News Center

Friday, March 30, 2012

Franciscan St. Francis Health nurses honored for making a difference

INDIANAPOLIS – Making an enormous difference in the lives of patients with the super-human work they do every day, two registered nurses at Franciscan St. Francis Health have been recognized by patients for extraordinary care giving.

Registered nurses Rita Osborne and Dawn Foster, both who work at the hospital’s Indianapolis campus, have been named the March recipients of the hospital’s DAISY Awards.

Osbone, a pediatric nurse, was nominated for her experience and warmth when dealing with her patient.

“Rita treated my daughter like she was the most important thing in the world,” explained the mother. “She put her at ease by being warm and explaining what was going. It was much easier to calm her down compared to previous experiences elsewhere.”

Foster, bone marrow transplant specialist, was nominated by a patient’s family member.

“Dawn was assertive with dad while still being polite and caring. She didn’t take no for an answer and pushed him to do what he needed to do,” wrote this patient’s child. “I wish dad would have had Dawn a week earlier.”

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

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

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Speaker slated to discuss pulmonary disorder at St. Francis Health-hosted event

INDIANAPOLIS – It’s called Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, a genetic disorder that often goes undiagnosed and affects the lungs and liver.

To raise awareness of that disorder, the Better Breathers support group at Franciscan St. Francis Health will host a special presentation from an advocate who knows first-hand about the disease. Tom Corron, a representative from the Fort Wayne-based Alpha-1 Association will talk about his experiences at 1:30 p.m., April 18.

Alpha-1’s symptoms are similar to asthma and can lead to early chronic obstructive pulmonary disease cirrhosis of the liver and reduce life expectancy.

Sponsored by Franciscan St. Francis and the American Lung Association, the seminar is free to the public. The event will be in the Cardiac Testing conference room at the Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center, 8111 S. Emerson Ave.

To learn more about the Better Breathers support group, visit

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Nurses earn Daisy awards for exemplary patient care

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

Pam Buss and Amy Adams were named the February 2012 recipients of the hospital’s DAISY Awards. Buss works in the inpatient tower while Adams works in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, which has since transferred from Beech Grove to the hospital’s Indianapolis campus.

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

“Pam was very caring and supportive of mom, doing more than what was needed,” wrote the daughter of a patient. “She was very positive by telling mother how well she was doing, which gave my mother much needed encouragement.”

Adams was nominated by a co-worker for an extraordinary act of caring for a patient. Adams, a formal dental assistant, asked to help care for a young leukemia patient who was suffering with gum disease and other issues as a side effect of her cancer treatment.

“What really bothered Amy is that this pretty little patient would cover her mouth whenever she laughed or smiled as she was very self-conscious about her appearance,” stated a coworker. “Amy acquired all of the necessary tools, she worked on the patient’s mouth; instructed the patient on how to care for her mouth; and after several days of work Amy got a smile – but she got more than that. She also could see in the face of this young patient that she had made a difference.”

The DAISY Award was established by the DAISY Foundation in memory of J. Patrick Barnes who died at 33 of 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 Health surgeon explains orthopedic, joint replacement therapies April 25

RICHMOND, Ind. – Hip and knee pain shouldn’t keep people from leading active and rewarding lives – and Franciscan St. Francis Health wants to show you how.

The St. Francis “Road Show” will be coming to town at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 25, at the Quality Inn, 5501 National Road E. In the spotlight is a hip and knee replacement seminar. A light buffet will be served at 6 p.m.

Robert A. 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 the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery at St. Francis Health–Mooresville. The Center 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.

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

More information about the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery is at Click the link in the center section of the home page.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Franciscan St. Francis to open Immediate Care Center near Beech Grove

Medical services slated to relocate from Washington Square

BEECH GROVE, Ind. -- Residents here and on the near south side of Indianapolis will soon have a new health care option with Immediate Care Center-Thompson Commons.

The Center, located at 5210 E. Thompson Road (near Interstate 465 and Emerson Ave.), will open Tuesday, March 27, offering services seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The facility is relocating from its present location at 992 North Mitthoeffer Road at Washington Square, which closes 11 p.m., Monday, March 26.

