While praising the work of nurses at the different Endoscopic teams of Evergreen Park’s and Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, little did Dr. Michael D’Astice know he’d set off a case of friendly 95th Street rivalry.
“Since many Gastroenterology specialists work at both hospitals, naturally, they often compared the routines of the different teams. After a while, the nurses grew tired of the comparison,” said D’Astice, Medical Director of the Endoscopy Center at Little Company of Mary.
The Endoscopy nurses at Advocate Christ Medical Center took matters in their own hands, and threw down the gauntlet--Team GI vs Little Company of Mary's Bombers--to determine the better team this past Saturday. However the competition did not take place in the Endoscopic laboratory, as one would expect, but rather the sand pits located behind the Community Pavilion in Oak Lawn.
The procedure of choice? Volleyball.
“Volleyball seemed a good median sport for many of the nurses participating. Today’s event is really not a competition, but rather a fun way for the different teams to finally meet each other,” said Jax McKendry, Manager of Little Company of Mary’s Outpatient Services and captain of the Bombers.
Advocate Christ Medical Center nurse Michelle Shaban, captain of Team GI and one of the event organizers, agreed. “Any rivalry only stems from proximity between the two hospitals. We borrow instruments for different procedures from them, and they borrow instruments from us. We hear so much about the other nurses from the doctors, so it’s great that we finally have the chance to get to know one another.”
To up the ante, nurses from both teams and physicians from several Gastroenterology groups made monetary donations, with the total collection going to the winner’s charity of choice.
Sporting matching shirts and several weeks of practice under the drawstrings of their scrub pants, the nurses took to the sand for best out of three. Friends and family cheered from the sidelines, and had pizza and cool drinks on hand to nourish nurse-athletes between games.
In the end, the Bombers emerged victorious to claim bragging rights as winners of the first ever Crosstown Volleyball Match. Their charity of choice, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation—a non-profit organization working to find a cure for these specific inflammatory bowel diseases—received a tidy donation.
Sweetest of all? D’Astice didn’t have to make use of the portable defibrillator he brought along to the field. “Just in case.”