News Center

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Weight Loss Center adds ‘Eat for Life’ program to wellness menu

INDIANAPOLIS – We all know the importance of eating right and exercising for good health. But sometimes we stumble on the roadblocks in our path to success, and we just need a little support to help maintain a healthy lifestyle.

That’s what makes the St. Francis Eat for Life Wellness Program unique. The 10-week, comprehensive weight management program teaches skills needed to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

The latest program gets under way 6:30 p.m., Jan. 13, with each session held Tuesdays at the St. Francis Weight Loss Center, 5230-A E. Stop 11 Road, across Stop 11 Road from the St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis campus.

Each session offers participants the opportunity to track their weight, sample a healthy food, and participate in discussions on a variety of topics. Topics include creating a plan for balanced eating, determining portion sizes, understanding food labels, choosing healthy snacks, dining out, menu planning, recipe modification, exercise, and a grocery store tour.

There is a fee of $150 to register for the program. Call 317-782-7525 or visit
StFrancisHospitals.org/weightloss for additional information.

St. Francis Weight Loss Center puts bite on ‘emotional eating’


INDIANAPOLIS – Occasional “emotional eating” isn't a problem for most people. After all, that's what makes comfort food so appealing. But turning to food every time a person has unpleasant feelings – or even positive ones – can lead to weight gain.

Emotional eaters may find it difficult to stop on their own. Finding a support group for people dealing with similar issues can provide guidance for dealing with emotional eating.

The Emotional Eating Support Group at the St. Francis Weight Loss Center is for anyone trying to lose weight and struggling with emotional overeating, also known as compulsive overeating or binge eating. This group offers support to patients struggling with emotional eating, or using food for reasons other than physical hunger and feeling unable to stop the behavior.

The groups will be led by Holly Pittman, a therapist at the Center, has extensive experience providing individual, couples, and group therapy to patients with eating, mental health and addiction issues.

The latest session gets under way 6 p.m., Jan. 5, with each session held Mondays at the St. Francis Weight Loss Center, 5230-A E. Stop 11 Road, across Stop 11 Road from the St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis campus.

There is a fee for those registering for the program. Call 312-782-7525 or visit StFrancisHospitals.org/weightloss for additional information.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Urogynecologist establishes practice with St. Francis Medical Group

INDIANAPOLIS – Serge Peter Marinkovic, M.D., has joined Urology Specialists at St. Francis. He also is a member of St. Francis Medical Group.

A specialist in urology and urogynecology, he comes to the new position from Women & Children’s Hospital in Lafayette, La., where he served since 2005. Prior to that, he was clinical associate professor of urology at Southern Illinois School of Medicine and worked at nearby Decatur Memorial Hospital.

Marinkovic, board-certified by the American Board of Urology, held previous appointments at Dr. John Warner Hospital in Clinton, Ill., and St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur, Ill.

An honors graduate of Wayne State University School of Medicine in Michigan, he completed fellowships at St, Georges Hospital in London, United Kingdom; Long Island Jewish Medical Center; and Geisinger Medical Center in Pennsylvania. He also has worked at Providence Veterans Hospital and Brown School of Medicine.

He has served as a consultant and preceptor in the usage of surgical/imaging and neurostimulator devices.

Marinkovic has won much recognition for his presentations to professional organizations has been widely published in medical journals.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

First fellow selected for IU, Kendrick training program at St. Francis

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – Shirley Shih, M.D., has been appointed as the first fellow of the Indiana University School of Medicine Colon and Rectal Residency Program at Kendrick Regional Center for Colon and Rectal Care at St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville.

Shih’s fellowship training – the first program of its kind in Indiana – will begin in July 2009 .

The residency program was established through a partnership between IU, St. Francis and Kendrick Regional Center and marks the first educational joint venture between St. Francis and the medical school, the nation’s second-largest academic medical institution.

The teaching staff comprises surgeons with Kendrick Regional Center and assistant clinical professors with the IU School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery. They are Drs. Olaf Johansen, Fred Lane, R. Barry Melbert, Bridget Sanders and Dipen Maun from Kendrick, and Drs. Bruce Robb and Virgilio George from IU.

Shih received her undergraduate degree at Stanford University and her medical degree from Albany Medical College in Albany, New York. She was trained in general surgery at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., and is currently a research fellow at Cleveland Clinic Florida.

Upon completing the training, she will be eligible for the qualifying and certifying exams of the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery.

More information about the fellowship is available by calling 317-834-9618 or at the Kendrick Regional Center for Colon and Rectal Care Website
www.kendrickcenter.com, or the IU School of Medicine site, www.medicine.iu.edu.

In 2007, St. Francis established the Colorectal Cancer Center center of excellence for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer. It’s one of the largest programs of its kind in Indiana.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Rockin’ around the Christmas treats doesn’t have to mean weight gain

INDIANAPOLIS – The holidays can be unkind to anyone’s diet, but with a few compromises and healthy choices, consumers don’t have to be deprived at this year’s dinner table.

The Weight Loss Center at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers has several suggestions to help stay on track during the holidays:

-- Eat five or six small meals daily, which can help to control blood sugar and to curb your appetite.
-- Eat a light, healthy meal a few hours before your holiday event. You can more easily control your intake if you are not overly hungry.
-- Eat slowly and listen to your hunger cues. If you are not hungry, then don’t have seconds.

-- When eating from a buffet, sample foods in small portion. Skip familiar foods and opt for special holiday items. Avoid extra calories by limiting sauces and gravies.
-- Sample only a taste of your favorite dessert.

And for those wanting to burn off some of those extra calories, here are a few of suggestions:
-- Drive past those close parking spaces and park further from the store’s entrance.
-- Take a couple brisk laps around the mall before you begin your shopping spree.
-- Layer on the warm clothes and enjoy a walk through your neighborhood’s holiday lights.

No calling birds, French hens in this eating plan
Whether you’ve been naughty or nice when it comes to your meal choices, the holiday season doesn’t mean you have to give up entirely this fall and winter.

In honor of the 12 days of Christmas, the St. Francis Weight Loss Center offers 12 ways for consumers to watch their waistlines while still enjoying the holiday season:

1. Instead of baking cookies with your children, create non-edible projects like wreaths, dough art decorations or a gingerbread house.
2. Plan to maintain your weight over the holidays. Decide which treat is worth the calories, take a smaller portion, and savor every single bite.
3. Think ahead to make mealtimes less hurried.
4. Experiment with seasonal produce, such as pears, oranges and cranberries.
5. Plan for parties. If you eat normally throughout the day, you’re much less likely to overeat at the party.
6. Lighten up. Substitute spices and fresh herbs for seasoning rather than fat and salt.
7. Make exercise time play time. Enjoy an afternoon of football, sledding, ice skating or playing in the snow. Or even enjoy the holiday lights while taking a long evening walk.
8. Discover different dips. Replace cream cheese with silken tofu, or experiment with dips made with nonfat cream cheese or sour cream.
9. Watch your appetizers. Limit high-fat choices such as fried chicken wings, miniature sausages and most cheeses. Choose fruits and vegetables instead.
10. Enjoy the mall. While shopping, stretch your legs and squeeze in some exercise in a warm, dry environment.
11. Be a happy host. Balance your famous cookies with healthier options. Grab a fruit or vegetable tray from the store. Be sure to send your leftovers home with guests. 12. Have a healthy holiday spirit. Cocktails, “real” eggnog and other holiday drinks quickly add up in calories. Alternatives include sparkling or hot apple cider, light eggnog or seltzer mixed with fruit juices.

12. Have a healthy holiday spirit. Cocktails, “real” eggnog and other holiday drinks quickly add up in calories. Alternatives include sparkling or hot apple cider, light eggnog or seltzer mixed with fruit juices.

St. Francis gift program shares with needy in season of giving

INDIANAPOLIS – While one song hails the holidays as the “most wonderful time of the year,” for many families it’s a time of struggle.

That’s what continues to drive the Gift-a-Family program, coordinated by the Service Excellence and Volunteer Services at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers. The annual program serves residents primarily on the city’s south side.

While the referral and selection of families for this year’s program has ended, St. Francis employees and their respective departments recently began “adopting” families and collecting new clothing, small household items and children’s toys and gifts.

