News Center

Thursday, April 28, 2011

St. Francis Health medical technology students poised for graduation, careers

BEECH GROVE, Ind. – Five students are poised to graduate from the Franciscan St. Francis Health School of medical Technology.
Upon completion of the program, the students also are expected, or already have, received bachelor degrees from their respective schools. The 2011 graduates and field majors are:
Shannon Deal, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. She earned her degree in biology in 2010.
Amanda Didier, Indiana State University, majoring in medical technology (2011).
Annie Girdler, University of Indianapolis, majoring in medical technology (2011).
Daniel Shay Jones, Franklin College, earned his degree in biology in 2010.
Alison Simerlein, University of Miami (Ohio), majoring in microbiology and clinical laboratory science (2011).
Graduation is set for 1:30 p.m., Friday, May 20, at the auditorium at St. Francis-Beech Grove.
The St. Francis School of Medical Technology is affiliated with several colleges and universities across the Midwest. The school, which is a division of the hospital’s clinical laboratory, was established in 1967 and is dedicated to preparing professional medical technologists with the theoretical and practical training to serve as active members of the health care team in clinical laboratory science.
More than 330 students have graduated from the program since its inception.
St. Francis’ Beech Grove campus houses many of the educational opportunities and services. The school’s facilities include a student laboratory that features lecture and audiovisual facilities and an adjoining library.
The incoming 2011-12 class will graduate under a new name – the Franciscan St. Francis Health Clinical Laboratory Science Program. In March 2012, their training will switch to St. Francis’ Indianapolis campus on the city’s south side.
Medical technology involves conducting a wide range of laboratory tests for the detection, diagnosis, treatment and study of diseases. Medical technologists work closely with pathologists and other specialists to ensure the accuracy of diagnoses.
More information about the Franciscan St. Francis Health School of Medical Technology is at

Texting, Drinking, Driving... Death

The Emergency Department staff at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville went on alert in a joint exercise drill with Morgan County first esponders and volunteer students from Monrovia High School. April 27.

The scene? A three-car "accident" near the high school, each vehicle carrying two students. One of the drivers had been drinking; another distracted by phone texting. The third driver was a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. They converged at curve near the high school.

The drill, coordinated by the Monroe Township Fire Department, included responders from Brown Township Fire Department, A&A Township Fire and Rescue and a medical crew from Stat Flight.

The victims, some of whom had to be extricated from vehicles, all sustained various degrees of injuries and were taken by ambulance to St. Francis. Another arrived by helicopter. Two of the volunteer students didn't make it to the hospital -- one was arrested for "drunk driving" and the othe was pronounced dead at the scene.

Nathan Lowder, R.N., manager of the Mooresville emergency department helped coordinate the drill, which included several of the department's nurses. Susan Perkins, R.N., disaster management coordinator for Franciscan St. Francis Health, also was on-site for the drill.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

St. Francis Docs vs. Jocks vs. Drugs program set for final tipoff May 6

Manual High School’s Van Arsdales, others to participate in hoops finale
INDIANAPOLISEmmerich Manual High School is the setting for an annual charity basketball game, which has supported substance abuse awareness programs throughout central Indiana for 25 years.

Docs vs. Jocks vs. Drugs, founded and sponsored by

And when the final buzzer sounds, it will signal the end of a tradition originated in 1987 by Donald J. Kerner, M.D., former St. Francis chief medical officer and a Manual High School alumnus.

The annual game has visited 14 high school courts throughout south-central Indiana, raising funds to support drug, alcohol and tobacco prevention programs. Since its inception, more than $130,000 has been raised.

Similarly, proceeds from this year’s event will benefit Manual’s substance abuse programs.

"What began as an idea to raise funds for schools to help educate their students about the dangers of tobacco use and drug and alcohol abuse took on a life of its own," said Kerner. “Physicians so often only deal with these issues when they’ve become a crisis; St. Francis doctors have been proactive in their approach to help stop these problems before they impact to our youngsters."

This year’s game includes a free-throw shooting contest between St. Francis CEO Robert J. Brody and Eugene White, superintendent of Indianapolis public schools.

And two well-known Manual alumni and basketball stars also will compete from the charity stripe. Brothers Dick Van Arsdale and Tom Van Arsdale, who led Manual to the state basketball title game in 1961, went on to study and play basketball at Indiana University and NBA careers.

The Van Arsdales were inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988.

When it comes to basketball, Marvin Christie, M.D., knows a thing or two about the game. He has coached the St. Francis squad from the beginning. And this family practice physician showed his prowess on the court at IU 60 years ago under the legendary coach Branch McCracken. His teammates included such luminaries as the late governor Frank O’Bannon, Bill Garrett (the school’s first African-American player and former Indiana’s “Mr. Basketball”), and Lou Watson, who later would succeed McCracken as IU’s head coach.

St. Francis physicians who have suited up for all 25 games include Donald Rockey, Pat Enright, Bob Robinson, Phil Snyder, and Tom Wisler. More than 100 St. Francis-affiliated doctors have participated in the program over the years.

Tickets for this year’s game are $5 per person and are available at the door at Manual gym before tip-off. Children 6 years old and younger will be admitted free.

