News Center

Friday, June 26, 2009

Surgeon explains orthopaedic, joint replacement therapies July 15

ANDERSON, Ind. – Hip and knee pain shouldn’t keep people from leading active and rewarding lives – and St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers wants to show you how.

The St. Francis “Road Show” will be coming to town at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 15, at the Days Inn Anderson Convention Center, 5901 Scatterfield Road. In the spotlight is a hip and knee replacement seminar.

Philip Faris, M.D., will explain the latest procedures in joint replacement and arthritis treatments. He is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon specializing in adult reconstructive surgery and joint replacement.

Faris is a surgeon with Indiana Joint Replacement Surgeons, a practice group whose Center for Hip & Knee Surgery is affiliated with the St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville.

The Center has been ranked No. 1 in Indiana for joint surgery three years in a row by HealthGrades, one of the nation’s premier health-care rating companies.

To register for this seminar, call St. Francis toll-free at 1-877-888-1777.

More information about the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery is at

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

St. Francis researchers seeking patients for global cancer study

INDIANAPOLIS – Researchers at the St. Francis Cancer Research Foundation are comparing combinations of chemotherapy agents that are most effective for treating patients with advanced indolent non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) or mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).

The Phase III randomized trial, which is sponsored by Pennsylvania-based biopharmaceutical company, Cephalon, Inc., compares the complete response rate of bendamustine and rituximab with that of standard treatment regimens.

NHL is a form of cancer that begins in the cells of the lymph system, which suppress the formation and function of other immune and blood cells. Indolent NHL refers to lymphoma that grows and spreads slowly and has few symptoms. However, as the disease advances symptoms worsen and treatment with chemotherapy combination becomes appropriate.

While rare, MCL is found in lymph nodes, the spleen, bone marrow, blood and sometimes the gastrointestinal system.

Led by principal investigator Maureen Cooper, M.D., St. Francis is the first in the world to establish a trial site for the study and to enroll its first patient.

This study is being conducted in approximately 110 centers is the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

St. Francis continues to seek patients for the study. To learn more about the criteria needed to participate in the trial call 317-782-7820 or visit

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

For more information about Cephalon, please visit

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

St. Francis partnership helps patients ‘see’ weight-loss surgery, rehab

INDIANAPOLIS – Prospective bariatric surgery patients can get an up-close view of what to expect from their procedures, thanks to a partnership forged between the St. Francis Weight Loss Center and Medical Animatics, LLC.

The collaboration harnesses the medical expertise of St. Francis clinicians and the technological prowess of Medical Animatics, an Indianapolis-based company specializing in medical and scientific visualizations.

The Web-based education portal, appropriately named “MyInformedChoice ®,” is designed to provide patients with a full complement of educational content. Patients can logon using any Internet enabled personal computer. Patients can then access , the visually rich presentation that includes 2-D and 3-D animations, audio narration, surgical video and interactive tools.

The multimedia program guides users through the process of what takes place during bariatric and gastric banding procedures, including the benefits and risks. They also can view the various aspects of follow-up care they can expect during recovery.

“This technology educates patients with easy-to-understand information and the most visually accurate details, enabling them to make informed choices about their health care,” said Eve Olson, M.D., medical director of the Weight Loss Center and a member of the St. Francis Medical Group. “It also uses patients’ informed consent designed to improve their medical outcomes and future wellness.”

Patients can access the site at any time and share it with others.

"Having this information at a patient's or family member's fingertips can make a difference in understanding this life-changing surgery," said Kim Peters, R.N., bariatric coordinator.

Once patients have been approved for surgery at St. Francis, they can complete the informed consent portion of the program.

“We’re excited to bring this cutting edge technology to patients who are considering bariatric surgery at St. Francis Weight Loss Center,” said Harlon Wilson, president and CEO of Medical Animatics. “Patients who use this innovative tool have demonstrated significant improvements in learning about medical treatment. St. Francis is an excellent example of a forward-thinking hospital that embraces innovative technology in support of improving their patients’ outcomes.

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 about the center is at

For more information about Medical Animatics, visit its Website at

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Residents poised to begin making rounds at St. Francis Hospital

INDIANAPOLIS – Six physicians will begin honing their skills in the Family Medicine Residency Program at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers in late June.

The 36-month program launches their start of their family medicine careers. Residents practice out of the St. Francis Family Medicine Center in Beech Grove, where they see patients of all ages and incomes. They also provide care for expectant mothers and deliver babies for many of these patients.

