News Center

Friday, November 30, 2012

Franciscan Weight Loss Center appoints new program director

INDIANAPOLIS – Terri Hohlt has been appointed program director of Franciscan St. Francis Weight Loss Center.

Hohlt comes from the IU Health Bariatric and Medical Weight Loss Center in Indianapolis, where she was responsible for program development, strategic planning and operational administration of the bariatric services. She has served as a consultant on developing software for managing bariatric patients and presented nationally on improving patient throughput from seminar to surgery.

Hohlt received her bachelor of science in nursing at Indiana Wesleyan University and a master in nursing administration degree from the University of Indianapolis. She was formerly clinical manager of orthopedics at Methodist Hospital and an outcomes specialist for its total joint program.

The Franciscan St. Francis Weight Loss Center, which recently marked its 10th year, provides surgical and physician-monitored weight loss solutions, including gastric sleeve, Roux-en-y gastric bypass surgery, and Lap-Band surgery and fills, as well as nutrition and behavioral counseling. Since 2002, the center and its staff have helped thousands of Hoosiers achieve a healthier weight and life through its weight management services.

The Franciscan St. Francis Weight Loss Center was named a Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic &  Bariatric Surgery in 2007 and was reaccredited in 2011. The ASMBS Center of Excellence designation is awarded to surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes in bariatric surgery.

Learn more about services at Franciscan St. Francis Weight Loss Center by calling (317) 528-7525 or visiting

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New executive director to assume helm of Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center

INDIANAPOLIS – Terri S. Ruff has been appointed executive director of Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center, effective Jan. 6, 2013.

Since 2002, Ruff has served as director of Imaging Services, overseeing all radiological programs at Franciscan St. Francis’ hospitals at Indianapolis, Mooresville, Carmel and the former Beech Grove campus and six outpatient imaging centers.  In that role, she also supervised business and joint venture development; was responsible for transitioning imaging to a fully digital department; and led efforts to secure advanced accreditation, including the hospital’s recognition as a Breast Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.

Ruff has been affiliated with Franciscan St. Francis since 1984. She received her undergraduate degree in health arts at the University of St. Francis, where she later earned master’s degrees in business administration and health care administration.

An Avon resident, she is a member of the American Healthcare Radiology Administrators and American Society of Radiology Technologists.

Ruff succeeds Michael Hertel, who had served as executive director since 2006.

Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center-Indianapolis has been recognized by Healthgrades as the number-one program in Indiana for overall cardiac services and named one of America’s 100 best hospitals for cardiac care and coronary intervention. In addition, the hospital has received national recognition for heart attack treatment, coronary interventional procedures, heart valve repair and replacement surgery, cardiology services and heart failure treatment.

Learn more about services and program at Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Can’t turn back time, but simplicity is key to healthy aging process

INDIANAPOLIS – Have you noticed that the numbers in the phone book seem to be getting smaller? Finding it more difficult to get down on your knees to look under the bed — and to get up again?

There’s no question that age brings changes to our lives. And yes, some of them we’d prefer to avoid. Physically, for example, stiffening joints can make it harder to get around. And many people find that their short-term memory just isn’t what it used to be. Often, difficult personal situations, such as the death of a spouse, can add to the negative changes.

“But age can bring positive changes too,” said Kerry Minnis, manager, Franciscan St. Francis Health Outpatient Behavioral Health. “Many older people say they have less stress and more time for family, interests and hobbies than they used to. In fact, the vast majority of older people report they are satisfied with their lives.”

To a great extent, what older age will be like for you depends on how you live now and how you cope with the changes that come your way. You may not be able to turn back time, but you can move in a direction that may make getting older easier and more pleasant.

Here’s what Minnis suggests:

• Maintain an active mind and body. Remember the adage, “Use it or lose it.”

• Be involved. Isolation can contribute to depression and other health problems. So keep connected to family and friends. Social connections can help ensure that you have physical and emotional support for what comes your way.

• Live a healthy lifestyle. The advice you heard when you were younger still applies: Eat well, maintain a healthy weight, get enough rest, don’t smoke, do what you can to stay safe and see your doctor regularly.

• Relish your leisure time. Do things you enjoy, and allow some downtime. Too much stress can contribute to a host of health problems.

• Practice healthy ways to cope. Believe in yourself, and remember: You can handle whatever comes your way.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Coping with holiday stress hinges on personal, realistic approach

INDIANAPOLIS – As the holiday tune resonates with the message that it’s the most wonderful time of the year, for many it’s a time of stress, grief over the loss of a loved one, or grappling with the rough economic times.