“Each year we identify families who have been referred to us, and while they have different backgrounds they all share a common denominator – they’re needy and often in desperate situations,” said Shirley Fox, chair of St. Francis’ Mission Integration Committee. “And in the spirit of St. Francis, our employees step forward with generosity and compassionate concern to help them.”

St. Francis employees are expected to assist 75 families during the upcoming holidays.

Employees of Alverno Information Services, a division of the Sisters of St. Francis Health Services located at the hospital’s Beech Grove campus, also will provide the families with food baskets.

This year’s food baskets will be blessed on Dec. 18 by St. Francis clergy before they are delivered with the gifts.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

3-D Lab gives realistic outside-looking-in view of human health

INDIANAPOLIS – Imagine a virtual journey into the depths of the human body and capturing images that can be used to help clinicians identify and treat hard-to-identify illnesses and conditions.

That’s a journey many physicians are taking to help their patients, navigating their way by the sophisticated technology found in the 3-D Lab at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers. The lab – one of the few in Indiana – was created to harness the surge in technology-related computed axial tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Administered by St. Francis’ Radiology Department at its south side Indianapolis campus, the 3-D Lab is being used in a variety of ways to diagnose conditions such as blood clots, aneurysms and to assist vascular surgeons to place devices such as stents.

The technology also helps physicians probe skeletal and musculoskeletal trauma and anomalies, and helps them plan surgeries.

Through the St. Francis network, the 3-D Lab receives data from cross-sectional CT and MRI studies. Computers in the lab then produce realistic views of body systems physicians use to visualize their patients’ anatomies more comprehensively and accurately. These images can be viewed at St. Francis campuses at Indianapolis, Beech Grove and Mooresville.

“Often hundreds or even thousands of CT scan images can be summarized into a smaller number of three-dimensional images with the aide of specialized workstations.” said interventional radiologist Raj Gupta, M.D. Gupta works frequently with 3-D images to help specialists, such as vascular surgeons, with planning their procedures.

But it’s not only specialists who are taking advantage of the 3-D Lab. Primary care physicians at St. Francis are increasingly using the technology to view arteries and possible pulmonary embolisms in their patients.

“Optimal 3D post processing is very reliant on the quality of CT and MRI images produced at the scanner,” said 3-D Lab Technical Coordinator Louis Rankin. “The 3D Lab has nearly developed into a separate department here in Radiology, but we still focus on putting through quality CT and MRI imaging”.

Currently, the 3-D Lab is operational around-the-clock and on-call staff members maintain virtual work stations at home.

St. Francis MDs, pharmacist honored for patient safety leadership

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Patient Safety Coalition today (Nov. 25) recognized St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers medical leaders as recipients of the coalition’s 2008 Patient Safety Hero Awards.

Awards were presented to the coalition’s co-founders, Dr. Donald J. Kerner, associate chief medical officer at St. Francis, and Dr. Glenn Bingle, vice president for medical and academic affairs at Community Health Network. Kerner serves as the coalition’s vice chair and Bingle serves as chair.

Both were specifically cited for their visionary leadership to improve patient safety to medical facilities in the Indianapolis area.

Two others from St. Francis also were among others recognized for their efforts to promote medical safety. Pulmonologist Charles E. Kinsella, M.D., and pharmacist Therese Staublin have lead a team to establish a standardized process for systematic reporting, tracking, documentation and analysis of medication errors to adopt a system-wide approach to analyze adverse events and trends across incidents.

The Patient Safety Hero awards are given to individuals or groups at each member hospital that have championed a specific patient safety project.

Established in 2003, the coalition is comprised of chief executive, medical, nursing and pharmacy officers from Indianapolis and surrounding county hospitals. In addition, there is participation by entities such as Eli Lilly and Company, WellPoint, Inc., Indiana University, Purdue University and the Regenstrief Institute, Inc. #

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Operation Bright Christmas shines light on needy youngsters

BEECH GROVE, Ind. – The effects of the reeling economy are never more glaring than during the holidays – and that’s why St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is partnering with LifeBridge Community to help needy families.

Operation Bright Christmas serves families during the holidays, benefiting an estimated 200 children living in poverty in Beech Grove and Indianapolis’ south side. St. Francis has joined with LifeBridge and is now accepting donations until Dec. 18 to help these families.

Donations being accepted: new toys, new or gently used infant clothing and items, wrapping paper, gift bags, tags, ribbon, batteries, DVDs or CDs (“G” or “PG” rating only), video and board games (“G” rating only), twin size bedding, gift cards in small denominations, faith-based items, and sports toys (balls, bats, gloves, etc.).

Donors are asked not to provide clothing, or toys that are of violent and occult nature. Toys that are broken or missing pieces also will not be accepted.
Donations are being accepted 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at the Spiritual Care offices at St. Francis Hospital-Beech Grove, 1600 Albany St.; St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis, 8111 S. Emerson Ave.; and St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville, 1201 Hadley Road.

“We’re encouraging the public to join with the St. Francis family to make this holiday a little brighter for the less fortunate,” said Julia Dearing, who is helping coordinate the program at St. Francis. “Registered parents will have the opportunity to shop for the donated items and wrap them at home.”

LifeBridge Community is a faith-based ministry that seeks to instill hope in the lives of children, young adults and families through nurturing relationships and supportive services. More information about the organization is at www.lifebridge-communit

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Trial seeks to decrease post-operative complication rates following rectal surgery

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – Surgeons with the Kendrick Regional Center for Colon and Rectal Care at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers are testing the effectiveness of a mesh reinforcement device for patients undergoing surgery for rectal cancer.

It’s part of a study being conducted at 12 sites around the country, including the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland and the Cleveland Clinic in Florida, and the Mayo Clinic. The research is sponsored by W.L. Gore and Associates, a Delaware-based medical products company.

“The aim of this study is to determine if the mesh material will lead to a lower rate of permanent colostomy as well as decreasing the complication rate for this difficult procedure,” said Frederick Lane, M.D., principal investigator for the St. Francis study.

Joining Lane in the study are Olaf B. Johansen, M.D.; R. Barry Melbert, M.D.; Bridget M. Sanders, M.D.; and Dipen C. Maun, M.D. These surgeons, all of whom are members of the Colorectal Cancer Center of Excellence at St. Francis, are certified by the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery.

The findings of the study are expected to be presented nationally and published in a major medical journal.

Patients currently are being enrolled. For more information, call 317-889-7906.

The Kendrick Regional Center also was recently approved to lead the Indiana University Colon and Rectal Training Program, which will train colon and rectal surgeons of the future. The training program is supported by IU as well as grants from St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers and the Kendrick Foundation.

More information about the Kendrick Regional Center for Colon and Rectal Care is
www.kendrickcenter.com.

St. Francis invites families to breakfast, spend time with St. Nick

INDIANAPOLIS – The St. Francis Memories to Hold program will host Breakfast with Santa 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 6 in the cafeteria at St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis, 8111 S. Emerson Ave. (Entrance 6).

In addition to the breakfast, children can make holiday crafts and receive giveaways before meeting Santa and sharing their Christmas wish lists with him.

Parents are invited to bring their own cameras to take photographs of their children with Santa. Photographs also will be available to purchase for $1 each.

The costs to attend are $7 for adults and $3 for children 2 and older.

Those unable to attend the breakfast still can come to Storytime with Santa and Mrs. Claus from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 6, in the cafeteria at St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis.

Children will enjoy cookies and punch while talking to Santa, who will host a special story time at 3 p.m. The cost is $3 for children, which includes a photograph with Santa.

Seating at both events is limited. For reservations, call 317-782-4422.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Blessings, screenings on tap for St. Francis clinics’ open houses, Nov. 19

INDIANAPOLIS – The public is invited to a blessing, open house and screenings for three St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers medical offices, Wednesday, Nov. 19.

The events will mark the grand opening of the new location for the Franciscan Center for Integrative Health, the St. Francis Diabetes & Endocrinology Center, and the St. Francis Weight Loss Center. All three have moved to 5230A E. Stop 11 Road, Indianapolis.

The blessing begins at 4 p.m., with tours, refreshments, body-mass index screenings and diabetes risk assessments until 6 p.m.The Franciscan Center for Integrative Health uses both conventional treatments, as well as “complementary” or “alternative” therapies to provide care for patients. Health and healing are based upon addressing patients’ physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, as well as examining the impact of their connections within the community. The Franciscan Center can be reached at 317-788-0907.