Emmerich Manual High School is located at

To read about and view photos from last year’s Docs vs. Jocks vs. Drugs event, go to
2405 Madison Ave.
Franciscan St
. Francis Health, gets under way at 7 p.m., Friday, May 6 at Manual’s gymnasium. The game pits the hospital’s physicians against the school’s coaching and teaching staff.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Franciscan St. Francis Health appoints director for Emergency Services

INDIANAPOLISIndia J. Taylor Owens, R.N., has been selected as director Emergency Services at Franciscan St. Francis Health.

In that role, she is responsible for overall operations at the hospital’s emergency departments at Indianapolis, Beech Grove and Mooresville.

Owens most recently served as director for emergency services and emergency medical services operations at Indiana University Health West Medical Center in Avon. She has held related positions with hospitals in Hancock and Shelby counties, in addition to other nursing clinical specialties.

She received an associate’s degree in nursing at Indiana University (IU) and bachelor’s in nursing at Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU). Owens also earned a master’s of science in nursing administration at IU.

A resident of Fairland, she has been published in various professional journals.

Certified as a nurse executive and as an emergency nurse, she has held various academic appointments at the University of Indianapolis and currently is adjunct faculty at IWU. She also was the 2010 recipient of the Indianapolis Star Nurse of the Year Advancement of Nursing Award.

Owens has memberships in several professional organizations, including Sigma Theta Tau Alpha, Emergency Nurses Association (state and local chapters) and the Indiana State Nurses Association.

St. Francis Health employees receive training, program grants

INDIANAPOLIS – Funding made possible through Franciscan St. Francis Health will enable five hospital employees to receive additional training in their specialties.

The St. Francis Employee Education Fund provides financial support to non-physician employees for educational opportunities they otherwise could not afford to attend. The fund is intended for specific programs and seminars, not general tuition reimbursement or individual certifications.

Recipients of the 2011 program are registered nurses Laura Colgate, Stephanie Heckman, Melissa Lowder, Maria Smith and Kimberly Swisher.

In their applications, the recipients were required to show how the funding supports the hospital’s goals and mission; who ultimately benefits from the educational opportunity; and if the applicants demonstrate the ability to plan, coordinate or facilitate a quality educational event as a result of their training.

Program funding is administered through the St. Francis Healthcare Foundation. To learn more about the program and the foundation, go to

St. Francis Health ER physician saluted for stellar patient care

INDIANAPOLIS – Chris J. Hartman, M.D., is the latest recipient of the Healing Hands Award presented by Franciscan St. Francis Health.

With his colleagues and support staff looking on Hartman recently received the award at a small ceremony at the hospital’s Indianapolis campus.

Awarded quarterly, the Healing Hands Award was established in 2010. Its goal is to recognize St. Francis physicians for excellence in clinical skills, patient relations, research, stewardship and their reflection of the hospital’s health-care ministry, values and mission.

Hartman was nominated by Randall Todd, M.D., St. Francis’ Emergency Department Medical Director. Of particular note was Hartman’s swift response to a call for assistance for a patient who went into cardiac arrest during surgery. He stabilized the patient and arranged for a quick transfer for care at the hospital’s catheterization lab.

“This action, no doubt, saved a patient during an intense situation,” said Christopher “Topper” Doehring, M.D., who, along with Todd presented the award to Hartman. “Dr. Hartman is a well-respected physician and is known for the top-notch care he provides to all of the patients he cares for in the emergency room.”

A Diplomate of the American Board of Emergency Medicine and National Board of Medical Examiners, Hartman has been affiliated with St. Francis since 1995. He has served as an emergency physician at Piedmont Medical Center and Riverview Urgent Care Center in North Carolina.

An honors graduate of the Indiana University School of Medicine, he completed his emergency medicine residency at Carolinas Medical Center, where he also served as a flight physician.

Hartman’s emergency medicine background began before earning his medical degree. He has served as a paramedic in Indianapolis, Elkhart and South Bend.

He holds various professional memberships and is past president of the American College of Emergency Physicians-Indiana chapter.

Hartman resides in Carmel with his wife, Kathleen, and their six children.

Dr. Hartman (second from right) is presented the award from left by Dr. Christopher "Topper" Doehring, Dr. Randy Todd and Jason Middleton, director of product and business development.

Friday, April 8, 2011

St. Francis Health-Mooresville offers free screenings for vascular disease, May 14

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – 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 Franciscan St. Francis Health is offering Legs for Life, a free screening program 7:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m., Saturday, May 14, at its Mooresville campus at
Symptoms of PVD include:
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Leg or hip pain when walking but stops when resting
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Numbness, tingling or weakness in legs
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Burning or aching pain in feet or toes when resting
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Sore on leg or foot that won’t heal
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Cold legs or feet
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->Color change in skin of legs or feet
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->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.
1201 Hadley Road

Thursday, April 7, 2011

BLESSED & DEDICATED: April 2, 2011

Check out photos from this special event at!/FranciscanStFrancisHealth

Angelus Bell honors St. Francis Health heritage, rings in new era of care

INDIANAPOLIS – Surrounded by representatives of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, the Angelus Bell rang three times. Each ring echoed the Sisters’ medical ministry, which began in Beech Grove in 1914. And each ring heralded their continued commitment of embracing the future of providing health care to patients in central Indiana.

