News Center

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Robot, live streaming bring off-site stroke experts to patients’ bedside

Franciscan St. Francis Health uses TeleStroke as a rapid response resource

INDIANAPOLIS – When a stroke occurs, time is critical in making an accurate diagnosis and rapid treatment plan. And for good reason: Brain cells deteriorate quickly, leaving a patient with permanent brain damage.

Franciscan St. Francis Health now has a new weapon in its arsenal to combat the effects of stroke. It’s InTouch® Telestroke, and it enables the hospital’s neuroscientists to offer immediate and around-the-clock consultations when patients present with stroke conditions.

“TeleStroke extends our hospital’s services to outlying hospitals to serve the unmet needs of surrounding communities,” said David A. Glander, MD, a neurologist who practices at Franciscan St. Francis Health and is a member of JWM Neurology. “It also improves access to specialists and the treatment of stroke patients, all leading to improved outcomes and reducing the incidence of long-term disability.”

TeleStroke is a mobile communications platform that enables a stroke patient and emergency room staff to consult with a neurologist via the robot’s video monitor. It uses live Web video streaming to allow the neurologist to remotely review the patient’s information and examine and talk with the patient, family members and clinicians to determine a treatment plan at the patient’s bedside.

Using a laptop or tablet such as an iPad, the neurologist can adjust the robot’s camera and check a patient’s pupils and listen to their heart and lungs through a stethoscope mounted on the robot.

The neurologist and the on-site team both can access and update the patient’s electronic medical record. After the diagnosis is made, the neurologist makes a recommendation, and the emergency room doctor and team can begin treatment.

In a recent demonstration, Franciscan St. Francis Health recently unveiled its TeleStroke program and connection between its Indianapolis and Mooresville hospitals, the latter of which is an outlying facility in Morgan County.

“This technology enables me and my colleagues to concentrate on our patients without delay,” Dr. Glander said. “We also plan to look at ways we can share our program and TeleStroke capabilities in partnership with hospitals in need of such services.”

Franciscan St. Francis Health’s neurology teams recently received the Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Silver-Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients.

To view how TeleStroke works, watch this VIDEO.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Franciscan St. Francis Health unveils expanded unit for high-risk babies

INDIANAPOLIS – A new and larger neonatal intensive care unit has been reborn at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis.

The new unit – the only Level III NICU in south-central Indiana – recently moved to a new location within the hospital, marking the first phase of a $37 million expansion project of the Women & Children’s Center.

“Sometimes, unexpected situations and extra care is necessary for newborns even in the healthiest of pregnancies,” said Lori Warner, director of Women & Children’s Services.  “Our NICU is for babies who need special medical attention after they are born, and sometimes, may have to stay a few days longer after their mother is discharged. We provide the latest technology in monitoring with an entire staff specially trained in caring for high-risk infants.”

The revamped NICU has 24 private rooms, each having a couch which easily can be converted into a bed. A nearby private lounge offers shower/bath facilities and refreshments for parents.

“We offer a unique service to increase parents’ confidence and ease the transition from the hospital to home,” said Warner. “Near the end of the infant’s stay, parents and their infants may room-in together and can learn confidently how to care for their baby after discharge from our round-the-clock nursing staff.”

When parents are away from the hospital, they can use remote monitoring, via their computers and mobile devices, to watch their babies.

The unit is entirely family-focused. “Virtual Visitation” allows siblings, out-of-town relatives and friends the opportunity to be introduced to the baby by parents.

Led by medical director Paul D. Winchester, MD, the NICU team has developed a robust program in caring for the sickest and most high-risk infants at the Franciscan St. Francis’ Indianapolis and Mooresville campuses.

Another significant phase of the overall project will be unveiled Dec. 4 with the opening of a new pediatrics wing. The fourth-floor unit includes nine private rooms and a staff of highly experienced, pediatric-certified nurses.