The St. Francis Diabetes & Endocrinology Center treats adult patients with diabetes or endocrine disorders. The center offers an extensive list of diabetes education programs, recognized by the American Diabetes Association. The center can be reached at 317-865-5904.

The St. Francis Weight Loss Center is an American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence. The center offers medical and surgical treatments for obesity, including physician-supervised weight loss, LAP-BAND and Realize adjustable gastric bands, gastric bypass surgery, gastric sleeve surgery, group weight management programs and StomaphyX procedures for previous gastric bypass patients. More information is at 317-782-7525.

For more information on all St. Francis services, visit the Web site at www.stfrancishospitals.org.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Family medicine physician selected to lead St. Francis Medical Group

INDIANAPOLIS – Glenn A. Loomis, M.D., has been appointed president of the St. Francis Medical Group, LLC.

In that role, he will lead 71 physicians who are members of the Indianapolis-area physician group. It marks the second time Dr. Loomis has been associated with St. Francis; he served as associate director of the hospital’s Family Practice Residency Program from 1999 to 2002.

Dr. Loomis, who is board-certified in family medicine, returns to St. Francis after serving as president of Sparrow Medical Group in Lansing, Mich. Prior to that position, he served as associate medical director for Mercy Health System in Janesville, Wisc. and director of Mercy’s Family Medicine Residency. From 1995 to 1999, he served as a family medicine physician and flight surgeon with the U.S. Air Force.

A graduate of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, he completed his family medicine residency at Community Health Network in Indianapolis and also earned a master’s degree in healthcare management at the University of Texas.

Dr. Loomis, a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, has earned several academic and professional honors during his career. He has also been published in professional journals.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Anthem contract termination rescinded; patients will continue to receive in-network care

INDIANAPOLIS – The Sisters of St. Francis Health Services Inc. today (Nov. 7) announced it would rescind plans to terminate its contract with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana, thereby ensuring patients will continue to receive in-network benefits.

St. Francis and Anthem officials say they have made progress in negotiating a new multi-year contract and will continue their discussions until an agreement is reached.

An agreement would cover the following SSFHS medical facilities and physicians:
  • St. Francis Hospital & Health Center (Indianapolis)
  • St. Francis Hospital & Health Center (Beech Grove)
  • St. Francis Hospital & Health Center (Mooresville)
  • St. Elizabeth Regional Health (Lafayette)
  • Home Hospital (Lafayette)
  • St. Anthony Medical Center (Crown Point)
  • St. Anthony Memorial Health Center (Michigan City)
  • St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Center (Hammond)
  • St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Center (Dyer)
  • St. Clare Medical Center (Crawfordsville)
  • Franciscan Physicians Hospital (Munster)
  • More than 300 physicians in the different SSFHS service areas

The affected plans are Anthem Blue Access PPO, Anthem Blue Preferred HMO, Anthem Traditional, Anthem Medicare Advantage PPO, and Anthem Healthy Indiana Plan.

###

About Sisters of St. Francis Health Services Inc.
Headquartered in Mishawaka, Ind., the Sisters of St. Francis Health Services is a network of 13 growing hospital campuses in Indiana and Illinois is one of the largest health-care systems in the state. The system’s health-care ministry in Indiana was established in 1875. More information about SSFHS is at www.ssfhs.org.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana is available at www.anthem.com.


Media Contacts:
Joe Stuteville-St. Francis
317-782-7986 (office)
Joe.Stuteville@ssfhs.org

Tony Felts-Anthem
317-287-6036 (office)
tony.felts@anthem.com

Purchase ageement for Beech Grove under review

For the past two years, a committee of St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers leadership and Beech Grove officials, led by Beech Grove Mayor Joe Wright, have met to discuss new uses for the Beech Grove campus once inpatient care and other hospital services move to the Indianapolis campus.

Two of the main goals of this committee were to blend the community’s needs with the best future use of the Beech Grove campus, and that future re-use of the Beech Grove campus would conform to the values of Catholic principles and Franciscan values.

Recently, the hospital was approached by The Delamore Companies, a company with solid experience in redeveloping health-care facilities. We have executed a purchase agreement with Delamore and are now going through a required process of due diligence. This will be followed by an approval process through the Sisters of St. Francis Health Services, Inc. Last week, the City of Beech Grove held a meeting to present a timeline for a proposed bond sale for the St. Francis redevelopment project.

St. Francis and the City of Beech Grove are optimistic that the sale of the hospital could be final as soon as the end of the year. Once the sale is finalized, the hospital will lease the facilities from Delamore while the Indianapolis construction continues.

New pantry program will aid struggling families with newborns

INDIANAPOLIS – Many central Indiana families are struggling to weather today’s tough economic climate and find it increasingly difficult when a new baby arrives in the household.

That’s why St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers has established the Newborn Pantry, a program designed to ensure that families have some of the necessities for their newborn infants.

The program is accepting donations – new and gently used – such as baby blankets, diapers, wipes, bibs, crib sheets and one-piece body suits. The donations will be collected from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at kickoff "baby showers" at the following facilities:

Nov. 17: St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville (Swisher Conference Center), 1201 Hadley Road
Nov. 18: St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis (Classroom II), 8111 S. Emerson Ave.
Nov. 19: St. Francis Hospital-Beech Grove (basemen auditorium), 1600 Albany St.

It’s estimated that 40 percent of babies born at St. Francis hospitals are in families who are struggling financially, have limited resources or receiving charity care.

"St. Francis has always looked for ways to meet the needs of the community," said Sister Marlene Shapley, vice president of mission services. "The Newborn Pantry is a way our staff is reaching out to meet the needs of our newest members."

For more information about donations, contact Mischelle Frank at 317-782-6517.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Local luminaries shine bright in style show benefiting hospice project

INDIANAPOLIS – Several locally known leaders in media, medicine and business will taxi down the fashion runway for an event benefiting end- of-life patients and their families served by St. Francis Hospice.

The 5th annual St. Francis Hospice Style Show – "Caring Beyond Curing" – is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 15 at Primo Banquet and Conference Center, 2615 E. National Ave., Indianapolis. Proceeds go to the Bridge Campaign initiative, which seeks to construct an inpatient Hospice House facility near St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis on the city’s south side.

Among the guest models: Stacia Matthews, health and fitness reporter at WRTV-6; Winnie Ballard, wife of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard; Rowana Umbarger, wife of Major General R. Martin Umbarger, Adjutant General for the State of Indiana; Karle Schaefer, 2008 500 Festival Queen; Susan McRoberts, vice president and chief nursing officer at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers; Vicki Perry, chief executive office of Advantage Health Solutions; Pam Hickman, owner of Patora Jewelers; and several St. Francis hospice and palliative caregivers.

Rafael Sanchez, WRTV’s "Call 6 for Help" will serve as master of ceremonies.
The event kicks off at 11:00 a.m. with a silent auction, followed by the luncheon & style show presented by Coldwater Creek.

The St. Francis Healthcare Foundation is spearheading the Bridge Campaign to build a free-standing 16-suite facility with room for expansion to 32 suites. It also will include gathering and dining areas, landscaping and a chapel.

It is estimated that Hospice House will serve more than 800 patients per year. St. Francis medical professionals will provide 24 hours a day, seven days a week state-of-the-art pain and symptom management including emotional and spiritual support.

For more information about St. Francis Hospice Style Show sponsorships, registration and auction packages, contact Glenda Dennison at 317-859-2874.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

St. Francis, Anthem agree to extension; long-term contract possible

INDIANAPOLIS – The Sisters of St. Francis Health Services, Inc. (SSFHS) has agreed to postpone its contract termination with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana until Friday, Nov. 7.

After a weekend of intense discussions, both organizations reported that “significant progress in negotiations had been made and both SSFHS and Anthem are confident that a long-term contract extension will be completed in the next few days.”

The contract was scheduled to terminate midnight, Sunday, Nov. 2.

Both parties indicated optimism that final details of a long-term contract extension would be finalized by Nov. 7.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Taking it to the streets: Thousands poised to run in Nov. 1 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon

INDIANAPOLIS – More than 3,100 runners will hit the city streets for the first-ever Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, Saturday, Nov. 1.

