Franciscan Healthcare - Munster Web Site

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Franciscan Physicians Hospital changes name to Franciscan Healthcare - Munster

Effective July 1, Franciscan Physicians Hospital, 701 Superior Ave., changed its name to Franciscan Healthcare - Munster "to better reflect the hospital as an evolving, full-service, health care center," according to Barb Greene, hospital president.

"The new name is more reflective of the high-quality, broader-scope, medical center it represents today and will into the future, while serving Munster and the surrounding communities," she said.

The change also was made in light of the hospital’s changeover from a previously, for-profit partnership between Franciscan Alliance and a number of physician shareholders, to a nonprofit.

"“Over time, an agreement was made with the physician partners to sell their shares of the hospital to Franciscan Alliance," Greene said. As a result of that process, the hospital is now fully owned by Franciscan Alliance and its status has changed to a nonprofit."

"The new name fully supports our unique system brand, Franciscan, as our anchor and foundation. The term, Healthcare, represents the comprehensive array of medical services we offer and plan for the future,” Greene said.

"Adding the town to the name identifies our geographical location to the patients and communities we are privileged to serve."

The growth will continue, according to Greene.

"A major master facility plan to enlarge the Franciscan Healthcare - Munster campus also is on the horizon. It includes the addition of an emergency department, bed tower, chapel and other expanded services," Greene said.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Celebrating National Nurses & Hospital Week 2013

A special message from our Mission and Spiritual Care Team:

May 6-12, 2013 is National Nurses Week. No other profession touches people the same way a nurse does. Our nurses touch the heart, soul, mind and body of each patient.

A patient commented, "I am 82 years old and the nurse saw that I was frightened and she asked if I wanted her to stay with me…. She stayed and comforted me…. I loved the concern and I felt safe!!!" Another patient commented, "Nurses may not be angels, but they are the next best things…."

Although each day is a challenge, and the work is often physically and emotionally demanding, what a privilege the nursing profession must be. Florence Nightingale – the Founder of Nursing – put it well: nursing is a "higher calling" for the special few who can combined art and science into a thing of beauty, compassion and caring at the bedside. It is not just a job, it is a mission.

Following Nurses Week, we celebrate National Hospital Week, May 12-18, 2013. For years, Franciscan Alliance hospitals have touched the hearts, souls, minds and bodies of thousands in Nortwest Indiana and South Chicago land. It is a continuing mission that begun 150 years ago by Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel – the Founder of the Sisters of Saint Francis of Perpetual Adoration. Little did Florence Nightingale and Mother Theresia realize that over a century later their visions would converge across the Atlantic as Franciscan Alliance.

Let us honor and celebrate our nurses and staff for continuing to answer the call to bring Christ’s compassion and caring to others. WE ARE PROUD OF OUR NURSES! WE ARE PROUD OF OUR STAFF!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Every minute counts: the facts you need to know about stroke

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in adults. A stroke results when blood flow to the brain is interrupted and nearby cells die from a lack of oxygen and nutrients.

Treatments are available that can greatly minimize damage caused by a stroke—but you must recognize symptoms and get to a hospital immediately to avoid disability. Every minute counts.

What are the symptoms of a stroke?

The warning signs of a stroke have a quick onset, and include sudden:
  • numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • confusion
  • trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • difficulty seeing in one or both eyes
  • trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance/coordination
  • severe headache with no known cause

If someone is having stroke symptoms, perform the FAST assessment:

(F)ace: Ask person to smile; look for facial droop and uneven smile.

(A)rms: Ask person to raise both arms. Can he/she do it evenly?

(S)peech: Ask person to say a simple sentence. Listen for slurred speech.

(T)ime: CALL 911 and get to the hospital immediately!

Am I at risk of having a stroke?

