Indianapolis Construction Update

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Looking back: Responding to a need

The vision of the Order of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration has always focused on serving the poor and needy, and
society’s “untouchables.” That commitment gained new clarity in Beech Grove in 1914, when St. Francis Hospital opened.

The 75-bed facility was deemed “fully modern,” offering comprehensive medical services, an operating room, X-ray machine, laboratory, pharmacy and an emergency room. But vision often means looking beyond the horizon to unseen situations and challenges.

By 1930, the Great Depression continued to plunge the nation to more dismal depths. Millions unemployed. Soup lines. A surging demand for charity medical care. The Sisters took a bold step forward and broke ground on what would be called the South Wing, increasing the hospital’s bed count to 170, more than doubling its capacity. They also included a new Obstetrical Department, one of the most advanced of its kind.

Hospital admissions soared in the decade following the construction of the new wing. In its first year, the expanded hospital served 1,805 patients. In less than a decade, admissions had grown to more than 4,100.

Service was the cornerstone on which the Beech Grove hospital was built nearly a century ago. Service was the mortar that held it together and, in fact, expanded its reach to Beech Grove and Indianapolis during one of the bleakest times in the nation’s history.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What do they do with all the debris?

For the past two years, travelers driving past St. Francis on I-65 have seen the new patient tower grow – literally – from the ground up. They’ve also seen the significant debris and waste that accumulate as part of the construction process. But what happens to all that debris?

St. Francis is proud to report that it recycles a portion of the debris. Metals, paper, cardboard boxes and packing materials are regularly recycled. In addition, asphalt that is removed is milled up, crushed and sent back to an asphalt plant to be re-used.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Rooftop gardens add to patient healing process

St. Francis knows the important role that natural elements and light play in a patient’s healing process. To help make a bit of the outdoors available to its patients, the hospital is creating four rooftop gardens, totaling 19,800 square feet. Located on the second and third floor roofs of the new patient tower, the rooftop gardens will occupy approximately 35 percent of the new roof.

The purpose of the gardens is to promote an aesthetically pleasing environment that contributes to each patient’s healing process during their stay at St. Francis. Ornamental perennials of different sizes and colors, along with a variety of plants will decorate the rooftops. Most patients will have a view of the roof and the colorful plants that change with the seasons.

The rooftop gardens will be fully planted and blooming by spring 2011.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cancer Center work reroutes access

As the work on the expanded Cancer Center gets under way, the hallway between MRI and Radiology was closed effective Sept. 7 for at least six months.

Employees and hospital visitors needing to access the Heart Center, Emergency Department and Women and Children’s areas (including the gift shop) from the ancillary building main entrance lobby, will use the outer perimeter hallway near the west side of the building toward the north end of the main lobby.

Employees and unescorted visitors are not permitted to walk through the Radiology Department to get to or from the main building entrance. The Cancer Center's 70,000-square-foot expansion is expected to be completed in spring 2012.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cancer Center construction beginning

Work on the Cancer Center expansion is underway. Construction equipment moved in recently to prepare the construction site, which extends over the existing parking area adjacent to the Emergency Room entrance.

Special parking accommodations for cancer physicians, staff and patients will extend through the construction phase.

When complete, the new Cancer Center will be two stories and include outpatient treatment care and several other services. (Inpatient care will be provided in the new patient tower facing I-65.)

Monday, August 30, 2010

New Indianapolis campus lab open

The newly expanded outpatient lab is now open at St. Francis—Indianapolis, conveniently located near Entrance 6, in the space formerly occupied by the gift shop. This construction is part of the Indianapolis consolidation project that includes the new inpatient tower on the east side of the campus.

Hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Heart Center entrance reopens

We are pleased to announce that the Heart Center entrance has been reopened ahead of schedule. Thank you to our patients and visitors for their patience!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wound Care Institute offers faster, innovative care

The Wound Care Institute at St. Francis will be among the first hospital departments to transition from its Beech Grove current location to the new Indianapolis campus patient tower.

The move will take place in March 2011, just in time for the grand opening, to the first floor of the tower. Since 1998, Beech Grove has been home to the Wound Care Institute. A second location opened in Mooresville in 2009.

What changes will you notice during the Wound Care Institute grand opening? You’ll see more patient rooms and advanced technology, including a second hyperbaric oxygen chamber. The first chamber was obtained by St. Francis in August 2009.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is the breathing of pressurized oxygen and has been shown to optimize healing, particularly for those at risk of losing a limb. The chamber compresses the molecules in the air and allows the compressed oxygen to enter small blood vessels and tissue it would not normally be able to penetrate. This increases the healing process, blood flow and the chances of saving a limb. It also helps alleviate pain.

HBOT usually lasts 90 minutes per treatment, and patients come to the Wound Care Institute five days a week for six weeks to receive treatment. HBOT treatments are optimal for patients with complicated wounds such as diabetic ulcers, post-surgical foot wounds, bone infection and treatment-radiated bed wounds..

