News Center

Monday, March 31, 2014

Surgeon explains orthopedic, joint replacement therapies May 7

PLAINFIELD, 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., Wednesday, May 7, at The Palms (formerly Primo West), 2353 E. Perry Road, Plainfield. Light refreshments will be served, beginning at 6 p.m.

John Meding, M.D., 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.

Meding is a surgeon with Franciscan Physician Network Joint Replacement Surgeons, the practice group affiliated with the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery at 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 Franciscan St. Francis toll-free at 1-877-888-1777.

More information about the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery is at

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Quality of Life and Wellness Fair offers Morgan County residents healthier lifestyle choices

MOORESVILLE, Ind. — The Healthier Morgan County Initiative is joining with other selected organizations to sponsor a free Quality of Life and Wellness Fair on April 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mt. Gilead Church, 6019 E. SR 144 just east of SR 67.

More than 50 exhibitors will be on hand. The event will include many health and wellness screenings and exhibits on everything from health insurance to hobbies and crafts, technology, local clubs and personal enrichment activities.

Light refreshments will be served.

Funding is provided by the Kendrick Foundation.

Event Details
Date: Saturday, April 12
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Mt. Gilead Church, 6019 E. SR 144, Mooresville
Fee: Free of charge
Exhibits: Health screenings, disc golf, arts and crafts, insurance information, healthy living activities, lifetime learning, smartphone tips, community organization opportunities and more.

Sponsors: Kendrick Foundation, Healthier Morgan County Initiative, Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville, Ivy Tech Community College, Mooresville Consolidated School Corp, Morgan County Council on Aging, United Way of Morgan County and the Mooresville Public Library.

Surgeon explains orthopedic, joint replacement therapies April 17

GREENWOOD, 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, April 17, at Jonathan Byrd’s, 100 Byrd Way, Greenwood. Light refreshments will be served, beginning at 6 p.m.

Wesley Lackey, M.D., 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 Franciscan Physician Network Joint Replacement Surgeons, the practice group affiliated with the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery at 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 Franciscan St. Francis toll-free at 1-877-888-1777.

More information about the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery is at

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Variety of free heart health, nutrition classes offered throughout April

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

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

Is my blood pressure too high?
Harry Genovely, MD
Thursday, April 10, 6:30 p.m.
Franciscan St. Francis Health Heart Center (8111 S. Emerson Ave.)
Do you know what your blood pressure is? Do you know what it should be? New guidelines recommend aiming for below 120/80 for most people. Learn how high blood pressure affects not only the heart but also other vital organs. Genovely, cardiologist with Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center and Franciscan Physician Network Indiana Heart Physicians, will share steps you can take to lower your blood pressure, including diet, weight loss, exercise and medication. No more excuses: learn how you can lower blood pressure starting today, with the advantages lasting a lifetime.

Do you have a heart murmur?
Marc Gerdisch, MD
Wednesday, April 23, 6:30 p.m.
Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville (1201 Hadley Road)
Heart murmurs are caused by valves inside the heart that don’t close properly. Sometimes, people can live with heart murmurs a long time without any symptoms. But if the problem becomes more serious, the blood flow to the heart may be affected. Gerdisch, a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon at  Franciscan St. Francis, will talk about new treatments and surgeries for heart valves, including ongoing research studies here at Franciscan St. Francis.  There will be a free valve screening opportunity for those who attend this program.
Change of Heart classes offered in Spring 2014
Quick meals at home
Wednesday, April 2, 6:30 p.m. at the Heart Center
Some days, we just don’t have the time – or the desire – to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  But that doesn’t mean we need to sacrifice eating well at home.  Learn how to fix quick and easy nutritious meals you and your family can enjoy.
Savvy Shopping
Tuesday, April 8, 6:30 p.m. at Meijer store in Camby, 10509 Heartland Blvd.
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.
Healthy Meals on a Budget
Wednesday, April 9, 6:30 p.m. at the Heart Center. Register now.
Tuesday, April 15, 6:30 p.m. at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville. Register now.
As food prices climb and budgets get tight, smart purchases at the supermarket are important.  In this class, you will learn ways to stretch your food budget while still getting the nutrients you need.

