News Center

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Franciscan St. Francis Health salutes nurses for leadership, patient care

INDIANAPOLIS – For Franciscan St. Francis Health nurses, nursing is far more than a career. It’s a calling that blends professionalism with joyful service and a compassion to care for patients.

Franciscan St Francis Health recently celebrated its 2012 Excellence in Nursing Award Winners, which are given to nurses each year who have been nominated by their peers for their leadership abilities and exceptional talents. The awards are based on the Magnet components of Structural Empowerment; Exemplary Professional Practice; New Knowledge, Innovation & Improvements; and Transformational Leadership. 

“The 2012 Nursing Excellence Awards winners are a true reflection of the excellent talent of the many great nurses at Franciscan St. Francis Health,” said Theresa Weisenbach, MBA, BSN, RN, NE-BC, OCN, chair of the Excellence in Nursing Awards Dinner Committee. “These nurses have excelled in many ways, and it was an honor on behalf of Franciscan St. Francis nursing to celebrate their many accomplishments.”

Recipients were:

Exemplary Professional Practice - Clinical
Shannon Roberson, BSN, RN

Structural Empowerment - Preceptor
Kara Schalk, BSN, RN, CEN

New Knowledge / Innovation / Empirical Outcomes -
Melinda Quarles, RN, CCRN

Transformational Leader – Staff Nurse
Jill Ricke, BSN, RN

Transformational Leader – Management Team
Christa Smiley, BSN, RN, RNBC

Continuing education is paramount in nursing and Franciscan St. Francis supports this endeavor. Recipients of the 2012 Richard E. Fry Memorial Nursing Scholarships: 

Amanda Bergdoll, IUPUI; Amanda Garrigus, Anderson University; Bethany Lytle, University of Indianapolis; Marlena Mathis, IUPUI and Kassandra Owens, Purdue University, West Lafayette. The scholarships were established in 2000 by Fry’s widow, Michelle Fry Hanson, and the St. Francis Healthcare Foundation. They memorialize the late physician’s dedication to the medical profession, Franciscan St. Francis, and his high regard for the nursing staff. Fry was chief of vascular surgery at Franciscan St. Francis until his death in 2000.

The goal of the scholarships is to “recruit and retain the best in the nursing profession” at Franciscan St. Francis. Nursing scholarships are awarded each May to Franciscan St. Francis employees who are in good standing and either accepted or enrolled in an accredited nursing program.

The evening also included recognizing DAISY award winners at Franciscan St. Francis:
Amy Adams, RN; Eric Balka, RN; Lisa Binger, RN; Pam Buss, RN; Julie Comer, RN; Janis Dwyer-Curtiss, RN; Joe Fenton, RN; Dawn Foster, RN; Joan Frith, RN; Sharon Giza, RN; Margie Hinesley, RN; Carol Keefe, RN; Wendy Ladd, RN; Monica Lee, RN; Bev Loudermilk, RN; Joan Mast, RN; Megan Miller, RN; Rita Osborne, RN; Michael Painter, RN; Taren Popovich, RN; Heather Miller, RN; Micky Sullivan, RN; Terri Sullivan, RN; Becky Teising, RN; Beverly Thomas, RN and Kelli Turlo, RN.

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.

Franciscan St. Francis employs 1,400 nurses at its hospitals in Indianapolis, Mooresville and Carmel.

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

Thursday, October 18, 2012

St. Francis Cancer Center hosts Fall Festival, activities and facility tours

INDIANAPOLIS – Autumn is a time of harvest, family-focused activities and thanksgiving – and those qualities fuel Fall Festival 2012, sponsored by Franciscan St. Francis Health Cancer Center.

The event is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Center, located at 8111 S. Emerson Ave. Staff will offer tours of the facility and explain the many programs and services provided by south-central Indiana’s most comprehensive cancer center.
Among the other Fall Festival activities:
  •   Free pumpkins (one per  family as supplies last)
  •  Free face painting (10 a.m. to 11 a.m.; 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.)
  •  Free magic show (noon to 1 p.m.)
  •  Kids costume contest with prizes (11 a.m. to noon)
  • Refreshments provided by Not Just Popcorn, The Apple Works and Mallow Run Winery.

