Friday, 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 University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), located on a 61-acre campus in Maywood, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (GMH), on a 36-acre campus in Melrose Park, and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. At the heart of LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital that houses the Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, a burn center, a children's hospital, Loyola Outpatient Center, and Loyola Oral Health Center. The campus also is home to Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. The GMH campus includes a 254-licensed-bed community hospital, a Professional Office Building with 150 private practice clinics, 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.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. It serves people and communities in 22 states from coast to coast with 93 hospitals, and 120 continuing care locations — including home care, hospice, PACE and senior living facilities — that provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually.