March 28, 2014

Gottlieb physician restarts allergy count; check the numbers daily on Twitter

MAYWOOD, Ill. (March 28) – The Gottlieb Allergy Count, gathered and reported by Joseph Leija, MD, will officially begin Monday, March 31. In preparation for this, Dr. Leija has been monitoring the air every day for the last week.

“I expect that mold will be an issue this year due to the large amount of snow we received this winter,” said Dr. Leija, who has performed the Gottlieb Allergy Count for more than two decades. “Pollen and grass also will be problematic as the weather improves because of the excess moisture in the Chicago area."

Dr. Leija performs the official daily allergy count for the Midwest on behalf of the National Allergy Bureau. Dr. Leija, an allergist, retired in 2012, but he continues to do the Gottlieb Allergy Count as a public health service for those who suffer from allergies and asthma.

“I encourage those who suffer from allergies to begin taking their medication and controlling environmental triggers now to prepare for allergy season,” Dr. Leija said. “Don’t wait until you have symptoms to treat them."

Dr. Leija is solely certified by the National Allergy Bureau to perform the count for the Midwest, and provides the results each weekday during the normal allergy season, which runs from March to October. Dr. Leija will begin the allergy count later this year due to the extended cold spell the Chicago area has endured.

Dr. Leija, an octogenarian,  rises before dawn to collect specimens from his pollen-catching machine atop a building on the Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus in order to deliver the count to the public by 7 a.m. The Gottlieb Allergy Count will be available via Twitter (@GottliebAllergy), at Gottliebhospital.org and on the Gottlieb Allergy hotline 1-866-4-POLLEN (476-5536). Gottlieb Memorial Hospital is part of the Loyola University Health System, a member of CHE Trinity Health.

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.