ICC-Thompson Commons provides urgent care treatment by physicians – without an appointment – for illnesses and injuries, including diagnostic imaging and lab services. The facility features six exam rooms and two treatment rooms, and is staffed by 14 medical assistants, X-ray technicians and management.

“Immediate Care Centers offer 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 Robert J. Brody, president and chief executive officer for Franciscan St. Francis Health, which acquired ICC operations in the Indianapolis area in late 2010.

In addition to its new location, ICC operates facilities at 1001 N. Madison Ave. (Greenwood), 650 N. Girls School Road (Chapel Hill), and 860 E. 86th St. (Nora).

“Together with Franciscan St. Francis, we are committed to provide mission-based compassionate care to families in Beech Grove and the many communities we serve,” said Michael D. Bishop, M.D., president and chief executive officer of the Immediate Care Centers.

ICC-Thompson Commons is located near Franciscan St. Francis’ newly expanded hospital at 8111 S. Emerson Ave. Patients in the area have other health care alternatives, including:

  • Beech Grove After-Hours Clinic, 2030 Churchman Ave., in the offices of St. Francis Medical Group Beech Grove Family Medicine.
  • Indy South After-Hours Clinic, 7855 S. Emerson Ave., Suite P, in the offices of St. Francis Medical Group Southport Family and Sports Medicine.

The After-Hours Clinics are open 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays; and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

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

To learn more about ICC, visit More information about Franciscan St. Francis Health is at

St. Francis Health-Mooresville offers free screenings for peripheral artery disease

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – If you have poor circulation in your legs, causing pain when you walk or stand, it could be a sign of peripheral artery disease (PAD), a condition that puts you at high risk for heart disease and stroke.

Franciscan St. Francis Health is again participating in Legs for Life, a free screening program for PAD. The screening will be 7:30 to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, April 21, at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville, 1201 Hadley Road, Indianapolis.

To qualify for the FREE screening, participants must be 50 or older, not currently under the care of a cardiologist or vascular surgeon and must not have attended a screening during the past four years unless their symptoms have changed.

Symptoms of PAD include:

• Leg or hip pain when walking but stops when resting

• Numbness, tingling or weakness in legs

• Burning or aching pain in feet or toes when resting

• Sore on leg or foot that won’t heal

• Cold legs or feet

• Color change in skin of legs or feet

• Loss of hair on legs

Registration is required. The screening takes about 15 minutes and includes a personal consultation with a physician or health care professional. To make an appointment, call (317) 782-4422, or toll free at 877-888-1777.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

St. Francis Heart Center offers free heart-healthy courses all spring

INDIANAPOLIS – Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Heart Association.

Prevention is the key to lowering your chances of developing a cardiovascular disease, such as heart disease, stroke or high blood pressure. Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center is offering free classes to improve the community’s health through education and prevention.

All of the events are open and free to the public.

Several of the Change of Heart classes will be held at the St. Francis Heart Center’s Community Center, located on the southeast corner of St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis, 8111 S. Emerson Ave. St. Francis-Mooresville, located at 1201 Hadley Road, also will host several of the events.

Registration is required. Call 317-782-4422 or register online at for these and many other classes throughout the spring.

Classes include:

Change of Heart classes offered in Spring 2012:

Healthy Eating

Wednesday, March 14, 6:30 p.m. at St Francis – Mooresville

Tuesday, April 3, 6:30 p.m. at the Heart Center

Wednesday, May 2, 6:30 p.m. at the Heart Center

Diets don’t work! Learn about healthy lifestyles in this class. Find out how much a “serving” is and how to manage a healthy weight. Discover how fats, carbohydrates and protein affect our bodies. Do you know how much salt, fiber and sugar are in the foods you buy? This class offers the foundation for a healthy future.

Healthy Cooking Tips

Thursday, March 15, 6:30 p.m. at the Heart Center

Tuesday, April 17, 6:30 p.m. at St Francis – Mooresville

Wednesday, May 16, 6:30 p.m. at the Heart Center

Healthy cooking leads to a healthy life. Learn how to choose the right ingredients that pump up the nutritional value of your favorite recipes in this class. Recipe substitutions and cooking techniques will be discussed.