Cooking for 2
Thursday, Apr 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the Heart Center
As we get older, our health becomes more of a priority.  After the kids leave home, it can be challenging to scale back our cooking, so dining out seems like an easy option.  In this class, learn how it really is cheaper and healthier to cook at home for two. 
Register now.

Healthy Eating
Tuesday, April 29, 6:30 p.m. at the Heart Center
Healthy eating leads to a healthy life!  Find out how much a “serving” is and how to manage a healthy weight.  Discover how fats, carbohydrates and protein affect our body.  Do you know how much salt, fiber and sugar are in the foods you buy?  This class offers the foundation for a healthy future.
Register now.

Healthy Dining Out Tips
Wednesday, April 30, 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.
Register now.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Francsican Alliance, Anthem forge accountable care organization collaboration

Designed to enhance care coordination, improve outcomes and lower health costs

INDIANAPOLIS -- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the state’s leading health insurer, and FranciscanAlliance, a statewide health system that includes 13 hospitals and 750 physicians, announced today the formation of an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) with the goal of improving collaboration, efficiency and ultimately, patient health.

This agreement will take effect April 1 and involve approximately 63,000 Anthem members.

“This is Anthem’s first commercial ACO partnership in Indiana, and we are very excited that closer collaboration with Franciscan will improve the health of our members and make health care more affordable,” said Robert W. Hillman, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana.”

The inefficiency that results from a fragmented care delivery system is widely recognized as an obstacle to more effective treatment of both acute and chronic conditions.

“Our health care system formed the first Medicare ACO Shared Savings in Indiana in 2012 and was among the first nationally to do so,” said Kevin Leahy, president and chief executive officer for Franciscan Alliance. “We have since established other Medicare and commercial ACOs throughout the state and continue to develop new collaborative models in line with the “Triple Aim” goal – achieving better population health, providing higher quality of treatment and reducing the costs of care.”

The “mechanics” of the new ACO with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and Franciscan Alliance are based upon the principles of most shared savings/ACO contracts. The goal is to provide care that costs less than (ideally) or meets an assigned cost target while providing high quality care—meeting pre-established quality measures. How well the organization does on the quality measures is used in the calculation of the shared savings distribution. Shared savings are not attained unless quality indicators are met. Lower cost, improved quality of care and satisfied patients are the components of this Triple Aim. This is not unlike most of the other ACO partnerships that are out there.

“The biggest challenge in health care today is finding a way to improve quality while reducing costs, said David Lee, M.D., vice president of provider engagement and contracting at Anthem. “We believe this ACO can address that challenge.”

And Anthem’s affiliated health plan in California reported improvements in several quality measures in the first year of its Accountable Care Organizations, including a 35 percent increase in the number of mammograms performed and a 44 percent increase in the appropriate prescribing of antibiotics for bronchitis treatment.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Physical therapist assumes director role with orthopedic surgeons group

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – Mark Anderson has been named director of Franciscan Physician Network’s Joint Replacement Surgeons of Indiana (JRSI) and the Center for Hip and Knee Surgery (CHKS) at Franciscan St. Francis Health.

JRSI is the physician practice group affiliated with the CHKS, which is recognized in the United States and the world as a premier center for joint replacement surgery. Both JRSI and CHKS are based in Mooresville, with offices in Carmel and Greenwood.

Anderson has been with Franciscan St. Francis for 16 years and has served in the leadership position in Therapy Services at the Mooresville campus for more than 13 years. He graduated from Indiana University’s Physical Therapy program in 1997 and earned his master’s degree in business administration through Indiana Wesleyan University in 2009. 

He will continue to oversee the operations of Therapy Services until a successor has been identified.

