News Center

Friday, January 29, 2010

Physicians join newly established St. Francis County Line Pediatrics

INDIANAPOLIS – Shanna Bowman, M.D., and Stacey Smith, M.D., members of St. Francis Medical Group, have joined County Line Pediatrics.

Bowman earned her undergraduate degree from Indiana University in Bloomington and her medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine. She completed her residency training at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and is board-certified in pediatrics.

Smith received her undergraduate degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN and a master’s degree in biology from Purdue University. She earned her medical degree from

Indiana University School of Medicine and completed her residency training at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville.

She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and is board-certified in pediatrics.

County Line Pediatrics is a newly established St. Francis Medical Group practice, located at 8325 South Emerson Ave, Suite B-1 in Indianapolis.

Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 317-781-7297 for an appointment or for more information.

To learn more about St. Francis Medical Group and its physicians, go to

Thursday, January 28, 2010

St. Francis Hospital to open Breast Clinic Feb. 3

INDIANAPOLIS – The Breast Cancer Center of Excellence at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers will soon see patients in a new multidisciplinary clinic.

The Breast Clinic allows patients to be evaluated in one visit by physicians in specialties such as breast and reconstructive surgery, medical oncology and radiation oncology. These physicians also will consult with radiologists and pathologists to evaluate imaging exams, biopsies and surgical pathology reports.

“The goal of the breast clinic is to provide an easily accessible and streamlined avenue for evaluating patients with suspicious exam results or symptoms and, if necessary, develop a concise treatment plan for patients diagnosed with breast cancer,” said Kent Brumbaugh, executive director of St. Francis Cancer Center.

The clinic, which opens February 3, will be located at the offices of Denise Johnson Miller, M.D., director of the St. Francis Breast Surgery Program at 5255 E. Stop 11 Rd, Suite 250, and is open Wednesdays from 8 to 11:30 a.m. for scheduled appointments.

Nurse navigator Janice Leak, M.S.N., will coordinate patients’ schedules and consult with physicians to develop treatment plans. Patients and families seen in the clinic are an important part of developing an individual plan of care during their visit.

For scheduling information, contact Leak at 317-782-6704, or via e-mail at Janice.Leak

More information about the St. Francis Cancer Center is at

Grieving youth learn coping skills through St. Francis Hospice program

INDIANAPOLIS -- 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.

That’s why St. Francis Hospice offers Caterpillar Kids, a support program that offers learning experiences for children ages 5 to 12.

“Children do grieve and they may express it differently than adults, but their feelings are as genuine and essential in healing,” said bereavement coordinator Karla Riggs Norton. “Caterpillar Kids brings children together in a safe, nurturing environment where they receive information about grief and learn healthy ways to cope with the death of a loved one.”

St. Francis Hospice will offer its Spring Caterpillar Kids program beginning Wednesday, April 7, and ending May 12. The workshops, which are free, are from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., meeting each Wednesday.

Meetings are at Christ United Methodist Church, 8540 U.S. 31 South, one mile north of Greenwood Park Mall.

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 assist them in supporting their children.

Registration is required. To register or for more information about Caterpillar Kids, call 317-865-2092 or toll-free at 800-390-9915.

More information about St. Francis Hospice is at

St. Francis Heart Center offers low-cost cardiac risk screenings

INDIANAPOLIS -- Life Line Screening, the leading provider of community-based health screening services in the United States, is working with St. Francis Heart Center to offer important preventive screenings to the community.

These preventive screenings are noninvasive and use ultrasound to test for peripheral vascular disease, carotid artery disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm and osteoporosis. Knowing your risk of any of these conditions can help you and your physician determine what treatments to choose or preventive measures to take to lower your risks

Upcoming screening dates and locations:

Feb. 2 – 9 a.m., Acton United Methodist Church, 5650 Senour Road, Indianapolis
Feb. 8 – 9 a.m., Souls Harbor Assembly of God, 8434 E State Road 267, Plainfield
Feb. 12- 9 a.m., Rocklane Christian Church, 4430 Rocklane Road, Greenwood
Feb. 16 – 9 a.m., Warren Township Government Center, 501 North Post Road, Suite B, Indianapolis
Feb. 24- 9 a.m., Miller's Senior Living Community, 225 West Harrison Street., Mooresville

The price for all four screenings is $129; individual tests are $45 each. Tests take about 45 minutes to complete and registration is required.