“There are many healthy ways to cope with issues many of us face during the holidays,” said Kerry Minnis, licensed clinical social worker at Franciscan St. Francis Health, offering several tips:

Stress Overload
  • Simplify. Cut your “to-do” list. Delegate and get help.
  • Make choices that are good for you and your family.
  • Remember, time management is self-management. Teaching others to respect your time and having realistic goals are helpful.

  • Develop new traditions. Reaffirm your spirituality. Focus on family.
  • Examine your holiday rituals and traditions. Keep those that are enjoyable and meaningful. Create new rituals that fit your current lifestyle.
  • Reach out to others and share in the true meaning of the holiday.

Hard Time Economy
  • Avoid gift-giving frenzies. Use alternative gifts if money is a problem. Those may include something you can make or a card with the offer to provide a task or chore.
  • Focusing on the original meaning of the holiday can help overcome guilt associated with the inability to buy the gifts we would like.

Franciscan St. Francis Outpatient Behavioral Health Services offers a variety of services and programs throughout the year. Click here to learn more. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

New director selected to lead senior program at Franciscan St. Francis Health

INDIANAPOLIS – Jeanelle Regal has been appointed director for Senior Promise, a Franciscan St. Francis Health-based program, serving 22,000 customers throughout central Indiana.

In that role, she will oversee all day-to-day operations of the program, which offers a variety of benefits, insurance services and events to members 50 and older. Regal had served as supervisor for Senior Promise since 2008. Before that, she was a social worker for Franciscan St. Francis.

Regal also serves on the accountable care organization communications and education team for the hospital.

A resident of Indianapolis, Regal received a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Andrews University in Michigan, and later earned a master’s degree in social work at Indiana University. She is a member of the board of directors for The Social of Greenwood.

Senior Promise is a robust way for seniors to take advantage of health screenings and counselors are available to help its members in myriad ways:
· Billing questions about services received at Franciscan St. Francis Health
· Medicare assistance
· Prescription drug coverage questions
· Life insurances questions
· Caregiver resources
·  Local business discounts
·  Free newsletter
· Discounts on classes, workshops and other programs offered by Franciscan St. Francis

Senior Promise is located near the ambulatory services lobby at Franciscan St. Francis – Indianapolis, 8111 S. Emerson Ave. Learn more about the program at, or call 317-528-6660.

Weight Loss Center offers 12 ways to curb your holiday eating enthusiasm

INDIANAPOLIS – Whether you’ve been naughty or nice when it comes to your meal choices, the holiday season doesn’t mean you have to give up entirely this fall and winter.

Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s are just three days out of 365. But unabashedly enjoying the season’s treats from now until those resolutions kick in could wreak havoc on your health habits.

In honor of the “12 Days of Christmas,” the Franciscan St.Francis Weight Loss Center offers a dozen ways to watch your waistline while still enjoying the holiday season:

1. Take the focus off food. Instead of baking cookies with your children, create non-edible projects like wreaths, dough art decorations or a gingerbread house.

2. Plan to maintain your weight over the holidays. Decide which treat is worth the calories, take a smaller portion, and savor every single bite.

3. Think ahead to make mealtimes less hurried. On a cold, wintery night, few things say comfort like a bowl of hot soup, paired with crusty, whole-grain bread. Start a pot simmering on the stove or in the slow cooker while you spend the day decorating the tree, addressing cards or doing any other holiday preparations. Add a piece of fruit and a cup of milk, and you have a well-balanced meal.

4. Experiment with seasonal produce to lighten up your meals. Consider chutneys as an accompaniment to meats, slices of pears or oranges in your salad, cranberries or dried fruits in rice pilaf, or apple sauce substituted for some of the fats in your baking. A little creativity can go a long way toward heightening taste and sneaking in your produce needs in your diet.

5. Plan for parties. Don’t starve yourself the day of the party so you can fill up on food that evening. If you eat normally throughout the day, you’re much less likely to overeat at the party.

6. Lighten up. Substitute spices and fresh herbs for seasoning rather than fat and salt.

7. Make exercise time play time. Enjoy an afternoon of football, sledding, ice skating or playing in the snow. Or even enjoy the holiday lights while taking a long evening walk.