That poignant moment was a part of Franciscan St. Francis Health’s blessing and dedication ceremony of its Indianapolis Campus Expansion (ICE) project at 8111 S. Emerson Avenue. The April 5 event brought together the leadership of Franciscan St. Francis Health, Franciscan Alliance, Archdiocese of Indianapolis and the community officials.

“This is a special day, not just because we are celebrating the first phase of the opening of a new, state-of-the-art patient tower – but because we are setting a new standard of high-quality medical care for our patients and the communities we serve,” said Robert J. Brody, president and CEO for St. Francis Health.

It marked the completion of Phase I of ICE (basement and first two levels), which includes a new and larger emergency department, featuring 63 exam rooms arranged in strategic “pods” designed to provide more personalized care to patients. An imaging area and lab services also are located within the emergency department.

The current emergency room is scheduled to move from its existing location to the east side of the campus on April 13. On that date, too, 10 new surgical suites will be ready for patients, as will Wound Care Institute, nursing administration and Spiritual Care offices and other support services. A sprawling new cafeteria – Terrace CafĂ© – and kitchen also will open to the public.

The second and final phase of the project is slated for completion in May 2012, with floors three through sixth opening with 221 inpatient beds. Also, a new and expanded St. Francis Cancer Center – nearly quadrupling its current size – is expected to open in January that year on the west side of the campus.

The $265 million tower project broke ground in late 2007.

But the focus at the Indianapolis campus April 5 was of celebrating the hospital’s future and honoring its past. Twenty Sisters from St. Francis Health and others representing “sister” hospitals in the Mishawaka, Ind.-based Franciscan Alliance were on hand to participate in the ceremony.

“Throughout the years, its has always been our vision to make our Indianapolis campus the heart of our health-care ministry in central and south-central Indiana,” said Sister Jane Marie Klein, chair of the Franciscan Alliance Board of Trustees.

“But with all of the architecture, artwork and medical technology that surrounds us,” she continued, “we do not forget the true reason we are here today – to serve all who present themselves at our doors, regardless of their ability to pay.”

A special blessing and dedication is a staple for the opening of any new Franciscan St. Francis Health medical facilities – and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis’ newly appointed Auxiliary Bishop was there to officiate. The Most Rev. Christopher Coyne was joined by the Sisters near the Angelus Bell.

Three times it rang – the only occasion since 1975 when it was removed from the tower at the Beech Grove hospital for safekeeping. And the ringing of the 1,000-pound bell was followed by a swelling chorus of similar ringing from commemorative hand bells given to dedication visitors.

Coyne, assisted by Sister Marlene Shapley, vice president of mission services for St. Francis Health, then proceeded to visit new areas of the hospital with the sprinkling of Holy Water.

During the ceremonies, St. Francis Health was recognized by elected leaders. Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and Greenwood Mayor Charles Henderson presented proclamations honoring the hospital’s service to their respective communities.

To learn more about Franciscan St. Francis Health Indianapolis Campus Expansion, go to

Monday, April 4, 2011

Staff, families get slice of ICE

Franciscan St. Francis Health employees and their families were given the opportunity to see the new areas of the Indianapolis Campus Expansion project Saturday, April 2. On guided tours, they received an inside look at the pod layout of the new emergency department, surgery and recovery rooms, sample inpatient and intensive care unit rooms.

There were plenty of activities for all ages throughout the day. In a large tent near the main entrance, there was live music, games and prizes photo booths. And that rascally Indiana Pacers mascot, Boomer, made his rounds not only in the tent but at the main entrance and lower-level auditorium, where there were numerous activities for youngsters, including the music/video driven Dance Dance Revolution.
Visitors also sampled many of the good dishes prepared and served up by the St. Francis Food & Nutrition Department,
under the direction of Sean McKenzie. The spacious new dining area is called the Terrace Cafe, receiving its name from Sister Madeleine Schumaker's submitted entry in a naming contest held in late 2010.

An estimated 900 people attended the afternoon festivities.

The facility also will be officially blessed and dedicated at special ceremonies beginning at 2 p.m., Tuesday, April 5. Auxiliary Bishop Christopher J. Coyne of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis will officiate the formal blessing of the entire six-story facility.

As the hospital looks to its future, its rich heritage will be recalled at this event. Representatives of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration will sound the Angelus bell for the first time in nearly four decades. Attendees also will receive a hand bell to commemorate the event. The bell was first erected in the tower at St. Francis Hospital in 1914, when the hospital established its health-care ministry in central Indiana.

St. Francis Sister leadership will sound the bell’s final toll before it is put into final retirement and prepared for future display. The Rev. Coyne also will make a poignant tour of the new facility, blessing various areas of it with Holy Water.

Among the many dignitaries expected to be on hand for this event are Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and Greenwood Mayor Charles Henderson. Both are expected to present proclamations touting the campus expansion.

The Marian University Sacred Choir will provide special music during dedication events.

Photos by Gary Moore