News Center

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Free heart-healthy classes offered to public throughout May

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center is offering free classes focused on cardiovascular health and wellness in May.

To register for any of the classes, call 317-782-4422 or go online at to see the full listing of spring classes. Seating is limited for these events. The classes include:

Ask the Docs

Cardio-Oncology – How can cancer treatment affect the heart?
Thursday, May 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Presented by Vijay Rao, MD and Eric Rubenstein, MD
Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center, 8111 S. Emerson Ave., Indianapolis

Have you or a loved one gone through cancer treatment?  Some cancer drugs can affect the heart muscle, so it is important to monitor your heart condition while going through treatment.  And the effects can last for many years after treatment is complete.  Franciscan Physician Network specialists Dr. Rao (cardiologist) and Dr. Rubenstein (oncologist) will discuss the impact chemotherapy may have on heart muscle and what can be done to help these patients.

Why does it hurt to walk?
Wed, May 25 at 5:30 p.m.
Presented by William Berg, MD
UnaVie Cardiology Center
2451 Intelliplex Dr., Shelbyville

Leg pain can be a result of poor blood flow to the legs through the arteries and can negatively impact a person’s life.  Dr. Berg, a cardiologist with the Franciscan Physician Network specializing in peripheral vascular disease, will discuss the blood flow to the legs, signs and symptoms of arterial vs. venous disease and treatment options available. 

Change of Heart Classes

Healthy Meals on a Budget
Tuesday, May 17, 6:30 p.m.
Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville, 1201 Hadley Road

As food prices climb and budgets get tight, smart purchases at the supermarket are important.  In this class, you will learn ways to stretch your food budget while still getting the nutrients you need.

Meatless Cooking Tips
Thursday, May 26, 6:30 p.m. at the Heart Center
Meatless meals may help you live longer. Adding more meatless meals to your diet is easy with new products now on the market.  This class will help you with menu planning and recipes so you can incorporate more meatless meals into your daily life.

Quick meals at home
Thursday, May 12, 6:30 p.m. at the Heart Center
Some days, we just don’t have the time – or the desire – to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  But that doesn’t mean we need to sacrifice eating well at home.  Learn how to fix quick and easy nutritious meals you and your family can enjoy.

Reduce Stress
Thursday, May 5, 6:30 p.m.
Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville

Tuesday, May 10, 6:30 PM at the Heart Center
Negative stress causes changes in lifestyle and behavior, which may lead to unhealthy choices.  Learn to identify the causes of stress in your life and techniques to decrease your stress which can improve your health.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

High-school sports physicals now require exams by physicians

Franciscan Sports Medicine hosts clinic May 14 at Indianapolis campus

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – As summer high school athletic training programs get under way, parents coaches and athletes need to prepare for the new guidelines regarding sports physicals. All pre-participation exams must be completed by licensed physicians as required by the Indiana High School Athletic Association.

Franciscan St. Francis Health Sports Medicine wants young athletes to get off to a good start and is offering a clinic Saturday, May 14. The clinic is from 9 a.m. to noon and is located at the hospital’s Indianapolis campus (5255 E. Stop 11 Road, Suite 301).

No family doctor? No problem. A staff doctor will be on hand to administer and certify all athletes between the ages of 14 and 18.

The cost is $15 per athlete (cash or check only). Exams are by appointment only and may be made by calling 317-781-1133.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Franciscan St. Francis Health throws 'baby shower’ for public

Newly expanded Indianapolis Women & Children’s Center unveiled at April 30 event

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Welcoming new lives into the world and providing a continuum of care to infants and women has long been a labor of love at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis. And that tradition will continue in years to come with the opening of its renovated Women & Children’s Center (WCC).

The $37 million construction endeavor has come to fruition, providing increased services to babies, children and mothers throughout all of Central Indiana. To that end, the hospital is inviting the public to attend the grand opening of the 100,000-square-foot facility Saturday, April 30.

Here’s what patients and visitors now find at the WCC:

·          7 triage rooms and an infusion area for newly admitted patients (2nd floor)
·        12 expanded labor and delivery rooms (2nd floor)
·          8 large antepartum suites with in-room refrigerators (2nd floor)
·          2 operating room suites for caesarean procedures (2nd floor)
·        36 postpartum suites and a nursery (3rd floor)
·        24 private neonatal intensive care (NICU) rooms (4th floor)
·        10  “kid-friendly” pediatric rooms  (4th floor)
Patients also will enjoy a new wellness center offering services such as massage therapy and acupuncture. And when they step through these doors they will feel right at home in this modern lobby, with its welcoming fireplace, a café and gift shop among other amenities.

