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Jose Martinez and Martin Gonzalez took first place in the Men’s Doubles Centurion +A division of the U.S. Open Racquetball Championship. 

Franciscan Health Centers members win racquetball championship

Franciscan Health Fitness Centers Members Martin Gonzalez and Jose Martinez took first place in the Men’s Doubles Centurion +A division of the U.S. Open Racquetball Championship. The pair played from Oct. 4 to 8 in the single elimination tournament held at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

Jose Martinez has been a member of Franciscan Health Fitness Centers since 1990, and Martin Gonzalez has been a member since 2004. Both have been playing racquetball three to four times a week and doubles for at least 10 of those years. Last year, Martinez won the nationals with fellow club member and partner, Drake Deavours.

This year, Gonzalez and Martinez decided to try for the U.S. Open, the biggest tournament in racquetball. As two of 758 players at the U.S. Open, they played not only play for themselves but the club. “Martin and I play all over and it’s good to come home to Franciscan Health Fitness Centers," Gonzalez said. "It’s one of the best and cleanest clubs we’ve been in and we’ve been in a lot of clubs. We’re proud to represent Franciscan Health Fitness Centers and call it our home club.”

NWI surgical center first to do new treatment

Northwest Regional Surgery Center is the first surgical facility in Northwest Indiana to offer Stryker’s robotic-arm assisted total knee application for use with its Mako System.

“Mako is changing the way joint replacement surgeries are performed by providing each patient with a personalized surgical experience based on their specific diagnosis and anatomy,” said Dr. Michael Knesek of Northwest Regional Surgery Center.

The Mako Total Knee application is a knee replacement treatment option designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis. Through CT-based 3D modeling of bone anatomy, surgeons can use the Mako System to create a personalized surgical plan and identify the implant size, orientation and alignment based on each patient’s unique anatomy. The Mako System also enables surgeons to virtually modify the surgical plan intra-operatively and assists the surgeon in executing bone resections.

St. Catherine Hospital recognized for patient safety

The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit health care ratings organization, recently released new Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades to general acute-care hospitals in the nation. St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago was awarded the organization’s highest grade, an “A” in patient safety.

The Hospital Safety grades, ranging from A to F, rate how well hospitals protect patients from accidents, injuries, errors and infections.

St. Catherine Hospital was one of only 832 hospitals out of 2,639 hospitals in the U.S., and only one of 18 in Indiana, to receive an “A” for its commitment to meeting the highest patient safety standards in the country.

St. Catherine Hospital has achieved the "A" rating in all but two biannual scoring updates of the Leapfrog Hospital Safety grade since 2014.

HealthLinc offers help during open enrollment

HealthLinc clinics throughout Northwest Indiana will participate in the health insurance marketplace open enrollment period through Dec. 15. Each clinic will have health insurance navigators on hand to assist individuals looking for information on their health insurance options and in getting signed up. Even those currently covered are welcome to stop by and have their insurance coverage reviewed.

The following is information for each clinic:

  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday, HealthLinc East Chicago, 1313 W. Chicago Ave., East Chicago
  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday, HealthLinc Michigan City, 710 Franklin St., Suite 200, Michigan City
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Monday and Thursday, HealthLinc Valparaiso, 1001 N. Sturdy Road, Valparaiso

Appointments are suggested. Call 888-580-1060, ext. 4405 or email to schedule an appointment. Bilingual assistance is available at each site. For more information about the health insurance marketplace open enrollment period, contact Lauren Lamb at 888-580-1060, ext. 2294 or

Franciscan Health receives funds to help fight infant mortality

Franciscan Health’s Northern Division is among recipients that will have a share in $11 million in grant funds the Indiana State Department of Health is awarding to hospitals, local health departments and nonprofit organizations for projects designed to help reduce Indiana’s infant mortality rate. Franciscan is among seven agencies that will receive funding through the state’s Safety PIN (Protecting Indiana’s Newborns) grant program.

Joan Culver, Franciscan Health administrative director for women’s and children’s services, said the bulk of the $1 million grant for fiscal years 2018 to 2021 will be used to establish a branch of Franciscan's prenatal assistance program in Hammond with a coordinator, two social workers and other staff to serve as a hub for connecting expectant mothers with available resources.

Although similar to the site at St. Clare Health Clinic in Crown Point, the new location, instead of offering its own home visitor program, will work with programs already in place, such as Healthy Families and Nurse-Family Partnership.

The Crown Point location also will receive additional resources. The money will be used to hire staff to operate the program, purchase educational and marketing materials, and used for outreach events to make people aware of the service.


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