News Center

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 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

St. Francis joins national effort to promote proper use of kids' safety seats

INDIANAPOLIS – Three out of four child safety seats are installed improperly in vehicles, according to research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

That’s why St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is urging all parents and caregivers to attend the National Seat Check Saturday on Saturday, Sept. 20. As part of National Child Passenger Safety Week (Sept. 21 to 27), Safe Kids Indiana and Babies R Us are collaborating to offer free child safety seat inspections that day.

St. Francis child safety seat specialists will provide free inspections at Babies R Us, 8800 U.S. 31 South in Indianapolis from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“It’s the responsibility of every parent and caregiver to make sure their children are safely restrained – every trip, every time,” said Dorry Ante, certified child safety seat technician at St. Francis. “We are urging everyone to get their child safety seats inspected. When it comes to the safety of a child, there is no room for mistakes.”

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research, 8,325 children younger than age 5 have been saved by the proper use of child restraints during the past 30 years. Research shows that child restraints provide the best protection for all children up to age 8; after age 8, seat belts provide the best protection.

For maximum child passenger safety, Ante said parents and caregivers should refer to the 4 Steps for Kids guidelines for determining which restraint system is best suited to protect children based on age and size:

1. For the best possible protection, keep infants in the back seat in rear-facing child safety seats as long as possible up to the height or weight limit of the particular seat.
2. When children outgrow their rear-facing seats (at least age 1 and at least 20 pounds), they should ride in forward-facing child safety seats in the back seat until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the particular seat.
3. Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds), they should ride in booster seats in the back seat until the vehicle seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest.
4. When children outgrow their booster seats (usually at age 8 or when they are 4’9” tall and 80 pounds), they can use the adult seat belts in the back seat if they fit properly.

For more information about child safety seats or to schedule a personal child safety seat inspection at St. Francis, call 317-865-5774 in Indianapolis or 317-834-5817 in Mooresville.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Oncologist appointed as liaison physician to Commission on Cancer

INDIANAPOLIS – Thomas H. Fairchild, M.D., recently received a three-year appointment as Cancer Liaison Physician at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers.

That designation is an integral part of cancer programs accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC). Fairchild joins a network of more than 1,600 volunteer physicians responsible for providing leadership and direction to establish, maintain and support their facilities’ cancer programs.

Fairchild, a member of Otolaryngology Associates, specializes in head and neck cancers and is a member of St. Francis’ Head & Neck Cancer multidisciplinary team. He earned his medical degree and completed a residency at the Indiana University School of Medicine and completed an internship at Methodist Hospital.

Cancer Liaison Physicians are responsible for leading CoC initiatives within their cancer programs, collaborating with local agencies such as the American Cancer Society and coordinating quality improvement measures using data submitted to the CoC’s National Cancer database.

Fairchild will serve in this leadership capacity alongside Peter Garrett, M.D., who is medical director for St. Francis Cancer Care Services and also serves as the St. Francis Cancer Committee Chair.

More information about the Cancer Care Services program at St. Francis is at

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Clinical trial tests effectiveness, safety of leukemia vaccine

INDIANAPOLIS – A new vaccine, designed to stimulate the body to fight leukemia, is under clinical investigation by researchers at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers.

The trial tests the safety and effectiveness of what is called the “PRI peptide vaccine” for older patients having acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), a fast growing cancer of white blood cells that accumulate in the bone marrow.

“Patients who have no detectable leukemia after chemotherapy but who are at risk for return of the disease because of their age or type of leukemia may be eligible for this study,” said principal investigator Maureen A. Cooper, M.D., hematologist/oncologist with St. Francis Medical Group. “Some patients will receive the vaccine with immune-stimulating drugs; other patients will receive the drugs without the leukemia vaccine.”

Patients accepted into the study will receive a series of four injections – the first three administered at three-week intervals. The final injection is given three months after the third injection.

“Results in earlier phases of the PR1 peptide vaccine show a good safety profile, have been well tolerated by patients and cause them little if any discomfort,” said Cooper, adding that the injections are administered on an outpatient basis.

The vaccine is produced by The Vaccine Company, a San Francisco-based biotechnology company.

More than 13,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with AML in 2008, according to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The chance of getting the disease increases with age; however, children and adults of any age can develop AML

To enroll or for more information about the study at St. Francis, call 317-782-7820.

More information about clinical trials at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is at

‘Seat Check Saturday’ gets front-row seat at Mooresville

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville and Safe Kids Morgan County are sponsoring “Seat Check Saturday,” Sept. 20.

The event, which is free to the public, is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will be in the Family Medical Pavilion parking lot at St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville, 1201 Hadley Rd.