Reduce Stress

Monday, March 19, 6:30 p.m. at St Francis – Mooresville

Thursday, April 12, 6:30 p.m. at the Heart Center

Tuesday, May 22, 6:30 p.m. at the Heart Center

Negative stress causes changes in lifestyle and behavior, which may lead to unhealthy choices. Learn to identify the causes of stress in your life and how to improve your health.

Super Shopping

Tuesday, March 20, 6:30 p.m. at Meijer, 5325 E. Southport Rd

Tuesday, March 27, 6:30 p.m. at Meijer, 10509 Heartland Blvd., Camby

Monday, April 23 at 6:30 p.m. at Meijer, 5325 E. Southport Rd

With all the new and changing products on the shelves, grocery shopping can be overwhelming, Learn where to find the healthy foods and how to avoid packaging tricks commonly used to market foods, Discover how food labels make you a smarter shopper.

Healthy Meals on a Budget

Wednesday, March 21, 6:30 p.m. at the Heart Center

Tuesday, May 1, 6:30 p.m. at St Francis - Mooresville

As food prices climb and budgets get tight, smart purchases at the supermarket are important. In this class, you will learn ways to stretch your food budget while still getting the nutrients you need.

Quit Smoking

Thursday, March 22, 6:30 PM at the Heart Center

Thursday, April 26, 6:30 PM at St Francis – Mooresville

Smoking is the #1 risk factor for heart disease, and we know how hard quitting tobacco can be. Making good lifestyle choices is a big part of staying healthy. Come learn from the Franciscan St. Francis Coordinator of Tobacco Cessation about the options to help you begin the process of becoming smoke-free.

Heart Smart Dining

Wednesday, March 28, 6:30 p.m. at the Heart Center

Tuesday, April 10 6:30 p.m. at St Francis - Mooresville

Americans eat nearly half their meals away from home. How can you control what you eat when you don’t cook for yourself? Learn how to make wise menu selections and eat smart while dining out.

Exercise Tips for Your Heart

Thursday, March 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Heart Center

Monday, April 2 at 6:30 p.m. at St Francis – Mooresville

Tuesday, May 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Heart Center

If you can’t find time to exercise or aren’t sure what the best exercise is for you, this class is for you. Discover that exercise can be healthy and fun. Learn how to set up a schedule for yourself.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The sound and potential fury: Heart murmurs explained at free seminar

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

At an upcoming “Ask the Doc” program sponsored by the St. Francis Heart Center on Tuesday, March 13, at the St. Francis Heart Center, 8111 S. Emerson Ave. Cardiothoracic surgeon Marc Gerdisch, M.D., will explain why it is important to understand how heart valves cause murmurs and when it’s time to seek treatment.

Valves inside the heart that do not open or close properly cause heart murmurs. People can live with heart murmurs a long time without any symptoms. In fact, the heart can suffer considerable damage from heart valve disease, before symptoms become noticeable. Heart failure may result from longstanding or sudden onset of valve disease.

“A heart murmur does not necessarily signal a problem,” said Gerdisch. “Many murmurs are harmless. However, their relationship to the heart valves needs to be understood and frequently, they require follow-up to ensure that the heart continues to function normally.”

“Imaging the heart with sound waves, allows us to monitor the impact of valve disease on the heart and therefore treat it at the right time,” Gerdisch said. “There has been considerable innovation in heart valve treatment, including our ability to repair valves instead of replace them.”

The free, hour-long program starts at 6:30 p.m. at Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center, entrance #1. To register, call 317-782-4422.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Our Mission Continues to Embrace the Health Care Future

Relationships often begin with a simple invitation. That is exactly how it began not long after the turn of the 20th century when clergy at the fledgling Holy Name Catholic Church and local citizens recognized there was a definitive need for a hospital in Beech Grove. They looked northward, far beyond Indianapolis’ city limits, and invited the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration to consider the possibilities.

Two Sisters made the trip by horse-drawn buggy from the St. Francis Convent in Lafayette in 1909. They met with Monsignor Peter Killian of Holy Name Catholic Church and looked at several parcels of land before selecting a site at the corner of Troy Avenue and Sherman Drive.

