, intervention, and helping victims
A N N UA L
R E P O R T
COMMUNITY BENEFIT 2015 2016
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Read more about the many programs and services we provide in our 2015-2016 Community Benefit Report.
GIVING Honoring their mother’s legacy by helping families of children with cancer
Lynn Bennett embraced Mother Teresa’s quote: “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” The mother of seven routinely demonstrated a love for others by volunteering countless hours of her time, even after she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer. Although Bennett lost her battle to the disease in 2009, her legacy of giving lives on through her children. To honor their mother, the family established the Bennett Family Pediatric Brain Tumor Fund to benefit the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital. Over nine years, the Bennett sisters hosted an annual Irish Fest and Soda Bread Contest around St. Patrick’s Day, raising close to $100,000. “A lot of good people attended the event because they realized it benefits those who need help,” said William Bennett, Lynn’s widower.
They taught us at a young age that when you can, you give back and that there’s always someone fighting a bigger battle than you. KAREN PECK, DAUGHTER OF LYNN AND WILLIAM BENNETT
In addition to raising funds at the fest, the sisters also used the Comer Children’s Hope and Healing Network to generate donations. The online network allows people to set up fundraising pages to raise gifts for causes dear to their hearts. Money raised from the Irish Fest has aided families who need extra support as they navigate the many challenges associated with caring for a child with cancer. Among the areas targeted
| A B O V E | William Bennett with his daughters, Julie Trafton,
left, Teresa Capua and Karen Peck, at the University of Chicago Medicine Center for Advanced Care at Orland Park.
include parking and travel assistance and help with food during hospital stays. “We never left our mom alone when she was in the hospital,” said daughter Karen Peck. “The month before she passed, my parking bill was $600. I could afford the $600, but I know not everyone can. That was the driving force for the fund: to focus on immediate needs and things not covered by insurance.” During Bennett’s treatment, her daughters said she was always concerned for children fighting their own cancer battles. “She felt bad for kids who were dealing with cancer diagnoses and enduring pain,” Peck said. “When she would go in for an MRI, she would say ‘I’m praying for the kids who are going through this.’” Added daughter Julie Trafton, “She was always about kids and her grandkids, and she knew that’s where she wanted to focus her time.” Thinking about what their mother would say about their efforts for pediatric cancer patients, daughter Teresa Capua noted that she would just smile. “She would also say, do more and don’t make it about me. She was very humble.” To learn more about creating a Hope and Healing Network fundraising page, visit hopeandhealingnetwork.uchicago.edu.
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Published on May 2, 2017
Imagine magazine is published three times a year by the University of Chicago Medicine. The publication is designed to keep consumers update...