A Publication of WTVP

From its beginnings in 1877 with six sisters in a two-story house to a sprawling facility with 616 beds and more than 900 physicians, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center continues to mark historical milestones.

On March 11th, OSF Home Care Services opened the OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home, one of only four hospice homes in the state and the first in central Illinois. With a capacity of 16 patients, it is estimated that nearly 1,200 patients and their families will be served each year.

“Our primary mission is for short stays to gain control of symptoms so that patients can go back to their own homes,” says Dr. Phillip J. Olsson, medical director of OSF Hospice and Hospice Home. “Prior to this, people whose symptoms could not be controlled at home had to decide between continued suffering or admission to the hospital, which most patients do not wish to do.”

The facility strives to be a home-like setting, but with expert, around-the-clock care so a patient’s pain or other troubling symptoms can be rapidly controlled. The first months have been a success, according to Dr. Olsson. “It is a tremendous asset for the community,” he says. “It has been so gratifying to care for these patients and make such a significant difference by improving the quality of their and their families’ lives at this most stressful time.”

Leading the Charge with Brain Tumor Operations
Along with being home to the area’s first hospice home, OSF Saint Francis is one of five lead institutions in the country using a new surgical technology called Nico Brainpath, a device with the capability to remove tumors that were once inoperable.

With the purchase of the equipment earlier this year, the Illinois Neurological Institute (INI) recently used the Nico Brainpath on two patients with malignant brain tumors. They have also started an investigation of a surgery for the removal of intracerebral hemorrhages, primarily strokes.

The Nico Brainpath is a minimally invasive device placed through a small hole (smaller than a dime) in the brain. It is designed to shift, not destroy, tissues in the brain to remove tumors and hemorrhages quickly and with minimal trauma to the surrounding areas. “To lead this study in the United States is such a great benefit to the medical community. Peoria has always been an epicenter for the medical industry. To further develop innovations such as the Nico Brainpath will allow us to continue to offer the best neurosurgical care,” says Dr. Andrew Tsung, director of the Brain Tumor Center at INI.

INI is first in the region and among the top 10 institutes in the country to have been certified in the Six Pillar Approach, an integrated systems approach that is transforming the way neurosurgery is performed.

Jump Opens Its Doors
On April 25th, OSF HealthCare celebrated the opening of the new Jump Trading Simulation and Education Center, a collaborative effort with the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. Jump is a state-of-the-art medical training center that aims to improve outcomes and lower healthcare costs through innovative simulation training. By using cutting-edge technology and learning techniques, world-class clinicians and brilliant engineers can work together to drive true innovation.

Evidence of such innovation can already be found in the Congenital Heart Center at Children’s Hospital of Illinois, where Dr. Matthew Bramlet is working with biomedical engineer Sabeen Admani to create a library of pediatric heart models using a 3-D printer. These models will replicate actual congenital defects, which can be used to explain a child’s heart condition to concerned family members in addition to helping surgeons prepare for difficult procedures.

Dr. John Vozenilek, chief medical officer for Jump, is excited about the possibilities. “By working together and leveraging the technology and myriad of shared connections that exist today, we will have broad impacts on healthcare—not only in central Illinois but throughout the region, the country and the world,” he says.

These are just three ways OSF Saint Francis continues to make its historical mark on central Illinois after more than a century. iBi

Stephanie Gomes is a public relations associate at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center.