8. Discover different dips. Who says dips have to be high-fat and joined by chips? Replace cream cheese with silken tofu, or experiment with dips made with nonfat cream cheese or sour cream. Pair with vegetable spears or baked pita chips.

9. Watch your appetizers. Limit high-fat choices such as fried chicken wings, miniature sausages and most cheeses. Choose fruits and vegetables instead.

10. Enjoy the mall. While shopping, stretch your legs and squeeze in some exercise in a warm, dry environment.

11. Be a happy host. Balance your famous cookies with healthier options. Grab a fruit or vegetable tray from the store. Be sure to send your leftovers home with guests.

12. Have a healthy holiday spirit. Cocktails, “real” eggnog and other holiday drinks quickly add up in calories. Alternatives include sparkling or hot apple cider, light eggnog or seltzer mixed with fruit juices.

With a little creativity, you can start the new year without quite as many pounds to lose come Jan. 1 – and might just find a new tradition in the process.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Greenwood pediatrician saluted by St. Francis Health for stellar care

Dr. Hodson receives her award (from left) from Drs.
Joe LaRosa , Topper Doehring and Isaac J. Myers II.
GREENWOOD, Ind. – Mary Elise Hodson, MD, is the latest recipient of the Healing Hands Award presented by Franciscan St. Francis Health.

With her colleagues and staff looking on Hodson, a member of Franciscan Physician Network Pediatric Associates of Greenwood, recently received the award.

Board-certified in pediatrics, Hodson graduated from the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in 1989 and completed her residency training at Methodist Hospital of Indiana and at Michigan State-Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies.

Hodson is a Fellow with  the American Academy of Pediatrics and a mother of three. She has been affiliated with Franciscan St. Francis for several years.

Presented quarterly, the award recognizes Franciscan St. Francis Health physicians for excellence in clinical skills, patient relations, research, stewardship and their reflection of the hospital’s health-care ministry, values and mission.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

St. Francis Health physicians recognized as Indy’s ‘Top Docs’ by magazine

INDIANAPOLIS – Twenty-six Franciscan St. Francis Health physicians have been recognized as “Top Doctors” by Indianapolis Monthly magazine (November 2012).

That recognition was determined by Avvo, a Seattle-based organization which rates and profiles dental, legal and medical professionals across the country. Doctors were rated on a 10-point scale based on factors including experience, education, training and research. 

Physicians included in the rankings (asterisk indicates member of Franciscan Physician Network):

Cardiac Electrophysiology
*Robert Kinn M.D. 

*William Berg, M.D.

Cardiothoracic Surgery
Marc Gerdisch M.D.

Colon and Rectal Surgery
*Olaf Johansen, M.D.
* Dipen C. Maun, MD

Facial Plastic Surgery
Mark M. Hamilton, MD

Family Medicine
Mercy O. Obeime, MD

Gynecologic Oncology*David Moore, M.D. 

Pediatric Neurology
Keith R. Ridel, MD

Pediatric UrologyMartin Kaefer M.D.

Plastic Surgery
*Charles E. Hughes III, M.D.

Radiation Oncology
Peter Garrett, M.D.

The magazine also profiled Robert Prince, MD, of Franciscan Physician Network SpineSpecialists. Prince has been using A new motion-sensing neurostimulator to successfully treat patients with chronic pain conditions. You may view how his work is helping patients here.

Editorial lauds hospital's opening of Education Services and Support Center

New St. Francis facility valuable to community          

Nov. 15, 2012

When Alpine Electronics moved its manufacturing operations to Mexico, the fate of its factory building was unclear. Now that longtime vacant property on the east side of Greenwood has been given new life thanks to a major health and hospital group.

The abandoned factory has been reborn as the administrative center for Franciscan St. Francis Health. Hospital officials have renovated the building, creating workspace for departments such as billing, marketing and scheduling. Offices and cubicles have been constructed for 360 employees. Classrooms and training labs will serve 100 students daily.

Renovation work started in April and will continue through the rest of the year before the building is completely done, said John Ross, former hospital vice president of human resources and current project consultant.

The building had been vacant since 2006. The Alpine Electronics plant opened in 1986, manufacturing car audio and navigation systems for major automakers such as Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mercedes Benz and BMW. The company moved its manufacturing operations to Mexico in 2004 and shifted its business operations to a smaller space in Greenwood in 2006.

Many potential businesses looked at the space but passed it over throughout the years. Franciscan St. Francis officials were interested in the site because of its proximity to the main Indianapolis campus, as well as the possibility to add value to the Greenwood community.

