News Center

Friday, July 29, 2016

Franciscan St. Francis Health poised for nine-hour blood drive on Aug. 5

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Finding the time to donate blood can be a challenge for many – and  Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis wants to make it easier for you.

For the first time ever, the hospital, located at 8111 Emerson Ave., will host a nine-hour blood drive. It will take place on Aug. 5, from 7 a.m. to noon, and 4 to 8 p.m. in the Terrace Conference Room.

The Indiana Blood Center needs approximately 550 donors daily. However, during the summer the schools that normally host these blood drives are closed, causing a marked reduction in donations.  

The drive is open to the public with those donating encouraged to bring along a friend or family member to donate with them. Pre-registration is preferred, but walk-ins are also welcome.

Donors should expect the donation process to take about an hour, which includes a mini-physical and a 15 minute resting period with complimentary snacks after donating. All donors will receive a small thank you gift as well.

Each whole blood donation gets separated into three parts and is tested for safety. The three life-saving components are platelets, red blood cells and plasma. These components can be used for cancer treatment, surgery, trauma, burn patients and many more conditions.

Eligible participants need to be over 17 years old, or 16 with a parent’s permission and weigh at least 110 pounds. Eligible donors can donate again 56 days between donating. People can even become donors if they’ve gotten a tattoo, as long as it was done at least one month prior to donating.

International travelers, cancer survivors, people with diabetes and high blood pressure may also be eligible to donate as well. Those with questions about their eligibility can email

To register, visit and click “Schedule to Donate”. Search “Franciscan” and make an appointment. Those donating should bring a photo ID and be sure to have eaten something prior to donation.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Pediatrician honored for her compassionate care, clinical excellence

GREENWOOD, Indiana – Pediatrician Shanna Bowman, MD, has been recognized as the latest recipient of the Healing Hands Award, presented quarterly by Franciscan St. Francis Health.

With her colleagues and family looking on, Dr. Bowman was recently presented with the award, which recognizes physicians for excellence in clinical skills, patient relations, research, stewardship and reflection of the hospital’s ministry, values and mission.

Dr. Bowman practices at County Line Pediatrics, a Franciscan Physician Network practice. She has been affiliated with Franciscan St. Francis Health since 2010.

“Shanna Bowman obviously has a great impact on everyone and has touched many lives,” said Christopher Doehring, MD, vice president of medical affairs. “She has the utmost respect from her colleagues and the staff who work with her.”

Dr. Doehring was joined by David Mandelbaum, MD (director of medical staff engagement) and Paul Driscoll, MD (executive medical director for Franciscan Physician Network) in making the award presentation.

Several parents of Dr. Bowman’s patients nominated her for the Healing Hands honor. One wrote: “She is always very patient and answers any questions I have -- and she remembers me and my kiddos by name and they love her!" 

Board-certified in pediatrics, Dr. Bowman earned her undergraduate degree from Indiana University in Bloomington and her medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine. She completed her residency training at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Bowman is presented the award by (from left) Drs. Christopher Doehring (vice president of medical affairs), David Mandelbaum  (director of medical staff engagement) and Paul Driscoll (executive medical director for Franciscan Physician Network. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Partnership provides more diabetes and endocrinology care in Putnam Co.

GREENCASTLE, Indiana – Timothy Shoemaker, MD, a member of Franciscan Physician Network, is now seeing patients every other Thursday at Putnam County Hospital.

Dr. Shoemaker, who practices with Diabetes & Endocrinology Specialists in Indianapolis, specializes in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, pre-diabetes and thyroid and endocrine disorders.

A resident of Plainfield, he received his undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Southern Indiana (Evansville). Dr. Shoemaker earned his medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine (Indianapolis) where he also completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in endocrinology.

Dr. Shoemaker is a member of the American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians and American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Shoemaker, call 317-865-5904. Visit for more information.

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

Monday, July 18, 2016

Family medicine director reappointed to Statehouse health committee

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Richard D. Feldman, MD, has been reappointed as a lay member of the Indiana General Assembly’s Interim Study Committee on Public Health, Behavioral Health and Human Services.

Dr. Feldman is director of the Franciscan St. Francis Health Family Medicine Residency Program, which he has headed since 1981. He also directs the hospital’s medical education program. 