 For more information, call 317-528-7794.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Running stars to headline Indianapolis Monumental Marathon pre-race Expo event

MARATHON MAN: Nick Willis of New Zealand

INDIANAPOLIS – A full-slate of world-class runners and other experts are expected to be on hand to discuss their experiences and share tips with participants attending the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon (IMM) Expo.

The two-day event will be held at the Indiana Convention Center-Hall D (100 S. Capitol Ave.) on Thursday, Nov. 1 from 4 to 8 p.m.; and Friday, Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. More than 40 exhibitors will be on site, displaying running gear and shoes, as well as the latest developments in sports, fitness and nutrition.
On Friday, Nov. 2, speakers will discuss a variety of topics, including:
Noon: Carlton Ray, IMM president and race founder. He will give a preview of the race course and discuss the history of the event, which has been presented by Franciscan St. Francis Health since the inaugural race in 2008.
1 p.m.: Wesley Korir, 2012 Boston Marathon champion. He will discuss his marathon experiences and the charity work he has initiated in his native Kenya.
2 p.m.: Mason Cathey, assistant cross country coach, Butler University, and Olympic Trials finalist.
3 p.m. Nick Willis, a three-time Olympian and 2008 silver medalist. This New Zealand runner is expected to discuss his career and record-setting performances and share advice with IMM participants. Willis also is expected to be the featured speaker at the IMM Pasta Dinner at 6 p.m.
4 p.m.: Jim Crist, He will offer tips on how runners can set and reach their goals for the 2012 IMM.
Nearly 10,000 runners have registered for this year’s IMM and organizers believe the number could approach 12,000 by race day, Saturday, Nov. 3.
About the 2012 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon

The race, which steps off at 8 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 3, features a full marathon (26.2 miles) and a half marathon (13.1 miles). A 5K run – sponsored by local engineering architectural firm HNTB – also is featured. A fourth featured race, the Kids Fun Run, is now in its second year.

All courses begin near Washington and West streets and finish on Robert D. Orr, just steps away from the Indiana State Capitol building.

The urban courses are sanctioned and certified by the standards of USA Track and Field, the national body of road racing, with the marathon course serving as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.

Several lndianapolis-area educational institutions will get a leg up on their programs; the IMM donates its proceeds to those organizations. Since 2008, the IMM has directly donated over $280,000 in proceeds to support local public education, with the Indianapolis Public Schools Education Foundation as the largest beneficiary.

To register for the 2012 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, go to

More information about the Franciscan St. Francis Sports Medicine program is at

Monday, October 15, 2012

St. Francis Health surgeon on tap for ortho procedures talk in Greenwood

GREENWOOD, 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., Tuesday, Nov. 13, at Jonathan Byrd’s, 100 Byrd Way, Greenwood. Light refreshments will be served, beginning at 6 p.m.
John B. Meding, MD, 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.
Meding is a surgeon with Franciscan Physician Network 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 (2007-2011) by HealthGrades, one of the nation’s premier health care rating companies.

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

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

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon on fast track for record registrations

INDIANAPOLIS – Organizers of the 5th annual Indianapolis Monumental Marathon (IMM) report that registrations for this year’s event could exceed 12,000 when the race steps off Saturday, Nov. 3 event.

“The response and depth of enthusiasm among runners is truly impressive,” said IMM Executive Director Blake Boldon. “I think our venue, coupled with the time of year and course layout, continues to stir interest in the international running community.”

More than 3,500 participated in IMM’s 2008 inaugural run and has grown significantly each year. The event is the largest of its kind in Indiana. Last year’s marathon included more than 10,000 participants from 42 states, including participants from Canada, Germany, Great Britain and Kenya.

Franciscan St. Francis Health continues in its role as presenting sponsor of the Monumental Marathon and Half Marathon. The hospital provides a variety means of support, but perhaps the most significant its full medical team, headed by Jeffrey Peterson, MD, to assist runners along the course and at a Franciscan St. Francis Sports Medicine-staffed area near the finish line.