Participants from 39 states and four countries are registered for the event, whose title sponsor is St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers. The race features a full marathon (26.2 miles) and a half marathon (13.1 miles). Both courses will begin near Washington and West streets and will end their trek on Robert D. Orr Drive to the finish line, 200 yards east of West Street.

Opening ceremonies get under way 7:25 a.m., slightly west of the State Capitol Building on West Washington St. with remarks by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, St. Francis President and CEO Robert J. Brody, Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Eugene White, IMM President Carlton Ray, and Olympian runner and IMM Honorary Chair Bob Kennedy.

"The number of runners is over twice our 2008 goal and we're very excited to have so many wonderful athletes," said Ray. "ur organizing team is made up of local runners, community leaders and event planners who understand the thrill of participating in, as well as witnessing, an epic feat such as the completion of a marathon."

Proceeds from the marathon will benefit the Indianapolis Public Schools, the IPS Education Foundation and the Mind Trust and College Summit.

"We are honored to participate in this landmark and high-profile event," said Robert J. Brody, St. Francis president and CEO. "The marathon is an excellent way to promote health and wellness and is an outstanding opportunity to reach out to the Indianapolis community."

The urban courses are sanctioned and certified by the standards of USA Track and Field, the national body of road racing, with the marathon course serving as a qualifier for the 2009 Boston Marathon. Organization and administration is being conducted by Ken Long & Associates, a highly regarded training, road racing and consulting organization.

Long was formerly the race director for a nationally acclaimed running event, the Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini Marathon.

To learn more about the event and its organization, go to www.monumentalmarathon.com.

Weight Loss, Diabetes and Integrative Health Centers move to new location

INDIANAPOLIS – The St. Francis Weight Loss Center and the Franciscan Center for Integrative Health have moved to their new location at 5230A E. Stop 11 Road, Indianapolis, 46237.

The expanded offices are across Stop 11 Road from St. Francis Hospital – Indianapolis, west of the Indiana Heart Physicians building.

The St. Francis Diabetes & Endocrinology Center treats adult patients with diabetes or endocrine disorders. The center offers an extensive list of diabetes education programs, recognized by the American Diabetes Association. The diabetes center can be reached at (317) 865-5904.

The Franciscan Center for Integrative Health uses both conventional treatments, as well as “complementary” or “alternative” therapies to provide care for patients. Health and healing are based upon addressing patients’ physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, as well as examining the impact of their connections within the community. The Franciscan Center can be reached at (317) 788-0907 or visit stfrancishospitals.org/altmed.

The St. Francis Weight Loss Center is an American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence. The center offers medical and surgical treatments for obesity, including physician-supervised weight loss, LAP-BAND, gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, group weight management programs and StomaphyX. Call (317) 782-7525 or visit stfrancishospitals.org/weightloss.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Stroke prevention workshop includes sign-up for free vascular screenings

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – Strokes strike more than 780,000 Americans each year, claiming more than 150,000 lives – the third leading cause of death in the nation. But there are some protective measures that can taken to lower the risks.

That’s why cardiologist J. D. Graham III, M.D., is leading a free special seminar at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 12 at Swisher Conference Center, St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville.

"Just as in heart disease where plaque build-up can cause a heart attack, dangerous plaque build-up in carotid arteries," said Graham, who is a member of St. Francis Heart Center and Indiana Heart Physicians.

Graham will explain how to keep the carotid arteries free of plaque and disease and the latest treatment options for patients at risk for stroke and related conditions.

Participants attending the program will also have the opportunity to ask questions and to sign up for a free peripheral vascular screening at a later date.

To register or for more information, call 317-782-4422.

More information about the St. Francis Heart Centers is at www.stfrancishospitals.org.

Friday, October 24, 2008

St. Francis conference takes aim at respiratory ailments in children

INDIANAPOLIS – Medical staff at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers will lead presentations at an upcoming conference focused on respiratory care for newborns and youngsters.

The Pediatric and Neonatal Respiratory Conference gets under way Thursday, Oct. 30, in Classrooms I and II at St. Francis Hospital, 8111 S. Emerson Ave. The meeting brings together area physicians, respiratory therapists and nurses, who will discuss various topics such as pediatric airway emergencies, environmental contaminants affecting pregnancies and childhood development, and respiratory care trends in neonatal intensive care units.

Among the presenters is Paul Winchester, M.D., medical director of St. Francis’ NICU and professor of clinical pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Winchester is internationally recognized as an expert on the effects of environmental hazards on premature births and birth defects.

Experts from Cleveland Clinic, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Nationwide Children’s Hospital at The Ohio State University, IU School of Medicine and Emergency Physicians of Indianapolis also will participate.

The day-long conference, sponsored by St. Francis’ Respiratory Department, offers continuing education credits from the American Association for Respiratory Care, and the Indiana State Nursing Association.

For information or to register, call 317-851-1920 or 317-851-1911, or e-mail
Julie.gould@ssfhs.org or stacy.wilder@ssfhs.org.

More information about the conference can be found at
www.in-isrc.org/calendar.html.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Toll-free number established for Anthem-insured patients

The Sisters of St. Francis Health Services Inc. recently announced a contract termination with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana effective Nov. 2. This is largely due to Anthem's lack of timely and accurate payment of claims reimbursement.

We know this causes concern and confusion to our patients, physicians and staff, and we are hoping to address these concerns with a toll-free telephone number, 1 (866) 576-3590.

Callers will be asked to provide their contact information, which will be forwarded to St. Francis insurance representatives who can answer their questions more directly and with more specific detail. As we are anticipating a high level of calls, our goal to respond to your questions within 24 to 48 hours.

You also can find answers to many common questions on our Q&A section at http://stfrancis-anthem.blogspot.com.


[updated phone number Oct. 24, 2008]

Monday, October 20, 2008

St. Francis health system launches Web site to assist Anthem patients

INDIANAPOLIS – The Sisters of St. Francis Health Services, Inc. (SSFHS) has established an informational Web site – http://stfrancis-anthem.blogspot.com – to keep Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana patients informed of their health care options.

This new site provides updates and background information related to the recently announced contract termination with Anthem effective Nov. 2, 2008. A toll-free hotline also will be available on the site.

Patients are the paramount concern of the St. Francis health care system, which operates 13 hospitals in Indiana and Illinois.

SSFHS previously announced the contract termination in response to Anthem’s lack of timely claims reimbursement, a situation that has persisted since the fourth quarter of 2007.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Free back pain seminar offered by St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis

NDIANAPOLIS – Wondering about that aching back? The stiffness and soreness in the neck and back?

The causes of these and other ailments such as arthritis will be explained at a free back pain seminar 2 p.m., Monday, Oct. 20, at St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis, 8111 S. Emerson Ave. The event will be in Classrooms I and II, near the main entrance of the hospital.

St. Francis medical staff will be on hand to explain some of the last non-surgical treatments, medications and advances in physical therapy.

To register or for more information, call toll-free at 877-888-1777.

St. Francis, Kendrick, IU launch colon and rectal fellowship program

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – Indiana’s first colon and rectal surgical training program is being launched through a partnership between Indiana University School of Medicine, St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers and Kendrick Regional Center for Colon and Rectal Care.

The program has been approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and its marks the first educational joint venture between St. Francis and the medical school, the nation’s second-largest academic medical institution.

The teaching staff includes colon rectal surgeons of St. Francis Hospital and IU Department of Surgery.

“Upon completion of their training, residents will be eligible for the qualifying and certifying exams of the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery,” said program director Olaf Johansen, M.D.

The curriculum faculty: Johansen, Bridget Sanders, M.D. (associate director); Fred Lane, M.D.; R. Barry Melbert, M.D.; Dipen Maun, M.D.; Bruce Robb, M.D.; and Virgilio George, M.D.

Applications for the training program are now being accepted with training beginning in July 2009. More information about the fellowship is available by calling 317-834-9618.

More information about the Kendrick Regional Center for Colon and Rectal Care is
www.kendrickcenter.com or the Indiana University School of Medicine website www.medicine.iu.edu/body.cfm?id=8412.

In 2007, St. Francis established the Colorectal Cancer Center center of excellence for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer. It’s one of the largest programs of its kind in Indiana.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

National study ranks St. Francis among nation’s best in patient outcomes

Beech Grove ortho, gastrointestinal care rank high; Mooresville joint surgery 'best' in state again

INDIANAPOLIS – St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers today (Oct. 14) announced that its Beech Grove and Mooresville Hospitals have been ranked among the top 10 percent in the nation for joint replacement surgery.

