News Center

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday success hinges on ways to finesse less personal stress

INDIANAPOLIS – As the holiday tune resonates with the message that it’s the most wonderful time of the year, for many it’s a time of stress, grief over the loss of a loved one, or grappling with the rough economic times.
“There are many healthy ways to cope with issues many of us face during the holidays,” said Kerry Minnis, licensed clinical social worker at Franciscan/St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers. He offers several tips to make it through the holidays.
Stress Overload
  • Simplify. Cut your “to-do” list. Delegate and get help.
  • Make choices that are good for you and your family.
  • Remember, time management is self-management. Teaching others to respect your time and having realistic goals are helpful.
  • Develop new traditions. Reaffirm your spirituality. Focus on family.
  • Examine your holiday rituals and traditions. Keep those that are enjoyable and meaningful. Create new rituals that fit your current lifestyle.
  • Reach out to others and share in the true meaning of the holiday.
Hard Time Economy
  • Avoid gift-giving frenzies. Use alternative gifts if money is a problem. Those may include something you can make or a card with the offer to provide a task or chore.
  • Focusing on the original meaning of the holiday can help overcome guilt associated with the inability to buy the gifts we would like.
The St. Francis Outpatient Behavioral Health Services offers a variety of services and programs throughout the year. You can learn more about them at

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

St. Francis Medical Group selects new director of cardiovascular services

INDIANAPOLIS –Timothy A. Gee has been appointed director of cardiovascular practices for St. Francis Medical Group. In that role, Gee will oversee operations at Indiana Heart Physicians and Vascular Surgeons.

Previously, he was a business consultant for Indianapolis Medical Management where he was involved in the direct management of practice managers associated with primary and specialty care physicians. He has held leadership positions with Profficee Inc. and Indiana Health Centers Inc.

Gee has more than 15 years of experience in business development, financial analysis and strategic planning within the medical industry.

A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Gee earned a master’s degree in management at Webster University, and received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Indiana University.

St. Francis Hospital nurses plant goodwill with care for patients

Natalie Davis (l) and Nancy Kosegi

BEECH GROVE, Ind. -- St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers has two nurses whose acts of professionalism and compassion has sewn seeds of gratitude among their patients and colleagues.

And that’s why registered nurses Natalie Davis and Nancy Kosegi at the hospital’s Beech Grove campus have been named the latest recipients of the hospital’s DAISY Awards. The awards are part of The DAISY Foundation, a nationwide program recognizing nurses.

Davis, who works in the emergency room, was nominated by a colleague, who credited her for being a tireless and compassionate advocate for her patients and inspiration to all clinical and support staff.

“Her courage and her recent mission trip to Haiti encourages all of us to volunteer our services to the less fortunate at home and abroad, as well as each time we walk through the doors at St. Francis to begin our shifts,” the nominator said of Davis.

Kosegi was nominated by the mother of a child about to receive sedation before undergoing an MRI procedure. She put both child and family at ease.

“It feels so good to be at a facility where compassion makes the patient and parents feel safer when they separated,” the mother wrote.

The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses is a national program that honors the compassionate care and clinical excellence that our St. Francis nurses bring to their patients every day.

The DAISY Award was established by the DAISY Foundation in memory of J. Patrick Barnes who died at 33 an auto-immune disease. His family was so impressed by the clinical skills, caring and compassion of the nurses who cared for him that they created this national award to say “thank you” to nurses everywhere. For more information, go to

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

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sisters of St. Francis Health Services changes corporate name to Franciscan Alliance

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – After many months of intensive research with consumers in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan, and after thorough deliberations at all levels of the organization, members of the Sisters of St. Francis Health Services, Inc. approved the Board of Trustees’ new name recommendation to Franciscan Alliance.

Sister M. Jane Marie Klein, O.S.F., chairperson for the Board of Trustees, said, “Franciscan Alliance is the perfect pairing of two words to create a meaningful, memorable name that affirms our promise to continue Christ’s ministry in our Franciscan tradition. Our 13 hospitals are very well known at the community level for their exceptional high-quality medical treatment and compassionate care. With this new name, we expect to broaden awareness of the system’s comprehensive, high-quality health care services and highly regarded compassionate care.”

Kevin Leahy, president and CEO for the newly renamed Franciscan Alliance, said, “With the many dramatic changes taking place across the nation’s health care landscape, a simple, but meaningful, unified name better affirms our standing as a large, multi-state Catholic health care system with nationally recognized centers of excellence and numerous joint ventures and physician relationships. Ultimately, the name change will help us tell our story of mission-centered, quality health care to our growing patient populations in communities in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan.”

The process to broaden awareness of the system’s significant health care services began a few years ago with the introduction of the Tau (a sacred symbol to Saint Francis of Assisi and a constant reminder of the Cross of Christ) added to each of the system’s hospital logos. The Tau was complemented by the words, “Sisters of St. Francis Health Services, Inc.” Leahy said, “Our final step, and one that we will implement in a cost-conscious manner over many months, is to replace the words, ‘Sisters of St. Francis Health Services, Inc.’ with the word, ‘Franciscan’ at all of our hospitals and health care facilities. The work is expected to begin in early 2011.”

Throughout its 135-year existence, Franciscan Alliance has stayed true to its founding mission of caring for everyone who comes through its doors. The system provides care for more than 2.9 million outpatient visits and more than 100,000 inpatient discharges every year with the most effective medical treatments, state-of-the-art medical equipment and an abundance of compassionate care. The system employs 18,200 co-workers including 556 physicians – both primary care and specialists – and expects to grow its physician team to more than 630 physicians next year, serving the system’s service-area population of 3.7 million people.

Leahy said, “We are proud of all the fine, high-quality services that our hospitals offer patients and their families both independently and as a 13-hospital system. Now, we must let more people know of our great work and leverage our reach geographically.”

Franciscan Alliance hospital names and logos, including adding the word “Franciscan” and the Tau, will be:

Franciscan/St. Anthony Medical Center in Crown Point, Ind.

Franciscan/St. Anthony Memorial Health Center in Michigan City, Ind.

Franciscan/St. Clare Medical Center in Crawfordsville, Ind.

Franciscan/St. Elizabeth East in Lafayette, Ind.

Franciscan/St. Elizabeth Central in Lafayette, Ind.

Franciscan/St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers in Beech Grove, Ind.

Franciscan/St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers in Indianapolis, Ind.

Franciscan/St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers in Mooresville, Ind.

Franciscan/St. James Hospital & Health Centers in Chicago Heights, Ill.

Franciscan/St. James Hospital & Health Centers in Olympia Fields, Ill.

Franciscan/St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Centers in Hammond, Ind.

Franciscan/St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Centers in Dyer, Ind.

Franciscan Physicians Hospital, LLC in Munster, Ind.


About Franciscan Alliance

Franciscan Alliance is one of the largest Catholic health care systems in the Midwest with 13 growing hospitals and a number of nationally recognized Centers of Health care Excellence. Franciscan Alliance includes: St. Anthony Medical Center in Crown Point, Ind.; St. Anthony Memorial Health Center in Michigan City, Ind.; St. Clare Medical Center in Crawfordsville, Ind.; St. Elizabeth East and St. Elizabeth Central in Lafayette, Ind.; St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers in Beech Grove, Indianapolis and Mooresville, Ind.; St. James Hospital & Health Centers in Chicago Heights and Olympia Fields, Ill.; St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Centers in Hammond and Dyer, Ind.; and Franciscan Physicians Hospital, LLC in Munster, Ind.

About the Tau

The sign of the Tau held a special place in the heart of Saint Francis of Assisi. Since the shape of the Tau indicated a Cross, Francis chose it as the symbol of his penitential life and as a resume’ of all his preaching. For Saint Francis, the Tau became a very sacred symbol, a constant reminder of the Cross of Christ and of his need to be continually transformed through a penitential life into the image of the suffering and crucified Christ.

The Tau became his personal signature. As he sought to live out its deepest meaning in his life, Saint Francis was slowly but surely drawn to its full realization on Mount LaVerna where he was divinely sealed with the signs of Christ’s passion – the Stigmata. Consequently, the sign of the Tau is a very special sign to all who seek to follow Christ in the spirit of Saint Francis.

The logo embodies Saint Francis’ ideal. The upper hand is bent in giving. It is the generous giving that exemplified continuing Christ’s ministry. The lower hand is ready to receive the compassionate and loving care and concern our employees are all called to give to our patients and to each other.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Rheumatologist joins St. Francis Medical Group

INDIANAPOLIS – Heather Maria Greist, M.D., has established a practice with St. Francis Medical Group Rheumatology & Osteoporosis Specialists.

She joins Stefan Monev, M.D., in the practice, located at 5255 E. Emerson Ave., Suite 230. on the St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis campus.

Greist completed fellowships in rheumatology at the Indiana University School of Medicine and an internal medicine residency at Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie.

She also has led professional presentations on rheumatology and dermatology.

Greist earned her medical degree at the IU School of Medicine; received a master’s of science at Purdue University; and completed her undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University.

Rheumatology & Osteoporosis Specialists focuses on the care of people with arthritis, osteoporosis and other rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.

To make an appointment, call 317-888-1467.

To learn more about St. Francis Medical Group, visit

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pain specialist Robert Princee stablishes practice with St. Francis spine group

INDIANAPOLISRobert I. Prince, M.D., has joined the St. Francis Medical Group Spine Specialists.
He joins Dan Nordmann, M.D., and Erika Cottrell, M.D., in practice at 8051 S. Emerson Ave., Suite 360., located on the St. Francis-Indianapolis campus.
Board-certified in both anesthesiology and pain management, he comes to St. Francis from Central Illinois Anesthesia. He is the former chief of the Department of Anesthesia and Pain at Riverside Tappahannock Hospital (Virginia) and at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Effingham, Ill.
Prince, who has published in medical journals and lectured internationally about spine treatment, has held various appointments with professional organizations. In Maryland, he was commissioned by the governor to a physician practice study commission and served on a professional ethics committee for the Medical and Chirological Society.
A recipient of numerous academic awards, Prince completed an anesthesia residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He earned his medical degree at Milton S. Hershey College of Medicine and received bachelor degrees in natural science and mathematics at Johns Hopkins.
St. Francis Medical Group Spine Specialists diagnose and treat the causes of symptoms of spine-related pain.
To learn more or to make an appointment, call 317-783-8494.
To learn more about St. Francis Medical Group, visit

New physician Cindy De Neira signs aboard St. Francis Plainfield Family Medicine

PLAINFIELD, Ind.Cindy De Neira, D.O., has established a practice with St. Francis Medical Group Plainfield Family Medicine.
Previously, she completed a residency and internship at Doctors Hospital, Columbus, Ohio. She holds memberships with the American College of Family Physicians, American Osteopathic Association and American Academy of Family Physicians.
De Neira earned a doctorate in osteopathic medicine at Des Moines University in Iowa. She received a graduate degree in nutritional sciences at the University of Florida, where she also completed her undergraduate work in chemistry.
She joins Charles Hodges Jr., M.D. at Plainfield Family Medicine, located at 315 Dan Jones Road, Suite 100 inside the St. Francis Plainfield Health Center facility.
To learn more or to make an appointment, call 317-839-0970.
To learn more about St. Francis Medical Group, visit

Friday, November 12, 2010

St. Francis-Mooresville surgeons offer free joint replacements to needy patients

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – Four patients will receive free total joint replacement surgery at the Center for Hip and Knee Surgery during an Operation Walk-sponsored program Nov. 20.

These patients, who hail Merom, Martinsville and Clay City, Ind., meet the hospital’s criteria for financial assistance and joint replacement surgery.

Implant manufacturer Biomet of Warsaw, Ind., is donating the implants. Center surgeons are donating the surgery, and the Mooresville hospital and staff are contributing the rest of the services.

E. Michael Keating, M.D., will be doing one single and one bilateral (double) hip surgery. Michael Berend, M.D., and Robert Malinzak, M.D., will each be performing a single hip replacement.

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

Other Operation Walk-affiliated sites in the United States also are participating in the program.

Operation Walk is a private, not-for-profit, volunteer medical services organization which provides free surgical treatment for patients in developing countries and occasionally in the United States.

Established in 2000 by Merrill Ritter, M.D., who also founded the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery, Operation Walk Mooresville also educates in-country orthopedic surgeons, nurses, physical therapists and other health care professionals on the most advanced treatments and surgical techniques for diseases of the hip and knee joints.

Through generous donations of time, money and supplies, Operation Walk Mooresville has been able to touch the lives of countless citizens in several countries, including Cuba, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

Most recently, a medical team sponsored by Operation Walk Mooresville performed 85 total joint replacements and 14 foot and ankle reconstructions for 79 patients in just one week this past February in Nicaragua.

Staff included six anesthesiologists, 11 surgeons, one internist, 18 nurses, six surgical assistants, six physical therapists, seven interpreters, five informatics specialists, journalists from IUPUI and many volunteers who managed the supplies, patient transport, surgical equipment and surgical instrument cleaning and sterilization.

Each trip costs approximately $150,000 for transportation, cargo, shipping, medical supplies, medications, room and board.

“Each year these costs increase,” said Amy Robertson, R.N., team coordinator for Operation Walk in Mooresville. “Without the help from the Kendrick Foundation and St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville, these trips would not be possible.”

The next mission trip will be to Guatemala City, Guatemala, Feb. 27-March 5, 2011. For more information, contact Amy at or visit

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

Thursday, November 11, 2010

St. Francis employees poised to help south side needy during holidays

BEECH GROVE, Ind. – While there has been some glimmer of an improving economy, many in the community are still in need as the holidays approach.

