News Center

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Franciscan St. Francis Health kicks off 2013 blood drives with ‘I Pledge’ campaign

INDIANAPOLIS -- With 33 blood donors for the Indiana Blood Center, December’s Franciscan St. Francis Health blood drive was the largest to date.

As the drive began at 8 a.m., Senior Finance Specialist Kelley Foster was one of the first in line. Although Foster has been a blood donor for 16 years, this time her donation was special - she was celebrating being one-year cancer-free.

In November 2011, Foster experienced extensive pain similar to a severe bladder infection or a kidney stone. A CT scan of Foster’s kidneys revealed not only kidney stones, but a grapefruit-sized cancerous tumor as well.

 “I have a tremendous amount of faith,” she said. “I knew God would get me through this experience.”

Within a month, Foster underwent surgery at Franciscan St. Francis Health in the former Beech Grove hospital. The surgery was successful and the tumor was fully removed. Since the cancer had not spread, there was no need for chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

But Foster, an avid blood donor, did get a piece of news she hadn’t planned on: individuals with cancer cannot donate blood until they have been cancer-free or treatment-free for a full year.

“When they told me I couldn’t give blood, it really bothered me,” she said.

Foster had learned through her many years of donations that her A negative blood type is rare. According to the Indiana Blood Center, only 6 percent of the population has A negative blood. Blood is categorized in four main groups: A, B, AB, and O. The groups are based on the presence or absence of A and B antigens, which help produce antibodies that fight bacteria and viruses. Each blood type is also called “positive” or “negative” depending on whether or not the blood contains another antigen called Rh.

Foster remained healthy during the rest of 2012. When she heard about the December blood drive occurring on the first day she was eligible to donate again, she was thrilled and signed up for the first time slot.

“Emotionally, cancer makes you a completely different person,” she said. “You have to find ways to give back. Giving blood is one way to do it. Consider it your small way of paying forward all you have been blessed with.”

Foster plans to donate blood at every opportunity, and she’ll be the first to sign up for the “I Pledge” campaign for the Indiana Blood Center. In 2013, Franciscan St. Francis Health employees have the opportunity to make a difference by pledging to donate blood at least once during a 2013 hospital drive.

“I pledge to raise my sleeve in 2013 because I am grateful for my life, and I want to extend that gift to others,” she said.

Employees interested in pledging can do so during “I Pledge Week” February 4 to 10. Individuals who pledge in person will receive a free pen and a pledge reminder card, and everyone who pledges will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card. The I Pledge booth will be available on the following dates and times:

Feb. 4:   7 to 9 a.m., Indianapolis Campus outside the Terrace Café
Feb. 5:   11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Indianapolis Campus outside the Terrace Café
Feb. 6:   11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Education and Support Services Center Breakroom
Feb. 7:   11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Indianapolis Campus outside the Terrace Café
Feb. 7:   1 to 5 p.m., Mooresville Campus in the Swisher Conference Center
Online Pledges Feb 4-10: Email with the subject line “I Pledge” and include your phone number and campus (please note online pledges will not receive a pen)

Eight blood drives will be held throughout 2013 at the Indianapolis and Mooresville campus, as well as at the Education and Support Services Center. For dates and times, please check Morning Messenger and CROSS. Everyone is welcome to donate at any blood drive, regardless of if they made a pledge to donate. 

More information is available by contacting Sarah Richardson, marketing and community relations specialist, at or (317) 528-7980. 

Indianapolis Public Library: ‘The Unbelievable True Story of Regrowing The Heart’

Feb. 9 event focuses on acclaimed work of St. Francis Health cardiovascular surgeon

INDIANAPOLIS – Some patients are finding new life in surgical procedures using innovative biomaterial technology that combines the innate attributes of nature with the precision of science to help patients’ regrow their own heart tissue.

That innovation, which was pioneered at Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center by Marc W. Gerdisch, MD, is the focus of The Indianapolis Public Library’s latest installment of its Lilly Scientist in Residence Series Winter 2013. The series – which gears its presentations to youngsters, teens and families – features scientists from local health institutions who share their expertise and real-life experiences in these highly visual and interactive demonstration.