That’s the assessment of an extensive study conducted by HealthGrades, one of the nation’s leading health care rating companies.

St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville again has been ranked best in Indiana for joint replacement surgery. This marks the third year in a row the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery has achieved this.

St. Francis-Beech Grove is the best rated hospital in the Indianapolis area for overall orthopedic care. Both hospitals achieved the 2009 HealthGrades Joint Replacement Surgery Excellence Award™.

Additionally, Beech Grove achieved a five-star for gastrointestinal (GI) surgery and procedures and the Indianapolis facility attained five-star ratings for care of GI bleeds and bowel obstructions.

“St. Francis physicians, nurses and support staff continually work to improve clinical processes while using their extensive knowledge, experience and skills to ensure better outcomes and superior care for our patients,” said Robert. J. Brody, president and chief executive officer of St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers. “We’re pleased their efforts have been honored at this national level.”

“The HealthGrades recognition reflects the culture of care and the quality of service we provide to those we serve,” added Alan Gillespie, M.D., St. Francis’ chief medical officer and vice president of medical affairs.

Mooresville joint surgery continues long record of success
Mooresville has been five-star rated for joint surgery nine years in a row by HealthGrades.

“Certainly it is a wonderful achievement and I believe it underscores our commitment to deliver premier orthopedic care at St. Francis and the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery,” said Jared Stark, executive director of St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville.

“Our team of surgeons, physicians, nurses, therapists and other staff continually seeks new ways to help people live more active lives – and with less pain,” added John B. Meding, M.D., president of St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville’s medical staff. “We offer the most state of the art surgery, less invasive techniques, the most modern implants such as proven total hip and knee devices, hip resurfacing, and partial knee replacements. For more than 20 years we have documented long term implant success in more than 20,000 patients. We are committed to compassionate and the highest quality of care available for all patients.”

Meding is a surgeon with Indiana Joint Replacement Surgeons, a practice group whose Center for Hip & Knee Surgery is affiliated with the Mooresville hospital.

HealthGrades 2009 National Study
As part of the nation’s most comprehensive, independent analysis of hospital quality, HealthGrades found that patients treated at five-star rated hospitals for nine common procedures are 47 percent less likely to experience a major complication, such as post-operative infections or heart conditions, which can lengthen their hospital stay and increase costs.

According to the study, if all Medicare patients had been treated at a top-performing hospital compared to the lowest-performing hospitals during 2005-07, more than 123,000 major complications potentially could have been avoided.

In 2008, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that funds medical and surgical care for the majority of hospital patients, announced that it would discontinue payments for many major inhospital complications, including surgery on the wrong body part and post-operative infection or disability due to a contaminated implantation device. This further demonstrates the importance of researching for and utilizing the best care available.

In developing its 2009 healthcare quality ratings, released today, HealthGrades analyzed more than 41 million Medicare hospitalization records from 2005 to 2007 at the nation’s approximately 5,000 non-federal hospitals.

On its Web site,
www.healthgrades.com, HealthGrades offers consumers free quality ratings of 27 procedures and treatments. The Web site is designed so that consumers can easily compare patient outcomes at their local hospitals for procedures ranging from total knee surgery to cardiac bypass surgery. Each hospital receives a star rating based on its patient outcomes in terms of mortality or complication rates for each procedure or treatment.

Monday, October 13, 2008

St. Francis health system opts out of Anthem network Nov. 2

INDIANAPOLIS – The Sisters of St. Francis Health Services, Inc. (SSFHS) announced today (Oct. 13) that its contract with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana is set to end Nov. 2, 2008.

Reasons for the termination include Anthem’s lack of accurate and timely claims payment and the inability to secure contract terms comparable to other hospitals in the area, SSFHS officials said.

The termination will cover the following SSFHS hospitals and physicians:

St. Francis Hospital & Health Center (Indianapolis)

St. Francis Hospital & Health Center (Beech Grove)

St. Francis Hospital & Health Center (Mooresville)

St. Elizabeth Regional Health (Lafayette)

Home Hospital (Lafayette)

St. Anthony Medical Center (Crown Point)

St. Anthony Memorial Health Center (Michigan City)

St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Center (Hammond)

St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Center (Dyer)

St. Clare Medical Center (Crawfordsville)

Franciscan Physicians Hospital (Munster)

More than 300 physicians in the different SSFHS service areas

“SSFHS is a good partner that works closely with payers to resolve claims problems when they occur,” said Greg Yust, SSFHS vice president of managed care contracting. “We recently forged successful long-term agreements with Aetna, Humana, Saga more and CIGNA. The Anthem claims issues have been ongoing for more than a year with no progress whatsoever.”

St. Francis hopes to work out a new agreement with Anthem. In the event SSFHS is unable to reach an agreement, it will work continue to work with Anthem, patients and employers to limit the impact the contract dispute might cause.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Blessings, open houses planned for St. Francis medical offices

INDIANAPOLIS – The public is invited to progressive blessings and open houses which are on tap for three St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers medical facilities, Wednesday, Oct. 15.

The blessings begin at 2 p.m. at the Orthopedic Restoration office of Charles Bartley, M.D., 701 E. County Line Road, Suite 201 in Greenwood. After the blessing and tour of the office, the celebration will continue to the Franciscan Spine Center and St. Francis Pain Clinic, 8051 S. Emerson Ave., Suite 360.

After a 3 p.m. blessing ceremony there, visitors will be treated to refreshments and will have the opportunity to meet with physicians and staffs during tours of the facilities.

For more information on the services offered at Orthopedic Restoration, visit the Web site at
http://www.stfrancishospitals.org/SFMG/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=160, or call 317-887-2034.

The Franciscan Spine Center, directed by Daniel Nordmann, M.D., offers patients a complete range of surgical and non-surgical care. For more information call 317-783-8494, or visit its Web site at www.stfrancishospitals.org/SFMG/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=147.

For more information about services offered at the St. Francis Pain Clinic, go to
http://www.stfrancishospitals.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=135.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

And the beat goes on: St. Francis doc explains abnormal heart rhythms

INDIANAPOLIS – Ever wonder why some folks feel their heart racing and experience lightheadedness? It’s likely cause is irregular heart rhythms, and that’s the topic for the latest installment in the Ask-the-Doc series sponsored by the St. Francis Heart Center.

Electrophysiologist Robert Kinn, M.D., of Indiana Heart Physicians, will explain atrial fibrillation and other irregular heart rhythms and treatment choices 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 16. He also will discuss the latest minimally invasive options for patients.

Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disturbance, affecting more than 2.3 million Americans.

The class, which is free to the public, will meet in the St. Francis Heart Center’s community center near entrance No. 1, 8111 S. Emerson Ave.

To register or for more information, call 317-782-4422, or go on-line at
www.stfrancishospitals.org/heart and go to the “classes & events” link.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville opens Emergency Department Oct. 1

Hospital meets a critical need for residents in Mooresville and the surrounding areas

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – Whether it’s a sick child in the middle of the night, a serious sports injury or a sudden severe health issue, it’s important that high-quality emergency care is available nearby.

For residents in Mooresville and the surrounding areas, that service is now offered at the St. Francis Hospital – Mooresville Emergency Department, open Wednesday, at 8 a.m. Oct. 1.

The new Emergency Department is located near the campus’ main entrance at 1201 Hadley Road, adjacent to the hospital’s PromptMed urgent care facility, which treats about 20,000 patients a year.

The Emergency Department is staffed by 22 board-certified emergency physicians from Emergency Physicians of Indianapolis, several specialty physicians, three in-house hospitalists who facilitate patient admissions, and nurses trained in acute care and trauma situations. The new department features state-of-the-art equipment and includes 14 treatment rooms, two acute care rooms and a community room for emergency medical services professionals.

Emergency Department physicians and medical staff have access to wireless communication technology and bedside charting for improved caregiver communication and efficiency. The department is conveniently located near Radiology Services and the Intensive Care Unit.