That’s why St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers again is stepping up its efforts in its partnering with LifeBridge Community for Operation Bright Christmas

In its ninth year, the program serves families during the holidays, benefiting children living in poverty in Beech Grove and Indianapolis’ south side. St. Francis has joined with LifeBridge and is now accepting donations through Dec, 15.

Last year, 625 children and their families were helped. Lifebridge officials project an increase as much as 25 percent for 2010.

Donations being accepted: new toys, new or gently used infant clothing and items, wrapping paper, gift bags, tags, ribbon, batteries, DVDs or CDs (“G” or “PG” rating only), video and board games (“G” rating only), twin size bedding, gift cards in small denominations, faith-based items, and sports toys (balls, bats, gloves, etc.).

Donors are asked not to provide clothing, or toys that are of the violent and occult nature. Toys that are broken or missing pieces also will not be accepted.

There’s a particular emphasis on children’s coats for this season, according to Julia Dearing, who coordinates the program at St. Francis.

Donations are being accepted 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at the Spiritual Care offices at St. Francis Hospital-Beech Grove, 1600 Albany St.; St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis, 8111 S. Emerson Ave.; and St. Francis Hospital-Mooresville, 1201 Hadley Road.

“There’s tremendous need in the community, but St. Francis employees have always demonstrated their commitment to serve through this program,” Dearing said.

LifeBridge Community is a faith-based ministry that seeks to instill hope in the lives of children, young adults and families through nurturing relationships and supportive services. More information about the organization is at

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

St. Francis Health Network, Anthem team to serve Hoosier Healthwise members

INDIANAPOLIS – St. Francis Health Network (SFHN) and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (Anthem) announced today a new agreement that will provide members enrolled in Hoosier Healthwise and the Healthy Indiana Plan with access to a more integrated health system.

The new contract has an effective date of Jan. 1, 2011, and will expand access for an estimated 28,000 Medicaid beneficiaries in south-central Indiana.

“This is an exciting opportunity and allows our network to move forward with the development of our Accountable Care Organization (ACO) and strengthen our commitment to population health management,” said SFHN Executive Director Jennifer Westfall. “Anthem brings significant resources that will enable us to deliver high-quality and timely care at a more personal level.”

“Effective coordination of care for our members is a cornerstone to our Medicaid program,” said Kevin Hayden, president of state sponsored business for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. “This new agreement further enhances our ability to ensure our members have greater access to care which complements a variety of care management and preventive programs we offer to help our members stay healthy and manage chronic conditions.”

The agreement will advance the goal of SFHN and its owner – the Mishawaka, Ind.-based Sisters of St. Francis Health Services Inc. – of becoming an ACO.

That’s important as it relates to health-care reform legislation enacted earlier this year, which encourages groups of providers to work closer together to better manage and coordinate the care of their patients. The ACO, thus, operates more efficiently and has the potential to bring down the cost of health care.

Under the new arrangement, Hoosier Healthwise and Healthy Indiana members will continue to see their primary care providers. Guidelines for referrals to specialists will remain the same.

Formed in 1993, SFHN is a nonprofit corporation that coordinates the medical care of more than 35,000 patients. There are more than 400 physicians and ancillary providers in the network. SFHN administers care for patients in health management organizations, preferred provider organizations and employers.

To learn more about St. Francis Health Network, go to

Monday, November 8, 2010

Kenyan burns up a chilly course to set record at Monumental Marathon

INDIANAPOLIS – Thousands of runners took to the city streets this morning (Nov. 6), for the third running of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon with the winner posting a record for marathon contests in Indiana.

Sunrise was edging upward and the Arlington High School Marching Band had just finished playing the national anthem. With brisk temperatures in the high 20s, the participants stepped off with the "William Tell Overture" blaring in the background.

Then came the wait, with spectators clutching their coffee mugs and marking time before making their way to the finish line.

The winners and their unofficial times:

Marathon (Men) Leonard Mucheru-Kenya (2:17:59)

Marathon (Women) Jackie Dikos-Indianapolis (2:45:27)

Half Marathon (Men) Andrew Baker-Indianapolis (1:05:39)

Half Marathon (Women) Erin Nehus-Vergara-Indianapolis (1:15:04)

Wheelchair (Men) Chris Brooks-Ann Arbor, Mich (2:18:37)

5K (Men) Jacob Bingham-Peru, Ind. (15:57:15)

5K (Women) Alysha Bartush-Caraopolis, Pa. (20:18:03)

Local luminaries were on hand to greet the participants before the starter’s gun sounded: Mayor Greg Ballard, St. Francis President and CEO Robert Brody, Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Eugene White, IMM President/Founder Carlton Ray, IMM Executive Director Julie Patterson, IMM Honorary Chair Bob Kennedy (Olympiad marathoner), and Alexander Adams, who succeeds Ray.

