Health leaders, governor see bright future for St. Francis


The only Catholic hospital in the Diocese of Wilmington is well-prepared to meet the needs of an aging population in Delaware and provide quality care to all ages with its professional staff and leading-edge technology.

That was the message that executives from St. Francis Healthcare and CHE Trinity Health delivered Nov. 12 with Delaware Gov. Jack Markell to approximately 200 physicians and business partners on the future of healthcare at Saint Francis Healthcare in Wilmington.

“The 60-and-older population in Delaware will grow by more than 80 percent by 2020,” said Ray Welch, executive vice president of Ministry Operations, CHE Trinity Health.  “An aging population consumes more medical care, and requires different forms of care. With its network of highly skilled physicians, its signature acute care hospital, its home health program, not to mention the St. Francis LIFE program, that help seniors age with dignity and in their homes, St. Francis provides quality health services the community needs and deserves.”

St. Francis LIFE is the only PACE (Program for All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) program in Delaware.

“When I think about the future of healthcare in Delaware, I think about quality medical professionals providing high-quality service at a great value,” said Gov. Markell.  “St. Francis Healthcare plays a vital role in helping to fulfill this vision because of the first-class, efficient care it has provided for nearly 90 years, and the access it provides to leading-edge technology and top talent in partnership with CHE Trinity Health.”

In the past year, St. Francis has invested in both new capabilities and technology to meet the needs of its patients. Dr. Audrey Sernyak, an interventional cardiologist, joined the system as director of the Cardiovascular Service Line. St. Francis upgraded its cardiac catheterization lab with state-of-the-art technology, the GE Innova 2000.

For another example of expanded capabilities, St. Francis announced recently a relationship with Mid-Atlantic GI Consultants (MAGIC), a top gastroenterology group in Delaware. MAGIC will provide easy access to the top GI care at St. Francis to include 24-hour on-call coverage for the emergency department and new offices in the hospital.

“We remain at the leading edge of high-quality care, offering some of the most technologically advanced services in Delaware, applied by the region’s most skilled and compassionate medical teams,” said Brian E. Dietz, interim president and CEO, Saint Francis Healthcare. “For example, The Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson provides patients in its member hospitals access to the latest developments in cancer research, technology and treatment, allowing St. Francis patients to participate in clinical trials close to home. We continue to evolve in the way we deliver care to the many people we serve, across all walks of life.”

Across many quality indicators, Saint Francis performs on par with — and, in many cases, outperforms — state and national averages, the hospital reported. This includes indicators related to heart care, pneumonia treatment, surgical care, and care received in the emergency department.