Drivers license and state ID event at St. Bernard Hospital

ENGLEWOOD — For the second consecutive year the Secretary of State’s Office will dispatch its Mobile Driver Services unit to St. Bernard Hospital and Healthcare Center to make it easier for residents to receive state services.

The event runs from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. June 26 at the South Side hospital, 324 W. 64th St. Unlike last year when the event was held outside, Derek Michaels, a hospital spokesman, said this year it would be inside.

And since residents are allowed to update their licenses up to six months in advance, Michaels added it might start hosting the event twice a year.

Story continues on DNAinfo Chicago: Drivers License and ID Event in Englewood

Family Focus Director Honored with Humanitarian Service Award

By Wendell Hutson,

ENGLEWOOD — St. Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center honored a longtime community advocate Friday for her efforts to help children and families at its 17th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Service Award and Celebration.

Charles Holland, CEO and president of St. Bernard Hospital, said for the past 11 years Loretta Espeut, director of Family Focus, a social service organization in West Englewood, has helped needy families especially children with family support services and is a pillar in the community.

“She is an example of someone who cares about people and the community she serves and we want to recognize her for that,” Holland said.

But the 55-year-old grandmother attributed much of her success at helping Englewood families to her staff, who joined her at the ceremony.

“I accept this award on behalf of my agency. Without my staff I am nothing,” Espeut said after receiving the award. “All of us at Family Focus love kids and families. We are trying to do the type of work Dr. King did during his time and that’s helping everyone.”

Story continues on DNAinfo Chicago: St. Bernard Honors Family Focus Director

Christmas Tree-Lighting at Englewood Hospital

By Wendell Hutson on November 19, 2013,

ENGLEWOOD — St. Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center plans its first Christmas tree-lighting ceremony next month along with other free events for the community.

The Community Tree Lighting Celebration is from noon-1 p.m. Dec. 2 at the hospital’s main entrance, 326 W. 64th St. Hospital officials said they plan to make the event annual as a way to foster a stronger relationship with Englewood residents.

“This is a great way to give back to a community that has supported us for many years,” said Danny Rollins, vice president of ancillary and patient support services at St. Bernard. “There will be a countdown and everything just like it is done Downtown at the Daley Center tree lighting. We want to create that ‘wow’ effect once the lights are turned on.”

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St. Bernard donates more than $15,000 to Philippine relief efforts

St. Bernard Hospital, physicians and staff are donating over $15,000 to relief efforts in the Philippines. The devastating typhoon that hit the Philippines has left thousands of people homeless, injured, and without enough food and water. The donations will go to aid agencies working in the Philippines.

The hospital sponsored a raffle to spur donations and build awareness of the challenges faced by many Philippine families. Employees volunteered to manage prize tables and sold nearly 1,400 raffle tickets. Donors also gave generously providing more than $1,000 in addition to the raffle sales. All together employees raised $2,576 and change. The hospital matched the funds raised by employees to make the total $5,153. The funds have been earmarked for the Salvation Army, Catholic Relief Services and the American Red Cross.

In addition to the fundraiser and the hospital’s matching gift, the medical staff of St. Bernard made two kind donations. Providing a total of $10,000, they gave $5,000 to the American Red Cross, as well as $5,000 to Catholic Relief Services, specifically for relief efforts in the Philippines.

Charles Holland, president and chief executive officer of St. Bernard tasked his team with developing a fundraiser to support relief efforts — and the raffle proved more successful than anticipated. “We are very happy to be able to share with people in need,” said Mr. Holland. The hospital supplied raffle prizes to encourage participation. Many executives, physicians and staff members of all levels gave what they could. “St. Bernard’s mission is to serve the healing mission of Jesus Christ. That mission is not limited by neighborhood or national borders.” says Mr. Holland.

Anyone interested in making a donation to typhoon relief efforts can do so on the websites of the American Red Cross, UNICEF, Salvation Army or Catholic Relief Services.

