<![CDATA[Blog - Northwestern Medicine - Home]]>Mon, 23 Nov 2015 14:11:17 -0600EditMySite<![CDATA[Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern Medicine hosts Grand Rounds by Dr. Andrew Weil, integrative medicine pioneer]]>Mon, 23 Nov 2015 20:01:57 GMThttp://blog.nm.org/home/grand-rounds-by-integrative-medicine-pioneer-given-for-osher-center-for-integrative-medicine-at-northwestern-medicineBy Kara Spak
Andrew Weil, MD, known as the father of the integrative medicine movement, recently gave Grand Rounds for the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern Medicine on the meaning and role of integrative medicine. 
      Weil was in Chicago for “Integrative Medicine and the Future of Health Care,” a benefit dinner for the Osher Center held Nov. 4, 2015.
            “I think Northwestern is clearly going to be one of the leaders in this movement,” Weil told several hundred physicians, nurses and staff at Grand Rounds, also held Nov. 4. At Grand Rounds, Weil outlined what integrative medicine is, and how it differs from titles that often are used to describe it — complementary medicine and alternative medicine. 
​Integrative medicine doesn’t aim to take the place of traditional medicine, he said, but rather be home to a “a real synthesis of the best ideas and practices” of all healthy modalities. According to Weil, integrative medicine also seeks to:
  • Emphasize the “intrinsic healing power of the human organism.”
“When I sit with patients I always ask ‘Why is healing not happening here?’”
  • View patients as “more than just physical beings.”
“There are other dimensions of human life that have to be taken into account,” including mental, spiritual and emotional health.
  • Emphasize the patient-practitioner relationship.
“Throughout history that relationship has been regarded as special, if not sacred,” he said. “In integrative medicine, there has to be an adequate amount of time” to develop this relationship.
“This is a movement that really has traction, is quite robust,” he said. “It has garnered great ground, especially in forward-thinking academic medical institutions like this one.”
The Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern Medicine offers a variety of integrative services in Chicago and the north suburbs, serving as a nexus for integrative medicine clinical care, research and education programs throughout Northwestern University, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and clinical partners including Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Northwestern Medical Group.  
For more information or to make an appointment, visit ocim.nm.org or call (312) 926-DOCS. 
<![CDATA[NICU Family Support specialist talks about World Prematurity Day, life in the Prentice Women's Hospital NICU]]>Mon, 16 Nov 2015 21:52:26 GMThttp://blog.nm.org/home/nicu-family-support-specialist-talks-about-world-prematurity-day-life-in-the-nicuBy Kara Spak PictureJessica Bowen, MSW, LCSW, works with NICU families full-time as the NICU Family Support Specialist at Prentice Women's Hospital.

November 17 is World Prematurity Day, a day to bring awareness to the number one killer of young children — preterm birth. Northwestern Medicine’s Prentice Women’s Hospital was the first hospital in Illinois and currently the only hospital in Illinois with a full-time March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program.

​Jessica Bowen, MSW, LCSW, works with NICU families full-time as the NICU Family Support Specialist at Prentice. She provided insight into her role, the experience of having a child in neonatal intensive care and what she hopes World Prematurity Day will accomplish. For more information about the March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program at Prentice, visit http://nicu.nm.org/nicu-family-supportreg-program.html.

1.Tell me about what you work on day-to-day. What is your typical day like?  I wear a lot of hats in the NICU, so every day, you’ll see me working alongside the NICU staff and parent volunteers on many different projects. I coordinate core curriculum classes like Kangaroo Care, Infant Nutrition, and Discharge/CPR and sometimes you’ll find me at the bedside teaching an Orientation to the NICU class.  I also facilitate weekly scrapbooking classes, monthly Donuts with Docs and family brunches or dinners.

You’ll find me passing out materials like our Parent Care Kits and Short Stay Kits and training graduate parent volunteers on how to come back to the NICU and provide comfort and support to our current NICU families with our Parent-to-Parent partnership.  I even do event planning for programs like our NICU Reunion, which had 500 attendees last March, or our Parking for Preemies fundraiser last June, which raised over $12,000 to help pay for parking and transportation for NICU families.

