The Wine Guy: The miseducation of a malnourished culture

Best of The Wine Guy by Anthony Scarano

   Among the keys to maintaining good health are being properly nourished and effectively eliminating waste from the body. The best way to accomplish both of these is to eat simple, natural foods; in other words, the ones our creator put here to provide us sustenance.

Fruits and vegetables should make up the vast majority of the human diet. This misleading idea that we need meat for protein and iron is a myth propagated by people who know little about nutrition or have a vested interest in selling meat. A person can get all the necessary protein from beans, lentils and legumes without ever consuming a scrap of meat.

But back to my point, fruits and vegetables — the more raw the better, as long as your digestive system can handle the rawness — provide a plethora of vitamins and minerals as well as the fiber one needs to move waste through and out of the bowels. Chew your food slowly to properly mash it and prepare it for digestion. The better it is chewed the easier it will be for the sponge-like stomach and intestines to digest, the better the nutrients will be able to be absorbed, and the better your bowels will be cleansed as it works its way through.

Cholesterol screening at Palos Township

Palos Township Health Service will hold a cholesterol screening on from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 21.

  A total cholesterol screening is $10 for residents and $15 for non-residents. This test tells only the total cholesterol value. Fasting is preferred.
  The Cholestech test tells the total value, the high density, the low density, the triglyceride value, and the ratios as well as glucose values. Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before the test. A fee of $35 is charged for residents and $45 for non-residents.
  A Hemoglobin A1C test can be performed for diabetics which reflects the average blood sugar levels over the previous three months. No fasting is required for this test. The fee is $10 for residents and $15 for non-residents.
  All fees are cash only. Call the Health Service to schedule an appointment at 708-598-2441. All screenings are done at Palos Township at 10802 South Roberts Road in Palos Hills.

Palos Hospital recognized for quality cardiac care

  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois has recognized Palos Community Hospital as one of the first hospitals in the nation to receive a Blue Distinction Center designation in the area of cardiac care, as part of the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program.
  Blue Distinction Centers are hospitals shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective, transparent measures for patient safety and health outcomes that were developed with input from the medical community. This year, the national program has added a new designation level, Blue Distinction Centers, to recognize hospitals that deliver both quality and cost-efficient specialty care.
  In 2006, the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program was developed to help patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs while encouraging healthcare professionals to improve the care they deliver. To receive a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care designation, a hospital must demonstrate success in meeting both general quality and safety criteria (such as preventing hospital-acquired infections) and cardiac-specific quality measures (related to lower rates of complications and death following cardiac surgery; and non-surgical procedures, such as cardiac stent placement) and, additionally, must show better cost efficiency relative to their peers.
  Quality is key: only those facilities that first meet Blue Distinction’s nationally established, objective quality measures will be considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center.
  Palos Community Hospital is proud to be recognized by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois for meeting the rigorous cardiac care selection criteria set by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program.
  “Being designated as a Blue Distinction Center highlights the expertise and superior specialty services provided by our heart care team at Palos Community Hospital,” said Jill Beechler, assistant vice president of Cardiovascular Services. “People don’t have to go far from home to get the high-quality treatment they deserve.”
  Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming nearly 600,000 lives each year. Cardiac procedures, including bypass and cardiac stent placement, are among the most common major medical procedures provided by the U.S. health care system, with more than 1 million procedures performed annually. These cardiac related procedures cost the nation more than $28 billion annually. The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program seeks to reduce this burden, by empowering patients with the knowledge and tools to find both quality and value for their cardiac care needs.
  Research shows that Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications following certain cardiac procedures and lower rates of healthcare associated infections, compared with their peers. Blue Distinction Centers are also 20 percent more cost-efficient for those same procedures.
  For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, visit

High flyer

PG4 eaglescout 4col  Park Lawn volunteer and boy scout Donny McKenna (second from left) completed his Eagle Service Project by creating a memorial garden for Park Lawn Center’s residential facility in Alsip. The memorial is in honor of the residents of the Park Lawn facility who have died. Relatives and friends of the departed Park Lawn residents now have a place in which to remember their loved ones.

  McKenna, 15, is a student at Brother Rice High School. He began the project in April and finished the project earlier this summer. The project included recruiting other troop members, family, and friends to help assist him with the project. He led the group of about 10 to 15 volunteers in their journey to finish the project. McKenna and his team filled the memorial with plants, stone, mulch and gravel, and a bench.
  To attain the rank of Eagle Scout one must obtain 21 merit badges, serve actively for a period of six months in his unit in one or more of the following positions — Boy Scout troop, Varsity Scout team, and Venturing crew/ship — and complete a service project.

Christ cracks the Top 50 for second year in a row

  For the second year in a row, Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn has been recognized as one of the top 50 hospitals in the nation for cardiology and heart surgery, and for geriatric medicine, according to the “Best Hospitals 2013-14” rankings released July 16 by U.S. News and World Report.
  The medical center also has been rated third overall among hospitals in the Chicago metropolitan area and the state of Illinois, and was cited as a “high performer” in 10 other clinical areas: cancer; diabetes and endocrinology; treatment of ear, nose and throat disorders; gastroenterology; gynecology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics; pulmonology; and urology.
  Details regarding the 2013-14 U.S. News hospital rankings are available at The rankings also will be published in the U.S. News “Best Hospitals 2014” guidebook, available in bookstores and on newsstands at the end of August.
  Announcement of the medical center’s inclusion in the U.S. News rankings follows its selection earlier this year to Truven Health Analytics’ 2013 list of 100 Top Hospitals. This year represents the second straight in which Christ has been named by Truven Health as being among the nation’s leading hospitals for performance. The campus was one of only seven hospitals in Illinois — and one of only five major teaching hospitals in the state — to make the top 100 list for 2013.
  The specialty rankings and data were produced for U.S. News & World Report by RTI International, a leading research organization based in Research Triangle Park, N.C. Using the same data, U.S. News produced the state and metropolitan region rankings.