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posted: 3/25/2013 5:30 AM

Retired ER doctor has Rx for helping community

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  • Joseph Shanahan

    Joseph Shanahan

  • Linda Schreiber

    Linda Schreiber

  • Voula Loukopoulos

    Voula Loukopoulos

  • Kathy Medalle

    Kathy Medalle

  • Lev Akdemir

    Lev Akdemir

  • Darryl Betler

    Darryl Betler

  • Video: GlenOaks video


Joseph Shanahan retired earlier this year from emergency room medicine and heading up a firm that staffed Adventist GlenOaks Hospital's ER in Glendale Heights. After all he's seen his share of accident and heart attack victims. Most of all, he'll remember those stressful days during the Tylenol poisonings and even the horrific railroad accident that resulted in several deaths near Bourbonnais.

"Accidents and heart attacks, it's just what we do all the time," he said. "That's what I find fun about emergency medicine, it's never boring. There's something different all the time. You just never know what will happen."

Shanahan was feted last week during an open house at the Hilton Chicago/Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomingdale. He was being honored for his years of service since 1980 at GlenOaks. Since he retired in January, he now serves as the hospital's executive administrative liaison and works with the medical staff and community partners.

But it was those earlier days of being among the first to specialize in the ER medical field that kept his adrenaline pumping, he said.

After he graduated from the University of Nebraska's Medical School in 1974, he studied abroad for a while and then landed a job in Bolingbrook with a physician who opened a firm specializing in ER medicine and began staffing ERs at local hospitals.

Shanahan left after about a year and in 1978 started his own similar firm, called Acute Care Specialists in Hinsdale. He then contracted with various hospitals to staff their ER departments, medical quick-care centers and others. That's when he aligned with GlenOaks as well as St. Mary's Hospital in Kankakee.

He was among the first to handle cases ranging from the O'Hare plane crash to an anthrax case in Carol Stream after the 9/11 scares, and more.

In 1999, Shanahan was working a late shift for a friend and was about to leave for the night when he heard a radio call about a train wreck. He went out to the site, thinking it would include injuries. Instead, he faced massive devastation from the Amtrak collision with a tractor-trailer that resulted in 11 deaths and 122 people being transported to local hospitals.

"It was truly a disaster," he said. "There was a lot of deaths and lots of injuries. It was hard to see ... It was just something to deal with and categorize what's going on and get the sickest people out first."

He was eager to help and found the other first-responders very well organized, he said.

"In that sense, it was a great experience to have, working with all of those firemen and paramedics and others, not that I'd want to do that a second time," Shanahan said.

In more recent weeks, he participated in the Addison Trails disaster training drill of a school shooter.

"That was a completely different type of disaster, and there's nothing like that to compare it to, and that was just a drill," he said.

Also in 1986, he was handling the ER duties at GlenOaks during the Tylenol cyanide poisonings. Usually cyanide kills quickly, he said, but some people were coming into the ER who were sick and the doctors had to think quickly on what was happening.

"Most of all, we thought about how this later changed the entire pharmaceutical world," Shanahan said. "That's when I advocated for the sealed medicine bottles after that."

Besides advocating for seals on off-the-shelf medicines, Shanahan also fought for mandatory use of seat belts. He had seen numerous auto accidents over the years and the horrible injuries and deaths that would ensue for those not wearing seat belts, he said.

Today, instead of working 80-hour weeks, he's down to about 30 hours a week and enjoying some time with his family, he said.

"It's been an adjustment, but I enjoy getting up at 6 a.m. and working out five times a week and do what I want to do and still spend time with the paramedics and do things to help people," Shanahan said.

Brokers eye deals

F.J. "Mel" Melaniphy, chairman and CEO of Arlington Heights-based Site Location Specialists Inc., and Cedric C. McGraw, president and managing broker at Northfield-based Restaurant Services Corp. are seeking $2.5 million for the now-shuttered Wellington banquet hall and $1.85 million for the closed Yanni's Greek Restaurant, both in Arlington Heights. They've been in discussions with a number of suitors, including other restaurants and medical firms. "The market for commercial properties is picking up slowly, but many food service operators are downsizing due to the economy and the possibility of the increase in the minimum wage law, which has a major impact on many food service employees," Melaniphy said.