The residents are Kile Carter, M.D., (Indiana University School of Medicine); Brian Coppinger, M.D., (IU School of Medicine); Alfie Diamond, M.D. (IU School of Medicine); Angela Hackman, M.D. (University of Kentucky College of Medicine); Eric Hartman, M.D. (University of Arkansas College of Medicine); and Zachary LaMaster, D.O. (Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University).

“For 35 years, our program has trained physicians in the clinical and academic aspects of family medicine, while never losing sight of our mission to treat each patient with individualized care and compassion,” said Richard Feldman, M.D., residency program director.

To learn more about the Family Medicine Residence Program at St. Francis, go to

Group offers support, shared experiences for blood cancer patients

INDIANAPOLIS – A diagnosis of leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin disease or myeloma can leave a person feeling isolated with unanswered questions.

That ‘s why the Indiana Blood and Marrow Transplantation unit at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is co-sponsoring a support group. The next class meets Tuesday, July 21.

The meeting is at the Beech Grove Meadows, 130 Albany Way. Participants can share their experience with former and current transplant patients. This group is open to all people touched by a blood cancer seeking support from others.

Ample time will be provided for participants’ questions and discussion.

This monthly support group meets the third Tuesday of each month and encourages participation of patients, families, caregivers and friends to attend. Meetings are co-sponsored by Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

To learn more, call 317-726-2275, extension 200.

More information about the Indiana Blood and Marrow Transplantion unit at St. Francis can be found at

St. Francis-sponsored group offers support to breast cancer patients

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – There’s more to fighting cancer than good medicine and technology.

That’s why the St. Francis Cancer Center offers a well-designed support program to help breast cancer patients.

The group meets the first Monday of each month from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville, OB Classroom, 1201 Hadley Road. Their next meeting is Monday, July 6.

The groups are offered free of charge, as a community service; however, registration is recommended.

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

Monday, June 15, 2009

Plainfield Health Center offers Saturday mammograms

PLAINFIELD, Ind. – Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States. But the good news is breast cancer is treatable because of early detection and improved treatment options.

The St. Francis Plainfield Health Center now offers screening mammograms on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon.

Appointments at the center can be made by calling 317-783-8555. The center is located at 315 Dan Jones Road.

To learn more about mammogram and breast cancer services at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers, go to

Thursday, June 11, 2009

St. Francis Hospital nurses lauded for professional excellence

INDIANAPOLIS – Several nurses were recognized for service and leadership in their respective fields at the 2009 St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers Excellence in Nursing ceremony.

The ceremony and banquet was among the recent events honoring the service of St. Francis’ 1,450 nurses.The award categories, recipients and their service areas:
Clinical: Lynn Robbin (Palliative Care, Beech Grove) and Lindsey Zander (Bone Marrow Transplant, Beech Grove)
Community Service: Sandie Hickey (School Nurse Program, Indianapolis) and Norva Perkins (Obstetrics, Mooresville)
Preceptor/Mentor: Julie Gausvik (Bone Marrow Transplant, Beech Grove) and Stacy Glass (Bone Marrow Transplant, Beech Grove)
Professional Development: Brenda Hood (Adult Critical Care, Beech Grove) and Deb Hillman (Bone Marrow Transplant, Beech Grove)
Each nurse received a cash stipend for educational seminars and a plaque.

The ceremony also recognized the 2009 Richard E. Fry, M.D., Memorial Nursing Scholarships, a program funded by the St. Francis Healthcare Foundation. The scholarships are awarded to those in good standing and who either have been accepted or enrolled in an accreditied nursing program.

The recipients: Andrea Marie Amonette, Molly Bryant, Carly Horvath, Morgan Huser, Lillian Mwamba and Diann Randall.

Nurses from St. Francis’ Career Advancement and Recognition of Excellence program also were recognized at the honors banquet.

To learn more about student nursing programs at St. Francis, go to

College-bound students get financial boost from St. Francis Auxiliary

INDIANAPOLIS – Five area college-bound students have been named recipients of scholarships awarded by the St. Francis Auxiliary.

They were awarded $1,000 scholarships each based on their academic performances, community service and their volunteer commitment at St. Francis’ hospitals at Indianapolis, Beech Grove and Mooresville. The recipients are:

Matthew Minnis, 18, a graduate of Franklin Central High School. He plans to attend Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis with studies focused in the medical field. He has volunteered 230 hours at St. Francis.

Margaret Parkinson, 18, a graduate of Roncalli High School, who will attend IU with the goal of becoming a pathologist or medical technologist. She has more than 130 hours in volunteer service.

