News Center

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Franciscan St. Francis Health’s baby fair takes first steps at Greenwood Mall

GREENWOOD, Ind. – There’s going to be a lot of baby talk going on at Greenwood Park Mall Saturday, Aug. 24.

That’s because Franciscan St. Francis Health is hosting Inspiring You – Mommy, Baby & Beyond, a new and informative fair for mothers and expecting parents. The event, which will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of Von Maur (inside mall near Applebee’s), enables participants to meet with staff from the Women and Children’s Center and to learn about programs and services offered to patients and children.

Visitors can experience the soothing effects of aromatherapy and relax in massage chairs to and receive a variety of giveaways and prizes. And parents can enroll their babies (up to 12 months old) for a Diaper Derby Race (open to the first 10 boy and girl babies to register).

Visitors also can learn about Franciscan St. Francis’ plans to renovate and expand the Women and Children’s Center. The 100,000-square-foot project encompasses the first through fourth floors at the Indianapolis campus, located at 8111 S. Emerson Ave.

Here’s what moms and their families will find when the renovation is completed in early 2015:

·         7 triage rooms and an infusion area for newly admitted patients (2nd floor)
·         12 expanded labor and delivery rooms (2nd floor)
·         8 large antepartum suites with in-room refrigerators (2nd floor)
·         2 operating room suites for caesarean procedures (2nd floor)
·         30 postpartum suites and a nursery (3rd floor)
·         24 private neonatal intensive care rooms (4th floor)
·         10  “kid-friendly” pediatric rooms  (4th floor)

More than 45,000 babies have been born since 1995, when obstetric and pediatric services were consolidated at Franciscan St. Francis-Indianapolis, where an average of 2,400 infants are delivered annually.  

Friday, July 26, 2013

Franciscan St. Francis transfers former medical facility to WindRose Health

FRANKLIN, Ind. – An unused property owned by Franciscan St. Francis Health has been transferred to WindRose Health Network, which will expand access to care for the poor and medically underserved in south-central Indiana.

The property, located at 55 Milford Drive on the city’s east side, previously was used by external physicians, but has since been unoccupied. Windrose is expected to begin operating at the site in late fall.

“We believe that a health center located on the east side of Franklin will bring added convenience for hundreds of our existing patients,” said WindRose CEO Michael K. Kolenda. “It also creates greater access-to-care for the thousands of uninsured citizens and Medicaid recipients in the central portion of Johnson County and eastern Shelby County.”
WindRose’s mission is to improve the health of both its patients and the communities it serves by providing high-quality, family-oriented, primary and preventive health care services, with a particular emphasis on helping the poor, the medically underserved and vulnerable residents. 

Franciscan St. Francis and WindRose have collaborated on several health care projects in recent years. Most notably, they implemented a prenatal care program that has created early access to prenatal care for hundreds of uninsured/underprivileged women in WindRose’s six-county service area.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Franciscan St. Francis Health physician to be honored for family medicine career

INDIANAPOLIS – Richard D. Feldman, MD, will receive the Lester D. Bibler Award from the Indiana Academy of Family Physicians (IAFP).

Feldman, director of the Family Medicine Residency Program for Franciscan St. Francis Health, will be presented the award July 27 at IAFP’s annual conference in downtown Indianapolis.

The award recognizes individuals for their contributions and long-time dedication to family medicine. It was established in honor of Lester D. Bibler, MD, who was instrumental in helping found the American Academy of Family Physicians (formerly American Academy of General Practice) and served as the first president of the Indiana Academy of Family Physicians.

“Dr. Feldman is known as a leader, educator, model, and public servant to his colleagues and residents for the outstanding care he provides his patients,” IAFP officials said in a statement in advance of the conference. “He leads the St. Francis family medicine residency program to high success that attracts and inspires residents from Indiana and the nation. His commitment to and passion for family medicine is evident in all areas of his life, and his accomplishments mirror his outstanding dedication.”

