Indianapolis Construction Update

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Departments, volunteers adjust to new office

Volunteer Services, along with the Service Excellence Department, will operate more efficiently under one roof after their operations consolidated from the Beech Grove campus to Indianapolis. Both departments are now located near the Women & Children’s Center elevator bank, just down the hall from the gift shop and Jazzman’s Café.

Even though both departments have moved to the Indianapolis Campus, many volunteers will remain at Beech Grove until the consolidation next March.

The Volunteer Services department has created a new volunteer workroom. With open shelving and portable tables to accommodate both large and small projects, the workroom provides a welcoming atmosphere for the volunteers. The space allows major projects, such as putting together the admission discharge packets for new patients to stuffing envelopes for various departments, to run smoothly.

Franciscan St. Francis Health currently has nearly 600 active volunteers, some volunteering at more than one campus. There are 335 volunteers at Indianapolis, 125 at Beech Grove, 70 at Mooresville, and 38 off-site. Five members of the Service Excellence staff have moved to the Indianapolis Campus while the others continue to serve Beech Grove.

Monday, December 5, 2011

New procedure areas provide cutting-edge care options

As the construction continues on the new patient tower at the Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis campus, the former ambulatory surgery and endoscopy areas in the first-floor outpatient area undergo a facelift that’s more than skin deep.

In December, a new hospital department will open for patients having outpatient endoscopy or interventional radiology procedures or surgery. The benefits of this combined unit include a more streamlined delivery of care for the patient and enhanced staffing coverage for these surgery services. The unit will have five endoscopy rooms, 16 pre- and post-surgery rooms and several pre-op exam rooms, all in one general area. Surgery patients will be transported to the second-floor operating rooms by the elevators located in the unit.

The new organization of these services will provide patients with more of a small clinic experience,with the benefit of being cared for at a full-service hospital. Patients can register and have their pre-op examination, procedure prep and post-procedure recovery all in one location. Private pre- and post-procedure rooms are arranged in small pods with a central nursing station, keeping nursing staff close to patients. Patients and families can even talk to a financial counselor if they desire, without leaving the first-floor department.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hospitalists get an early move-in to 3-West

The new exclusive partnership between Franciscan St. Francis Health and Indiana Internal Medicine Consultants (IIMC)will increase the number of inpatients we serve daily at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis. To accommodate this growth, the hospital recently opened “3-West,” a 12-bed unit in new patient tower on the Indianapolis campus.

The unit will be for the hospitalists’ patients only until March 2012, expanding to a 32-bed post-surgery unit after the Beech Grove inpatient consolidation is complete.

The agreement with IIMC supports an even more integrated continuum of care and case management.

IIMC specialists include internal medicine, pulmonary, critical care, rheumatology, family practice, infectious disease and sleep medicine specialists serving central Indiana.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A moveable feat: Beech Grove move of units, services slated for mid-March

Moving a hospital – even if only a scant seven miles from one location to another – is no easy task and requires tedious planning, flexibility and attention to detail. But that’s what is now taking place as Franciscan St. Francis Health prepares to migrate inpatient services from Beech Grove to Indianapolis.

During the week of March 12-16, all Beech Grove inpatient units will move. Unit-by-unit details on the unit-by-unit move are still being finalized with the overriding goal of minimizing the disruption of services to patients and their care, Indianapolis Campus Expansion (ICE) leaders report.

The new patient rooms are on the third-to-six floors in the bed tower.

“Surgical services will transition to Indianapolis, as well, during this time,” said COO Keith Jewell. “However, we will
maintain emergency operating room services at Beech Grove until all patients are moved.”

The Beech Grove Emergency Department will be the last patient care area to shut down on March 16, thus ensuring the hospital’s ability to respond to the vital needs of the community.

Meanwhile, October was a busy month for some departments.
  • Service Excellence and Volunteer Services moved into their new area on the first floor, located in the former Emergency Department.
  • The new surgery waiting area has set up shop in the renovated area of the old cafeteria, which will later also house a café, the Human Resources Department, and offices for hospital administration and medical staff.
  • Endoscopy services and respiratory care are now making plans to locate to the former surgery area and basement of the heart center respectively in November.

Monday, November 21, 2011

New breast center opens with flourish

The newly finished Breast Center at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis opened its doors last month with a flourish. Less than a week after it officially opened, the 6,000-square-foot facility was opened to the public with the Oct. 7 “Mammothon.” The one-day event accommodated 198 patients seeking convenient mammogram screenings for breast cancer.

The center, which is attached to the Franciscan St. Francis Cancer Center now under construction, enhances the quality of care, comfort and privacy for patients. By design, the facility offers patients a warmer, more welcoming environment while also reducing wait times for screenings and procedures.