“The completion of the Center heralds a new beginning and expands our ability to serve the healthcare needs of women, infants and children and the community as a whole,” said WCC Director Lori Warner, RN. “This project was phased in over a three-year period and I thank our phenomenal staff, who continued to provide a high level of care during that time. And, I thank all of our patients and visitors who were able navigate their way through the construction.”

And that sentiment is shared likewise by Franciscan St. Francis’ president and CEO.

“We very happy to offer the latest design in healthcare and it’s important to acknowledge that it is the commitment of outstanding quality care by our staff and physicians who truly make a difference in the lives of those we serve,” said James Callaghan, MD. “This is evidenced by our hospital’s recent prestigious designation as an Anthem Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care.”

The April 30 grand opening begins at 11 a.m. Activities throughout the day include: health screenings and education, numerous children’s activities, “Mommy” makeovers and craft corner, healthy cooking demonstrations for kids, chair massages and aromatherapy, car seat safety information, food, games and prizes, to name but a few.

Also, the first 100 women to arrive will receive a complimentary bag of makeup samples from Garb-2-Art.

The hospital also will celebrate the 40th Anniversary Reunion of our NICU. This brings together former patients, families and clinical staff in what promises to be an emotional reunion. Franciscan St. Francis-Indianapolis is the only Level III NICU unit in south-central Indiana has provided care to thousands of infants during that time.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Franciscan St. Francis Health lifts temporary flu visitation restrictions April 13

Indianapolis NICU will continue restrictions until April 29

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – As the number of flu cases has subsided, Franciscan St. Francis Health and other area hospitals will remove visitor restrictions, effective Wednesday, April 13.

Franciscan St. Francis implemented the temporary policy March 11 at its Indianapolis, Mooresville and Carmel hospitals and Franciscan Surgery Center at the request of the Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD) and the Indianapolis Coalition for Public Safety.

“That extra line of protection was needed to reduce the risk of exposing our patients, visitors and staff to this season’s flu virus,” said Chief Nursing Officer Susan McRoberts, MSN, RN. “Certainly, we appreciate the public’s cooperation and understanding during that time.”

However, Franciscan St. Francis Health will maintain temporary visitation restrictions to its neonatal intensive care unit until April 29. The restrictions include:
  • Only immediate family as identified by patient and patient's designated support person.
  • No visitors under 18 years of age unless they are seeking medical care or are parents of pediatric patients.
  • No visitors with symptoms suggestive of influenza.

 “While flu activity is going down in Marion County, we must continue to protect ourselves and each other by doing simple things such as washing hands frequently with soap and water and covering our coughs,” said Virginia Caine, MD, MCPHD director. “It is important for anyone with the flu or flu-like symptoms to avoid visiting someone in the hospital and to stay home from work until symptoms are resolved.”

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

New surgical approach poses benefits, speedier recovery for melanoma patients

Dr. Juliana Meyer
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – A few months ago, Stacey Yount’s passion for running may have seemed like a long-distance proposition after being diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma. But she’s getting back on her feet, thanks to an innovative surgical therapy.

Yount recently underwent videoscopic inguinal lymphadenectomy (VIL) at Franciscan St. Francis Health. It’s a minimally invasive procedure to treat melanoma that has spread to lymph nodes in the groin area.

After being diagnosed with melanoma, the Martinsville resident met with Juliana E. Meyer, MD, melanoma surgeon with Franciscan Physician Network, and director of the Melanoma Clinic at Franciscan St. Francis Health Cancer Center.

After further assessment and consultation with her colleagues, Dr. Meyer told Yount she was a good candidate for VIL.

“For certain melanoma patients, this is an effective procedure and offers many benefits over traditional invasive surgical therapy,” said Dr. Meyer. “It reduces the risk of infection and leads to speedier recovery.”

Under videoscopic guidance, this new approach uses standard laparoscopic instruments and techniques to remove the affected lymph nodes in the groin. In most cases, patients only have to stay overnight, often less time than had they undergone an open procedure.

“Because it is performed laparoscopically, VIL has smaller, less visible scarring compared to an open procedure,” said Dr. Meyer. 

And there are other important benefits, notes Yount, who is said to be the first patient in Central Indiana to undergo the procedure.

"Mine was an aggressive melanoma, and in addition to the immediate concern of mortality, I was really worried that melanoma would forever change my quality of life,” said Yount who formerly worked in the pharmaceutical clinical trials industry. “Like most cancer patients, feeling normal again was desperately important. Running was a big part of that."

In large part, “normal” to Yount means spending more time with her husband and daughters (ages 12 and 14) at the lake and pursuing outdoor activities. And it means setting a new pace in her passion for running. She recently completed a half-marathon and grueling triathlon.

To find out if you are a candidate for a lymphadenectomy, or to schedule a skin cancer screening, please call the Franciscan St. Francis Health Cancer Center at 317-528-1420.