Nonni knows best

Patricia Wong Bridges, brand marketing manager for Nonni's Foods in Oakbrook Terrace, said the company was awarded Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery's Best New Product of 2012. Nonni's Salted Caramel Biscotti received 51 percent of the consumer votes.

Travel pros honored

Linda Schreiber, president and owner of Starship Travel Inc. in Arlington Heights, received the President's Award, while Voula Loukopoulos, a top travel agent for 15 years with Starship, won Top Producer of Sales in the Million Dollar range for the 7th year, during an awards ceremony of MAST (Midwest Agents Selling Travel) Travel Network, a consortium and marketing network based in Oak Brook.


Thomas Koos arrives fresh from California to start April 1 as CEO of Palatine-based Weber-Stephen Products LLC, manufacturer of charcoal and gas grills. He plans to relocate here, ... Long Grove resident Patricia Ryding is the new executive director for Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment Center in Lake Villa. ... James M. Hussey is the new president of Sagent Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Schaumburg.

Craig Torosian, medical director at Fox Valley Orthopedics in Geneva, said the firm is marking 40 years and on March 29, it will roll out 40 weeks of special anniversary events, challenges, giveaways, inspirational patient stories, tips to "keep it moving," and other community initiatives.

Kathy Medalle, a program manager at Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Land and Self Protection Systems Division in Rolling Meadows, has been named Marquette University College of Engineering's Young Alumna of the Year for 2013. ... Trina Williams, general manager at Motel 6 in Arlington Heights, has been recognized by the company as a Regional General Manager of the Year for 2012. ... Beth Welch has been named as executive director for Clare Oaks, a continuing care retirement community in Bartlett.

Terry Herlihy is a new broker at Cawley Chicago Commercial Real Estate in Downers Grove. ... Oakbrook Terrace-based ARCO/Murray's John Cummins was the project manager and Chris Niedhammer served as project executive for the build-out of Erase at the Oak Brook Promenade. Erase is a medical practice specializing in laser tattoo removal. ... Blake Seese, manager of business development for Wilson's installer certification program, said Cary-based MDG Computer Services Inc., doing business as 3Gstore that installs home audio and video equipment, has become a certified installer of Wilson Electronics' cellular signal boosters.

Naperville resident Darryl Betler has been hired as director of sales and development at HomeTrust Mortgage Corp. in Schaumburg. ... Stephen B. Parsons, executive vice president of Naperville-based OfficeMax, and Adriana Llames Kogelis, division vice president of online and social media marketing for Hoffman Estates-based Sears Holdings Corp., have joined the Special Olympics Illinois board of directors. ... Ejaz Syed has been hired to lead the BMO Harris Bank SBA loan program and will be based in Naperville.

Bartlett resident Lev Akdemir, of the financial services firm Edward Jones in Bartlett, recently traveled to St. Louis, Missouri, to attend a business development workshop and training session, which brings together Edward Jones financial advisers who have achieved a certain level of success in the financial services business. ... Corey McQuade, managing director of Northwestern Mutual's The McTigue Financial Group in Oak Brook, said the firm received the Investing in People Award by the Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce. The award recognizes the district office for outstanding leadership in growing and developing its people.

Daniel J. Meckstroth, vice president and chief economist of Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity & Innovation, will be the opening day keynote speaker in October for the 2013 Assembly Show at the Rosemont Convention Center in Rosemont. ... Kiera Hynninen has been named senior vice president of marketing and Pamela Smith as its senior vice president of finance, at Oakbrook Terrace-based Redbox, a subsidiary of Coinstar Inc.

Lee Kiser, principal of real estate brokerage firm Kiser Group in Chicago, said his firm has been retained for listings that include a 56-unit building 515-519 S. Milwaukee Ave. in Wheeling, and a 16-unit building with two commercial spots at 15-17 N. Vail Ave. in Arlington Heights. ... John Duntemann has been promoted to senior principal at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc. in Northbrook. The firm includes structural engineers, architects and materials scientists who specialize in the investigation, analysis, testing, and design of repairs for historic and contemporary structures.

Glenn and Jodie Holmes, owners of FastSigns of Gurnee, and Tom and Deborah Castino, owners of FastSigns of Northbrook, received the Pinnacle Club Award for higher sales volume from the previous year, presented during the FastSigns convention recently held in Dallas.

JoAnn Flynn, vice president and manager of Village Bank and Trust in Park Ridge, was recently elected as a member of the Park Ridge Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

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