News Center

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

More than 400 participate in annual Spirit of Women Day of Dance for heart health

Indiana First Lady Cheri Daniels dances the Merengue with Mark Smith, owner of Dance Master Studio. Daniels kicked off the Spirit of Women Day of Dance on Saturday, Feb. 23.

INDIANAPOLIS – Some made it a girls’ day out. Others came alone. While some moms shared the experience with their daughters. More than 400 participants learned the latest dance moves and embraced new ways to get heart-healthy during St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers’ annual Spirit of Women Day of Dance.

The event was held Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Greenwood Municipal Airport to accommodate the largest crowd ever for the event, now in its fifth year.

Indiana First Lady Cheri Daniels kicked off day with a proclamation from Gov. Mitch Daniels, naming the day “Day of Dance.” Cheri Daniels and Marc Gerdisch, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon with the St. Francis Heart Center, teamed up with instructors from Dance Master Studio for the first dance – the Merengue. Soon after, participants filled the dance floor to learn dances such as the Merengue, belly dancing, hip hop, party dancing and the latest fitness craze, Zumba.

Although the event, which promotes exercise and healthy living, was targeted to women, men also came to join in on the fun. Along with the dancing, several participants won door prizes from local sponsors.

“This year, participants came out in record numbers to spend the day having fun and learning new ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle,” said Michele Wood, manager of St. Francis’ Spirit of Women program. “The great turnout shows more and more people are seeking ways to improve their overall health. What better way to have fun and stay fit than through dance?”

More than 100 hospitals across the country sponsored Day of Dance in February as part of Spirit of Women, an elite network of hospitals nationwide committed to caring for women. The goal of the event is to offer an exciting and interactive way to get people moving through exercise that is creative, expressive and fun.

Monday, February 25, 2008

St. Francis, Plainfield Chamber open doors for ‘Business After Hours’

PLAINFIELD, Ind. – The St. Francis Occupational Health Center will host health screenings and tours of the medical facility in coordination with the Plainfield Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours program Feb. 28

The event will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the St. Francis Plainfield Health Center, 315 Dan Jones Rd. Door prizes and refreshments also are on tap for visitors.

Chamber members and guests can take advantage of free blood pressure and bone density screenings and experience the stress-reducing benefits of the New Reality Visualization & Relaxation station.

Tours of the facility will give visitors an inside look at a modern physical therapy area, advanced digital mammography technology and other services offered at the medical facility.

The Occupational Health Center provides a wide range of services to the community, including pre-employment and Department of Transportation physicals, drug screening and medical processing and exams for new immigrants.

Opened in 2006, the St. Francis Plainfield Health Center also houses offices for physicians specializing in primary care, obstetrics and gynecology, podiatry, gastroenterology and hepatology. The facility also offers laboratory services.

More information about the St. Francis Plainfield Health Center can be found at

Friday, February 22, 2008

RN selected to manage St. Francis Heart Center progressive care unit

INDIANAPOLIS – Hollynn A. Lobsiger, R.N., has been appointed manager of the progressive care unit at the Heart Center at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers.

From 2006 until her appointment, Lobsiger served in cardiac surgery progressive care unit at St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis. She had several responsibilities, including that of patient care coordinator, charge nurse and preceptor.

Before coming to St. Francis, she served in the cardiac medical intensive care unit at University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison.

An honors graduate of Ivy Tech State College where she earned an associate degree in nursing, Lobsiger, an Indianapolis resident, is a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society in 2000.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

St. Francis, iSALUS healthcare partner to improve discharge process for heart patients

INDIANAPOLIS – St. Francis Heart Center and iSALUS healthcare™ have successfully partnered on a unique Discharge Module that helps nurses and doctors more easily coordinate medicines and other discharge needs for cardiac patients leaving the hospital, reducing paperwork time, providing patient education and improving recovery time.

The Web-based Discharge Module allows physicians and nurses to review medicines the patient was taking before entering the hospital, did take while in the hospital and will need after leaving the hospital. Traditionally, this process is time-intensive and involves health care professionals either reviewing documents in a paper chart or logging into multiple software programs to create discharge medication, education and recovery plans for each patient.

