Chronic Care Management – What? Who? When? Why? How?


What is Chronic Care Management? It is exactly what it sounds like. It’s management of the treatment for chronic conditions. A Registered Nurse coordinates your care between you and your providers, in order to ensure you are always receiving the best and most complete care!


Who will manage your chronic care? At IMH, we have a Chronic Care Management Team in Watseka. DiAnne Schoolman, NP, sees patients every Wednesday at the IMH MSP Clinic, located in the hospital. However, this goes beyond a visit with the provider. A Registered Nurse works closely with DiAnne to stay informed about your care.  The RN stays in contact with you in between Clinic visits, assuring you are comfortable and confident in your treatment.

DiAnne Schoolman, NP
DiAnne Schoolman, NP


When does all of this happen?  As long as you are not currently receiving Chronic Care Management services, you can enroll today! You will speak directly with the Registered Nurse, Rachel Nelson, and schedule an appointment with DiAnne Schoolman, NP. After your initial appointment with the physician, we will assist you with scheduling routine follow up appointments to stay current with your care. In addition, prior to your appointment, we will help you identify any questions you may need to ask your doctor. In between your visits each month, you will receive a call to follow up and make sure the care plan set in place is working for you. We want to make sure your care is as simple and smooth as possible.


Why do you need Chronic Care Management? All of the extra work that comes with having a chronic condition can be overwhelming at times. When you enroll in our Chronic Care Management program, we take many steps to ensure you are comfortable, informed, and prepared for the future. You will have the opportunity to work with our health team to create a personalized care plan that will help you manage your health needs in the best way possible. You will have assistance with completing and understanding your medication, condition, and allergy lists. In addition, we will ensure you are scheduled for and receive timely preventative care visits. Basically, it is your life with chronic conditions: Simplified!


How can you join our program? You can sign your written consent and enroll in the Chronic Care Management program whenever you are ready to take charge of your care! In addition to all of the support you receive through your visits and the follow up calls,  your comprehensive care plan will be available to you 24/7 via the patient portal link on our website at!


Don’t wait! Contact Rachel Nelson, RN, at IMH by calling 815-432-7954. She will work with you to get you enrolled and scheduled to meet with DiAnne Schoolman, NP, for your first visit!  Let us partner with you to manage your health together! Call today!



I had no symptoms: How a heart scan saved my life…

Hello, my name is Karen Richert.  If you have ever visited the cafeteria at IMH during the day, there is a good possibility we’ve met.

I love my job in the cafeteria at IMH. I love my sister. And, of course, I love my grandsons. I am able to say that today, because having a heart scan at IMH saved my life. Literally!

Karen Richert
Karen Richert

Every February, IMH offers a discounted heart scan that detects the amount of calcium build-up in the arteries of the heart.  February 2017 was no different.  Except several of my co-workers from medical imaging and the lab kept urging me to get a scan, even though I didn’t think I had any signs of heart issues. Sure, I was short of breath at times, but that was something I felt I could justify for what I was doing at the time.  After enough of my friends and coworkers constant urging, I decided they were just concerned for me. So, I scheduled my heart scan.    

The heart scan was the easiest health screen I have ever had.  I showed up wearing loose clothing.  All I had to do was lay down on the 160 Slice CT bed.  There were no needles and I didn’t even need to get undressed. Ten minutes later, the screen was done and I was on my way back home.

I was told that if my calcium score was under 100, I wouldn’t have to worry.  The very next day, I was told I needed to schedule an appointment with Dr. Reddy, Cardiologist on staff at IMH. My score was 1,288!  

The day of my appointment with Dr. Reddy was like any other day. I was walking to work but, I just felt like something was wrong.  Rather than going to work at the IMH Cafeteria, I went to the IMH Emergency Department.  After some monitoring, I started feeling better and was discharged. Later that day, I saw Dr. Reddy and, after reviewing my medical record, he decided that the best course of action was to do an Angioplasty. He explained that Angioplasty involves inserting a balloon into the artery to open it up.

Unfortunately, Dr. Reddy does not do Cardiac Angioplasty procedures at IMH.  He does them at Presence Covenant in Urbana.  The day of the procedure, I met with Dr. Reddy and the Covenant staff as they went over the procedure with me.  Dr. Reddy would insert a line with a balloon and open the artery that was partially clogged. And, I would be awake for the entire procedure!

