News Center

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Franciscan St. Francis Health nurses recognized with DAISY awards

INDIANAPOLIS – Two registered nurses at Franciscan St. Francis Health have been praised by patients and peers for above-and-beyond the call in care giving.

Registered nurses Joan Frith and Taren Popovich have been named the December 2011 recipients of the hospital’s DAISY Awards.

The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses is a national program which honors the compassionate care and clinical excellence. Franciscan St. Francis localized the program in 2010 to recognize its nurses for their achievements.

Frith, a nurse in the intensive care unit at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville, was nominated for her compassionate caring way with a patient.

“Joan is an angel from heaven. I never realized there were people like her here on earth,” wrote the daughter of the patient. “She is the most loving, kind, caring, patient woman I have ever met at Franciscan St. Francis.”

This is Frith’s second DAISY award.

Popovich, an adult inpatient unit nurse at the Indianapolis hospital, was nominated by a clinical instructor.

“Taren stood out to all of the students,” wrote the clinical instructor who nominated her. The students wrote on their evaluations that they wanted to be as good as Taren. “I can’t say enough positive things about Taren.”

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 Franciscan St. Francis, go to

St. Francis Hospice seeks volunteers for Morgan Co. patients

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – Franciscan St. Francis Hospice is seeking volunteers who live in the Mooresville and Martinsville area to visit hospice patients in their own homes and extended-care facilities, offering respite and or companionship.

Spending two-to-three hours a week with a patient can be most rewarding. Volunteers offer friendship to patients and also allow caregivers the time to run errands, bowl in a league, or visit with friends. In essence, a volunteer adds quality of life for both patients and their caregivers.

Hospice is seeking licensed massage therapists and hair stylists? Therapists help alleviate stress and sometimes pain when used appropriately. Also, many patients are unable to physically go to stylists so having a volunteer provide this at-home service is much needed

All St. Francis Hospice volunteers complete an orientation program provided by our staff and to shadow a member of our team to patients’ homes", said volunteer coordinator Glenda Dennison. “Our goal is to create a meaningful experience for volunteers and the patients and families they will work with.”

Volunteers must be 18 or older and willing to commit to four hours a week for six months. They must complete a hospital volunteer application process and attend orientation.

To learn more about the hospice volunteer program, contact Glenda Dennison at 317-859-2874, or

More information about St. Francis Hospice is at

Monday, December 19, 2011

Franciscan Alliance selected to participate in Medicare Accountable Care Organization

Health system is first in Indiana and among few nationally to participate in program

INDIANAPOLIS – Franciscan Alliance today (Dec. 19) announced it has been selected to participate in the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model, a transformative new initiative sponsored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center.

The Franciscan Alliance ACO is the first and only Pioneer ACO in Indiana and among the first in the country to partner with Medicare as an ACO. Initially, this partnership includes Franciscan St. Francis Health (which operates hospitals in Indianapolis, Beech Grove and Mooresville) and other affiliated hospitals and physician groups.

“More than 22,000 Medicare patients in Indianapolis and central Indiana will be served initially by our ACO,” said Jennifer Westfall, Franciscan Alliance ACO executive director. From an industry perspective, the ACO model encourages organizations such as hospitals, physician practices, and other healthcare providers to collaborate closely, thus bringing down the overall costs of medical care.”

Franciscan Alliance will work with CMS to provide area Medicare beneficiaries with higher quality care, while reducing growth in Medicare expenditures, through improved care coordination.

The Pioneer ACO Model is designed to encourage the development of patient-centered, team-based care, with health-care providers delivering coordinated, high-quality care for their patients. Franciscan Alliance ACO was chosen specifically by Medicare for the Pioneer Program.

“These Pioneer ACOs represent our nation’s leaders in health systems innovation, providing highly coordinated care for patients at lower costs,” said Marilyn Tavenner, Acting Administrator of CMS. “Franciscan Alliance has demonstrated significant experience in providing high quality, coordinated care, and we are excited to partner with them.”

Under the Pioneer ACO Model, CMS will provide incentives for participating health care providers who form an organization to coordinate care for patients. Providers who band together through this model will be required to meet quality standards based upon, among other measures, patient outcomes and care coordination among the provider team.

CMS will use robust quality measures and other criteria to reward ACOs for providing beneficiaries with a positive patient experience and better health outcomes, while also rewarding Franciscan Alliance for reducing growth in Medicare expenditures for the same patient population.