Free Diabetes Testing Every Tuesday at South Side Wal-Mart

By Wendell Hutson, on July 23, 2013, reprinted by permission

WEST CHATHAM — Free diabetes testing is available every Tuesday at the West Chatham Wal-Mart, thanks to St. Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center.

The free testing runs until Labor Day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at The Clinic at Wal-Mart, 8331 S. Stewart Ave., according to Derek Michaels, a spokesman for St. Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center, 326 W. 64th St.

“Faced with an explosion of younger and younger people developing diabetes, with large numbers going undiagnosed, the clinic is appealing to the community to get tested and take action,” Michaels said.

Many of those going undiagnosed are teenagers and young adults, said Danny Rollins, a vice president with St. Bernard.

“Early diagnosis is important to stopping or controlling diabetes,” Rollins said. That’s why St. Bernard “decided to take action to address the numbers of undiagnosed diabetics we have in the African-American and Latino communities.”

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Free Diabetes Testing to Fight for South Siders’ Health

Chicago—To tackle the rampant incidence of diabetes in South Side communities, The Clinic at Walmart is offering free diabetes testing, every Tuesday from now thru Labor Day. Faced with an explosion of younger and younger people developing diabetes, with large numbers going undiagnosed, the Clinic is appealing to the community to get tested and take action. Diabetes can have enormous quality of life consequences for families; they face poor health with possible severe complications, as well as expensive life-long medical treatment.

Danny Rollins, a vice president at St. Bernard Hospital (which operates the Clinic at Walmart) decided that the St. Bernard team had to do something to build awareness and educate their neighbors. “We are seeing teens, young and mature adults come in feeling ill and discovering that they suffer from diabetes.” He said. “Early diagnosis is important to stopping or controlling diabetes.” According to the American Diabetes Association nearly 30% of Americans with diabetes are undiagnosed.

Operating on Chicago’s South Side within largely African American and Mexican American communities The Clinic at Walmart is at the heart of an area heavily affected by diabetes. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 12.6% of African Americans and 13.3% of Mexican Americans over the age of 20 are living with diabetes. While people with undiagnosed diabetes are estimated at 7 million nationwide, the prevalence of prediabetes is estimated to be close to 79 million people. “We have got to do everything we can to test and educate people who are prediabetic,” says Mr. Rollins. “We must alert people at risk so that they can make lifestyle changes now. To accomplish that goal we need people to get tested.”

Mr. Rollins, seeking ways to address this issue, decided to offer complete free diabetes testing once a week to gauge the response. St. Bernard is hopeful that they will garner support and get people to come out and get tested. “Knowledge is a powerful tool in managing your health. We have got to discover ways to reach our community—this is but a start.” says Mr. Rollins.

People interested in free diabetes’ test can walk in to the Clinic at Walmart, 8331 S. Stewart Ave., inside the Walmart Superstore, any Tuesday thru Labor Day. Appointments are not required.

St. Bernard Hospital has been serving the health care needs of Chicago’s South Side for nearly 110 years. The hospital sees thousands of area residents each year, providing services ranging from emergency medicine and obstetrics to mental health and dental services. In keeping with modern demands, St. Bernard is proud to provide state-of-the-art technological capabilities that greatly enhance the hospital’s high quality of care and promote patient safety. To expand services to the community, in 2012 St. Bernard opened The Clinic at Walmart. The Clinic offers easy access to affordable health care seven days a week.

The Clinic at Walmart
8331 S. Stewart
Chicago, IL 60620 
Inside the Walmart Superstore
(773) 420-1234 

St. Bernard Hospital holding blood drive

St. Bernard Hospital will host its annual community blood drive Friday July 19, 2013 from 11a.m. to 5p.m. at the hospital located at 326 West 64th Street in Chicago. The blood drive seeks to tackle a significant lack of donors from the South Side neighborhoods served by the hospital. Now in its 11th year, the blood drive is timely during summer months, when fewer donors give. College and high school students, who constitute 20% of the usual donor pool citywide, are on vacation in summer resulting in decreased donations. Additionally, greater summer travel and activities tend to lead to a greater number of accidents requiring blood transfusions. The blood goes into a general bank that is used by hospitals all over Chicago.