Additionally, the Pediatrics Services program offers outpatient IV and infusion services, a specialty clinic, lab testing, physical, occupational and speech therapy and a range of behavioral health and psychology services.

Other milestones loom on the horizon over the next year, particularly in obstetrical care:

·          7 triage rooms and an infusion area for newly admitted patients

·        12 expanded labor and delivery rooms
·         8 large antepartum suites with in-room refrigerators
·         2 operating room suites for caesarean procedures
·        34 postpartum suites and a nursery

“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 Warner. “We offer a full range of women's health care services, from yearly checkups and prenatal care, to specialized gynecologic care.”


When the Women & Children’s Services project is completed, patients and visitors entering the first-floor lobby will have easy access to Women’s Health Services offices, massage therapy, Maternal/Fetal Medicine, Pelvic Health Services and an Outpatient Lactation Consultation Clinic.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Franciscan St. Francis Health physicians listed among Indianapolis’ ‘Top Docs’

INDIANAPOLIS – Twenty-five Franciscan Physician Network doctors have been recognized as “Top Doctors” by Indianapolis Magazine.

They were among the 129 physicians having affiliations and admitting privileges at Franciscan St. Francis Health’s hospitals at Indianapolis, Mooresville and Carmel. The annual listing, which appeared in the magazine’s November issue, represents the upper tier of board-certified physicians in the Indianapolis area.

“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,” said Christopher “Topper” Doehring, MD, vice president of medical affairs for Franciscan St. Francis. “This is a testament of our extremely talented medical staff who continually strive to provide the best, highest quality care for all patients.”

The report also included a small feature on Dipen Maun, MD, of the Franciscan Physician Network Kendrick Colon & Rectal Center, whose work with single incision colon surgery. That work is a breakthrough in laparoscopic procedures.

For a full listing of the 129 physicians, click HERE.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New procedure takes aim at knocking the wind out of severe asthma

Franciscan St. Francis Health offers breakthrough treatment option for patients

INDIANAPOLIS – Imagine trying to breathe through a straw, struggling and gasping day in and day out. That’s how many patients feel who suffer from severe asthma.
Franciscan St. Francis Health now offers these patients new hope for better control of their asthma.

It’s called Bronchial Thermoplasty, an outpatient procedure approved for the treatment of severe asthma in patients 18 years and older whose condition is not well controlled with inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting bronchodilators.

Bronchial Thermoplasty can be life-changing for patients, dramatically improving their quality of life,” said Faisal Khan, MD, interventional pulmonologist at Franciscan St. Francis. 
It can help reduce the frequency of asthma attacks, emergency room visits and hospitalizations and days missed from work due to symptoms of asthma.”

Asthma, a chronic lung disease with no cure, commonly causes recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing. When triggered, severe asthma causes the airways in the lungs to narrow, leading to the onset of an asthma attack.

This new approach is performed using bronchoscopy, a minimally invasive procedure in which a bronchoscope is inserted into the airways through the mouth. The procedure uses a catheter-like device to deliver thermal energy (heat) to the airway wall in order to reduce excessive airway smooth muscle. This decreases the constriction of the airways and reduces the frequency and severity of asthma attacks.
“This procedure is unique because for the first time severe asthma can be treated in a physical way, attacking the problem at its source – the lungs,” said Dr. Khan. "Currently patients with severe, persistent asthma are treated using high doses of medication and many still continue to suffer from frequent asthma attacks."
Bronchial Thermoplasty is performed in three outpatient visits, which are typically scheduled at least three weeks apart. While not a cure for asthma, it works with asthma maintenance medications to provide long-lasting asthma control and improved asthma-related quality of life.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Franciscan St. Francis Health earns national recognition for stroke treatment

INDIANAPOLIS – Franciscan St. Francis Health has received the Get With The Guidelines Stroke Silver-Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients.
     
Get With The Guidelines—Stroke helps hospitals to provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. The hospital’s neurology and neurosurgery teams earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. 