This first-of-its kind service provides all of the information in one software program as a service application. Since it is also Web-based, health-care professionals caring for the patient can securely access the information from any computer with Internet access instead of only those that may be connected to a specific computer network.

It also allows the specialists who treated the patient in the hospital to electronically share this information via a secured Internet connection with the patient’s primary care physician instead of sending it by mail, fax or with the patient.

“We’re excited about this new service iSALUS developed for us because it allows our nurses to spend more time with the patient instead of on paperwork,” said Michael Hertel, executive director, St. Francis Heart Center. “It also allows the attending physicians to securely review the medication and other discharge plans from almost anywhere they might be – which in some cases means patients may be able to go home sooner.”

While more physician practices, clinics and hospitals are adopting electronic medical records, this is the first solution to bridge the gap between inpatient and office-based medical record information systems using the Web. Most hospitals and physicians have separate systems that require login into multiple software tools.

“This is a bold model that could help transform the way a patient’s care is coordinated in and out of the hospital,” said Mark Day, CEO, iSALUS healthcare. “The leaders at St. Francis and their physician colleagues are truly visionary because they saw an opportunity to improve the discharge process for cardiac patients. This is just one of many places in the health care system where different healthcare professionals need secure access to a patient’s information. This service bridges a gap between hospital systems and electronic medical records in physician offices and we look forward to making this available to other hospital systems across the country.”

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Surgeons on deck to see patients at St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – Indy Southside Surgical will soon move into a new office suite at St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville.

The office will be opened Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will serve as the primary office for Mark Edwards, M.D.; David Mandelbaum, M.D.; and Mathew Libke, M.D., will see patients there part-time. They will be located in the Professional Center at the hospital, 1203 Hadley Rd., Mooresville.

The general surgeons perform digestive tract, colon and rectum, breast and gall bladder procedures. Also, they remove skin and subcutaneous lesions and repair all types of hernias. Many of the procedures are minimally invasive, using laparoscopic techniques.

Plans call for the surgeons to begin seeing patients in Mooresville in late February.

The new surgical practice comes at a time as the Mooresville hospital nears completion of a $42 million expansion. The project is expected to be completed in mid-April and includes more private patient rooms, new surgery suites, an intensive care unit and expanded laboratory services.

The Mooresville hospital also will offer a new emergency department and a new medical office building for the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery, scheduled for opening in the second half of 2008.

Indy Southside Surgical also maintains an office on the St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis campus at 5255 E. Stop 11 Rd., Suite 450.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Colon cancer survival rates at St. Francis surpass national figures

INDIANAPOLIS – Patients treated for colon cancer at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers have markedly higher survival rates than national and statewide averages, according to the American Joint Committee on Cancer.

The overall five-year survival for all colon cancer patients treated at St. Francis Cancer Care Services was 52.1 percent. This compares to 49 percent statewide and 50 percent nationally.

Colon and rectal cancers are the most common malignancies in the United States and result in the third highest number of cancer deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. Of the estimated 154,000 colorectal cases diagnosed each year, 73 percent are colon-related.

Each year, St. Francis’ Cancer Care Committee chooses one tumor site for annual review to monitor cancer treatment. It gathers and analyzes its data from the hospital’s Tumor Registry.

In 2006 it focused on 103 cases of colon cancer. Cases examined represented a nearly even distribution between males and females with a majority of patients ranging in age from 60 to 90.

The main treatment for colon cancer is surgery, curative in most cases. At St. Francis, surgery was performed on 89 percent of patients. However, surgery often needs to be accompanied with additional therapies for patients with more locally extensive disease or if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.

Nearly all colon cancer patients whose cancer has spread to their lymph nodes receive chemotherapy at St. Francis, hospital officials reported. Statewide and nationally, patients undergo chemotherapy only 73 percent of the time.

“Certainly these results are encouraging, but our goal is prevention and early diagnosis,” said Peter G. Garrett, M.D., medical director of oncology services and chairman of the Cancer Care Committee at St. Francis.

“Screening for colon cancer is highly effective, and one of the key objectives of our Colorectal Cancer Center of Excellence is to increase awareness of risk factors associated with colon cancer,” Garrett added. “Colonoscopy should be part of routine care for everyone who is 50 and older, or earlier for those with a significant family history.”

The Colorectal Cancer Center of Excellence team, headed by medical director Michael Morelli, M.D., includes more than 25 physician specialists including gastroenterologists, colorectal surgeons, general surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, pathologists, family practice physicians and radiologists. The team evaluates the latest treatment options, and makes recommendations for the education, screening, diagnosis, staging and surveillance of patients with colorectal cancer.

St. Francis Hospital long has been recognized for its strong cancer care programs rating highly with regard to standardized outcomes measures and has achieved many “firsts” in Indiana. Of the 34 Commission on Cancer programs in Indiana, St. Francis ranks in the top 3 percent in treating stage III colorectal disease.

And in the area of new technology, St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers also is a leader in piloting selective internal radiation therapy for colon cancer that has spread to the liver. It is also first to offer megavoltage cone beam imaging, providing more precise targeting of several types of cancer tumors.

For more information about St. Francis Cancer Care Services, go to

St. Francis has hospitals on Indianapolis’ south side, Beech Grove and Mooresville. St. Francis is part of a network of 13 hospital campuses in Indiana and Illinois owned and operated by the Sisters of St. Francis Health Services, Inc., one of the largest health-care systems in Indiana.

Friday, February 15, 2008

St. Francis research venture shows promise in diagnosing diseases

INDIANAPOLIS – New technology discovered and developed by a researcher at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers could lead to improved standards for the diagnosis of autoimmune diseases as well as new biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease, and future risk assessments for cancer and diabetes.

That is the goal of the recently established company, Redox-Reactive Reagents (3R), whose aim is to revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune diseases. The company is a partnership between the Hospital and Dr. John McIntyre, director of the HLA-Vascular Biology Laboratory at St. Francis.

McIntyre, an internationally recognized immunology research expert, recently received a patent for the technology used to produce redox-reactive autoantibodies from normally occurring antibodies. Autoantibodies are types of antibodies that attack parts of the body and tissues, and which can lead to a variety of autoimmune diseases.

“No one else in the world previously had been aware of these antibodies’ existence,” McIntyre said. “This is a very fundamental-level discovery with potentially vast implications for our understanding of the previously unknown functions associated with the immune system.”

3R is working in collaboration with several companies to produce positive controls and calibrators and other specialty products for diagnostic kit manufacturers.

“3R’s line of products will make it easier for manufacturers to reliably supply test kits with positive controls and calibrators for the autoimmune disease-testing market,” said Robert J. Brody, president and CEO of St. Francis Hospital. “The 3R partnership represents a significant move for St. Francis in becoming a key player in the life sciences industry.”

Current 3R research includes the development of biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease, and establishing screening profiles for identifying at-risk individuals in cancer and type 1 diabetes. McIntyre said ongoing collaborations may enable the company to unveil a first commercial product in 2008.

“Imagine the ability to identify Alzheimer’s in its early stages, effectively monitor the efficacy of treatments, then plot the progress of the disease allowing a patient and physician to seek optimal treatments,” said McIntyre, who holds an adjunct professorship in the Department of Biology at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis.

Further down the road, the company will explore the potential for creating therapies for autoimmune diseases. Research also could lead to uses such as immune supplementation of infant formula. Research has shown already that veterinary applications of this technology mirrors that ascribed to human use.

Science advisor to 3R is Dawn R. Wagenknecht. M.S., who also manages the HLA-Vascular Biology Lab. More information about the lab is at

3R received seed funding from the Sisters of St. Francis Health Services, Inc. of Mishawaka, Ind. St. Francis Hospital is part of a network of 13 growing hospital campuses in Indiana and Illinois owned and operated by SSFHS, one of the largest health-care systems in Indiana.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Pediatrics RN appointed manager at St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS – Nancy J. Mosier, R.N., has been appointed manager for pediatrics at St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis.

