News Center

Friday, July 27, 2012

St. Francis Health hospitals to offer free skin cancer screenings

INDIANAPOLIS – The blazing sun continues to scorch central Indiana, which continues to put people at risk for a variety of maladies.

One of the long-term effects of sun exposure is skin cancer, the most common form of cancer. The good news is that if detected early, skin cancer can be treated successfully.

That’s why Franciscan St. Francis Health will soon offer free skin cancer screenings at its Indianapolis and Mooresville hospitals.

Indianapolis campus (8111 S. Emerson Ave.). Located in Suite 101 of the Cancer Center. Screenings will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Aug.6; and 9 a.m. to Noon, Saturday, Aug. 11.

Mooresville campus (1201 Hadley Road). Located in Professional Center, Suite 105, Cancer Center. Screenings will be 9 a.m. to Noon, Saturday, Aug. 4; and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug.7

To learn more about services the services and programs at the Franciscan St. Francis Cancer  Center, go to

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Long-time St. Francis Health engineering chief readies for retirement

Toby Orme (l) received the 2011 Indiana Society of Hospital
Engineers' "Engineer of the Year" award. Photo courtesy of ISHE

INDIANAPOLIS – Toby Orme, director of engineering at Franciscan St. Francis Health, will retire after more than four decades of service.

He will be honored by his colleagues and staff at an open house slated for 1 p.m., Friday, Aug. 3, in the auditorium at the hospital’s Indianapolis campus, 8111 S. Emerson Ave.

Orme began his career in November 1971 as assistant director of engineering. He previously had worked as a test engineer for Douglas Aircraft in California and as project engineer for Allison Division of General Motors.

He was promoted to his current position in 1980, succeeding Carl Hancock. In that role, he oversaw the maintenance of all hospital facilities at Beech Grove and Indianapolis, which was opened in 1995. Orme is credited as being a strong advocate for using back-up resources for utilities and critical hospital systems to minimize downtime.

“Toby was involved in finishing construction of the original tower building at our former Beech Grove hospital and has played a leading role in virtually every construction and renovation project,” said Roger Barksdale, vice president of ancillary services. “His depth of knowledge, experience and forward-thinking will be missed.”

Orme, an Indianapolis resident, is past president of the Indiana Society of Hospital Engineers. In 2011, he was honored by the society as “Engineer of the Year.”

Monday, July 23, 2012

St. Francis Health nurses offer extraordinary compassion in difficult situations

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

To that end, registered nurses Julie Comer and Janis Dwyer-Curtiss have been named the June 2012 recipients of the hospital’s DAISY Awards.

Comer, who works in the intensive care unit at the Mooresville campus, was nominated by a colleague for the extraordinary end-of-life gift she gave to one of her patients. She was caring for a terminally ill patient whose wife was taken for emergency surgery to another nearby hospital. The patient requested to see his wife.

Sensing urgency, as her patient become sicker and more restless, she coordinated efforts to get the wife released to her husband’s bedside. An “I love you” was exchanged and the patient died minutes later.

“I praise Julie for being such a great, caring nurse and helping give her patient such a great end-of-life gift,” wrote co-worker Melinda Quarles, RN.

Dwyer-Curtiss was nominated by a co-worker as well. Both attended a Nurses’ Week seminar presentation last spring given by motivational speaker Josh Bleill. The nurse took his message close to heart that day, returning to work and providing support to a patient.

During the seminar, she learned that Bleill was an Iraq War combat amputee who now works for the Indianapolis Colts. She received a signed copy of his book, One Step at a Time: A Young Marine's Story of Courage, Hope, and a New Life in the NFL.

After returning to her unit, she was caring for a patient who was facing an amputation. She comforted the patient and their family to help ease their fears and anxiety – and to pass along a message she had learned from Bleill’s book   “… It is the little things that make the difference and how much the nurse meant to me.”

“Janis provided comfort to this patient and his family in their time of need. It was a spiritual occurrence for all,” wrote her co-worker.

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 Health, go to

Mohammed Tarrabain, M.D., joins St. Francis Medical Group South 31 Family Care

INDIANAPOLIS – Mohammed Tarrabain, M.D., has established a practice with St. Francis Medical Group South 31 Family Care.

He most recently served as clinical associate in the Family Medicine Department at American University in Beirut. Previously, he was affiliated with health care organizations in Rhode Island and New Hampshire.

Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine, Tarrabain’s clinical interests are focused on adult and general pediatrics, women’s health and chronic disease management.

Tarrabain received his undergraduate degree in biology from American University in Beirut, where he later earned his medical degree and served a general surgery internship. He completed his family medicine residency training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

He is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and Rhode Island Medical Society.

