Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Statement from the Illinois Department of Public Health and Chicago Ebola Resource Network PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Melaney Arnold   
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 09:52
CHICAGO – The following is a joint statement from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and members of the Chicago Ebola Resource Network: the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the University of Chicago Medical Center, regarding Ebola testing in Illinois.
IDPH preliminary test results for the patient at the University of Chicago Medical Center were negative for Ebola, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed these results.  The patient has been discharged from the University of Chicago Medical Center.
The patient tested was a child who vomited one time while on a flight originating from Liberia and traveling to Chicago O’Hare International Airport.  The child was immediately taken to Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago for a full medical evaluation. After consulting with the University of Chicago Medical Center and Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, public health officials determined it was in the best interest of the patient to be transferred to the University of Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital.
After consultation involving the University of Chicago Medical Center, CDPH, IDPH and CDC, testing was done to rule out Ebola.
IDPH received approval earlier this week from the CDC to perform testing for Ebola.  All testing must first be approved by IDPH, and then CDC.  A second sample is sent to CDC to confirm state lab results.
The statewide Ebola Task Force, announced Wednesday by Governor Pat Quinn, the Chicago Ebola Resource Network, hospitals and local health departments across Illinois will continue to work together to quickly identify a person who could potentially be at risk of Ebola, and take quick action in order to protect the health and safety of all Illinois residents. The Chicago Ebola Resource Network is a coalition of CDPH and four leading Chicago-area hospitals formed as part of a coordinated effort to prepare for and respond to possible diagnoses of Ebola within Chicago.
For questions, call the Ebola informational hotline at 1-800-889-3931.

Governor Quinn Announces Ebola Task Force PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Dave Blanchette   
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 09:04

Group of Healthcare Experts to Advise State on Ebola Response Efforts

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today announced a task force that will help ensure the public health system across Illinois is prepared for the Ebola virus. The task force was established through Executive Order with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and includes members representing health care, local public health, emergency responders, the Illinois State Board of Health, state agencies and others to further strengthen our ability to respond to Ebola. Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to protect the health of the people of Illinois.

“We have learned that the best way to address the Ebola virus is to educate ourselves and know the facts,” Governor Quinn said. “I have directed IDPH to assemble a task force of experts that can lead a coordinated effort to ensure everyone in Illinois receives timely and accurate information regarding any potential threat. While we have no confirmed cases, the state will take every safeguard to protect first responders, health care workers and the people of Illinois.”

Two travelers – an adult and child who are not related – who arrived at Chicago’s O’Hare airport yesterday are under medical evaluation following newly-established safety protocols at Chicago area hospitals and airports. The adult patient has shown no signs or symptoms of Ebola virus disease and is no longer in isolation but will continue to be monitored by hospital officials.

Though improvements have been seen, the child patient – as a result of dehydration and as an extra step of precaution – will be tested for the Ebola virus. The patient maintains a normal temperature and shows no symptoms other than one reported case of vomiting and dehydration. The IDPH laboratory will conduct the preliminary testing while another specimen is sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for confirmatory testing.

These measures, along with steps the state and city of Chicago are taking, will help ensure the public health department is prepared in case of Ebola affecting anyone in Illinois. Last week IDPH launched an informational hotline where residents can call 1-800-889-3931 with questions or concerns regarding the Ebola virus. IDPH will continue to provide all updated CDC guidance through SIREN (State of Illinois Rapid Electronic Notification) to appropriate audiences (infection control professionals, infectious disease physicians, laboratories, local health departments, health care providers, health care facilities, EMS systems).

The advisory task force will help ensure a coordinated effort to communicate with the public and in reporting any situation that involves testing for Ebola. The task force will facilitate communication and information sharing, assist in designating treatment centers and assess our readiness and response as needed.

IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck and Deputy Governor Cristal Thomas will co-chair the task force whose members include:

Trish Anen
Vice President, Clinical Services, MCHC

Bechara Choucair, M.D.
Commissioner, Chicago Department of Public Health

Beth Fiorini
President, Illinois Association of Public Health Administrators (IAPHA)

John Flaherty, M.D.          
Professor in Medicine-Infectious Diseases, Northwestern University

Kiran Joshi, M.D., MPH
Senior Medical Officer, Cook County Department of Public Health

Richard M.  Novak, M.D.        
Division Chief, Infectious Diseases, University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System

Javette C. Orgain, M.D., MPH        
Chair, State Board of Health (SBOH)

Pat Schou, FACHE
Executive Director, Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network (ICAHN)

Susan Y. Swart, MS, RN, CAE
Executive Director, ANA-Illinois & Illinois Nurses Foundation

Alexander Tomich, DNP, RN, CIC          
Director, Infection Prevention and Control, Rush University Medical Center

Michael Wahl, M.D.                          
Director/Medical Director, Illinois Poison Center/MCHC

Stephen Weber, M.D.     
Chief Medical Officer, Infectious Disease, The University of Chicago Medicine

Maryjane A. Wurth
President & Chief Executive Officer, Illinois Hospital Association

“Protecting the public from illness and disease is a core public health function and we work continuously with our partners to be prepared to handle any threat to the public,” IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck said. “By establishing this task force we can bring key partners to the table to provide input and help us to ensure residents and hospitals across the state are informed and prepared to address Ebola.”

The state is prepared to search for possible cases, implement infection control measures, support medical facilities, perform contact tracing and conduct laboratory testing. IDPH will continue to work with the CDC, local health departments, hospitals and medical facilities.

Preparedness steps IDPH has taken to prepare for a suspect or confirmed Ebola case in Illinois:

·         Provided guidance to medical providers on identifying, evaluating and testing patients.

·         Tested established public health systems to ensure contact tracing is readily available.

·         Created with information for IDPH health care partners.

·         Established an Ebola informational hotline: 1-800-889-3931.

·         Completed a CDC online assessment of our emergency preparedness and response activities related to Ebola.

·         Convened conference calls with health departments and hospitals across Illinois.

For the most up to date information visit:


Physician Offers Sun Safety Tips for Wintertime PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Thursday, 23 October 2014 13:19
3 Tips for Preventing, Minimizing and Repairing Damage
from Exposure

Don’t pack away the sunblock with your swimsuit and other summer accessories. Winter’s sun is just as dangerous as summer’s, says Adam J. Scheiner, M.D.,, an eyelid and facial cosmetic surgeon who’s been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, The Howard Stern Show and The Doctors.

“The snow reflects the glare of the sun – and the damaging UV rays,” he says. “People who like skiing and snowboarding in the mountains are getting 4 to 5 percent more UV damage for every 1,000 feet they ascend above sea level.”

And then there are all those holiday cruises and escapes to warm-weather climates where beaches are packed year-round.

“It’s not OK to lie baking in the sun for hours, even if it’s just one week out of the winter,” Dr. Scheiner says.

No matter how comfortable or cool the temperature feels, don’t be fooled!

“Earlier this year, the surgeon general predicted 9,000 people will die from melanoma this year. That’s preventable,” Dr. Scheiner says.

“If skin cancer doesn’t scare you, think with your vanity. Sun exposure is the No. 1 cause of wrinkles, discoloration, age spots and festoons, among other disfiguring problems.”

Dr. Scheiner shares tips for preventing, minimizing and repairing sun damage:

•  Prevention: You’re not just exposed when you’re skiing, hiking, or taking a beach vacation.

“Anytime you go outside, you’re exposing yourself to damaging UVB and UVA rays, and the result is cumulative. A little bit here and a little there adds up,” Scheiner says.

Simply driving a car can result in serious sun damage. A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found more skin cancers on the left side of patients’ faces – the side exposed while driving – then the right. Scheiner says he’s seen truckers and others who spend years on the road with severe wrinkling on the left side of the face.

“Always wear sunscreen, which protects against UVA and UVB rays. I recommend a Broad Spectrum Sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30, preferably higher,” he says. “You can also protect yourself from UVA rays, which cause deeper damage, by applying UV-protective film to your car windows. Also, wear clothes with a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) rating of at least 30.”

•  Minimizing: Good nutrition and topical products can help minimize signs of damage, such as wrinkles and age spots, Dr. Scheiner says.

Eat foods rich in antioxidants -- carrots and other yellow and orange fruits and vegetables; spinach and other green leafy vegetables; tomatoes; blueberries; peas and beans; fatty fish, and nuts. An American Society for Clinical Nutrition study found that women ages 40 to 75 who consumed more vitamin C, an antioxidant, had fewer wrinkles.

Use exfoliate creams to remove dead skin cells. Prescription creams including Avita, Avage, Renova and Retin-A have been shown to reduce wrinkles and age spots caused by sun exposure.