But the building was in serious disrepair.

“When we came into it, it had been flooded. It had been mold infested. The roof was leaking,” Chief Operating Officer Keith Jewell said. “We got into this facility and basically had to start from scratch.”

Franciscan St. Francis Health has spent about $14 million in refurbishing and equipping the building. New electronics, telephones, walls, carpeting and decorating have gone into the project. But much of the furniture, computers and other equipment came from the health group’s Beech Grove building.

Each department is housed in cubicles situated in an open-floor layout. Designers wanted the open layout, with just 19 private offices in the building. The decision was intended to encourage interaction and ease of communication, Jewell said. Individual areas for copying, printing and faxing, as well as conference rooms of different sizes, provide each department with autonomy, he said.

The addition to the Greenwood business community will help strengthen a developing section of the city and ideally serve as a spark for other businesses in that area, said Christian Maslowski, executive director of the Greater Greenwood Chamber of Commerce.

“The Emerson corridor is strategically important to our economic development and our growth, particularly to our eastern growth,” he said. “Having a stable tenant who’s very much invested in the economic stability of this section of Johnson County is a win for everyone.”

We agree. Franciscan St. Francis Health could have built a new building at many locations. The health group made a significant commitment to Greenwood by redeveloping the Alpine Electronics building. It will be a valuable and valued community asset for generations.

Nurses host annual Med-Surg Bowl at Indy campus

The St. Francis Health team (from left): Rich Spencer, Corie Malone,
 Christina Ahnafield, Connie, Siegman-Jones Kate Kinney and Taren Popovich.
INDIANAPOLIS -- The 5th annual Med-Surg Bowl, sponsored by the Central Indiana Chapter of the Academy of Medical-Surgical, pitted a team of Franciscan St. Francis Health registered nurses against five other squads from around the region. The setting was the south-side hospital's auditorium.

The three-round Jeopardy-like competition tested the nurses' knowledge of their specialty and other clinical information. Sister Marlene Shapley, vice president of mission and also a registered nurse, moderated the program. And when the contest  was over, Hendricks Regional Health's team claimed first-place honors. 

Sister Marlene Shapley presents the winner's plaque
 to the Hendicks Regional Health team.

Photos courtesy of Kim Devine

Former Lafayette diocese bishop honored by Franciscan Alliance

Bishop William Higi receives tje Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel
Award from Sister Jane Marie Klein.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Bishop Emeritus William L. Higi, was presented with the Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel award at the Nov. 12 Franciscan Alliance Leadership Conference.

The award is presented to a person whose service to our Franciscan Alliance health ministry most clearly reflects the personal attributes of the Venerable Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel, Foundress of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration. Bishop Higi accepted the award from Sister Jane Marie Klein, Chair, Board of Trustees for Franciscan Alliance.

The award honors Bishop Higi for holding some of the personal qualities that characterized Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel, including leadership, joyful service, compassion, perseverance and acceptance of the will of God. Bishop Higi is a servant leader, dedicated to the betterment of others. He walks humbly in the service of others, his God, his Church, his Community and our health care ministry.

Bishop Higi well understands the importance of our health care ministry in the community. He was instrumental in the merger between St. Elizabeth Hospital and Greater Lafayette Health Services and the merger of both into Franciscan Alliance.

Bishop Higi has been a loyal and steadfast supporter of our Congregation and health care ministry for over 25 years. In the early 1970’s, he was instrumental in re-establishing Perpetual Adoration in the St. Elizabeth chapel.  Bishop Higi was born in Anderson, Ind., on Aug. 29, 1933. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 30, 1959 and served as associate pastor of Saint Bridget’s Church in Logansport for nine months before being transferred to the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception, where he served as associate for five years. He was named Secretary to Bishop John Carberry in August 1962; Vice-Chancellor of the Diocese in 1965, Chancellor in 1967 and Vicar General in 1979.

He also served as pastor of Saint Augusta parish in Lake Village from June 1970 until his ordination as Bishop of the Lafayette Diocese in June 1984.

Bishop Higi joined with the management team and community leaders in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health – Lafayette East hospital and led the dedication of the new facility. 
One of the roles of a Bishop is to be a defender of the faith.  The Healthcare Ministry is certainly part of the “Faith” that needs to be defended.  On more than one occasion, Bishop Higi assisted us in making sure that the Sisters of St. Francis’ Health Ministry was supported and defended. 