Tarrabain joins Matthew Wolf, M.D., South 31 Family Care, located at 610 E. Southport Road. To learn more about that practice, go to

Led by President Isaac J. Myers II, M.D., St. Francis Medical Group is a multidisciplinary group of physicians throughout central Indiana. These physicians offer a variety of primary care and specialty care services and all practice at Franciscan St. Francis Health.

To learn more about St. Francis Medical Group, go to

Thursday, July 19, 2012

St. Francis Health-Indianapolis listed among ‘100 Great Community Hospitals’

INDIANAPOLIS – Franciscan St. Francis Health–Indianapolis has been recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the “100 Great Community Hospitals” across the nation.

In releasing the list. Becker’s officials said: “These hospitals are often the anchors of health and employment within their communities, providing patients with top-quality care close to home. The following hospitals have demonstrated commitments to the health of their local population through clinical excellence, community involvement and various other efforts.”

To compile this list, the Becker's Hospital Review editorial team analyzed information, recognition and rankings from a variety of industry sources, including iVantage Health Analytics, Thomson Reuters, HealthGrades and the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The hospitals listed operate fewer than 550 patient beds.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

St. Francis Health host free screenings for artery disease Aug. 25

INDIANAPOLIS – Poor circulation the legs may cause pain when walking or standing and could be a sign of peripheral artery disease (PAD) – a condition that puts people 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, Aug. 25, at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis, 8111 S. Emerson Ave.
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 or general health 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 782-4422, or toll-free at 877-888-1777. 

St. Francis Health offers to offer low-cost cardiovascular, bone health screenings

INDIANAPOLIS – Franciscan St. Francis Health is sponsoring Life Line Screenings for adults in August at its Indianapolis and Mooresville campuses. These preventive, noninvasive screenings can assess your risk of heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis.
Upcoming screening dates and locations are: Monday, Aug. 13, Franciscan St. Francis Health—Mooresville, 1201 Hadley Road; and Friday, Aug. 17, Franciscan St. Francis Health—Indianapolis, 8111 S. Emerson Ave.
The tests include:
Peripheral artery disease (PAD), sometimes known as hardening of the arteries is a blockage of the arteries that supply blood to the arms and legs. PAD may lead to loss of limbs and may be an indicator of further cardiovascular problems.
Atrial fibrillation is a condition where the heart beats irregularly and interferes with the pumping capability of the heart. This can lead to pooling of the blood in the heart chambers, resulting in a life-threatening blood clot. Clots can travel to other organs in the body or cause a stroke.
Carotid artery disease occurs when there is a blockage in the arteries in the neck that supply blood to the brain. Carotid artery disease is the No. 1 cause of stroke, a leading cause of disability and death in the U.S.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is an enlargement in the lining of the artery that leads from the heart to the lower abdomen. Rupture of an AAA often results in sudden death.
Osteoporosis causes bones to weaken and become brittle and can lead to fractures. Usually, osteoporosis develops when one has low levels of calcium and other minerals in the bones.
Tests are conducted using ultrasound technology and EKG monitoring. The price for all five screenings is $149. Tests are priced individually, from $35 to $60.
Other blood tests, including cholesterol, blood glucose and C-reactive protein (an indicator of heart disease), also are available for an additional charge.
Appointments are required and are available starting at 9 a.m. To make an appointment, call toll-free 1-800-690-0295.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Franciscan St. Francis Health to open Immediate Care Center in Carmel/Westfield area

Public can tour new facility, meet staff at June 28 open house

CARMEL, Indiana -- Residents here and in neighboring Westfield soon will have a new health care option with Immediate Care-Village Park Plaza.

Located at 14641 U.S. 31 North, this new facility will open August 1, and offer services 365 days a year from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. 

The public will get a sneak peek of this new Immediate Care at an open house, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, July 28.

Immediate Care-Village Park Plaza provides urgent care treatment by physicians – without an appointment – for illnesses and injuries, including diagnostic imaging and lab services. This 5,500 square foot facility features eight exam rooms and two treatment rooms, and is staffed with four physicians, nine medical assistants, five X-ray technicians and management staff.

Franciscan Alliance, American Health Network forge new ACO

INDIANAPOLIS – Franciscan Alliance and American Health Network have forged an agreement in accord with with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) which will serve more patients with top-notch, timely care, while reducing Medicare costs through closer coordination of services.

The  Franciscan AHN Accountable Care Organization is among the first selected nationally to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program, a new multifaceted service sponsored by CMS.

“As being among the first health-care organizations to be selected in Indiana under the Shared Savings Program, our ACO advances our goal of providing better access, better treatment and better value for the patients we serve,” said Robert J. Brody, president and CEO for Franciscan St. Francis Health, which is a member of Franciscan Alliance. “Our ACO signals our steadfast, common commitment to health care options which are second to none.”

“Since our formation we have focused on prevention and management of chronic disease,” said Ben Park, MD, president and CEO of American Health Network.” We are thrilled that the federal government, through the ACO program has recognized the value this focus brings to patients.”

