News Center

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

New spiritual care director selected by Franciscan St. Francis Health

INDIANAPOLIS – The Rev. Michael E. Burns, SDS, has been appointed director of Spiritual Care Services at Franciscan St. Francis Health, effective Aug.24.

Since 2006, Father Burns has served as director of pastoral care at St. Anne’s Salvatorian Campus in Milwaukee, where he oversaw chaplaincy and spiritual care outreach services. The facility provides assisted living, long-term skilled nursing, short-term rehabilitation and respite care for the elderly.

Father Burns has more than 25 years of experience in pastoral care. He has been an on-call chaplain at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, parish priest at Saints Peter and Paul Parish and has held other hospital chaplaincy positions in Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa.

Ordained as a priest in the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians), Father Burns earned a master’s of divinity from the Sacred Heart School of Theology and a master’s of arts in religion at the Athenaeum of Ohio. He received a bachelor’s of arts and history at the Pontifical College of Josephinum and completed clinical pastoral education training.

Father Burns is certified by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains

“We are happy to have Father Burns join our Franciscan St. Francis family,” said Sister Marcene Franz, vice president of Mission Services. “He brings many years of Spiritual Care experience and management expertise. We welcome him to lead us into the future of what is most important – our mission and our spiritual direction.”

Monday, July 27, 2015

Franciscan Visiting Nurse Service selects new leader for home health, hospice programs

INDIANAPOLIS – Brenda Schoenherr has been appointed administrative director of Home Care, Hospice and Hospice House for Franciscan VNS.

In that role she is responsible for developing and implementing programs, coordinating patient throughput and staff and physician collaborations.

Schoenherr’s most recent position was regional operations director for Community Health Systems in Franklin, Tenn., where she oversaw 12 hospice programs nationally. Before that, she held various administrative and clinical leadership roles with Spectrum Health Visiting Nurse Association in Michigan.

A nurse by training, she rose through the ranks at Hospice of Michigan to become a regional director, coordinating the support of several teams providing hospice services in long-term care facilities. In 2008 she was awarded Educator of the Year by the Michigan Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

Schoenherr received her undergraduate degree in nursing from American Sentinel University (Denver) and earned a master’s in business healthcare management from Baker College Center for Graduate Studies (Michigan).

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Be inspired and be in motion at Franciscan St. Francis Health event

Valerie Rockey

So You Think You Can Dance finalist to emcee, Colts Cheerleaders show their steps

FRANKLIN, Ind. – Franciscan St. Francis Health is encouraging women to get up and move for their health and well-being.

That’s why the hospital is hosting Inspiring Motion on Saturday, Aug. 22, a day of dance, fitness, fun and other health-related activities. This free event will be held at the Johnson County National Guard Armory in Franklin (325 Minutemen Way) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event will be emceed by Valerie Rockey, who tapped her way to second place last season on So You Think You Can Dance. The dances attendees can expect to learn include Zumba lessons, routines from Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders and other fitness dances.

Inspiring Motion also includes free health screenings, refreshments, chances to win raffle prizes and a photo booth for participants and their friends.

All ages and fitness levels for both men and women are welcome. To register, call 317-782-4422 or register online.

Franciscan St. Francis Health offers many women’s health services, ranging from preventive medical care and health screenings to gynecological care, maternity and more. The Women & Children’s Center received the 2015 Women’s Choice Award® as an America’s Best Hospitals for Obstetrics.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sports Medicine experts offer screenings to student athletes Aug. 1

INDIANAPOLIS – As the new school year begins, the safety and well-being of student athletes is paramount. Franciscan St. Francis Health Sports Medicine wants all athletes to get off to a good start by offering a makeup sport “physical/screen screening on Saturday, Aug. 1.

The screenings will be from 9 a.m. to noon at the hospital’s Indianapolis campus (5255 E. Stop 11 Road, Suite 301). The cost is $15 per screening (cash or check only). Screenings are by appointment only and may be made by calling 317-781-1133.

To learn more about Sports Medicine programs and services at Franciscan St. Francis go to

Friday, July 17, 2015

Franciscan St. Francis Health, MSD Martinsville score sports medicine deal

MARTINSVILLE, Ind.  – Franciscan St. Francis Health and the Metropolitan School District of Martinsville have forged an agreement to provide medical and related support for high school athletics program.