Feldman, who directs the medical education program at Franciscan St. Francis, holds several elected appointments with the Indiana Academy of Family Physicians, the Indianapolis Medical Society and Indiana State Medical Association. He has served as president of the Indiana Academy of Family Physicians IAFP’s Foundation and is past president of the Indiana Medical History Museum.

A South Bend native, Feldman served as Indiana State Health Commissioner from 1997 to 2001, and he’s a regularly featured editorial columnist for the Indianapolis Star.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Obstetrics physician now seeing patients at Mooresville

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – Michael L. Boothe, MD, of Southside OBGYN is moving his practice from South Emerson Avenue to Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville effective July 29.

He will join Glenn L. Dobbs, DO, at Southside OBGYN office at the Mooresville hospital’s Women’s Center. A native of El Paso, Texas, Boothe received his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas and earned his medical degree at Universidad Autonoma de Juarez (Mexico). He completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

Boothe, an independent physician who chooses to practice at Franciscan St. Francis, has been practicing since 1984 and joined Southside OBGYN in 2005. He provides all aspects of patient care, including obstetrics and adolescent care.

Fluent in Spanish, Boothe volunteers annually for medical mission trips to Haiti and Honduras.

To schedule an appointment or for more information about Southside OBGYN, call 317-584-

Monday, July 22, 2013

Surgeon explains orthopedic, joint replacement therapies Aug. 22

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., Thursday, Aug. 22, at the Indianapolis Marriott East, 7202 E. 21st St. Light refreshments will be served, beginning at 6 p.m.

Wesley Lackey, 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.

Lackey is a surgeon with Joint Replacement Surgeons, the practice group affiliated with the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville, recognized in the United States and the world as a premier center for joint replacement surgery..

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

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Franciscan Alliance Accountable Care Organization achieves 2012 cost savings

INDIANAPOLIS – Franciscan Alliance Accountable Care Organization today (July 16) announced it achieved $13.3 million in cost savings in 2012 as a Pioneer Accountable Care Organization.

As part of the first-year savings and its agreement with Medicare, Franciscan Alliance ACO will receive $6.6 million, nearly half of the achieved cost savings. The shared savings will be split among the hospitals and physicians participating in the program in 2012.

With hospitals in Indianapolis, Mooresville and Carmel and care providers throughout central Indiana, Franciscan Alliance ACO serves more than 20,000 Medicare beneficiaries in south-central Indiana. The Franciscan Alliance ACO works with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide Medicare beneficiaries with higher quality care while reducing growth in Medicare expenditures through enhanced care coordination.

The Franciscan Alliance ACO worked with hospitals, physicians and other community care providers to improve communication and information sharing about its patients. Among the programs instituted to achieve these cost savings are a critical care case management program, a continuing care network with long-term acute care facilities and dedicated chronic disease case managers.

“We are pleased with the results of these cost savings and the level of service we deliver to our patients,” said Jennifer Westfall, regional vice president for Franciscan ACO. “The  ACO model encourages organizations such as hospitals, physician practices and other health care providers to collaborate closely, thus bringing down the overall costs of medical care.”

The Pioneer ACO Model is not the health system’s only ACO formation. In July 2012 the Franciscan Alliance and American Health Network ACO was created and serves about 28,000 Medicare patients in central Indiana, providing primary and a variety of specialty care services. That same year, the Pioneer ACO was expanded to Franciscan Alliance’s Northern Indiana Region.

Early in 2013, Franciscan Alliance and Union Hospital of Terre Haute established Franciscan Union ACO, serving 14,000 patients primarily residing in west-central Indiana. Plans also are under way to expand the ACO model to Franciscan Alliance’s Northern Indiana and Western Indiana regions later this year.

“Medicare ACOs are a key strategy for Franciscan Alliance to help reform our delivery system,” said Jay Brehm, senior vice president of Strategic Planning and Business Development. “This is particularly critical as we move away from fee-for-service medicine toward a system focused on creating greater value for patients and bettering population health.”

