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Monday, April 30, 2012

A helping hand for Servant's Heart of Indy

The cold, rainy weather didn't dampen the St. Francis Medical Group's community fundraiser for Servant's Heart of Indy Saturday, April 28.

Led by President Dr. Isaac J. Myers II, SFMG staffers and volunteers hosted a bake sale, farmers' market, bake sale, children's game and other activities at Beech Grove Family and Internal Medicine, 2030 Churchman Ave. An estimated $1,400 was collected in sales.

They also accepted donated bicycles, which will be reconditioned and distributed to needy families next December.

Franciscan St. Francis Health clinical staff also were on hand to provide free health screenings to the public.

Servant's Heart was established to help families in Beech Grove and the surrounding area by providing year-round support for those struggling to make ends meet.  

Drs. Paul Driscoll and Isaac J. Myers II prepare items for the garage sale.
SFMG HR Director Bruce Tisdale does a little curbside promotion.

Youngsters found face-painting more to their liking.

The four-hour event resulted in a respectable cash flow for Servant's Heart programs

Visitors took advantage of health screenings provided to the public.

Photos by Susie Bixler

Carmel welcomes a new model of health care

Our new hospital opened this morning to begin serving patients. 
Check out some images taken at last weekend's open house and the recent blessing and dedication ceremonies.

And see what WTHR-13 had to report about the opening of Franciscan St. Francis Health-Carmel at

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Franciscan St. Francis Health RN honored for work as parish nurse, low-income clinic

Bone marrow transplant nurse manager also receives CARE Award

INDIANAPOLIS – Cheryl Howard, R.N., a long-time nurse and clinical educator at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville, is the recipient of the 2012 Salute to Nurses Community Outreach Award, presented by The Indianapolis Star.

Howard received those accolades Wednesday, April 25, at the 10th annual Salute to Nurses banquet and ceremony at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. The program honors the dedication and impact of nursing professionals throughout Indiana. 

Howard was recognized for her work as clinical educator for intensive care, medical/surgery, orthopedics and emergency. She also has been an active volunteer fat St. Thomas More Clinic near Mooresville, a Franciscan St. Francis-sponsored facility serving low-income and the medically underserved.

“It’s so wonderful to help so many people without money being a concern,” Howard said. “We’re there because we want to volunteer our time – and there’s a peace and joy in that. It goes back to your nurses of why you became a nurse.”

She also works as a parish nurse at First United Methodist Church in Mooresville, where her duties range from health education and counseling to blood pressure checks.

“All my life I’ve believed that holistic medicine is where we need to be – you can’t separate out mind, body and spirit – if your spirit is hurting then your body hurts,” Howard said.

Another Franciscan St. Francis Health nurse was recognized at the Salute to Nurses program. Theresa Weisenbach, R.N., M.B.A., was among five nurses presented with CARE (Compassionate About Reaching Excellence) awards. She was nominated by hospital nursing leadership for her “constant desire to surpass ordinary standards – to go above and beyond the call of duty.”

Weisenbach, who has specialized in oncology for many years, is nurse manager of the bone marrow transplant unit at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis. She also serves as chair of the nursing professional development council.

This year wasn’t the first time were in the limelight for the Salute to Nurses program. In 2010, Mooresville Emergency Services Director Nathan Lowder was named Nurse of the Year and also was the recipient of the Community Outreach Award.

Franciscan St. Francis employs more than 1,400 nurses – more than 320 certified in clinical specialties – at its hospitals in Indianapolis, Mooresville and Carmel.