•  Repairing: Lasers can resurface facial skin by stripping away the outermost layers. Some “non-ablative” lasers also stimulate collagen formation, which helps smooth wrinkles.

“I use RESET® Laser Skin Resurfacing, which reverses the damage and removes many pre-cancers and even active skin cancers,” Scheiner says. “RESET uses an advanced Dual Pulsed Erbium Laser, and my proprietary healing protocol. “

The RESET® treatment Dr. Scheiner has vaporizes the old skin and causes the collagen in the underlying layers to tighten.

The No. 1 best thing you can do for your skin starting today is to start making application of a broad spectrum, UVB/UVA sunscreen part of your daily routine.

“Apply it to all areas of the skin that can be directly exposed to the sun,” he says. “The best scenario is preventing sun damage in the first place.”

About Dr. Adam J. Scheiner

Adam J. Scheiner, M.D. is world-renowned in laser eyelid and facial plastic surgery for his groundbreaking treatment for Festoons. The Tampa-based oculoplastic surgeon wrote the medical text on the condition and shared his treatment  for Festoons on Dr. Oz and The Doctors TV shows. Dr. Scheiner is author of the new book, The True Definition of Beauty.

Notable Amount of Epipen Usage in Schools PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Lainey Tick   
Thursday, 23 October 2014 08:08

I'm reaching out to follow up about an important Illinois issue that has just recently gained a lot of attention:  Epinephrine and the new laws in Illinois allowing for better usage in schools. Northwestern University just released a report claiming that during the 2012-2013 school year, 38 Chicago Public School students and staff were given emergency medication for potentially life threatening allergic reactions. This finding is detailed in the report here.

Medical practitioners across the state are urging more school officials to become trained administrators in order to prevent safety risks associated with allergies. As proven in this report, the need for training is definitely there and as food allergies continue to rise, the people dealing with children must be prepared.

Following national and local legislation, CPS was the first large, urban school district in the nation to develop and implement an initiative to supply all public and charter schools in Chicago with epinephrine auto-injectors — medical devices used to treat acute allergic reactions.

The fear of anaphylaxis is something Lurie Children’s Hospital Advanced Practice Nurse, Christine Szychlinski, knows very well. Szychlinski is the manager of the Food Allergy program within Lurie’s Department of Allergy and Immunology, where she has practiced for 35 years. She also does a lot of outreach in the schools. If you’re interested in speaking with Szychlinski about this important issue, please let me know and I would be happy to arrange a time for you to connect.

A new Illinois law is giving kids a shot at a healthy school year. It’s an epinephrine shot, providing treatment for those at risk of anaphylactic emergencies. Illinois schools are required to have epinephrine available for emergency use and state legislators have taken this requirement a step further in providing timely care for those at risk.

Governor Quinn recently signed into law additional legislation to strengthen the existing epinephrine-in-schools law, now allowing not only school nurses but any trained school employee or volunteer to administer an epinephrine auto-injector to someone believed to be experiencing anaphylaxis from a severe allergic reaction.

Food allergies are on the rise. Currently an estimated one in 13 children in the U.S. is living with a food allergy. Kids with known food allergies avoid their allergens and typically carry epinephrine auto-injectors with them wherever they go in case of accidental exposure. According to national food allergy guidelines, epinephrine is the treatment that should be given first when a person is experiencing anaphylaxis.

Fast facts:

·        According to the CDC, the incidence of food allergy increased 18% from 1997-2007

·        Anaphylaxis is an unpredictable, life-threatening allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death

·        Everyone at risk for anaphylaxis should have an anaphylaxis action plan that include: (1) Avoiding known allergens; (2) Recognizing signs and symptoms; (3) Having immediate access to two epinephrine auto-injectors; and (4) Seeking immediate emergency medical care should anaphylaxis occur

Having access to epinephrine on school grounds is critical, because reports show that among children with peanut allergies who have experienced anaphylaxis at school, 25% had not previously been diagnosed with a food allergy.

The fear of anaphylaxis is something Lurie Children’s Hospital Advanced Practice Nurse, Christine Szychlinski, knows very well. Szychlinski is the manager of the Food Allergy program within Lurie’s Department of Allergy and Immunology, where she has practiced for 35 years. She also does a lot of outreach in the schools. This legislation is critical to her patients and their families which is why she is pleased that Illinois lawmakers have taken steps to provide additional access to epinephrine auto injectors in the school setting.

