News Center

Monday, July 27, 2009

Physician poised to see new patients at South 31 Family Care

INDIANAPOLIS – John D. Baldea, M.D., a member of St. Francis Medical Group, will establish a practice at South 31 Family Care effective Aug. 3.

Baldea, who specializes in family and sports medicine, comes to the new position from Colorado, where he served as team physician at the University of Colorado and University of Denver. Previously, he was employed by U.S. Healthworks Urgent Care Center and Southway Urgent Care Center in Colorado.

A graduate of the Indiana University School of Medicine, Baldea completed family residency training at Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie and a sports medicine fellowship at the University of Colorado.

He holds memberships in the American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, American College of Sports Medicine and the Indiana Academy of Family Physicians.

Baldea joins Matthew Wolf, M.D., W. Joseph Johnston, M.D., and Lisa Altuglu, M.D., at the newly opened Southport Family Care center, located U.S. 31 and Southport Road. Wolf and Johnston previously were associated with St. Francis’ Center Grove Family Medicine.

To schedule an appointment with Baldea at South 31 Family Care, call 317-781-7370.

Indiana Heart Physicians joins forces with St. Francis Hospital

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Heart Physicians, a leading internationally recognized cardiology practice, will integrate its services with St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers, effective Aug. 3, 2009.

Thirty years of industry-leading cardiac care to the residents of south central Indiana has taken a major step forward with the integration of Indiana Heart Physicians and St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers. This integration harnesses the expertise of both organizations and their ability to offer a wider range of cardiac and vascular services to patients in central Indiana.

“The health-care industry has clearly established the need to better manage our scarce resources and to do so with a continued focus on our customers overall health. This can only be achieved by collaborating across the entire care continuum and avoiding all unnecessary costs not associated with patient care,” said Keith Jewell, St. Francis senior vice president and chief operating officer.

“Fully integrating our organizations enables St. Francis and Indiana Heart Physicians to continue the high quality service customers have come to expect while also investing resources in applying the science and research that is transforming the delivery of cardiac care,” added Robert J. Brody, St. Francis president and chief executive officer.

IHP currently has 23 board-certified physicians specialized in the areas of electrophysiology, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology and interventional cardiology. They are supported by nearly 150 physician assistants, nurses, medical technology staff and support personnel.

“Indiana Heart Physicians has proudly served the south-central Indiana community for over 30 years and being fully integrated with St. Francis will only strengthen our ability to continue to provide the best possible cardiovascular care to the patients we serve,” said Jeff Christie, Indiana Heart Physicians’ managing partner.

IHP was established in 1978 under the direction of H.O. “Buzz” Hickman, M.D. In addition to its long-established relationship with St. Francis, IHP also has affiliations with Morgan Hospital and Medical Center in Martinsville and Major Hospital in Shelbyville.

Last year, nearly 70,000 patients were seen at IHP, including office visits, testing and procedures.

IHP physicians conduct most of their work at the St. Francis Heart Center, located on the Indianapolis hospital’s south campus at Emerson Avenue and Stop 11. The center is the home to the city’s first certified Chest Pain Evaluation Center, Midwest Heart Valve Center, vascular laboratory, and a national training site for catheterization lab procedures, carotid stent placement and endovascular repair.

IHP physicians also developed the landmark Emergency Heart Attack Response Team at the Heart Center, which significantly reduces response times for heart attack patients, improves their outcomes and reduces health care costs. The EHART protocol has received much acclaim in the medical world and has been adopted by hospitals throughout the world.

The hospital/physician integration is seemingly timely and reflects a part of the health care reform proposals being discussed nationally, St. Francis and IHP officials say.

To learn more about the Indiana Heart Physicians, go to More information about St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is at

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mooresville surgeon explains orthopaedic, joint replacement therapies Aug. 19

EFFINGHAM, Ill. – 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, Aug. 19, at the Keller Convention Center at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1202 N. Keller Drive. In the spotlight is a hip and knee replacement seminar.

E. Michael Keating, 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.

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

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. It also is ranked among the to 5 percent in the nation.

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

St. Francis physician establishes new practice at South 31 Family Care

INDIANAPOLIS – Lisa Altuglu, M.D., a member of St. Francis Medical Group, has joined South 31 Family Care effective Aug. 3.

Board-certified in internal medicine and pediatrics, Altuglu previously was a partner in Pioneer Physicians Network, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. She has held academic appointments at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Summa Health Systems, Akron General Medical Center and Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Akron.

She completed residencies in internal medicine and pediatrics at Akron General Medical Center and Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She earned her medical degree from Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine.

Altuglu received various academic accolades as an undergraduate and as a medical student. She is a member of the Ohio State Medical Association.

She joins Matthew Wolf, M.D., W. Joseph Johnston, M.D., and John Baldea, M.D., at the newly opened South 31Family Care center, located U.S. 31 and Southport Road. Wolf and Johnston previously were associated with St. Francis’ Center Grove Family Medicine.

To schedule an appointment with Altuglu at South 31 Family Care, call 317-781-7370.

