News Center

Monday, September 29, 2014

Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center offers variety of free classes throughout October

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

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

What’s the fuss about salt? Why does my doctor care about my salt intake?
Harry Genovely, MD.
Thursday, Oct. 16, 6:30 p.m.
Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center (8111 S. Emerson Ave.)
Most Americans consume more salt than is recommended.  The FDA is even asking food companies to cut back on the salt they use when preparing foods.  Why does it matter? What is the problem with having too much salt?  Dr. Genovely will talk about the impact sodium has on the body and overall health, how it may increase your risk for disease.  Bring your questions for the cardiologist.

Do you have a heart murmur?
Tues, Oct. 21, 6:30 p.m.
Franklin Public Library, 401 State St, Franklin
Presented by Marc Gerdisch, MD
Refreshments served at 6:00 p.m.

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. Cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Gerdisch will talk about new treatments and surgeries for heart valves, including ongoing research studies Franciscan St. Francis Health.  Participants will have the opportunity to sign up for a free echocardiogram screening following the program.

Change of Heart classes offered in Fall 2014

Cooking for 2
Wednesday, Oct 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center
Wednesday, Oct 15, 6:30 p.m. at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville (1201 Hadley Road)
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. 

Fitness Tips
Tuesday, Oct 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville
Thursday, Oct 30 at 6:30 p.m. at Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center
Being fit is more than being thin.  Research shows that no matter what you weigh, increasing your fitness helps your heart. Discover that exercise can be healthy and fun.  Learn how to set up a schedule for yourself.

Healthy Meals on a Budget
Tuesday, Oct 28, 6:30 p.m. at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville
Wednesday, Oct 29, 6:30 p.m. at the Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center
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.

Meatless Cooking Tips
Thursday, Oct 23, 6:30 p.m. at the Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center
Meatless meals may help you live longer.  Adding more meatless meals to your diet is easy with new products now on the market.  This class will help you with menu planning and recipes so you can incorporate more meatless meals into your daily life.

Reduce Stress
Wed, Oct 22, 6:30 p.m. at the Franciscan St. Francis 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
Wednesday, Oct 1, 6:30 p.m. at Southport Meijer
Tuesday, Oct 7, 6:30 p.m. at Camby 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.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

MEDIA ADVISORY: Sept. 27 Gala salutes Franciscan St. Francis Health’s centennial of service

INDIANAPOLIS – Several local luminaries will join more than 800 guests attending the Centennial Gala celebration of Franciscan St. Francis Health, 6:30 PM to 11 PM, Saturday, Sept. 27 at the JW Marriott.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Franciscan Hospice House, which will be located at hospital’s south-side campus. The facility will serve more than 600 families annually when it opens in Fall 2015.

WTHR-13 reporter and anchor Kris Kirschner will emcee this black-tie event. And among the featured speakers and other high-profile guests are Gala honorary co-chairs, John Lechleiter, Eli Lilly and Company president and CEO; Archbishop Joseph Tobin of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis; and Robert J. Brody, president and CEO of Franciscan St. Francis Health.

Among the most special guests will be the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration. The Sisters established their health ministry and constructed a hospital in the fledgling community of Beech Grove in 1914. That mission has since flourished throughout Central Indiana.

To learn more about the history of Franciscan St. Francis Health click on this VIDEO

The Gala includes historic videos and other visuals (one of which will soon be on display at the Indiana Historical Society), silent and live auctions and musical entertainment.

Cancer survivorship celebrated at Franciscan St. Francis Health Fall Festival

INDIANAPOLIS – Autumn is a time of harvest, family-focused activities and thanksgiving – and those qualities fuel Fall Festival 2014, sponsored by Franciscan St. Francis Health Cancer Center.

The event is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 4, at the Center, located at 8111 S. Emerson Ave. Staff will offer tours of the facility and explain the many programs and services provided by south-central Indiana’s most comprehensive cancer center.
Among the other Fall Festival activities:
• Live music performed by Tastes Like Chicken
• Free food and drinks
• Free magic show (Noon – 12:30 pm)
• Free face painting
• Kids costume contest with prizes in three categories: most creative, spookiest and cutest
• Farmers’ market
• Information on cancer awareness, prevention and survivorship services
• Balloon ceremony to recognize cancer survivors and their families (2:30 p.m.)