Franciscan St. Francis Health notches solid standings in Best Hospitals rankings

The Indianapolis hospital was rated “high-performing” in
 six medical specialties
INDIANAPOLIS – Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis is ranked No. 5 among Indiana ho

spitals in overall performance, according to U.S. News & World Report, which today (July 16)  released its 2013-14 regional Best Hospitals listings.

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

This year’s Best Hospitals (24th 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.

In regional recognition, the Indianapolis hospital was rated “high-performing” in gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery, geriatrics, gynecology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, and pulmonology.

The Mooresville hospital’s orthopedics program was singled out, too, as high-performing. 

Additionally both the Indianapolis and Mooresville hospitals were significantly above state and national averages when patients were asked if they would recommend the hospitals to their families and friends.

Franciscan St. Francis-Carmel, which opened in April 2012, was mentioned but not included in the rankings.

The orthopedics program at Franciscan St. Francis-Mooresville was 

cited as high-performing.
“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, regional president and chief executive officer for Franciscan St. Francis Health. “We’re pleased their efforts have been recognized.”

“A hospital that emerges from our analysis as one of the best has much to be proud of,” said Avery Comarow, U.S. News Health Rankings Editor. “Only about 15 percent of hospitals are recognized for their high performance as among their region’s best. Just three percent of all hospitals earn a national ranking in any specialty.”

The rankings have been published at and will appear in print in the magazine’s Best Hospitals 2014 guidebook, scheduled for release in August.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Indianapolis hospital offers free artery disease screenings Aug. 24

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

To assess your risk for PAD, sign up for the free Legs for Life screening offered by Franciscan St. Francis Health from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Indianapolis hospital campus, 8111 S. Emerson Ave.

With PAD, the vessels that carry blood to the arms and legs become narrowed or clogged, interfering with the normal flow of blood, sometimes causing pain. Often, however, a person may experience no serious symptoms but still have peripheral artery disease. Signs 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

The screening is noninvasive. A health care professional checks the blood pressure in your arms and ankles and compares them to see if there is a significant difference between them.

To qualify for the free screening, participants must be 50 or older and have one or more of the following symptoms or risk factors:

·         Trouble walking that involves cramping or tiredness in the leg muscles with walking or exercising, which is relieved by resting
  • A family history of vascular disease, such as PAD, aneurysm, heart attack or stroke
  • Have or have had high blood pressure, heart disease, or other vascular disease
  • Have ever smoked or currently smoke

To make an appointment at the Legs for Life screening, call (317) 782-4422, or toll free at 877-888-1777.

Friday, July 12, 2013

St. Francis Health surgeon explains orthopedic, joint replacement therapies Aug. 15

BLOOMINGTON, 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., Thursday, Aug. 15, at the Bloomington–Monroe County Convention Center, 302 S. College Ave. In the spotlight is a hip and knee replacement seminar. A light buffet will be served at 6 p.m.

Michael E. Berend, 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.

Berend is a surgeon with the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery at Franciscan St. Francis Health–Mooresville, recognized in the United States and the world as a premier center for joint replacement surgery.

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

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Franciscan VNS St. Francis Hospice closes ranks to care for dying military vets

INDIANAPOLIS – An estimated 25 percent of those who die every year in the United States are military veterans, many of whom are among the dwindling ranks of those who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

To help provide care and support that reflect the important contributions made by these men and women, Franciscan VNS, St. Francis Hospice, has become a national partner of We Honor Veterans, a pioneering campaign developed by National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

As a partner, VNS St. Francis Hospice is implementing ongoing veteran-centered education for its staff and volunteers to help improve the care they provide to the veterans they proudly serve.  This campaign provides tiered recognition to organizations that demonstrate a systematic commitment to improve care for veterans, using resources to integrate best practices.

By recognizing the unique needs of our nation’s veterans who are facing a life-limiting illness, we are better able to accompany and guide these former service members and their families toward a more peaceful ending,” said VNS Manager Caroline Brackin, RN. “In cases where there might be some specific needs related to a veteran’s military and combat experience, we will find tools to help support them.”

