News Center

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Upon these rocks an Indy hospital’s heritage, future forge foundation

INDIANAPOLIS – Some very special material is part of the concrete foundation on which a six-story bed tower will rise at St. Francis Hospital & Health Center’s Indianapolis campus.

Surrounded by the hum of construction and rumbling of trucks rolling in and out of that site on June 23, Sister Marlene Shapley, vice president of mission services, and Father John Mannion of Spiritual Care, stepped forward and cast six small stones into the foundation’s newly poured concrete. And it marked the completion of an idea that surfaced nearly a year ago while on a pilgrimage to Italy with Chief Operating Officer Keith Jewell and Anita Trackwell, R.N., clinical services director of St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville.

Sister Marlene Shapley and Father John Mannion offer a brief prayer moments after placing stones into the newly poured concrete foundation.

“The purpose of our pilgrimage was to deepen our knowledge and understanding of our Franciscan heritage,” said Sister Marlene. “At the time, St. Francis was about to launch its consolidation and construction and it just seemed like an opportunity to link our past with our future.”

While in Italy, the trio visited San Damiano – the place where Francis heard the words of the Christ who said, “Francis, repair my church for it is falling into ruin” – where they were given a stone as a keepsake. They also collected stones from Carceri, a hill top area above Assisi that Francis and his followers often went to pray; The Portiuncula, another one of the churches that Francis repaired; La Verna, where Francis received the stigma of Christ; and Greccio where Francis re-enacted the living Nativity.

The rock-placing ceremony began in the lobby of the nearby Heart Center, where Sister Marlene explained the significance of what she was about to do to a group that included Robert J. Brody, CEO and president.

“Symbolically and quite literally, the expanded hospital is being built on our Franciscan tradition,” Sister Marlene said.

Meanwhile, construction continues to progress at the hospital’s Emerson Avenue and Stop 11 Road location. Planned new facilities include, but are not limited to a six-story inpatient bed tower, expanded and relocated Emergency Department , enhanced imaging facilities and equipment, additional inpatient surgery operating suites, and 1,000 additional parking spaces.

The project is expected to be complete in 2010.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cancer survivors, families to turn out for grand slam event


Who: 900 cancer survivors, St. Francis Cancer Care Services physicians and staff

What: First ever St. Francis Cancer Survivor Celebration at Victory Field ball game

When: 2 PM Sunday, June 22

Where: Victory Field

An estimated 900 cancer survivors will be on hand to cheer on the Indianapolis Indians – and also to celebrate together their experiences and the treatment they received at the St. Francis Cancer Care Services program.

Cancer Care invited these patients to the matinee game, providing each with free tickets and “Tribe Tokens” to be used for food or merchandise.

Survivor Betty Moon of Beech Grove will sing the national anthem.

The guests will occupy sections 103 and 104 in the lower deck, and sections 201 and 202in the upper deck. All sections are located near the third base line.

This is a visual event and offers a feature or spot news possibility for your news coverage.

Monday, June 16, 2008

St. Francis analyst selected to lead state financial management group

INDIANAPOLIS – DeInda D. Dellacca of St. Francis Hospital & Health Care Centers, has been elected president of the Indiana Pressler Memorial Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA).

Dellacca, a senior financial analyst, will lead the 900-member chapter over the next year. The HFMA organization promotes personal and professional development and other educational activities for its members to excel in health-care financial management.

She received her undergraduate degree in accounting at Indiana State University and later earned a master’s in business administration from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Dellacca, who has been with St. Francis since 2005, resides in Greenfield with her husband and two daughters.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Long Road Back: St. Francis reaches out to Columbus Regional Hospital

Message from St. Francis CEO Robert J. Brody

A Word about the Recent Flooding
The recent flooding in south-central Indiana has affected a number of our St. Francis employee family members and their loved ones. Many residents all across the south-central area of the state face significant challenges and loss. Our prayers for strength, hope and faith go out to all who have been affected by this terrible tragedy.

The Need
Many of you have asked what you can do to help co-workers and others as well. Administration and other hospital representatives are talking with the Red Cross and other agencies to determine how we can best offer assistance. We will be sending out information on how we can help our St. Francis family members in the next few days. Please check CROSS and look for posters and flyers in your areas for more information.

