November 30, 2015

With new partnerships, Loyola's doctors are always within reach

Loyola makes stroke telemedicine partnerships with 4 hospitals

Loyola is forming a new type of partnership with referring physicians, and patients are the big winners.

Loyola subspecialists, including pediatric cardiologists, heart failure specialists, hepatologists, pediatric oncologists and neurologists are now renting space in referring physicians’ offices ranging from Chicago’s Chinatown to downstate Moline.

Rather than the patient traveling to Loyola’s main campus or to an ambulatory location, Loyola physicians are going to the patient’s doctor’s office. For a day or so each month, the Loyola specialist sees patients in what effectively is an office-within-an-office.

It is, in effect, a new version of house calls.

Pediatric cardiologist Joel Hardin, MD, partners with primary care physicians at several locations, including Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village, St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates, Sherman Health in Elgin and Provena St. Mary’s Hospital in Kankakee.

“We are consultants to primary care physicians at all times,” Dr. Hardin said. “We never assume primary care of patients, and we never divert patients from the primary care physician’s practice.”

Dr. Hardin added that the partnerships provide significant benefits to patients. “And when you please the patient, you please the primary care physician.”
Other Loyola subspecialists who are partnering with primary care practices include:

  • Scott Cotler, MD, hepatology: Moline, Rockford, Peoria, Chinatown and the Dearborn Station in downtown Chicago (The Rockford and Peoria hepatology sites are in outpatient centers attached to local hospitals.)
  • Charles Hemenway, MD, pediatric hematology/oncology: Hoffman Estates
  • Alain Heroux, MD, heart failure: Rockford, Elgin
  • Marc Levine, MD, pediatric cardiology: Hoffman Estates
  • Jose Biller, MD, neurology: Elk Grove Village

Loyola’s partnership with referring physicians has been developing since the mid-1990s. Loyola began opening suburban offices, which evolved into multi-specialty centers. Among the most recent examples is the Loyola Center for Health at Burr Ridge, which provides specialty care in orthopaedics, neurology/neurological surgery and more than 30 other specialties.

In 2010, Loyola affiliated with the Cancer Center at Kishwaukee Community Hospital in DeKalb. The affiliation enables patients to receive quick consultations and second opinions from multidisciplinary clinics at Loyola. CT and other scans are performed at Kishwaukee and transmitted to Loyola, so patients do not have to be tested again. Patients who require tertiary care, such as bone marrow transplants and complex surgical procedures, are referred to Loyola.

Loyola forming telestroke partnerships

Loyola has formed stroke telemedicine partnerships with four hospitals, and more centers are expected to participate.

Loyola’s vascular neurology subspecialists are on call 24/7. Telemedicine technology enables them to examine stroke patients remotely, in close collaboration with physicians at partner hospitals.

The Loyola neurologist can see, hear and talk to the patient and the patient’s family, physicians and nurses. Lab results and images are transmitted over secure, high-speed internet connections.

Current partner hospitals are Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park, St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Plymouth, Ind., St. Joseph’s Mishawka campus in Mishawaka, Ind., and most recently Porter Memorial Hospital in Valparaiso, Ind.

“We now have back-up for tough cases,” said Devin Zimmerman, MD, neurologist and chief medical information officer for St. Joseph Regional Medical Center. “Loyola has been very quick and consistent. This is a huge community benefit.”

In a policy statement, the American Heart Association said telestroke medicine can “overcome barriers to the delivery of proven, evidence-based therapies that might otherwise be unavailable to stroke patients.”

Jose Biller, MD, chair of Loyola’s Neurology Department, said that when every second is critical, telestroke “can instantly bring to the patient a vascular neurologist with a particularly high level of expertise.”

Loyola provides specialized stroke care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The American Stroke Association has awarded Loyola its Gold Performance Achievement Award for implementing a higher standard of stroke care. Loyola is certified by the Joint Commission as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center.
For more information on Loyola’s telestroke program, call (708) 216-8342.

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 92 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 129,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.