I remember Dr. Reddy talking me through the procedure as he worked. I was doing ok until he told the nurse to get the other doctor stat! Then, I became scared.  What Dr. Reddy had found was not going to be repaired with a balloon. Instead of a partial clogged artery, he found I had two arteries clogged at 100%.  An Angioplasty cannot fix clogs that severe, so I had to have two stents put in to open the arteries.

After a short rehab at home, I was able to return to work. Because of the IMH heart scan and the “harassment” from people just wanted to make sure I was well, today,  I am able to still joke and have fun with my co-workers at IMH. I am able to tell my sister I love her. I am able hug my grandsons and watch them grow.

Karen serving with a smile at the IMH Employee Christmas Dinner 2017

Take my advice, don’t miss out on hugs from your loved ones. Even if you don’t feel like you have any symptoms of heart issues, have the $49 heart scan at IMH.  Scheduling is simple, just call 815.432.7733.

Au Naturale: Lower bad cholesterol without medication

Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of Americans.  Improving your diet and lifestyle habits can help prevent heart disease.  With some simple changes to your food choices, you can reduce your risk and lower your LDL or bad Cholesterol and thus your risk of heart disease.

These changes in daily food choices include:

    • Choosing high fiber whole grains
    • Maintaining a healthy weight
    • Eating more fruits and vegetables
    • Limiting saturated and trans fats

Choose high fiber whole grains

When choosing grains try to make half of them “whole.”  Whole grains provide necessary fiber to our diet.  There are numerous, tasty, options available when substituting for pasta, bread, or other carbs.  These options may include barley, buckwheat, cornmeal, oats, quinoa, brown and wild rice, as well as rye.


Maintain a healthy weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is key to heart health.  If you are overweight, a weight loss of 3-5% will reduce your triglycerides and blood glucose.  Losing 5-10% per year can significantly reduce your blood cholesterol. Cutting 500 calories/day equates to one pound of weight loss per week.  Simple changes such as reducing portion sizes, drinking calorie-free beverages, and reading food labels can help you achieve this number.  Increasing physical activity is also a pillar of a healthy weight.  Ask your physician about ways you can increase your physical activity.  


Eat more fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals and can help you maintain a healthy weight.  Adding them to your diet can be simple.  Top your cereal, oatmeal or pancakes with apples or berries.  Make certain every meal has at least one vegetable.  Frozen vegetables are a great option during colder months.  When purchasing canned vegetables, try to buy a reduced sodium option or rinse them before cooking and serving.


Limit saturated and trans-fats

The good news on trans-fats is that they gradually being removed from products we eat–but is still important to read labels.  Avoid products with partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils as these are trans-fats.  When choosing dairy, an easy way to reduce saturated fat intake is by choosing low-fat or skim products.  To limit saturated fat when eating meat, trim the fat and remove the skin.  In lieu of trans/saturated fats, opt for healthy fats like those in olive oil, avocado, and peanut butter or twice per week try fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, or albacore tuna.  Healthy Omega-3 fatty acids are also available in flaxseed, canola and soybean oils.


My recommendation is to make on one small change at a time.  Maybe start by eating more whole grains, then add in fruits and vegetables, or eliminate trans-fats.  Finally remove beverages that are high in sugar and start using smaller plates to limit portion sizes.  After a short time you will see results and begin feeling and looking better!


Iroquois Memorial Hospital would not be successful without the support of our incredible staff. Some members stand out as Superstars!

Each week, we will be featuring a new Superstar staff member to highlight their outstanding commitment and dedication to IMH and the patients we serve.

This week’s featured employee is Wendy Wilson. Wendy has been a member of the IMH family for 5 years. In that time, she has become a great asset to the Pharmacy Department. Wendy grew up in the Monmouth, IL area and graduated from Vincennes University with a Business Administration Degree.

Wendy is married to another IMH family member, Ken, who works in environmental services. They have two children, one grandchild, and two cats named Charlie and Hei Hei (from the movie Moana). She and her husband enjoy getting away for long weekends.  Together, they cook the Sunday evening meal for the youth group at Trinity Church in Watseka.  Each week, they feed a group of approximately 30 people a full meal including dessert. In her spare time, Wendy enjoys crocheting and learning how to play the guitar.