These measures include aggressive use of medications and risk-reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.      
     
“We are dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care and The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Stroke award helps us achieve that goal,” said Chris DiGiusto, Neuroscience Service Line Leader at Franciscan St. Francis Health. “This award recognizes our commitment to ensure that our patients receive care based on internationally respected clinical guidelines.”
     
 “We are pleased to recognize Franciscan St. Francis for its commitment and dedication to stroke care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and executive director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women's Hospital and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Get With The Guidelines–Stroke also helps Franciscan St. Francis’ staff implement prevention measures, which include educating stroke patients to manage their risk factors, and to be aware of warning signs for stroke, and ensuring they take their medications properly. Hospitals can make customized patient education materials available upon discharge, based on the patients’ individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format in either English or Spanish.        
     

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States.  On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Franciscan St. Francis Health sets PACE by offering health care options to seniors

INDIANAPOLIS – Imagine a community-based health program providing a range of services to seniors who might otherwise need nursing home level care.

That’s exactly what Franciscan Alliance will soon be delivering to local seniors through the Franciscan Senior Health & Wellness – PACE program.  PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) is a Medicare program for adults age 55 and older and having chronic care needs. PACE is a national program, and Franciscan Senior Health & Wellness will offer the first of its kind in Indiana.

The PACE Center, located at the intersection of Southport and Franklin roads on the city’s far south side, will be formally opened to participants in early January 2015. The program was created as a way to provide area seniors, family members, caregivers and professional health care providers with flexibility to meet consumers’ health needs and continue living in the community.

“The PACE model is the day center, where participants receive therapy, medical care and social services,” said PACE Director Susan Waschevski. “PACE also supports caregivers with training, support groups and respite care to help families keep their loved ones in their homes and the community.

An interdisciplinary team of caregivers and specialists, led by Nicolas Priscu, MD, will design individualized plans of care for each PACE participant. The team includes a registered nurse, social worker, dietitian, physical and occupational therapists, activity coordinator and others.

“PACE provides a centralized location and a focused, coordinated care approach,” Dr. Priscu said.

PACE provides all of the care and the services covered by Medicare and Medicaid – as authorized by the team – as well as additionally medically necessary care and services not covered by Medicare and Medicaid. The coverage includes:
·        Prescription drugs
·        Physician care
·        Therapy
·        Transportation
·        Home care checkups
·        Hospital visits
·        Nursing home stays when necessary

Participation in PACE is voluntary and available to eligible people across the financial spectrum. All Medicare-covered services are paid for individuals who qualify for Medicare. Medicaid-covered participants will pay nothing for the long-term portion of the PACE benefit.
In addition, participants must meet Indiana eligibility requirements for nursing home care, are able to live  safely at home, must be 55 years or older and live within the Franciscan Senior Health & Wellness Service area. 


In advance of the formal opening of the PACE facility, Franciscan St. Francis will host an open house, Tuesday, Nov. 18, from 4 to 6 p.m. Visitors will be able to tour the 11,000-square-foot and meet the staff.

Franciscan St. Francis Health Reaccredited as Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence

INDIANAPOLIS – Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis has achieved renewal as a Center of Excellence® (COE) by the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

As part of the ASMBS, facilities are required to maintain standards set by the Metabolic Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP), the unified program between the American College of Surgeons and the ASMBS. Recertification occurs every three years.

This review process confirms that all Center of Excellence programs, new and existing, continue to meet the evidence-based quality thresholds determined by expert physicians and medical organizations. It also provides an opportunity to improve the overall quality of care by requiring all Centers to meet criteria that keep pace with ongoing advances in clinical practice.

In the United States, more than 15 million people suffer from severe obesity, and the numbers continue to rise. Obesity increases the risks of morbidity and mortality because of the diseases and conditions that are commonly associated with it, including type II diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. 

Weight-loss surgery currently is one successful way to provide lasting relief from severe obesity.