The new Emergency Department also is an access point for St. Francis’ renowned Emergency Heart Attack Response Team (EHART) approach to cardiac care. The more quickly a patient showing signs of a heart attack is admitted into the hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab for treatment, the better the chances are for survival. EHART dramatically improves the hospital’s door-to- intervention time, which can mean a significant improvement in heart attack outcomes.

The opening of the Emergency Department is perhaps the community’s most highly anticipated element of the hospital’s recent $42 million expansion. In April of this year, the hospital opened:

  • A new 34-bed orthopaedic inpatient unit;
  • A 26-bed adult medical-surgical inpatient unit;
  • An eight-bed Intensive Care Unit;
  • Six new operating rooms with the latest in surgical technology, including a high-tech video and photography system in every operating room and laminar airflow and ultraviolet light technology for sterilization, which is critical in preventing infection;
  • A new laboratory;
  • An on-site office for Indiana Heart Physicians for expanded cardiac services; and
  • An expanded main lobby gallery, which offers a coffee bar and gift shop.

With the expansion, the hospital grew from 258,000 square feet to nearly 400,000 square feet.

“The opening of the Emergency Department, which completes our recent major expansion, is the continuation of an eight-year investment in this hospital to address the health care needs of the growing northern Morgan, Hendricks and southwestern Marion counties,” said Robert J. Brody, president and chief executive officer, St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers. “It is our goal and mission to offer the best health care available right in this community, so the large number of area residents who have been leaving Morgan County to receive medical services get the care they need close to home.”

The Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. PromptMed hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Monday, September 29, 2008

St. Francis nurse appointed manager of adult intensive care unit

BEECH GROVE, Ind. – Genelle Lucid, R.N., has been appointed manger of the Intensive Care Unit/Adult Critical Care at St. Francis Hospital-Beech Grove.

She most recently served as clinical educator for St. Francis’ post-surgical unit. Lucid has held several nursing positions at St. Francis in areas such as critical, intensive and progressive care units and with the hospital’s Home Health Care program. She also has worked as a clinical instructor at IVY Tech Community College.

Lucid earned a bachelor’s of science in nursing at the University of Indianapolis, where she graduated with honors. She’s currently enrolled in a nursing master’s degree program at Indiana Wesleyan University.

She holds many memberships in professional organizations and is a member of Lambda Epsilon Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Walk to Remember honors memories of little ones lost

Families remember children lost through miscarriage, stillbirth and newborn death

What: St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers will host its 23rd Annual
Walk to Remember on Saturday, Oct. 4. Families from around
central Indiana who have lost children through miscarriage,
stillbirth or newborn death will attend the event to honor and
remember their children.

When: Beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4, families will walk from
St. Francis Hospital—Beech Grove to Sarah T. Bolton Park in
honor of their children.

Where: St. Francis Hospital—Beech Grove, 1600 Albany St.
Beech Grove and Sarah T. Bolton Park, 1300 Churchman Ave., Beech Grove

News Media:

A memorial service at the park will feature families reading poems written about their children. The service also will include a balloon release and the reading of babies' names. A small reception for the families at Bolton Park will follow the day's events. At the event, some families may be willing to be interviewed
and talk about their experiences.

St. Francis representatives will be available to discuss ways to
cope with losing a child and the hospital’s Memories to Hold program for grieving families.

For more information about Walk to Remember, call 317-865-5199.

Osteoporosis screenings offered at Rheumatology Center open house

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – Rheumatololgist William Kcomt, M.D., will offer free osteoporosis screenings at the St. Francis Rheumatology Center, Wednesday, Oct. 1.

The blessing of the new office and open house will begin at 11:30 a.m. with office tours conducted by staff from noon until 1 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

The screenings are from noon to 4 p.m., and following the blessing and open house at the center, which is part of the hospital campus’ new medical office building, 1199 Hadley Road.

Kcomt specializes in treating patients with arthritis and rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases, using the latest technologies to diagnose and treat the causes of diseases such as osteoporosis.


Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle because of low levels of calcium and other minerals. It more commonly affects women. People also might at risk if they are exceptionally underweight, have a small body frame or have a family history of the disease.

For more information about the St. Francis Rheumatololgy Center, go to http://www.stfrancishospitals.org/SFMG/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=159. Appointments can be made by calling 317-834-9051.

Monday, September 22, 2008

St. Francis pulmonary rehab program recertified nationally

INDIANAPOLIS – The Outpatient Pulmonary Rehabilitation program at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers has received recertification from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR)

The certification reflects the standards of care for programs throughout the nation. Applications can be made every three years and involve a review by the AACVPR of the program’s policies and practices. Participation is voluntary.

Program elements such as safety measures, emergency procedures, patient monitoring, care plans, education and physical assessment and exercise prescriptions are reviewed and evaluated.

St. Francis’ pulmonary rehabilitation program has passed every certification since 1998 when it established by the AACVPR.

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a comprehensive, evidence based, multidisciplinary intervention for patients with chronic respiratory disease who are symptomatic and often have decreased daily life activities.

For more information about the Outpatient Pulmonary Rehabilitation program at St. Francis, go to
www.stfrancishospitals.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=334.

Cardiac Screening Center lauded for public health service

INDIANAPOLIS – The Cardiac Screening Center at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers has been selected to receive the Tony and Mary Hulman Health Achievement Award from the Indiana Public Health Foundation, Inc.

The award, presented annually, is for business and industry in the field of Preventive Medicine and Public Health. The center will be recognized along with other recipients of the Indiana’s Premier Health Awards at a ceremony Thursday, Oct. 2, at the downtown Westin Hotel.

“We are very proud and excited to be the recipient of the Tony and Mary Hulman Health Achievement Award in the field of Preventive Medicine and Public Health,” said screening coordinator Scott Roberts. “Our Cardiac Screening Center has motivated many individuals to make lifestyle modifications to reduce their chances of experiencing cardiac and vascular disease.”

The Cardiac Screening Center, a component of the St. Francis Heart Center, offers a variety of low-cost screening packages to the public, all of which are designed to assess a patient’s risk for heart and vascular disease.

The center’s selection for the award marks the second year in a row that a St. Francis entity has received the Preventive Medicine and Public Health Award. In 2007, the Heart Center’s Emergency Heart Attack Response Team (EHART) was recognized for implementing a protocol that more effectively treats heart attack patients.

Led by Umesh Khot, M.D., a cardiologist with the St. Francis Heart Center and Indiana Heart Physicians, EHART has reduced the time until patients receive lifesaving care after coming to the emergency department with chest pain. Compared to the traditional approaches patients arrive at the cardiac catheterization lab sooner, have less heart damage and shorter hospital stays. In addition, the EHART protocol also reduced the costs of care.

The American Heart Association and the federal government recommend a door-to-balloon time of 90 minutes or less. At St. Francis, EHART has reduced the average door-to-balloon time to just 58 minutes. EHART is so effective that more than 242 hospitals in the United States and around the world have asked St. Francis to share the protocol.
More information about services offered at the Cardiac Screening Center is at
www.stfrancishospitals.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=118.

Details about the Hulman Health Achievement Awards can be found at www.bagsandmorebypam.com.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Support group assists patients with oral, head, neck cancers

INDIANAPOLIS – Support for People with Oral, Head and Neck Cancer will hold its south side care and share group meeting from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 4.

The meeting is at the St. Francis Education Center, 5935 S. Emerson Ave., Suite 100. Former and current patients with those types of cancer are encouraged to attend and share their experiences with others. Ample time will be provided for participants’ questions and discussion.

This monthly support group meets the first Thursday of each month and is for anyone with oral, head or neck cancer, regardless of type or stage of cancer. Caregivers are welcome.

For more information, call 317-782-4422.

St. Francis, Humana reach contract for in-network health benefits

INDIANAPOLIS – Humana and St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers have reached a new contract that will provide in-network health-care benefits for 164,000 Humana of Indiana members at Sisters of St. Francis Health Services Inc. facilities beginning October 2008.

St Francis had been out of Humana’s network since June 2007. The new contract affects all Humana groups; individual and Medicare plan members.

“This agreement enables us to provide the same top-quality care to Humana members that we do to all those we currently serve at our hospitals and practice groups,” said Kevin Leahy, SSFHS president and chief executive officer.

“The addition of St. Francis to our hospital network brings to our members one of the country’s premier health systems,” said Humana of Indiana President Veronica Martin. “This agreement reinforces Humana’s commitment to health-care provider choice for our members and the collaborative approach both organizations embraced as we worked toward an agreement should be a model for provider/payer relationships.”

