Loyola Breast Cancer Survivor Donates Patient Smocks | Loyola Medicine

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Loyola Breast Cancer Survivor Donates Patient Smocks

Loyola Medicine patient Angie Lopresti poses with donated patient smock designed for radiation treatment.

MAYWOOD, IL –  While undergoing treatment for breast cancer, Loyola Medicine patient Angie Lopresti read about a Texas church that donates patient smocks designed to provide more dignity and comfort than traditional hospital gowns.

Each smock has three vertical openings, one down the middle and one down each side. The openings are fastened together by Velcro strips. Because the smocks open at the seams, the patient needs to expose only the area that is being treated.

Mrs. Lopresti made a smock for herself and wore it during radiation treatments five days a week for six weeks. “It made me feel less vulnerable, more in control and also warmer,” said Mrs. Lopresti, who lives in Westchester with her husband and two children, who she has home schooled.

Now in remission thanks to a multidisciplinary team that includes medical oncologist Patricia Robinson, MD, surgical oncologist Claudia Perez DO, and radiation oncologist William Small, Jr., MD, a grateful Mrs. Lopresti wanted to help other patients, so she enlisted her church, International Christian Fellowship in Brookfield, Illinois.

“Cancer is such a devastating diagnosis that you can feel lost and alone,” Mrs. Lopresti said. “We want women to know there are people who care and are there to support them at a very trying time in their lives.”

Church volunteers have made 30 smocks so far and plan to continue making them, said Pastor Vicki Gonzalez. The church supplies all the materials, and volunteers cut the openings and sew on the Velcro strips.  “Our church is more than just a building,” Pastor Gonzalez said. “This is a way we can help the community.”

Each smock comes with a handwritten card that says: “This smock was lovingly made for you by the ladies of ICF. As you wear it, we pray it will bring you comfort and peace.”

Loyola is one of a select group of institutions in the nation that offers a one-visit, team approach for patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. In just one visit, patients meet with a medical team, including surgical, medical and radiation oncologists. 

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.