The following are stroke risk factors that can be minimized with medical treatment or lifestyle changes:
  • High blood pressure: This is the number one cause of stroke. Know your blood pressure and have it checked regularly.
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Physical inactivity and obesity
  • Excessive alcohol use
Knowing your stroke risk is the first step in prevention. Have regular medical checkups, and talk with your health care provider about what you can do to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Online Stroke Assessment
Our online Stroke Assessment can help explain your risk factors and recommend steps for reducing your risk. Take the Stroke Risk Assessment >

Because May is National Stroke Awareness Month, on May 22, 2013, Franciscan Alliance stroke coordinators Kari Kerstetter and Amy Linsemeyer will be discussing stroke recognition and the importance of early activation of 911 at the monthly Mallwalkers event at 9 a.m. at Westfield Southlake mall in Hobart. The Mallwalkers program, sponsored by Franciscan Alliance and the mall, takes place on the fourth Wednesday of the month in the JC Penney court on the first floor. Blood pressure screenings also are available.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Managing Change

Submitted by: Cathy M. Cinko, LCSW

Change is one mainstay in our lives today. Change affects us in our home lives, but also in our workplace. Change is all around us. Change is not only persistent, but it is also consistent. Do we want to embrace change or resist change? Embracing change is an adaptable quality. Resisting change is maladaptive. Resisting change could be perceived by others as being rigid and inflexible. Embracing change, on the other hand, could show others that we are flexible and a team player.

Some people view change positively. This change is viewed as a learning opportunity or growing potential. Others may view change negatively. Change is perceived as something to fear or avoid. Fearing or avoiding change will only prolong the inevitable. If change is feared then sometimes it is important to develop coping skills to assist an individual with embracing the changes. Coping can be defined as behavioral and cognitive strategies to deal with experiences that are perceived as negative.

Coping with change means that you take charge and be a part of the change solution, including managing your feelings. Ask yourself if this change is going to affect you in a positive or negative way. People who have a positive outlook find it easier to engage in the change process. Use positive thinking techniques like positive affirmation statements while visualizing a good outcome. Ask yourself questions: Is this change likely to ease your work load or enhance your skills?

If the change is a perceived threat then knowledge can translate to power and control. Be proactive, and assertively ask for news updates. Being proactive is an important action step to help navigate the changes. The famous self-help book, Who Moved my Cheese, by Spencer Johnson and Kenneth Blanchard, is an amazing resource for individuals that struggle with change at work and at home.

Embrace change by becoming a change-agent! Remember: change is inevitable!

Cathy M. Cinko, LCSW, is a therapist with the Employee Assistance Program for the Franciscan Alliance hospitals in Northern Indiana.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Volunteers receive Most Valuable Team award

Franciscan Physicians Hospital congratulates its volunteers as the winners of this quarter’s MVT (Most Valuable Team) award.

This award is a Service Excellence initiative to honor those who demonstrate outstanding team services. The award is determined by previous winners; last quarter, the Outpatient Surgery Team won the award and nominated the volunteers this quarter. The winners have their picture taken and are on display in a large award board in the main lobby.

From assisting patients in the hallways to answering phones, guiding family members to their loved ones in pre-op and recovery, and helping with hospitality, there is nothing that the FPH volunteers cannot do to brighten someone’s day and add a valuable piece to our health care puzzle. Their generous dedication to helping others Makes a Difference!

THANK YOU, Volunteers, for your outstanding service here at Franciscan Physicians Hospital and for winning the MVT Award.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities with Franciscan Physicians Hospital and Franciscan Alliance, visit

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

National Healthcare Decisions Day - Understanding Advance Directives

There may come a time when you or a family member is seriously injured or gravely ill. In the midst of shock and grief, you may be asked to make hard medical decisions. It is important for you to learn about Advance Directives, types and intensity of medical care, and to discuss the kind of treatment you feel comfortable with before you make those difficult decisions.

April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day…a time to bring awareness to the importance of advance care planning and communicating and documenting your healthcare decisions.