​2. How did you get interested in working in the NICU?  I had the opportunity in graduate school to work in the NICU during my second-year internship. I had never been in a NICU before and was unfamiliar with the global problem of premature birth, but I immediately connected with serving the needs of this special population. I always knew that I wanted to work to support children and families and this experience moved me to learn and become passionate about infant development and later, infant mental health. Working with families and witnessing their NICU journey is inspiring and motivating. I feel honored to be a part of it. 
3. What do you like about your job?  This job is my dream job.  From the moment I saw the posting to this day, I feel like the job description was made specifically for me.  Working for both Northwestern Medicine and March of Dimes, I feel like I get the best of both worlds.  I have the opportunity to work in organizations that have a large impact on maternal and child health, which provides me a platform to advocate for NICU families. As the only social worker in the Programs department at March of Dimes Illinois Chapter, I bring a direct services perspective to the table as their NICU Family Support Specialist. 

While I largely spend my time in the Prentice NICU, I’m also part of March of Dimes’ state and national programs initiatives.  Meanwhile, in my direct service role in the NICU, I am in contact with some the most vulnerable families, providing them with supportive programming and education.  I get to use my creativity and passion to provide classes and events, connect with Northwestern graduate family volunteers and NICU staff and support the mission of March of Dimes. 

4. No one wants to be in the NICU with your baby, but if they are, what is the one thing you hope they will leave the experience with? My hope for each family who experiences the NICU is that they get to create a relationship with their baby.  This is true for families who are here for 24 hours, families that are here for weeks and months and also families who experience an infant loss.  Each moment counts.  Each day I am reminded how committed and connected Northwestern Medicine NICU staff is to these families and babies.  They give their heart and soul to each patient in hopes of having the family leave the NICU feeling like they uniquely know their infant and are ready and prepared to take care of their little one at home.  My hope is that as families reflect on their NICU experience, they will remember the love and support they received from the people around them. 

​5. What's the one thing you want people to know on World Prematurity Day?  Prematurity is a global issue that deserves everyone’s attention.  It is the leading cause of death for children under the age of 5 worldwide.  In the United States, one in ten babies is born too soon. Furthermore, the rate of premature birth among black mothers in Chicago is the highest among racial and ethnic groups across the city. In Chicago, 10.4 percent of babies are born prematurely, yet 13.9 percent of babies born to black mothers are born too soon.  In working to find the causes of preterm birth, Chicago is home to one of the five March of Dimes Prematurity Research Centers. The Chicago Prematurity Research Center is a collaboration between the University of Chicago, Northwestern and Duke.
When you support March of Dimes, you support research, programming and direct services for families impacted by premature birth.
PictureJessica Bowen organizes and participates in NICU family events, like the 2015 Sibling Halloween Parade.

<![CDATA[What the New Mammogram Guidelines Mean for You]]>Tue, 27 Oct 2015 14:20:56 GMThttp://blog.nm.org/home/what-the-new-mammogram-guidelines-mean-for-youPicture
By Sheila Galloro

This week, the American Cancer Society released new guidelines for breast cancer screening. Among the changes, the new recommendations say women with an average breast cancer risk should begin having yearly mammograms at age 45, and may change to having mammograms every other year beginning at age 55.

Tara M. Breslin, MD, clinical director of the breast care program at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, weighs in on what these new guidelines mean for women.

What is your recommendation for mammography and why?
A. Women should review these guidelines with their primary care provider to determine how the guidelines may or may not affect their individual screening program. These guidelines only address women with an average risk for breast cancer – not those who are high risk due to certain medical conditions or have a family history. I see this as an opportunity for women to discuss their breast cancer risk and screening schedule with their doctors by using the most updated information.

What about the frequency of self-exams?
A. It’s important for women to be aware of their bodies and monitor themselves for changes.  If you notice a change in your breast, you should bring it to the attention of your doctor. 

What about breast density? What is the value of mammography for women with dense breasts? A. Mammography continues to be the best screening tool we have for early detection of breast cancer and does detect cancer in women with dense breasts.  Dense breasts are very common and women with dense breasts may benefit from using advanced mammographic screening techniques such as tomosynthesis, which is more commonly known as 3D mammography. 

The new guidelines are meant for women at average risk of breast cancer. What about women with a family history or women who carry a gene that predisposes them to breast cancer?
A. Remember, the goal of a breast cancer screening program is to detect abnormalities in populations of women without symptoms. Patients with symptoms, pre-existing problems identified on mammography and those women with high risk fall into a different group, and these guidelines do not necessarily apply to them.  Determining the optimal screening modality and schedule requires an ongoing discussion between a woman and her doctor. 

Click here for more information on women’s health at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital.