News Center

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Students poised for careers after graduating from medical tech program

Back row, left to right:  Kristen Daniel, Avery Davis, Grant Noakes, Caitlin Finelli
Front row, left to right:  Eden Shewman,  Erika Freese

INDIANAPOLIS – Six students recently graduated from the Franciscan St. Francis Health Clinical Laboratory Science Program.
The 2014 graduates and specialty field majors are:
Kristen Daniel, University of St. Francis (BA, biology 2012). Parents, Rolf and Aimee Daniel, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Avery Davis, Indiana University (BS, microbiology 2013). Parents, Jan and Alan Garcia; Scott and Christina Davis, Indianapolis.
Caitlin Finelli, Miami University (BA, microbiology 2013; BS medical laboratory science 2014). Parents, Daniel and Kathleen Finelli, Solon, Ohio.
Erika Freese, Franklin College (BA, biology 2014), Parents, Scott and Susan Taylor, Greenwood, Ind.
Grant Noakes, Manchester University (BA, medical technology 2014). Parents, Lori and Mike Williams; Thomas Noakes, LaPorte, Ind.
Eden Shewman, University of Indianapolis (BS, medical technology 2014). Parents, Dwight and Penny Shewman, Mentone, Ind.
The Franciscan St. Francis Health Clinical Laboratory Science is affiliated with several colleges and universities across the Midwest.
The program, which is a division of the hospital’s clinical laboratory, was established in 1967 and is dedicated to preparing professional medical technologists with the theoretical and practical training to serve as active members of the health care team in clinical laboratory science.
Medical technology involves conducting a wide range of laboratory tests for the detection, diagnosis, treatment and study of diseases. Clinical laboratory scientists work closely with pathologists and other specialists to ensure the accuracy of diagnoses.

More than 345 students have graduated from the program since its inception. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

New clinic offers convenient primary care to Greenwood city employees, families

GREENWOOD, Ind. -- Employees of the City of Greenwood enrolled in a medical plan with ADVANTAGE Health Solutions Inc. SM  (Advantage) now have a central location to have their medical and wellness needs met.

Franciscan WorkingWell and Greenwood have partnered to offer an employee health and wellness center, which will open June 3 at the New City Center Building, 300 S. Madison Ave. The clinic’s focus is to provide convenient primary care for acute illnesses and minor injuries for covered city employees and dependents over the age of 1.

"The health center is a tremendous benefit to our employees and their families,” said Greenwood Mayor Mark W. Myers. “It’s convenient and offered at no cost to the employees and their families covered under the city’s health insurance plan and should reduce our medical care costs.”

Eligible employees and their dependents can use a variety of services free, including: treatment for sore throats, colds, flu and sinus infections; flu shots and strep throat cultures; lab, prescription and generic drugs; and physicals  and preventive/wellness screenings

The clinic will be led by Daniel Wikse, MD, a family medicine and occupational medicine specialist with Franciscan St. Francis Health.

“Our partnership with the City of Greenwood will make a positive impact on the quality of work-life for their employees and their families,” said Joe Sagorsky, director of Franciscan St. Francis Employer Health Solutions.

Franciscan WorkingWell offers quality, timely occupational health services through locations in Greenwood/south Indianapolis and Mooresville. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Senior Promise slates Spring Fling Strawberry Festival at 2 locations

Franciscan St. Francis Health Senior Promise will host a Spring Fling Strawberry Festival Tuesday, May 20 at Sarah T. Bolton Park, 1300 Churchman Ave., Beech Grove; and Thursday, May 22 at Pioneer Park, Shelter #2, 1101 Indianapolis Road, Mooresville. 

The inaugural event, held from 12:30 P.M. to 2:30 p.m. at both locations, is free and geared for all ages. It is being held to celebrate National Older American’s Month, recognized in May.  

The festival offers live music by The Tides, strawberry shortcake, door prizes and the opportunity to socialize with others to help stay connected.   

“Senior Promise is delighted to offer this new event in honor of National Older American’s Month,” said Jeanelle Regal, Senior Promise director. “We look forward to hosting Spring Fling events each May with new themes and activities.”

In the event of rain, the event will be moved indoors to the Government Center, 4 E. Harrison 
St., Mooresville and Altenheim Senior Living, 3525 E. Hanna Ave., Beech Grove. 

This event is free for the public. For more information, contact Senior Promise at 317-528-6660.  

Monday, May 12, 2014

Physician establishes practice with Irvington Family Medicine

INDIANAPOLIS – Lawrence M. Cohen, MD, has joined Franciscan Physician Network Irvington Family Medicine and is accepting new patients.

He has been in private practice since 1979 in the Indianapolis area and has had hospital privileges at Franciscan St. Francis Health for many years.

Cohen joins Mark P. Hodgkin, MD; and Bernard M. Herbst, MD, whose practice is located at 5839 East Washington St.