I hope you might have an interest in talking with Christine, and running a story that will prompt more schools to take advantage of this important legislation, and get more people aware of the signs of anaphylaxis.

Why are the Holidays So Hazardous to Our Health? PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Thursday, 23 October 2014 08:06
Physician Shares Tips for Giving Your Body What It Needs
to Fight Illness

It’s a sad statistical fact: The holidays, from Christmas to New Year’s, are a treacherous time when it comes to our health.

“There’s a spike in heart attacks and other cardiac issues,” says Dr. John Young, a physician specializing in the treatment of chronic illnesses through biochemical, physiological and nutraceutical technologies, and the author of “Beyond Treatment: Discover how to build a cellular foundation to achieve optimal health,”

“The incidence of pneumonia cases spikes – in both cold and warm climates. And deaths from natural causes spike. In fact, more people die of natural causes on Christmas Day than any other day of the year!”

While those numbers are well-documented, the cause(s) are not.

“Stress plays a role, particularly if your immune system is weakened,” Dr. Young says. “If you look at how most of us eat from Halloween through New Year’s, it’s easy to see how the immune system takes a beating and otherwise healthy people become more susceptible to illness during the holidays.”

It’s basic biochemistry, he says.

“We eat a lot more refined sugar, for instance, which is a carbohydrate that’s been stripped of all the vitamins, minerals and proteins that make up a complete carbohydrate,” he says. “Our bodies can’t use that, so the cells in our digestive organs work overtime, burning up a lot of energy, vitamins and minerals to digest it, and they get nothing back. So, eventually, they grow weak.”

So – can we have a little sugar, and good health, too? Dr. Young says we can.

“The occasional slice of pumpkin pie is fine as long as you’re also feeding your cells with the nutrients they need – the minerals, vitamins, good quality protein, amino acids, essential fatty acids – to stay healthy.”
He offers these tips for staying healthy through the holidays and throughout the year.

•  Get your vitamin D!
Vitamin D is actually a hormone, not a vitamin, and one of our best sources for it is sunshine. Unfortunately, many people work indoors all day, so they get little sun exposure. When they do go outside, they wear long sleeves and sunblock to protect against skin cancer. And, of course, in the wintertime, people in cold climes tend to stay inside. As a result, many of us are vitamin D deficient, and should be taking supplements.

“Vitamin D is crucial to many physiological systems, including our immune defenses,” Dr. Young says. “It helps fight bacterial and viral infections, including the flu. It supports our cardiovascular system; optimal vitamin D levels can reduce hypertension, heart attacks and stroke.

“If I feel I’m coming down with a cold, I’ll take 40,000 units of vitamin D at bedtime,” he says. “The next morning, I usually feel like a new person.”

•  Eat your protein – 1 gram for every 2.2 pounds of body weight daily.
In this country, we think a healthy diet means eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. We’ve forgotten protein, Dr. Young says.

“Our immune system is made up of proteins – our bones are 40 percent protein,” he says. “We need protein.”

When calculating your protein intake, consider: an egg has about 8 grams, and 8 ounces of fish, chicken, beef or pork have about 30 grams.

Dr. Young does not give any of his patients more than 100 grams of protein a day.

•  Get a good night’s sleep, exercise, and manage your stress.
Yup, some doctors’ orders never change. Rest, exercise and finding effective, healthy ways to cope with stress are simple ways to pamper your cells.

“One of the many cellular benefits of exercise is that it increases the oxygen in our bloodstream. Every cell in our body requires oxygen, so consider exercise another means of feeding your cells.”

It’s also important to manage stress during the holidays. With unchecked stress, our body releases large amounts of cortisol which, among other things, suppresses the immune system.

“Take time out to meditate, listen to music, or take a walk in the woods,” Dr. Young says. “It feels good – and it’s good for you!”

About John Young, M.D.

Dr. John Young, (, is a medical doctor with more than 15 years’ experience working in emergency rooms and pediatric burn units. He’s the medical director of Young Foundational Health Center, specializing in treating patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes by addressing the physiological issues and not just the symptoms. He's also medical director of Young Health Products, which incorporate the latest biochemical, physiological and Nobel Prize-winning protocols for optimal cellular nutrition. Dr. Young is the author of “Beyond Treatment.” He takes questions via a call-in conference call every Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time. Call (760) 569-7676, access code 772967.

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