As we prepare to help those among us who are struggling, we also are rallying our support for one of the hardest hit areas, Columbus, Indiana – specifically, Columbus Regional Hospital, its patients, physicians, nurses and other staff.

The town of Columbus and Columbus Regional Hospital have endured devastating flood damage. The hospital was seriously affected, taking in water to the basement and the first floor. The basement housed vital services such as lab, imaging, pharmacy, plant operations and information technology systems. The building and equipment sustained dramatic damage and repairs may take months – and the hospital is now closed.

A few days after the Columbus flood, I toured the hospital with CEO Jim Bickel and personally offered the assistance and support of St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers. Jim and his staff are very appreciative for the help rendered thus far, and he asked me to convey to you his gratitude for your hard work, contributions and prayers for those affected by the disaster.

It is amazing they were able to move patients and staff from the facility without suffering injuries or fatalities. The water filled the basement to the ceiling leaving an incredible mess. Jim described it as being knee-deep in “French onion soup.”
Sharing Our Hospital Home
Now we need to show how much we care for others as we always have in times of hardshi0 – opening our doors and our hearts to those in need.

As you might imagine when the flood occurred, there were mothers approaching the time for their labor and delivery, men and women in active radiation therapy for cancer, patients of all ages awaiting diagnostic imaging and surgery and more. Today, an Indiana town, suffering from the effects of the largest flood in recorded Indiana history, is without the comfort and care of its hospital and its dedicated team. We can help.

Patients from the Columbus area will continue to require care and their physicians and nurses of Columbus Regional Hospital will need a place to provide that care for patients. St. Francis Hospital and other Indiana hospitals are reaching out help.

We are working with Columbus Regional Hospital physicians to help them with temporary plans to provide patient care here at St. Francis. Several patients from the Columbus area will be treated here by Columbus Regional Hospital physicians and other clinical personnel throughout our hospital. Your warm and caring welcome and offers of help as they learn how to use our systems and facility resources will be sincerely appreciated: It is our mission in motion.

Welcoming Our Guests
Temporary privileges have been granted to several physicians including seven obstetricians who began delivering babies at St. Francis-Indianapolis today. Pediatricians, general surgeons, radiation oncologists and cardiologists have been granted temporary privileges and more may come onboard soon.
The same is true for Columbus Regional Hospital employees. With the arrival of more patients comes the need for more staff members, so we are reaching out to the Columbus Regional Hospital staff whose jobs have been temporarily interrupted, and placing them in many areas at St. Francis.

It is important to emphasize that we are working hard to support our colleagues in a time of need, and that when the time comes for Columbus Regional Hospital to re-open, we will work hard to make the transition back to Columbus Regional Hospital for these physicians, as smooth as possible.

We are so proud of your compassionate spirit, problem-solving ingenuity and capacity to love. We know you join everyone at St. Francis in saying welcome to the patients, physicians, nurses and staff of Columbus Regional Hospital. I know you will demonstrate to our friends and colleagues at Columbus Regional Hospital that the St. Francis family stands with them -- shoulder-to-shoulder – during this time of loss, transition, recovery and someday soon, restoration.

More information on our guests will follow soon and your department director also will provide information that is more specific to each of your areas.

To learn more about out how we are helping Columbus Regional Hospital, please visit

Thank you for all that you do to transform the spirit of St. Francis into action.

Note: To view a video of how flooding has affected Columbus Regional Hospital, go to and click on Hospital Shows Flooded Areas.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

St. Francis, CIGNA renew contract; continue serving members

INDIANAPOLIS – CIGNA HealthCare and St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers have reached a new contract maintaining in-network health-care benefits for CIGNA and Sagamore Health Network members at St. Francis facilities through 2011.

The contract affects all employer groups and payers using CIGNA and Sagamore networks and products through St. Francis’ hospitals in Indianapolis, Beech Grove and Mooresville, as well as an additional 10 hospitals owned and operated by the Sisters of St. Francis Health Services Inc.

“This agreement enables us to provide top-quality care to CIGNA and Sagamore members and the other people we serve at our hospitals and practice groups,” said Robert J. Brody, president and CEO of St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers.

“We are pleased to continue to effectively collaborate with St. Francis and provide individuals with access to high quality health care throughout communities in Indiana and Illinois,” said Sue Podbielski, president, CIGNA HealthCare Midwest Market. “The new agreement reinforces our commitment to offer our members a comprehensive, quality health services network as a way to improve health, well-being and security.”

