Hospital, boutique offer lymphedema advice Sept. 23

VALPARAISO | A program titled, “Prevention and Management of Lymphedema,” offered by the Breast Care Center of Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point, will be hosted by Isabella Boutique by Gil Drugs at 1 p.m. Sept. 23.
Participants will learn how:
* Lymphedema can occur at any time following lymph node dissection.
* Simple lifestyle changes can help prevent onset of lymphedema.
* Lymphedema can be controlled through self-management techniques.
The program will be presented by Lorraine Skolak, PTA, CLT, a nationally certified lymphedema therapist; and Joan Filipowski, Franciscan St. Anthony Health patient nurse navigator.
Seating is limited; registration is required. Call (219) 757-6368.
Isabella Boutique by Gil Drugs is located at 58 Lincolnway.

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Walkers show heart to benefit worthy cause


Nearly 60 Franciscan Alliance participants were among hundreds who strided for a good cause in the annual American Heart Association Lake County Heart Walk fundraiser at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Crown Point Sept. 13. Shown, from left, are James Kotz, of Munster, shown walking with his wife, Dawn Radich-Kotz, manager of Patient Support Services at Franciscan Healthcare-Munster; Courtnee Cruz, a Munster High School senior and volunteer at the hospital; and Nicole Mirowski and Matt Ryan, both Munster High School seniors.

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Let’s Get Ready for Some Football!

Submitted by Kelly Devine Rickert, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN, Registered Dietitian/Health Coach, Franciscan WELLCARE

Football season is upon us once again, and that means tailgating, concession stands, and football game get-togethers. Most often, these activities come with high calorie, high fat foods and beverages that can sabotage healthy diets. But football season doesn’t have to sabotage your efforts to lose or maintain your weight! Check out these snack and entrée ideas for your next tailgate!


  • Instead of regular ol’ chips-n-dip, bring a tray of pretzels, pita chips or cut up veggies and pair with either hummus, low cal dressings made with Greek yogurt or salsa.
  • Substitute the brats and hot dogs for chicken sausage, chicken or beef kabobs or turkey burgers.
  • Chili is a favorite when it comes to the fall and football season.

Some tips to lighten up your chili:

  • Use the leanest cut of beef or substitute for lean ground turkey
  • Use 2% shredded cheese
  • Limit the sour cream

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili


  • 1 cup of quinoa, rinsed
  • One (1) 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (you could use crushed)
  • One (1) 14 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • Two (2) 16 oz cans of black beans, rinsed, drained
  • One (1) 15 oz can of corn, drained
  • 3 Cups chicken stock
  • 2 large chicken breasts, frozen or thawed (cook longer if frozen)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2% cheese (optional)
  • Fat free or light sour cream (optional)
  • Avocados (optional)

1.) Toss everything into slow cooker and cook for 6-8 hours on low or 4-7 hours on high.
2.) Remove chicken and shred it with two forks. Return to slow cooker.
3.) Top with cheese (2%), sour cream (fat free or light), avocados

Posted in Franciscan Healthcare - Munster, Franciscan St. Anthony Health - Crown Point, Franciscan St. Anthony Health - Michigan City, Franciscan St. Margaret Health | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Franciscan Alliance, St. John Evangelist School offering Family Health Fair

ST.JOHN | Franciscan Alliance and St. John Evangelist School are partnering to offer a Family Health Fair from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 20 at the school, 9400 Wicker Ave. (U.S.41).
Screenings for balance assessment, blood pressure, bone density, glucose, oxygen saturation and vision will be offered, as will an assortment of health and related information.
Kathryn Stengel, a nurse practitioner, will be on hand to answer questions. Flu shots will be available from Vyto’s Pharmacy.
There will be entertainment for children, along with refreshments giveaways and prizes. For more information, call (219) 365-5678.

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Halloween Tricks and Treats!

“Halloween doesn’t have to be a nutrition nightmare!” says Registered Dietitian and Illinois Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Media spokesperson and Franciscan WELLCARE Health Coach , Kelly Devine Rickert, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN.  “Although both adults and kids have access to what seems like a never ending array of sugary goodies, there are some tricks to keeping it healthy this time of year.”


Check out Kelly’s tips or both kids and adults:

  1. As the parent, don’t buy candy that you know you’ll eat. If chocolate is your downfall, stock your candy bowl full of chocolate free treats to hand out.  You will have less temptation to dip into the candy stash.
  2. Feed your child a healthy meal prior to trick or treating. They may find they are actually too full to gorge on candy all night.
  3. After the kids get home from trick or treating, allow them to eat a few of their favorite treats from their bag, but after that limit to 1-2 fun size snacks per day.
  4. Keep the leftover Halloween candy in a cabinet where it can’t be seen every time anyone walks by. Out of sight out of mind!
  5. Hand out healthier treats, like individual bags of whole grain crackers, packs of sugar-free gum, or cereal bars made with real fruit. Or you can even forgo the food all together and choose stickers, pencils and fun erasers to hand out instead.
  6. Keep in mind that fun size candy options all contain a similar amount of calories, fat and sugar. It’s all about moderation and balance.
  7. If you know you indulge more around Halloween time, make sure you are eating healthy during the other times. If you want to have a few treats the week of Halloween, just assure you are eating healthy and staying active throughout the rest of the week.
  8. Keep active! On Halloween, walk with your children from house to house while they trick or treat.  The activity is great for both you and your child.

For more information on healthy eating or to locate a Registered Dietitian in your area, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at

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Furry friends bring happiness to hospitalized children


Children’s stays at Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Dyer are likely to be more comforting and less apprehensive, thanks to a recently delivery of Buddy Bears by Gustavo Galante, MD (foreground-right), a member of B’nai B’rith America Unit 901in Northwest Indiana, sponsor of the program.

Dr. Galante, who has been involved with the effort for about two years, called it a “nice way of giving back and meeting community needs.”

Fundraising efforts through local businesses and community members supply the $10 cost of each stuffed animal, which then are distributed to hospitals, shelters for abused women and their dependents and other organizations.

“The bears help bring comfort and solace to the children and their families,” Dr. Galante added.

Young patients Anthony Chism of Hammond (left) and Austin Davis of Lynwood cuddle their new friends. Also shown (from left) are Suzanne Davidson, RN, hospital director of medical-surgery and women and children’s health; Mary Linaris, RN, unit manager of medical-surgery and pediatrics; Sherese Enright, RN, medical-surgery; Janet Opinker, RN, medical-surgery; Deanna Nowakowski, RN-medical surgery; and Marla Hoyer-Lareau, RN, hospital chief nursing officer and vice president of patient services.

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Next Franciscan Senior Promise meeting Sept. 11

HAMMOND | The public is invited to attend the Sept. 11 meeting of the Franciscan Alliance Senior Promise group.
The topic will be basic life-saving skills-CPR, how to assist someone who is choking and how to use an automatic external defibrillator.
The meeting will take place at 10 a.m. at Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Hammond, 5454 Hohman Ave. Attendees should check at the information desk in the front lobby to learn the meeting room location.
Franciscan Senior Promise, a program of Franciscan St. Margaret Health, is a club that offers people aged 55 and older information on health issues and advice on lifestyles choices, along with the opportunity to socialize and make new acquaintances.
Meetings take place monthly, with game days, movie and popcorn days, defensive driving courses, a yearly flu shot clinic and daytime and overnight trips among scheduled activities.
For more information or to become a member, call (800) 931-3322.

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