“All hospices are serving veterans but often aren’t aware of that person’s service in the armed forces,” said J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO. “Through We Honor Veterans we are taking a giant step forward in helping hospice and palliative care providers and work more effectively with VA medical facilities in their communities.”

The resources of We Honor Veterans focus on respectful inquiry, compassionate listening, and grateful acknowledgment, coupled with focused education of health care staff caring for veterans.

To learn more about We Honor Veterans or to support this important work via a secure, online donation, please visit

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Surgeon appointed to lead Vascular Services at Franciscan St. Francis Health

INDIANAPOLIS – Charles Kiell, MD, FACS, has been named medical director of Vascular Services at Franciscan St. Francis Health.
 As a renowned vascular surgeon, Kiell comes to Franciscan St. Francis Health and Cardiac Surgery Associates (CSA) from the Hickory Surgical Clinic in North Carolina. He served as vice president of the Hickory Surgical Clinic and medical director of the Vascular Center, Vein and Wound Center and Diabetic Foot Program at Frye Regional Medical Center. 

“With Dr. Kiell’s experience and leadership, our vascular team will streamline patient care and provide a multidisciplinary vascular center of excellence that focuses on outstanding outcomes through innovation, quality, performance and best practices,” said Robert J. Brody, CEO and president of Franciscan St. Francis Health. “We welcome his expertise and leadership. He and our dedicated vascular team will work collaboratively to provide world-class care – and a better quality of life to vascular patients.”

Kiell has performed more than 10,000 complex vascular surgeries during his career. He has expertise in minimally invasive endovascular surgery for the management of aortic aneurysms (including treatment for thoracic aortic aneurysms), lower extremity peripheral arterial disease, carotid disease and venous disease (endovenous laser and radiofrequency ablation).

He also specializes in open surgical interventions for stroke prevention (carotid endarterectomy), aortic aneurysms, limb salvage and dialysis access.

“Dr. Kiell brings more than 20 years of experience as a highly respected surgeon and accomplished health care leader,” said Marc Gerdisch, MD, chief of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center. “With the sophisticated technology available at Franciscan St. Francis Health – integrating Dr. Kiell’s expertise with that of our outstanding cardiologists and interventional radiologists – we provide patients the complete spectrum of care. His skill, vision and commitment to excellence make him an ideal addition to the vascular team.”

Kiell received his medical degree from New Jersey Medical School in 1985. He then completed his residency training in general surgery at Michael Reese Hospital and his fellowship in vascular surgery at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

Throughout his career he has received numerous awards and honors as a leader and innovator in vascular surgery. Kiell was first in western North Carolina to develop an endovascular repair program for abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysms. He has been invited to present his work in various national and regional meetings, including the annual meetings for the American College of Surgeons, Southern Association for Vascular Surgery, Southern Surgical Association and Wake Forest School of Medicine.

He has published a number of articles in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Vascular Surgery, and serves as a reviewer for a number of peer-reviewed journals.

He is board certified in vascular surgery and general surgery. Kiell’s office and the accredited Franciscan St. Francis Health Vascular Laboratory are located at 5255 Stop 11 Road, Suite 200. The phone number is 317-851-2331.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Departing surgeon saluted by hospital peers for stellar patient care

INDIANAPOLIS – Bridget Sanders, MD, is the recipient of the Healing Hands Award for the second quarter of 2013.

Sanders has practiced medicine with the Franciscan Physician Network Kendrick Colon & Rectal Center since 2005 and has been an active member of the Franciscan St. Francis Health medical staff.

One of the nomination forms from a former patient’s daughter, notes that “her compassion and love for her career are obvious. She is an angel.” Qualities like these have made Sanders a respected and valued member of the Franciscan St. Francis medical staff.

Reception of the award is bittersweet for Sanders as she prepares to leave the Indianapolis area. She will be relocating to San Antonio, Texas, later this summer to begin work at Cristus Santa Rosa Hospital. This move offers her the opportunity to spend more time with her son and pursue a degree in law.