For more information, call 317-528-7794.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Take a stroll through the human brain at Senior Promise’s annual health fair

Revamped health fair offers more and diverse exhibits, screenings and hands-on experience

INDIANAPOLIS – An expanded and fully interactive health fair is in store for the anticipated hundreds who will attend an annual health sponsored by Senior Promise.

“Journey Through Wellness” is slated for 8 a.m. to noon, Friday, Oct. 3, at The Atrium, 3143 E. Thompson Road. Senior Promise is a program based at Franciscan St. Francis Health.

Ever given any thought about what’s going on inside your head? Participants can walk through AmeriBrain, a large, inflatable exhibit. The display offers a realistic view about the parts and mechanics of the brain and disorders – such as strokes and headaches – and Franciscan St. Francis Health clinicians will be on hand to explain these functions.

There also will be numerous lifestyle screenings and other activities available, including health and wellness screenings, physician presentations, exercise (Pilates and yoga chair), cooking demonstrations, genetic counseling and testing for hereditary cancer conditions, chair massages, pharmacy consultations, first aid to name but a few.

Emergency Medical Technicians will be on hand to talk about personal safety and to assist guests in filling our emergency medical information forms.

Flu and pneumonia vaccines also will be offered and the cost covered for those enrolled in Medicare Care Part B or who are members of the Advantage Health plan.

“Journey Through Wellness – formerly called the Fall Health Festival – is an opportunity for us to more actively engage our guests and members and to provide more comprehensive health care education and the tools necessary to stay healthy,” said Senior Promise Director Jeanelle Regal.

Launched in 1987, Senior Promise provides its 30,000-plus members a variety of meaningful services and benefits for people age 50 and older throughout the year.

New medical complex to offer primary, specialty care options to Columbus residents

COLUMBUS, Ind. – The development of a downtown medical facility will soon offer residents here and Bartholomew County enhanced treatment options and easier access to Franciscan St. Francis Health clinical services.

On Monday, Sept. 22 (today), Franciscan Physician Network Columbus Primary & Specialty Care will relocate to a newly renovated building at 123 2nd St. It will house the medical practice of Teresa L. Lovins, MD, who has been seeing patients for several months at a temporary site.

The refurbished facility will be staffed by physicians, nurse practitioners, a practice manager and medical assistants, and includes a lab draw site.  

“Franciscan St. Francis Health has welcomed and treated patients from Columbus and the surrounding area for decades,” said Robert J. Brody, president and chief executive officer. “As we are a regional tertiary center, our hospital and physicians will provide a continuum of care for those who choose our services.”

Conveniently located in downtown Columbus and only a few miles from Interstate 65, the medical complex is only 35 miles south of Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis, a full-service hospital offering nationally recognized programs such as cardiac, vascular, cancer and women’s care, and the only Level III neonatal intensive care unit in south-central Indiana.

Construction on the one-story 8,700-square-feet facility got underway in December 2013. The $2.5 million renovation boasts a new fa├žade, a west-facing main entrance, exam rooms, offices and expanded parking lot.

The work is being done by Tonn and Blank Construction, who are joined by subcontractors, Nading Mechanical Inc. and Forster Electrical Services.

The Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce and other community leaders have supported the project since its inception and they will be on hand for a blessing and dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday, Sept. 25.

On Saturday, Nov. 1, Columbus residents will have the opportunity to meet the clinical staff of Columbus Primary & Specialty Care and hospital leadership, tour the facility and participate in activities at an open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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

Friday, September 19, 2014

New research services chief appointed by Franciscan St. Francis Health

INDIANAPOLIS – Elizabeth Glowinski, RN, has been appointed director of research services for Franciscan St. Francis Health and will oversee research efforts throughout the hospital.