“Promoting health and wellness benefits our entire community, particularly our youth,” said Robert J. Brody, St. Francis chief executive officer and president. "Truly, the marathon is a test of endurance for athletes and we are proud to return as presenting sponsor of this event.”

The race, which steps off at 8 a.m., features a full marathon (26.2 miles) a half marathon (13.1 miles). A 5K run – sponsored by local engineering architectural firm HNTB – also is featured. A fourth featured race, the Kids Fun Run, is now in its second year.

All courses begin near Washington and West streets and finish on Robert D. Orr Drive to the finish line, just steps away from the Indiana State Capitol building.

The urban courses are sanctioned and certified by the standards of USA Track and Field, the national body of road racing, with the marathon course serving as a qualifier for the 2013 Boston Marathon.

Several lndianapolis-area educational institutions will get a leg up on their programs. The IMM donates its proceeds to those organizations. Since 2008, the IMM has directly donated over $280,000 in proceeds to support local public education with the Indianapolis Public Schools Education Foundation as the largest beneficiary.

To register for the 2012 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, go to

More information about the St. Francis Sports Medicine program is at

Sleuthing solutions for ‘cyberbullying’ offered to parents, youngsters

INDIANAPOLIS – As a parent, you should know that playgrounds and schoolyards aren’t the only places where bullies hang out. They also stalk others cyberspace.

“Bullies now will use the Internet, cellphones or other technology to hurt or embarrass someone,” said Mary Jeanne Pies at Franciscan St. Francis Health Behavioral Health Services. “It’s a common problem among teens.”

Examples of cyberbullying are the sending hurtful, rude or mean text messages and the emailing of rumors or lies about someone or posting them on social networks.

If you think or know that your child is being cyberbullied, Pies suggests:

•  Don’t ignore the problem or hope it will go away. Talk to your child about it and reassure him or her that the situation can be handled.
•  Tell your child not to respond to the bullying — it may only make it worse.
•  Block the person who is cyberbullying. Many websites and phone companies will let you do this.
•  Document bullying incidents, and report threats or other criminal behavior to the police.
•  Check with your child to make sure the cyberbullying has stopped. If not, contact the appropriate people, websites or companies again or talk with an attorney. Kids who are bullied are at risk for having emotional and physical problems, including increased thoughts about suicide.

If you learn that it is your child or teen who is doing the bullying, you might begin by exploring with him or her the thoughts, feelings and motives that led to this behavior.

As difficult as it may be, discontinue social networking access and restore gradually with new rules in place. You can implement stronger parental controls, using software that will capture all online activity and strictly limit online time.

Parents can emphasize the seriousness of these behaviors by having your child or teen read two different legal cases involving cyberbullying: “Phoebe Prince” of Massachusetts and “Megan Meier” of Missouri. Both can be found on the Internet. Search for other resources or movies, such as “Cyberbully.” 317-783-8477 for other resources.

A final step is for parents to help their child or teen think of ways he or she might want to repair the damage and make amends.

To make an appointment with the Franciscan St. Francis Health Behavioral Health Services, call 317-783-8383.

Hip replacement at St. Francis Health-Mooresville helps put patient back on hiking trails

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – The pain in his right hip interrupted his sleep, interfered with his work and prevented him from enjoying walks through Indianapolis’ scenic Eagle Creek Park with his wife, Kim.

After more than 18 months of this severe arthritis pain, John Xenos was willing to buckle down for a tough recovery following total hip replacement surgery. If it meant having a stable, pain-free joint, after all, it was worth it, he thought.

But surprising himself and those involved in his care — from the nurses and physical therapists who guided him through his post-surgical recovery to his orthopedic surgeon — John sped through recovery with little need for attention.

The recovery was supposed to include 30 days of walking with the support of a walker, 30 days with the support of crutches and 30 days with the support of a cane, along with four weeks of in-home physical therapy and six weeks off of work.

The reality? He spent less than a week on the walker, less than a week on crutches and never needed a cane. His in-home care team released him after just two and a half weeks, with simply a reminder that his body needed to continue to heal from the inside out, and he wasn’t to take any unnecessary risks. He was back to work in just two weeks, before he was even able to drive on his own.

