Published on February 05, 2019

Homer Glen Resident Thankful for Heart Screening at Silver Cross

A $99 calcium artery scoring screening at the Silver Cross Health Center in Homer Glen (now priced at $49) proved to be a lifesaver for 62-year-old Frank Russo, a local business owner and devoted family man.

frank russoThough he had quit smoking more than 25 years earlier and made a habit of exercising daily, he had other risk factors.

“I wasn’t having any symptoms, but I do have diabetes, high blood pressure and a family history of heart disease,” Russo explained, putting him at higher risk.

He opted for a calcium artery scoring, a quick and painless test using a high-speed CT scanner that can measure calcium deposits in the coronary arteries to determine your risk of a heart attack.

“The technician who performed the heart screening was very concerned about my results and contacted my personal physician immediately after my test,” he said.

Russo was next referred to Abdul Sankari, M.D., cardiologist with Heartland Cardiovascular Center, who immediately scheduled Russo for an angiogram, a test that detects blockages in the arteries. To Russo’s shock, the results showed a 95 percent blockage in his left anterior descending artery.

Russo’s condition required a minimally invasive surgical intervention to open his left anterior descending (LAD) artery, an important blood vessel that supplies a significant amount of blood flow to the heart muscle. When blood flow in the LAD is compromised, there can be devastating consequences.

In fact, the artery is often referred to as the “widow-maker” since blockage can result in permanent heart muscle damage or death if not tended to right away. A second procedure involved the placement of a stent to open the other affected coronary artery.

“Before my heart blockage was found, I exercised for over an hour every day, and it’s a habit I continue to this day using the treadmill and elliptical machine. Since my heart procedure, I am trying to lose some weight by eating better and eliminating fatty and fried foods,” Russo added. “I am so thankful to Silver Cross Hospital for offering this heart screening. It prevented me from experiencing irreversible heart muscle damage by catching my heart blockage early. I have young grandchildren, and it means everything to me that I will be able to keep up with them!”

Russo’s daughter, Jaclyn Doyle, a 23-year Silver Cross Hospital employee, is equally thankful! “He’s a wonderful father and grandfather,” she added. “He loves to spend time with his grandkids. He goes to their sport events and has taken each of them to their home in Florida. We’re a close-knit family, so we were really worried about him. We’re so happy he’s doing well.”

About Calcium Artery Scoring at Silver Cross  

The Silver Cross Health Center—Homer Glen offers a quick and painless test using a high speed CT scanner that can measure calcium deposits in the coronary arteries to determine your risk of having a heart attack. Calcium artery scoring is ideal for men over age 45 and women over age 55 who smoke, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or a family history of premature coronary artery disease. This scan is available for $49. For an appointment, call (815) 300-7076. For more information about heart care at Silver Cross, including our open heart surgery program that will be opening in late spring of this year, visit

Heart Surgery Coming to Silver Cross in Late Spring 2019

February is American Heart Month, the perfect time to remind the community that Silver Cross Hospital will establish an open heart surgery program on its New Lenox campus. The new program will be operational this spring.

“Silver Cross will now be able to offer the full spectrum of heart care services that our community needs,” said Silver Cross President/CEO Ruth Colby. “It also means heart patients will no longer have to experience the stress and anxiety of having to leave their preferred hospital and travel for advanced heart care.”

The hospital will add two state-of-the-art operating rooms, a “hybrid room” equipped with advanced medical imaging devices to support minimally invasive surgery, and two recovery rooms. In addition, a 14-bed cardiac care unit will open on the first floor directly below the Procedural Care Unit (PCU) to care for patients after heart surgery, and will be serviced with a dedicated elevator between the two units.

With the eighth largest cardiac catheterization program in the State of Illinois, Silver Cross leads the local market for outpatient cardiac procedures performed annually. In 2017 alone, Silver Cross performed more than 3,500 diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterizations, an 11 percent increase over the previous year.  

“Offering open heart surgery was the next logical step for Silver Cross,” Colby added. “We are a hospital well-positioned to expand cardiac services, and we have a safety record that proves it.”

In addition, the open heart surgery program paves the way for Silver Cross to develop a structural heart program, which uses minimally invasive catheter-based technology to treat life-threatening valve disorders and structural heart defects. This approach lowers the risk of infection and complications, reduces trauma to the chest (since the chest doesn’t have to be opened), shortens hospital stays and leads to a faster recovery.

Silver Cross is partnering with Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgical Associates, a group of highly skilled surgeons known for innovation, outstanding outcomes and very high patient satisfaction scores, that have pioneered minimally invasive valve surgery.

“Patients deserve to have options when considering where to go for services, especially ones as serious as cardiac services,” adds Dr. Pat Pappas, cardiothoracic surgeon and President of Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgical Associates. “Silver Cross has the facility, staff and quality to not only support a structural heart program, but to thrive.”

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.