Cohen received his undergraduate degree from Wabash College and earned his medical degree at the Indiana University School of Medicine. His internship was with St. Joseph Hospital and Health Care Center in South Bend and he completed his family medicine residency training at St. Vincent Health.

An Indianapolis resident, he is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Marion County Medical Society and the Indiana State Medical Association. He also has held instructor assignments with the IU School of Medicine.

Irvington Family Medicine recently moved into a new medical office complex and features 12 exam rooms.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Father may know best, but many new Dads need more educating

INDIANAPOLIS – Yeah, sure. She’s the one sporting that baby bump. But Dads, too, have important work to do in the months ahead.

As a father-to-be, you play a key role in supporting your partner and helping to ensure a healthy pregnancy. “Dads often express not feeling the reality of a pregnancy, especially in the first two trimesters,” said Ann Clute, RN, childbirth education coordinator and educator at Franciscan St. Francis Health. ”Dads don’t experience firsthand the discomfort and the fetal movements like moms do.

“That’s why childbirth classes are a great way for him to get involved,” she added. “He will meet other dads who feel exactly the same way he does.  He can learn and practice ways to support Mom through the rest of pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum. ”

Dads are also an integral part of the breastfeeding family so we can teach him ways to reassure Mom when she is feeling frustrated and unsure those first few weeks of nursing, said Clute. Newborn care classes allow for hands on practice with diapering, dressing, swaddling and holding a newborn; skills that scare many expectant fathers.

“And dads ask the best questions in class and are often the ones who lighten the mood in a classroom setting so childbirth educators love interacting with them,” said Clute.

It takes two
In addition to signing up for childbirth classes, here are some other ways to be more involved. Find out what it’s all about. From books to websites, try to learn more about pregnancy, childbirth and parenting. You and your partner might quiz each other and share pointers.

Go to her prenatal care visits. At one of the earlier appointments, you may hear your little one’s heartbeat. Later, you can even see the baby—and perhaps learn whether you’re having a girl or a boy.

Don’t light up. If you smoke, you may never have a better reason to quit. Secondhand smoke can harm your baby even before he or she is born. In the meantime, be sure not to smoke around your partner. And talk to your doctor if you need help quitting.

Help her have a healthy pregnancy. There are a lot of other ways you can help your partner and the baby stay healthy. For example:

·        Eat a healthy diet together, and avoid alcohol and illegal drugs so that it’s easier for her to do the same.

·        Take walks together, as long as it’s OK with her doctor. It’s a great way to bond and help her get some healthy exercise.

·        Help her steer clear of things that may be especially harmful to her now, such as harsh chemicals. If you have a cat, don’t let her empty the litter box.
·        Help prepare for the new arrival. You and your partner can decide how to set up the baby’s sleep area. And you might shop together for a crib, baby clothes and other items you’ll need for the baby. You can even put your mechanical skills on display by installing an appropriate infant safety seat in your vehicle well before your precious cargo’s first ride home.

Childbirth classes can help both mom and dad prepare for baby. Register for a class by calling 528-5554. To learn more about the classes Franciscan St. Francis Health offers, visit

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Long-time cancer physician lauded for ‘dramatic impact’ on patients’ lives

INDIANAPOLIS – Grace, sincerity, honesty.

Those three words are used to describe the approach Mary Lou Mayer, MD, takes in treating all of the patients who have turned to her for their cancer care for more than two decades. And that’s why this hematologist/oncologist is being honored as the latest recipient of the Healing Hands Award, presented quarterly by Franciscan St. Francis Health.

With her family and her private practice staff joining her, Mayer will receive the award Friday, May 9, at her south side office, adjacent to the Franciscan St. Francis-Indianapolis campus.

“Since 1993, Dr. Mayer has had a dramatic impact on her patients, families and co-workers,” said Christopher “Topper” Doehring, MD, vice president of medical affairs for Franciscan St. Francis. “She strives to be available when needed to answer questions, mentor staff and support her patients with a compassionate yet honest prognosis and treatment plan.”

That same sentiment is echoed by one of Mayer’s staff members, who nominated her for the award.

“In oncology, we celebrate our survivorship and guide our patients and families through all aspects of treatment,” wrote Angela May, RN. “At the most difficult times in a disease process, when a physician determines a customized plan of care, Dr. Mayer relays options with the kind of honesty I would want from my physician.”

Mayer is board-certified in internal medicine, medical oncology and hematology. She is a member of the Indiana State Medical Society, Hoosier Oncology Group, American College of Physicians and American Society.

An Indianapolis resident, Mayer earned a degree in agriculture at Purdue University, where she also studied chemical engineering. She earned her medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine, where she also completed residency training in internal medicine and a fellowship in hematology and oncology.

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.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Clinical study at Franciscan St. Francis Health seeks to get leg up on sciatic nerve pain

Hoosier patient is first in state and fourth in world to enroll in study

INDIANAPOLIS – It’s a shooting pain that radiates from the lower back, the thigh and below the knee and leaves many often unable to go about life’s routine activities.