Privacy is of paramount importance highlighted by separate waiting rooms and private changing areas for screening and diagnostic patients. The Franciscan St. Francis Breast Center provides a full range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services, including:

Digital mammography (screening and diagnostic)
• Computer aided detection
Breast ultrasound
• Breast MRI
• Stereotactic and ultrasound-guided core biopsies

The Cancer Center provides personalized patient care with a breast nurse navigator, who coordinates each patient’s journey from diagnosis.

To reach the Breast Center, call (317) 528-8555 to schedule procedures. If your physician has given you a written order, please have it available when scheduling your appointment.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

On the Move: Services relocate at Indianapolis campus

Beginning Wednesday, April 13, the following services at Franciscan St. Francis Health – Indianapolis will be moved to the new patient tower facing Interstate 65 (next to the Heart Center entrance):
  • Emergency Services, including Center of Hope – first floor
  • Surgical Services – second floor
  • Terrace Café (Cafeteria) – second floor. Hours will be 6 a.m. to 3 a.m.
  • Wound Care Institute – relocating from its current location at Beech Grove to the first floor of the Indianapolis campus.
The closest parking for these services will be in Zone 1. 

Emergency Services at the old location will stop at 7 a.m. April 13, and services will begin at the new location in the bed tower at that time.
Evening and nighttime access will only be through the new Emergency Department from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. 
Visiting our Indianapolis campus? You can download a campus guide from our website.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Docs warm to ICE project

More than 100 St. Francis Medical Group (SFMG) and hospital-affiliated physicians had a preview of the new features of the Indianapolis Campus Expansion project last night (March 23). An after-hours reception in lobby and new cafeteria offered the doctors and other invited guests the opportunity to tour the new emergency department, operating suites, administrative and clinical support offices and model rooms for medical/surgical and intensive care unit beds.

The guests were greeted by Chief Operating Officer Keith Jewell; Dr. Christopher "Topper" Doehring, vice president of medical affairs; Sister Marlene Shapley, vice president of mission services; SFMG President Dr. Isaac Myers II; and other administration and clinical leaders.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

EMBRACING THE FUTURE: Events unveil ICE opening

This year, the arrival of spring signals a new season and beginning, and the completion of the first phase of the Indianapolis Campus Expansion (ICE) project.

But before the doors officially open to patients in mid-April, three key events will give hospital employees and their families, the community and Archdiocese and civic leaders an opportunity to celebrate and participate.

Employee Open House
11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, April 2

A range of activities are planned for hospital staff and their families with CEO
Bob Brody on hand to greet visitors. Guided tours will take visitors through the new emergency department, operating suites, new cafeteria, patient rooms and other areas.

The halls will be alive with the sound of music, featuring Barometer Soup and the strolling eight-member Mariachi Sol Jalisciense. Lunch, beverages, desserts and other treats will keep the family fueled for such activities as Dance Your Way to Health, Dance Dance Revolution, carnival games and a craft area for youngsters.

Employees attending the event also can participate in raffles and take home some seriously cool gifts.

Blessing and Dedication
2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 5

Auxiliary Bishop Christopher J. Coyne of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis will officiate the formal blessing of the entire six-story facility.

As the hospital looks to its future, its rich heritage will be recalled at this event. Representatives of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration will sound the Angelus bell for the first time in nearly four decades. Attendees also will receive a hand bell to commemorate the event.

Among the many dignitaries expected to be on hand are Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and Greenwood Mayor Charles Henderson. Both are expected to present proclamations touting the campus expansion.

Other invited guests and speakers include Central Indiana Regional Board Chair Dr. Gerald Walthall, Franciscan Alliance Board Chair Sister Jane Marie Klein, and Franciscan Alliance President/CEO Kevin Leahy.

The Marian University Sacred Choir will provide special music during dedication events.

Public Open House
11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, April 9

From folk to funk and soon appearing at Franciscan venue, local entertainers Dave and Rae will bring their special blend of tunes to this community-focused event. And though St. Patrick’s Day will already be a memory, the Celtic Dance in Motion troupe will step out with traditional Irish dance steps.

Want to go dancing with some local stars? Visitors can meet the Pacemates, who will partner up with youngsters in a kids-only dance room, or rally round the Pacers Fan Van located near the main entrance. There are many activities – crafts, games and raffle drawings throughout the day for all ages.

Adults can check out their “vitals” and wellness at health screenings inside the new emergency department, or stroll through the 12-foot-tall MegaHeart to learn how the heart works and what you can do to take care of it. Food and prizes also are on the menu, and tours led by hospital staff will give the community a sneak-peek of the new facility.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Upon these rocks -- an expanded hospital is being built

Looking back: June 23, 2008...