Unlike a managed care plan, Medicare beneficiaries will not be locked into a restricted panel of providers. The Pioneer ACO Model is not a health plan or managed care plan. Under the Pioneer ACO Model, beneficiaries seeing doctors participating in an ACO will maintain the ability to see any doctor or healthcare provider, as well as the full benefits associated with traditional Medicare, but with the added benefit of a more coordinated care experience.

Today’s announcement was the culmination of a competitive selection process that began in May 2011 with the national release of a Request for Applications from CMS. Franciscan Alliance was selected based on its demonstrated capabilities to offer high quality, coordinated care.

With 14 hospitals in Indiana and Illinois, Franciscan Alliance 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 and innovative technology.

Franciscan Alliance, one of the largest Catholic health care systems in the Midwest, employs 18,200 co-workers and has more than 3,300 affiliated physicians – both primary care and specialists – serving nearly 4 million people in the system’s service areas.

To learn more about Franciscan Alliance and Franciscan St. Francis Health, go to and


About the Pioneer ACO The Pioneer ACO Model is one of a number of initiatives developed by the new Innovation Center. The Innovation Center was created by the Affordable Care Act to test new models of health care delivery and payment. For more information about the Pioneer ACO Model, visit the Pioneer ACO website at The Pioneer ACO Model is one of several initiatives underway at CMS designed to encourage the formation of ACOs. For more information, visit For more information about the Innovation Center, visit

St. Francis Health employees deliver help to needy before holidays

BEECH GROVE, Ind. – Eighty-five families on Indianapolis’ south side and south-central recently received a helping hand for the holidays.

In that spirit, that’s what continues to drive the Gift-a-Family program, coordinated by the Mission Integration Committee and Service Excellence Department at Franciscan St. Francis Health. The annual program serves residents primarily on the city’s south side to an area near the border line of Morgan County.

Franciscan St. Francis employees and their respective departments adopted families earlier and began collecting new clothing, small household items and children’s toys and gifts.

“Each year we identify families who have been referred to us, and while they have different backgrounds they all share a common denominator – they’re needy and often in desperate situations,” said Shirley Fox, chair of St. Francis’ Mission Integration Committee. “Our initial goal this year was to assist 50 families, but our employees stepped up and we easily surpassed that goal.

Employees of Franciscan Alliance Information Services, which has partnered with the hospital for many years on the Gift-a-Family program, also provided all of the food baskets and toiletries.

The food baskets were blessed by Father John Mannion of St. Francis Spiritual Services on Dec. 15 before employees delivered the items to families.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New colorectal fellow begins residency program at Franciscan St. Francis Health

MOORESVILLE, Ind. -- Phuong Nguyen, M.D., has been chosen for the 2012 fellowship in the Indiana University School of Medicine Colon and Rectal Residency Program at Kendrick Colon and Rectal Center at Franciscan St. Francis Health. He will begin his residency July 1, 2012.
This is the fourth year of the program, the only one of its kind in Indiana.
Nguyen received his medical degree from the Florida State University College of Medicine in Tallahassee, Fla. He is completing his general surgery residency at Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, N.C.
Upon completing his fellowship training, Nguyen will be eligible for the qualifying and certifying exams of the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery.
The residency program was established in 2008 through a partnership between IU, Franciscan St. Francis and Kendrick and marks the first educational joint venture between Franciscan St. Francis and the medical school, the nation’s second-largest academic medical institution.
The teaching staff comprises surgeons with Kendrick Colon and Rectal 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.
More information about the fellowship is available by calling 317-834-9618 or at the Kendrick 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. To learn more about its services, go to

Live Nativity program has been enduring tradition at St. Francis Health-Beech Grove

BEECH GROVE, Ind. – The scenes from that silent night so long ago in Bethlehem form the foundation of Christian faith for more than two millennia. And for more than five decades, those solemn vignettes have been reenacted at St. Clare Chapel at Franciscan St. Francis Health’s Beech Grove.

Dec. 12, 2011, will be especially poignant for the Franciscan St. Francis Health family. That date will mark the last time the Live Nativity will be presented at the Beech Grove facility, which is scheduled for closure in mid-March 2012 and inpatient services consolidated at the hospital’s Indianapolis campus.

“It’s been an important piece of our history,” said Shirley Fox, mission coordinator for the hospital’s Service Excellence Department who helps coordinate the annual event. “The chapel is filled with employees and their family members and hospital retirees, most of whom have met earlier at their annual Christmas Dinner.”

This year’s interfaith gathering begins at 1 p.m. with a call to worship and singing of O Come, O Come Emmanuel, which promises the birth of the Messiah. Readings offered by St. Francis employees and the singing traditional religious carols by the congregation mark the advent and arrival of the Christ child.