To make an appointment, call toll-free 800-779-6353.To learn more about the services and programs at the St. Francis Heart Center, go to

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hyperbaric chamber accelerates, improves wound healing process

BEECH GROVE, Ind. – An estimated 5 million Americans live with non-healing and chronic wounds and specialized care often is the only pathway for treatment.

St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is now using a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to promote healing in wound care. The chamber is currently used at the Wound Care Institute to treat outpatients with chronic or hard-to-heal wounds.

The hyperbaric oxygen chamber is a clear, enclosed chamber that exerts atmospheric pressure to assist in the treatment of some wounds. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or the breathing of pressurized oxygen, has been shown to accelerate and improve the healing process and be a vital tool for those at risk for losing a limb.

The tank compresses the molecules in the air and allows the compressed oxygen to enter into smaller blood vessels and tissue that it would not normally be able to penetrate, thereby promoting healing.

Treatments typically last for 90 minutes at pressure, one time each day, five days a week, for six weeks. The treatments are ideal for patients with complicated wounds such as diabetic ulcers, post surgical foot wounds and bone infection.

During treatments, patients are able to watch television, listen to music, and speak with the clinician – or even sleep.

The institute also offers a second location at St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville. .Both centers meet a full spectrum of patient needs with a wide range of specialized service, including the only program of its kind to treat diabetes foot and ankle problems and limb preservation.

To learn more about the Wound Care Institute at St. Francis, go to

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

St. Francis-Mooresville’s first ‘Noelle’ helps train staff for labor, delivery

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – Make no mistake about it: “Noelle” is no mere dummy when it comes to teaching others.

The computerized mannequin recently joined the staff at St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville and is helping train new nurses and other medical staff for childbirth. The life-sized simulator can be programmed for virtually any scenario or complication that can arise during delivery.

“This is a safe and effective way to teach how to care for patients,” said Kim Waite, R.N., who coordinates the training at Mooresville. “We have used the simulator to train for breech deliveries, postpartum hemorrhage and situations where the baby’s shoulder is blocking the birthing process.”

Noelle was born a few years ago in the laboratories at Florida-based Gaumard Scientific Co., Inc., and may be the only simulator of its kind used for obstetrical training. It simulates breathing and heart rate (mother and fetal), blood flow, urine output and other vitals; and can be fitted for IV and intubated to assist breathing.

The simulator can be programmed for normal vaginal, multiple and C-section deliveries and post-delivery care. It also measures cervical dilation and the extent of an infant’s head descent.

The fruit of Noelle’s labor and delivery is a lifelike newborn mannequin, which helps staff prepare for neonatal emergency situations.

“Initially, labor and delivery educators at our Mooresville and Indianapolis hospitals have become familiar with the simulator and participated in Code Blue [emergency] drills,” said Lori Warner, director of St. Francis Women and Children’s Services. “More obstetric nurses and physicians at both campuses will receive training.”

The patient simulator was made possible, in large part, by a grant from the St. Francis Auxiliary through the St. Francis Healthcare Foundation.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Irregular heart rhythm signs, treatment explained at St. Francis seminar

INDIANAPOLIS – More than 2.2 million Americans have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (Afib), a serious heart rhythm problem that can lead to heart failure and stroke.

Physicians with the St. Francis Heart Center will discuss the symptoms, diagnosis and the latest treatments of Afib at an upcoming workshop, noon, Tuesday, Feb. 9.

Marc Gerdisch, M.D., and John Moore III, M.D., are cardiac experts who have successfully treated patients with Afib through surgery, minimally invasive procedures and catheter ablation.

Gerdisch, director of cardiothoracic surgery at St. Francis, made headlines in 2009 by becoming the first in the world to use CorMatrix Extracellular Matrix (ECM)™ to modify and repair structures inside the heart, allowing tissue to re-grow inside patients. To learn more about his work go to

Moore, a member of Indiana Heart Physicians at St. Francis, is in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He specializes in clinical cardiac electrophysiology.

It is estimated that atrial fibrillation causes 70,000 strokes each year, according to the American Heart Association.

Lunch is included for this program. There is no charge, but participants must register to attend.

Call 317-782-4422, or register online at

Thursday, January 21, 2010

WIBC’s Nikki Reed to emcee Spirit of Women ‘Day of Dance’ Feb. 27

BEECH GROVE, Ind. – Central Indiana women, their families and friends are invited to attend the 7th annual Spirit of Women Day of Dance 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 27 at the Benedict Inn Retreat & Conference Center.

