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 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 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, or the IU School of Medicine site,

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.