She most recently served as executive director for Indianapolis Gastroenterology Research Foundation and served in other roles since 1993.

Glowinski received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Indiana University and earned her master’s degree in nursing administration/business administration at the University of Indianapolis.

A certified clinical research coordinator, Glowinski is a member of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals, Sigma Theta Tau International and Model Agreements and Guidelines International.

Franciscan Visiting Nurse Service selects new medical director

INDIANAPOLIS – David M. Mandelbaum, MD, has been appointed medical director for Franciscan Visiting Nurse Service (VNS), focusing on home health and post-acute care services.

Serving patients in 30 Indiana counties, Franciscan VNS is a full-service home health-care organization, providing care by nurses, physical therapists, speech and occupational therapists, home care aides, social workers and dieticians, all under the guidance of primary care physicians. 

Dr. Mandelbaum also serves as Director of Franciscan St. Francis Health’s Office of Medical Staff Engagement and was the physician leader of the hospital’s project to convert to an electronic medical records system.

A native of New York City, he has served as President and Vice President of the Franciscan St. Francis Health Medical Staff and chaired the Department of Surgery. He was a practicing general surgeon with Franciscan Physician Network Indy Southside Surgical from 1986 to 2009.

Dr. Mandelbaum received his undergraduate degree in biological sciences from Indiana University, where he later earned his medical degree. He completed an internship, residency and fellowship in surgery at The Ohio State University Hospitals.

He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and is a member of the American Academy of Home Care Medicine, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, American College of Physician Executives, American Medical Association, Indiana State Medical Association and Indianapolis Medical Society.

Friday, September 12, 2014

New insurance, services manager selected by Senior Promise

INDIANAPOLIS – Mindy King has been appointed manager of insurance and senior services at Senior Promise at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis.

King’s focus is on helping seniors and individuals meet their medical financial needs through proper education about their health insurance options. In her new position, she will concentrate on expanding Franciscan Insurance Services and the Senior Promise programs throughout all Franciscan Alliance facilities in Indiana and south-suburban Chicago.

She previously had served as program and insurance supervisor for Senior Promise Department and Franciscan Insurance Services. In that role, she was responsible for enrolling seniors in Medicare Supplement, Medicare Prescription Drug coverage and Medicare Advantage Plans.

An Indianapolis resident, King is a certified Health Insurance Associate and Managed Healthcare Professional with more than 30 years experience in the insurance industry. She attended Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.

Launched in 1987, Senior Promise provides its 30,000-plus members a variety of meaningful services and benefits for people age 50 and older throughout the year.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Franciscan St. Francis Health, DEA offer drive-by drug drop-off, Sept. 27

INDIANAPOLIS – In an effort to curb the abuse of potentially dangerous prescription medications, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Franciscan St. Francis Health are offering a disposal site from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 27.

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day event, which will take place in the outpatient parking lot in the northwest corner at the hospital (8111 S. Emerson Ave.), provides an opportunity for the public to rid their homes of expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

“This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue,” said Rich Witmer, hospital security director. “This service is free and anonymous – no questions asked.”

The rates of prescription drug abuse, accidental poisonings and overdoses are alarmingly high, the DEA reports. A majority of the medications – both pills and liquids – are obtained from family and friends. Disposal of the drugs such as flushing them down the toilet or discarding them into the trash poses both safety and health concerns.

In a national effort last year, Americans turned in 390 tons of prescription drugs at more than 6,000 sites operated by the DEA and state and local law enforcement partners. 

Physician establishes practice with Diabetes & Endocrinology Specialists

INDIANAPOLIS – Blake L. Erdel, MD, has joined Franciscan Physician Network Diabetes & Endocrinology Specialists and is accepting new patients in Indianapolis and Columbus.

He joins six other physicians, whose main offices are located at 5230A E. Stop 11 Road, Suite 150, Indianapolis. This group also serves patients in Martinsville, Franklin, Mooresville, Plainfield and Shelbyville.

