PALOS HEIGHTS, IL – As part of the mission to expand access to top-rated medical programs in the south suburbs, Palos Community Hospital and Loyola University Health System announced today a new and innovative telemedicine program and a new cancer treatment center at Palos.
On Oct. 15, Loyola and Palos will launch a telestroke program that will bring the expertise of Loyola stroke specialists to the patient’s bedside at Palos Community. Construction of the cancer treatment center, to be located in the Palos Primary Care Center at 15300 West Ave. on the Hospital’s south campus, will be completed Nov. 1.
The stroke and cancer programs are among several initial patient-care initiatives stemming from an innovative affiliation between Loyola and Palos that was announced last April. The affiliation focuses on coordinated and collaborative patient care. Palos patients receive greater access to Loyola’s renowned specialty care services, while having continued access to Palos’ primary care network.
“Rather than asking patients to travel to us, we will come to them,” said Daniel J. Post, Loyola’s executive vice president for Network Development and System Integration.
Loyola neurologists who specialize in stroke care will be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Working in close collaboration with Palos physicians and nurses, Loyola’s stroke specialists will use a telemedicine robot to conduct patient exams remotely, in real time.
The robot is equipped with a microphone and a full-color, high-definition camera. The robot can instantly transmit electronic medical records, lab results and images such as CT scans over a secure, high-speed internet connection. Working from a different location, the Loyola neurologist can see, hear and talk to the patient and the patient's family, doctors and nurses.
When necessary, patients will also have the option to transfer to Loyola’s facilities for surgery or other advanced care.
At the cancer center, Loyola medical oncologists and specially trained oncology infusion nurses will administer chemotherapy. Depending on the patient, chemotherapy is used to control the spread of cancer; cure cancer; destroy cancer cells that remain after surgery; reduce cancer symptoms; or shrink a tumor before cancer surgery.
“Palos Community Hospital is working with Loyola University Medical Center to bring university oncology expertise to our south campus in Orland Park,” explained Terrence Moisan, MD, president and CEO of Palos. “Our affiliation with Loyola means patients may receive specialized cancer care from a leading academic medical center close to home.”
As an academic medical center, Loyola can offer patients the opportunity to enroll in clinical trials of experimental new drugs that are not available at most hospitals. These new treatments potentially can reduce side effects, prolong remissions, and in some cases cure cancers.
Loyola is nationally recognized for its expert team of specially trained oncologists who come from a wide variety of specialties. Loyola recently received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. Loyola is one of only five healthcare facilities in Illinois and 75 in the U.S. to receive the national honor for surveys performed last year.
Palos has been granted the Commission on Cancer’s Outstanding Achievement Award as a result of nationwide surveys performed in 2011 and 2014. Palos’ Oncology unit provides care and services for patients experiencing various stages of cancer, from diagnosis through surgery and chemotherapy.
Palos recently invested in a state-of-the-art medical records program that is compatible with the system used by Loyola, making it easier for clinicians to access medical records across both systems.
The American Stroke Association has awarded Loyola its Gold Performance Achievement Award for implementing a higher standard of stroke Care. Loyola’s Stroke Center also has received the Gold Seal of Approval® for stroke care from the Joint Commission.
About Palos Community Hospital
With 425 licensed beds and nearly 600 affiliated physicians, Palos Community Hospital located in Palos Heights, Ill., 22 miles from downtown Chicago, serves the southwest Chicago suburbs. Heart care, orthopaedics, cancer care and general surgery are just a few of the services for which Palos Community Hospital is recognized. In 2013, Palos Community Hospital opened the Hospitaller Pavilion featuring 14 state-of-the-art surgical suites, the area’s only hybrid operating room and the innovative Center for Short Stay Care. Palos Community Hospital operates two satellite facilities, the Palos Primary Care Center in Orland Park and the Palos Diagnostic and Women’s Center in Tinley Park as well as one of the largest home health agencies in Illinois and Palos Health & Fitness Center in Orland Park. Palos Medical Group is part of Palos Community Hospital serving nearly 40,000 patients annually.