Employees also have played key roles in recalling the Nativity. Gathered around a stable near the altar are Joseph, Mary and the infant Jesus (often a staff member’s newborn), angels, shepherd and the Three Magi. A brief meditation is then offered, followed by the singing of O Little Town of Bethlehem.

This year’s program is open to the public.

But as one tradition comes to an end at Beech Grove another will take root during the 2012 Christmas season.

“We aim to preserve the Live Nativity program in the years to come at the Indianapolis campus,” Fox said.

Patient receives free joint replacement at St. Francis Health-Mooresville

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – In the second Operation Walk in the United States, a patient received free total joint replacement surgery at the Franciscan St. Francis Health’s Center for Hip and Knee Surgery.

Her surgery was successful and she is recovering at Franciscan St. Francis Health–Mooresville, where the hip and knee center is located.

The patient, Sheila Smith of Montpelier, Ind., received a total hip replacement on Dec. 2. She met the Operation Walk and hospital criteria for financial assistance and joint replacement surgery.

Sheila Smith is visited by Dr. Michael Keating after the procedure.

Center for Hip & Knee surgeon E. Michael Keating, M.D., donated the surgery, and the Mooresville hospital and staff contributed the rest of the hospital services. Device manufacturer Biomet of Warsaw, Ind., donated the hip implant. Nike will provide a new pair of shoes for each patient treated in the Operation Walk program.

Prior to surgery, Ms. Smith said she is very thankful for this opportunity. She reported not being able to work due to immobility and had no other access to this life-saving surgery. She plans to resume employment after her recuperation.

The Center for Hip and Knee Surgery has been ranked No. 1 in Indiana for joint surgery five years in a row (2007-2011) 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 of 72 health care professionals provided 111 orthopedic surgeries to 84 patients in Guatemala. They performed 99 total joint replacements and 12 complex foot and ankle surgeries.

Each trip costs approximately $165,000 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, Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville and many other sponsors, these trips would not be possible.”

For more information, visit

Monday, December 5, 2011

Franciscan St. Francis Health nurses honored for extraordinary care for patients

BEECH GROVE, Ind. – For Monica Lee and Lisa Binger, nursing is far more than a career. It’s a calling that transcends providing medical care to patients.

To that end, the pair of registered nurses are being saluted as the November recipients of DAISY awards, presented by Franciscan St. Francis Health.

Lisa Binger, who works in the acute

“Only with the unit a short time, Lisa displayed a great amount of compassion and concern for her patients, living out the mission of Franciscan St. Francis Health,” a peer recalled. inpatient rehab unit at the hospital’s Beech Grove campus, is credited for taking the level of care to another level.

“I do believe you were our guiding angel at Franciscan St. Francis to help lead us through this difficult time,” wrote the family member of a patient.


Receiving her second DAISY award, Monica Lee who works on the oncology unit, illustrates why she is an extraordinary nurse. Nominated by a grateful daughter whose mother was in the care of her, Monica expressed genuine concern and a calming presence.

“Monica is the most exceptional, compassionate nurse we have ever encountered,” wrote the family member. “My mother was completely overwhelmed by her tender care and gentleness in doing what so many others fine routine.”

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 thank nurse everywhere. For more information, go to

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


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Coping with holiday stress hinges on personal approach

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 Health, offering several tips:

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

St. Francis Health heart scans during holidays make ideal gifts

NDIANAPOLIS – This holiday season, Franciscan St. Francis Health is encouraging you to give the gift of heart health. Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women, and an estimated 80 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease.

Heart Scan, also called coronary artery calcium scoring, uses state-of-the-art technology to detect heart disease in its earliest stages. This safe, simple and non-invasive screening can identify your risk for heart disease and greatly reduce your chances of suffering a heart attack, stroke or other heart and vascular diseases.

The screening is recommended for men over the age of 40 and women older than 45 who have at least one of the following risk factors:

History of smoking or tobacco use

Family history of heart disease


High cholesterol

High blood pressure and/or obesity

“The Heart Scan screening is very important because as that calcium builds up over 10 or 15 years, that’s what can cause a heart attack or cause those coronaries to become completely blocked,” said Amy Coffey, cardiac screening center coordinator. “The earlier you can catch it, the better.”

The screening consists of: Calcium score of coronary arteries; cholesterol lipid profile; blood glucose (sugar check); blood pressure check; body mass index (BMI) assessment; customized report by Franciscan St. Francis Cardiovascular Imaging; and One-to-one evaluation with a St. Francis cardiac health coach.

This holiday season buy one Heart Scan for $99 and get a second one free a family member or friend.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 1-877-888-1777, or visit