Gerdisch, is the chief of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at the St. Francis Heart Center, a partner of Cardiac Surgery Associates and the surgical director of the Heart Valve Center and Atrial Fibrillation Center at Franciscan St. Francis Health.  He is an independent physician who chooses to practice at Franciscan St. Francis Health, and has presented nationally and internationally on new technology in cardiac surgery and surgical treatment of heart disease.

The event gets under way at 2 p.m. in Clowes Auditorium at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair St. Also on the program is Guy Hansen, Lilly Scientist in Residence, whose presentation will parallel Gerdisch’s discussion.

To register or for more information about the Feb. 9 program or any of the Lilly Scientist in Residence series call 317-275-4222.

Complementing these special programs are ongoing Science Odyssey activities for young people in Central Library’s Learning Curve through May 2013. Fun brain-building activities known as “The Human Body Puzzle,” sponsored by the IOPO Foundation, will use laptops, webcams, drawing tablets, books and more to explore the human body and will be led by Learning Curve Activity Guides.

Programs are  presented each weekend with Saturday programs from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Sunday activities from 1 – 4 p.m. In addition, a unique exhibit in the Learning Curve’s Program Wall will feature the latest innovations in the treatment of heart disease at Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Acclaimed DWTS choreographer gets footloose for Day of Dance

INDIANAPOLIS – Chelsie Hightower has helped numerous celebrity guests get in step on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars competition for more than five years. Now she’s bringing her expertise here for the 10th annual Spirit of Women Day of Dance.

The event, sponsored by Franciscan St. Francis Health, gets under way at 9 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, inside the Farm Bureau Building at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1202 E. 38th St. The event, which continues through mid-afternoon, is for women of all ages, offering dancing and other aerobic activities which may help prevent heart disease.

Hightower, who will host the event, has traded steps with a stream of, athletes and other well-known stars in her role as a partner/choreographer on Dancing with the Stars. She also was paired with Helio Castroneves – three time winner of the Indianapolis 500 – as they won top honors to cap the show’s fifth season.

The fleet-footed choreographer’s career blossomed nationally in 2008, when she became a fan favorite on the So You Think You Can Dance television reality series.

Among those joining Hightower to lead activities at the Day of Dance are the Indiana Pacemates, cheer squad for the NBA’s Indiana Pacers.

Refreshments will be provided, and participants are eligible to receive raffle prizes

Admission to Day of Dance is free, but advanced registration is strongly encouraged as the number of participants will be limited to 550.

To register, call 317-782-4422, or go to
To learn more about the Spirit of Women at Franciscan St. Francis Health, visit

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Janice Bilby, M.D., family doctor, establishes south Indianapolis practice with Franciscan Physician Network

INDIANAPOLIS – Janice Bilby, MD, has joined Franciscan Physician Network Greenwood Parke Family Medicine and is accepting new patients.

She has been in medical practice for more than 25 years.

Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine, Bilby received her undergraduate degree in biology at Ball State University, where she was an honors student. She earned her medical degree at the Indiana University School of Medicine, and completed an internship and residency training at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

Bilby, a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, resides in Indianapolis.

Greenwood Parke Family Medicine is located at 8920 Southpointe Dr., Suite E-1, in Indianapolis. For appointments and other information, call 317-882-0535. Get directions.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Franciscan Alliance and Cigna join in collaborative Accountable Care Organization

INDIANAPOLIS -- Franciscan Alliance and Cigna (NYSE: CI) have launched an accountable care initiative aimed at improving the quality of care for Cigna customers in the Indianapolis area. The collaboration will focus on providing coordinated, cost-efficient health care to improve the overall health status of the Cigna population in Central Indiana.

The Franciscan Alliance Accountable Care Organization includes over 600 local physicians and five Immediate Care Centers located throughout the Indianapolis area, as well as Franciscan St. Francis Health hospitals in Indianapolis, Mooresville, and Carmel.

“As a leader in integrated care, forming this collaborative accountable care initiative with Cigna is a logical next step for us in bringing coordinated care to patients in Indianapolis,” said Robert J. Brody, president and chief executive officer for Franciscan St. Francis Health. “Bringing together the clinical expertise and information sources from both our organizations will help us to provide patients with more seamless care, resulting in better outcomes.” 