To learn more about nursing at Franciscan St. Francis Health,  visit

St. Francis Health Aspire classes inspire smokers to kick habit

MOORESVILLE, Ind.  – Significant lifestyle changes are never easy, but quitting tobacco is the most important change a person can ever make.
Aspire classes, offered by Franciscan St. Francis Health, will begin Wednesday, May 9, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Mooresville Obstetrics Classroom. The program cost is $50.
The program includes individual coaching sessions, group education meetings, medication and/or nicotine therapy discussions and follow-up support.
Participants must meet with the program coordinator before the first class. Contact Jodie Fisher, Aspire tobacco cessation coordinator at 317-528-7848 (QUIT) or

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Franciscan St. Francis Health nurses honored for care excellence

Joe Fenton

INDIANAPOLIS – Franciscan St. Francis Health has two nurses whose acts of professionalism and compassion has sewn seeds of gratitude among their patients and patients’ families.

And that’s why registered nurses Joe Fenton and Joan Mast have been named April’s recipients of the hospital’s DAISY Awards. The awards are part of The DAISY Foundation, a nationwide program recognizing extraordinary nurses.

Fenton works in the heart intensive care unit at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis; Mast cares for patients in the intensive care unit at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis.

Fenton’s nomination came from a patient’s sister, who wrote: “All the staff was great but Joe had a way about him that would calm the family down when the family would get very high with anxiety.” He has shown us love and compassion and is most worthy of receiving this outstanding award.”

The daughter of a patient of Mast recognized qualities in her that exemplify extraordinary service.

In nominating Mast, she wrote: “Joan took the time and effort with my mother that showed compassion and thoughtfulness. She has such a caring, compassionate and loving sense about her.”

The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses is a national program that honors the compassionate care and clinical excellence that our Franciscan 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 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

Joan Mast

Friday, April 20, 2012

Non-surgical system aids in pinpointing, treating lung cancer

INDIANAPOLIS – Lung cancer is the deadliest form of cancer in the United States. Early, accurate diagnosis and treatment is crucial to successful treatment.

Early diagnosis has been difficult, however, with the use of highly invasive procedures. Until now, that is. A new procedure available at Franciscan St. Francis Health can help physicians diagnose and prepare to treat lung diseases, including lung cancer, quickly and safely without surgery.

It’s called i-Logic™ navigational system, created by superDimension, and enables physicians to access all areas of the lung, extending the range of a traditional bronchoscope. The new system uses technology similar to a GPS to reach lung lesions through a minimally invasive procedure.

“This is a minimally invasive alternative for patients who have a lesion on their lung that is hard to reach or who cannot tolerate a more invasive and aggressive procedure,” said Faisal Khan, M.D., a pulmonologist with the Center for Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, who practices at Franciscan St. Francis.

Khan is one of the first in Indianapolis to use the i-Logic system at Franciscan St. Francis, including Aaron Burns, M.D.; Sandeep Kukreja, M.D.; Imad Shawa, M.D.; and Michael Snyder, M.D.

The i-Logic procedure also can be combined with Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) to enhance accuracy and allow for staging of lymph nodes in the same procedure. This approach leads to quicker diagnosis and staging of lung cancer, and early initiation of treatment.

Typically, a patient with a spot on their lung had the options of major surgery to remove a section of the lung, traditional bronchoscopy (which doesn’t reach lesions deep in the lung), needle biopsy, or a “watch-and-wait” approach to see if the lesion is cancerous and grows. The i-Logic system can be used with patients suffering from poor lung function, or who have had cancer surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Here’s how i-Logic works:

  • A physician locates a lesion deep in the lung through X-ray or other imaging. That information is loaded into planning software that creates a 3-D roadmap of the patient’s lungs.
  • After the patient is asleep, a bronchoscope is placed into the airways and lung. Next, the i-Logic catheters containing electromagnetic sensors guide the physician to the target lesion.
  • Once at the lesion, the catheter is removed and the remaining tools can biopsy the target area and collect tissues samples for testing and diagnosis.
  • After the procedure is complete, the patient is observed until they are alert enough to go home.

 The procedure may last between 30 minutes to two hours.

The i-Logic system also can place markers around a mass so that physicians can pinpoint the locations for radiation treatments or surgically remove it.