The following facilities will remain in the CIGNA HealthCare/Sagamore Health network:
St. Francis Hospital & Health Center (Indianapolis, IN)
St. Francis Hospital & Health Center (Beech Grove, IN)
St. Francis Hospital & Health Center (Mooresville, IN)
St. Elizabeth Regional Health (Lafayette, IN)
Home Hospital (Lafayette, IN)
St. Anthony Medical Center (Crown Point, IN)
St. Anthony Memorial Health Center (Michigan City, IN)
St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Center (Hammond, IN)
St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Center (Dyer, IN)
St. Clare Medical Center (Crawfordsville, IN)
St. James Hospital & Health Center (Chicago Heights, IL)
St. James Hospital & Health Center (Olympia Fields, IL)

In addition, the new contract includes Franciscan Physicians Hospital in Munster, Ind., which is in the process of being added to the CIGNA and Sagamore networks. Members with questions should call the 800 number on the back of identification cards. A full listing of CIGNA network participating hospitals is available at

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Beech Grove clinical departments merge, change locations

The Wound Care Institute, Enterostomal Therapy and Medical Clinic will soon merge and relocate to a single location at St. Francis Hospital-Beech Grove.

The new location is 10 T and the effective date of the departments’ move is July 14.

‘Services will continue with the same level of care patients have experienced in the past,” said Amira Kehoe, R.N., currently manager of the Wound Care Institute, Medical Clinic and Enterostomal Therapy. “Patients can park in the front physician's parking lot or the garage and their ticket will be validated.”

The Medical Clinic that currently sees the infusion patients will be part of this merger and remains at the Beech Grove Campus on the 10th floor of the hospital.

The Pain Clinic is taking on a more specialized approach and will be moving to the Indianapolis Campus. The Pain Clinic’s move is anticipated for late summer and its new address will be 8250 S. Emerson Avenue. Kim Bell, R.N., will continue to serve as manager of the clinic.

Contact information for the three departments remains:

Wound Care Institute – 783-8014
Enterostomal Therapy – 783-8530
Medical Clinic – 783-8233

The fax machine number for the three departments is 783-8087.

For more information, contact Amira Kehoe at 783-8732 or at

Monday, June 9, 2008

St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville offers free osteoporosis screening

INDIANAPOLIS – Mother Nature makes no bones about it: Some folks are at higher risk of developing osteoporosis.

That’s why St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville and William Kcomt, M.D., are offering a free osteoporosis screening from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Friday, June 27. The screening, available to those 18 and older, will be in the Rheumatology Center at the hospital campus’ new medical office building, 1199 Hadley Road.

Kcomt, medical director of the Rheumatology Center, specializes in treating patients with arthritis and rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. At the center, he makes use of 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 and more commonly affects women. Other risk factors include people who are exceptionally thin, have small body frames or have a family history of the disease.

For more information, call 317-834-9051.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

‘Medical and SurgicalWeight Loss’ information session scheduled in Lafayette

Lafayette, Ind. -- Physicians and staff representatives from the St. Francis Weight Loss Center will present two community education programs on “Medical and Surgical Weight Loss” on Wednesday, June 18, at St. Elizabeth's Katherine Weil Education Center.

The first session will start at noon and include lunch. The evening session will start at 6:30 p.m.

The St. Francis Weight Loss Center, located on the south side of Indianapolis, provides surgical and physician-monitored weight loss solutions, including Sleeve Gastrectomy, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery and Lap-Band surgery and fills, as well as nutrition and behavioral counseling.

Since 2002, the center and its staff have helped more than 1,000 Hoosiers achieve a healthier weight and life through its weight management services.

The St. Francis Weight Loss Center was named a Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery in 2007. This recognizes the safety, efficiency and overall positive surgical results of the bariatric surgical program at St. Francis. The ASMBS Center of Excellence designation is awarded to surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes in bariatric surgery.

For more information on the services, please visit

The program will be held at the Kathryn Weil Center for Education located inside the Medical Arts Building at 415 N. 26th St., Suite 400 in Lafayette. For your convenience, reserved parking will be available on the second level of the Home Hospital parking garage.

