Indianapolis Construction Update

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.