MAYWOOD, Ill. — Research suggests that stress can take its toll on even the toughest first responders. Loyola University Health System is taking steps to protect these firefighters and paramedics who risk their lives and perform other heroic measures to help those in need. The organization will offer heart health-risk assessments and screenings to its network of more than 3,000 emergency medical services (EMS) providers. This is part of Loyola’s efforts to celebrate its 35th anniversary as an emergency medical services resource hospital.
“Loyola would like to give back to EMS providers who are committed to helping our patients during times of crisis,” said Mark Cichon, DO, director of emergency medical services at Loyola. “We recognize that these men and women are under tremendous stress and that this can have negative implications for their health. The health risk assessments and screenings are Loyola’s way of protecting our colleagues and expressing gratitude for the service they provide to our community.”
The health-risk assessments will be available beginning National Emergency Medical Services Week, May 16 – 22. EMS providers who serve Loyola will take a health-risk assessment to determine if they are at risk for heart disease. Loyola physicians will review each assessment to identify those who might require follow-up care from a cardiologist.
“Loyola’s EMS providers often risk their own lives to help others,” said Christine Chaput, RN, MSN, CEN, manager of emergency medical services at Loyola and EMS system coordinator/Region 8 POD. “These screenings will allow our firefighters and paramedics to take time for their own health to ensure that they are well equipped to handle the demands of their profession.”
EMS providers bring some of the region’s most critically ill and injured patients to Loyola University Health System’s emergency department. The severity level of emergency admissions is among the highest in the country. The 27-bed emergency facility is one of the most advanced in the Midwest and contains specialty care sections for trauma, cardiac care and pediatrics.
Loyola University Medical Center recently became re-verified as a Level 1 Trauma Center, a hospital that meets all the emergency medical standards to care for patients who suffer life-threatening injuries in Illinois, according to the American College of Surgeons (ACS). Loyola is the only hospital in the state, and one of the few hospitals in the nation, to receive such distinction from that prestigious organization.
“The level of care that Loyola provides in the hospital setting would not be possible without the high quality pre-hospital emergency care that our EMS providers offer,” said Dr. Cichon. “This week is a time to recognize these people for their skill and commitment to our patients during some of their most vulnerable moments.”
Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, Loyola University Health System is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and 25 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus, Loyola University Hospital, is a 561-licensed-bed facility. It houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children’s Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus in Melrose Park includes the 264-bed community hospital, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness and the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Care Center.