St. Francis has state’s lowest heart attack, pneumonia death rates; well below national average

INDIANAPOLIS – St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers has the lowest heart attack and pneumonia death rates among Indiana hospitals and has a heart attack ranking of 19th – the top 1 percent nationally -- according to a report released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The CMS findings, which were published in a recent USA Today article, are based on more than 1 million deaths and readmissions among Medicare patients from 2005 to 2008. More than 4,600 hospitals across the nation were analyzed for their heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia death rates.

The heart attack death rate at St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis is 12.3 percent, the lowest of any Indiana hospital – and significantly less than the 16.6 percent national 30-day average.

The pneumonia death rate at St. Francis-Indianapolis and St. Francis Hospital-Beech Grove is 7.8 percent (the lowest in Indiana) and 9.7 percent, respectively. Both rates are considerably below the national 30-day rate of 11.5 percent.

St. Francis also had the lowest readmission rates for pneumonia patients in Marion County.

Heart failure death rates at both St. Francis hospitals were less than or no different from the national 11.1 percent rate, according to the CMS study.

““We are continually looking at ways to improve our performance to better serve our patients at all of our hospitals,” said Robert J. Brody, St. Francis president and chief executive officer. “Certainly, the CMS study attests to our commitment to our goals and our overarching health-care ministry.”

The CMS report comes in the wake of St. Francis’ earning national recognition for implementing the American Heart Association’s/American Stroke Association’s programs to treat coronary artery disease, stroke and heart failure.

St. Francis received the Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure Bronze Performance Achievement. The recognition also means that St. Francis attained an aggressive goal of treating patients for at least 90 days with 85 percent compliance to the core standard levels outlined by the AHA and American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines for heart failure patients.

Previously St. Francis received both the bronze and silver awards for its achievements in the area of coronary artery disease and will receive the Gold Award later this month (acute myocardial infarction) from the AHA.

To see how St. Francis performed and to compare with other local and state hospitals, go to<.

Friday, July 17, 2009

St. Francis-Indianapolis offers free screenings for vascular disease, Aug. 29

INDIANAPOLIS -- If you have pain or poor circulation in your legs, you may have peripheral vascular disease (PVD).

With PVD, the vessels that carry blood to the arms and legs become narrowed or clogged, sometimes causing pain. Many times, however, a person will experience no serious symptoms but still have PVD. It is common that adults with PVD either have or are at risk for heart disease.

Knowing that you have PVD brings you one step closer to benefiting from one or more current treatments.

That’s why St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is offering Legs for Life, a free screening program Saturday, Aug. 29, at its Indianapolis campus at 8111 S. Emerson Ave.

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

To qualify for the free screening you must be 50 or older; not currently be under the care of a cardiologist or vascular surgeon; and have not attended a St. Francis Legs for Life screening in the past unless your symptoms have changed.

Registration is required. To make an appointment, call 317-782-4422, or toll-free at 877-888-1777.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

St. Francis observes World Breastfeeding Week with education, giveaways

INDIANAPOLIS – Breastfeeding is more than just a lifestyle choice about how to feed babies. It is an important health decision that affects not only the baby but the mother and society as well.

The staff at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is committed to supporting breastfeeding mothers. That’s why St. Francis will provide breastfeeding information and resources as it celebrates World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 3 to 7.

During that week, the lobby of the Women & Children’s Services building at St. Francis’ Indianapolis campus (8111 S. Emerson Ave.) will be filled with displays from local community organizations and businesses that promote, support and advocate for breastfeeding.

The displays will be located near the St. Francis gift shop, which includes breastfeeding-friendly products available for purchase.

Certified lactation consultants from St. Francis will be available to discuss tips how their families can support mothers in their decision to breastfeed. Also, breastfeeding moms will be on hand to discuss why they chose to breastfeed their babies and how their families have benefited from this decision.

Other participating organizations include: La Leche League, Indiana Perinatal Network, Mother’s Milk Bank, Women Infants and Children Program, and

The U.S. Surgeon General's Goal for Healthy People 2010 calls for: 75 percent of women breastfeed their infants at hospital discharge; 50 percent breastfeed their infants at 6 months of age; and 25 percent breastfeed their infants at 12 months of age.

Indiana aims for the goals of 65 percent of women breastfeed their infants at hospital discharge; 35 percent breastfeed their infants at 6 months of age; and 17 percent breastfeed their infants at 12 months of age.

For more information about breastfeeding or to talk to a certified lactation consultant, call the St. Francis Lactation Line at 317-865-5620.

Free seminar seeks to flush out answers to urologic problems

INDIANAPOLIS – It’s not a topic many are comfortable discussing, but urologic issues can affect a person’s self-confidence and overall quality of life.

That’s why Urology Specialists at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is offering a free seminar 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 21, at St. Francis Carson Square offices, 3145 E. Thompson Rd.

Serge Marinkovic, M.D., a board-certified urologist and member of St. Francis Medical Group, will be on hand to address most common urologic problems that men and women face as they age.

