News Center

Friday, December 18, 2015

Franciscan St. Francis Health strikes ‘Gold’ twice for heart failure, stroke care

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis has received national recognition for its delivery of care to heart failure and stroke patients.

The hospital recently earned Get With The Guidelines® Heart Failure Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology Foundation’s secondary prevention guideline for patients with heart failure.

According to the AHA, about 5.7 million adult Americans suffer from heart failure with an estimated 870,000 new cases diagnosed annually. However, heart failure patients can lead full lives when their conditions are managed with proper medications or devices and with healthy lifestyle changes.

At the same time, Franciscan St. Francis also received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. This acknowledges the hospital’s commitment and success to ensure stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment, according to nationally recognized guidelines.

Additionally, the AHA reports Franciscan St. Francis has met specific scientific guidelines as a Primary Stroke Center for the rapid diagnosis and treatment related to patient care.


The association also reminds the public that stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and leading cause of adult disability in the United States.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Franciscan CityWay will provide range of services in Downtown Indy

YMCA partnership offers unique blend of health and wellness programs

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – An already-thriving Downtown Indianapolis will soon have new neighbors.

Meet Indy’s new health and wellness dream team: Franciscan St. Francis Health and the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis will open their doors Dec. 15 at CityWay. This sprawling facility will enable both organizations to offer a unique blend of health care and wellness programs to the public.

“This is a natural partnership and it combines the strength of the clinical services our hospital provides with the depth of health-focused programs for which the YMCA is so well known,” said Dr. James Callaghan, president and CEO for Franciscan St. Francis. “It is an innovative collaboration in every sense and serves the Downtown community in many ways.”
Franciscan CityWay is located at 426 S. Alabama St. The adjoining YMCA facility (430 S. Alabama St.) is a three-story, 87,000-square-foot complex which has been under development since mid-2014.

Both organizations unveiled plans for the partnership in November 2014. Franciscan St. Francis is leasing 13,000 square feet from the YMCA at an estimated capital investment of $2.3 million.

“We are thrilled about working with Franciscan St. Francis Health in the CityWay development, serving all of downtown Indianapolis and neighbors on the southeast side,” said Eric Ellsworth, YMCA of Greater Indianapolis president and CEO. “For over 100 years both the YMCA and Franciscan St. Francis Health have been meeting the needs of people in spirit, mind and body.”

When Franciscan CityWay opens, patients will be welcomed by Drs. Donald McMahon and Amy Corrigan, who will lead a staff of advanced care providers and support experts. Both physicians are certified in family medicine and Corrigan is fellowship-trained in sports medicine.

McMahon has practiced at Franciscan Physician Network Kendrick Family Medicine in Mooresville for 17 years. A newly hired physician, Corrigan most recently was part of the hospital’s medical support team for the 2015 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon.

In addition to primary and specialty care, Franciscan CityWay will have physical therapy and lab and imaging services. Depending on future demands, other specialty care services might be available at that office. Also, adult patients will have the convenience and peace of mind knowing their children are being cared for at the YMCA Child Watch center during appointments.

Franciscan CityWay meshes well with what its new neighbor provides to the public.

The YMCA at CityWay will have two indoor swimming pools, three gyms, an elevated running track, state-of-the-art Wellness Center, sauna and whirlpool, and cardiovascular and strength equipment. Also on the menu is a culinary studio, where nutritionists will teach individuals and families how to prepare healthy meals.

For more information or to make an appointment at Franciscan CityWay, call (317) 528-2489 (CITY).

YMCA of Greater Indianapolis and Franciscan St. Francis Health are planning a Community Day event Saturday, Jan. 16. The public may tour their facilities from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

New physician establishes practice with Psychiatric Specialists

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – M. Shahid Kamal, MD, has joined Franciscan Physician Network Psychiatric Specialists.

He joins William J. Wiseman, MD; Brock P. Nolan, MD; Teresita C. Briones-Ramilo MD; and advanced care providers Dawn M. Copas and Amina K. Clinker. Their offices are located at 610 E. Southport Road Suite 200, Indianapolis.