The hospital hopes to have as many people as possible come out to donate. At least 90% of the population will need blood at some time in their lives. The donated blood might be used for surgery, to treat a serious burn or to treat mom and baby after birth. African Americans are the largest number of suffers of sickle cell anemia, the treatment of this condition frequently requires blood transfusions. All of these conditions and procedures require blood supplies.

St. Bernard is seeking to educate neighbors about the safety and ease of donating blood, as well as the importance to the community. We have many families who have never been introduced to blood donation. We want them to know the needles used are always clean and that they cannot be infected by donating blood.

The hospital is asking all members of the community 17 years of age or older who think they are eligible to donate blood to please come out and give. It could easily be a family member, friend or neighbor who ends up receiving your blood to save their life. In order to maintain a vital supply of blood, as many people as possible must give.

Driver’s License Services Coming to St. Bernard Hospital

By Wendell Hutson, on May 7, 2013, reprinted by permission

ENGLEWOOD — Eric Hood has been without a valid state identification card for two years.

In June, the Englewood resident will have a chance to obtain a new one without leaving his South Side community.

On June 20 the Secretary of State’s Office will park its Mobile Driver Services Facility van in front of St. Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center, 326 West 64th St., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. so Hood and anyone else can renew or receive a driver’s license or state identification card.

“Now all I need is to come up with the money to get a state ID,” said Hood, 47. “I lost my driver’s license in 2000 for a DUI and have not been able to get to the Secretary of State’s office to get an ID.”

Derek Michaels, a spokesman for St. Bernard Hospital, said it partnered with the Secretary of State’s office to bring this service to Englewood to help both senior citizens and residents like Hood.

Read the rest of the story at Chicago:

St. Bernard’s Dental Clinic gives children their smile

Reprinted by permission of
By Ellen Garrison, StreetWise Editorial Intern

At St. Bernard’s Children’s Dental Clinic, Dr. Vipul Singhal takes pride in offering high-quality dental care at affordable prices.

Without the proper instruction early in life, children will not form the habits necessary to keep their teeth healthy. Dr. Singhal’s clinic aims to not only clean and maintain healthy teeth, but to teach the kids how to take care of their own teeth.

“If children have cavities and other problems, there are two things. First is their physical status,” said Dr. Singhal, “second is their psychological status. No matter what, if a child loses teeth, the child will be in pain and the child will not be confident.”

Singhal focuses not only on the first, the pain, but also the second. He believes that teeth are important for not just eating the right diet, which includes hard foods that require strong teeth, but also for maintaining self-confidence from a young age.

Singhal said he has seen children only 2 or 3 years old missing front teeth who feel uncomfortable. “So it is not only the adults who feel awkward, emotionally compromised. Even the children feel that way,” Singhal said. And then when they are surrounded by their peers, most notably in school, they feel awkward and out of place. And they have trouble learning.

Poor dental health not only leads to a soft food diet, but also to greater problems in the body. Plaque buildup in the mouth can travel through the bloodstream and clog arteries and veins near the heart. “[Dental health] is very important for systemic problems,” said Singhal. “There is a link.”

Singhal and his staff of four general dentists and two part-time pediatric dentists have a 99.5 percent approval rating with their clientele, as per the surveys each patient fills out. Every patient treated by the clinic is also surveyed about how the service could be made better: by having different hours or being open different days. As it is, the clinic guarantees an appointment within seven days of the client’s call and promises to either warn of a wait or to seat patients immediately upon arrival. In the last year, the clinic had 6,000 patient visits. The article continues on