These programs are free, but registration is required. To register or for more information, call the Kathryn Weil Center for Education at (765) 449-5133.

Two medical office buildings on Indy’s south side planned for 2008

The healthcare landscape on Indianapolis’ south side is evolving as St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers and BremnerDuke Healthcare Real Estate break ground this spring on two medical office buildings.

The two facilities, totaling more than 40,000 square feet, represent a continuation of St. Francis’ primary care strategy to expand its primary care network and physician numbers over the next two to three years. St. Francis serves the needs of a growing population across southern Marion, Johnson, Hancock and Hendricks counties.

Scheduled to open in October 2008, the Franklin Township Medical Office Building (MOB) will encompass 22,000 square feet on the southeast side of Indianapolis at the intersection of Franklin and Southport Roads. The facility will be anchored by a primary care practice, with 16,000 square feet available for additional tenants.

A two-story, 20,000 square foot MOB at the intersection of U.S. 31 and Southport Road is slated to open in December 2008. Anchor tenants include a primary care practice and physical therapy clinic. Another 5,000 square feet of space will be available to accommodate additional tenants.

“This is an excellent opportunity to better serve the needs of our patients and make our myriad services available to more people on the south side of Indianapolis,” said St. Francis Chief Financial Officer Jay Brehm. “The facilities will accommodate the growing number of member physicians in the St. Francis Medical Group.”

As their strategic real estate partner, BremnerDuke, a fully-integrated division of Duke Realty Corporation, is continuing a relationship with St. Francis that spans more than six years. During that time BremnerDuke has served as a trusted development, leasing and management partner on an array of projects for St. Francis, one of the largest healthcare systems in Indiana.

“We are pleased to continue serving as a strategic healthcare real estate partner for one of the premier healthcare providers in Indiana,” said Jim Bremner, President of BremnerDuke Healthcare Real Estate. “Together our efforts are making quality healthcare more accessible and convenient for thousands of Hoosiers.”

Included in St. Francis’ primary care strategy is a branding initiative that BremnerDuke initiated in 2006 with the system’s first new 22,000 square foot primary care building in Plainfield, Indiana. The exterior appearance of that facility serves as an architectural standard for the healthcare system’s future real estate developments.

Editor’s Note: Please contact Duke’s communications dept. if you need a rendering of either the St. Francis US 31 & Southport Medical Office Building or the St. Francis Franklin Township Medical Office Building.
Contact: Joel Reuter

St. Francis Hospital earns renewed accreditation as Chest Pain Center

INDIANAPOLIS – St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers has been recognized by the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC) for exceeding quality-of-care measures in acute cardiac medicine.

St. Francis recently received renewed accreditation as a Chest Pain Center and full Cycle II accreditation with PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention). This designates St. Francis as providing around-the-clock services from its heart catheterization labs to the community.

The hospital received its first accreditation in 2005, the first hospital in greater Indianapolis to receive that designation.

The accreditation is the result of on-site evaluations by a SCPC review team, which measures how well physicians perform in reducing time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack and to better monitor patients when it’s not clear whether they are having a coronary event.

Such observations helps ensure that patients are neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted.

Key areas in which the St. Francis demonstrated expertise:

Integrating the emergency department with the local emergency medical system
-- Assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients quickly
-- Effectively treating patients with low risk for acute coronary syndrome and no assignable cause for their symptoms
-- Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures
-- Ensuring Chest Pain Center personnel competency and training
-- Maintaining organizational structure and commitment
-- Having a functional design that promotes optimal patient care
-- Supporting community outreach programs that educate the public to promptly seek medical care if they display symptoms of a possible heart attack

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 dying annually of heart disease. More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain.

The goal of the Society of Chest Pain Centers is to significantly reduce the mortality rate of these patients by teaching the public to recognize and react to the early symptoms of a possible heart attack, reduce the time that it takes to receive treatment, and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment.

Playing a key role earning St. Francis the accreditation is the development of its Emergency Heart Attack Response Team, a first-of-its-kind approach which has dramatically reduced the time patients receive lifesaving care at the St. Francis Heart Center after arriving at the emergency department with chest pain.

The EHART protocol – which has garnered much attention from the international medical community – has proven how hospitals can improve their care of heart attack patients and generate savings in health-care costs.

To learn more about EHART, go to More information about the Society of Chest Centers can be found at