Even though the office of Bishop is a very hectic and demanding job, Bishop Higi exemplifies the beatitudes in his outreach to others. On many occasions he can be seen walking the hospital halls and visiting the ill.

His entire life has been dedicated to enriching the spiritual lives of his flock, to caring for those less fortunate, to supporting education and health care ministries, to guiding priests and providing a moral compass that we can all follow. 

The award presented to Bishop Higi is a miniature version of a statue of Mother Maria Theresia that is located in a sitting area in the midst of the apple orchard at the Convent in Mishawaka. This is the sixth Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel service award presented.

About Franciscan Alliance
A trusted leader in providing faith-based, integrated health care, Franciscan Alliance, whose mission is “Continuing Christ’s Ministry in our Franciscan Tradition”, brings together the latest technology, innovative procedures and the brightest, most compassionate people to serve our patients in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan. Throughout our 13 hospitals and many medical practices, we offer a number of nationally recognized Centers of Health Care Excellence.

For more than 135 years, Franciscan Alliance has stayed true to our founding mission to care for everyone who comes through our doors. We treat our patients with the best possible care by following the guiding ethical values embodied by our founding congregation, the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration. Always mindful of our faithfulness to the values and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, we minister with joy, care and compassion according to the ideals of St. Francis of Assisi and our founder, Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel. For more information, please visit

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

St. Francis Cancer Center offers free prostate cancer seminar

INDIANAPOLIS – It’s estimated that one man in six is likely to develop prostate cancer during his lifetime. The good news is that, through regular screening and education, the disease is being found earlier and the death rate for prostate cancer is going down.

That’s why Franciscan St. Francis Cancer Center (8111 S. Emerson Ave,) is offering a free seminar on prostate cancer at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 28. William Schwab, MD, of Urology of Indiana, will lead the discussion about risks, diagnosis, current treatment options and the benefits of robotic-assisted surgery. Participants will have the opportunity to “test drive” a da Vinci robotic surgery system and see firsthand how the advanced technology works.

The seminar is free and refreshments and light dinner will be provided.

Space is limited and registration is required. Call 877-888-1777 to register.

UIndy, St. Francis Health form nurse practitioner pipeline

New on-site degree program addresses growing gap in primary care

INDIANAPOLIS -- As demand for primary healthcare services exceeds capacity, the University of Indianapolis and Franciscan St. Francis Health are expanding their educational partnership to help more nurses advance their careers and become family nurse practitioners.

Nurse practitioners can counteract the growing shortage of primary care physicians by providing such services as the initial evaluation of patients, ongoing care for chronic diseases and preventive screenings and immunizations.

In August 2013, under the new agreement, UIndy’s School of Nursing will begin offering Master of Science courses with the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty at a Franciscan St. Francis education facility near its Indianapolis hospital at 8111 S. Emerson Ave.

Nurses with bachelor’s degrees will enter the program in cohorts of 12 to 15, meet for evening classes and clinical experiences designed to fit their work schedules, and emerge three years later with an advanced degree. Franciscan St. Francis will provide tuition reimbursement for nurses from its Indianapolis, Mooresville and Carmel hospitals and its physician practices in the area.

According to projections, Franciscan St. Francis needs to add more than 100 nurse practitioners to its system by 2016 to meet the demand for primary care.

“We are so happy to be partnering once again with University of Indianapolis to provide our nurses the educational opportunity to continue their Franciscan ministry in an advance practice role,” said Susan McRoberts, regional vice president and chief nursing officer for Franciscan St. Francis Health.

The new program is the third master’s degree partnership between the two organizations, joining two ongoing programs that focus on nursing education and health systems leadership.

Anne Thomas, dean of UIndy’s School of Nursing, praised Franciscan St. Francis for its progressive approach to the issue.

“The graduates of this new partnership will provide high-quality primary care services in a system that is a team-based, interdisciplinary and patient-centered,” Thomas said. “This is another example of St. Francis moving forward in a rapidly changing healthcare environment and creatively meeting patient needs through academic partnerships.”

UIndy also provides bachelor’s degree programs in nursing for Franciscan St. Francis.

Physician joins established practice at South 31 Family Care

INDIANAPOLIS – Huma Khan, MD, has joined Franciscan Physician Network South 31 Family Care. Board-certified in family medicine, she also provides obstetrical care for patients.