To learn more, visit

More information about Franciscan St. Francis Health cancer services is available at

The i-Logic™ navigational system, created by superDimension, and enables physicians to access all areas of the lung, 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New OB/GYN services coming to Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – Franciscan St. Francis Health – Mooresville has a new addition to its Cherished Beginnings Women and Children’s Services. Southside OBGYN, a highly recognized physician group practicing in the Indianapolis area since 1969, now offers its quality obstetrics and gynecological services in Mooresville.
“I’m honored to welcome Southside OBGYN, a group of physicians committed to Franciscan St. Francis Health and its principles of caring for mind, body and spirit in serving the Mooresville community,” said Jared Stark, executive director at Franciscan St. Francis – Mooresville. “This addition to our medical family significantly expands and enhances the OBGYN services available at our campus.”
Southside OBGYN’s board-certified physicians provide care in obstetrics, endocrinology, infertility, gynecology and surgical gynecology.
St. Francis had been actively searching for a new group of OB/GYN physicians to provide high quality care to area residents since Southwest Women’s Health announced its decision to cease offering obstetrics services at the Mooresville campus in May, 2012.
“St. Francis remains committed to providing the highest quality maternity services in Mooresville and Southside OBGYN supports that mission.” Stark said. “Our Cherished Beginnings nurses and health professionals proudly surpass national standards of measurement for clinical excellence in women’s health care and we look forward to working with Southside OBGYN physicians and staff to make our program even stronger.”
Women & Children's Services at Franciscan St. Francis Health – Mooresville includes Cherished Beginnings, which features 13 private labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum care rooms, two Caesarean surgical suites and a Level II neonatal nursery with immediate access to the south side’s only Level III neonatal intensive care unit at the St. Francis – Indianapolis campus. About 500 infants are delivered annually at the Mooresville campus.
Southside OBGYN’s Glenn Dobbs, D.O., who has been in practice since 1996, will be the primary physician delivering at the Mooresville campus. He specializes in high risk obstetrics, diabetes care, and minimally invasive surgery. Dobbs earned his doctor of medicine from Western University of Health Sciences in California; completed a one-year rotating internship in Montclair, California and an obstetrics and gynecology residency at the University of California-San Francisco in Fresno.
Call 317-834-9019 with questions about Cherished Beginnings and the physicians delivering at Franciscan St. Francis Health – Mooresville, or to schedule a tour of the unit or inquire about prenatal classes.
About Southside OBGYN Southside OBGYN has offices in Indianapolis and Mooresville, focusing on total women’s health. A leading full-service obstetrics and gynecology practice, Southside OBGYN’s board-certified physicians provide care in obstetrics, endocrinology, infertility, gynecology and surgical gynecology. Southside OBGYN is an independent physicians group practicing at Franciscan St. St. Francis Health. More information about Southside OBGYN is available at

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Franciscan St. Francis Cancer Center symposium focuses on total patient care

INDIANAPOLIS – From diagnosis to post-therapy care, a patient with cancer faces a daunting obstacle course of challenges and options. Paramount is orchestrating a comprehensive plan of treatment.

A fully integrated approach is what experts at the Franciscan St. Francis Cancer Center have been forging with others in the medical community. And that is the impetus behind the 2012 Oncology Symposium, Friday, May 4.

The day-long event, which will be held at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis, brings together several clinicians discussing a range of cancer topics, including signs and symptoms, screening guidelines, diagnosis, treatment options and side effects, and effective long-term care after treatment.

“It’s vital to enhance the partnership between primary care and oncology practitioners,” said program moderator Peter Garrett, M.D., the Center’s medical director and chair of the hospital’s Cancer Committee. “The symposium offers an opportunity for primary care physicians, nurses, oncologists and allied health professionals to discuss and explore integrated approaches to improving patient outcomes.”

Among the keynote speakers for the day is Dan Shapiro, professor and chair of humanities at Penn State College of Medicine. A cancer survivor, Shapiro will share his experiences in battling the disease using funny, but true stories and discuss the importance of the support of family and friends. He’s also a book author and has been a consultant for various television dramas and for National Geographic.