Anderson has participated in the development of the joint replacement program at CHKS and has played a key role in the evolution of its joint rehabilitation protocols. He also has been instrumental in formulating the education materials all patients receive prior to surgery.

“Mark possesses the talent, skill and desire to support the unique needs of this high-performing practice as we look to accelerate our market growth locally, regionally, nationally and internationally,” said Peter J. Murphy, senior vice president and chief operating officer, Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville.    

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Grieving youngsters 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 Visiting Nurse Service at St. Francis Hospice offers Caterpillar Kids, a free support program that offers learning experiences for children ages 5 to 12 who have experienced the loss of a loved one.
“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 Roberta White. “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.”
The program will offer its spring Caterpillar Kids series Wednesdays on the following dates: Apr. 9, 16, 23, 30 and May 7, 14. The free sessions meet from 4:30 p.m. to 6 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 317-528-2099.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Long-time hospital strategic planning, marketing exec poised for retirement

INDIANAPOLIS – Fred Bagg has worn many hats in his 35 years as a planning strategist, researcher and communicator for Franciscan St. Francis Health. That career soon will be honored as he begins another chapter in his life.

Bagg will retire from the hospital in early April, capping a long and varied service to the three-hospital system in Central Indiana. He’s ending his career as the director of strategic planning and leading non-clinical research in areas such as community health needs monitoring its outreach and social accountability programs.

Before moving in to his current roles in 2005, he served many years as director of community relations and marketing, where he led strategic guidance in media relations, crisis communication, publications, employee communications, community relations and marketing.  

An Indianapolis resident, Bagg earned his undergraduate degree in business administration from Butler University and later worked toward a master’s in public relations at Ball State University. He earned a master’s in business administration from University of Indianapolis. For nearly 30 years, he has taught numerous marketing and communications graduate courses at the University of Indianapolis and Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.

Bagg, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War era, has held numerous leadership positions with local and national public relations organizations: International Association of Business Communicators, Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Hoosier Chapter of PRSA, American Society of Health Care Marketing and Public Relations. In 2003 he was elected to the prestigious College of Fellows of the PRSA, where he served on the National Board and was the College’s National Chair in 2011.

In 1994 he was elected to “Who’s Who in Public Relations” and has earned a plethora of awards and honors during his career.

An avid traveler, Bagg is married to Mary Beth Bagg, associate provost for academic systems at the University of Indianapolis. They are parents of two daughters and have five grandchildren.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Franciscan St. Francis Health family medicine chief receives national honors

INDIANAPOLIS – Richard D. Feldman, MD, has been named the recipient of the 2014 Nikitas J. Zervanos Outstanding Program Director Award from the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors.

Feldman, director of the Franciscan St. Francis Health Family Medicine Residency Program, was recognized for his contributions to the community and organizations of family medicine. Further, it salutes his leadership and service as a mentor to residents, other program directors and family medicine teachers.

Feldman, who also 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) and is past president of the Indiana Medical History Museum.

In 1981, Feldman became youngest in the nation to become the director of a family medicine residency, one of the most robust of its kind in the region.

He most recently received lifetime achievement accolades from the IAFP and the Indiana Public Health Foundation.

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

Emergency management program offers NWS Storm Spotter training, March 26

INDIANAPOLIS – Severe weather consistently has been one of central Indiana’s highest threats over the years. While we have the latest technology to monitor the weather and even detect tornadoes on radar, the trained human eye is still our first line of defense. 

That’s why Franciscan St. Francis Health’s Emergency Management program is hosting National Weather Service Storm Spotter training 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, March 26. This free event is open to the public.

“The National Weather Service offers training every year across the country as they rely on trained weather spotters to report conditions in the field that radar can’t detect,” said Diana Leonard, emergency management coordinator.

The event is located in the basement auditorium at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis, 8111 S. Emerson Ave.

The hospital recently was designated by as a NWS StormReady Community Supporter, the first health care system in the state to receive such recognition. 