Board-certified in general psychiatry, Dr. Kamal has clinical interests in geriatric psychiatry, drug abuse, anxiety disorders and psychopharmacology. He is also certified in suboxone treatment for opioid addictions.

Dr. Kamal most recently served as a full-time psychiatrist with Valle Vista Health System in Greenwood. He has held similar positions at Marion (Ind.) General Hospital, the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services and other medical facilities in Nebraska.

An Indianapolis resident, Dr. Kamal earned a medical degree from the University of Alexandria (Egypt) and a diploma in family medicine from the College of Physicians and Surgeons (Pakistan). He completed psychiatric medicine residency training at the University of Virginia (Roanoke).

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kamal, call 317-781-4588



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

Monday, December 7, 2015

New physician joins Columbus Primary & Specialty Care staff

COLUMBUS, Indiana – E. Doug Poplin, MD, MPH has established a practice with Franciscan Physician Network Columbus Primary & Specialty Care.

Board-certified in family medicine, he most previously was medical director and staff physician at Franciscan WorkingWell (occupational services). He also serves as medical director of St. Thomas More Free Clinic, a medical outreach program to the underserved in Mooresville.

Dr. Poplin also was a consulting occupational health physician for the federal government in Indianapolis and an industrial health services doctor for Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Georgetown, Kentucky.

He is a certified civil surgeon by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service and certified medical examiner for the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Dr. Poplin received his undergraduate degrees in biochemistry and molecular biology at Centre College of Kentucky (Danville) and earned his medical degree from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine (Lexington), where he received academic honors.

He completed a family medicine residency at Franciscan St. Francis Health and later earned a master of public health in occupational medicine from the Medical College of Wisconsin.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Poplin, call 812-342-3339. Columbus Primary & Specialty Care is located at 123 2nd St.


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, November 24, 2015

Light a candle, share a Christmas story – remember a loved one

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Family members, friends and other loved ones. They may be gone but their memories endure within us.

And that is why Franciscan VNS St. Francis Hospice is hosting Season of Sharing – Christmas Remembrance, Thursday, Dec. 10, at Southport Presbyterian Church, 7525 McFarland Blvd.

The event, which starts at 7 p.m., invites the community to a gathering to remember loved ones during a special candle-lighting ceremony, offers families a chance to share an anecdote or memory about a loved one.

Each family is encouraged to bring a photo and display it on the table of honor. There also will be special choir and soloist music and the singing of Christmas carols, along with refreshments.

For more information about this event, contact Karla Riggs Norton at 317-528-2636 karla.norton@franciscanalliance.org; or Jeff Hauersperger at 317-528-2099 jeffrey.hauersperger@franciscanalliance.org.

Franciscan VNS St. Francis Hospice provides a sense of dignity and compassion to both the patient and the family. Our team of professionals and volunteers provides kind and competent hospice care to patients with a life expectancy of six months or less. 


Franciscan Hospice House recently was completed and is expected to accept patients in January 2016.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Medicare Extravaganza continues to educate seniors on insurance plans in December

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It’s that time of year again – that open enrollment period to help seniors choose the right Medicare Advantage plan to cover their health insurance needs.

Franciscan Insurance Services is hosting a Medicare Extravaganza Dec. 3, 4, 17 and 18 at Hilton Garden Inn, 5255 Noggle Way, Indianapolis. The Dec. 17 and 18 dates are for Medicare recipients who are eligible for a Special Election Period.

Franciscan Insurance Services staff will be joined by representatives from:
·        Humana Health Plan Inc. at 9 a.m.
·        Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield at 10 a.m.
·        UnitedHealthcare at 11 a.m.

Each organization will give presentations on their Medicare Advantage plans to help participants make informed decisions about the right plan for their needs.


Registration is not required. For more information Franciscan Insurance Services at 317-528-7770.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

NASA astronaut to be guest of honor at annual Senior Promise gathering

INDIANAPOLIS – The countdown for liftoff has begun for the Senior Promise Christmas Party and one of our nation’s longest-serving astronauts will be on board with those attending this annual event.