Understanding Advance Directives

Advance care directives allow patients to provide instructions about their preferences regarding the care they would like to receive if they develop an illness or a life-threatening injury and are unable to express their preferences. Advance care directives can also designate someone the patient trusts to make decisions about medical care if the patient becomes unable to make (or communicate) these decisions. This is called designating "power of attorney (for health care)."

Advance care directives can reduce:

  • Personal worry
  • Feelings of helplessness and guilt by family members
  • Futile, costly, specialized interventions that a patient may not want
  • Overall health care costs
  • Legal concerns for everyone involved

Example of Advance Directives
  • Verbal instructions. These are any decisions regarding care that are communicated verbally by an individual to health care providers or family members.
  • Organ donation. This may be accomplished by completing an organ donation card and carrying it in your wallet. A second card may be placed with important papers (such as a living will, insurance papers, and so on).
  • Living will. This is a written, legal document that conveys the wishes of a person in the event of serious illness. This document can speak for a patient who is unable to communicate. A living will may indicate specific care or treatment the person does or does not want performed under specific circumstances. A living will is not to be confused with a last will and testament that distributes assets after a person's death.
  • Special medical power of attorney. A legal document that allows an individual to appoint someone else (proxy) to make medical or health care decisions, in the event the individual becomes unable to make or communicate such decisions personally.
  • DNR (do not resuscitate) order. This states that CPR is not to be performed if your breathing stops or your heart stops beating. The order may be written by the person's doctor after discussing the issue with the person (if possible), the proxy, or family.

  • In the event you choose to create a living will or special medical power of attorney, know specific state laws that may apply. Write the document to be consistent with your state's laws.
  • If you have a living will or special medical power of attorney, provide copies for your family members and health care providers. Carry a copy with you in a wallet, glove compartment of a car, or similar location. If you have a planned admission to a hospital, take copies for the hospital to include in your medical chart and tell all medical personnel involved with your case about the documents.
  • Consider the possibilities of the future, and plan ahead. Studies have shown that although the majority of people believe having some form of advance directive is a good idea, most people have not actually developed advance directives for themselves. Many people state that they want their families to make health care decisions. However, less than half of these people have ever discussed the issue and their specific desires with family members.
  • These decisions can be changed at any time. However, if a living will is changed, everyone involved -- including family or proxies and all healthcare providers -- must be informed and new copies of instructions made and distributed.

The process of creating advance care directives may be difficult. It requires you to think about your priorities regarding quality of life and your death. Treatment options, and their possible influence on your quality of life, need to be fully understood and considered. Know the potential implications of choosing or refusing specific forms of care.

Discuss your wishes regarding advance care directives with your health care providers, family members, and friends. Review your wishes from time to time to remind everyone.

Source: A.D.A.M. Multimedia Encyclopedia

Monday, April 1, 2013

Pope’s decree of miracle paves way for beatification of Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel

On Wednesday, March 27, 2013, Pope Francis approved his first decrees from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Among them was a ‘Decree of Miracle’ acknowledging a miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God, Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel, foundress of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration.

This miraculous cure of a young boy from Colorado Springs, Colo. – who is now a young adult -- paves the way towards her beatification, which is scheduled to take place on Nov. 10, 2013, in Paderborn, Germany.

Mother Maria Theresia, was born on Sept. 17, 1830, in Olpe, Germany. She sought to combine the contemplative and active religious life through an unfailing commitment to Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the works of mercy in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi. Mother Maria Theresia died on Feb.6, 1905.

About the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration:
The Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration continue to serve in education, health care, and other ecclesial ministries in Germany, the United States, the Philippines, and Brazil. In doing so, they follow in the footsteps of Jesus who spent His public life praying, teaching, healing and ministering to others. The Provincial House of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Province is located in Mishawaka, Ind. These Sisters serve in the Archdioceses of Chicago and Indianapolis, and the Dioceses of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Lafayette-in-Indiana, and Gary. The Sisters rejoice that this gift comes during their celebration of the 150th Jubilee of the Congregation and the Year of Faith. To learn more, go to