News Center

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New family medicine residents ready for rounding at Franciscan St. Francis Health

INDIANAPOLIS – Newly minted physicians will begin honing their skills in the Family Medicine Residency Program at Franciscan St. Francis Health on July 1.

The 36-month program launches the start of their family medicine careers. Residents practice out of the hospital’s Family Medicine Center in Indianapolis, where they see patients of all ages and incomes. They also provide care for expectant mothers and deliver babies for many of these patients at the hospital’s Indianapolis campus.
This year’s class, which was expanded to eight participants, includes: Elizabeth Arneman, DO, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences; Sarah Astorga, MD, Indiana University School of Medicine; Nathan Billington, MD, St. Louis University School of Medicine; Paul Day, MD, University of Louisville School of Medicine; Jon Feist, MD, University of Louisville School of Medicine; Brandon Hockenberry, University of Nevada School of Medicine; Tim Musick, MD, University of Nevada School of Medicine; and Amanda Smith, MD, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine.
“We are so pleased and excited with our results and the calibre of these residents,” said Richard Feldman, MD, program director. “We could not have asked for a better outcome.”

More than 225 physicians have completed residencies at Franciscan St. Francis since the program began, most choosing to remain in Indiana to establish family medicine practices.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Franciscan St. Francis to participate in WTHR-13’s Health & Fitness Expo

INDIANAPOLIS – Franciscan St. Francis Health is one of the major sponsors of the second annual WTHR Health & Fitness Expo on Saturday, April 26, and Sunday, April 27, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

The family event will feature a large exhibit hall that will include area fitness organizations, hospitals, clinics and more.

A free screening zone includes cholesterol, blood pressure checks and BMI scoring, and local organizations will take the stage to lead workout sessions and entertain. One stage is also dedicated to healthy cooking, with demonstrations scheduled during the entire two days.

Local and national celebrities also will make appearances, including Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts), Sarah Fisher (IndyCar Series driver/owner), Bret Michaels (lead singer for Poison), Serena Aunon (NASA astronaut), and Nick Goepper (Winter Olympics medalist).

The Expo will be at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Exposition Hall from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $5 at the door, but free online. Visit for details for ordering free tickets, and use the promo code “HEALTH.”

Franciscan St. Francis is the sole sponsor for the Expo’s Million Step Challenge. Every person attending will receive a free pedometer and will be encouraged before they leave to enter the number of steps they have walked during their visit.

Franciscan St. Francis will have a presence at two booths. The hospital’s Cancer Center is the Expo’s major cancer services representative, with a 600-square-foot booth dedicated to lung health. Staff will offer free pulmonary function tests to interested adults.

Franciscan St. Francis also will participate in the screening zone, sponsored by Marian University.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The whispering fury: Heart surgeon to explain causes of heart murmurs, treatments

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – That low whispering inside some human hearts may speak volumes about a person’s health.

Marc Gerdisch, MD, cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon with Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center, will explain the importance of understanding why heart valves may cause murmurs and when it’s time to seek treatment. His presentation –- which is free and open to the public – is 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 23 at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville (1201 Hadley Road).

Heart murmurs are caused by valves inside the heart that don’t close properly. Sometimes, people can live with heart murmurs a long time without any symptoms. However, if the problem becomes more serious, the blood flow to the heart may be affected.

People who have innocent heart murmurs have normal hearts. They usually have no other signs or symptoms of heart problems. Innocent murmurs are common in healthy children. Many, if not most, children will have heart murmurs heard by their doctors at some time in their lives.

Call 317-782-4422 or go on-line at to register.

Anatomy of an execution: Physician to explain crucifixion from medical perspective on Good Friday

INDIANAPOLIS – It’s a crime scene investigation focused on a case which occurred 2,000 years ago. Call it, perhaps, CSI: Jerusalem.

That will be the focus of a special presentation at the auditorium of Franciscan St. Francis Health 11 a.m. on Good Friday, April 18. Charles J. Dietzen, MD, will discuss, from a medical perspective, the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth and what really happened on that long-ago day atop Golgotha.

Dietzen, an Indianapolis pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist and founder of Timmy Global Health, will explain the Roman practice of execution, the physiological aspects of Jesus’ death and a medical analysis of opposing theories on the resurrection.

Additionally, he will discuss what medical and scientific analyses reveal about the  Shroud of Turin, an ancient linen many believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus.

The presentation, which will be in the hospital's auditorium,  also will include a full-sized replica of the cross, Roman period artifacts and a life-sized copy of the Shroud of Turin.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April event heralds hospital’s century-long health care ministry in Central Indiana

Spotlight on Franciscan St. Francis Health’s past with a focus on the future

INDIANAPOLIS -- Step back in time to 1914. Henry Ford introduces the assembly line for the Model T. Charlie Chaplin debuts as “The Tramp” in film. Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife are assassinated, thus sparking World War I and Babe Ruth plays his first professional baseball game with the Baltimore Orioles.

Back home again in Indiana, RenĂ© Thomas wins the 4th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race and blisters the track with a record-setting lap of 82.4 mph and Mayor Joseph Bell establishes the police force’s first vice squad.

And in fledgling Beech Grove on Indianapolis’ south side, St. Francis Hospital begins accepting patients at is new medical facility, complete with 75 beds, operating rooms and an emergency room. It was the fulfillment of a vision orchestrated by the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration.

Franciscan St. Francis Health is celebrating its centennial in 2014 and will officially kick off a series of activities beginning  Thursday, April 10, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“Step Back in Time” will offer friends of Franciscan St. Francis Health a preview of its centennial celebration gala at the JW Marriott on Saturday, Sept. 27. The April 10 event will provide the special 100 guests an evening of hospital history and refreshments; actresses dressed in 1914-era clothing, who will mingle with guests; Fred Astaire dance instructors demonstrating their fleet-footed moves to Big Band music; and the opportunity to preview silent auction items that will be featured at the gala.

Guest also will have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win a free two-year lease on a Fiat 500 Pop from Tom O’Brien FIAT of Greenwood. The winner of the Fiat will be announced during the gala in September.

Honorary Co-Chairs of the Franciscan St. Francis Centennial Celebration Gala on Sept. 27 are The Most Rev. Joseph Tobin, Archbishop of Indianapolis, and Eli Lilly CEO John Lechleiter and his wife Sarah.

While history drives this event, the future of the hospital’s outreach to the greater community also takes a front seat. Proceeds will be designated to the Hospice House project. 

Groundbreaking for this free-standing facility, located on the Indianapolis hospital campus, is scheduled for June 12 with completion by year’s end.

When complete, the facility will serve as many as 600 Central Indiana families annually. It includes a 16-suite facility (with additional shell space for future expansion); bright gathering areas, kitchen and dining areas; garden-like landscaping and a chapel for meditation and worship; and unlimited visitation from loved ones and family members, including family pets.
To learn more about Hospice House and see images, click HERE.

Franciscan St. Francis will have other activities throughout the year to celebrate “A Century of Inspiring Health.” A video is being produced to recount the hospital’s growth at the former Beech Grove hospital and its campuses at Indianapolis, Mooresville and Carmel and a “history wall” is being developed for public display.