Under Carlton’s guidance, the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon is now a fixture of the Indianapolis landscape each November and has become a world-class attraction,” said IMM Executive Director Julie Patterson. “This is a fellow who had a vision and the desire to showcase our city; Carlton set the stage for an event that will endure.”

Indeed. The IMM has sparked tremendous interest in the world-wide running community. The record number of nearly 9,000 participants nearly triples the amount who signed up for the inaugural 2008 race.

Runners from 47 states signed up for the event, and participants also hailed from Australia, Brazil, Ecuador, Kenya, the Philippines, United Kingdom and Venezuela.

The event also launched another “first” – the 5K race sponsored by local engineering firm, HNTB Corp.

Returning in its role as title sponsor, St. Francis had 150 volunteers assisting in a variety of ways, most notably a team of physicians, nurses and other health professionals led by Dr. Jeff Peterson who were on hand to tend to runners’ medical needs.

About 1,500 IMM volunteers also performed a variety of tasks at water stations, registration, set-up and other logistical support.

And it takes a monumental effort to organize an event like IMM. Overseeing that task was The Tuxedo Brothers, a local sporting events management company, operated by brothers Don and Phil Carr.

The IMM’s urban courses are sanctioned and certified by the standards of USA Track and Field, the national body of road-race running. The marathon course also serves as a qualifier for the 2011 Boston Marathon.

Several lndianapolis-area educational institutions will get a leg up on their programs. The IMM will donate its proceeds to those organizations early next year. Last year’s donations topped $51,000.

For the results and other information about the 2010 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, go to

2010 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon Photos

Monday, November 1, 2010

Acquisition of Immediate Care Centers expands St. Francis’ access points

INDIANAPOLIS – St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers has acquired the Immediate Care Centers with offices located throughout the Indianapolis metropolitan area.

The agreement, effective Nov. 1, allows the hospital to operate four Immediate Care Centers located at 1001 N. Madison Ave. (Greenwood), 650 N. Girls School Road (Chapel Hill), 860 E. 86th St. (Nora), and 992 North Mitthoeffer Road (Washington Square).

Immediate Care Center is a tremendously successful enterprise, offering accessible, economical medical care to patients, particularly for those with minor accidents and illnesses who don’t require a visit to a hospital emergency room,” said Jay Brehm, St. Francis executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Launched in 1981 by the Bloomington, Ind.-based Unity Physician Group, the four locations collectively see about 100,000 patients each year. Each Center is always staffed by at least one physician and a highly trained staff committed to deliver service excellence.

“We are delighted to become a part of the St. Francis central Indiana system,” said Michael D. Bishop, M.D., president and chief executive officer of the Immediate Care Centers. “We needed a partner to help us expand and grow our presence. St. Francis is the perfect partner to help the Immediate Care Centers increase access to care for patients with acute illnesses and injuries.“

Immediate Care Centers medical and administrative leadership team will continue to guide and direct current and future operations and will become employees of St. Francis along with physicians and staff.

The acquisition of the Immediate Care Centers expands access points and is part of St. Francis’ strategy of providing better health care for patients at a lower cost.

An article appearing in Health Affairs magazine (September 2010) strongly suggests that the urgent care centers such as the Immediate Care Centers are vital alternatives to ease the strain on hospital emergency rooms, where many patients go even though hospital care is not needed.

The centers acquired by St. Francis are open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day of the year and no appointment is needed.

Plastic surgery practice joins St. Francis Medical Group

INDIANAPOLIS –The Indianapolis Institute for Plastic Surgery is now part of St. Francis Medical Group.

The practice includes Charles E. Hughes III, M.D.; and Wayne Lee, M.D.; and their clinical and office staff. The practice is located in at 8051 S. Emerson Avenue, Suite 450, Indianapolis, Indiana on the St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis campus.

Hughes is certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has practiced in the Indianapolis area for more than 25 years. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Lee is certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He completed a plastic and reconstructive surgery fellowship at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

More information about the services at the Indianapolis Institute for Plastic Surgery is at The practice will be renamed St. Francis Medical Group Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons.

St. Francis Medical Group is comprised of about 130 physicians offering a variety of primary care and specialty care services at St. Francis’ hospitals at Indianapolis, Beech Grove and Mooresville.

To learn more about St. Francis Medical Group, visit