It’s called sciatica – a common yet painful spinal condition – and physicians at Franciscan St. Francis Health are participating in a Phase II clinical trial designed to see if a product will bring relief for qualifying participants. The treatment is a non-surgical, non-steroid injection for sciatica-related leg and back pain.

”Although sciatica pain usually gets better on its own after a few weeks, for some people the pain continues, or even gets worse, which can take a major toll on your activity level,” said principal investigator Robert Prince, MD, pain expert for Franciscan Physician Network Spine Specialists.

The first patient in Indiana – and the fourth in the world – recently was enrolled in the research study at Franciscan St. Francis-Indianapolis. Performed as an outpatient procedure, the drug is injected into the epidural space as an extended release treatment.

To be considered for the study, patients must at a minimum:
·        be over 18 years of age
·        experience primarily leg pain (can also have back pain)
·        have failed conservative therapy (bed rest, physical therapy, medication) for at least six or more weeks
·        no chronic opioid use
·        be willing to stop anti-inflammatory drugs for sciatica for 24 hours before the implant and no use after the implant

For more information about the Franciscan St. Francis-based study, please call 855-5-STUDY-0 or visit

Monday, May 5, 2014

Surgeon explains orthopedic, joint replacement therapies June 11

COLUMBUS, 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, June 11, at the Comfort Inn and Suites, 2485 Jonathan Moore Pike, Columbus. Light refreshments will be served, beginning at 6 p.m.

Robert Malinzak, M.D., will explain the latest procedures in joint replacement and arthritis treatments. He is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in joint replacement.

Malinzak is a surgeon with Franciscan Physician Network Joint Replacement Surgeons, the practice group affiliated with the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery at Franciscan St. Francis–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 or go to and click on Hip & Knee Seminars.

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

Physician establishes practice with McFarland Internal Medicine

INDIANAPOLIS – Reva Sharma, MD, has joined Franciscan Physician Network McFarland Internal Medicine and is accepting new patients.

Board-certified in internal medicine, she has more than 15 years’ experience in that field. Sharma most recently worked for five years as a hospitalist at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville.

Sharma earned her medical degree at the Lady Harding Medical School at Delhi University, New Delhi, India. She completed her residency at Mount Sinai and University Hospitals of Cleveland, where she also served as an attending physician and clinical instructor.

McFarland Internal Medicine is located at 7825 McFarland Lane, Suite B. To make an appointment with Sharma, call 317-889-6551.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Senior Promise appoints new accountable care organization adviser

INDIANAPOLIS – Chase A. Kunkel has been appointed Accountable Care Organization counselor for Senior Promise at Franciscan St. Francis Health.

In that role, he is responsible for managing the ACO member service phone line, communication and education with ACO staff, providers and beneficiaries.    

Kunkel, a licensed health and life insurance agent, most previously served as a financial consultant for Northwestern Mutual. Prior to that, he was an assistant instructor for an intensive mental health classroom for an Indianapolis elementary school.

An Indianapolis resident, he earned his undergraduate degree in social and behavioral science at Indiana University. Kunkel is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and serves on the board of directors for the Social of Greenwood.

Launched in 1987, Senior Promise is a program based at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis, provides its 22,000-plus members a variety of meaningful services and benefits for people age 50 and older throughout the year.

First class of UIndy Cohort nursing program poised to receive graduate degrees

INDIANAPOLIS – Twenty Franciscan St. Francis Health nurses make up the first class of students to complete their master of science degrees in nursing at the University of Indianapolis MSN Cohort Program.

The three-year program is a partnership between Franciscan St. Francis and the University of Indianapolis to encourage and assist nurses in obtaining their bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Students receive a reduced tuition rate and can take classes at the hospital or online and can take advantage of the hospital’s tuition reimbursement.

The graduates completed studies concentrating on nursing education and nursing leadership and commencement is slate for May 10. They include:

·        Nancy Bryant, Franciscan Physician Network Indiana Heart Physicians
·        Corie Connor, Stroke Center
·        Angela Cottey, 5 East - Medical
·        Amy Dant, Critical Care
·        Kimberly Devine, Educational Services
·        Karla Dewey, Palliative Care
·        Betsy Glowinski, Indianapolis Gastroenterology
·        Debra Hillman, Educational Services
·        Laurel Hubbard, Critical Care
·        Lorie Nagy, Educational Services
·        Charlie Randolph, Clinical Informatics
·        Leah Scalf, Healthcare Quality
·        Erin Schoch, Educational Services
·        Tara Simon, Intensive Care Unit, Mooresville
·        Christa Smiley, Nursing Administration
·        Maria Smith, Educational Services
·        Kimberley Swisher, Educational Services
·        Lauren Titus, Franciscan Physician Network
·        Theresa Weisenbach, 4 East, BMT
·        Juli White, 5 West, Geriatrics

To learn more about nursing at Franciscan St. Francis Health, visit