Together, the Sisters and Beech Grove got to work. By 1913, hammers were pounding, scaffolds were lifting steel and other materials, and it became clear that workers were involved in something much more than a bricks-and-mortar

In early 2007, we announced the consolidation of inpatient services and other clinical and support programs at Beech Grove to our Indianapolis campus at Emerson Avenue and Stop 11 Road. That campus – only seven miles away from Beech Grove – has been in operation since 1995. It was not an easy decision to make, but the reality was clear: Combining the two hospitals would enable us to operate more efficiently and strengthen our ability to deliver a level of care all of our patients deserve. project. They were building the healthcare future for Beech Grove. One year later, St. Francis Hospital – a fully modern medical facility – was opened to the public.

This transition has been under way for more than a year and it will reach its zenith on March 16, when all inpatient services will be in place at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis.

Our healthcare ministry continues to be embodied in our Franciscan values: Respect for life, Fidelity to our mission, Compassionate concern, Joyful service and Christian stewardship. These are the cornerstones of our mission. And these are the bedrocks on which our commitment is built on to respond to, shape and build the healthcare future for the people we serve.

Understandably, this is an emotional time for many Beech Grove residents and for our staff, many of whom have called the 1600 Albany Street “home” for decades.

For nearly a century, the hospital and its people have forged an endearing relationship with Beech Grove. The walls of

the hospital echo more than just history; they resound with the cycle of life. It is a place where newborns took their first breaths. Where healing, comfort and compassion were extended. A place of shared laughter, tears and prayers. Where new friendships forged and careers launched. And, yes, a place where earthly lives have ended.

It has been our privilege, pleasure and point of pride to have cared for generations in Beech Grove. We have grown together and shared much. We have been good neighbors.

As the Sisters were invited to begin a healthcare ministry in Beech Grove, we invite the people of this community to continue to accompany us on that journey for years to come.

Robert J. Brody

President and CEO

Sister Marlene Shapley

Vice President of Mission Services

Friday, March 2, 2012

St. Francis Health nurse honored by magazine for work in Women’s Health

INDIANAPOLIS – Michele Kuntz Wood, Manager of Women’s Health at Franciscan St. Francis Health is the recipient of the Health Care Heroes Award from the Indianapolis Business Journal for her work in women’s health.

The IBJ’s Health Care Heroes Awards breakfast was held earlier today (March 2) at the Conrad. This annual program recognizes individuals and organizations in the health care industry that make significant strides in health care improving the health and well being of the community.

Wood was awarded as the winner in the “non-physician” category. She was recognized for her crusading work in improving women’s health.

Wood founded the hospital’s women’s health program in 1987 and developed community interest in it long before these types of programs were main stream. She also is a founding member of the Spirit of Women Health Network. She researched, chose and instituted the program that best helped Franciscan St. Francis meet the health care needs of women and put more of a focus on women’s health.

Franciscan St. Francis is a Spirit of Women hospital which offers a mix of programs, classes, services, health fairs and social events that focus on women and their health, empowering them to make healthy lifestyle changes.

In 1992, she was instrumental in helping to organize the first Race for the Cure in Indianapolis and served as co-chair of this event in 2005 and helped form the Breast Health Awareness League in 1995, which later became the Indianapolis affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, which she has served as both president and on its board of directors.

Wood also helped to spearhead the legislation which brought breast cancer awareness plates. She is a founding member of the Y-Me of Central Indiana, a breast cancer information and survivor support group. She serves on the board of the Catherine Peachey Fund, on organization which funds breast cancer research programs. She served on the board of the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust through 2007 and as the Indiana Coordinator for the National Breast Cancer Coalition for six years.

Wood partnered with Denise Johnson-Miller, M.D., an oncological surgeon at Franciscan St. Francis, in 2010 to establish the inaugural St. Francis Breast Cancer Emergency Fund. Gov. Mitch Daniels honored Wood with the Distinguished Hoosier Award in 2007 and she was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Komen Pink Tie Ball in 2011.

For more information on Franciscan St. Francis Women’s Health, go to or call 317-528-5865.