NASA astronaut David Wolf, MD, is the keynote speaker for the party and luncheon at Primo Banquet Hall and Conference Center (2615 National Ave.), Friday, Dec. 11.

A 30-year NASA veteran, Dr. Wolf has spent 168 days in space and conducted seven spacewalks over four separate missions including Space Shuttles Columbia, Atlantis, Discovery and Endeavor, as well as the International Space Station, Russian Space Station MIR and Spacelab. He’s also the recipient of the NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal and the NASA Inventor of the Year,

An Indianapolis native, Dr. Wolf attended North Central High School and received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering at Purdue University. He earned his medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine and completed his medical internship and Air Force flight surgeon training at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

Dr. Wolf retired from NASA in 2012. Today, he works as a private consultant and is the Extraordinary Scientist in Residence for the Indianapolis Children’s Museum.

Since 1987, Franciscan St. Francis Health has been keeping a pledge with thousands of south-central Indiana seniors with the Senior Promise program. It offers a variety of benefits and events to help those ages 50 and older stay in good health and prepare for the future.

Boasting about 33,000 members, Senior Promise is a robust way for seniors to take advantage of health screenings and counselors are available to help its members in a myriad of ways. To learn more about Senior Promise call (317) 528-6660 or visit its website at http://www.franciscanalliance.org/hospitals/indianapolis/health-resources/senior-promise/pages/default.aspx.


For more on Astronaut Dr. David Wolf please visit www.earthtomorrow.net.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Hospital’s inpatient rehabilitation programs earn international accreditation

INDIANAPOLIS – Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis has received three-year accreditation for its adult inpatient rehabilitation and stroke specialty programs by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

This latest accreditation is the second consecutive the first accreditation that CARF has awarded to Franciscan St. Francis for inpatient rehabilitation. This is the first specialty accreditation for the rehabilitation center for its stroke program.

The recognition represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows the hospital’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards.

Franciscan St. Francis’ inpatient rehabilitation programs treat patients who have experienced strokes, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, multiple traumas, neurological diseases, orthopedic and cardiac conditions.


CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process and continuous improvement services focused on enhancing the lives of the persons served

Friday, November 6, 2015

Holiday Health Tip Sheet: Family history and heart disease

INDIANAPOLIS – We’re on the cusp of the Thanksgiving season and poised for family gatherings and meals. It also provides an opportunity for families to take stock of their heart health.

Learning your family health history can help you identify your risk of developing heart and vascular disease and stroke. Knowing the risk can minimize the potential of heart attacks and conditions such as heart valve disease. Testing further reduces such risks.

Physicians and staff at Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center offer some tips on what information family members may glean from one another during the holidays:

·        Get health information from your mother, father, sister, brother
·        If relatives have had a heart attack or stroke, how old were they? (if your father or brother were younger than 55 years old or your mother or sister were younger than 65, your risk is higher)
·        Who in the family has high cholesterol, high blood pressure?
·        Does diabetes run in the family?
·        Have your parents had surgery for heart valve disease?
·        Does any family member have peripheral arterial disease (bad circulation in the legs), aneurysms or blocked carotid arteries?  These are all signs of cardiovascular disease.

You can’t change your family, but there are other controllable risk factors to be considered, physicians say.
  • Don’t smoke
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise 30 - 60 minutes, five days a week,  or simply increase your activity level
  • Control blood pressure (less than 120/80)
  • Control cholesterol levels
·        Control blood sugar if you are diabetic


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Hospital volunteers poised to send kids ‘packing’ – with 40,000 healthy meals

GREENWOOD, Ind. – Franciscan St. Francis Health is partnering with Pack Away Hunger to pack nutritious meals for thousands of hungry children throughout south-central Indiana and Haiti.

Volunteers will gather at the hospital’s Education and Support Services Center at 421 N. Emerson Ave., Greenwood, Saturday, Nov. 7 with the goal of assembling and packaging 40,000 meals. Pack Away Hunger (formerly Kids Against Hunger) will provide the equipment and food supplies.