The award presentation and reception for Sanders is scheduled 7 a.m., Friday, July 12, in the auditorium at the hospital’s Indianapolis campus.

The Healing Hands Award is presented quarterly to Franciscan St. Francis physicians who demonstrate excellence in clinical skills, patient relations, research, stewardship, and reflection of the hospital’s health care ministry, values and mission.

Franciscan St. Francis Health nurses lauded for extraordinary patient care

INDIANAPOLIS – Nurses bring many qualities when providing care to their patients and families. Sometimes all it takes is a boost of encouragement – or a kind word or compassionate act.

Lindsay Buck and Bonnie Hicks are the latest recipients of the hospital’s DAISY Awards, presented to registered nurses by Franciscan St. Francis Health.

Buck, who at the time was working in the critical care unit at the Indianapolis hospital, was nominated by a co-worker who says Lindsay is the perfect example of an extraordinary nurse.

“Lindsay is always wonderful to work, with but on a particular day she went above and beyond with a patient and for three hours, she stood by the patient’s bedside, painting her nails and toenails, washing and brushing her hair and interacting with her,” the co-worker wrote.

Hicks, who works on the post-surgical unit at the Indianapolis campus, was nominated by a patient and his sister. “It’s easy to see her love of taking care of people,” wrote the sister. “We already know it takes someone special to be a nurse and Bonnie is such a great example of what the DAISY award represents.”

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

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Major changes in store for obstetrics, pediatrics units at Indianapolis campus

Franciscan St. Francis Health unveils $36.5 million renovation project

INDIANAPOLIS – Already a recognized leader in labor and delivery and caring for high-risk infants, Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis is poised for a massive upgrade of its Women & Children’s Services (WCS) facilities.

The work gets under way mid-July and involves a significant remodeling of both obstetric and pediatric patient rooms. The hospital’s highly touted Level lll neonatal intensive care unit – the only unit of its kind on Indianapolis’ south side – will gain additional private rooms with more family-friendly space.

After entering the first-floor lobby, visitors also will have easy access
 to a variety of services and amenities. 
The 100,000-square-foot project encompasses the first through fourth floors of the Indianapolis hospital campus, located at 8111 S. Emerson Ave. Upon completion, guests will enjoy a host of positive changes, starting with a new and welcoming main entrance and lobby. Those looking for a refreshing break during their hospital visit can sip their favorite brew at a high-end coffee shop and browse through a retail shop.

When the work is completed (projected early 2015), patients and their families will be greeted by  escorts and helpful patient convenience items. After entering the first-floor lobby, visitors also will have easy access to Women’s Health Services offices, massage therapy, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Pelvic Health Services and an Outpatient Lactation Consultation Clinic.

“We are excited to embark on these enhancements and are responding to the expectations of patients and their families,” said Keith Jewell, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Our focus always has been on family-centered care, and the modern design of the new facilities reflects this well, with larger rooms, beautiful decor and many other thoughtful amenities.”

More than 45,000 babies have been born at the Indianapolis hospital since 1995, when obstetric and pediatric services were consolidated at that campus.  An average of 2,400 infants are delivered annually at the facility. 

“Throughout life, women have many questions about how best to manage their health and that of their families, particularly when they are expecting the birth of a child,” said WCS Director Lori Warner. “We offer a full range of women's health care services, from yearly checkup and prenatal care to specialized gynecologic care. Our clinical staff are respected experts in all areas of women’s health.”

More of what moms and their families will find when the renovation is completed:
  •  7 triage rooms and an infusion area for newly admitted patients (2nd floor)
  • 12 expanded labor and delivery rooms (2nd floor)
  •   8 large antepartum suites with in-room refrigerators (2nd floor)
  •  2 operating room suites for caesarean procedures (2nd floor)
  • 36 postpartum suites and a nursery (3rd floor)
  • 24 private neonatal intensive care rooms (4th floor)
  • 10  “kid-friendly” pediatric rooms  (4th floor)

Construction is being handled by HGA in coordination with Tonn & Blank.