Silver Cross Hospital

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While experiencing an unusual body rash, Joliet resident Pam Alexander discovered a lump in her breast while applying lotion. She immediately scheduled a mammogram and biopsy which confirmed that she had a malignant tumor in her left breast.  “I am so grateful that I acted quickly and was able to receive all of my specialized care so close to home at one location on Silver Cross Hospital’s campus in New Lenox,” said 52-year-old Pam Alexander. “As a result of the cutting-edge treatment that I received, I’m thrilled to report that I’m cancer-free for one year!” 

Alexander went to the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health for her mammogram in the summer of 2014. When the staff called her and explained that she needed to come back in for a biopsy, Pam was worried. “I was so nervous, but the nurse navigator Neda Zelehovitis was so kind and supportive,” said Alexander. 

Photo caption: Staff from the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital pose with breast cancer patient and Joliet resident Pam Alexander. Pictured from left to right are Dr. Grace Suh, medical oncologist; Pam Alexander, and Dr. Anne McCall, Medical Director for Radiation.  Watch Pam’s video.  

Next Alexander met with her team of physicians – Dr. Mark Danielson, general surgeon with Silver Cross Hospital, Dr. Grace Suh, medical oncologist with the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital, and Dr. Anne McCall, Medical Director for Radiation with the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital – to discuss her care plan. “I am so blessed to have had these three experts working together to determine what the best approach was for treating my breast cancer,” said Alexander.  

On August 1, 2014 she had a left breast lumpectomy surgery which was followed up with almost 6 months of chemotherapy treatments and 33 radiation treatments. 

New Coordinated Approach to Treating Breast Cancer Available

During her treatment process, Alexander benefitted from a Multidisciplinary Breast Cancer Conference that is now available at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital.  Alexander received recommendations from a group of breast cancer experts that included her physicians on the next steps to take with a convenient, one-stop experience. 

“We know women are extremely busy taking care of everyone else in their lives, so we wanted to make it easy for them to get all the necessary information and medical opinions to make an informed decision as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Grace Suh. “The sooner we can start treatment, the better chance we have to eradicate the disease as we did with Pam’s breast cancer.” 

The multi-disciplinary team meets in the Cancer Center for a Breast Conference every Tuesday morning.  At the Conference, physician specialists representing general surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, radiology, plastic surgery and pathology review the patients’ clinical information, radiological images and pathology slides with state-of-the-art equipment to develop a consensus recommendation.  The team documents the recommendations and a certified breast nurse navigator provides the recommendation to the patient’s doctor within 24 hours. 

“Having all of the specialists in one room, at one time, improves communication and allows for sharing information with each other. The physicians benefit by being able to talk about the treatment plan together, and patients, like Pam, benefit from timely recommendations by a team of experts,” said Dr. Anne McCall. 

Patients now benefit from a wide array of breast cancer tests and treatments on the Silver Cross campus including digital mammography, breast MRI, ultrasound and biopsies, and the latest chemotherapy and radiation therapies including clinical trials.  Prone breast radiation is available, where radiation is administered on a specially-designed table to help the woman lie more comfortably in the prone position, on her stomach, which may prevent radiation to the underlying heart and lung. Certain women may also be able to receive their radiation in only three weeks.  In addition, new plastic surgery techniques such as flap microsurgical breast reconstruction are now available at Silver Cross Hospital.  

“Early detection  as well as prompt and precise treatment is the key to fighting cancer, which is why all the specialists involved in the Breast Conference are donating their time and expertise to provide Pam and other patients with this unique opportunity close to home,” said Dr. Mark Danielson 

Patients who could benefit from the Multidisciplinary Breast Conference at Silver Cross should contact their primary care physician. Physicians that have a patient who could benefit from the Breast Conference, should contact Neda Zelehovitis, R.N., at (815) 300-6364, fax (815)300-6374 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to put your case on the schedule for the following Tuesday.  

Lymphedema and Cancer Care Close to Home

Once Alexander’s cancer treatments were completed, she then followed up with lymphedema therapy at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital (RIC). To make treatment easier, RIC’s services are conveniently accessible to patients on the Silver Cross Hospital campus. 

Lymphedema often occurs in breast cancer patients who had all or part of their breast removed and axillary (underarm) lymph nodes removed. The condition occurs when the lymph system is damaged or blocked. The blockage prevents lymph fluid from draining well, and the fluid buildup in soft body tissues leads to swelling. 

“Lymphedema usually affects an arm or leg, but it can also affect other parts of the body,” said Temi Asein, Physical Therapist and Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT-LANA) with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital. “However, as was in Pam’s case, it can be managed with early diagnosis and continual care to the affected limb.” 

In addition, RIC at Silver Cross therapists have experience working with all types of cancers including: blood, bone, brain, breast, childhood, digestive, head and neck, lung, pelvic, reproductive, skin, and spinal. 

“Our therapists use evidenced-based treatment to address cancer patients’ physical and cognitive concerns caused by the disease and treatment,” said Valerie Paluszak, Manager of Outpatient Rehabilitation for The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital.  “Our programs focus on helping our patients, like Pam, meet their challenges and achieve their highest ability.” 