Board-certified in Internal Medicine, Dr. Erdel recently completed a fellowship in Endocrinology and Diabetes at the Indiana University School of Medicine, where he received specialized training for conditions including diabetes, thyroid disease, osteoporosis and many other Endocrine disorders.

An Indianapolis resident, he earned his medical degree at the IU School of Medicine and received his undergraduate degree in computer science from DePauw University, where he was an honors student.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Erdel, call 317-865-5904.

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

Monday, September 8, 2014

Franciscan St. Francis Health earns ‘Silver Plus’ for heart attack care

INDIANAPOLIS – Franciscan St. Francis Health has received the Mission: Lifeline® Silver Plus Receiving Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks.

Each year in the United States, approximately 250,000 people have a STEMI, or ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to immediately restore blood flow, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication.

The Lifeline program helps hospitals, emergency medical services and communities improve response times so people who suffer from a STEMI receive prompt, appropriate treatment. The program’s goal is to streamline systems of care to quickly get heart attack patients from the first “911” call to hospital treatment.

“Our physicians, nurses, clinicians and support staff are dedicated to improving the quality of care for our patients who suffer a heart attack,” said William J. Berg, MD, medical director of Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care, and I am very proud of our team.”

“We commend Franciscan St. Francis Health for this achievement award, which reflects a significant institutional commitment to improve the quality of care for their heart attack patients,” said A. Gray Ellrodt, MD, chair of AHA’s Lifeline committee and chief of medicine at the Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Mass. “We must all continue this important work to streamline and coordinate regional systems of care to save lives and prevent complications.

Franciscan St. Francis earned the award by meeting specific criteria and standards of performance for the quick and appropriate treatment of STEMI patients to open the blocked artery.

Before patients are discharged, they are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers, and they receive smoking cessation counseling if needed. Eligible hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period to receive the awards.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Baby Fair returns to Greenwood Park Mall Sept. 20 with great expectations

Franciscan St. Francis Health event offers Diaper Derby, activities, free giveaways

GREENWOOD, Ind. – There’s going to be a lot of baby talk going on at Greenwood Park Mall Saturday, Sept. 20.

That’s because Franciscan St. Francis Health is hosting Inspiring You – Mommy, Baby & Beyond, an informative fair for mothers and expecting parents. The event, which is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., enables participants to meet with experts from the Women & Children’s Center and to learn about programs and services offered to patients and children.

The event is located indoors near the Von Maur and JCPenney entrances.

Visitors can experience the soothing effects of aromatherapy and learn the benefits of acupuncture and massage therapy. And parents can enroll their babies (up to 12 months old) for a Diaper Derby (first 10 girls and boys registered the day of the event).

Additionally, numerous prizes and giveaways will be available, and the first 100 people to stop by the registration table will receive a Vera Bradley® gift (limit one per family).

Organizers are encouraging youngsters to bring a favorite stuffed animal for interactive booths and the Doc McStuffins Toy Check-Up, with the Radio Disney Junior Road Crew.

The event also offers an excellent opportunity to learn more about Franciscan St. Francis’ ongoing $36.5 million expansion and renovation of the Women & Children’s Center. The 100,000-square-foot project encompasses the first through fourth floors at the Indianapolis campus, located at 8111 S. Emerson Ave.

Here’s what expecting mothers and their families will find when the renovation is completed in early 2015:

·        7 triage rooms and an infusion area for newly admitted patients (2nd floor)
·        12 expanded labor and delivery rooms (2nd floor)
·        8 large antepartum suites with in-room refrigerators (2nd floor)
·        2 operating room suites for caesarean procedures (2nd floor)
·        30 postpartum suites and a nursery (3rd floor)
·        24 private neonatal intensive care rooms (4th floor)
·        10  “kid-friendly” pediatric rooms  (4th floor)

More than Nearly 50,000 babies have been born since 1995, when obstetric and pediatric services were consolidated at Franciscan St. Francis-Indianapolis. About 2,200 babies are born annually at the Indianapolis campus and 300 infants delivered at the hospital’s Cherished Beginnings unit in Mooresville – the only medical facility in Morgan County with obstetrical services.

More information on the event can be found at