When we asked Wendy how she felt about working at IMH, she said, “I love my job, as I can be a part of the healing process for our patients, yet not involved in the direct patient care. The family-like feeling at IMH is why it’s a great place to work.”

From all of us at IMH and the Iroquois Resident Home, thank you Wendy for your outstanding service. You are a true Superstar in Healthcare!


01-12-2017 Wendy Wilson- superstar

Farewell Donna Price, RN and Happy Retirement!

Donna Price, RN, began her career at IMH over 25 years ago. She started in 1992, as a registered nurse working on floor with Mary Cahoe, RN, as her supervisor.

Donna Price, RN, in her first year at IMH, 1992.

Donna says, “It’s the people that drew me to IMH. As a brand-new nurse, I never wanted to work anywhere else. I did my clinicals at other hospitals, and there was no feeling of family like we have at IMH.”

Reminiscing over old photos with co-workers, Nancy Luecke, Michelle Fairley, Cheryl DePatis

According to Donna working at IMH has been “memorable and fulfilling”. She says, “I learned something new everyday, that’s something that is almost unheard of when you’ve worked somewhere your whole life.”

Dr. Phillip Zumwalt took time out of his retirement to wish Donna luck!

At her surprise retirement party, Donna reminisced with co-workers. She said, “I’ve seen so many lives saved by IMH. I will definitely remember my co-workers and the patients.”

Donna (bottom row, second from right) in her early years of  nursing.

As she enjoyed her time with co-workers and friends, there were many discussions of continuing to see her face around the hospital as a volunteer!

All smiles with Mary Kay Lavicka and Jane Frerichs

Congratulations Donna Price, RN. Happy Retirement!


Iroquois Memorial Hospital would not be successful without the support of our incredible staff. Some members stand out as Superstars!

Each week, we will be featuring a new Superstar staff member to highlight their outstanding commitment and dedication to IMH and the patients we serve.

This week’s featured employee is Nancy Cramer, LPN. Nancy has been a member of the IMH family for 27 years. As a LPN in the Iroquois Resident Home, she works with Residents and helps make sure their individual needs are met. Ironically, when she interviewed for her position, she told Donna Gossett, RN, the Director of Nursing at the time, that she did not want the job. Donna must have seen the potential in Nancy and told her, “You will be here on January 4th”. According to Nancy, she will never forget the day she started, because, lucky for us and the Residents at the Iroquois Resident Home, Donna scared her so much that she showed up for the job, and the rest is history!

Nancy is a local who graduated from Clifton Central. After high school, she attended Kankakee Community College where she completed her LPN. Nancy has three children, including her son who has recently been deployed on the USS Pearl Harbor.  When Nancy isn’t caring for Residents, she enjoys spending as much time as possible with her granddaughter.

When we spoke to Nancy about how she felt about her position at IMH she said, “I have always loved geriatric medicine. I love caring for people. Especially interacting with the Residents and their families, getting to know them and hearing their stories.” She, also, requested that everyone, please, keep her deployed son in their prayers.

From all of us at IMH and the Iroquois Resident Home, thank you Nancy for your outstanding service. You are a true Superstar in Healthcare!

01-05-2018 Nancy Cramer , LPN-superstar


Iroquois Memorial Hospital would not be successful without the support of our incredible staff. Some members stand out as Superstars!

Each week, we will be featuring a new Superstar staff member to highlight their outstanding commitment and dedication to IMH and the patients we serve.

This week’s featured employee is Nancy Luecke.  Nancy began her journey with IMH in 1977.  Nancy works, mostly behind the scenes, in Health Information Management (HIM). She has been certified by the American Health Information Management Association as a Certified Coding Specialist.

When Nancy is not working on medical coding, she can typically be found with her family.  She is married with two children, and three grandchildren. She enjoys many outdoor activities including fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.

When we asked Nancy about her position at IMH, she said, “I love the interactions with the providers, patients, and payers. I, also, love my job because coding is like solving a puzzle. It is very challenging to keep up with the latest healthcare regulations and changes.” Nancy said the only thing that she would probably change about her job would be to simplify Medicare coding and billing rules.

Thank you Nancy for your outstanding service. You are a true Superstar in Healthcare!

12-29-2017 Nancy Luecke, HIM