Northwest Indiana health briefs - January 20, 2017

Courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana • January 20, 2017

By Times Staff

Dogs and owners celebrate a year of pleasing patients

Living a philosophy of “man’s best friend also can be a healer,” Franciscan Health Crown Point celebrated the first anniversary of its pet therapy program in December, with a gathering in the hospital’s Marian Education Center that was attended by most of the team members and their canines. The program has brought relief and pleasure to hundreds of patients and their families throughout the hospital since its inception, thanks to the two-year effort of coordinator Julie Canady, an administrative assistant in the Franciscan Health Marketing Department. Seven dogs initially joined the effort, with a total of 25 projected by January.

For more information on the program, call Canady at 219-613-6640 or 219-661-3299.

Cancer trial in Chicagoland

Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center is the first hospital in the Chicagoland area to open the Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry Study — the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s first-ever clinical trial. The study launched earlier this year and will evaluate molecularly targeted cancer drugs and collect data on clinical outcomes to learn about additional uses of these drugs outside of indications already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Eligible participants include those who have an advanced solid tumor, multiple myeloma, or B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and are no longer benefitting from standard anti-cancer treatments or for whom no acceptable standard treatment is available. Patients enrolled in the study will have access to experimental targeted cancer drugs at no cost.

The TAPUR Study is registered on, which includes a full list of inclusion/exclusion criteria and other information. Patients can learn more about TAPUR at CTCA by contacting the Clinical Trials team at or by calling an oncology information specialist at 888-841-9129.

Methodist offers smoking classes

Methodist Hospitals is offering smoking cessation classes to members of the community. Classes are seven 90-minute to two-hour sessions over a seven-week period for $60 per person. The program is based on the American Lung Association’s “Freedom from Smoking” program.

Not all smoking cessation programs are effective for every smoker. This program helps individuals develop the approach that works for them. Valuable instructions are offered to develop skills in assertive communication, coping, self-monitoring, stress management and weight management.

Classes will be offered on Mondays beginning February 20 through April 3 from 5-7 p.m. at the Northlake Campus in Gary, Classroom A, 600 Grant St. in Gary. To enroll call 888-909-3627 or visit Payments may be made at Methodist Hospitals Cashiers Offices at both Northlake and Southlake Campuses. Cashier hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cash or credit cards are accepted. Classes are limited.

Medical-surgical add-on enhances patient care

A new medical-surgical observation unit is open on the third floor of Franciscan Health Crown Point.

The unit, an expansion of the existing medical-surgical program, is a 22-bed facility with telemetry capabilities that will improve the efficiencies of patient bed placement through critical care units of the hospital during times of high census.

“This addition allows us to deliver high-quality, safe and efficient care to our patients, especially during times of high demand,” said Dr. Daniel McCormick, hospital vice president of medical affairs.

Dyer pediatric nurse awarded

International pediatric nurse expert Scott DeBoer, of Dyer, has been named a winner in three awards this year for his newest teaching tool, “Peds Pearls: Tear-Out Tips, Tricks, & Treasures from the Trenches.”

In, October, DeBoer won an EMS World Innovation Award which recognizes the emergency medical services most innovative products of the year. In November, the Journal of Emergency Medical Services named DeBoer as one of the 10 innovators who had driven EMS practice forward in the past year. Finally, DeBoer took second place in the 2016 American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Awards in the child health division.

“Peds Pearls: Tear-Out Tips, Tricks, and Treasures from the Trenches” contains 52 pull out posters of pediatric wisdom that nurses and medics can read quickly and put into practice immediately. Written with the contributions of other medical experts, Peds Pearls allows medical professionals to learn about a new pediatric topic every week by simply posting the pearls in places education really gets done: bathrooms, break rooms, or bulletin boards.

Heartland offers new treatment services

Heartland Recovery Center in Lowell demonstrates has started offering a new evening intensive outpatient program and outpatient services. Evening services begin immediately with no wait list and include free consultations.

Offering evening addiction treatment services meets a significant need for individuals, employers and families in the community. The new programs give clients the opportunity to continue living at home and remain at work in the community while attending treatment.

Please call 219-690-7025 for more information or visit

Best care for chest pain is right here

Franciscan Health Crown Point recently received three-year Chest Pain Center with Percutaneous Coronary Intervention reaccreditation from the national Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care.

Franciscan Health Michigan City and Franciscan Health Dyer also are accredited. Accredited hospitals have achieved a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who arrive with heart attack symptoms. Such hospitals undergo a rigorous, onsite evaluation by review specialists, which assures demonstrate expertise in numerous areas.

For more information, call (219) 769-8690 or visit