News Center

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Franciscan St. Francis to open Immediate Care at Castle Key Plaza

INDIANAPOLIS – Residents on Indianapolis’ far north side will continue to have a solid health care option with the Nov. 22 opening of Franciscan Immediate Care-Castle Key Plaza.

Located at 4257 E. 82nd St., the opening of this new facility is a relocation of services previously offered at Franciscan Immediate Care-Nora on E. 86th St., which closes Nov. 21.

Castle Key Plaza offers services 365 days a year from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. 

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

“Immediate Care offers accessible, economical medical care to patients, particularly for those with minor injuries and illnesses who don’t require a visit to a hospital emergency room,” said Robert J. Brody, president and chief executive officer for Franciscan St. Francis Health, which acquired Immediate Care operations in the Indianapolis area in late 2010.

In addition to its new location, Immediate Care operates facilities at 1001 N. Madison Ave. (Greenwood), 650 N. Girls School Road (Chapel Hill) and 5210 E. Thompson Road (Beech Grove) and 14641 U.S. 31 North (Carmel).

Launched in 1981 by the Bloomington, Ind.-based Unity Physician Group, Franciscan Immediate Care centers collectively see about 100,000 patients each year. Each facility is always staffed by at least one physician and a highly trained staff committed to service excellence.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mooresville surgeons offer free joint replacements to patients in need

MOORESVILLE, Ind. —Three patients will receive free total joint replacement surgery beginning Dec. 3 during an Operation Walk USA-sponsored program at the Center for Hip and Knee Surgery, located on the campus of Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville.


These patients — from Mooresville, Martinsville and Solsberry, Ind. — meet Franciscan St. Francis Health’s criteria for financial assistance and joint replacement surgery.

Center surgeons are donating the surgery, and the Mooresville hospital and staff are contributing the rest of the services, and implant manufacturer Biomet of Warsaw, Ind., is donating the implants.

Michael Berend, M.D., will be doing two knee replacements for the Mooresville patient. The first surgery will occur on Dec. 6. Philip Faris, M.D., will perform a single hip replacement on Dec. 3 for the Martinsville patient. Robert Malinzak, M.D., will perform a single hip replacement for the Solsberry patient on Dec. 5.

The Center has consistently been ranked among the top joint replacement facilities in the country using Medicare data and quality measures such as complication and infection rates. For five years straight, Mooresville hospital has been honored with Healthgrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award and ranked among the top 5 percent in the Nation for Outstanding Patient Experience.

Operation Walk USA, an independent medical charitable organization, provides all aspects of knee and hip replacement treatment — surgery, hospitalization and pre- and post-operative care — at no cost to patients who may not qualify for government assistance, have insurance or afford surgery on their own.

While more than 1 million hip and knee replacements are performed in the U.S. each year, countless men and women continue to live with severe arthritic pain and immobility because they cannot afford joint replacement surgery.

Operation Walk USA is an offshoot of Operation Walk, which provides free surgical treatment for patients in developing countries.

Established in 2000 by Merrill Ritter, MD, who also founded the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery, Operation Walk Mooresville also educates in-country orthopedic surgeons, nurses, physical therapists and other health care professionals on the most advanced treatments and surgical techniques for diseases of the hip and knee joints.

Through donations of time, money and supplies, Operation Walk Mooresville has been able to touch the lives of countless citizens in several countries, including Cuba, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
Most recently, Operation Walk Mooresville traveled to Managua, Nicaragua, from Feb. 24 to March 2. 

The group performed 99 surgeries for 69 patients, including 81 joint replacements and 18 foot and ankle surgeries.

A team of 74 volunteers, 12 from Franciscan St. Francis Health–Mooresville, included surgeons, nurses, physical therapists and many others. The team brought the necessary equipment and donated supplies along with the expertise of the Operation Walk Mooresville group. 

Each trip costs approximately $165,000 for transportation, cargo, shipping, medical supplies, medications, room and board.

“Each year these costs increase,” said Amy Robertson, R.N., team coordinator for Operation Walk in Mooresville. “Without the help from Franciscan St. Francis Health–Mooresville and the Kendrick Foundation, these trips would not be possible.”

For more information about Operation Walk or to contribute the effort, visit

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Statement regarding hospital visitation policy

Franciscan St. Francis Health has as part of its mission to provide the compassionate care and respect of our patients, their families and visitors. As such, our visitation policy applies equally to all people regardless of their orientation.   

