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Breast Cancer Luncheon Includes Survivor Salute

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Survivors and friends attend the 2013 Breast Cancer Luncheon.

CRYSTAL CITY, Mo.  – The annual Breast Cancer Awareness Tea Party luncheon returns to Mercy Hospital Jefferson from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 10, in the conference center.

Advanced reservations are required by Oct. 6 for the program, which includes lunch, a guest speaker, take-home materials, along with a tribute and gift for survivors. The online registration form is available at http://bit.ly/BCATea2014.

Partygoers who register for the luncheon and purchase a 2014 T-shirt receive a $5 discount on their shirt and can pick them up at the luncheon from 11 to 11:30 a.m.

The 2014 Breast Cancer Awareness T-shirts are only available through on-line orders. The order form can be found at http://bit.ly/BCAtshirt2014. Long-sleeved T-shirts are $15, and short-sleeved shirts are $12.

T-shirts orders are due by Oct. 1 and will be available for pick-up in the Marketing Department at the hospital on Oct. 7. The shirts are light pink with "Every Ribbon Makes A Difference" art on the center front.

The annual tea party registration fee is $10. For more information call 636-933-8073.

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It’s A BOY! Mercy Birthing Center Welcomes First Baby on Labor Day

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Susan and Sean Ray were the first couple
to welcome a baby in the new Mercy Birthing Center.
Photo courtesy of Amy Meyerott Photography.

ST. LOUIS - While many were celebrating Labor Day with parades, swimming and barbeque, Mercy Hospital St. Louis was celebrating the opening of its new Mercy Birthing Center and its first baby. Susan and Sean Ray of St. Louis welcomed their first baby Theodore “Theo” James on Monday, Sept. 1. The area’s first in-hospital, low-risk birthing center run by certified nurse midwives at Mercy Hospital St. Louis officially opened on Labor Day. 

Susan said she knew she wanted a natural birth. She started a prenatal yoga class and learned about the Mercy Birthing Center from the intructor and doula Christa Stauder.

"When Christa told me about it, I was excited but afraid I wouldn't make it since my due date was on the opening day," Susan said. "I think I willed my body to wait."

Diana Buckwalter, certified nurse midwife and Mercy Birthing Center program director, along with the couple’s doula Christa Stauder were on hand to provide support for Susan throughout the labor and help welcome the baby.

"The experience was terrific. Thought it was more work than I expected, especially the pushing part," Susan recalled. 

Movement is important during labor and even the pushing phase, explained Buckwalter. "Because this was Susan's first baby and because he was a big boy [8 lbs. 10 oz.], he needed to be in the right position."

She explained how midwives help babies spin into the birth canal by moving mom into different positions while pushing - from side to side, squats and more. "There's a lot of motion and movement. Susan was the perfect patient and had the patience throughout her labor to push for three and a half hours before the baby was born."

"The turns and movement were hard, but with each one I could feel the progress and knew I was getting closer," Susan said.

Buckwalter credited Susan, "It was an extremely succesful birth because we worked together."

As for the new space, Susan said the tub was great for labor and after the baby arrived the water feature on the wall was very relaxing. "It was the perfect amount of light and the hum was very calming."

The new space has four birthing suites resembling a home bedroom with queen-size beds, showers and large tubs for labor. There’s a central living room area for family members, a kitchen, a space for childbirth classes and a separate clinical area where patients visit the midwife each month during pregnancy for prenatal visits.

For women planning to welcome their baby at the Mercy Birthing Center, care throughout pregnancy is provided by certified nurse midwives, who are masters-prepared advanced practice nurses certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives. In addition to prenatal appointments with certified nurse midwives, there are childbirth classes offered to learn more about the process as well as nutrition and fitness classes.

Most mothers and babies will go home with their families four to 12 hours after birth and return for follow-up care a couple days later. For more information about the Mercy Birthing Center, please click here.