For a full listing of participants and breakout session topics – and to register for the conference – go to, or contact Mindi Matthews at 317-528-7794 or at

More information about services at Franciscan St. Francis Cancer Center is at

St. Francis Health oncologist now offers infusion care at Franklin location

FRANKLIN, Ind.Subhash Sharma, M.D., of St. Francis Medical Group’s Oncology & Hematology Specialists, is now offering full-service infusion care to patients at his newly relocated practice.

He is now seeing patients at 1300 W. Jefferson St, Franklin, in the American Health Network building. He previously maintained an office at Johnson Memorial Hospital.

Sharma also sees patients at Franciscan St. Francis Cancer Center at 8111 S. Emerson Ave.

Board-certified in hematology, medical oncology and internal medicine, Dr. Sharma has been a principal investigator of many national cancer clinical trials. He has been widely published in medical journals.

A member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, he earned his medical degree at Maulana Azad Medical School-Delhi University in India. He completed residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Hematology/Medical Oncology/Palliative Care at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio.

He and his colleagues serve on Franciscan St. Francis Health’s multi-disciplinary teams, as well as collaborate with a network of other professionals to provide the most comprehensive cancer care available for the patients served in central Indiana.

For more information or to make an appointment with Dr. Sharma, call 317-859-5252.

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

Thursday, April 12, 2012

St. Francis Health surgeon explains orthopedic, joint replacement therapies May 16

INDIANAPOLIS, 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, May 16, at the Days Hotel, 5860 Fortune Circle West. In the spotlight is a hip and knee replacement seminar. A light buffet will be served at 6 p.m.

Philip M. Faris, 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.

Faris 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.

Advance health-care directives make patients’ medical decisions known

INDIANAPOLISWho do you want to speak for you and make health-care decisions when you are unable to do so?

Advance health-care directives instructions are given by individuals specifying what actions should be taken for their health in the event that they are no longer able to make decisions due to illness or incapacity.

That’s why Franciscan St. Francis Health is helping lead and coordinate efforts to educate the public about the importance of having advance health-care directives.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, April 16, information stations will be set up at Franciscan St. Francis hospitals in Indianapolis (main lobby) and Mooresville (cafeteria). Hospital clinical experts, social workers, chaplains and attorneys specializing in health-care law will be on hand to answer questions about advance directives and end-of-life planning.

The events coincide with the National Health Care Decisions Day, designed to raise awareness about the importance of advance care planning.

To learn more about advance health-care directives, go to

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Golf outing supports Franciscan Alliance Foundation-St. Francis Health projects

INDIANAPOLIS – The rolling fairways and sprawling greens at Eagle Creek Golf Club again will be the setting of the 2012 Golf Outing sponsored by the Franciscan Alliance Foundation – St. Francis Health.

The event, now in its 26th 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 with a nine-hole scramble at 9 a.m., Thursday, June 28. Golfers opting for 18 holes of play will tee it up at 1 p.m. Participants also will be offered breakfast, and luncheon. An awards dinner will be held at 6 p.m.

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

Each player/team fee includes a charitable contribution to the St. Francis Hospice House campaign that will be matched, thanks to a grant challenge issued by Franciscan Alliance.

The Hospice House would be the only facility of its kind in south-central Indiana and will serve many surrounding counties. Its features include:

  • 16-suite facility with room for expansion to 32 suites
  • Bright gathering areas, kitchen and dining areas
  • Garden-like landscaping and a chapel for meditation and worship
  • Unlimited visitation from loved ones and family members, including the family pet

For more information about the 2012 Golf Outing and volunteer opportunities, contact development officer Keri Brantley at 317-528-7807 or

Franciscan Alliance Foundation – St. Francis Health 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

Franciscan St. Francis Health’s ER nurse chief to receive Fellows honor

INDIANAPOLISIndia J. Taylor Owens, R.N., director of Emergency Services for Franciscan St. Francis Health, has been named a Fellow in the Academy Emergency Nursing (AEN).