When men reach age 50, many face the issue of an enlarged prostate, which is a natural but annoying part of aging. An enlarged prostate, also known as BPH, translates into nightly trips to the bathroom and dif­ficulty starting a urine stream. More than half of men age 60 and older experience BPH.

Women may suffer from pelvic organ prolapse (when pelvic organs, like the uterus, begin to fall out of their proper positions) or stress urinary incontinence (when urine escapes when you laugh or sneeze). These condi­tions most often are the result of childbirth. Studies have shown that women often will not talk about these problems with a doctor.

The good news is that BPH, prolapse and incontinence, along with other urologic problems, now can be ad­dressed with minimally invasive treatments that can have you back on your feet and feeling confident again within days.

For more information and to register, call 317-781-7391.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

‘Emotional Eating’ program offered by St. Francis Weight Loss Center

INDIANAPOLIS – Occasional “emotional eating” isn't a problem for most people. After all, that's what makes comfort food so appealing; however, 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 six-week session gets under way 6 p.m. Monday, June 20, 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.

The cost is $50 to participate in the program. Call 317-782-7525 or visit for additional information.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

St. Francis surgeon uses tissue regeneration technology to rebuild patients’ heart structures

INDIANAPOLIS – A surgeon at the St. Francis Heart Center is using a revolutionary technology that allows patients to rebuild their own cardiovascular tissue.
Marc Gerdisch, M.D., is using the CorMatrix Extracellular Matrix (ECM)™ to modify and repair cardiac structures, allowing heart tissue to re-grow inside the beating hearts of heart surgery patients. The CorMatrix ECM is a unique biomaterial that harnesses the body’s innate ability to repair damaged heart tissue. Over time, it is replaced by the patients’ own tissue.

"The use of this biomaterial is a
major advancement in cardiac surgery and allows us to provide our patients with restoration of normal anatomic structures. It opens the door to a new level of cardiac tissue reconstruction," said Gerdisch, director of cardiothoracic surgery at the St. Francis Heart Center and a partner at Cardiac Surgery Associates.

In August 2007, Gerdisch, who specializes in complex heart valve surgery, became the first in the world to apply this technology inside the heart, repairing a congenital defect.

"Similar uses of the ECM followed, at our and other institutions," reported Gerdisch, who is co-director of the
St. Francis Midwest Heart Valve Center. "Then, in March 2008, we performed the first enlargement of the path blood follows as it exits the heart using the CorMatrix ECM, in lieu of a prosthetic device, for a patient undergoing valve surgery.

The first mitral valve reconstruction using CorMatrix occurred at St Francis Heart Center as well, in October of 2008. Large defects had been created in a patient’s valve by infection. The valve was restored to normal function using CorMatrix patches, avoiding a valve replacement.
"We have been able to make similar repairs for other patients since," added Gerdisch.

The CorMatrix ECM is derived from porcine small intestines and is processed in a way that removes all cells, leaving the complex structural matrix intact. Once surgically implanted, it serves as a scaffold, allowing the patient’s cells to infiltrate and ultimately replace the ECM scaffold.

While the patient continues to heal, the matrix gradually is replaced as the body reinforces and remodels the tissue. In the past, tissue replacement has been limited by options for implantation.

Animal tissue implants are subject to calcium deposition and hardening, due to the body’s ability to recognize them as foreign. Synthetic material lacks the performance characteristics of tissue and causes an inflammatory response. ECM, however, leads to growth of functional tissue where scarring would normally be expected.

More information about how the ECM is being used at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is at

About St. Francis Heart Center
Referring physicians wanting to learn more about heart valve surgery and Dr. Marc Gerdisch’s work with ECM can call toll-free at 1-866-237-0565.
The St. Francis Heart Center is dedicated to providing our patients with the region's most comprehensive heart and vascular services. The commitment of our physicians to the prevention and cure of heart disease has led to innovative care, better outcomes and improved quality of life for patients. St. Francis created the Emergency Heart Attack Response Team protocol, which has revolutionized heart attack treatment in the United States and abroad. St. Francis has the only 24/7 comprehensive heart center in South Central Indiana, providing everything from angioplasty to heart valve repair. For more information, go to

About St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers
St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers has three main hospitals in Indianapolis, Beech Grove and Mooresville and operates a medical office building in Plainfield. St. Francis Hospital is part of a network of 13 growing hospital campuses in Indiana and Illinois owned and operated by the Mishawaka-based Sisters of St. Francis Health Services Inc., one of the largest health-care systems in Indiana. For more information, go to

About CorMatrix® ECM Technology™
CorMatrix Cardiovascular holds an exclusive license from Purdue University to research, develop, manufacture and market naturally occurring ECM™ products for cardiovascular applications. The company currently has U.S. clearance and European approval with a CE Mark for its ECM Technology as an implant for pericardial closure, and clearance in the U.S. for use in cardiac tissue repair. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:
Joe Stuteville-St. Francis 317-782-7986 (office)
Becky Soja-CorMatrix Cardiovascular 415-946-1080 (office)