To achieve enhanced care coordination, healthier people, and lower overall costs for patients, the collaboration will focus on identifying and implementing long-term strategies aimed at ensuring health care remains accessible and affordable for Cigna customers in Indianapolis. 
Franciscan Alliance and Cigna will work together, sharing clinical and care management information to provide coordinated, comprehensive health care services. Each organization will have aligned incentives to improve health care quality and patient service while reducing costs.

“This new model stresses the value of care over the volume of care and means both our organizations will work in collaboration to improve the health and the experience of our mutual customers," said Sue Podbielski, president and general manager for Cigna in Indiana. "Together our goal is to change a fragmented health care system that focuses on treating people after they are already sick into a system that emphasizes coordination, prevention and wellness."  

The long-term goal of the initiative, which launched January 1, is to build a delivery model that improves quality through better coordination of care, while taking unnecessary or duplicative costs out of the health care system, reducing costs for Cigna customers and their employers.
Critical to the program’s success are complex case managers employed by Franciscan Alliance who will become part of the physician-led care team and serve as clinical care coordinators.  They help patients with chronic conditions or other health challenges navigate the health care system. 

For example, they identify patients discharged from the hospital who might be at risk for readmission, help patients get the follow-up care or screenings they need, identify any issues related to medications and help prevent chronic conditions from worsening. 

The care coordinators use patient-specific data from Cigna to help them identify patients in need of these services and are aligned to a team of Cigna case managers to ensure a high degree of collaboration between the two organizations.  Care coordinators can also help patients schedule appointments, provide health education and refer patients to the Cigna health management and wellness programs that may be available to them through their employer’s benefit plan.

Cigna is now engaged in more than 50 collaborative accountable care initiatives in 22 states, encompassing nearly 510,000 Cigna customers and more than 14,000 doctors, including more than 6,500 primary care physicians and more than 7,500 specialists. Cigna launched its first collaborative accountable care program in 2008 and its goal is to have 100 of them in place with one million customers by the end of 2014.

About Franciscan St. Francis Health
With hospitals in Indianapolis, Mooresville and Carmel, Franciscan St. Francis Health is a member of the Franciscan Alliance, one of the largest Catholic health care systems in the Midwest with 13 hospitals throughout Indiana and Illinois. The Franciscan Alliance serves a geographic area with a population of 3.7 million people, provides care for more than 2.9 million outpatient visits and completes more than 100,000 inpatient discharges every year. To learn more about Franciscan Alliance go to

About Cigna 
Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has approximately 75 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit

St. Francis Health salutes pulmonologist for outstanding patient care

Dr. Imad Shawa (l) is presented with the Healing Hands
Award by Dr. Christopher "Topper" Doehring, vice president
of medical affairs.

INDIANAPOLIS  – Imad Shawa, MD, a member of Indiana Internal Medicine Consultants (IIMC) is the recipient of the Healing Hands Award, presented by Franciscan St. Francis Health.

With his colleagues, staff and others looking on, Shawa received the award today (Jan. 28) at Franciscan St. Francis Health’s south-side hospital. IIMC has an exclusive services provider agreement with Franciscan St. Francis.

Nominated for the award by a family member of a former hospital patient, Shawa was commended highly for his clinical expertise and the depth of compassion he brings bedside.

“The gift he has with his patients is not taught in medical school,” the family member wrote. He is the best example of all that St. Francis represents.”

Board-certified in pulmonary, critical care, internal medicine and sleep medicine, Shawa serves as medical director of the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.

Shawa is joined by intensive and critical care nurses after the presentation.
He also several key leadership appointments with Franciscan St. Francis. He chairs the Internal Medicine Department; is vice chair of the Medicine Department; and is medical director of Critical Care Services and Pulmonary Services.

Before joining IIMC, he was deputy director of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Environmental Medicine at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. He held appointments at the Harry S Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital, Moberly Regional Medical Center.

Shawa has amassed numerous awards throughout his career. He’s the recipient of the Edward N. Micon Teaching Award for Excellence in Instruction Quality Education at Franciscan St. Francis and received various academic accolades at the University of Missouri.  He holds memberships in the American College of Chest Physicians, American Thoracic Society, American Medical Association, American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Syrian Medical Association.