Khan most previously practiced family medicine and obstetrics at St. Vincent Dunn Hospital in Bedford, Ind. Prior to that, she completed a maternal child health fellowship at the University of New Mexico and was on medical staff for Zuni Indian Health Service in New Mexico.

She earned her medical degree in Pakistan and completed residency training at Marquette General Hospital in Michigan. Khan also received a master’s in public health from the University of New Mexico.

Khan joins Mohammad Tarrabain, MD, and joins Matthew Wolf, MD, at South 31 Family Care, located at 610 E. Southport Road. For appointments call 317-781-7370.

St. Francis Health psychologist explains challenges faced by blast victims

Dr. Steven Rumble explains the psychological fallout some people may be facing in the wake of a fatal blast which rocked a south-side Indianapolis neighborhood on Nov. 10. View his interview with WRTV-6

Thursday, November 8, 2012

St. Francis Health support staff ready for move to Greenwood facility

GREENWOOD, Ind. – Hundreds of administrative and support staff at Franciscan St. Francis Health are preparing to relocate their offices to the Education Services and Support Center at 421 N. Emerson Ave.

The transition gets under way Nov. 12 and continues throughout the week. An estimated 300 employees will set up shop at the newly renovated facility, which formerly housed Alpine Electronics. Additionally, more than 100 people will visit the building daily for education classes and other training.

Among the departments moving to the sprawling 135,000 square-foot building: Community Relations and Marketing, Education Services, Coding, Revenue Management, Business Transformation, Health Information Management, Finance, Central Patient Access, Central Scheduling, Surgery Chargers/Schedulers, Printing/Distribution Center, Franciscan Alliance Information Services, and private offices.

Home Health and Hospice services will migrate to the facility in early December.

Franciscan St. Francis acquired the property – located 2.5 miles south of the hospital’s Indianapolis campus – in late 2011 and began a major refurbishing effort. Artekna Healthcare Design Solutions were the project architects and Tonn & Blank carried out the construction.

“Part of the acquisition included a significant amount of acreage between the building and Interstate 65, which enables us to consider future growth and development,” said Keith Jewell, chief operating officer.

The move coincides with the relocation of clinical services to Franciscan St. Francis Health Outpatient Services Beech Grove, 2030 Churchman Ave, Suite B. Those services include imaging (X-ray and ultrasound), lab services and physical therapy.

The outpatient center offers patients easy scheduling and same-day appointments when possible. Appointments can be made by calling 317-528-8555. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Laboratory services open at 6 a.m. throughout the week and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Record-busting 11,000 participate in 2012 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon

Fleet-footed Kentucky-based runners crowned winners of long-distance contest

INDIANAPOLIS – Thousands of runners and walkers took to the city streets Nov. 3 for the fifth running of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon and Half Marathon (IMM). And when the dust settled a few hours later, Aleksey Alexandrov of Hebron, Ky., was the first to cross the finish line

With sunrise yet to break, near-freezing temperatures and swirly breeze, runners and walkers from 45 states and nine foreign countries stepped off with a thumping hip-hop tune blaring in the background.

“This is runners’ weather,” said IMM Executive Director Blake Boldon, as the designated elite runners began their pace. “When the sun comes up, they will hit their stride.” Indeed, nearly 11,000 of them – a record number of participants for the IMM.

The winners and their times:

Aleksey Alexandrov (2:18:44)

Whitney Bevins-Lazzara, Indianapolis (2:45:23)

Jason Ordway, Bellbrook, Ohio (1:04:24)

Irina Alexandrova, Hebron, Ky. (1:15:20)      

Paul Erway, Shelbyville, Ky. (2:58:16)

Local luminaries were on hand to greet the participants before the starter’s gun sounded: Mayor Greg Ballard, St. Francis Health President and CEO Robert Brody, Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Eugene White, IMM President/Founder Carlton Ray, IMM Executive Director Blake Boldon, and IMM Honorary Chair Bob Kennedy, a former marathon runner for the U.S. Olympics team.

The IMM, whose title sponsor is Franciscan St. Francis Health, continues to spark heightened interest in the world-wide running community.  The record number of participants this year more than quadruples the number who signed up for the inaugural 2008 race.

Franciscan St. Francis Health had more than 100 volunteers assisting in a variety of ways, most notably a team of physicians, nurses and other health professionals with the St. Francis Sports Medicine Program.