Founded in 2002, the Franciscan St. Francis Weight Loss Center has helped thousands of Hoosiers through its medically supervised weight loss program and its bariatric surgery program.

The center, which was first accredited as a bariatric center of excellence in 2007, includes five physicians, registered dietitians, a nurse practitioner and a staff psychologist.

For more information on weight loss services through Franciscan St. Francis Health and Franciscan Physician Network, call 317-528-7525 or visit embracealighterfuture.com.

Franciscan St. Francis Health sets PACE by offering health care options to seniors

INDIANAPOLIS – Imagine a community-based health program providing a range of services to seniors who might otherwise need nursing home level care.

That’s exactly what Franciscan Alliance will soon be delivering to local seniors through the Franciscan Senior Health & Wellness – PACE program.  PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) is a Medicare program for adults age 55 and older and having chronic care needs. PACE is a national program, and Franciscan Senior Health & Wellness will offer the first of its kind in Indiana.

The PACE Center, located at the intersection of Southport and Franklin roads on the city’s far south side, will be formally opened to participants in early January 2015. The program was created as a way to provide area seniors, family members, caregivers and professional health care providers with flexibility to meet consumers’ health needs and continue living in the community.

“The PACE model is the day center, where participants receive therapy, medical care and social services,” said PACE Director Susan Waschevski. “PACE also supports caregivers with training, support groups and respite care to help families keep their loved ones in their homes and the community.

An interdisciplinary team of caregivers and specialists, led by Nicolas Priscu, MD, will design individualized plans of care for each PACE participant. The team includes a registered nurse, social worker, dietitian, physical and occupational therapists, activity coordinator and others.

“PACE provides a centralized location and a focused, coordinated care approach,” Dr. Priscu said.

PACE provides all of the care and the services covered by Medicare and Medicaid – as authorized by the team – as well as additionally medically necessary care and services not covered by Medicare and Medicaid. The coverage includes:
·        Prescription drugs
·        Physician care
·        Therapy
·        Transportation
·        Home care checkups
·        Hospital visits
·        Nursing home stays when necessary

Participation in PACE is voluntary and available to eligible people across the financial spectrum. All Medicare-covered services are paid for individuals who qualify for Medicare. Medicaid-covered participants will pay nothing for the long-term portion of the PACE benefit.

In addition, participants must meet Indiana eligibility requirements for nursing home care, are able to live  safely at home, must be 55 years or older and live within the Franciscan Senior Health & Wellness Service area. 

In advance of the formal opening of the PACE facility, Franciscan St. Francis will host an open house, Tuesday, Nov. 18, from 4 to 6 p.m. Visitors will be able to tour the 11,000-square-foot and meet the staff.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Franciscan St. Francis Health, Indy YMCA unveil plans for Downtown CityWay

Topping-off, beam-signing ceremony for facility slated for Dec. 4

INDIANAPOLIS – Two of the city’s health-focused organizations have forged a partnership to deliver a variety of medical and wellness programs to residents in Downtown Indianapolis.

Franciscan St. Francis Health and YMCA of Greater Indianapolis have unveiled plans which enable the hospital to lease 13,000 square feet at CityWay at 430 S. Alabama St. The adjoining YMCA complex is under development as part of a three-story, 87,000-square-foot project.

The hospital will provide primary and specialty care physicians’ services, imaging, lab and therapy programs. One advantage of the partnership is that rehabilitation patients will have access to the YMCA’s state-of-the-art equipment and pool for aquatic therapy.

“This is an excellent collaboration with the YMCA, and it offers a unique opportunity for both of our organizations,” said Robert J. Brody, president and chief executive officer for Franciscan St. Francis. “This innovative and new environment will bring a whole new world of health and wellness to those who live and work in vibrant Downtown Indianapolis.”

“We are fortunate to be working with an organization whose goals and objectives align with the YMCA’s,” said Eric Ellsworth, president and chief executive officer for YMCA of Greater Indianapolis. “Through this partnership we hope to not only improve the health of the individuals we serve but also assist with preventive measures so that those in our community can maintain healthy lifestyles for years to come.”

