Weiss Stories

Weiss Patients and Visitors Share Their Experiences

What's Going on at Weiss?

Ken Kolakowski, head of maintenance at Weiss Memorial Hospital, walks effortlessly and without pain.

Today, Ken Kolakowski, head of maintenance at Weiss, walks effortlessly and without pain—a vast improvement compared to his previous 25 years, when he was barely walking at all. His right leg bowed outward, and his knee joint was misaligned, two inches out of plumb. Read more.

Chicago Spine Center at WeissAfter a serious spinal injury as a teenager, Jennifer Molina spent 21 years in and out of surgery, trying to find a doctor she could trust. Purnendu Gupta, MD, operated on Molina to straighten her spine in November. The 13-hour surgery straightened her spine—and added 3 inches to her height. Read more

Senior Support Group at WeissEvery week for the past two years, a group of a dozen senior citizens has gathered at Weiss. They discuss their dreams, fears, and the ups and downs of getting older. Weiss' weekly support group provides a social network to seniors. Read more

Advance Directives Seminar at WeissJennifer Guimond-Quigley practices estate planning, family, probate and real estate law. She spoke to a small group at Weiss in early January, touching on everything from the positives and negatives of joint bank accounts to the differences between wills and trusts. Read more

Holiday carolers at WeissFour days before Christmas, the typically quiet geriatric psychiatry unit on the 7th floor underwent an abrupt change. Carolers began a morning of holiday cheer there, performing for a group of patients in the recreation room. This year, volunteer elves passed out more than 50 gifts to Weiss patients. Read more

Ballroom dancing at WeissThe horns and drums of Latin American music filled the Lakefront Medical Center lobby on Thursday as a dozen senior-aged women shimmied and strutted across the floor. This was the first class of ballroom dancing at Weiss. Read more

Tai Chi at WeissPeople passing through the Lakefront Medical Center lobby on Tuesday mornings often do a double-take at the large circle of people off to the side, delicately raising their hands to the sky or twisting their legs. Every week Lynn Baumhardt leads a group of 25 seniors in tai chi at Weiss. Read more

Holiday Wreaths at WeissTables overflowing with colorful bows, poinsettias, candy canes and other holiday paraphernalia filled the WISE Senior Center, as seniors gathered to decorate wreaths. Weiss Memorial Hospital donated finished wreathes to local businesses to help deck storefronts for the holiday season. Read more

Cardiac Birthdays at Weiss

Once a month for the past 15 years, cardiac inpatients at Weiss gather in the exercise room on the 6th floor for a birthday party. They snack on fruits and vegetables and laugh together as one of the department’s nurses leads the room singing a round of “Happy Birthday.” Read more

Dr. Janaki EmaniMore than half of all people in the United States suffer from allergies. Alexandre Schleider, a Weiss patient, didn’t want to suffer anymore. Dr. Janaki Emani is one of a handful of physicians in the region who treat patients using sublingual immunotherapy. Read more

Student visit to Weiss rooftop gardenApproximately 75 fifth graders arrived at Weiss from Goudy Elementary School, in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. They had walked the mile from their school at Foster and Broadway to Weiss in order to see the hospital’s rooftop garden and apiary, as well as tour the Uptown Farmers Market. Read more

Laughter Yoga at WeissThe laughter echoed down the hall, from the auditorium to the elevators. Inside the auditorium Wednesday morning, 16 people clapped their hands from side to side, mirroring the instructor on stage. They were practicing a special type of yoga called Laughter Yoga. Read more

Farmers Market at WeissLorraine Bakaitis had come to the hospital on Thursday not for an appointment, but for the Uptown Farmers Market. This particular market, held in the Weiss parking lot, convened for the first time on June 24. It is the Uptown neighborhood’s first farmers market. Read more

Alzheimers Support at Weiss

Currently, more than 1,000 seniors are enrolled in the WISE Senior Center program, though a core group ranges between 200 and 300 regulars. “We engage them with knowledge they haven’t had before. They stay actively involved in learning new things," says Caren Perlmuter, V.P., Senior Services. Read more

Senior Springfest at WeissOn one of the nicest days of the year, more than 100 seniors gathered in the Lakeshore Medical Center lobby for the annual Senior Springfest. Read more


Diabetes Day at WeissRenee Schickler, MD, believes the best way to manage diabetes is through education. That is why she organized the first Weiss Diabetic Health Fair, a prelude to the monthly “Diabetes Day” at Weiss. Read more

Wii Party at WeissIn a 20-by-20-foot room on an otherwise ordinary Thursday afternoon, Flora Holtrop played tennis. She raced cows. And she bowled. Flora was at a Wii party, hosted by the WISE Senior Center at Weiss and open to all seniors in the area. Read more