And it takes a monumental effort to organize an event like IMM. Overseeing that task was The Tuxedo Brothers, a local sporting events management company, operated by brothers Don and Phil Carr.
The IMM’s urban courses are sanctioned and certified by the standards of USA Track and Field, the national body of road racing. The marathon course also serves as a qualifier for the 2013 Boston Marathon.
Proceeds from this year’s race, like previously years, will support local public education with the Indianapolis Public Schools Education Foundation as the largest beneficiary. More than $280,000 has been donated since the race’s founding in 2008.

For the final results and other information about the 2012 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, go to

To learn more about the Franciscan St. Francis Sports Medicine program, go to

You can view photos of the 2012 IMM on Facebook and local media coverage at

Friday, November 2, 2012

St. Francis Health outpatient facility offers patients convenient care option

Services move from former Beech Grove hospital to nearby facility Nov. 12

BEECH GROVE, Ind. – Franciscan St. Francis Health Outpatient Services Beech Grove is poised to open its newly renovated center at 2030 Churchman Ave, Suite B.

Imaging (X-ray and ultrasound), lab services and physical therapy currently offered at the former Franciscan St. Francis Health-Beech Grove hospital will end Thursday, Nov. 8. Those services will transition to the newly renovated outpatient center, which opens 8 a.m., Monday, Nov. 12.

The center, offers patients easy scheduling and same-day appointments when possible. Appointments can be made by calling 317-528-7430. Office hours are 8 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Outpatient Services Beech Grove extends Franciscan St. Francis’ continued presence in the surrounding community. Also located in the Churchman Avenue complex are Franciscan Physician Network members Beech Grove Family MedicineBeech Grove Internal Medicine and Beech Grove After-Hours Clinic.

‘Emotional Eating’ support on menu at Franciscan St. Francis Weight Loss Center

INDIANAPOLIS – Occasional “emotional eating” isn't a problem for most people. After all, that's what makes comfort food so appealing. But turning to food every time a person has unpleasant feelings – or even positive ones – can lead to weight gain.

Emotional eaters may find it difficult to stop on their own. Finding a support group for people dealing with similar issues can provide guidance for dealing with emotional eating.

The Emotional Eating Support Group at the Franciscan St. Francis Weight Loss Center is for anyone trying to lose weight and struggling with emotional overeating, also known as compulsive overeating or binge eating. This group offers support to patients struggling with emotional eating, or using food for reasons other than physical hunger and feeling unable to stop the behavior.

The latest session gets under way 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, with each session held weekly at the St. Francis Weight Loss Center, 5230-A E. Stop 11 Road, across Stop 11 Road from the St. Francis Health-Indianapolis campus.

There is a fee for those registering for the program. Call 317-528-7525 or visit for additional information.

Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville in nation’s top 10 percent for pulmonary care

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – Pulmonary care at Franciscan St. FrancisHealth-Mooresville is in the nation’s top 10 percent according to a new report from Healthgrades, a provider of information to help consumers make an informed decision about a physician or hospital.

The report, American Hospital Quality Outcomes 2013: Healthgrades Report to the Nation, evaluates how approximately 4,500 hospitals nationwide performed on risk-adjusted mortality and complication rates for nearly 30 of the most common conditions treated and procedures performed from 2009 through 2011.

“All of us here are extremely proud of our pulmonary team and everyone who assists their patients,” said Jared Stark, executive director, Franciscan St. Francis-Mooresville. “We are pleased to receive this well-deserved recognition of their outstanding work and compassionate service.”

In its most recent annual study, Healthgrades found that patients have a 75 percent lower risk of dying when treated at a hospital receiving 5 stars than if they were treated at a hospital receiving 1 star, based on risk-adjusted mortality rates across 18 common procedures and diagnoses, such as heart bypass surgery, stroke, and pneumonia.

The study claims that 235,378 lives could potentially have been saved during 2009-2011 if all hospitals performed at a 5-star level.

Making objective measures of hospital quality more publicly available is imperative for helping consumers make more informed provider decisions. According to new research conducted by Harris Interactive for Healthgrades, 89 percent of Americans in 27 top designated market areas believe hospital performance (defined as how well patients do at that hospital compared to others) is important but only 37 percent know where to find the information.