The following facilities will join the Humana network:

St. Francis Hospital & Health Center (Indianapolis)
St. Francis Hospital & Health Center (Beech Grove)
St. Francis Hospital & Health Center (Mooresville)
St. Elizabeth Regional Health (Lafayette)
Home Hospital (Lafayette)
St. Clare Medical Center (Crawfordsville)


Humana members with questions should contact Humana’s Customer Service Center at the toll free number on their member ID cards. A full listing of Humana network participating hospitals is also available at www.humana.com.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Actress and author Stacey Halprin shared life-changing weight loss story with Hoosiers

INDIANAPOLIS – Nearly 300 people gathered on Sept. 11 at the Scottish Rite Cathedral to hear actress and author Stacey Halprin share her incredible weight loss story. This day had special significance for Halprin.

Seven years ago on Sept. 11, Halprin found herself trapped in her New York apartment just one mile from the World Trade Center. At 550 pounds, she was unable to escape on her own. Halprin was the keynote speaker at an event hosted by the St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers’ Spirit of Women program.

Halprin took the audience through her weight loss journey, and explained the physical and emotional impacts of losing nearly 400 pounds. Halprin explained that oftentimes the hardest part is keeping off the weight one has lost.

The St. Francis Spirit of Women program is part of Spirit of Women, an elite network of
hospitals nationwide committed to caring for women. As a Spirit of Women hospital,
St. Francis works to bring the very best in women’s programming from across the nation
to central Indiana.

Cutline for photo:
Stacey Halprin brought her weight loss story to Indianapolis on Sept. 11. She is shown holding the underwear she wore at 550 pounds. Stacey has lost close to 400 pounds. The event was sponsored by St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers and took place at the Scottish Rite Cathedral.

A high-res photo can be found by clicking on the image above, or contact Emily Koch.

Contacts:
Emily Koch, Borshoff (317) 631-6400 Emily(dot)koch(at)borshoff(dot)biz

Teresa Clark, St. Francis Community Relations (317) 782-7992 (office) (317) 906-1101 (pager) Teresa(dot)Clark(at)ssfhs.org

Monday, September 15, 2008

Microsurgery offers incisionless treatment of colorectal cancers, polyps

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – A novel, less-risky procedure to surgically remove early cancers is now being used by surgeons at St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville. The surgery removes low rectal to low sigmoid colon polyps and early cancers of the rectum and low sigmoid colon.
It’s called transanal endoscopic miscrosurgery (TEM), a technique developed in Germany two decades ago that recently was introduced in the United States. Colon and rectal surgeons undergo specialized training to perform the surgery, and hospitals must have advanced equipment to offer TEM.
St. Francis is one of only three hospitals in central Indiana to offer the procedure.
Because of their location, even some early cancers and polyps have required more extensive surgery and possibly a colostomy or temporary ileostomy. Both of those procedures often involve creating an opening whereby bodily wastes pass into an external pouch stuck to the skin.

With TEM, the polyps and cancers are removed with less-invasive laparoscopic procedures, avoiding longer and more risky surgery, as well as their accompanying pain and complications.
"TEM has proven to offer the same outcomes and survival benefit that major colon and rectal surgery does for select patients with rectal and low sigmoid tumors and polyps," said Bridget Sanders, M.D., a surgeon at Kendrick Regional Center for Colon and Rectal Care at St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville. "Most patients can go home the same day or early the next after TEM, where standard surgery usually requires up to a 10-day stay."
Dr. Sanders and Dipen Maun, M.D., also with the center, are two of only six surgeons in central Indiana performing this surgery.
While TEM today is intended for patients with early cancers, some patients with more advanced rectal cancer can be enrolled in national oncology trials that use the less-invasive TEM procedure, Dr. Sanders said.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Study probes lower dose drugs for artificial heart valve patients

INDIANAPOLIS – Chris Connelly was aware he would eventually need surgery to correct a calcified valve in his heart, but what he didn’t suspect was that he might be living on borrowed time.

While attending a recent heart health seminar at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers, Connelly, a father of three, learned about a new Food and Drug Administration-approved clinical trial under way at the St. Francis Heart Center. He inquired and was accepted into the study.

The study tests the safety and effectiveness of using lower dosages of blood-thinning drugs in conjunction with the On-X heart valve, a device manufactured by On-X Life Technololgies of Austin, Texas.

The study is conducted by Cardiac Surgery Associates (CSA ) at St. Francis and other major heart centers nationally. The 33-year-old Connelly received an On-X valve and uses a home monitoring device to help control the anticoagulant therapy he is receiving.

“The On-X valve could become the first mechanical heart valve approved for use with lower doses of anticoagulants such as Coumadin (warfarin) or even antiplatelet therapy (aspirin and Plavix) alone,” said investigator Marc Gerdisch, M.D., CSA medical director and director of cardio-thoracic surgery at St. Francis Heart Center.

“Ultimately, this means a better quality of life for our patients,” Gerdisch added.

Anticoagulants are used to slow down or stop the formation of blood clots. When a prosthetic device replaces the native tissue cardiac valve, it introduces foreign material into the blood stream, which can stimulate clotting. Mechanical heart valves have been around for years but require lifetime coagulation therapy at high dosages.

Biologic tissue valves do not require anticoagulants, but typically require replacement after 8-15 years and therefore another operation.

What makes the On-X unique is its carbon-based material coating combined with superb blood flow performance and an innovative hinge design, allowing the device to perform more like a normal tissue valve.

Candidates seeking the requirements to participate in the study can call 317-851-2582.

To learn more about the services and programs at the St. Francis Heart Center, go to www.stfrancishospitals.org/Heart.

St. Francis CEO lauded by groups for leadership, health care advocacy

INDIANAPOLIS – Robert J. Brody, president and chief executive officer of St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers, today (Sept. 9) was awarded the Regents Award by the Indiana Chapter of American College of Healthcare Executives and the Indiana Hospital Association.

The St. Francis chief received the award at the IHA/ACHE breakfast meeting at the Hilton Indianapolis Downtown. Brody was recognized for his exemplary leadership during his tenure at St. Francis and spearheading health care reform locally and regionally.

Brody is active in legislative issues and involved at the national level with the Catholic Health Association. He frequently is invited by lawmakers and the health care industry to comment on public health issues.
A Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Brody assumed his current position at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers in November 1996, following four years as the hospital's executive vice president and chief operating officer.
He holds a bachelor's degree from Boston College and a master's degree in health administration from Duke University. He completed an administrative residency at Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans, La.
Prior to joining St. Francis, he held executive and leadership positions at CentraState Medical Center, (N.J.), Senior Care Centers of America Inc. (N.J.) Maxicare (N.C.), VHA Consulting Services (Texas) and Madison Health Associates (N.J.)

Brody is a member of Lay Board of Advisors of Sisters of St. Benedict-Beech Grove, Ind. He also holds board memberships with the te Archdiocese of Indianapolis – Catholic Community Foundation, Inc., Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library Foundation, Indiana Health Information Exchange,
St. Francis Healthcare Foundation, St. Francis Health Network and The Sycamore School of Indianapolis.

An Indianapolis resident, Brody is a former board member of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Indiana Inc., and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

More information about the ACHE Indiana chapter is at
www.ache.org/chapters/chapterdirectory.cfm.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The sound and potential fury: Heart murmurs explained at free seminar

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

At an upcoming “Ask the Doc” program sponsored by the St. Francis Heart Center on Tuesday, Sept. 30, cardiothoracic surgeon Marc Gerdisch, M.D., will explain why it is important to understand how heart valves cause murmurs and when it’s time to seek treatment. Gerdisch is the Medical Director of Cardiac Surgery Associates in Indianapolis.

Valves inside the heart that do not open or close properly cause heart murmurs. People can live with heart murmurs a long time without any symptoms. In fact, the heart can suffer considerable damage from heart valve disease, before symptoms become noticeable. Heart failure may result from longstanding or sudden onset of valve disease.

“A heart murmur does not necessarily signal a problem. Many murmurs are harmless. However, their relationship to the heart valves needs to be understood and frequently, they require follow-up to ensure that heart continues to function normally,” says Gerdisch, director of Cardio-thoracic Surgery at St. Francis Heart Center.