Katherine Kelley, 18, a graduate of Roncalli High School. Kelley, who has worked more than 108 hours as a volunteer, plans to earn an undergraduate degree in nursing.

Amber Campbell, 18, has been accepted at IUPUI and aspires to pursue a career in childhood development. He’s a graduate of Mooresville High School and has volunteered 55 hours as a volunteer at St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville.

Robert Whyte, 18, is a graduate of Mooresville High School and has volunteered 63 hours at St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville. He has been accepted at IUPUI, where he will study criminal justice.

“We are proud of these students and what they have accomplished,” said Gene Caviston of the St. Francis Auxiliary, “and we wish them the best as they pursue higher education and their career goals.”

The auxiliary is a component of the St. Francis Healthcare Foundation. It helps the foundation to advance its mission of caring for terminally ill patients, assuring spiritual care and crisis support for patients and employees and providing professional development for employees and create a healthier community.

Auxiliary members also serve as volunteers in a variety of areas at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers.

To learn more about the St. Francis Healthcare Foundation, go to

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Brownsburg Girl Scouts good deed will help families in need

INDIANAPOLIS – Needy families struggling to provide for their newborns won’t be leaving St. Francis Hospital, empty-handed, thanks to the hard work of Girl Scouts Troop 1731 of Brownsburg.

Trucks and cars pulled up to the entrance of the Women and Children’s Service at the hospital’s Indianapolis campus June 3 and the Scouts, accompanied by Troop Leader Darlene Smith, began unloading several boxes of baby-related items. Their donations were for the St. Francis’ Newborn Pantry, a family-assistance program
SUPER TROOPERS: (l to r) Courtney Sanzone, Sarah Pfettscher, Abby Dragon, Corinne Huls, Darlene Smith (troop leader) and Sydney Fleck.

Each Scout contributed to the project in a special way. Sydney Fleck assembled “goodie bags” for mothers and babies and coordinated publicity for the project; Courtney Sanzone made fleece blankets; Corinne Huls collected toys, assembled toy gift bags and made soft-sided play blocks; Abby Dragon collected clothing, made hats and baby booties; and Sarah Pfettscher collected diapers, wipes and bottles and made hooded towels

Troop 1731 began collecting the items in the Brownsburg earlier this year and made it part of their community service project. They also received a grant to purchase new items.

“This was a tremendous expression of generosity and the efforts of these young ladies will benefit many families who have nowhere else to turn for help,” said Mischelle Frank, a St. Francis manager who helped establish the pantry late last year.

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.

The Newborn Pantry is just one of the many community outreach initiatives at St. Francis. The hospital’s Neighborhood Health Center near Garfield Park also operates the BABE store, providing a wide range of items for infants, children and mothers.

To learn more about St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers community benefits and service, go to

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Surgeon uses unique robotics procedure to treat colorectal cancer patient

BEECH GROVE, Ind. – Today, (May 29) at St. Francis Hospital-Beech Grove, Dipen Maun, M.D., used sophisticated robotic technology to perform a low anterior resection on a rectal cancer patient – a procedure that is the first of its kind in Indiana.
Maun, a surgeon with the St. Francis-affiliated Kendrick Regional Center for Colon and Rectal Care, performed a low anterior resection (LAR) to remove a cancerous tumor from the patient’s lower rectum. Traditionally, such operations required large incisions and lengthy recovery periods. More recently, the surgeries have been performed laparoscopically to minimize pain and accelerate recovery.

What made Maun’s approach unique is that he used the da Vinci™ Surgical System.

"The da Vinci robotic system offers many advantages for the patient," said Maun, who specializes in endoscopy and laparoscopic colorectal surgery. "These include decreased conversion rates from laparoscopic to open surgery, improved specimen completeness, fewer complications, and possibly shorter hospital stays and faster recovery times."

The system, developed by Intuitive Surgical, also provides the surgical team with improved options. Working at the da Vinci controls several feet from the operating table, the attending surgeon has an enhanced 3-D view of the field of operation, improved dexterity and greater precision.

The da Vinci system was developed more than a decade ago at the urging of the Department of Defense. Military surgeons were looking for ways they could perform procedures from remote locations, far from battlefields. While that ultimate goal has yet to be realized, the computerized robotic system has been welcomed by surgeons in public and private hospitals worldwide.

More information about the Kendrick Regional Center for Colon and Rectal Care, located on the St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville campus, is at
To learn more about the St. Francis Colorectal Cancer Center of Excellence go to