Other notable Healthgrades recognition for Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville include:
·         Recipient of the Healthgrades Pulmonary Care Excellence Award™ in 2013
·         Ranked Among the Top 10 percent in the Nation for Overall Pulmonary Services in 2013
·         Ranked No. 10 in Indiana for Overall Pulmonary Services in 2013
·         Ranked Among the Top 10 in Indiana for Overall Pulmonary Services in 2013 (Ranked 10 in 2013)
·         Five-Star Recipient for Overall Pulmonary Services in 2013
·         Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in 2013
·         Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Pneumonia (2012-2013)

For its 2013 hospital quality outcomes analysis, Healthgrades evaluated approximately 40 million Medicare hospitalization records for services performed at short-term, acute care hospitals nationwide. Healthgrades found that patients treated in hospitals receiving 5 stars had, on average, 75 percent lower risk of dying than if they were treated in hospitals receiving 1 star (across 18 common procedures and diagnoses, such as heart bypass surgery, stroke, and pneumonia).

More information on the American Hospital Quality Outcomes 2013: Healthgrades Report to the Nation, including the complete methodology, can be found at

Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis earns national recognition for pulmonary care

Healthgrades study also touts hospital cardiac, gastrointestinal and critical care services

INDIANAPOLIS – Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis’ pulmonary care program has received an America’s 100 Best Hospitals designation from Healthgrades, a provider of information to help consumers make an informed decision about a physician or hospital.

The findings are part of American Hospital Quality Outcomes 2013: Healthgrades Report to the Nation, which evaluates the performance of approximately 4,500 hospitals nationwide across nearly 30 of the most common conditions and procedures.

Patient outcomes are important to consumers making choices today about hospitals. According to new research conducted by Harris Interactive for Healthgrades, 86 percent of Americans in 27 top designated market areas agree they would be more likely to choose – or not choose – a hospital if they could learn ahead of time the mortality rates for a certain procedure.

Other notable Healthgrades clinical recognitions for Franciscan St. Francis-Indianapolis: 

America's Best 100 Hospitals
·         One of Healthgrades America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Pulmonary Care™ in 2013

·         Ranked Among the Top 10 in Indiana for Overall Cardiac Services (2012-13)
·         Ranked Among the Top 10 in Indiana for Cardiac Surgery (2012-2013)
·         Ranked Among the Top 5 in Indiana for Coronary Interventional Procedures 2012-2013)
·         Five-Star Recipient for Valve Repair and Replacement Surgery (2012-2013)
·         Five-Star Recipient for Coronary Interventional Procedures (2012-2013)

·         Recipient of the HealthGrades Pulmonary Care Excellence Award™ in 2013
·         Ranked Among the Top 5% in the Nation for Overall Pulmonary Services in 2013
·         Ranked #3 in IN for Overall Pulmonary Services in 2013
·         Ranked Among the Top 10 in Indiana for Overall Pulmonary Services (2010-2013) (Ranked 3rd  in 2013)
·         Five-Star Recipient for Overall Pulmonary Services (2010-2013)
·         Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in 2013
·         Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Pneumonia (2008-2013)

·         Recipient of the HealthGrades Gastrointestinal Care Excellence Award™ in 2013
·         Recipient of the HealthGrades General Surgery Excellence Award™ (2012-2013)
·         Ranked Among the Top 10% in the Nation for Overall GI Services in 2013
·         Ranked Among the Top 10% in the Nation for General Surgery (2012-2013)
·         Ranked No. 4 in Indiana for GI Services in 2013
·         Ranked No. 3 in Indiana for General Surgery in 2013
·         Ranked Among the Top 10 in Indiana for GI Services (2010-2013)
·         Ranked Among the Top 5 in Indiana for General Surgery (2012-2013) (Ranked 3 in 2013)
·         Five-Star Recipient for GI Procedures and Surgeries (2012-2013)
·         Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Bowel Obstruction (2009-2013)

Critical Care
·         Ranked No. 6 in Indiana for Critical Care in 2013
·         Ranked Among the Top 10 in Indiana for Critical Care in 2013 (Ranked 6 in 2013)
·         Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Sepsis in 2013

For its 2013 hospital quality outcomes analysis, Healthgrades evaluated approximately 40 million Medicare hospitalization records for services performed from 2009 through 2011 at approximately 4,500 short-term, acute care hospitals nationwide. Healthgrades independently measures hospitals based on data that hospitals submit to the federal government. No hospital can opt in or out of being measured, and no hospital pays to be measured. Mortality and complication rates are risk adjusted, which takes into account each hospital’s unique population (demographics and severity of illness).

The American Hospital Quality Outcomes 2013: Healthgrades Report to the Nation, including the complete methodology, can be found at