“This is an ordinary but important way to address the extraordinary problems faced by hungry children in our community and abroad,” said Joe Sagorsky, who is coordinating the event, which gets under way at 9 a.m.

The lack of proper nutrition creates significant health and development consequences for individuals and has far-reaching implications for the communities, Pack Away Hunger officials said.

It’s estimated that nearly 16 million children in the United States do not have regular access to healthy meals. In developing nations, one in six children – roughly 100 million – is underweight as the result of acute and chronic malnutrition.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Travelling Fellows visit with Franciscan joint replacement surgeons


MOORESVILLE, Ind. -- Four international orthopedic surgeons who are on this year's John N. Insall Travelling Fellowship made a stop this week at our Center for Hip & Knee Surgery to meet with our Joint Replacement Surgeons of Indiana team.

They are (from left, front row): Drs. Simone Cerciello (Italy), Thomas J. Heyse (Germany), James L. Howard (Canada) and Simon W. Young (New Zealand).

Middle row: Drs. E. Michael Keating, Joshua Carter (Midwest Center for Joint Replacement), John Meding, Michael Berend ( Midwest Center) and Philip Faris.

Back row: Dr. Tatsuya Sueyoshi (Fellow, Joint Replacement Surgeons of Indiana Research Foundation).

The Center for Hip & Knee Surgery is internationally recognized for its surgical innovation and care for patients.
To learn more about the prestigious Insall Fellowship, go tohttp://www.kneesociety.org/web/travelfellowship.html.

Surgeon to discuss heart murmurs, valve disease, treatments at Putnam County Hospital

GREENCASTLE, Ind. – A prominent Franciscan St. Francis Health heart surgeon will lead a free public Ask the Doc seminar on “Do you have a heart murmur?” at Putnam County Hospital Tuesday, Oct. 27.

Marc W. Gerdisch, MD, chief of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, will explain the significance of heart murmurs and latest treatments for heart valve disease. The event starts at 6:30 p.m., with refreshments being served at 6:00 p.m. in the hospital’s third-floor classroom at 1542 S. Bloomington St.

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.

In 2008, Dr. Gerdisch performed the world’s first procedure to repair heart valves using technology enabling the heart to naturally regrow damaged tissue. He has been an innovator in heart surgery at Franciscan St. Francis Health and frequently presents internationally on novel heart valve repair techniques. He also conducts ongoing landmark research in next-generation heart valves and heart tissue regeneration.

The seminar is free, but registration is required because of limited seating. To register, call 765-655-2620.

Those attending may be eligible for a free heart valve echocardiogram screening at a later date.


Putnam County Hospital recently formed a partnership with Franciscan St. Francis Health. This arrangement provides a full-time cardiology clinic and outstanding cardiac support for patients in that area.

Hospital-hosted event offers health sciences career info to students

INDIANAPOLIS – The health care industry is ever-evolving and so too are its many opportunities for youngsters who may consider careers in that field.

Franciscan St. Francis Health and Franciscan Physician Network are sponsoring Health Sciences Career Forum Thursday, Nov. 5 at their Indianapolis campus (8111 S. Emerson Ave.).

The event is geared to middle school students and their parents. Here’s what they can expect:Career education and information booths; demonstrations of clinical technology and panel discussions by hospital staff; giveaways; door prizes; and refreshments.

Representatives from Ivy Tech Community College, Franklin College, Marian University, University of Indianapolis and Harrison College will be on hand to explain their respective health-related education programs.

The event will be from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., is located inside the hospital’s outpatient center area (Entrance 6).


To register, call 317-528-3284 or visit http://goo.gl/forms/Ch9j5AxIbd.

Free heart-healthy classes offered to public throughout November

INDIANAPOLIS -- Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center is offering free classes focused on cardiovascular health and wellness in November.