It is unfortunate that the current situation has been reported inaccurately in the news media and throughout social media.  Contrary to the reports and social media comments, the significant other of the patient has been granted visitation with the patient regularly since her admission to Franciscan St. Francis.  In addition, the significant other has been provided updates regarding the health status of the patient.  We will continue to provide such access and updates as is our policy. 

Our hospital has worked diligently and sensitively to meet the needs of both the family and the significant other, while at the same time caring for the best interest of the patient.   All are an integral part of the healing process for the patient and Franciscan St. Francis will continue to work with both parties to ensure appropriate care to the patient.  

State and federal laws prohibit us from commenting directly on the patient’s condition, prognosis or related details.  During this difficult time, the family asks that their privacy be respected by the news media and the public.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Director appointed to head hospital’s outreach services program to elderly

INDIANAPOLIS – Susan Waschevski has been appointed director of PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) at Franciscan St. Francis Health.

She most recently was deputy director of home and community based services with the State of Indiana Division of Aging. Prior to that, Susan was a program manager for CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions. 

In her role as PACE director, she oversees a comprehensive medical and social services program provided to participating members in their home. PACE is supported by an interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, other health professionals and transportation providers.

A resident of Indianapolis, Waschevski received a bachelor of arts in sociology from Monmouth College in Illinois.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Wound care expert joins new Franciscan Physician Network practice

INDIANAPOLIS – Monica L. Joyner, MD, has been appointed medical director for Wound Care Specialists, a practice recently established by Franciscan Physician Network.

She has been affiliated with the Franciscan St. Francis Health Wound Care Institute as physician of hyperbaric medicine since 2008. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a medical approach using a pressure chamber to enhance and speed the healing of wounds and other conditions.

A Fellow and certified by the Academy of Physicians in Wound Healing and the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, Dr. Joyner previously served as executive director and director of education for the Indianapolis-based MedTech College, where she also held various faculty positions. Prior to that, she was in private practice as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon.

Dr. Joyner received her undergraduate degree in psychobiology from Yale University and earned her medical degree at the Indiana University School of Medicine, where she completed a residency in general surgery. She also completed a plastic surgery at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

She is a member of the American Medical Association, Indiana State Medical Association, Aesculapian Medical Society (Indianapolis), National Medical Association, Health Volunteers Overseas (USA), Association for the Advancement of Wound Care and American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery.

Led by Central Indiana Region President Isaac J. Myers II, MD, Franciscan Physician Network is a multidisciplinary group of physicians throughout central Indiana. These physicians offer a variety of primary care and specialty care services and all practice at Franciscan St. Francis Health.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Free lung scans offered to military vets at Franciscan St. Francis in November

Countless veterans serving in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam
 War were exposed to the potent herbicide, Agent Orange, which
has been linked to many deadly maladies, including lung cancer.
INDIANAPOLIS – No one better than a military veteran understands the potentially grim consequences of going into harm’s way. And sometimes those dangers do not manifest until long after he or she trades in their uniform for civilian clothes.

This November, in honor of American veterans and in observance of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Franciscan St. Francis Health is offering free lung scans to at-risk veterans all month long.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death nationally and causes more deaths than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined.  Veterans have a 25-50 percent higher risk of lung cancer than civilian populations due to higher smoking rates and exposure to known carcinogens during active duty, such as Agent Orange, asbestos and battlefield combustibles.

According to the Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA), currently 32.2 percent of active duty military personnel smoke versus 19.8 percent of adults in the civilian population and 22 percent of veterans.

 “As a lung cancer screening center, we believe it’s important that we provide safe screenings to at-risk populations,” said Nadeem Ikhlaque, MD, lung cancer program medical director at Franciscan St. Francis Cancer Center. “Risk assessment and early detection of lung cancer are especially crucial for veterans as they have a significantly higher risk of the disease than the civilian population.”

While lung cancer may take decades to develop, symptoms do not usually occur until the cancer has progressed into late stages where survival rates are diminished. Screening those at high risk with low-dose CT scans can identify lung cancer at an early and most curable stage even before symptoms occur.

Franciscan St. Francis Health is among 14 medical centers nationally – and the only hospital in Indiana – to participate in the free screenings initiative, which is spearheaded by LCA and the Vietnam Veterans of America.

To qualify for the free screening, you must be between the ages of 55 and 75, a long-time smoker and veteran of U.S. armed forces. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 1-877-888-1777.

“Screening for lung cancer using low-dose radiation CT scans has the potential to save thousands of lives,” said Ikhlaque. “We encourage all veterans to learn more about their risk and to consider a lung screening.”