Franciscan St. Francis Health offers free child seat inspections, March 15

MARTINSVILLE, Ind. – Franciscan St. Francis Health and Wal-Mart are sponsoring a free drive-through child car seat safety inspection site Saturday, March 15.

The event, which is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., will be conducted by the Cherished Beginnings Car Seat Safety Program from the hospital’s Mooresville staff.  Anyone can drive thru and have their car seat safety inspected. Call 317-834-5990 for more information.

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to have their children with them to ensure a thorough inspection.

The Wal-Mart facility is located at 410 Grand Valley Blvd.

To make an appointment at our Mooresville campus for inspections at other times, contact Norva Perkins at 317-834-5817. Appointments are available Monday through Friday in the morning, afternoon and evening.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Franciscan St. Francis Health shines in 2014 Health Care Heroes

INDIANAPOLIS – Two Franciscan St. Francis Health physicians and a Franciscan Visiting Nurse Service were in the limelight today (March 6) at the Indianapolis Business Journal 2014 Health Care Heroes program. 

Paul Winchester, MD, medical director of the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, was named finalist in the Physician category. Gerald Walthall, MD, medical director of palliative medicine, shared finalist honors in the Advancements in Health Care with Susan Hickman, PhD, associate professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Franciscan VNS was a finalist in Community Achievement in Health Care, which was accepted by Project Manager Lori Melton.

This annual IBJ program recognizes individuals and organizations in the health care industry that make significant strides improving the health and well-being of the community. 

Over the last decade, Winchester has developed and guided a robust NICU for the sickest and most at-risk infants at the hospital’s Indianapolis campus. As one parent of a former patient wrote: “I remember walking into the NICU and Dr. Winchester smiling and welcoming me with open arms. After all my daughter and I had been through I finally felt at peace and couldn't wait to have her transferred under his care. It was a wonderful feeling knowing that I wasn't the only advocate my daughter had.”

Winchester, who also is a professor of clinical pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine, is highly regarded for his research. Specifically, he has studied how maternal exposures to commonly used chemicals in the environment may change human genes in subtle but serious ways in utero and contribute to preterm births, birth defects, reduced fetal growth, and the onset of adult diseases.

His research has been substantiated in other academic venues and continues today, expanding to address related issues. Winchester is considered an expert in such studies and has been published widely in professional journals.

Walthall and Hickman were recognized for their collaborative work in the formation of Physician Order for Scope of Treatment (POST), which was approved by the Indiana General Assembly in 2013 The document is used by providers to communicate treatment preferences of patients with advanced illness or end-stage disease.

POST differs from an advanced directive or living will because it is a valid doctor’s order that can be implemented immediately. Such orders may range from whether to give antibiotics, resuscitate or whether to insert a feeding tube. Patients can also pre-determine the duration of treatment.  The form is printed on bright paper to make it immediately recognizable by any health care provider.

With the backing of several Indiana medical professional organizations, Walthall and Hickman formed the Indiana Patient Preference Coalition to present to state lawmakers.
Walthall, a retired otolaryngology surgeon, has been affiliated with Franciscan St. Francis Health for decades. He has served as chief of surgery and held numerous clinical and administrative leadership roles.

Franciscan VNS was recognized for its proactive Patient Health Coaching Program designed to reduce hospital readmissions among patients who have chronic health conditions and are served by VNS. Readmissions are a leading and costly problem faced by the nation’s health care system, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The Patient Health Coaching Program involves ongoing weekly phone calls, monitoring of vital signs and weight, along with heightened questions regarding patients’ diagnoses. That information is transmitted via secure telecommunications technology and is reviewed by a critical care-trained registered nurse. In turn, the nurse is able to recognize patients’ conditions and implement early intervention if necessary.

VNS and other Franciscan St. Francis clinical operations have achieved a marked decrease in 30-day hospital readmissions for heart failure and pneumonia. Additionally, the program has resulted in measurable cost reductions for care.