The hospital’s Sports Medicine program will provide an on-site physician for all Martinsville High School home football games and certified athletic trainer services as determined by the school’s athletic director. Athletic trainers also will be on hand for all high school athletic activities.

 “Franciscan St. Francis Health – which operates the only full-service hospital in Morgan County – is proud to be part of the MSD Martinsville team, and we look forward to work with coaches and students to ensure their health, safety and well-being,” said Chris DiGiusto, director of the hospital’s Ortho-Neuro Service Line. “Our sports medicine physicians and staff have extensive experience in all areas of caring for athletes.”

The agreement is effective July 2015 through June 2018.

“The MSD of Martinsville is very thankful for the support of its newest partner, Franciscan St. Francis Health,” said Superintendent Dr. Michele Moore. “This partnership will allow our school district to better serve its many students and families.”

Among other terms of the agreement:
·        Sports medicine physicians and staff will provide concussion prevention and management testing and screenings to help prevent other sports-related injuries
·        The hospital will provide sports-related medical equipment as needed
·        On-site student athlete physicals to be available
·        Franciscan St. Francis Health will receive exclusive naming rights as the premier sports medicine provider to MSD Martinsville
·        The hospital will have prominent placement of its name and logo on scoreboards, signage and banners and other relevant information in athletic publications
J    Jeff Peterson, MD, medical director of Franciscan St. Francis Health Sports Medicine, leads a team of physicians, athletic trainers and staff who provide a full range of services to area schools, athletic leagues and teams, and community-wide sporting events throughout Central Indiana.

      The sports medicine team also provides a range of athletic training and other health-related support to Mooresville High School in northern Morgan County.ooresville High School in northern Morgan County.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

New groups provide support to those grieving loss of loved ones

GREENWOOD, Ind. – In John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, one of the older characters offers some insight to the heartbroken young woman after the death of her boyfriend: “Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.” 

Indeed, grief is a personal journey for those mourning the loss of a loved one. But sharing the loss with others in similar situations may reveal new pathways of coping. That’s why Franciscan VNS St. Francis Hospice is forming new bereavement support groups for adults.

Those groups will meet weekly and include:
·        Tuesdays, Aug. 25-Sept 19, 1 p.m-2:30 p.m. Franciscan St. Francis Health Education building, 421 N. Emerson Ave., Greenwood.
·        Thursdays, Sept. 10-Oct. 15, 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Mt. Gilead Christian Church, 6019 E. State Road, Mooresville.
·        Men Only. Thursdays, Aug. 27-Oct. 1, 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.  Education building.
·        Thursdays, Sept. 3-Oct. 8, 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Education building.
·        Tuesdays, Oct. 13-Nov.17. Education building.

There is no cost to participate in the support groups, but registration is required. Call 317-528-2636 or 317-528-2099 to register.

For more information about these and other hospital bereavement programs, contact Karla Riggs Norton at

Friday, July 10, 2015

Lab manager to be honored by international clinical research society

INDIANAPOLIS – Dawn R. Wagenknecht, MS, CHS, has been named the recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Technologist Award by the American Society for Histocompatibility & Immunogenetics (ASHI).

Wagenknecht, manager of the HLA-Vascular Biology Laboratory at Franciscan St. Francis Health, is recognized for her outstanding contributions in her field, ASHI officials said. The work she and others perform in their lab supports services provided at the hospital’s Indiana Blood and Marrow Transplantation program – the first of its kind to treat blood cancer in Indiana.

An Indianapolis resident, Wagenknecht joined the HLA lab in 1999 and has been involved in numerous clinical and research projects during her career. She was science adviser for the  team, led by her late husband Dr. John McIntyre, which pioneered Redox-Reactive Reagents. They developed a tool kit that enhanced the standards for diagnosing autoimmune diseases and new biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease, and future risk assessments for cancer and diabetes.

Widely published in professional journals and a frequent lecturer on topics in her field, Wagenknecht has been recognized in the past for her research, including a Young Investigator Award presented by the International Symposium on Antiphospholipid Antibodies.

Wagenknecht will be presented with the Outstanding Technologist Award at ASHI’s annual meeting in Savannah, Georgia next October.

Wagenknecht received her bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Southern Illinois University and later earned her master’s in biology from Purdue University. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in oral biology at the Indiana University School of Dentistry.