Brody and Ellsworth and other guests will be on hand for a topping-off ceremony at 8:30 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 4. That event marks the placement of the top steel beam atop the YMCA structure.

When completed in late 2015, the YMCA project will consist of two indoor swimming pools, three gyms, an elevated running track, wellness center, cardiovascular and strength equipment and a culinary studio to teach individuals and families how to prepare healthy meals.


Franciscan St. Francis Health is expected to open its medical offices in January 2016. The CityWay project marks the hospital’s most recent effort to establish a larger presence in the downtown area.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

International surgeons to learn from Franciscan St. Francis Health ortho surgery experts

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – An international panel of orthopedic surgeons is coming to Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville to observe and discuss advancements made in knee replacement surgery and therapies.
They will be learning the latest techniques in knee replacement surgery from physicians who are members of Franciscan Physician Network Joint Replacement Surgeons, the practice group affiliated with the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery at the Mooresville campus.
Four international candidates selected for the John N. Insall Travelling Fellowship, sponsored by The Knee Society, will visit the hospital Oct. 22-23. They are
  • Vikas Khanduja, MD
    Addenbrooke’s Cambridge University Hospital, Cambridgeshire, England
  • Tomoyuki Matsumoto, MD
    Kobe University School of Medicine; Kobe, Hyogo, Japan
  • Matthew Morrey, MD
    University of Texas Health Science Center; San Antonio, Texas
  • Zachary Post, MD
    Thomas Jefferson University Hospital; Philadelphia, Penn.
“Members of this prestigious group were selected for their surgical skills and research, and we are honored to host them at our center to learn about the work we perform,” said Michael Berend, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with the center, a Knee Society member and an Insall Fellow himself in 2004. “To be one of only 10 centers in the world to host the fellowship is a great honor for us. We hope to share with them many of the latest surgical techniques we have developed at the center.”
The Mooresville center is recognized in the United States and the world as a premier center for joint replacement surgery.

For more information about the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery, visit centerforhipandkneesurgery.org. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Straight from the heart: Free cardiovascular, wellness classes offered in November

INDIANAPOLIS – Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center is offering a full range of free classes focused on cardiovascular health and wellness in November

Call 317-782-4422 or go on-line at MyHeartCare.net to register for any of the classes, which include:

HeartScan: Identifying Cardiac Risk
Babu Doddapaneni, MD
Tues, November 11, 6:30 p.m.
Franciscan St. Francis Health – Mooresville
1201 Hadley Road

Coronary arteries supply blood to your heart and can become blocked with calcium-containing plaque which can cause heart attacks.  Coronary calcium scoring, or HeartScan, is a high-tech way of detecting calcium build-up in the arteries and identifying your risk for heart disease.  Our cardiologist will describe this test and answer your questions about other heart attack risk factors. One free HeartScan will be given away in a drawing at the class.

Varicose Vein treatment options
Presented by Charles Kiell, MD
Thursday, Nov 20, 6:30 p.m.
Franciscan St. Francis Health Heart Center
8111 S. Emerson Ave.

Veins carry blood against the force of gravity relying on leg muscle contraction and one-way valves that carry the blood back toward the heart.  If the valves fail, blood can back up or get congested in the veins, causing diseased veins to become enlarged.  Large failing veins are called varicose veins and smaller ones are called spider veins. If you have large, ropey veins, leg fatigue or heaviness, painful, aching, burning or itching veins, Dr. Kiell will discuss options to treat these veins, as well as cosmetic options for the smaller spider veins. 

Change of Heart classes offered in Fall 2014

Flavorful Holiday Cooking Tips
Thurs, Nov 6, 6:30 p.m. at St. Francis – Mooresville
Wednesday, Nov 12, 6:30 p.m. at the Heart Center
Don’t blow your good eating and dining habits this season!  Learn how to manage the holiday feasting and celebrations with herb and spice options to add flavor to your traditional recipes.