Founded in 1913, VNS has a solid corps of skilled nurses, certified home care aides, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, dietitians and medical social workers – all of whom work closely with patients’ primary care and specialty physicians in more than 20 Central Indiana counties. VNS aligned with Franciscan St. Francis in 2011.

This latest recognition is not the first time Franciscan St. Francis Health staff have been recognized as Health Care Heroes. Click here to view past recipients.

Accepting for VNS from left, Coach Patricia Nicholson, Coach Stephanie Blount, Program manager Lori Melton, Mike Puskarich, Beth Keultjes, Rhonda Deluise,  and Coach Stacey Ahlbrand.
Drs. Walthall and Hickman shared honors for their work.

Dr. Winchester is flanked by members of the Women and Children's Services Parent Advisory Group.

‘Breathe Better Indy’ partnership seeks to improve lung health in central Indiana

 INDIANAPOLIS – A new initiative is taking aim to improve the lung health of central Indiana residents and provide a valuable resource to all Hoosiers.

‘Breathe Better Indy’ brings together the unique resources of Franciscan St. Francis Health, American Lung Association in Indiana and Emmis Communications. The program will educate the community regarding the best ways to prevent, detect early and manage common lung diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer.

“Chronic lung disease, such as asthma, COPD and lung cancer, is a major health issue in central Indiana,” said Christopher Doehring, MD, vice president of medical affairs for Franciscan St. Francis. “Many lung diseases build silently over a period of years and by the time patients develop symptoms the diseases are often already at advanced stages.”

Each month, Breathe Better Indy will focus on a different lung-related condition. Leveraging the communications strength of Emmis Communications, the program will build awareness of risk factors, ways to prevent disease and highlight resources available in the community.

“Breathe Better Indy will give Hoosiers access to information that could save their lives,” said Tanya Husain, executive director of the American Lung Association in Indiana. “Lung disease is now the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death of both men and women. Additionally, about one-in-five Hoosiers suffer from lung disease, so it is vital that we start focusing on our lung health.”

Breathe Better Indy will be formally unveiled by the three partners at the American Lung Association “Fight for Air Climb” event on March 8 at 11 a.m. at D’Amore in the Chase Tower in downtown Indianapolis. Participants climb 47 stories in a timed event designed to build camaraderie and promote better health and the prevention of lung disease.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Japanese surgeon to serve orthopedic research fellowship in Indiana

MOORESVILLE, Ind. – Tatsuya Sueyoshi, MD, PhD, has joined the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery and the Joint Replacement Surgeons of Indiana Research Foundation for a  one-year research fellowship, beginning in early April.

He will work at the Mooresville, Ind., campus and at the foundation’s biomedical research lab at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute.

“We at the JRSI Research Foundation in Mooresville and the Orthopaedic Biomedical Engineering Laboratory at Rose-Hulman in Terre Haute are looking forward to Dr. Sueyoshi's arrival,” said Michael Berend, MD, orthopedic surgeon with the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery. “During his time with us, Dr. Sueyoshi will share his research expertise by collaborating with our team of surgeons and researchers in the investigation and improvement of total joint replacement surgery.”

Sueyoshi will split his time in support of clinical database research at the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery and biomechanical research collaborations with Rose-Hulman.

“This international exchange of clinical experience and scientific interests will bolster the research efforts of the JRSI Research Foundation in addition to providing training opportunities for Dr. Sueyoshi to take back to Japan and incorporate into the care of his own patients in back home,” Berend said.    

This is Sueyoshi’s second visit to the United States but his first time to live abroad. He said he is looking forward to living in Indiana, though he’s nervous about the “severe winter cold in the Midwest. I was brought up in Okinawa, the most southern island of Japan.”

He received his medical degree and an advanced doctorate degree in orthopedic surgery from Kyoto University. He is board-certified by the Japanese Orthopedic Association and a member of the Japanese Orthopedic Association and the Japanese Society of Cartilage Metabolism.

Sueyoshi plans to return to Japan following his fellowship training here. He is an orthopedic surgeon with the Yoshikawa Hospital in Kyoto.