He earned his medical degree at the Damascus University School of Medicine and completed an internal medicine internship and residency at St. Barnabas Hospital in affiliation with Cornell Medical Center in New York City. He later completed a sleep medicine residency and fellowship at the University of Missouri.

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

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Grieving youth learn coping skills through Franciscan St. Francis Hospice program

INDIANAPOLIS – Death is a part of the life cycle, and it’s especially difficult for children to grasp and make sense out of it, particularly when they lose a loved one.

That’s why Franciscan St. Francis Hospice offers Caterpillar Kids, a support program that offers learning experiences for children ages 5 to 12.

“Children do grieve and they may express it differently than adults, but their feelings are as genuine and essential in healing,” said spiritual bereavement counselor Karla Riggs Norton. “Caterpillar Kids brings children together in a safe, nurturing environment where they receive information about grief and learn healthy ways to cope with the death of a loved one.”

St. Francis Hospice will offer its spring Caterpillar Kids program Wednesdays, April 10, 17, 24, and May 1, 8 and 15. The free workshops meet from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Meetings are at Christ United Methodist Church, 8540 U.S. 31 South, one mile north of Greenwood Park Mall.

Led by staff trained in bereavement support for children, youngsters participate in storytelling, art projects, games and other sharing opportunities. Parents also are invited to participate in a concurrent session to assist them in supporting their children.

Registration is required. To register or for more information about Caterpillar Kids, call 317-528-2092 or 800-390-9915.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Flu surge spurs temporary visitation policy at hospitals Jan. 18

INDIANAPOLIS – With the escalation of flu-related cases being reported at hospitals and other medical offices throughout central Indiana, Franciscan St. Francis Health has been working closely with the Marion County Health Department and Indianapolis Coalition for Patient Safety.

To lower the risk of exposure to our patients, employees and visitors, Franciscan St. Francis and other Indianapolis-area hospitals will implement a temporary visitation policy and take other proactive measures at our hospitals at Indianapolis, Mooresville and Carmel.

Based upon recommendation and effective  Friday, Jan. 18:

  • No visitors with influenza-like illness or condition (fever or cough) will be allowed.
  • No visitors under the age of 18 will be allowed unless special arrangements are made. This will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Visitors will be limited to immediate family members, partners or “significant others,” or as determined on a case-by-case basis.

Franciscan St. Francis will be taking additional measures, including the placing of signage and additional face masks near major entrances and evaluating the potential need for “Well Check” stations located near these access points.

Further updates on the visitation policy may be forthcoming. We appreciate the public’s understanding and cooperation with this temporary measure. And we thank you for your ongoing support to ensure the health of our patients, visitors and employees.

Robert J. Brody
President and Chief Executive Officer
Franciscan St. Francis Health

Long-time dermatologist establishes practice with Franciscan Physician Network

INDIANAPOLIS – Nahid Shahrooz, MD, has joined the newly established Franciscan Physician Network Dermatology Specialists.

Formerly associated with Shahrooz Dermatology and the Indianapolis Institute for Plastic Surgery, she specializes in the surgical removal of skin tumors, cancers and precancerous lesions.

Shahrooz, who is certified by the American Board of Dermatology and a Diploma in Dermatology from the University of London, St. John’s Hospital, has a long affiliation and serving patients at Franciscan St. Francis Health.

She earned her medical degree at Mashad Medical School in Iran; completed internal medicine and dermatology residencies at King’s College Hospital and St. John’s Hospital, the latter of which she completed a fellowship in dermatology.

Shahrooz has conducted extensive research in her practice specialty. She holds memberships in the American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, American Medical Association, Indiana State Medical Association and the Marion County Medical Society.

Dermatology Specialists is located at 8051 S. Emerson Ave., Suite 460 on the Franciscan St. Francis-Indianapolis campus. To learn more or to make an appointment, call 317-859-3267.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Report: Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis among nation’s top hospitals

INDIANAPOLIS – Franciscan St. Francis Health - Indianapolis has been named among the top 5 percent of nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide for its clinical performance as measured by Healthgrades, a leading provider of comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. 