 

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New, Minimally Invasive Treatment Option for Women with Uterine Fibroids

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Illustration of the Acessa probe 
treating a fibroid tumor.

ST. LOUIS – By age 50, nearly 80 percent of US women have uterine fibroids, common benign tumors or muscle growths in the wall of the uterus. According to the Centers for Disease Control, fibroids are the leading cause for hysterectomy procedures worldwide.

Doctors at Mercy Hospital St. Louis can now offer women with fibroids a new, minimally-invasive outpatient treatment option for all fibroids within the uterine wall. Mercy was the fourth hospital in the US and the first in the Midwest to offer this procedure.

Approved by the FDA in Nov. 2012 for women ages 35-50 who are finished bearing children, the AcessaTM procedure uses a technology called radiofrequency ablation destroying fibroids by applying energy through a small needle. It leaves the surrounding tissue unaffected allowing the destroyed tissue to be completely reabsorbed.

Dr. David Levine, OB/GYN with Mercy Clinic Minimally Invasive Gynecology, participated in the clinical trial for Acessa, performed the first cases at Mercy and is now training physicians across the country on the new procedure.

Fibroid symptoms can range widely from no symptoms to heavier than normal menstrual flow and bloating to severe uterine bleeding and pelvic pain, cramping, constipation, nausea and a need to urinate without being able.

"This is the fibroid treatment patients and physicians have been waiting for," Dr. Levine said. “It will change the way women think about fibroid removal since they often live with symptoms rather than have major surgery.”

In traditional fibroid surgery, layers of healthy tissue are cut through to gain access to the tumor or to remove the uterus entirely. This can lead to complications, significant pain and long recovery times. Acessa treats just the fibroids, preserving the normal function of the uterus. Patients typically go home the same day with little pain and are back to regular activities in five days or less.

Mercy Hospital St. Louis, part of Mercy’s east Missouri region, is a 979-bed comprehensive teaching hospital. The 80-acre site houses a nine-level heart and vascular hospital, a cancer center; a comprehensive children's hospital; a surgery center; and a 120-bed skilled nursing center.

Mercy is the sixth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 31 hospitals, 300 outpatient facilities, 39,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. In Mercy’s east Missouri region, services include a 979-bed hospital in St. Louis, 187-bed hospital in Washington, 251-bed hospital in Crystal City and Mercy Clinic, a 570-member multispecialty physician organization.

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Nine Nurses Nominated for March of Dimes Awards

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One of nine Mercy Hospital Jefferson nurses
to be nominated for a March of Dimes' 2013
 Nurse of the Year award, Elena May Plaza
holds newborn Makena Lynns Stanley of Festus.    

CRYSTAL CITY, Mo. – Mercy Hospital Jefferson is proud to announce that nine nurses have been nominated to receive a 2013 March of Dimes Nurse of the Year award. Nominees represent excellence in approximately 20 award categories. Winners will be announced at a special awards gala on Nov. 9 at the Chase Park Plaza in St. Louis.

 

Mercy Hospital Jefferson nurses who were nominated for the award this year include Randy Bohnert, Debbie Custodio, Angela DeLeal, Brenda Johnston, Tara Messer, Elena May Plaza, Shirley Tucker, Claudia Winebarger and JoAnne Wolo.

 

March of Dimes honors nurses who exemplify an extraordinary level of patient care, compassion and customer service. Whether serving as health care provider, educator, researcher, volunteer or adviser, nurses play a critical role in advancing the mission of March of Dimes.

 

We are extremely proud of all our nurses at Mercy Jefferson," said Sheila Julien, chief nursing officer. "These nominees represent the many diverse roles held by caregivers at the hospital, and they exemplify our entire staff for providing compassionate care to our patients every day."

 

Exceptional nurses employed in the state of Missouri and the Illinois counties of Jersey, Madison, St. Clair, Clinton, Monroe, and Randolph are eligible for the March of Dimes awards.

