News Center

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; or Jeff Hauersperger at 317-528-2099

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

For more on Astronaut Dr. David Wolf please visit

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.