Healthy Dining Out Tips
Wednesday, Nov 5, 6:30 p.m.at the Heart Center
Americans eat nearly half their meals away from home.  How can you control what you eat when you don’t cook for yourself?  Learn how to make wise menu selections and eat smart while dining out.

Reduce Holiday Stress
Wed, Nov 19, 6:30 p.m. at the Heart Center
Negative stress causes changes in lifestyle and behavior, which may lead to unhealthy choices.  Learn to identify the causes of stress in your life and techniques to decrease your stress which can improve your health.

Savvy Shopping
Thurs, Nov 13, 6:30 p.m. at Southport Meijer

With all the new and changing products on the shelves, grocery shopping can be overwhelming.  Learn where to find the healthy foods and how to avoid packaging tricks commonly used to market foods.  Discover how food labels make you a smarter shopper.

Family medicine physician honored for clinical care, compassionate patient concern

Dr. Eric Hartman (l) is presented the award by Dr. Christopher
Doehring, vice president of medical affairs.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Eric Hartman, MD, has been recognized with Franciscan St. Francis Health’s Healing Hands Award. The award is given quarterly by the Physician Satisfaction Committee at Franciscan St. Francis.

Dr. Hartman has been a part of the Franciscan St. Francis family since he joined the residency program in 2009. He is currently affiliated with Indiana Internal Medicine Consultants. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas for Medical Services and is board-certified in family medicine.

While staff and co-workers had glowing remarks about Dr. Hartman, it is his compassionate work and dedication to his patients that appear to have the biggest impact.

A former patient described his care, in part: “He made me feel like I was capable of anything, including fighting my addictions.”


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

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Physician establishes practice with Oncology & Hematology Specialists

INDIANAPOLIS – Meghana Raghavendra, MD, has joined Franciscan Physician Network Oncology & Hematology Specialists.

She joins seven cancer specialists, who provide care at Franciscan St. Francis Health’s Indianapolis, Mooresville and Carmel hospitals. This team also cares for patients at locations in Greensburg, Franklin, Rushville, Columbus and Shelbyville.

Dr. Raghavendra, who specializes in medical oncology, recently completed a fellowship in hematology and oncology at Gundersen Health System in Wisconsin, where she earlier completed a residency in internal medicine.  Board-certified in internal medicine, she earned her medical degree from BLDEA’s Shri B.M. Patil Medical College in India.

Dr. Raghavendra held a clinical and academic appointment with the Indiana University School of Medicine and had served as a research associate at the Neurosciences Center at Dartmouth in New Hampshire.

She has made numerous presentations on cancer related subjects and has been published widely in professional journals. Dr. Raghavendra is a member of the American Society of Hematology, American College of Clinical Oncology, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association and the Indian Medical Council.

Oncology & Hematology Specialists has provided quality health care services to patients throughout Indiana since 1983.

Franciscan Physician Network is a division of the Mishawaka, Ind.-based Franciscan Alliance. To learn more about network primary and specialty care services in central Indiana, go to FranciscanDocs.org.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Carmel Family Medicine welcomes new physician

CARMEL, Ind. – Amanda M. Houchens, MD, has joined Franciscan Physician Network Carmel Family Medicine.

She joins Brian C. Howse, MD, and their office is located at 12188-B N. Meridian St., Suite 280.

Board-certified in family medicine, Dr. Houchens recently completed a family medicine residency at St. Vincent Health. She earned her medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine and received her undergraduate degrees in biology and Spanish at IU.

A member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, she also is active in the Catholic Medical Association.

To make an appointment with Dr. Houchens, call 317-705-4550.


Franciscan Physician Network is a division of the Mishawaka, Ind.-based Franciscan Alliance. To learn more about network primary and specialty care services in central Indiana, go to FranciscanDocs.org.