She most recently served as a pediatrics clinical nurse specialist, coordinating care for children in a variety of areas. From 2003 to 2006 she was clinical educator for the pediatrics department and oversaw continuing education for employees.

In addition to her new role, Mosier will continue in her position as manager of St. Francis’ school nurse program.
Mosier, who has been associated with St. Francis since 1979, has been a staff nurse in the hospital’s pain clinic and an emergency room nurse at the hospital’s Beech Grove facility.

She also served as clinical educator for the Emergency Department for four years and has worked in Educational Services as coordinator of Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support.

Mosier earned a master’s degree at the Indiana University School of Nursing and her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Ball State University. She received associate degrees in nursing and health technology at the University of Indianapolis.

A resident of Indianapolis, Mosier is the current president of the Indiana Chapter of the Society of Pediatric Nurses and is treasurer of Sigma Theta Tau (Lambda Epsilon Chapter), an honor society of nursing.

Monday, February 11, 2008

St. Francis Heart Center earns national praise for coronary care

INDIANAPOLIS — The Heart Center at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers has received the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Coronary Artery Disease (GWTG–CAD) Silver Performance Achievement Award.

The award recognizes the Heart Center’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of cardiac care that effectively improves treatment of patients hospitalized with coronary artery disease.

Under GWTG–CAD, patients are started on aggressive risk-reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, ACE inhibitors and beta blockers in the hospital and receive smoking cessation/ weight management counseling as well as referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before they are discharged.

Hospitals that receive the GWTG-CAD Silver Performance Achievement Award have demonstrated for at least one year that 85 percent of its coronary patients (without risk factors) are discharged following the American Heart Association’s recommended treatment guidelines.

“We are dedicated to making our cardiac unit among the best in the country, and the Get With The Guidelines program is helping us accomplish that by making it easier for our professionals to improve the long-term outcomes of our cardiac patients,” said Heart Center Executive Director Michael Hertel. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care.”

“The American Heart Association applauds the Heart Center at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers for its success in implementing the appropriate evidence-based care and protocols to reduce the number of recurrent events and deaths in cardiovascular disease patients,” said Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and director of Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center. “The Center has achieved a high level of performance in terms of implementing these life-prolonging treatments.”

The GWTG program is designed to increase the use of and adherence to the American Heart Association’s secondary prevention guidelines for coronary artery disease. Developed to assist healthcare professionals in following proven standards and procedures before patients are discharged, GWTG–CAD can help reduce the risk of recurrent heart attacks and death in treated patients.

The program, which works by mobilizing teams in acute care hospitals to implement AHA/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines, was developed with support from an unrestricted educational grant from Merck & Co., Inc.

One such team at St. Francis is the Emergency Heart Attack Response Team (EHART), which recently has received international acclaim for developing 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 protocol, patients arrived at the cardiac catheterization lab sooner, had less heart damage and shorter hospital stays. In addition, the EHART protocol also reduced the costs of care.

The EHART protocol has been requested by more than 170 hospitals and heart experts around the world within the last year.

More information about EHART is at

According to the American Heart Association, about 565,000 people suffer a new heart attack and 300,000 experience a recurrent heart attack each year. Statistics also show that within one year of a heart attack, 18 percent of men and 23 percent of women will die. Within five years after an attack, about 33 percent of men and 43 percent of women will die.

The American Heart Association’s GWTG program is being implemented in hospitals around the country.

RN selected manager of St. Francis Hospital post-surgical unit

INDIANAPOLIS – Lisa K. Peters, R.N., has been appointed manager of the post-surgical unit at St. Francis Hospital-Beech Grove.

She comes to St. Francis from Indiana University Hospital where she was clinical manager of a multi-specialty unit and seizure unit. Peters held a variety of other roles at the IU medical facility including managing the pre-operative and post-operative recovery units and nursing resource pool.

Peters, a resident of Greenwood, Ind., earned a master’s in nursing administration and bachelor’s of science in nursing from IU.