He has held several elected appointments with the Indiana Academy of Family Physicians (IAFP), the Indianapolis Medical Society and Indiana State Medical Association.
In 2014, he received lifetime achievement accolades from the IAFP and the Indiana Public Health Foundation.

An Indianapolis resident, he has served as president of the IAFP and is past president of the Indiana Medical History Museum. Dr. Feldman served as Indiana State Health Commissioner (1997 to 2001), and he’s a featured columnist for the Indianapolis Star.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Free skin cancer screenings offered by Franciscan St. Francis Health

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, but it’s one of most treatable forms of cancer if caught in time, says the National Cancer Institute.

That’s why Franciscan St. Francis Health Cancer Center is offering free screenings from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday, July 25. The event will be at Central Indiana Dermatology, 5255 E. Stop 11 Rd, Suite 310.

Appointments are limited and registration is required. To make an appointment, call 317-782-4422.

Some people may be at higher risk than others and having one or more of the following risk factors could increase your risk for developing skin cancer, such as:

·        Sun sensitivity (skin that burns easily, natural blonde/blond or red hair color)
·        Spending a great deal of time in the sun, especially during childhood
·        A family history of certain types of skin cancer
·        A weak immune system for any reason
·        The appearance of moles

Additionally, doing a simple self-exam of your skin takes only a few minutes and can be an easy way to detect potential problems since most cancers occurs on the skin surface. Look for changes in the size, color, texture or shape of a mole or dark spot. Check for the appearance of any unusual bumps or growths on face, ears, arms, chest and back.

Cardiologist joins Indiana Heart Physicians; will practice in Indy and Crawfordsville

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Atul R. Chugh, MD, has joined Indiana Heart Physicians, a Franciscan Physician Network practice. He will work as a cardiologist at Franciscan Alliance’s Crawfordsville and Indianapolis hospitals.

He joins a team of highly regarded physicians, advanced practice providers and other clinicians, who provide care to patients in Indianapolis, Franklin, Greensburg, Martinsville, Mooresville, Shelbyville and Greencastle.

He received his medical degree from the University of Pune in Pune, India with clinical rotations completed at the Harvard Medical School (Boston). He completed a residency in internal medicine at Rush University Medical Center (Chicago) and fellowships in hypertensive diseases (University of Chicago) and cardiovascular medicine (University of Louisville Medical Center).

Dr. Chugh also was chief fellow of cardiovascular medicine at the University and was a post-doctoral fellow of advanced cardiac imaging at the Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore).

A native of New York City, Dr. Chugh worked as a sub-investigator for Radiant Research in Chicago; physician and clinical hypertension specialist at the University of Louisville Medical Center; clinical chief of the Jewish Hospital at the University of Louisville, director of preventive cardiology and director of advanced cardiac screening at the University of Louisville; and most recently was the attending cardiologist at Baptist Health in Lexington.

He has been published often in professional journals during his career. He has been a principal investigator with the National Institute of Health (NIH) in 2013; he won the Faculty Member of the Year Award in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Louisville, where he also earned the Outstanding Research Fellow Award. Additionally, he was named one of “Forty Under 40” in Louisville by Business First.

A Fellow with the American College of Cardiology, he also is a board member of the Central Kentucky Chapter of the American Heart Association and the Lexington Cardiac Research Foundation

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

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Painted panels reflect patients’ journeys through chaos of cancer

Cancer Center is the only facility in Indiana selected for PaintFest America tour

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Each stroke of the brush, every splash of color paints a personal portrait. Collectively, the artists create a blended canvas of struggle, survival, hope and healing wrought by cancer.

Franciscan St. Francis Health Cancer Center will soon participate in a special event winding its way through 50 states in 50 days. It’s called PaintFest America, a program sponsored by the Foundation for Hospital Art, and its goal is to encourage cancer patients, their families and the staff who care for them.