The event, sponsored by St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers, promotes exercise, balanced nutrition and other healthy living lifestyles as ways to lower the risk of heart disease and other maladies.

Nikki Reed of WIBC-93.1 FM, will serve as mistress of ceremonies for this year’s program. Reed is traffic reporter and regularly appears on the station’s “Steve Simpson” talk show, Monday through Friday.

Participants will have a full day of music and dance instruction from professionals, learning the steps to salsa, Zumba, hip hop and other dance styles. Snacks and beverages also will be offered.

Parking is available at St. Francis Hospital-Beech Grove at 1600 Albany St. Shuttle buses will take them a short distance to the Benedict Inn at 1402 Southern Ave. Shuttle riders also will be eligible to win a Wii Fit Plus game system.

Admission to Day of Dance is free, but advanced registration is strongly encouraged. To register, call 317-782-4422, or go to

"St. Francis Hospital is a proud member of Spirit of Women, a national network of hospitals dedicated to the overall health and well-being of women and their families,” said Michele Wood, R.N., manager of Women’s Health Services manager and Spirit of Women.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

OB/GYN doc elected to lead St. Francis Hospital-Mooresvile medical staff

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – James Perry, M.D., has been elected president of the St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville medical staff for a two-year term.

Perry is the obstetrics medical director for St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville and is affiliated with Southwest Women’s Health, with medical offices in Mooresville, south Indianapolis and Plainfield. He is in practice with his wife, Nicole Perry, M.D., and April Hoffman, M.D.

Certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Perry earned his medical degree from The Ohio State University. He completed a residency at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Perry is the past president of the Morgan County and Seventh District Indiana State Medical Association.
St. Francis operates hospitals in Mooresville, Indianapolis and Beech Grove, and offers services at its Plainfield Health Center.

More information about St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville and its services is at

Monday, January 11, 2010

St. Francis offers new After-Hours Clinics Feb. 1; urgent care centers to close

INDIANAPOLIS – St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is poised to open three After-Hours Clinics effective Feb. 1.

The facilities are located at:

Beech Grove After-Hours Clinic

2030 Churchman Ave.

Indy South After-Hours Clinic
7855 S. Emerson Ave.

Mooresville After-Hours Clinic
1001 Hadley Road, Suite 101

After-hours care at the locations will be available Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The After-Hours Clinics will be staffed by St. Francis Medical Group physicians and nurse practitioners.

The clinics will provide medical attention for fever, sore throat, cough, rashes, bumps, bruises, minor injuries, vaccinations and medication prescriptions. Patients requiring more extensive evaluation and treatment will be referred to St. Francis emergency rooms in Beech Grove, Indianapolis and Mooresville.

“We have carefully studied and reviewed how we can better serve patients in south-central Indiana, and we decided the best way to achieve this is through after-hours primary health services,” said Keith Jewell, St. Francis senior vice president and chief operating officer. “Offering after-hours care at off-site locations allows us to provide services at a more convenient time for our patients and their families.”

With the establishment of the clinics, St. Francis also will close its urgent care centers in its hospital-based emergency departments at Indianapolis (PromptCare) and Mooresville (PromptMed), effective Jan. 31.

“Moving the clinics off-site enables the hospital to offer patients more affordable insurance co-payments than traditional emergency room visits,” said Glenn Loomis, M.D., St. Francis Medical Group president. “Further, it bolsters our ability to provide superior care to the uninsured and underinsured in the communities we serve.”

Patients needing non-emergency medical care during regular office hours should visit their primary care physicians. Patients needing a primary care physician should contact the St. Francis Physician Referral Line at 317-782-6699 or toll-free at 800-222-5939. Patients also can visit and select the “Find a Physician” tab.

To learn more about the St. Francis Medical Group After-Hours Clinics, visit www.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

St. Francis visitors’ night access change enhances hospitals’ security

INDIANAPOLIS – St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is poised to change its night visitors’ access to its hospitals in Indianapolis, Beech Grove and Mooresville, effective Feb. 1.

Non-employees arriving from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. will enter the hospitals through the emergency departments with parking available near those areas. An attendant will be stationed near the departments and visitors will sign in and asked what area of the hospital they are visiting.

After approval, visitors will be given a temporary name tag to wear while they are in the facility.

“This new access policy strengthens the overall safety and security for our patients, visitors and employees,” said St. Francis Security Director Michael Johnson.