A former adjunct faculty member of the IU School of Nursing, she is board-certified in nursing administration by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Diabetes patients, families served by St. Francis support program

INDIANAPOLIS – The Diabetes Support Group at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers has launched a new series of weekly programs.

The group will meet 6:30 p.m., the first Thursday of each month, from February to December. There’s no cost for participating patients and their families.

Meetings are held at the St. Francis Education Center, 5935 S. Emerson Ave., Suite 100 in classroom 2.

For more information, call 317-782-6600.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

RN selected to manage obstetrics at St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – Stephanie D. Brock, R.N., has been appointed manager of the obstetrics unit at St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville.

Prior to her appointment, Brock worked in the same unit as a charge nurse, managing patient care in all stages of labor, delivery and postpartum. She has been trained in neonatal care and served as a prenatal educator and preceptor and mentor to new hospital employees.

Brock worked as a nurse at St. Francis Hospital-Beech Grove from 1995 until 1999 before transferring to the Mooresville medical facility. She previously worked at Grandview Convalescent Center in Martinsville.

A resident or Martinsville, Brock received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Indiana Wesleyan University, graduating with honors.

Brock holds several nurse and medical certifications and is a member of
Sigma Theta Tau, an honor society of nursing.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Colorectal surgeon honored with prestigious fellowship

Sanders practices with the Kendrick Regional Center for Colon and Rectal Care on the campuses of the St. Francis Mooresville and Indianapolis hospitals. She specializes in the treatment of pelvic floor disorders, as well as laparoscopic colon and rectal surgery.

A 1998 graduate of the Indiana University School of Medicine, Sanders completed her general surgery residency at IU and finished her fellowship in Colon and Rectal Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Florida.
Sanders attained board certification from the American Board of Surgery and was board-certified in colon and rectal surgery in 2006.
She is a member of the ACS, American Women Surgical Association, American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons, the American Medical Association, the Indiana State Medical Association, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation and SAGES.
Sanders was named a Fellow during the ACS’s 93rd annual Clinical Congress, held recently in New Orleans.

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and to improve the care of the surgical patient. The organization has more than 72,000 members and is the largest organization
of surgeons in the world.

Friday, February 1, 2008

St. Francis offers free colorectal cancer risk assessments in March

INDIANAPOLIS – Kim Goelz was shocked when her doctor broke the news to her: she had stage III colon cancer and soon would be in for the fight for her life.

“I was stunned,” said the 35-year-old wife and mother of two. “I had no family history and no major health issues, and yet here I was diagnosed with colon cancer.”

Goelz is among more than 112,000 Americans diagnosed each year with colon cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. She immediately sought medical help when she experienced symptoms and her family physician encouraged her to get a colonoscopy which detected the cancer.

Early detection is the key to successfully treating and surviving colon cancer – and that’s why the St. Francis Colorectal Cancer Center of Excellence is offering free risk assessments to the public.

Screenings will be at Greenwood Park Mall Food Court 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, March 1; and 8:30 a.m. to noon, Monday March 3; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, March 8 at Meijer at Heartland Crossing in Camby.

The free assessments coincide with the observance of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

“Screening for colon cancer is highly effective, and one of the key objectives of our center is to increase awareness of the risks of colorectal cancers,” said medical director Michael Morelli, M.D. “Colonoscopy should be part of routine care for everyone who is 50 and older, or earlier for those with a significant family history.”

Goelz was treated with a combination of therapies by St. Francis physicians and she is determined to be among the 70 percent who survive colon cancer. And she’s grateful she didn’t ignore the early warning sign.

“It scares me to think what would have happened if I had waited,” she said. “I had no pain or other symptoms.”

For more information about the free risk assessments, call 317-782-4422.

The Colorectal Cancer Center of Excellence team includes more than 25 physician specialists including gastroenterologists, colorectal surgeons, general surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, pathologists, family practice physicians and radiologists. They are committed to the prevention, early detection and treatment of colorectal cancer, with a focus on providing the highest quality and individualized care for each patient.

For more information about St. Francis Cancer Care Services, go to