Franciscan St. Francis was the only medical facility in Indiana to be selected for the PaintFest America, which begins at 10 a.m., Friday, July 22 in the Cancer Center lobby, located at 8111 S. Emerson Ave. Patients, survivors, family members and staff will create colorful panels for three large murals for display in the hospital at a later date.
The murals feature different designs and offer a paint-by-numbers type of approach. PaintAmerica representatives will be on hand to lend guidance and provide all of the supplies.
“While their work is an expression of art, painting together as a team also is therapeutic for patients, survivors and families and a means to understand and cope with the disease,” said Rachael Cassidy, business development manager for the Cancer Center.  
Additionally, a designated cancer patient and a cancer survivor will paint an Indiana panel, which will include both the state bird (cardinal) and state flower (peony). That piece will be added to the 50-state mural “Stars of Hope” to be assembled in New York on the final day of the tour, Aug. 24, at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Since 1984, the Foundation for Hospital Art has donated more than 40,000 paintings to 4,000 hospitals in 195 countries. 

Photos courtesy of PaintFest America

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Be The Match – and save someone’s life threatened by blood cancer

Cancer Center to host event for blood and marrow donor registry

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Every three minutes, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer and most require a marrow transplant to survive.

That’s why Franciscan St. Francis Cancer Center, in coordination with the Indiana Blood Center and Be The Match® Registry, is holding a drive to enlist potential donors. The event will be Thursday, July 28 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis in the Terrace CafĂ©. It will continue and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Cancer Center lobby.

Both venues are located at the hospital at 8111 S. Emerson Ave on Indianapolis’ south side.

To be considered for the registry, donors must be between the ages of 18 and 44, meet certain health guidelines and committed to donate to any patient in need of a marrow transplant.

Every year, more than 10,000 patients in the United States are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases such as leukemia or lymphoma and their best option for a cure is a bone marrow transplant. Because 70 percent of patients do not have a matching donor in their family, they depend on the registry as the source for their treatments.

On average, about 1 in 430 registry members will go on to donate bone marrow or peripheral blood cells to a patient. Because of the vast variation in tissue types, a registry member’s odds cannot be predicted for becoming a donor.

Even though there are more than 3.5 million members in the Be The Match registry, more are desperately needed. Since tissue types are inherited, patients are most likely to match someone of their own race or ethnicity.

This need is what spawned July being designated as “African American Bone Marrow Awareness Month,” which highlights the critical need for donors to help those affected by sickle cell disease.

The Franciscan Connection to Transplantation
The physicians at Indiana Blood and Marrow Transplantation (IBMT) pioneered the first transplant program for blood cancer in Indiana. This groundbreaking work, including cutting-edge research, is present today at Franciscan St. Francis Health's Cancer Center.

It is one of only two programs in Indiana offering full-service transplant care. The unit specializes in the treatment of patients with leukemia, Hodgkin’s or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma and many other malignancies and blood disorders. 

IBMT is highly regarded nationally and was one of the first five programs in the nation accredited by the Foundation for Accreditation of Cellular Therapy.

State-of-the-art tissue and bone marrow matching is performed at Franciscan St. Francis Health through the HLA and Vascular Biology Lab, which conducts the most advanced testing of donor and recipient bone marrow and blood collections to improve transplant procedures.

To view one patient’s experience (“Charlie’s Story”) for the treatment of leukemia at IBMT, go to

A Final Word on Be The Match Drive
Potential donors attending the July 28 events also will have the opportunity to help patients undergoing bone marrow transplants at Franciscan St. Francis Health. During an ice cream social (1 p.m. to 3 p.m.) in the Cancer Center lobby, raffle tickets will be sold for a chance to win gift baskets.

Proceeds from the raffle will be earmarked for the IBMT Patient Assistance Fund.

For more information about the Be The Match Drive, call 317-528-7308 or 317-528-5500.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Franciscan St. Francis Health offers $15 sports physicals, July 16

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Franciscan St. Francis Health Sports Medicine is offering $15 pre-participation sports physicals (cash or check only) Saturday, July 16.

The event, which will be from 9 a.m. to noon, is located at the hospital’s Indianapolis campus (5255 E. Stop 11 Road, Suite 301). A staff doctor will be on hand to administer and certify all athletes between the ages of 14 and 18.

Exams are by appointment only and may be made by calling 317-781-1133.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Water Outage Impacting Carmel Hospital

Franciscan St. Francis Health-Carmel is experiencing water outage issues related to a nearby main break from city water services. This does NOT affect patient care issues.
There will be a shutdown effective 6 PM July 1. We are working closely with Carmel engineers and local public health officials to resolve this situation. Please follow this site for updates.