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updated: 3/25/2013 1:52 PM

NCH offers free seminar about heartburn

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Northwest Community Healthcare

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (March 25, 2013) -- Occasional cases of heartburn often can be remedied with over-the-counter medications, but there is an underlying health risk for frequent heartburn sufferers. The burning sensation caused by stomach acids backing up into the esophagus can damage delicate tissue.

Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) is hosting a free community health seminar in recognition of Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month in April. Gastroenterologist Willis Parsons, MD, medical director of the NCH Gastroenterology Center, will present "Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) -- Not Always a Benign Problem" from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights.

Dr. Parsons will explain the serious health issues and cancer risk caused by chronic heartburn and GERD, including Barrett's esophagus, a pre-cancerous condition that can lead to esophageal cancer -- the most rapidly rising cancer in the United States. Dr. Parsons, a board-certified gastroenterologist who is recognized nationally for his work in advanced endoscopic procedures, will review facts and symptoms, suggest when to consult a physician, and explain diagnostic procedures and treatment options.

To learn more about heartburn, GERD and Barrett's esophagus, register for this free seminar by calling 847.618.4YOU (4968), or visit

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About Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH)

Serving Chicago's northwest suburbs since 1959, NCH is a comprehensive, patient-centered system of care that serves more than 350,000 outpatients each year, as well as nearly 30,000 inpatients treated annually at the 496-bed acute care hospital in Arlington Heights. The award-winning hospital holds the prestigious Magnet designation for nursing excellence, is designated as a Primary Stroke Center earned the Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval in 2011, and was awarded the Leapfrog Group's designation as one of the nation's Top Hospitals based on quality and safety criteria. NCH has four Immediate Care locations in the northwest suburbs and operates a FastCare Clinic in Palatine. NCH has a medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians, which includes the board-certified primary care doctors and specialists of the NCH Medical Group. For more information or to find a doctor on the NCH Medical staff, visit