Sister Marlene Shapley and Father John Mannion offer a prayer moments after placing some very special rocks she had collected while on a pilgrimage to Italy in 2007.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Some very special material is part of the concrete foundation on which a six-story Bed Tower will rise at St. Francis Hospital’s Indianapolis campus.

Surrounded the hum of construction and rumbling of trucks rolling in and out of that site on June 23, Sister Marlene Shapley, vice president of mission services and Father John Mannion of Spiritual Care, stepped forward and cast six stones into the foundation’s newly poured concrete. And it marked the completion of an idea that surfaced nearly a year ago while on a pilgrimage to Italy with Chief Operating Officer Keith Jewell and other St. Francis Hospital family members.

“The purpose of our pilgrimage was to deepen our knowledge and understanding of our Franciscan heritage,” said Sister Marlene. “At the time, St. Francis was about to launch its consolidation and construction and it just seemed like an opportunity to link our past with our future.”

While in Italy, the trio visited San Damiano – the place where Francis heard the words of the Christ who said, “Francis, repair my church for it is falling into ruin” – where they were given a stone as a keepsake. They also collected stones from Carceri, a hill top area above Assisi that Francis and his followers often went to pray; The Portiuncula, another one of the churches that Francis repaired; La Verna, where Francis received the stigma of Christ; and Greccio where Francis re-enacted the living Nativity.

The rock-placing ceremony began in the lobby of the nearby Heart Center, where Sister Marlene explained the significance of what she was about to do to a group that included Robert J. Brody, CEO and president.

“Symbolically and quite literally, the expanded hospital is being built on our Franciscan tradition,” Sister Marlene said.

Friday, March 18, 2011

For whom the Angelus bell tolls...

The rich tone and familiar sound that echoed daily throughout Beech Grove was heard no more after Aug. 12, 1975.

Since the hospital’s construction in 1913, the Sisters of St. Francis climbed the stairs to the tower to ring the bronze bell. It was a Franciscan tradition called “Angelus,” dating back to 1260, recalling the angel of God delivering the news to Mary of the imminent birth of the Messiah.

The bell tolled daily at 6 a.m., noon and 6 p.m., as a celebratory call to prayer. And it rung in a mournful way at 3 p.m., recounting the time Christ was thought to have died.

“It was a mournful tolling, unlike the joyous sound of Angelus,” according to a January 1983 account in Intercom, the former St. Francis Hospital employees’ newsletter. “At its sound each Sister would cease her activities, kneel with outstretched arms and pray, offering up such prayers for the dying in the name of the crucified Christ…”

The aging hospital roof needed replacing, requiring the removal of the three-ton bell unit and tower structure. After more than six decades, that all-familiar sound was silenced.

Today, the shining bell is displayed near the hospital’s main lobby – but the Franciscan tradition and meaning it conveyed still resonates.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Art of ICE

THE FUTURE "new" main entrance at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis -- located on the east side of the campus facing I-65 -- is now adorned with the inspired work of artist Peter Skidd's "Sympathy of St. Francis." This creation represents the Saint's "far-reaching, all-embracing sympathy," using birds and a heavenly reaching tree. The three-waves represent Francis' vows of poverty, obedience and chastity.

Overall interior design is being coordinated by Lohr Design. Finishing touches are being applied as Phase I of the Indianapolis Campus Expansion project nears its April 13 opening date.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The ‘greening’ of a hospital

Natural elements and light play a role in a patient’s healing and the design at the Francsican St. Francis Health - Indianapolis campus takes that into account.
To help make a bit of the outdoors available to 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 Franciscan St. Francis Health. 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 this spring.

But the hospital also has been “greenminded” in other ways since the construction got under way more than three years ago. During that time, travelers driving past St. Francis on I-65 have seen the new patient tower grow – literally – from the ground up. No doubt they have at times seen significant debris and waste that accumulates as part of the construction process.

So what happens to all those materials?

Tonn & Blank Construction coordinates the disposal of much of the debris in an environmentally friendly way. 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.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Local firefighters get sneak peek at St. Francis Indianapolis project

Phase I nearing end of completion; ER and other services to open April 13

INDIANAPOLIS – Firefighters had an inside look at how work is progressing in the expansion of the Franciscan St. Francis Health Indianapolis campus on the city’s south side.

Indianapolis Fire Department members from Perry and Franklin townships visited the facility Jan. 26 with hospital officials and project managers, getting a basement-to-roof look at areas nearing completion and those where construction remains under way.