Now, nine months after surgery, he is walking without a limp, has regained flexibility in his hip and is standing fully upright for the first time since the pain began to set in three to four years ago. He is exercising regularly, is confident in his ability to safely and painlessly do yard work at his hilly weekend property in Nashville, Ind., and is able to help some of his employees at Monarch Beverage Company with physically demanding work when necessary.

So why the speedy, successful recovery?  Xenois cites two factors: First, he followed every pre-surgery preparation and post-surgery precaution suggested by his surgeon, Jeff Pierson, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville. Second, Pierson’s skill in the operating room is second to none.

“I can’t tell you how much I’m impressed with him as a doctor,” Xenos said. “It was just exceptional work. Dr. Pierson really gave me great confidence — the way he conducts business, the way he communicates with conviction. He is just very matter-of-fact. I really enjoyed and appreciated his straight-forward and clearly defined explanations of what the process would truly entail.”

John and Kim researched the surgery and potential surgeons well before selecting the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery and scheduling his operation. Six weeks before surgery, John started eating more healthfully and exercising more regularly. In the months leading up to the procedure, he talked with Pierson about what to do before surgery, what he would go through during surgery and what to expect after surgery.

As a result of being well informed and prepared before his operation, Xenos went into surgery with a focus on the positive – a future with a stable and pain-free joint.

“When you experience pain over a long period of time, it changes even your personality,” he said. “You’re just not yourself. The confidence I have in my new hip has allowed me to be myself again. I just enjoy things the way I used to. It’s like going back 20 years and feeling the way you felt then. You have more energy. Your attitude about everything improves, and I’m sure you are a much better person to be around when you don’t have pain.”

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 learn more about its services and community outreach programs, visit

St. Francis Health offers south-central Indiana’s only infant intensive care unit

INDIANAPOLIS – When you’re pregnant, you think about that precious time after your child’s birth, of getting to know your baby in a place that is entirely familiar:  your home. But when a baby is born prematurely, chances are the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), will be his or her first nursery, not the one you’ve so carefully prepared.

As home to south-central Indiana’s only Level III NICU, Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis cares for the smallest and sickest babies. There, your baby will be in the very best hands with round-the-clock, specialized care. Expert neonatologists, pediatricians, nurses, respiratory therapists and other professionals can help your baby become healthy and strong.

Still, some parents first find the NICU intimidating or even frightening. There is a lot of high-tech equipment on the unit. Some babies may need ventilators to breathe or feeding tubes for nourishment. Alarms may go off, and there may be a lot of activity. In addition, parents also have to absorb a flood of information about their child’s condition.

“It’s absolutely normal for parents to be anxious and worried when their child is in the NICU,” said Lori Warner, RN, director of Women & Children’s Services. “We encourage moms and dads to speak up, ask questions, let us know what their concerns are. Our staff wants to care for patients and help put parents at ease.”

Parents are strongly encouraged to provide basic care for their babies while in the NICU, staying with them as much as possible, touching or holding them, changing diapers, or tucking in blankets. When the doctor advises, parents can feed their child.

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

Franciscan St. Francis Health proactive before drug recall

Dr. Christopher "Topper" Doehring, vice president of medical affairs for Franciscan St. Francis , explains how our hospitals took immediate measures to stave off potential concerns related to the controversial use of a medication related to fungal meningitis, which was never used at our facilities. View his interview with WTHR-13 Indianapolis and read the text at

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

MEDIA ADVISORY: Mammothon and drive-through flu shots available throughout October

Simultaneous events offered by St. Francis Health, Visiting Nurse Service at St. Francis

12188 B N. Meridian St.
Mammogram screenings: 6 a.m.-6 p.m.
Flu shots: 3 p.m.-6 p.m.

8111 S. Emerson Ave.
Mammogram screenings: 6 a.m.-9 p.m.
Flu shots: 6 a.m.-9 a.m., 3:30 p.m. 6 p.m. (5230A  E. Stop 11 Road, north of campus)

1201 Hadley Road
Mammogram screenings: 6 a.m.-9 p.m.
            Flu shots: 3 p.m.-6 p.m.

Franciscan Plainfield Health Center (Friday, Oct. 26)
315 Dan Jones Road
Mammothon ONLY: 6 a.m.-3 p.m.