Trained safety staff from St. Francis will be on hand to provide car-seat safety inspections. Organizers also will provide free car seats to qualified families, who must have children present with them.

For more information, call 317-834-5817.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Christopher Braden joins Indiana Oncology Hematology Consultants

INDIANAPOLIS – Christopher Braden, D.O., has joined Indiana Oncology Hematology Consultants (IOHC), affiliated with St. Francis Medical Group.

Braden, who is board-certified in medical oncology and internal medicine, comes to his new position from the Graves Gilbert Clinic, Bowling Green, Ky. Prior to that, he was a research associate with Procter & Gamble.

He earned a doctorate in osteopathic medicine at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University in Illinois, and received undergraduate degrees in biology and chemistry at Northern Kentucky University.

Braden completed a fellowship and residency in hematology/oncology at Loyola University Medical Center in Illinois. During his fellowship, he conducted research in the diagnosis and treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.

He has had several articles published in professional journals

Organized in 1983, IOHC has provided quality health care services to patients throughout Indiana, including two Indianapolis locations: 8111 S. Emerson Ave., Suite A, (in the St. Francis Cancer Care Center) and 9002 N. Meridian St., Suite 214. IOHC physicians also see patients at outreach clinics in Franklin, Batesville, Madison, Elwood, Crawfordsville, Winamac, Frankfort, Kokomo, Rensselaer and Monticello.

Braden’s practice is located at the St. Francis Cancer Care Center, 8111 S. Emerson Ave., and he is available to see new patients. Appointments may be scheduled by calling 317-859-5252.

Mooresville Hospital offers free screenings for peripheral vascular disease

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – If you have poor circulation in your legs, causing pain when you walk or stand, it could be a sign of peripheral vascular disease (PVD), a condition that puts you at high risk for heart disease and stroke.

With PVD, the vessels that carry blood to the arms and legs become narrowed or clogged, interfering with the normal flow of blood, sometimes causing pain. Often, however, a person may experience no serious symptoms but still have PVD.

That’s why St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is again participating in Legs for Life, a free screening program for PVD. The screening will be 7 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 27, from 7 a.m. to noon. This year, the screening is at St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville, 1201 Hadley Road, just off State Road 67.

Indianapolis area residents may register for a free screening through the St. Francis Cardiac Screening Center, located at the Heart Center, 8111 E. Emerson Ave. Appointments are being accepted on several dates in September and October.

To qualify for the free screening, participants must be 50 or older, not currently under the care of a cardiologist or vascular surgeon and must not have attended a St. Francis Legs for Life screening during the past five years unless their symptoms have changed.

Symptoms of PVD include:
· Leg or hip pain when walking but stops when resting
· Numbness, tingling or weakness in legs
· Burning or aching pain in feet or toes when resting
· Sore on leg or foot that won’t heal
· Cold legs or feet
· Color change in skin of legs or feet
· Loss of hair on legs

Registration is required for screenings at both the Mooresville and Indianapolis campuses. To make an appointment, call 317-782-4422, or toll free at 877-888-1777.

Incisionless procedure gives bariatric patients second chance

INDIANAPOLIS – A new incisionless procedure, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year, can help gastric bypass patients lose unwanted pounds they have regained since their initial weight-loss surgeries.

Bariatric surgeons at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers are among the first in Indiana to offer StomaphyX™. The outpatient procedure uses a tube passed through the mouth – and no surgical incisions.

During the procedure, approximately 12 to 20 H-shaped, staple-like fasteners are placed strategically in the stomach to create pleats in the tissue and to reduce the size of the stomach’s pouch.

“StomaphyX™ recreates the patient’s smaller stomach, causing the patient to feel full quicker and experience further weight loss,” said Jonathan Mandelbaum, M.D., surgical co-director of the St. Francis Weight Loss Center. “This is currently the only endoscopic or non-surgical way to reduce the size of the stomach after gastric bypass surgery. It is far less risky than a surgical revision of gastric bypass.”

Mandelbaum said the key advantages of the precision include no incisions or scars, less pain, a lower rate of complications compared to the traditional revisional bariatric surgery and a quicker recovery.

Following the procedure, patients follow a traditional post-bariatric surgery diet, but have no physical activity restrictions.

Good candidates for StomaphyX™are those who have undergone gastric bypass for obesity, have regained some of the weight they had lost, are compliant with their diet, continue to exercise regularly and do not feel full early during meals, Mandelbaum said.

“The procedure can give patients a tool to help them achieve their weight-loss goal and prevent obesity-related problems. We still depend on patients being compliant with exercise and diet for this procedure to be successful,” Mandlebaum said.

