Top 10 health articles on Valpo.Life in 2022

Top 10 health articles on Valpo.Life in 2022
By: Amber Tomlinson, Ashley Spargo, Aubrey Thomson, Bob Franko, Curtis Hankins, Lauren Grasham, Rachel Calderone, VNA Hospice NWI Last Updated: December 21, 2022

If previous years taught us anything, it’s to prioritize our wellbeing and take care of ourselves through difficult times. Each year brings new stressors and challenges, but being able to take a look at your health and make changes that promote wellness can make all the difference. 

In 2022, we shared news about all sorts of health topics: dental care, mental health, fitness, weight loss, urgent needs, sleep therapy, nutrition, and more. We’re glad to partner with such great organizations, businesses, and healthcare groups to help share the good and keep our Region a healthy one.

In no particular order, here are the top 10 health articles on Valpo.Life to recap the good news in 2022!

VNA Hospice of NWI is first in area to receive full accreditation for palliative care

VNA Hospice of Northwest Indiana (VNA Hospice) has been awarded full accreditation for its Palliative Care program by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) today, announced VNA President & CEO Bob Franko. The program is only the second in the State of Indiana to achieve this certification. 

“The VNA Hospice has always been about helping people maintain their dignity, their voice in their health care decisions, and independence for as long as possible,” said Bob Franko, president, and CEO of the VNA Hospice. “Our Palliative Care program fits very well in our wide continuum of care options for seniors and families and we’re extremely proud of the work and effort that went into achieving this huge milestone.”

Care at Cavanaugh & Nondorf / Cavanaugh and Nondorf Orthodontics offers high quality of care

Orthodontic care often involves more than just straightening teeth, and the experts at Cavanaugh and Nondorf Orthodontics aim to serve all their patients’ needs. 

Cavanaugh and Nondorf Orthodontics specializes in diagnosing and correcting crooked and misplaced teeth while improving the appearance of the mouth and face and the function of the jaws. Braces are no longer just for adolescents but for anyone who wants to improve their smile at any age. They genuinely want their patients to “live life smiling.”

Fighting the stigma of obesity with a one of a kind weight loss program

Mustafa Nawaka, MD is bringing a one-of-a-kind weight loss program to the residents of Northwest Indiana. It is structured to manage the complexity of obesity by identifying and treating obesity’s causes, including any hormonal or metabolic imbalance, psychological and environmental factors.

Dr. Nakawa ensures sustainable care by providing access to flexible and convenient appointments. He not only transforms the patient’s relationship with food, but also customizes the care plan to meet their individual needs with a combination of weight loss medications, diets, and exercise plans.

Prenatal Assistance Program supports mothers and babies from educational workshops to first-birthday celebrations

Pregnancy is something that no one should face alone, so for the past 20-25 years, Franciscan has housed a Prenatal Assistance Program in an effort to assist teen mothers and their families. 10-15 years ago, teen pregnancy rates declined, so Franciscan repurposed the program to focus on prenatal and postpartum education.

The Prenatal Assistance Program uses a curriculum founded on evidence-based practices to assist program participants both during and after pregnancy. This program is open for enrollment at any phase of pregnancy through a child’s first birthday.

NorthShore Health Center’s Dr. Kathryn Schreck believes compassionate mental health care is a necessity

At NorthShore Health Centers, they take their patient’s mental health just as seriously as their physical health. That’s why they’ve brought on psychologists such as Dr. Kathryn Schreck, who brings with her both expertise and love for her work.

Her passion for the field was ignited as an undergraduate student, when a professor recounted his experience on Skid Row, a neighborhood in Los Angeles known for having one of the highest populations of homeless people in the country.

Methodist’s Valpo Carefirst Facility offers quality medical service to Porter County

If you have an illness or a minor injury, Methodist’s newest CareFirst Immediate Care Center in Valparaiso is equipped to handle a variety of outpatient services across several specialties in almost every condition.

“We are your one-stop shop for primary, immediate and specialty care,” said Nurse Practitioner Julijana Obetkovska.  

Insomnia causes, symptoms, and treatments: a discussion with Dr. Michael Uzelac, founder of Sleep Airway Solutions

One of the most important factors of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is creating good sleep habits.

Dr. Michael Uzelac is a dentist who has been practicing for over 40 years. After seeing many patients struggle with their sleep, Dr. Michael Uzelac became board certified in Dental Sleep Apnea training and founded Sleep Airways solutions to bring oral appliances to patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, or when one’s airways are cut off by their lower jaw during sleep.

Fight against sugar season’s negative effects on teeth with tips from Dental Arts Group

It is officially the end of the year, which means it is time for season’s greetings and season’s eatings. That latter December tradition is what Dental Arts Group wants people to look out for during the holidays. While gingerbread houses, frosted sugar cookies, and stocking-stuffer candies are okay to eat, Dental Hygienist Kathy Uzelac has some tips to protect against the negative effects sugar consumption can have on your teeth.

Perhaps the most obvious tip is to limit sugar consumption. Limiting the amount as well as the time of sugar consumption will certainly help protect your teeth from decay.

Watch over your baby in the NICU with AngelEye Cameras

When babies need to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), parents wish they could keep an eye on their little ones, which is now possible at Franciscan Health Crown Point. Thanks to generous donors, Franciscan Health Crown Point has installed the AngelEye Health Live Streaming Camera System in the NICU.

With a fair number of patients coming from outside hospitals to the NICU at Franciscan Health Crown Point, getting to see their babies can be a challenge for parents. When parents live far away from the NICU, as many do, transportation is often an issue. This is especially true for mothers who have recently undergone C-sections and are temporarily unable to drive.

Midwest Express Clinic opens six clinics in 2021, with plans for seven more in 2022

High-quality, affordable, and convenient healthcare in the Region became a lot more accessible in 2021, as Midwest Express Clinic (MEC) opened six new clinics throughout the Chicagoland area, including three in Northwest Indiana: Portage, Cedar Lake, and Griffith. With these new additions, Midwest Express Clinic’s network now crosses through nine different Northwest Indiana communities and over 20 throughout Chicagoland – with more still to come.

2022 marks Midwest Express Clinic’s 10 year anniversary, and 10 years of fulfilling their mission to provide “extraordinary healthcare with heart” – treating the person, not just the ailment. Longtime employees such as Director of Operations Kaitlyn Steinberg, FPC-C, are excited to see the anniversary coincide with so much progress.