To register for any of the classes, call 317-782-4422 or go online at MyHeartCare.net to see the full listing of fall classes. Seating is limited for these events. The classes include:

Am I safe from having a heart attack?
Thursday, Nov. 5 at 6:30 p.m.
Franciscan St. Francis Health-Mooresville (1201 Hadley Road)
Presented by Babu Doddapaneni, MD

While family history plays a part in our risk for heart and vascular disease, we can take many steps to reduce our chances of having a heart attack or stroke. First up: know your numbers, including resting heart rate, blood pressure and cholesterol, both good (HDL) and bad (LDL). Then learn how diet, exercise and medications can lower your risk of heart disease. During this program Dr. Doddapaneni will talk about prevention and recognizing the signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke.
Aneurysms: Pay attention before it’s too late
Thursday, Nov. 19, 6:30 p.m.
Franciscan St. Francis Heart Center (8111 S. Emerson Ave.)
Presented by Thomas Webb, MD

Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA), are uncommon but usually deadly.  They develop slowly and usually have no symptoms, but when the weakened walls of the artery collapse, there is little recourse.  That’s why knowing your risk for AAA is so important. In some cases, the condition is genetic, but if you smoke, have high blood pressure or cholesterol you may be at risk as well. Dr. Webb will discuss risks, symptoms and monitoring of AAA and how Medicare offers a free screening to qualified members age 65-75.

Change of Heart classes offered in Fall 2015:

Quick meals at home
Tuesday, Nov. 3, 6:30 p.m. at Franciscan St. Francis-Mooresville
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
Wednesday, Nov. 4, 6:30 p.m. at Southport Meijer (5325 E. Southport Road)
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.

Fitness Tips
Tuesday, Nov. 10, 6:30 p.m. at the 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.

Flavorful Holiday Cooking Tips
Thursday, Nov. 12, 6:30 p.m. at Franciscan St. Francis-Mooresville
Wednesday, Nov 18, 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.

Reduce Holiday Stress
Tuesday, Nov. 17, 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.

New physician establishes practice with Orthopedic Specialists

INDIANAPOLIS – Toni E. Lin, MD, has joined Franciscan Physician Network Orthopedic Specialists.

She joins Charles P. Bartley Jr., MD; Peter Hogg, MD; Jeffrey A. Ollo, MD; Daniel K. Williams, MD; Kenneth S. Pherson, DO; and James W. Strickland, MD, whose offices are located at 5255 E. Stop 11 Road, Suite 300, Indianapolis.

Dr. Lin, who specializes in hand and upper extremity surgery, most recently practiced in the Indianapolis area and held a clinical appointment with the Indiana University School of Medicine.

An honors graduate of Purdue University, she earned her medical degree from the IU School of Medicine. Dr. Lin completed an internship and residency in orthopedic surgery at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. She also completed a fellowship in hand surgery at the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas.

Dr. Lin has made frequent presentations to medical organizations and participated widely in professional development activities.

An Indianapolis resident, Dr. Lin is board-certified by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, American Association for Hand Surgery and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Lin, call 317-528-4723.


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 22, 2015

Hospital-hosted event offers health sciences career info to students

INDIANAPOLIS – The health care industry is ever-evolving and so too are its many opportunities for youngsters who may consider careers in that field.

Franciscan St. Francis Health and Franciscan Physician Network are sponsoring Health Sciences Career Forum Thursday, Nov. 5 at their Indianapolis campus (8111 S. Emerson Ave.).

The event is geared to middle school students and their parents. Here’s what they can expect:
·        Career education and information booths
·        Demonstrations of clinical technology and panel discussions by hospital staff
·        Giveaways, door prizes and refreshments

Representatives from Ivy Tech Community College, Franklin College, Marian University, University of Indianapolis and Harrison College will be on hand to explain their respective health-related education programs.

The event will be from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., is located inside the hospital’s outpatient center area (Entrance 6).


To register, call 317-528-3284 or visit http://goo.gl/forms/Ch9j5AxIbd.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Medicare Extravaganza aims to educate seniors on insurance plans

GREENWOOD, Ind. – It’s that time of year again – that open enrollment period to help seniors choose the right Medicare Advantage plan to cover their health insurance needs.