 

A selection committee comprised of health care professionals will determine the winners by screening the nomination forms in a blinded review process. Dr. Jan DeMasters, President of the St. Louis Campus of Chamberlain College of Nursing, is chairing the Nurse of the Year committee.

 

The mission of March of Dimes is to improve the health of all babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The Nurse of the Year initiative supports this mission while recognizing exceptional nurses throughout the state, celebrating the profession, and creating awareness of the strides made in this growing field. 

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Special Delivery for Expectant Parents in St. Louis

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Slideshow of new Labor & Birth Suites, 
Family Waiting area and Maternity Welcome Center.

ST. LOUIS – Expectant parents in the St. Louis area choose Mercy Hospital St. Louis more than any other hospital when it comes to welcoming their babies into the world. After months of listening to what moms want in a birthing experience, Mercy opened its new Maternity Welcome Center and Labor and Birth Suites on Jan. 28.

The new space totals 75,000 square feet on three floors. The Maternity Welcome Center, with four interview and 12 exam rooms, is located immediately inside the main lobby entrance providing easy access for moms to check in or be evaluated for labor. Two floors housing 31 new Labor and Birth Suites are conveniently located down the hall from the post-partum rooms where moms will spend the remainder of their stay bonding with baby. For moms needing a c-section, six surgical suites along with 11 private pre-op and recovery rooms are also included in the new space.

Through focus groups and social media, moms expressed their preferences for a high-tech and high-touch birth place and Mercy responded in many ways. The design concepts are centered around moms and families offering more space for comfort while at the same time allowing caregivers space to work.

“We are humbled that so many families choose Mercy to welcome their special arrivals,” said Heather Thompson, executive director of women’s services at Mercy Hospital St. Louis. “So we wanted to make sure to ask them for input when we were planning the new space. It has been great to hear their preferences.”

Not only are the spacious suites pleasing to the eye and comfortable for families, they also offer the latest technology for monitoring moms and babies during labor. The fetal monitoring system will allow women to be out of bed while still keeping track of baby’s heart rate during labor. They also have the option of using a multi-head, massaging shower or whirlpool tub to ease labor pains. Other accommodations include a birthing ball in each room, smaller waiting areas closer to birthing rooms, flat-screen TVs with built in DVD players, connection for MP3 players and comfortable sleeping options for birthing partners.                                  

Beyond the physical changes in the new space, Mercy has taken steps to focus on supporting each mom physically, emotionally and spiritually during her labor. All labor and birth nurses were trained by Lamaze International in labor support skills that provide hands-on support for women giving birth. This includes the importance of movement and position changes, massage, hydrotherapy, music therapy and aromatherapy. In addition, as a growing number of women are seeking a low-intervention or natural childbirth, Mercy is prepared to support a woman for whatever she seeks during her birth experience with customizable Mercy Birth Plans.

“Some women want an epidural placed early in labor and others may want a more natural, un-medicated birth,” Thompson said. “With Mercy’s new birth plan women can let us know their wishes from the start.”

Mercy is the sixth largest Catholic health care system in the United States and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 31 hospitals, nearly 300 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,700 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. In the east Missouri region, Mercy’s services include a 979-bed hospital in St. Louis, 187-bed hospital in Washington, and Mercy Clinic, a 550-member multispecialty physician organization. 

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A New Year, A New You!

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Attendees will be able to get professional weight management advice.

Mercy Women's Services will present a free health forum called “Weight Management: Know Your Choices” from 6-8 p.m., Tuesday Jan. 15, 2013, in the auditorium inside Hammons Heart Institute at 1235 E. Cherokee in Springfield.

Attendees can get motivated to start the new year out being informed with Mercy's weight management team of experts. Adam Pruett, registered dietitian, will share the history of diets, as well as nutritional facts about some popular diets. Kimberly Jacobs, exercise physiologist, will present lifestyle changes that can be made in order to have success in the new year. Christopher Edwards, MD, will share the latest information about bariatric surgery.