By achieving this high level of performance, Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis has received Healthgrades’ prestigious Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence.
The 262 hospitals named this year achieved their status by providing overall clinical excellence across a broad range of clinical procedures and conditions measured by Healthgrades for both risk-adjusted mortality and complication rates during and after a hospital stay. Nationally, if all hospitals performed at this level from 2009 through 2011 a total of 164,414 deaths could have potentially been prevented.
“We are proud and gratified by this recognition, particularly because it accurately reflects our very high level of performance across a number of departments and specialties. This is a testament of our extremely talented medical staff and other exceptional nurses and clinicians, who always strive to provide the best, highest quality care for all patients,” said Robert J. Brody, president and chief executive officer for Franciscan St. Francis Health.
To be considered for Healthgrades’ Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence, a hospital had to have been evaluated in a minimum of 19 of the 27 procedures and condition cohorts measured, drawn from Medicare inpatient records data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) database.
The previously released American Hospital Quality Outcomes 2013: Healthgrades Report to the Nation highlighted that significant variation in outcomes could exist within a region when looking at risk adjusted mortality and complication rates.

For example, out of the eight hospitals in Indianapolis evaluated for treatment of sepsis, there was a wide variation in hospital performance as measured by risk adjusted mortality rates (from 8.9 percent on the low end to 18.3 percent on the high end). Franciscan St. Francis is among the hospitals with the lowest risk-adjusted mortality rates providing patients in the city of Indianapolis with some of the best possible quality care.

“Our analysis, unlike other hospital quality ratings or grades, is based solely on clinical outcomes data. We do not include any opinion surveys of doctors or patients, or any other subjective measures because they can lack in objectivity,” said Evan Marks, executive vice president of Informatics and Strategy. “Healthgrades is also the only site that provides the ability to link the selection of a doctor to the hospital where they practice, giving the consumer the power to differentiate the likelihood of a better health outcome on the basis of the hospitals objective quality measures, such as mortality, complications, safety and patient satisfaction

About Franciscan St. Francis Health
With hospitals in Indianapolis, Mooresville and Carmel, Franciscan St. Francis Health is a member of the Franciscan Alliance, one of the largest Catholic health care systems in the Midwest, with 13 hospitals throughout Indiana and Illinois. The Franciscan Alliance serves a geographic area with a population of 3.7 million people, provides care for more than 2.9 million outpatient visits and completes more than 100,000 inpatient discharges every year. To learn more about Franciscan Alliance go to

About Healthgrades
Healthgrades, headquartered in Denver, Colorado, is a leading provider of comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. More than 200 million consumers use the Healthgrades websites to select and communicate with physicians and hospitals that best meet their treatment needs.  Consumers are empowered through use of the Healthgrades proprietary information about clinical outcomes, satisfaction, safety, and health conditions to make more informed healthcare decisions and take action.  For more information please visit and

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Greenwood mayor lauds St. Francis Health move to education, support center

GREENWOOD, Ind. – The newly renovated Franciscan St. Francis Health Education and Support Services Center (ESSC) is welcome addition and economic boon to this community and surrounding area.

Father John Mannion blesses the ESSC with the sprinkling
of Holy Water as he walks throughout the facility
So says Greenwood Mayor Mark W. Myers, who was among the invited guests attending the Jan. 7 blessing and dedication of the 135,000-square-foot property at 421 N. Emerson Ave. More than 200 hospital leaders, staff and local business and civic leaders were on hand for the event.

“St. Francis’ decision to locate its education and administrative services and to significantly invest in the renovation of this facility is a boost and brings new vitality to our community,” said Myers. “We welcome you.”

Located two miles south of Franciscan St. Francis-Indianapolis hospital, ESSC long had been emptied when the former Alpine Electronics shut its doors in 2006 and shipped its operations to Mexico. That facility remained mothballed until late 2011, when hospital officials announced the acquisition of the sprawling property and unveiled plans for its $14 million renovation.

“As we continue to grow along the Interstate 65 corridor and work with Mayor Myers and others locally, we are happy to be part of a rebirth in eastern Greenwood,” said Robert J. Brody, president and chief executive officer for Franciscan St. Francis. “We hope this new center will continue to strengthen this section of the city and spark other businesses in the area for generations to come.”

Hospital Chief Operating Officer Keith Jewell led the renovation planning and design phases and John Ross,former vice president of human resources and consultant, managed project coordination.   

“We’ve always felt like we’re part of the county, because our campus is so close to the county line, but now we’re actually part of this community,” Jewell has said.

With Education Services leading the way, more than 250 employees from several hospital departments began migrating to the facility late last fall, including: Community Relations and Marketing, Coding, Revenue Management, Business Transformation, Health Information Management, Finance, Central Patient Access, Hospice, Home Health, Central Scheduling, Surgery Chargers/Schedulers, Printing/Distribution Center, Franciscan Alliance Information Services, and private offices.

Additionally, about 100 students daily visit ESSC for classes and hands-on clinical training.

As with the grand openings of all hospital facilities and centers, the property was formerly blessed by the spiritual care staff. Father John Mannion was joined by Sister Jane Marie Klein, chairperson of the Board of Trustees for Franciscan Alliance, and Sister Marlene Shapley, vice president of mission, for the dedication of ESSC. 

Sr. Jane Marie Klein (l) , chairperson of Franciscan Alliance's Board of Directors
  and  Sister Petra  Nielsen chat with  an ESSC director following the blessing ceremonies.
CEO Bob Brody and Mayor Mark Myers agree the
 newly renovated property will spur economic growth in Greenwood. 

COO Keith Jewell leads a tour for the senior administrative staff.

An estimated 200 hospital participated in dedication ceremonies.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville welcomes first baby of 2013

MOORESVILLE, Ind. –The clock struck 1:03 p.m. on Jan. 6 – and Jaya became the first baby born in 2013 at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville.
Jaya weighed in at 6 pounds and 15 ounces, and measured 20 inches long. She is the daughter of Tabatha Nuckols of Mooresville.

In 2012, 191 babies were born at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville.

Each time a child is born at the hospital, Brahms Lullaby
chimes throughout the hospital via the public address system.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Franciscan St. Francis Health nurses lauded for going extra mile for their patients

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

Registered nurses Morgan Schafer and Lindsay Epps have been named the December 2012 recipients of the hospital’s DAISY Awards.

The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses is a national program that honors the compassionate care and clinical excellence. Franciscan St. Francis localized the program in 2010 to recognize its nurses for their achievements.

Morgan Schafer
Schafer, a nurse in the post-surgical care unit at Franciscan St. Francis-Indianapolis, was nominated for her compassionate caring way with a patient. “Morgan is by far the best nurse I have ever had. She is the most caring and loving nurse I have ever encountered,” wrote the patient. “She has been my life-saver and has made my stay one to remember.”

Epps, an adult intensive care unit nurse at the Indianapolis hospital, was nominated by a co-worker. “Lindsay made a dying wish come true for a patient. Lindsay’s good compassionate heart showed above and beyond what is expected out of a bedside nurse,” wrote the nurse who nominated her. “Her joy to make her patient happy was overwhelming compassion.”

The DAISY Award was established by the DAISY Foundation in memory of J. Patrick Barnes who died at 33 an auto-immune disease. His family was so impressed by the clinical skills, caring and compassion of the nurses who cared for him that they created this national award to say “thank you” to nurses everywhere. For more information, go to

To learn more about nursing careers and programs at Franciscan St. Francis, go to

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis welcomes first baby of 2013

INDIANAPOLIS –The clock struck 7:23 a.m., Jan. 1 – and Elliana Michelle  became the first baby born in 2013 at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis.

Elliana weighed in at 7  pounds and 6 ounces, and measured 21 inches long. She is the daughter of Rachel Penrod of Indianapolis.

In 2012, more than 2,400 babies were born at the Indianapolis hospital. More than 41,000 infants have been delivered there since 1995, when the Women and Children’s Services program was consolidated with the hospital’s south-side campus at 8111 S. Emerson Ave.

Families of the first New Year Day baby born at Franciscan St. Francis Health receive a large gift basket of items for the infant.

Each time a child is born at the hospital, Jesus Loves Me chimes throughout the hospital via the public address system.