"This tour gave firefighters an opportunity to become familiar with new areas of the hospital and to familiarize them with the fire alarm system and critical access points," said St. Francis Security Director Michael Johnson.

One of their stops took the fire crew up six flights of steps to the roof of the patient tower, one of the tallest vantage points in southern Marion and Johnson counties.

Meanwhile, St. Francis officials report that Phase I services are slated for opening April 13. These services are located in the basement and first two levels.

Visitors will find some significant changes. The main entrance and lobby (Level I), currently located on the west side of the campus (Emerson Avenue) will be relocated to the east side of the campus, facing Interstate 65.

An expanded Emergency Department and its entrance are north and adjacent to the main entrance. When fully occupied, the emergency department will have 55 exam rooms and four trauma areas, all organized into special pods. Each pod will be used to group patients with similar diagnoses or needs – a design innovation that enhances efficiency, safety and communication between clinicians in caring for patients.

Other services and departments included in Phase I:
central sterile processing
respiratory therapy
information technology
nursing informatics
other support services

Level I
observation unit
wound care
nursing administration

Level II
recovery rooms

Work on the $265 million project, which began in late 2007, is moving at a vigorous pace, particularly in the patient bed tower (Phase II). St. Francis officials say this final phase of construction will end in late spring 2012. The tower will add 221 inpatient beds to the facility’s existing 230 beds.

"At that time we will phase out inpatient services at our Beech Grove hospital," said Keith Jewell, senior vice president and chief operating officer.

While inpatient services at Beech Grove will have moved to the 8111 S. Emerson campus with the completion of Phase II, some St. Francis outpatient services are expected to remain in Beech Grove. The hospital has been working close with Beech Grove officials and leaders about the potential re-use of the campus facilities since St. Francis announced its Indianapolis project in early 2007.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Design Innovation: ER pods make for more efficient care of patients

Although there are many doors that will lead visitors into a hospital, there are two primary entrances that are most commonly used at hospitals around the nation. For many patients and family members, the “main” entrance they use first is the door to the Emergency Room.

In fact, more than 144,000 people came through the Beech Grove, Indianapolis and Mooresville Emergency Departments in 2009.

So, when hospital leadership started making plans for the Indianapolis bed tower, they
soon included a new ER, one that could best accommodate the growing need for services.
The Indianapolis ER will be one of the first departments to relocate into the new bed
tower this spring.

The ER will be located on the first floor of the new tower, north of the new main entrance near the Heart Center. It will have 55 exam rooms, four trauma rooms, and three behavioral health rooms. Patients can be dropped off at the ER using a drive separate from the one leading to the Heart Center and main entrances. Ambulances will approach the ER via another drive on the north side of the bed tower.

According to Randy Todd, M.D., medical director for St. Francis Emergency Services, the two main focuses for planning the ER were efficiency in delivering care and round-the-clock safety of staff members.

“Our idea was not to try to predict our needs in five years but to determine a design that would be most flexible in meeting changing needs,” he said.

To that end, he and several staff members visited three other hospital ERs in Ohio and North Carolina. Their visits helped the staff and architects develop a design that included a central core near the ambulance entrance that provides patient rooms for the sickest patients and a working area for nurses and unit secretaries.

Additional patient rooms are organized in sections, or “pods” of eight beds. Each pod can be used to group patients with similar diagnoses or needs, such as a pod for pediatric patients and one for patients with acute care needs. As the patient population rises and falls during the day, the “size” of the unit changes around the central core. This way, staff is kept close together to improve efficiency and safety and enhance communication between staff members.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Francis is moving, rearranging departments to accommodate patient needs

The transition of all Beech Grove services to the Indianapolis campus, as well as the opening of the new patient tower, will happen in two phases to make the transition as convenient as possible for patients and hospital staff. Several services will also be consolidated and moved.

Here’s a quick overview on what to expect.

Phase One:

  • This spring, the basement and first two floors of the new patient tower are expected to be open to patients.
  • The expanded Emergency Department will move from its current location to floor 1 of the patient tower. In addition, the cafeteria and surgery areas will re-locate to the tower’s second floor.
  • The moving of these departments to their new locations within the patient tower will free up space in the existing hospital building and allow for expansion of services. For example, a larger pharmacy will occupy a portion of the current Emergency Department space. The current cafeteria space will transition into a café, surgery waiting area, Human Resources Department, and offices for Administration and Medical Staff.

Phase Two:

  • In spring 2012, floors 3 through 6 will be completed. These floors primarily consist of inpatient rooms.
  • During this same time, Beech Grove’s clinical services and departments will consolidate and move to the Indianapolis campus.