The public is invited to bring friends, enjoy the fellowship, and ask questions. No registration is required for this free event. For more information, please call 888-8888 or 1-800-909-8326. Convenient parking will be available north, south and east of the building.

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Be Dazzled at Spirit Girls' Night Out

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Mercy Fort Scott’s Spirit of Women Initiative is hosting the fifth annual Spirit Girls’ Night Out on Monday, November 5 at Fort Cinema at 224 S. 18th St. in Fort Scott. This year’s event, titled “Be Dazzling,” is sure to bring a sparkle to a cool November evening with the girlfriends.

The event is specifically designed to offer women valuable health-related information about nutrition, exercise and maintaining a healthy weight to ward off long-term health problems. In addition to education, women can enjoy free health screenings, chick flicks, dark chocolate, refreshments and the chance to win valuable door prizes.

Although the primary goal of Spirit Girls’ Night Out is to educate women about their health risks, it is the action steps that follow that are the real reward. “These events allow for women to come together in a trusted healthcare environment for information presented in an empowering format,” said Tanya Abreu, President and National Program Director, Spirit of Women Hospital Network. “When you combine this with fun and friendship, women have the power to activate change: change that can positively impact the lives of these women and the lives of their families.”

Health education, health screenings, and fun will be woven throughout the evening to emphasize the importance of awareness of all of the health issues affecting women today. Besides these important educational segments, the night will also include the showing of chick flicks.

Admission is free but tickets are required. Spirit Girls Night Out tickets are available at the Mercy Hospital Registration Desk, the Mercy Medical Plaza at 902 S. Horton, and the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce. Each ticket will be entered in a drawing for door prizes.

Women may choose from one of three movies offered this year:

The Help (PG 13), an Academy Award winning drama about an aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s who decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis

Joyful Noise (PG 13), a comedy/musical starring Dolly Pardon and Queen Latifah about a gospel singing troupe with a newly appointed director heading into a national competition

Temple Grandin (PG), a Golden Globe winning true story of Temple Grandin, an autistic woman who has become one of the top scientists and highly recognized specialists in the humane livestock handling industry

Doors open at 6 p.m. for screenings and movies start at 7 p.m.

Spirit Girls’ Night Out is organized and hosted by Mercy Hospital, a member of the Spirit of Women Hospital Network. For more information, call Mercy’s Spirit of Women Coordinator at 620-223-8094.

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Mercy's Commitment to St. Charles County

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Mercy Zumbehl Road facility

ST. LOUIS - Mercy made a commitment to residents of St. Charles County to provide more convenient access to its services. The largest symbol to date of that commitment, Mercy Zumbehl Road, opened Sept. 17, at 1820 Zumbehl Rd. The facility includes offices for family and internal medicine, cardiology and cardiac diagnostic services, OB/GYN, imaging and laboratory services.

This new location also marks a first within Mercy serving as a prototype for new facilities in the area and across Mercy’s four states. Elements such as a covered canopy area for drop off and pick up, an open gallery-style waiting area for check in and a central kiosk with access to MyMercy, wider corridors and larger exam rooms were incorporated to make the experience with Mercy as easy and comfortable as possible.

“We are listening to our patients, visitors and co-workers and using what we hear to plan,” said Don Kalicak, regional vice president of development at Mercy. “In the coming months, more Mercy locations are scheduled to open in response to requests for Mercy services closer to home.”

In addition to more locations for pediatricians, primary care and specialty physicians, Mercy’s expansion in St. Charles County will include extended hours in many Mercy Clinic practices. The planning of these Mercy facilities continues with the help of input from community members through community roundtables held in St. Charles, Warren and Lincoln counties.

Mercy’s goal is to enhance health care in St. Charles, Warren and Lincoln counties and to bring services closer to patients and co-workers who live in the area. Approximately 2,200 Mercy co-workers live in the three counties, with some 50 Mercy Clinic physicians currently practicing in nine locations. Mercy also has two urgent care facilities, an imaging center, rehabilitation services, an endoscopy center and a maternal and fetal health center in the region.