Surgeon explains orthopedic, joint replacement therapies Aug. 16

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

Franciscan St. Francis Health will present an arthritis and hip and knee replacement seminar at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 16, at the Indianapolis Marriott East, 7202 E. 21st St., Indianapolis. Light refreshments will be served, beginning at 6 p.m.

E. Michael Keating, 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.

Keating is a surgeon with Joint Replacement Surgeons, the practice group affiliated 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. Or register online at

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

Indianapolis, Mooresville hospitals notch solid standing in magazine ranking report rankings

INDIANAPOLIS – Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis is ranked No. 3 among Indiana hospitals in overall regional performance, according to U.S. News & World Report, which today (July 17)  released its annual Best Hospitals rankings.

Franciscan St. Francis-Mooresville achieved a No. 13 statewide ranking in the survey. Both the Indianapolis and Mooresville hospitals were rated among Best Hospitals in Central Indiana.

This year’s Best Hospitals, the 23rd annual edition, showcases more than 720 of the nation’s roughly 5,000 hospitals. Fewer than 150 are nationally ranked in at least one of 16 medical specialties. The rest of the recognized hospitals met a standard of performance nearly as demanding in one or more specialties.

“Our physicians, nurses and support staff continually work to improve clinical processes while using their extensive knowledge, experience and skills to ensure better outcomes and superior care for our patients,” said Robert. J. Brody, president and chief executive officer for Franciscan St. Francis Health. “We’re pleased their efforts have been recognized.”

Friday, July 13, 2012

Franciscan St. Francis Health using wells, retention ponds for watering

As most are aware, the City of Indianapolis has imposed a ban on lawn-watering by Citizens Water residential customers. The public may notice that Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis at 8111 S, Emerson Ave. will continue to use sprinklers for grass and landscaping. However, we are not using commercial water.

The hospital has an irrigation system on the Indianapolis Campus, designed to pull water from one of our retention ponds instead of tapping into Citizens Water supplies. The water that is depleted from the retention pond is then replenished from an underground well on our property.

Similarly, the St. Francis Soccer Club Field located nearby on South Arlington Avenue has its own well system. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

St. Francis Health selects new human resources executive

INDIANAPOLIS – Corey Baute has been appointed chief human resources executive for Franciscan St. Francis Health, effective July 16.

In that role, he will oversee all facets of human resources, including employment, retention, compensation, legal compliance, employee relations and employee communications. Additionally, he will be responsible for employee health services, education, employment programs, safety and security.

He succeeds Karen Sagar, a long-time member of the hospital’s Human Resources Department.

Baute comes to Franciscan St. Francis after serving four years as chief of human resources for Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Indianapolis. Before that position, he led recruiting and staffing at Indiana University Health.

A U.S, Army officer who served during Desert Storm, Baute earned a master’s degree in management at Oakland City University and received a bachelor’s in public affairs at the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

He holds a professional human resources certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute and is a graduate of the United Way of Central Indiana’s Ardath Burkhart Governance and Management Program and the Lacy Leadership Association’s LEAD program.

Baute, who resides in Avon with his wife and three children, is active in community programs, including Habitat for Humanity for Greater Indianapolis, Wheeler Mission, Boy Scouts of America and the Indiana Sports Corporation.

Monday, July 9, 2012

New director to assume helm of compliance for St. Francis Health

INDIANAPOLIS – Becky Merkel has been appointed Administrative Director of Compliance and Privacy for Franciscan St. Francis Health. She will begin her duties later this month.

In that role, she will supervise the hospital’s computer incident reporting systems and upgrades, the Compliance and Privacy programs, and ensure adherence to the state and federal laws, rules and regulations, as well as hospital policies regarding corporate compliance, confidentiality and the use and disclosure of protected health information.

Merkel most previously served as compliance/privacy office and director for health information management at Bluffton Regional Medical Center. She also worked as a coding consultant for YPRO Corp. in Corydon; and director of the Health Information Management Department for Saint Joseph Hospital and Health Care Center in Chicago.

Certified in Healthcare Compliance and a Registered Health Information Administrator, she earned a bachelor’s degree in health information management at the Indiana University School of Informatics.

Merkel succeeds Douglas Gioe, who recently retired from Franciscan St. Francis after serving more than 22 years.

Franciscan Alliance. American Health Network forge ACO

INDIANAPOLIS – The Franciscan American Health Network Accountable Care Organization (Franciscan AHN ACO) today announced it has been selected to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organization, a multifaceted new program sponsored by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Through the Shared Savings Program, Franciscan AHN ACO will work with CMS to provide Medicare-fee-for-service beneficiaries with high quality service and care, while reducing the growth in Medicare expenditures through enhanced care coordination.

For more information about the Shared Savings Program, visit the CMS ACO website at

Note: More details about this partnership will be posted soon.