She is being recognized for making “enduring and substantial contributions” to emergency nursing to advance that specialty. Candidates selected as Fellows are recognized for their efforts to promote emergency nursing and the systems in which it is delivered. Owens will receive her honor at the AEN’s national gathering next September in San Diego, Calif.

A nurse for 34 years, Owens oversees all emergency services and EMS operations at Franciscan St. Francis’ hospitals in Indianapolis and Mooresville.

She is credited for developing the Emergency Nursing Associations Lantern award, and her contributions to emergency nursing professional journals; and her leadership in effecting legislation nursing excellence and patient safety in Indiana.

In 2008, she served as a clinical expert for a state-commissioned group to develop new standards of care and pandemic influenza preparedness.

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.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Franciscan St. Francis program dishes out tips for digestive disorders

INDIANAPOLIS – An estimated 70 million Americans are said to suffer from a variety of digestive disorders, many of which can be properly treated.

Such options will be discussed by Franciscan St. Francis Health physicians at the Spirit of Women’s All Right Now: Solving Digestive Disorders program. It begins at 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 11, at the Indianapolis hospital’s auditorium, 8111 S. Emerson Ave.

Michael Morelli, M.D., and Frank Troiano, M.D., of Indianapolis Gastroenterology & Hepatology, will be on hand to discuss the latest information about digestive disorders and procedures that can alleviate such conditions.

This free event also includes an expert who will explain ways to ease cramping and bloating.

To register, call 317-528-5865.

New Carmel short-stay hospital opens this month; open house planned April 28

CARMEL, Ind. – Franciscan St. Francis Health is opening an innovative short-stay medical center this month in Hamilton County, offering patients a range of inpatient and outpatient services that are conveniently located and quick and easy to access.

A public open house will be held on Saturday, April 28, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the hospital, located in the North Meridian Medical Pavilion at 12188-B N. Meridian St. Entrance is off Illinois Street between 116th Street and Carmel Drive.

The open house will include tours of the new facility, refreshments, entertainment and giveaways. Scavenger hunts for both children and adults will provide the opportunity to learn more about the hospital and the chance to win valuable prizes, including a night in downtown Indianapolis with dinner at historic St. Elmo’s Steakhouse, a carriage ride and a night at the JW Marriot hotel; an evening in Carmel with dinner at a premier Carmel restaurant and a show at the Palladium; or a family package with memberships to Conner Prairie and the Indianapolis Zoo.

The development of Franciscan St. Francis Health – Carmel responds to years of requests by north side physicians and patients for a Franciscan St. Francis hospital with multiple health services in one facility, close to home. With onsite imaging, surgery and laboratory services, as well as orthopedics, physical therapy, oncology and primary care, patients have the flexibility of health care that fits their busy schedules.

“Franciscan St. Francis Health—Carmel represents a new model in the delivery of health care,” said Robert J. Brody, St. Francis president and chief executive officer. “It exemplifies what we believe will be the health center of the future, which is likely to be smaller, less expensive to build and operate, and more flexible in services provided.”

The hospital’s first and second levels include an inpatient unit, inpatient and outpatient surgical suites, a comprehensive imaging center, cardiac testing, physical therapy, oncology infusion therapy and other clinical services.

The third level will house additional clinical and office space for Franciscan St. Francis Medical Group as well as independent medical practices, including American Health Network’s Carmel practice.

“Franciscan St. Francis Health is extending our nationally recognized health care to Indianapolis’ north side with the opening of our new hospital in Carmel,” said Keith Jewell, senior vice president and chief operating officer for Franciscan St. Francis. “We are excited to bring together this innovative and unique Franciscan Alliance model of medical care to Carmel and surrounding communities.”

As part of the 13-hospital Franciscan Alliance health-care system, the Carmel location creates a convenient continuum of care for current and future patients and provides a closer access point to Franciscan Alliance hospitals and facilities in Indianapolis, Mooresville, Beech Grove, Plainfield, Lafayette and Crawfordsville, Jewell said.