Mercy Clinic practices located at 1820 Zumbehl Rd., include:

Mercy Clinic Family Medicine Zumbehl, Ste. 130A

Mercy Clinic Family Medicine Zumbehl, Ste. 130B

Mercy Clinic Internal Medicine Zumbehl, Ste. 120A

Mercy Clinic Heart and Vascular Zumbehl, Ste. 120

Mercy Clinic Women’s Health Zumbehl, Ste. 120

Mercy Clinic is a physician-governed group of more than 1,700 medical providers across Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and, Oklahoma. With access to Mercy’s facilities, electronic health records, telemedicine and each other, Mercy Clinic providers can give their patients the best care available, regardless of the patient’s location. Patients of Mercy Clinic providers can connect to their own health records and health teams anywhere they connect to the Internet. For more information, visit mymercy.net

Mercy is the sixth largest Catholic health care system in the United States and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 31 hospitals, nearly 300 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,700 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. In the east Missouri region, Mercy’s services include a 979-bed hospital in St. Louis, 187-bed hospital in Washington, and Mercy Clinic, a 460-member multispecialty physician organization. 

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Mercy Now Offers 3D Mammography

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Dr. Deborah Wadsworth talks about the benefits of 3D mammography.

ST. LOUIS - Two Mercy Breast Center locations in the St. Louis area now offer the latest technology in screening and diagnostic mammography -  3D tomosynthesis mammography.

A 3D tomosynthesis mammogram offers earlier detection of the smallest tumors, thanks to the increased number of views available to the radiologist. It’s available to anyone who requests it, but is especially beneficial for those with dense breast tissue and a family history of breast cancer.

“Because of the multiple images, we’re better able to distinguish between dense breast tissue and a breast tumor,” said Dr. Deborah Wadsworth, breast radiologist and medical director of the Mercy Breast Center in Creve Coeur. “In addition, because there are fewer call backs with 3D mammography we can save patients from that anxiety.”

According to studies, the new technology finds 27 percent more cancers.

Mercy Breast Centers in Creve Coeur (621 S. New Ballas Rd.) and Ballwin (15945 Clayton Rd.) have the new technology. To schedule your annual mammogram, please call 314-251-6300 to make an appointment at either breast center. If you’d like to have 3-D mammography, please ask for it when scheduling.  

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Mercy “Digs” Breast Cancer Awareness

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During October, its common to see the color pink dominate athletic team apparel at high school, college and even professional sports venues across the country. Instead of donning traditional school colors, athletes and droves of fans are gearing up in pink to promote breast cancer awareness during “Dig Pink” nights.

Thousands of teams from around the US are participating in the Dig Pink National Breast Cancer Awareness Rally. High school and college volleyball teams will promote breast health education by wearing pink to symbolize their support to eradicate this disease.

According to the Kaiser State Health Facts, more than 40,000 women in the US will die of breast cancer this year. To demonstrate the prominence of the breast cancer, most teams will recognize breast cancer survivors at the event. 

“All of these women are proof that with courage, personal strength, and support from friends and family as well as knowledgeable medical providers, the battle can be won,” said Carol Bingesser, Fort Scott High School head volleyball coach.

“We are very proud to honor these women who are very near and dear to the hearts of our volleyball team.  We feel very passionate about supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month and promoting all women to take part in becoming more aware of the dangers of this disease,” Bingesser added.

Mercy Hospital donated Fight Like a Girl shirts to six area volleyball teams, coaches and managers as well the team’s special honorees.  Local teams participating the “Dig Pink” nights include: Fort Scott High School, Fort Scott Community College, Jayhawk-Linn High School, Northeast High School, Pleasanton High School and Uniontown High School.

Make sure you and the special women in your life have their annual mammogram.  To learn more about life-saving mammograms, contact Mercy Imaging Services at 620-223-7015.

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