Mammograms are by appointment only and can be made by calling 855-837-8830. All major insurances are accepted. For those who qualify, financial assistance is available through the Little Red Door Cancer Agency. Call 317-925-5595 for more information. Read more about these events at

Special pricing for drive thru vaccinations ($10 off):
Flu shots will be offered for $25, shots for children age 6 months – 35 months $20, FluMist for $30, Thimerosal-Free flu shot for $30, and the Pneumonia shot for $60. VNS at St. Francis accepts check or cash payment. VNS at St. Francis also accepts most Medicare Part B and Medicare Managed Care Plans. All other clinics will be offered at the normal pricing. Read more about these events at

Media contacts:
Joe Stuteville
Media Relations Manager-Franciscan St. Francis Health
317-782-7986 (o)
317-946-9930 (c)
317- 906-0079 (pager)

Flu shots
Heather Hughet
Media Coordinator-VNS at St. Francis
317-722-8299, ext. 1116 (office)
317-417-3378 (cell)

St. Francis Health-Mooresville critical care nurses attain national recognition

Award recognizes exceptional patient care and achieving a healthy work environment

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – “Lighting our way to a brighter tomorrow” is the motto of the nurses in the intensive care unit at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville. That light glowed brightly last week when the ICU received the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence, which is active for three years.

For patients and their families, the Beacon Award measures exceptional care through improved outcomes and greater overall satisfaction.

And for critical care nurses, the Beacon Award signifies a positive and supportive work environment with greater collaboration between colleagues and leaders, higher morale and lower turnover. 

 “Our ICU staff has worked tirelessly to ensure patients and families receive the highest level of care,” said Jared Stark, executive director of the Mooresville hospital. “All of us here are extremely proud of our critical care nurses and pleased they have received this well-deserved recognition for their hard work and compassionate service.”

“We are very excited and honored to receive this award,” said Tara Simon, RN, ICU manager. “We work every day to exemplify the qualities of the Beacon Award and pride ourselves on providing excellent care and good outcomes. The staff all go above and beyond to care for patients and families and support each other to make that happen.”

AACN President Kathryn E. Roberts, RN, applauded the commitment of the caregivers at Franciscan St. Francis-Mooresville for working together to meet and exceed the high standards set forth by the Beacon Award.

“These dedicated healthcare professionals join other members of the exceptional community of nurses who set the standard for optimal patient care,” Roberts said. “The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes caregivers in stellar units whose consistent and systematic approach to evidence-based care optimizes patient outcomes. Units that receive this national recognition serve as a role model to others on their journey to excellent patient and family care.”

To learn more about this award, visit

Monday, October 1, 2012

Franciscan St. Francis Health appoints new Cancer Center staff members

INDIANAPOLIS – Three new members have joined the staff at Franciscan St. Francis Health’s Cancer Center.

Linda P. Dolan will serve as the quality of life Nurse Practitioner for the Center’s Well Beyond program; Morgan E. Davis will provide Genetic Counseling services; and Rachael Cassidy assumes the duties of Community Outreach Coordinator.

Dolan, of Monrovia, most recently was Director of Supportive Care for Bridge Point Supportive Care and with Hospice programs in the Indianapolis area. She received her undergraduate degree in biology at Fordham University and nursing at Excelsior College, both in New York State. A certified adult Nurse Practitioner and pain management nurse, Dolan earned a Master’s of Science in nursing at Indiana University.

Davis, who resides in Greenwood, completed a Master’s of Science in Medical and Molecular Genetics at the IU School of Medicine in May. She trained in a variety of genetic-related counseling roles. Davis received her undergraduate degrees in biology and Spanish at Indiana University.

Cassidy comes to her new role after working with AmeriCare Ambulance Service. An Indianapolis resident, she received her undergraduate degree in communications from Purdue University.