News Center

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Heart murmurs, valve disease focus of free St. Francis seminar in Columbus

INDIANAPOLIS – That low whispering inside some human hearts may speak volumes about a person’s health.

It is estimated that more than 5 million Americans suffer from some form of heart valve disease and can cause heart damage without symptoms.

Franciscan St. Francis Heart Valve Center world-renowned innovators in the treatment of heart valve disease Marc Gerdisch, M.D. and Richard Shea, M.D. will explain the significance of heart murmurs and discuss the latest therapies for heart valve disease.

The free event will be held at Holiday Inn Conference Center2480 Jonathan Moore Pike – in Columbus on Thursday, June 2 at 6:30 p.m. A light meal will be served at 5:30 p.m.

Heart murmurs are caused by valves inside the heart that do not close properly. Sometimes, people can live with heart murmurs a long time without any symptoms. But if the problem becomes more serious, the blood flow to the heart may be affected.

Surgery, including heart valve repairs and valve replacement, can correct the condition and prevent heart failure.

This interactive seminar also offers participants heart risk assessments, blood pressure screenings and a free heart valve echocardiogram (valued at $500) screening to be scheduled at a later date.

Gerdisch is the chief of cardiothoracic surgery at the St. Francis Heart Center, a partner of Cardiac Surgery Associates and the surgical director of the St. Francis Heart Valve Center. The first in the world to use technology that allows patients to rebuild their own cardiovascular tissue, Gerdisch will discuss how this technology can be used to modify and repair cardiac structures, allowing heart tissue to re-grow inside the beating hearts of patients.

Board-certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease and echocardiography, Shea is a partner with St. Francis Medical Group Indiana Heart Physicians and medical director of the St. Francis Heart Valve Center. He specializes in echocardiography and nuclear cardiology.

To register for the Ask the Doc program, go to or call 1-877-888-1777 by May 31. There is no charge, but you must RSVP to attend.

To learn more about cardiovascular services at Franciscan St. Francis Health, go to

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Family medicine residents poised to begin making rounds at St. Francis Health

INDIANAPOLIS – Seven physicians will begin honing their skills in the Family Medicine Residency Program at Franciscan St. Francis Health on July 1.

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 and Indianapolis, where they see patients of all ages and incomes. They also provide care for expectant mothers and deliver babies for many of these patients at the hospital’s Indianapolis campus.

The residents are Drew Bright, M.D.; Mike Buckwalter, M.D.; Kristin Gerhardstein, M.D.; Michelle Shorten, M.D. and Kevin Wineinger, M.D., all from the Indiana University School of Medicine.

They are joined by Beth Nagle, M.D. from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine and Todd Capes, from the American University of the Caribbean.

“For 37 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.

More than 206 physicians have completed their residencies at St. Francis since the program began, most choosing to remain in Indiana to establish family medicine practices.

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

Rehabilitation stay at St. Francis Health inspires portrait of caring

BEECH GROVE, Ind. – Artists draw inspiration from myriad sources. Even from hospital stays.

Last March, Kenneth Vanosdol of Greenwood, was admitted to Franciscan St. Francis Health-Beech Grove for a bilateral total knee replacement performed by Tim Williams, M.D. Two days later, he was admitted to the hospital’s Inpatient Rehabilitation Center (IRC) to continue therapy.

He was discharged seven days later and went home with his wife, Pat, to mend on the home front.

“He was independent with all of his mobility and self-care,” said Annette Seabrook, director for the St. Francis Inpatient Rehabilitation Center (IRC).

At the time, Kenneth’s daughter, Alex, a student at the Herron School of Art and design in Indianapolis, was considering a project for an oil painting. She remembered the depth of care given to her father at St. Francis and began to commit her thoughts to canvas.

The result? A pair of hands gently surrounding a plant.

“I drew inspiration from the care that was provided to my dad by the staff at St. Francis. I was so thankful for everything that everyone did, and I just wanted to show my appreciation,” said Alex Vanosdol.

On May 23, the Vanosdol family returned to IRC to present the staff with their daughter’s painting.

“She said she knew that we all had our ‘own lives,’ but she was so appreciative of how dedicated we were when we were at work and that everyone was so positive,” said Seabrook.

“I see the painting as the caring hands of the St. Francis staff. The hands in the painting brought life into the plant, just as the staff care for each patient and help them return to their lives,” said Kenneth Vanosdol.

Strolling casually into the unit only nine weeks after his surgery, there was little to indicate Vanosdol had undergone knee-replacement surgery less than two months ago.

“My whole recovery process was great. I felt like I was ahead of other patients I saw in outpatient therapy,” said Vanosdol.

Alex Vanosdol’s artwork will soon be displayed at Franciscan St. Francis Hospital-Beech Grove.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Visiting Nurse Service aligns with Franciscan St. Francis Health system

INDIANAPOLIS – The largest home health and hospice care organization serving central Indiana patients for nearly a century is now part of one the state’s largest healthcare delivery systems.

Visiting Nurse Service Inc. (VNS) – a not-for-profit home health care and hospice program operating in 30 Indiana counties – will be known as Visiting Nurse Service at St. Francis.

The agreement, which fully integrates VNS into the Franciscan Alliance system, seals a series of discussions that have been ongoing for more than two years.

“VNS has an outstanding reputation and is a premier provider of home-based health care and related services,” said Robert J. Brody, Franciscan St. Francis Health president and chief executive officer. “Its values, mission-driven approach and programs have a strong outreach in many of the same communities we serve.”

“There is a great advantage to this partnership,” said VNS CEO John Pipas. “Both organizations will be enhanced by creating a stronger continuum of care to current and future patients. This is vital in the ever-evolving arena of health care.”