“Imaging the heart with sound waves, allows us to monitor the impact of valve disease on the heart and therefore treat it at the right time,” Gerdisch said. “There has been considerable innovation in heart valve treatment, including our ability to repair valves instead of replace them.”

The free, hour-long program starts at 6:30 p.m. at Greenwood Public Library, 310 S. Meridian St. To register, call 317-782-4422.

To learn more about the services and programs at the St. Francis Heart Center, go to www.stfrancishospitals.org/Heart.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Macy’s ‘Shop For a Cause’ benefits St. Francis Hospice House

INDIANAPOLIS – St. Francis Hospice and Macy’s are offering a program that will expand hospice care services and benefit consumers.

Proceeds from local ticket sales for the Saturday, Sept. 20 “Shop For a Cause” program will go to the St. Francis Hospice House initiative, which seeks to construct a facility near St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis on the city’s south side.

The price is $5 for each shopping pass purchased and provides consumers with a wide range of discounts on regular, sale and clearance merchandise at any Macy’s department store in the United States. Ticket-holders also may eligible to win a $500 Macy’s shopping spree.

Macy’s “Shop for a Cause” is an annual one-day event and supports non-profit groups in communities throughout the United States. There are Macy’s stores in Indianapolis and Greenwood areas.

Tickets can be obtained by contacting Glenda Dennison, volunteer coordinator at St. Francis Hospice, at 317-859-2874, or Dawn Webb at 317-783-8930.

The St. Francis Healthcare Foundation is spearheading a campaign to build a free-standing 16-suite facility with room for expansion to 32 suites. It also would gathering and dining areas, landscaping and a chapel. It is estimated that Hospice House will serve more than 800 patients per year.

Since 1990, St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers’
Hospice Services has provided compassionate care to individuals with limited life expectancies, emphasizing quality of life and dignity through the end-of-life experience.

To learn more about St. Francis Hospice, go to
www.stfrancishospitals.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=280.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Heart Center offers free heart-healthy courses throughout September

INDIANAPOLIS – Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Heart Association.

Prevention is the key to lowering your chances of developing a cardiovascular disease, such as heart disease, stroke or high blood pressure. St. Francis Heart Center is offering free classes throughout the month of September in an effort to improve the community’s health through education and prevention.

Starting Sept. 2, nine free “Change of Heart” classes will be offered in the Indianapolis and Mooresville areas. Several of the classes will be held at the St. Francis Heart Center’s Community Center, located on the southeast corner of St. Francis Hospital – Indianapolis, 8111 S. Emerson Ave. Attendees will learn from St. Francis health experts about navigating the grocery store for healthy foods, choosing healthy entrĂ©es when dining out and many more heart-healthy habits. Each Change of Heart class is 1 to 1 ½ hours long.

Registration is required. Call 317-782-4422 or register online at StFrancisHospitals.org/heart to start living a heart-healthy life today.

The St. Francis Heart Center offers nationally recognized cardiac care close to where you need it – on Indianapolis’ south side. Built on a 30-year history of cardiac and vascular care, St. Francis Heart Center is south central Indiana’s only full-service cardiovascular center.

Change of Heart Class Schedule
See below for a detailed description of each course
Healthy Eating
Tuesday, September 2, at 6:30 p.m.
St. Francis Heart Center – Community Center, 8111 S. Emerson Ave,

Thursday, September 18, at 6:30 p.m.
St. Francis Hospital – Mooresville, 1201 Hadley Rd.

Reduce Stress
Wednesday, September 3, at 6:30 p.m.
St. Francis Heart Center – Community Center, 8111 S. Emerson Ave.

Healthy Cooking Tips
Tuesday, September 9, at 6:30 p.m.
St. Francis Heart Center – Community Center, 8111 S. Emerson Ave.

Dining Out
Thursday, September 11, at 6:30 p.m.
St. Francis Heart Center – Community Center, 8111 S. Emerson Ave.

Healthy Shopping Tour
Tuesday, September 16, at 6:30 p.m.
Kroger – Madison, 5911 Madison & Edgewood avenues

Meatless Cooking
Wednesday, September 24, at 6:30 p.m.
St. Francis Heart Center – Community Center, 8111 S. Emerson Ave.

Exercise Tips
Thursday, September 25, at 6:30 p.m.
St. Francis Heart Center – Community Center, 8111 S. Emerson Avenue

Detailed Descriptions for Change of Heart Classes offered by the St. Francis Heart Center

Healthy Eating
For some, diets don’t work! Learn about healthy lifestyles in this class. Find out how much a “serving” is and how to manage a healthy weight. Discover how fats, carbohydrates and protein affect your body. Do you know how much salt, fiber and sugar are in the foods you buy? This class offers the foundation for the remaining classes in the series.
Reduce Stress
Discover just how big an impact stress has on your heart health. Negative stress causes changes in lifestyle and behavior, which may lead to unhealthy behaviors. Managing stress is important to heart health because untreated stress increases other risk factors for heart disease, such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, insomnia, depression, smoking and lack of exercise. Learn to identify the causes of stress in your life and how to improve your health! “Reduce Stress 102” is the second class in this series. Both classes are taught by James Nicolai, M.D., medical director of the Franciscan Center for Integrative Health.

Healthy Cooking Tips
A heart-healthy lifestyle means more than choosing the right foods to eat. It is one of the most important steps for a person with heart disease. It's also important to prepare foods in a healthy way. Proper nutrition is essential to managing symptoms of heart disease and preventing further complications. Not only can a proper diet help slow the artery-clogging process, but when combined with careful lifestyle modification, it may even stop or reverse the narrowing of arteries.


Dining Out
Restaurant dining has become a way of life for most Americans. It's easy, fun, and a great way to socialize with family and friends. Just because you're following a structured eating plan doesn't mean you can't enjoy a nice meal out once in a while. Controlling calories when dining out is certainly challenging. You just need a little advance planning and some savvy ordering skills to stay on track when you're dining away from home. Learn how to make wise menu selections for a change of heart.

Healthy Shopping Tour
Shop for the health of it, but don't let the grocery aisles rile you. Does your head spin trying to figure out food labels like no carb, low carb and net carb? Are you confused by claims like no sugar added, light, low and fewer? Does your tongue get twisted trying to pronounce food label ingredients? Deciphering what's good for you doesn't have to raise your blood pressure. The St. Francis Heart Center and Kroger want to help simplify and de-stress the healthy food-buying experience.

Healthy Shopping Tours, led by a registered dietitian and/or certified health educator, help lessen the confusion and frustration experienced by many people who are trying to make healthy choices at the grocery store. Our dietitians and health educators understand how vital it is for you to learn how to choose correctly. Exercise is critical, but your diet determines your ability to lose weight, get fit and be healthy.

Meatless Cooking
Reverse heart disease by eating more! Going meatless just one day a week can lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. Adding more fiber is easy with new products on the market. This class will help you with menu planning and recipes, and you’ll have the chance to sample food prepared during the session.


Exercise Tips
Keep Your Ticker in Tip Top Shape! The human heart is a remarkable machine. And like all machines, the more care and maintenance it receives, the longer and better it will function. Incorporating regular exercise and proper diet into your lifestyle and avoiding unnecessary stress will not only keep healthy hearts in fine working order, but can even reverse heart disease. There are lots of little things that you can do every day that your heart will love you for. Learn how to setup a schedule for yourself!

St. Francis Hospice program helps youngsters cope with grief


INDIANAPOLIS – Consider the caterpillar: It builds a cocoon and remain safe until it transforms and emerges into a new life, one that takes flight.

Death is a part of the life cycle, and it’s especially difficult for children to grasp and make sense out of it, particularly when they lose a loved one. And that’s why St. Francis Hospice offers Caterpillar Kids, a support program that offers learning experiences for children ages 5 to 12.

The latest program gets under way Wednesday, Sept. 24, with each session meeting at Christ United Methodist Church, 8540 U.S. 31 South in Indianapolis.

Led by staff trained in bereavement support for children, youngsters participate in storytelling, art projects, games and other sharing opportunities. Parents also are invited to participate in a concurrent session to help them support their children.

Registration is required. To register, call Karla Norton at 317-859-2879.

More information about St. Francis Hospice is at
www.stfrancishospitals.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=280.