Adding the second hyperbaric chamber offers patients faster service and more flexibility with their treatment regimens. It is just one of the many treatment options used to accelerate wound healing available at St. Francis.

“We are excited about our new, centralized location and user-friendly space,” said Amira Kehoe, manager of the Wound Care Institute and Enterostomal Therapy. “Patient care is our highest priority, and these new features will give our patients the opportunity to experience healing in a new way.”

Friday, July 23, 2010

Construction continues on surgery suites

Brian Phillips (left), project manager with Tonn and Blank Construction, recently took members of the St. Francis Community Relations and Marketing department and representatives from the Borshoff agency on a tour of the new patient tower construction site. The new surgery suites, located on the second floor, are taking shape. Mounts for lights and cameras are being installed in the ceilings of the surgical suites. A separate air-handling system for the surgical suites is also housed on the second floor.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Temporary closure of Heart Center entrance

Thank you for your patience during the construction of our new St. Francis Hospital–Indianapolis patient tower adjacent to the Heart Center. When completed, this state-of-the-art patient tower will feature a new emergency department, private patient rooms, high-tech surgery suites, a new cafeteria and more.

As construction progresses, we wanted to make you aware of a change that will occur soon.

Beginning Aug. 2, the St. Francis Heart Center main entrance will temporarily close to allow construction to continue. The Heart Center patient and visitor access will temporarily shift to the Women & Children’s Services entrance, located just south of the Heart Center. Heart Center staff and volunteers will be in the Women & Children’s Services lobby providing directions and assistance.

The entrance closure should only last 45 days or less, and we are working to ensure you continue to have convenient access to the Heart Center.

Parking is still available in both the Heart Center and Women & Children’s parking lots. (Download a parking map.) Free shuttle service is offered Monday through Friday from 4:45 a.m. to 9 p.m. To call the shuttle directly, please call 416-8725.

We apologize for any inconvenience the construction may cause and appreciate your cooperation during this time of transition. If you have any questions or concerns, please call 851-1580.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Patient parking changes as St. Francis Cancer Center expansion begins

Patient parking is poised to change temporarily to make way for expanding the St. Francis Cancer Center at 8111 S. Emerson Ave.

Beginning this week, patients with appointments will receive priority parking in a designated area monitoring by an attendant from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. That area is near the center’s main entry (Entrance No. 4).

“Patients with frequent or recurring appointments will receive a parking pass from the Cancer Center allowing them unrestricted access to patient parking spaces,” said Kent Brumbaugh, executive director of St. Francis Cancer Services. “Construction will continue through early 2012 and parking will be limited during that time.”

Site preparations are set to get under way for a $34 million expansion of the center. The facility is adding 70,000-square feet – more than quadrupling its current size – providing more services to patients in central Indiana.

Patients and caregivers having questions about parking can call (317) 783-8918.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Chat addresses your questions about Indianapolis construction, Beech Grove campus

Welcome to our second St. Francis online chat with Chief Operating Officer Keith Jewell. Keith will answer your questions about the Indianapolis construction project and the possible future uses of St. Francis Hospital-Beech Grove after medical services are consolidated at the Indianapolis campus in early 2011. This program will continue until 1 p.m.

As a reminder, this chat session is a real conversation. For this reason, please observe the same etiquette in the chat session as you would in day-to-day conversation.Due to the anticipated number of questions and comments posted, there may be a small delay between the time your question is submitted and the time it is viewable on the blog.

Guidelines for posting comments

  • Please keep comments and questions civil. We will not accept insulting groups or individuals.
  • Reporters who visit the site and want to pose questions are asked to identify themselves and their news organizations.
  • Pages on are not automatically updated with new posts as they are on Twitter or Facebook. For that reason, please periodically refresh your page to see the latest posts.
  • St. Francis cannot comment on official business on the part of the cities of Indianapolis, Beech Grove or Greenwood, nor on the Beech Grove Redevelopment Commission.
  • If you have comments or concerns regarding your patient experience at St. Francis, please complete this form to reach our Service Excellence department.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

St. Francis COO goes on-line to chat about Indy campus project

Even though the winter weather might conceal it, there is a flurry of construction activity at the St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis campus. And the public soon will have the opportunity to learn more about what’s going on.

St. Francis Chief Operating Officer Keith Jewell will host a live blog chat from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 2, to answer questions about the ongoing construction project and what it means to the communities of south-central Indiana.

Jewell also will field questions about the possible future use of St. Francis Hospital-Beech Grove after medical services are consolidated at the Indianapolis campus in early 2012.

Those unable to participate in the chat session can e-mail questions in advance to the St. Francis Community Relations team by 10 a.m. March 1.

This chat session is “real “conversation. For this reason participants should observe the same etiquette when participating in the chat session as they would in day-to-day conversation.
St. Francis reserves the right to delete comments it thinks may be offensive to the audience at large.

Visit the St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis construction blog at to post questions to Jewell.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010