Founded in 1913, VNS has a solid corps of skilled nurses, certified home care aides, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, dietitians and medical social workers – all of whom work closely with patients’ primary care and specialty physicians.

The organization has offices in Indianapolis, Avon, Lebanon, Noblesville, Greenwood, Martinsville and Kokomo.

VNS serves patients in the following counties: Bartholomew, Blackford, Boone, Brown, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Clay, Delaware, Grant, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Henry, Howard, Jay, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Miami, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Owen, Putnam, Randolph, Shelby, Tippecanoe, Tipton and Wabash.

The agreement also aligns St. Francis and VNS’ common goal of forging a health care model, designed to improve patient care, reduce medical costs and enhance the delivery of health care to the benefit of the communities served.

Franciscan St. Francis Health’s three central Indiana hospitals are part of Franciscan Alliance, part of 13 hospital network headquartered in Mishawaka, Ind. The system serves more than 2.9 million outpatient visits and more than 100,000 inpatient discharges every year, providing the most effective medical treatments, state-of-the-art medical equipment and an abundance of compassionate care.

To learn more about Visiting Nurse Service at St. Francis Health, go to More information about Franciscan St. Francis Health is at

Monday, May 16, 2011

Golf outing takes swing in support of St. Francis Healthcare Foundation projects

INDIANAPOLIS – The rolling fairways and sprawling greens at Eagle Creek Golf Club again will be the setting of the 2011 Golf Outing sponsored by the St. Francis Healthcare Foundation.

The event, now in its 25th year, brings together board members, Indianapolis-area civic and business leaders, and Franciscan St. Francis physicians and staff for a full day of golf, fellowship and fun with the goal of raising funds for various foundation projects.

The outing gets under way 7:30 a.m. Thursday, June 23 with a shotgun start with afternoon golfers teeing it up at 1:30 p.m. Participants also will be offered breakfast and luncheon.

Throughout the day, various products and services – generously donated by local individuals and businesses – will be auctioned.

Proceeds from the outing support the foundation’s funding mission and priorities in areas such as care for the dying, underserved and those in spiritual need, and the professional development of staff.

Co-chairing this year’s event is Christopher “Topper” Doehring, M.D., St. Francis’ vice president of medical affairs, and Travis Tucker of BremnerDuke Healthcare Real Estate.

For more information about the 2011 Golf Outing, contact Amanda Haugh at

The St. Francis Healthcare Foundation was established in 1995 as a separate corporation to help advance the mission of the Sisters of St. Francis Health Services, specifically the service areas of Franciscan St. Francis Health.

More information about the foundation is at

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

St. Francis surgeon explains orthopedic, joint replacement therapies May 18

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – You can overcome hip and knee pain and get back to leading an active and rewarding life — and St. Francis Health wants to show you how.

The St. Francis will present an arthritis and hip and knee replacement seminar at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 18, at the Days Hotel, 5860 Fortune Circle West, Indianapolis. Light refreshments will be served, beginning at 6 p.m.

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

Malinzak is a surgeon with Joint Replacement Surgeons, a practice group affiliated with the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery at Franciscan St. Francis Health–Mooresville.

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.

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

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


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

St. Francis Health nurses lauded for extraordinary patient care

INDIANAPOLIS – Professionalism and compassion. Those components describe what pair of nurses have demonstrated in their work, thus earning them recognition at Franciscan St. Francis Health.

David Charles, R.N., and Joan Firth, R.N., are the latest recipients of the hospital’s DAISY Awards.

Charles was nominated by a family member of a patient hospitalized at St. Francis-Beech Grove’s intensive care unit. “He showed constant care, kind patience, good humor, cheerfulness, great knowledge and a willingness to explain anything we asked about,” the family patient’s daughter wrote.

Firth, who works in the hospital’s intensive care unit at Mooresville, was nominated by another family member residing a long distance way and unable to visit the patient. “Being 712 miles away from my mother weighs very heavy on me at this time. But after hearing the praise of my family, I feel much better knowing that Joan has such an attentive and compassionate way of working with her.”

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

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Program offers insight into bariatric surgery process

While exercise and healthy eating are good for your long-range health, it may not be all you need to succeed at weight loss. St. Francis Weight Loss Center offers surgical options for individuals who have been unsuccessful losing weight with other methods and who are more than 100 pounds overweight.
The decision to have surgery should not be taken lightly. By providing information and answering questions, the St. Francis Weight Loss Center staff will help you make an educated decision about surgery.

Learn more about the bariatric surgery program available through Franciscan St. Francis Health by attending one of its free upcoming information sessions. Dates this spring include:
  • Tuesday, May 10
  • Tuesday, May 24

All sessions will be held at 5:15 p.m. at the St. Francis Weight Loss Center, 5230-A E. Stop 11 Road, just north of St. Francis Health-Indianapolis.  
For more information or to register, call (317) 782-4422. Or register online at






Monday, May 2, 2011

St. Francis Health plastic surgeon earns top listing in international publication

INDIANAPOLIS – Charles E. Hughes III, M.D., a member of St. Francis Medical Group, has been selected “Top Plastic Surgeon in Indianapolis” by the International Association of Healthcare Professionals (IAHCP).

That accolade earns Hughes a listing and profile in The Leading Physicians of the World, an international publication featuring physicians who are leaders in their fields.

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

Hughes earned his medical degree at Northwestern University Medical School and served his internship at Passavant Memorial Hospital in Chicago. He completed residencies in general surgery and plastic surgery at Northwestern and a fellowship in surgical oncology with the American Cancer Society.

He holds memberships in various professional organizations and has lectured widely about plastic surgery. Hughes also is a National Visiting Professor of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

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 more than 140 physicians, offering a variety of primary and specialty care services at St. Francis’ hospitals throughout central Indiana.
To learn more about St. Francis Medical Group, visit