Advice to Others

"I recommend other cancer patients to seek treatment at Silver Cross Hospital. All of the physicians, nurses, radiation therapists and lymphedema therapists made me feel like I was their number one patient and concentrated on me and my well- being which made me feel very special.  For any cancer patient, these criteria's are exactly what is needed to help get through this trying time,” said Alexander. 

About Mark Danielson, M.D.

Mark Danielson, M.D., is a board-certified general surgeon at Silver Cross Hospital. Throughout his 24 years at Silver Cross Hospital, he has shared his expertise as a leader serving as Chairman of the Surgery Department for three terms. Upon his appointment to the Board of Directors, he serves as Vice Chairman on the Quality and Cost Effectiveness Committee at Silver Cross Hospital.  Dr. Danielson completed his undergraduate degree in economics at Vanderbilt University. He graduated from medical school at Northwestern University in Chicago.  He completed his general surgery residency at Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospital in Milwaukee, WI.   Over the years, Dr. Danielson has volunteered with several community organizations including the Christian Youth Center, mission trips sponsored by Cup of Cold Water Ministries and the Will Grundy Medical Clinic. His office is located with Surgical Consultants of Joliet, Ltd., Two Uno Circle, Joliet. To schedule an appointment, call (815) 725-2277. 

About Anne R. McCall, M.D.

Anne R. McCall, M.D., a radiation oncologist, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiation and Cellular Oncology at the University of Chicago Medicine and medical director for radiation oncology at Silver Cross Hospital. Dr. McCall has more than 30 years of experience. She graduated from Rush Medical College in 1983, followed by her residency in radiation oncology at Loyola University Medical Center, in Maywood, Illinois.  In addition to her clinical work, Dr. McCall is interested in translational research — bringing discoveries from the lab to patient care. She also has a strong interest in cost-benefit analyses, including the economic impact of shorter radiation regimens for patients diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. Dr. McCall loves teaching, and was awarded the Outstanding Teacher of the year award in 2014.  She is regularly named one of the “Best Doctors in America” by Best Doctors Inc. and listed in the Castle Connolly best doctor guides. Her practice is based at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox.  To schedule an appointment, call (815) 300-1400. 

About Grace K. Suh, M.D.

Grace Suh, M.D., is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology. Dr Suh earned her BS in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University in 1999, after spending an extra year working with researchers studying protein folding at Oxford University. She was chosen as the “Outstanding Woman of the Class of 2003” by Yale Medical School. She completed her internship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, followed by a residency in internal medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital, where she served as a clinical instructor for one year. In 2010, she finished a fellowship in medical oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.  She specializes in breast cancers, issues related to women’s cancers, and the care of patients with complex malignancies. An accomplished researcher, Dr. Suh has been a principle investigator on several clinical trials and translational research projects. She co-authored several recent studies of lymphoma treatment and several book chapters on ovarian cancer and other gynecologic malignancies. She is also interested in epidemiologic research to explore links between environmental exposures and cancer risk, as well as improved cancer prevention and early detection. Her office is located with the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital at 1850 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. To schedule an appointment, call (815) 300-1400. 

About the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross

The University of Chicago Medicine and Silver Cross Hospital’s $21.6 million outpatient cancer treatment center located in the Carolyn J. Czerkies Pavilion at I-355 and Route 6 (1850 Silver Cross Blvd.) in New Lenox opened its doors on June 25, 2012. The 20,000-square-foot University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross brings University of Chicago academic specialists and their advanced and investigational therapies into a community-hospital setting. The new facility provides state-of-the-art chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as well as access to hundreds of clinical trials. It also offers a brand new TrueBeam new-generation linear accelerator system, which delivers precisely targeted radiation therapy to provide the best results. In addition, other services provided at the Comprehensive Cancer Center include cancer support services, hormonal therapy, immunotherapy, infusion services, and preventative screenings. The University of Chicago maintains more active clinical trials for the treatment of cancer than any other program in Illinois. To schedule an appointment, call 1-855-UCM-1400. For more information about the new University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital, visit www.uchospitals.edu/cancercenter-sch. 

About the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital

Silver Cross Hospital and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) have teamed up to expand post-acute physical medicine and rehabilitation services in Will County and the southwest Chicagoland communities. The partnership provides world-class rehabilitation care for a range of conditions for patients close to home. Silver Cross is the only healthcare facility in the area with this breadth of services in partnership with RIC. Together, Silver Cross and RIC provide rehabilitation services in inpatient and outpatient care settings at four locations—at the main Hospital and the Silver Cross Professional Buildings in Homer Glen, New Lenox and West Joliet. Additionally, the RIC team provides therapy services for patients on the hospital’s medical and surgical floors. For more information about RIC at Silver Cross, call (815) 300-7110 or visit www.silvercross.org.

Located at 1900 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox, IL 60451   Main Phone (815) 300-1100

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Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care.  These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.