The St. Francis Weight Loss Center, an American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence, also provides gastric bypass, Lap-BandTM and gastric sleeve procedures for the surgical management of obesity.
Contact the center by calling 317-782-7525, or visit

Monday, August 18, 2008

Actress, author shares story of what she gained from weight loss

INDIANAPOLIS – As the tragedy of Sept. 11 struck around her, Stacey Halprin was trapped in her apartment just one mile from the World Trade Center because at 550 pounds, she was unable to escape on her own.

Today, Halprin has transformed herself to a healthy 190 pounds and shares her incredible weight loss journey with others. She will be in town on Thursday, Sept. 11, as the keynote speaker at an event hosted by St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers.

What: St. Francis Hospital & Health Center’s Spirit of Women program is hosting an evening with Stacey Halprin, a nationally recognized actress and author who has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show. The night will include dinner and a fashion show, highlighting local weight loss success stories. The event also includes health care information and resources.

Where: Scottish Rite Cathedral ballroom
650 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis

When: 5:30 p.m.; September 11, 2008

Detailed schedule:
5:30 p.m. Cocktails and health information booths featuring health care information and resources
6:30 p.m. Dinner and fashion show, highlighting local weight loss success stories. Sponsored by Dress Barn. The emcee for the evening will be Stacia Matthews, health reporter for WRTV-Channel 6.
7:30 p.m. Featured speaker Stacey Halprin
8:30 p.m. Stacey Halprin book signing. Copies of Stacey’s book, “Winning After Losing” will be available for purchase at the event.

Cost: The cost is $30 per person. Reservations are required.

Registration: Register by calling (317) 865-5866.

Who: St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers, one of the largest health care systems in Indiana, 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.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Less invasive procedure uses radio waves to repair varicose veins

INDIANAPOLIS – A novel treatment using radiofrequency (RF) energy to heat and close diseased leg veins is easing the pain of severe varicose veins for patients treated at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers.

Vascular surgeon Michael Landis, M.D., is among the first physicians in Indiana to use the ClosureFAST device, providing a fast and virtually painless alternative to vein stripping and laser catheters.

“This is an outpatient procedure with little reported discomfort and patients typically are able to resume normal activities the following day,” said Landis, who is with the Indiana Vascular Institute at St. Francis. “The diseased vein is treated, allowing a return to normal healthy circulation. Symptoms are usually significantly improved or resolved.”

The ClosureFAST device, which has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, is in use by over a thousand physicians and hospitals nationwide. The procedure is primarily performed under local anesthesia.

The procedure, which is more than 96 percent effective according to studies, is designed for patients with serious conditions. It is not considered cosmetic surgery.

Varicose veins affect more than 25 million Americans – a majority of whom are women – and causes pain, swelling and severe disfigurement in many patients. Varicose veins, which appear twisted and rope-like, are a symptom of superficial venous reflux disease, which occurs when the valves that regulate blood flow in the veins stop working properly.

More information about the ClosureFAST device is available at

More information about the Indiana Vascular Institute at St. Francis is at

Monday, August 11, 2008

Daniel DeSalle appointed hospitalist at St. Francis-Mooresville

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – Daniel J. DeSalle, D.O., a member of St. Francis Medical Group, has joined the IMPACT Center at St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville.

He becomes part of a physician team of hospitalists who provide perioperative consultation assessments at the Mooresville facility. A hospitalist is a medical specialist who provides quality medical treatment to individuals while they are in the hospital.

DeSalle most recently worked as a hospitalist a Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pa., where he earlier completed a residency in internal medicine and internship in osteopathic medicine.

A graduate of the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Mo., DeSalle earned an undergraduate degree in psychology at Indiana University in Bloomington. He also has worked as an emergency room technician at Bloomington Hospital, an event planner and coordinator and an associate stock broker.

More information about the IMPACT Center at St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville is at

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Sara Bruns establishes family medicine practice at St. Francis

INDIANAPOLIS – Sara C. Bruns, D.O., a member of St. Francis Medical Group has joined Wanamaker Family Medicine.

She completed a residency with the St. Francis Family Medicine Residency Program last June, where she gained extensive inpatient and outpatient experience, including care for obstetrical patients.

Bruns earned her doctorate in osteopathic medicine at Midwestern University-Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, participated in a biochemistry master’s program at Indiana University and received her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Hanover College.

She has volunteered at the Community Health Clinic in Chicago and the Rainbow Clinic in Elgin, Ill., providing care to homeless patients.

Bruns holds professional memberships in the American Medical Association, American Osteopathic Association, American Association of Family Physicians, American Medical Women’s Association and the Indiana Osteopathic Association.

For more information or to make an appointment with Wanamaker Family Medicine, go to , or call 317-862-6609.