Senior Promise, a Franciscan St. Francis Health-based organization is hosting a Medicare Extravaganza Oct. 19, Oct. 23 and Oct. 26 at the hospital’s Education Services and Support Center at 421 N. Emerson Ave., Greenwood, one mile south of County Line Road.

Four presentation sessions will be held at the following times: 9 to 10:15 a.m., 10:30 to 11:45 a.m., noon to 1:15 p.m. and 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. 

Franciscan Insurance Services staff will be joined by representatives from Humana Health Plan Inc., Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and UnitedHealthcare. Each organization will give presentations on their Medicare Advantage plans to help participants make informed decisions about the right plan for their needs.


Registration is not required. For more information, call Senior Promise and Franciscan Insurance Services at 317-528-8277.

Franciscan St. Francis Health offers help for those seeking health insurance

COLUMBUS, Ind. -- Are you and your family covered by health insurance? If not, Franciscan St. Francis Health Cancer Center wants to help you find an affordable plan.

The Cancer Center is hosting an event at Tuesday, Nov. 3, at Franciscan Physician Network Columbus Primary & Specialty Care, located at 123 2nd St. Insurance specialists will be on hand to answer questions and to help enroll participants in a plan with Medicare, 
Medicaid or the Health Insurance Marketplace.

The event, which will be from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., is open to anyone looking to enroll in a plan for 2016.


For more information, call 317-528-1351.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Hospital’s Senior Health Speakers Series continues at Garfield Park

INDIANAPOLIS – Seniors with questions about their health, wellness and safety are likely to find the answers they need at free seminars offered by Franciscan St. Francis Health.

The hospital’s Senior Health Speakers Series at Garfield Park offers the following classes at Garfield Park Burrello Family Center, located at 2345 Pagoda Drive, Indianapolis. Events are free, but registration is required for all sessions and can be made by calling 317-327-7220:
Noon, Wednesday, Oct. 21   Am I At Risk of Heart Attack?  While family history plays a role in your risk for heart attack and cardiovascular disease, many steps can be taken to reduce those disorders. Michael Barron, MD, a member of Franciscan Physician Network Indiana Heart Physicians, will talk about prevention and how to recognize signs and symptoms of heart attack. A box lunch will be provided to participants. Registration required by 3 p.m., Oct. 17.

1 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 11  ACO Kidney Talks  Chronic kidney disease afflicts many in the United States. Shelby Baker, RN, will discuss disease progression, prevention, risk factors and how to take control with healthy lifestyle choices. Registration required by 3 p.m., Nov. 14

10 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 18    Fall Prevention  This program is designed for older adults and caregivers on how to prevent falls in the home.  Christine Claborn, RN, will lead this discussion. Registration required by 3 p.m., Nov. 14.


10 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 1 Bereavement During the Holidays    Grief is a process that people need not face alone. Bereavement counselor Karla Riggs-Norton will provide the opportunity for participants to talk about their personal experiences and also learn what others are going through from the loss of a loved one. This gathering also is geared to help cope and even get stronger during the holidays. Registration required by 3 p.m., Nov. 28.

Busy parents, healthy lifestyles class offered at Carmel Clay Public Library

CARMEL, Ind. – Busy families are often challenged to find the time to maintain healthy habits and related goals.

Parents can learn ways to maintain fitness, exercise programs, energy, sleep and nutrition at a free seminar at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 27 at the Carmel Clay Public Library. Phil Blaney, MD, with the Franciscan St. Francis Health Family Medicine Center will be on hand to explain how families can set and achieve realistic health goals.

Dr. Blaney, who is in his final year of family medicine residency training, has a background in exercise physiology and biomechanics and will share tips and answer parents’ questions at this seminar.

Please call 317-844-3362 to register for the event.

Carmel Clay Public Library is located at 55 4th Ave., SE, Carmel.

Mammothon offers screenings at Indianapolis hospital Oct. 15

INDIANAPOLIS -- With early detection, diagnosis and treatment options, more patients are beating breast cancer, yet many women don’t seek annual mammography screenings for a variety of reasons.

