By Emilee Lamorena
On Feb. 17, 2010, while I was teaching high school science in the Bronx, my mother was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. I quickly left everything — my teaching fellowship, my master’s degree program and my friends — and returned to Chicago to be with my family and my mom.
I always knew I was going to work in health care, but I wasn’t sure which route or specialty I was really interested in. While I saw my mother suffering, I came to a very big realization: There is nothing in the world harder than watching someone you love struggle for a breath. It was the most helpless feeling to not be able to alleviate any of that hardship.
After caring for her through her illness (my mother passed away about 10 months after she was diagnosed), I knew that I wanted to dedicate my life to helping people breathe and supporting their loved ones. In 2011, I entered the Master of Science in Respiratory Care Program at Rush, where my mother received wonderful care, so I could help people care for their heart and lungs.
First-year Rush Medical College student Joe Santamaria met up recently with Rush University Medical Center CEO Larry Goodman, MD, for a conversation in the Brennan Entry Pavilion. In the interview, Goodman reflects on his time in medical school and the career path to hospital leadership.
“I never would have thought I would be doing anything other than practicing my entire career,” he says.
Rush nurses received an outpouring of praise when we posted this photo — along with a National Nurses Week greeting — on the Rush University Medical Center Facebook page earlier this week.
The photo garnered among the most likes and comments of any we’ve ever posted on Facebook, so we thought we’d share a sampling of the feedback:
In celebration of National Nurses Week, we look back at photos from the Rush Archives from the nursing programs and hospitals that eventually became part of Rush University Medical Center.
Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing capping ceremony, 1956
Three nurses at work in the Presbyterian Hospital infant nursery around 1905. One nurse is bathing newborns, while two others prepare an incubator for a premature baby.
Presbyterian-St. Luke’s nursing students, 1966
Nurses from St. Luke’s Hospital Training School for Nurses take a cocoa break in 1900
St. Luke’s School of Nursing Students, Schweppe Memorial Entrance, 1948
By Ivan Salvador
My story begins in 2008, when I was a quality assurance specialist working for a multinational finance corporation. I had held different positions for about seven years when all the downsizing due to the stagnant real estate market finally caught up with me. I had spent the last four years working in consumer finance, holding a good job which had one big problem: As good as this job was, with all the perks I had, it did not fulfill my needs on a professional level.
After being downsized, I turned to relatives for advice, in particular my sister who had mentioned that I might enjoy working as a medical interpreter. She had been an interpreter for a few years while she pursued her nursing degree. Given the difficult time I was having with finding a new job, I decided that the time to reinvent myself had arrived. Initially the thought of switching careers seemed very intimidating, but I was willing to give it a try.
So I signed up for the medical interpreting course and found it to be eye-opening. I soon realized that this job was completely different from anything I had done in the past. My previous jobs had me working in a cubicle with a computer and hardly any interaction with other people. In my new career, I would be working with all kinds of caregivers and patients in different types of settings. What I found most appealing was the fact that as an interpreter you get to help so many people who are unable to communicate because of their limited proficiency in the English language. Recalling my early days in the U.S., I was able to relate to this group of people: Not being able to communicate is something that is very frustrating and intimidating at the same time. I was very lucky in that I did not have to face situations like those of the patients I assist on a daily basis.
By Angela Johnson
In a beautiful and quiet space of the 10th-floor Rush University Cancer Center, a team of integrative medicine providers helps people diagnosed with cancer heal in mind, body and spirit.
The Cancer Integrative Medicine Program team recently received exciting news: The Susan F. Lasky Cancer Foundation has provided funding so that patients with breast cancer can participate in a series of acupuncture, massage, nutritional counseling or yoga sessions, at no charge. The Cancer Integrative Medicine Program team is honored to receive this donation, as it creates opportunities for people who may not otherwise be able to afford our services, with a chance to be involved in their own care.
As the practitioner of Chinese medicine for the Cancer Integrative Medicine Program, I am thrilled to have this resource available to breast cancer patients. For those who elect acupuncture, the ability to receive a series of weekly treatments can make a significant impact in helping reduce the side effects related to cancer and cancer treatment. As one of the most studied forms of complementary medicine, acupuncture has been found to be safe, and play a very useful role in symptom supportive care. In research studies, acupuncture supports the immune system, and is known to help with symptoms like fatigue, depression, pain, vomiting, radiation-induced xerostomia (i.e., dry mouth), and chemotherapy-induced hot flashes.
If you or someone you know has a breast cancer diagnosis, and is interested in integrative medicine, please contact the Cancer Integrative Medicine Program at (312) 563-2531 to learn more about this wonderful opportunity.
Angela Johnson, Dipl OM, MSTOM, MPH, LAc, is a practitioner of Chinese medicine with the Cancer Integrative Medicine Program at Rush.