Shelley Stiner establishes family medicine practice at St. Francis

INDIANAPOLIS – Shelley R. Stiner, D.O., a member of St. Francis Medical Group, has joined Madison Avenue Family Practice.

Stiner, who will also offer obstetrical services in her practice, comes to St. Francis after completing a residency with Community Health Network, where she was a recruiter for its family medicine residency program.

She earned a medical degree at the Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine in Kentucky and an undergraduate degree in biology in human services at Tennessee Wesleyan College.

She holds professional memberships in the American Academy of Family Physicians, Indiana Academy of Family Physicians and the American Osteopathic Association. She has previous memberships with the American Medical Women’s Association, Kentucky Osteopathic Medical Association and the Pike County Medical Society.

Stiner continues to be active volunteer in hospitals, community groups and schools, often conducting sports physicals for Indianapolis-area students.

For more information about Madison Avenue Family Practice or to make an appointment, go to, or call 317-888-9669.

St. Francis Weight Loss Center serves up ‘Eat for Life’ program

INDIANAPOLIS – Most of us know the importance of eating right and exercising for good health, but sometimes 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 p.m., Sept. 8, with each session held Mondays at the St. Francis Weight Loss Center, 700 E. Southport Rd.

“Our program is designed by a team of physicians and registered dietitians, the program focuses on making long-tem changes in your lifestyle,” said Pam Fugate, R.N., M.S.N., M.BA., manager of the St. Francis Weight Loss Center.

Each sessions offer group discussions on a variety of topics, including: creating a plan for balanced eating, understanding food labels, changing your behaviors, maintaining motivation, dining out, determining portion sizes, menu planning, grocery shopping, exercise and nutrition facts and fiction.

“The key to success is having the right knowledge and tools – and knowing how to use them,” said Fugate. “Beyond the weekly class meetings, participants will have access to continued support and unlimited weigh-ins to help keep you on the road to lifelong success.”

There is a fee for those registering for the program. Call 317-782-7525 or visit for additional information.

Christopher Conrad establishes family medicine practice at St. Francis

INDIANAPOLIS – Christopher J. Conrad, M.D., a member of St. Francis Medical Group, has joined Southport Family Practice and Sports Medicine.

He completed a residency (2005-2008) with the Family Medicine Residency Program at St. Francis, where he served as chairman of the recruiting committee for the 2006-07 intern class of residents.

A graduate of the Indiana University School of Medicine, Conrad was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and was the recipient of the Ione C. Davis Scholarship and the Woolf Medical Scholarship. He also was chosen to assist family practice physicians in delivering health care Hoosiers in rural communities.

Conrad served as an extern in the family medicine and emergency department at St. Francis. He also was assistant team physician for the Roncalli High School football team.

He holds professional memberships in the Indianapolis Medical Society and is a resident member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Indiana Academy of Family Physicians and the American Medical Association.

For more information about Southport Family Practice and Sports Medicine or to schedule an appointment, go to, or call 317-888-5500.

Monday, August 4, 2008

St. Francis Hospital recognized nationally for top-quality cardiac, stroke care

IndianapoliS – The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association are recognizing St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers for its performance in treating cardiac and stroke patients using the association’s Get With The GuidelinesSM program.

St. Francis Hospital through its Heart Center joins 518 other hospitals being featured in an advertisement in the July 21st “America’s Best Hospitals” issue of US News & World Report.

GWTG is a hospital based quality-improvement program designed to ensure that hospitals consistently care for cardiac and stroke patients following the most up-to-date guidelines and recommendations. The program provides three modules that address coronary artery disease, heart failure and stroke.

Currently, more than 1,450 hospitals use one or more GWTG modules.

“We are proud that the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association have chosen the ‘America’s Best Hospitals’ issue of US News & World Report to recognize St. Francis Hospital for our achievements in their Get With The Guidelines program,” said Michael Hertel, executive director of the St. Francis Heart Center. “The program gives our professionals the tools and reports they need to effectively treat our coronary heart disease, heart failure and stroke patients.”

Upon meeting each module’s criteria, hospitals are recognized if at least 85 percent of their cardiac or stroke patients are treated and discharged according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s recommendations.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s advertisement recognizes St. Francis Hospital’s commitment and success in performance achievement.

“The American Heart Association is pleased to recognize its top Get With The Guidelines participants,” said Gregg C Fonarow, M.D., national chairman, Get With The Guidelines steering committee and director, Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center. “The program makes it easier for hospitals like St. Francis Hospital to provide appropriate evidence-based care and ultimately improve the quality of life and help reduce the number of deaths in these heart and stroke patients.”

To learn more about the services provided at the Heart Center at St. Francis, go to