St. Francis-Indianapolis is located at 8111 S. Emerson Ave; St. Francis-Beech Grove, 1600 Albany St.; and St. Francis-Mooresville is at 1201 Hadley Road.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Decade of deliveries reaches maternity milestone at St. Francis- Mooresville

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville has more than 4,500 reasons to be proud of its track record the last 10 years.

That’s how many babies have been delivered since the birth of its Cherished Beginnings unit in January 2000.

The first child born at Cherished Beginnings – a boy – came into the world at 4:31 p.m., Jan. 4, 2000, and was delivered by James Perry, M.D., who continues his obstetrics practice and now serves as president of the St. Francis-Mooresville medical staff. The most recent birth was January 5, 2010, at 12:36 p.m., also delivered by Perry.

So many young lives and families in Morgan County have gotten their start in Cherished Beginnings, and we are proud to continue to be a part of it all,” said Dawn Scott, R.N., clinical services director who was the first manager of Cherished Beginnings.

Among the original 17 staff members – the number of which has since doubled – is Stephanie Brock, R.N., the current manager of the OB.

In the decade Cherished Beginnings has operated, 53 sets of twins have been delivered. The largest baby, a boy, was born in March 2004 and tipped the scales at 11 pounds.

The unit provides a wide range of obstetrical services and newborn care to women and their babies, including a level 2 nursery to care for low- and moderate-risk newborns, with immediate access to the level 3 neonatal intensive care unit at St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis if needed. The Mooresville unit also has surgical suites for Caesarean sections and other emergencies.

Cherished Beginnings provides far more than labor and delivery. A variety of prenatal, newborn care and parenting classes are offered throughout the year. The unit also offers child passenger safety seat inspections and a variety of support groups.

For more information about Cherished Beginnings, go to

Benjamin Neal and his mother Marla recently took time to reunite with Dr. James Perry, who delivered Benjamin on Jan. 4, 2000.

Fellow selected for IU, Kendrick training program at St. Francis

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – Tobi Reidy, D.O., has been appointed a fellow of the Indiana University School of Medicine Colon and Rectal Residency Program at Kendrick Regional Center for Colon and Rectal Care, based at St. Francis Hospital–Mooresville.

Reidy, whose fellowship training will begin in July 2010, currently is completing a general surgery residency at Jewish Hospital of Cincinnati. She earned her doctorate in 2005 at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Florida.

The colorectal residency program – the only program of its kind in Indiana – was established in 2008 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 program is funded through the St. Francis Healthcare Foundation.

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 Dipen Maun and Ben Tsai from Kendrick, and Drs. Bruce Robb and Virgilio George from IU.

Upon completing the training, Reidy 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.

The St. Francis Healthcare Foundation manages more than 130 specific purpose funds, including the Colon & Rectal Surgery Fellowship Fund, established in 2007. Gifts to the fund are tax-deductible based on each donor's personal tax situation. Gifts
and grants to the fund can be established to fulfill very specific needs of the Fellowship, or they can be dedicated to unspecified uses for the fellowship.

For more information, go to

St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville welcomes first baby of 2010

MOORESVILLE, Ind. –The first few notes of Jesus Loves Me sounded at 2:08 p.m., announcing the first baby born on New Year’s Day 2010 at St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville

Nichole Ruthann weighed in at 8 pounds and 12 ounces, and measured 20.5 inches long. She is the daughter of Misty Lambert and Jared Justice of Camby.

In 2009, 519 babies were born at St. Francis-Mooresville.

Each time a child is born at the hospital, Jesus Loves Me chimes throughout the hospital via the public address system.

Baby Nichole Ruthann and her parents Misty and Jared begin the new year at St. Francis-Mooresville.

Photo and text by Dena Allen

Friday, January 1, 2010

St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis welcomes first baby of 2010

INDIANAPOLIS – The first few notes of Jesus Loves Me sounded at 1:32 a.m., announcing the first baby born on New Year’s Day 2010 at St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis.

Kendalynne Toms weighed in at 7 pounds and 4 ounces, and measured 21 ¼ inches long. She is the daughter of April Toms of Martinsville.

In 2009, 2,745 babies were born at St. Francis-Indianapolis. Nearly 33,450 infants have been delivered since 1996, when the Women and Children’s Services program was consolidated at the hospital’s south-side campus.

Mother April Toms cradles her new daughter Kendalynne, who was born at 1:32 a.m. St. Francis-Indianapolis on New Year's Day.

Each time a child is born at the hospital, the first few stanzas of Jesus Loves Me chimes throughout the hospital via the public address system.