ASHI is a not-for-profit association of clinical and research professionals including immunologists, geneticists, molecular biologists, transplant physicians and surgeons, pathologists and technologists.

Shroud of Turin: Mysterious burial cloth is genuine, says long-time researcher

INDIANAPOLIS – The Shroud of Turin is an ancient linen showing a faint image of what appears to be a crucifixion victim – a man many believe to be Jesus of Nazareth. Some say it’s a forgery and hoax – yet theologians, scientists and scholars have spent countless hours studying this curious fabric.

Barrie Schwortz, an Orthodox Jew, is among those who have studied the storied Shroud.  A professional technical photographer, he was invited to participate in the first ever in-depth scientific examination of the cloth, known as the Shroud of Turin Research Project in 1978. He was a skeptic at first, but over the years became convinced of the Shroud’s authenticity based on mounting scientific evidence.

Schwortz, considered one of the world’s leading experts on the Shroud, will share his expertise and experiences at a free public event at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis, Saturday, July 11. The event starts at 9:15 a.m. in the hospital’s basement auditorium (8111 S. Emerson Ave. Main Entrance).

In a recent interview with The Catholic Report World, Schwortz said: “One of my favorite testimonials as to the authenticity of the Shroud actually came from my Jewish mother. She was originally from Poland, and had only a high school education. She heard one of my lectures, and afterwards we were driving home. She was quiet for a long time — you have to worry when a Jewish mother is quiet – so I asked her, ‘Mom, what did you think?’ She said, “Barrie, of course it’s authentic. They wouldn’t have kept it for 2,000 years if it wasn’t’… ”

In 2009, Schwortz founded the Shroud of Turin Education and Research Association, an organization which publishes fact-based information. In addition to this extensive online resource, the group maintains a vast collection of scientific and historical material crucial to the continuing study of the Shroud.

View a recent presentation Schwortz delivered HERE.

The Shroud of Turin is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in northern Italy.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

New leader assumes helm of Franciscan St. Francis Health in Central Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS – James Callaghan, MD, is the new president and chief executive officer for Franciscan St. Francis Health, effective July 1.

In that role, Dr. Callaghan will lead hospital campuses at Indianapolis, Mooresville and Carmel, and the Franciscan Plainfield Health Center. Those facilities are part of Franciscan Alliance, a Mishawaka, Indiana-based system with 13 hospitals throughout Indiana and south suburban Chicago.

“Franciscan St. Francis Health has a rich heritage of serving patients and communities throughout Central Indiana,” Dr. Callaghan said. “I look forward to the opportunity to work with the people behind the traditions, the culture, and the good works that define Franciscan Alliance’s enduring mission and healthcare ministry.”
He succeeds Robert J. Brody, who now is senior vice president and chief operating officer of Franciscan Alliance’s ambulatory services and director of Franciscan Physician Network.
Since 2008, Dr. Callaghan served as president of Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Michigan City.

During his tenure, he spearheaded initiatives designed to bring healthcare closer to the community, including the construction of a cancer treatment center, freestanding emergency department, diagnostic center and physician office complex in Chesterton.

Dr. Callaghan also led Franciscan Alliance’s clinical operations group, an initiative to improve quality, reduce costs and improve value for patients. He held other leadership roles at Franciscan St. Anthony as chief operating officer, vice president of medical affairs and other key clinical and administrative appointments.

From 2001 to 2003, he was vice president of Medical Group of Michigan City and also practiced inpatient and outpatient medicine.

Dr. Callaghan received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame and earned his medical degree at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago. He completed an internal medicine internship at Northwestern University School of Medicine. Following that, he served in the U.S. Air Force as a flight surgeon, including an assignment as   flight surgeon with the prestigious “Thunderbirds” air demonstration team.

After his military service, he entered and completed a residency with Franciscan St. Francis Health’s family medicine residency program. He later earned a master’s of business administration from Purdue University.

Dr. Callaghan is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the American Academy of Family Physicians; a Diplomate with the American Board of Family Medicine; and a member of the American Association for Physician Leadership.

Active in community service, he has been a member of the LaPorte County Economic Advisory Board, Northern Indiana Education Foundation, United Way of LaPorte County, University of Notre Dame Alumni Club and a coach for the Michigan City Soccer Club.

Dr. Callaghan and his wife Susan have four children.