Physician establishes practice with Indiana Heart Physicians

INDIANAPOLIS – Jerome J. Cordova, MD, has joined Franciscan Physician Network Indiana Heart Physicians (IHP) as a hospitalist.

He is part of the newly established Cardiovascular Hospitalist Program, which will team him with interventional cardiologists to admit and consult on patients overnight. Hospitalists specialize in the care of patients in the hospital. 

IHP created the hospitalist program to make its cardiologists more available to Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center patients during day time hours. This approach improves continuity of care for patients who have been admitted overnight.

Board-eligible in internal medicine, Dr. Cordova completed an internal medicine residency at the University of New Mexico-Albuquerque, where he also earned his medical degree and undergraduate degree in chemical engineering.

He is a member of the American Medical Association and American College of Physicians.

Indiana Heart Physicians has offices in Indianapolis, Franklin, Greensburg, Martinsville,  Mooresville and Shelbyville.

Franciscan Physician Network is a division of the Mishawaka, Ind.-based Franciscan Alliance. To learn more about network primary and specialty care services in central Indiana, go to FranciscanDocs.org.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Computerized patients bolster clinicians’ training at Franciscan St. Francis Health

Hospital’s Simulation Center slated for Oct. 20 open house

GREENWOOD, Ind. – They breathe and their hearts beat. They make sounds and their eyes blink. They may be mannequins, but make no mistake about it – these patients are no mere dummies when it comes to educating clinicians at Franciscan St. Francis Health.

The hospital’s newly opened Simulation Center uses human-like mannequins – male and female, adult and infant alike – to advance the training of physicians, nurses and other medical specialists. These computerized patients can be programmed to simulate a variety of routine and complicated medical situations. 

“This is a realistic, safe and effective way to teach us how to better care for our patients,” said Lorie Nagy, RN, who coordinates the simulation training at the hospital’s Health Education and Support Services Center (ESSC). “This technology is helping to improve health outcomes.”

Watch a training session/news report HERE

The ESSC, located at 421 N. Emerson Ave., Greenwood, will unveil its Simulation Center’s operations to interested staff and the public at an open house from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 20.

At the open house, guests can tour four health care settings featuring the lifelike patient simulators, enjoy hands-on opportunities checking for a pulse or heartbeat and watch full simulations of lifesaving events from the debriefing rooms. Information on community education classes, door prizes and giveaways and refreshments will all be available.

The center’s four simulation areas include an intensive care unit room, an emergency/physician exam room, a surgical/procedural suite, and a labor and delivery/neonatal intensive care room. Simulation scenarios can be preprogrammed to suit the learning needs and instructor-based objectives achieved through collaboration with the Simulation Center team.

The scenarios can offer valuable, structured learning experiences that are difficult to obtain in real life,” Nagy said, “Encountering rare, life-threatening patient conditions within a safe setting promotes confidence and improved critical thinking skills for a safer patient care environment.
Educators evaluate how RNs are caring for a high-risk newborn.
Debriefing rooms provide a live or taped video feed to discuss and review the scenarios with instructors and clinical staff.

This type of training began a few years ago at Franciscan St. Francis when it acquired newborn and mother mannequins for its obstetrical units at the Indianapolis and Mooresville campuses. The devices simulates breathing and heart rate (mother and fetal), blood flow, urine output and other vitals and can be fitted for IV and intubated to assist breathing. It 

They can be programmed for normal vaginal, multiple and C-section deliveries and post-delivery care.

This "patient" is about to undergo treatment in the ICU.
Hospital educators wanted to extend that training into other clinical areas and serve as a benefit to the community. As a result, the Simulation Center also has been collaborating with local extended-care facilities to enhance their staffs’ training.

For more information on the Franciscan St. Francis Health Simulation Center and the open house, please contact the education department at 317-528-3270. 


Mother and baby take a snooze after a training scenario.


This patient simulator is about to undergo a
procedure with attending physicians.