That’s why Franciscan St. Francis Health Cancer Center is hosting its annual Mammothon at its Indianapolis hospital (8111 S. Emerson Ave.) from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 16.

Mammograms are by appointment only and can be made by calling 317-528-8555.

The event also offers:
·        free non-fasting cholesterol screenings from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
·        free bone density screenings
·        door prizes
·        refreshments

Personalities from local radio station B105.7 FM also will be hand, providing live coverage of Mammothon activities.


Mammogram screenings also can be arranged at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Carmel (12188-B N. Meridian St.) throughout October. To make an appointment, call 317-528-8555.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Study probes link between rheumatoid arthritis medication, cardiovascular events

INDIANAPOLIS – Does tightly controlling rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have an effect on the level of risk for heart attack and stroke?  It’s possible, according to a recently published study appearing in the medical journal, Arthritis & Rheumatology.
The analysis evaluated associations between  RA disease activity, inflammation and lipid levels among patients taking tocilizumab (Actremra), to determine if that therapy affects their risks for major adverse cardiovascular events.

Tocilizumab, an immunosuppressive drug that blocks inflammation, is used for treating RA, a chronic inflammatory disorder causing inflammation in the joints and resulting in painful deformity and immobility in the fingers, wrists, feet and ankles.

The analysis showed that decreasing inflammation is related to lower risk of cardiovascular events even though RA patients on tocilizumab showed increased lipid levels. 

“Patients with rheumatoid arthritis have two-to-three fold the risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack) and stroke compared with those in the general population,” said Vijay U. Rao, MD, PhD, the study’s principal author and a member of Franciscan Physician Network Indiana Heart Physicians. “These findings are important to patients with RA, rheumatologists and cardiologists because it supports the link between inflammation and cardiovascular disease, a huge area of research right now. Keeping the condition under control can help decrease a patient’s risk of cardiovascular events, regardless of their cholesterol levels.

Dr. Rao and his research colleagues evaluated data pooled from 3,986 adult patients having moderate to severe RA and who received tocilizumab intravenously every four weeks in randomized controlled trials and studies.

Several previous studies suggest that the increased incidence of cardiovascular disease in RA patients is not completely explained by traditional risk factors such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension and smoking, but now we have shown support for the link between inflammation and cardiovascular disease,” Dr. Rao said. “Larger studies are needed to confirm these findings.”



The study was conducted during Dr. Rao’s research fellowship with Genentech.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Franciscan Alliance selects new VP of ambulatory services

INDIANAPOLIS – Christopher A. DiGiusto has been appointed vice president of ambulatory services for Franciscan Alliance.

Among his duties, DiGiusto will provide operational leadership and direction over Franciscan Alliance’s retail sites and ambulatory services, urgent care and occupational health sites; assist with direct-to-consumer engagement; and development and oversight of all telehealth platforms and services.

DiGiusto will report to Robert J. Brody, senior vice president and chief operating officer for ambulatory services for Franciscan Alliance, which operates 14 hospitals and numerous outpatient facilities in Indiana and Illinois.

Since 2009, DiGiusto was the service line director for orthopedics, neurosciences and rehabilitation for Franciscan St. Francis Health, where he was responsible for strategic growth of those medical disciplines at the hospital’s three campuses. During that time, he led many initiatives, including telemedicine services, and spearheaded the development of sports medicine agreements with several school systems throughout Central Indiana.

DiGiusto has held many positions with Franciscan St. Francis Health since joining the organization in 2003.  He has served as director of product and business development and manager of business development. He also was a project team leader for information technology implementation.

An Indianapolis resident, DiGiusto received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Xavier University in Cincinnati, where he later earned a master’s degree in health services (MHA).

DiGiusto is a Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives and has leadership roles with the Indiana Healthcare Executive Network.


Franciscan Alliance is one of the largest Catholic health care systems in the Midwest with 14 hospitals and a number of nationally recognized Centers of Health Care Excellence serving patients in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan.