News Releases

Fort Wayne Mom Receives Reid Health's 30,000th COVID-19 Vaccine Dose

Posted March 31, 2021

Supplied Photo: Kimberlyn Teh
Kimberlyn Teh on Wednesday received the 30,000th COVID-19 vaccine dose administered by Reid Health.

When Indiana residents in their 30s became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, Kimberlyn Teh and her husband, Kean, began looking everywhere for an appointment.

There was nothing available around their hometown of Fort Wayne, so they widened their search. Eventually, they found a site with open time slots, but it was nearly 100 miles away.

On Wednesday, they made the two-hour trip south to Reid Health's Kuhlman Center Vaccine Clinic where Kimberlyn received the 30,000th vaccine dose administered by the health system.

Kean is among those who are high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and the couple are planning to travel internationally, so they wanted to get vaccinated quickly after becoming eligible.

Because of Kean's health status, the Tehs have tried to isolate themselves as much as possible during the pandemic, even keeping their daughter from going to daycare.

"I believe getting vaccinated is a personal choice. Whether someone does or doesn't is totally up to them," Kimberlyn said. "But I believe in getting vaccinated for the good of the community."

Reid's community vaccination clinic at the Kuhlman Center on the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Richmond is open 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

Appointments should be scheduled through the state website, ourshot.in.gov, using either the Firefox or Chrome web browser. After an appointment has been made, a link will be sent to complete the registration. That information doesn't have to be filled out before arriving for the scheduled vaccination but doing so ahead of time will speed up the process.

If you need help getting an appointment, you can register directly with the Kuhlman Center Vaccine Clinic by calling (765) 935-8484 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

The Indiana Department of Health also has designated 211 as a call line for assistance, but Reid has been made aware at least some local sites aren't showing for 211 staff as having available appointments. Patients should specifically ask for the Kuhlman Center if 211 staff don't initially offer it as an option.

"With eligibility for getting the vaccine greatly expanded, we want to get as many shots into arms as possible. The quicker we can get everyone vaccinated, the quicker we can return to a normal life." -- Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs

Everyone 16 and older now is eligible to be vaccinated in Indiana, but only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for those ages 16-17. Reid's Kuhlman Center site uses the Pfizer product.

Parents or legal guardians of minor children who will be vaccinated need to be present at the child's appointment.

"With eligibility for getting the vaccine greatly expanded, we want to get as many shots into arms as possible," said Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs at Reid Health. "The quicker we can get everyone vaccinated, the quicker we can return to a normal life."

Reid has been made a host site by the IDOH with responsibility for helping to vaccinate Wayne, Randolph, Union, and Fayette counties. County health departments in those areas also are offering vaccinations through their own clinics. Those are located at:

  • Wayne County: 601 E. Main St., Richmond
  • Randolph County: 1885 U.S. 27, Winchester
  • Union County: 6 W. South St., Liberty
  • Fayette County: 401 Central Ave., Connersville

For anyone who might need help getting to the Kuhlman Center, family members should assist with scheduling to ensure transportation will be available at the time of the appointment.

The City of Richmond is providing no-charge bus service to the Kuhlman Center. To schedule a ride, patients will need to call (765) 983-7227 or (765) 983-7301. Bus operation hours are 6:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Paratransit also will provide rides to the clinic Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Once on site, patients will find directional signs and the phone number to call upon their arrival, (765) 935-8484.

Student Research Day Continues to Thrive with Virtual Event on April 2

Posted March 31, 2021

Supplied Photo: Ashley Karns
Ashley Karns of Greenville, Ohio, is a senior biochemistry major at IU East. She will be one of 35 students to present an undergraduate research or creative project during the virtual Student Research Day on April 2.

Though Student Research Day next week will again be affected by pandemic restrictions, this year's "Celebration in Cyberspace" exhibition of students' research and creative work involves more than 50 entries in what remains a campus wide, high-profile event. Of those entries, 34 have been selected for Student Research Day presentations.

Student Research Day is at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 2, on IU East Facebook Live.

Ange Cooksey, senior lecturer in Humanities and director of the Honors Program, said the event is designed to recognize and celebrate the scholarly, research and creative work of students.

"Before last year, Student Research Day was a vibrant, well-attended face-to-face event," Cooksey said.

In April 2020, Student Research Day was held virtually for the first time. This year, despite continued limitations of COVID-19, the 2021 edition will again involve a range of students and research topics representing every school.

Student Research Day launched nearly 20 years ago to showcase the work of a handful of students conducting undergraduate research projects sponsored by their Summer Research Scholarships.

When Cooksey assumed leadership in 2010, she wanted to get more academic schools involved. By last year, the event involved more than 70 students and 40 faculty members representing every school. This year 34 students are participating and 20 faculty members served as mentors.

"The program is now supported with an annual budget, and students who distinguish themselves by placing in the competition win cash awards," Cooksey said.

This year's virtual program will include welcomes by IU East Chancellor Kathy Girten and Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Michelle Malott. That will be followed by a keynote address by Katelyn Brown, D.D.S., an IU East alumna now practicing dentistry in Richmond. The award winners will be announced during the event.

Emily Merrell, a senior business administration major, is one of the 2020 Summer Research Scholars. As a Summer Research Scholar, Merrell is one of the students presenting for Student Research Day.

Merrell said she intentionally chose a project that "had almost nothing to do with my major" but gave her wonderful research experience looking into something close to her heart.

"I have always been close to my grandparents and enjoyed hearing the stories they shared from throughout their lives. I wanted to document some of those stories, though I knew it would be a very time-consuming process," Merrell said.

Doing the research was "outside her comfort zone" and involved a series of extensive interviews and related historical research she believes will make her better in future careers involving in-depth interviews. Her project result is "The Cultural History of a Midwestern Family in Twentieth Century America."

Jim Skufca, of Charlotte, North Carolina, will complete a bachelor's degree in Applied Mathematics this year. His 2020 project, "Credit Risk Modeling Based on Logistic Regression," fits right into his career. He has worked in the fields of commercial credit portfolio management for large banks.

"My research last summer (2020) was an extension of the work that I've been doing my entire career," Skufca said.

He decided to pursue his mathematics degree online at IU East as a foundational step to a graduate degree in machine learning/deep learning with applications in credit portfolio management.

"I learned how much mathematics and computer science have to offer to the future of credit portfolio management. I'm really excited about the opportunities in my industry and can't wait to continue my studies in graduate school," Skufca said.

He added the research program is a great way to showcase students' work and allows them "to get acquainted with real-world applications of what can seem like very theoretical concepts they learn in class."

Heidi Klein, a secondary education major from New Paris, Ohio, submitted "Purge Burning," a short book of poems that incorporate aspects of farm life in the Midwest.

Ashley Karns, senior biochemistry major, believes her work on researching an insecticide will help prepare her for plans to do research in the medical or biology field. Karns is from Greenfield, Ohio.

"This is a great opportunity to offer a student a way of showcasing their work," Karns said.

Student Research Day projects highlight the variety of work featured each year, said Cooksey. From creative writing to chemistry, art and music to applied science, Student Research Day illustrates the depth of scholarly work at IU East.

The program going forward will also keep some of the virtual aspects forced by COVID-19.

"We will now regularly offer a more robust, virtual environment for Student Research Day as we will always have an online community participating and presenting. We want to better serve them in the future, ever expanding the new ways we may reach and enrich the lives of students and faculty," Cooksey said.

All IU East students, in every discipline and online students, are able to participate. Participants may choose to present a poster or an oral presentation, to be judged by a panel of faculty and staff.

In addition, participants have the option of getting published in the Journal of Student Research at IU East. Student Research Day showcases the Summer Scholars Research program, Student Showcase (fine arts), Honors Program thesis students, and students' research and creative works.

"We are so proud of the accomplishments of our students that we want to not only recognize their accomplishments -- we want to celebrate them, applaud their hard work, and inspire them to push on in their pursuit of excellence in their research, their studies, and their work," Cooksey said.

LifeStream Partners for Curbside Vaccine Education & Food Distribution in Muncie

Posted March 31, 2021

LifeStream Services is partnering with Church of the Living God in Muncie to offer a drive-thru vaccine education and food distribution. The event invites those over the age of 60 to drive-thru to receive a pack of meals and information on the importance of registering for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Curbside Vaccine Education and Food Distribution will be held on Monday, April 12 at 11:00am at Church of the Living God located at 1120 E. Washington St. Muncie, IN 47305. Eligible individuals interested in participating must sign up no later than Thursday, April 8 at lifestreaminc.org or call Lydia Randolph after 3:00pm at 765-749-4502.

This opportunity is free of charge and is limited to the first 100 registered. For more information or questions regarding this event, please contact Beth Evans, LifeStream Director of Community Services, at 765-759-1121 or bevans@lifestreaminc.org.

Nominations Now Accepted for the LifeStream Golden Hoosier Award

Posted March 31, 2021

LifeStream Services is seeking nominees age 65 or older for the LifeStream Golden Hoosier Award. The community is encouraged to nominate those special volunteers who consistently go above and beyond demonstrating passion and commitment to service in their community.

The nominee must be age 65 or older and currently reside in Blackford, Delaware, Fayette, Franklin, Grant, Henry, Jay, Madison, Randolph, Rush, Union, or Wayne county. The individual must have completed at least three years of volunteer experience after reaching 60 years of age, positively impacting members of the community, an organization, or faith-based organization through volunteer efforts.

A special committee will choose the top 50 nominees and choose the winner of the LifeStream Golden Hoosier Award. This individual will then be nominated for the state of Indiana's prestigious Golden Hoosier Award, which is the highest honor a senior citizen can receive from the state.

Nominations are due no later than April 16 to Laura Bray, LifeStream's Volunteer Services Administrator. Additional information and a nomination form can be accessed by visiting www.lifestreaminc.org/goldenhoosier. Questions? Please call 765-759-3372 or email lbray@lifestreaminc.org.

This award is sponsored by Reid Health Alliance Medicare.

MRL Presents "Green Thumb Thursdays" Gardening Series, Offered on Thursdays in April from 6-7 p.m. at the Library

Posted March 31, 2021

Supplied Photo:  Gardening SuppliesGarden season is fast approaching. Are you ready? Whether you want to start your first garden or are a veteran gardener looking for tips, Morrisson-Reeves Library's Green Thumb Thursdays series has a session for you!

Green Thumb Thursdays promotes gardening best practices to participants. "As spring emerges, many are looking to enjoy the sunshine, and our Green Thumb series has tips for rookies and longtime gardeners," said Beth Harrick, MRL's Program Specialist. "We are excited to partner with local environmental educators to provide support for our community of gardeners."

Session topics include tips for easy gardening, how to enrich soil, dealing with diseases and pests, starting seed indoors, and the benefits of container gardens and raised beds. MRL partnered with Cope Environmental Center and Purdue Extension of Wayne and Fayette Counties to provide expert facilitation for these sessions.

Each session will have a hybrid presentation format, with a limited in-person audience and a recording made available during or after the presentation. In-person registration is first come, first served, with participants signing for as many individual sessions as desired. Sessions run on Thursdays from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the library.

The following topics will be covered:

  • April 1: Soil, Worms and Plants, Oh My! Compost and Enriching your Soil, presented by Stephanie McCurdy, Cope Environmental Center
  • April 8: Dealing with Diseases and Pests, presented by Jonathan Ferris, Purdue Extension Wayne County
  • April 15: Starting Seeds Indoors, presented by Heather Caldwell, Purdue Extension Fayette County
  • April 22: Gardening Made Easy: Introduction to Gardening, presented by Stephanie McCurdy, Cope Environmental Center
  • April 29: Container Gardens & Raised Beds, presented by Jonathan Ferris, Purdue Extension Wayne County

Following Covid-19 restrictions, MRL will have limited participation for the in-person workshops, with pre-registration, masks and social distancing required. Hand sanitizer will also be made available, and any hands-on activities are optional. Workshops will take place in our Library's Bard Room, with a maximum of 10 participants.

All programs will be available virtually during or after the live session takes place.

More details are available on the library's website, MRLinfo.org/green-thumb.

For more information, please contact Beth Harrick at 765-966-8291 extension 1117 or BHarrick@MRLinfo.org.

KinderCare and Reid Health Open New Child Care Center for Employees

Posted March 29, 2021

Today, KinderCare Education and Reid Health opened the doors to a new child care center that will provide early childhood education and care for more than 120 children of Reid Health employees. KinderCare at Reid Health will also employ more than 26 teachers and staff from the Richmond area.

The new center features age-specific classrooms that coordinate with the pediatric areas of the hospital so children feel they're just as much as part of Reid Health as their parents. An onsite room is dedicated to nursing mothers and a multipurpose indoor activity room provides space for children to play indoors during inclement weather. The center also has several outdoors play spaces, each with brand new play equipment geared toward different age ranges and abilities.

"Now more than ever forward-thinking employers like Reid Health are supporting their employees with high-quality child care and education. We're always excited to partner with employers to find the best child care solutions that serve the needs of their employees, particularly in critical fields like healthcare," said Jeff Gerkin, senior vice president of KinderCare Education at Work. "After nearly three years of planning and preparation, we're excited to see children in the KinderCare center here at Reid Health. We're honored to have been selected as their provider of choice."

"We're happy to support the incredible work of the essential workers at Reid Health by offering them high quality care for their children," said Chantal Oglesby, center director of KinderCare at Reid Health. "My team and I are excited to bring KinderCare's educational excellence to the Richmond community and to help children prepare for kindergarten and future academic success."

"We're thrilled to be able to offer high-quality child care to our team members through this partnership with KinderCare Education," said Carrie Kolentus, director of human resources for Reid Health. "This center, conveniently located next to our main campus, will be a great benefit to our organization, our team and their families."

For more than 50 years, KinderCare has created safe, nurturing environments in centers across the country where kids can learn, grow and build confidence for life. KinderCare focuses on encouraging children's natural curiosity to learn and providing high-quality early childhood education and care programs in a setting with industry-leading health and safety practices.

KinderCare teachers approach learning with the goal of building on children's natural sense of discovery, joy and wonder. By combining play and education, KinderCare helps young minds develop and children build confidence. KinderCare brings a research-based, proprietary curriculum that is specifically developed to align with state early learning standards and kindergarten expectations, so parents have confidence that their children have the skills necessary for kindergarten. National assessments show that children do better the longer they're enrolled in KinderCare. They also reach developmental milestones earlier and are better prepared for first grade than their peers.

Reid Health families can learn more about the center through Reid TV or their weekly newsletter. A virtual tour of the center is also available.

About KinderCare Education at Work™

KinderCare Education at Work™ provides customized family benefits for employers, including on-site and near-site early learning centers and back-up care for last-minute child care. We partner with visionary leaders at more than 400 employers around the country who understand that child care benefits are more critical than ever for working parents. To learn more, visit us at KinderCare/atwork.

Police Chief Surprised with Sagamore of the Wabash Honor

Posted March 26, 2021

Supplied Photo: L to R, Craig Kinyon, Jeff Raatz, Randy Kolentus, Dave Snow, Brad Barrett

Over 14 years at Reid Health, Police Chief Randy Kolentus has worked to build a one-person position into a professional security team of nearly two dozen members.

To do so, he used the experience gained from nearly three decades with the Richmond Police Department serving in every rank up to deputy chief.

That leadership also has been put to use over six years as president of the Indiana chapter of the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety, helping to form a professional network of healthcare security throughout the state.

For all those reasons and more, he was awarded Friday the highest honor given by an Indiana governor, the Sagamore of the Wabash.

"Among these who have received Sagamores have been astronauts, presidents, ambassadors, artists, musicians, politicians, and ordinary citizens who have contributed greatly to our Hoosier heritage." -- State of Indiana website

Kolentus was surprised with the award during a meeting of the IAHSS state chapter at Reid Health.

"Thank you for this great honor," he said. "I've been fortunate to work for an excellent organization and with wonderful officers through the years. This wouldn't be possible without their help."

The award was presented by State Sen. Jeff Raatz and State Rep. Brad Barrett.

Supplied Photo: Awarding the Sagamore of the Wabash to Police Chief Randy Kolentus "Randy has spent his life in law enforcement. The many lives he has touched -- those he is aware of and those he is not -- are certainly untold," Raatz said. "It is no exaggeration to declare he has devoted his life to the service of others.

"The Sagamore of the Wabash is the most coveted state award, and Randy is most certainly deserving of the award."

According to the state website, the Sagamore of the Wabash award was created in the 1940s by then-Gov. Ralph Gates. The term "sagamore" was used by some Native American tribes to describe a lesser chief or a great man among the tribe to whom the true chief would look for wisdom and advice. It's a tribute usually given to those who have provided distinguished service to the state or the governor.

"Randy has spent his life in law enforcement. The many lives he has touched -- those he is aware of and those he is not -- are certainly untold. It is no exaggeration to declare he has devoted his life to the service of others." -- State Sen. Jeff Raatz

"Among these who have received Sagamores have been astronauts, presidents, ambassadors, artists, musicians, politicians, and ordinary citizens who have contributed greatly to our Hoosier heritage," the website says.

Kolentus came to Reid Health after 28 years with the Richmond Police Department. During his time at RPD, he was one of the founding members of the department's SWAT Team and was appointed its first SWAT Team Commander.

Recently, Kolentus has been hard at work transforming Reid's security team into a police department. The project began in early 2020 and passed the halfway point earlier this year with the graduation of four more officers from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.

"As a long-time citizen of Richmond, I'm grateful Randy has dedicated his life's work to ensuring our safety," said Jennifer Ehlers, Reid Health Vice President/Chief Quality Officer. "Randy's service to not only Reid in Richmond but to all the communities Reid serves is astounding.

"Randy's integrity is beyond reproach and his leadership skills are unmatched. All of us aspire daily to emulate Randy's service and dedication. We have an exceptional team of officers who are learning from the best!"

INDOT to Host Virtual Career Fair Thursday, April 1

Posted March 24, 2021

The Indiana Department of Transportation will host an online, virtual career fair on Thursday, April 1 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. ET. INDOT is recruiting applicants for open full-time and seasonal positions in highway maintenance, fleet services, construction engineering and construction project inspections. Recruiters from INDOT will be available to answer questions and provide information on the benefits of joining the State of Indiana team. INDOT offers $250 sign on and $500 retention bonuses for eligible candidates.

Click here or visit https://bit.ly/3tRIiB2 to attend INDOT's virtual career fair. Advance registration is not required.

Summer seasonal positions run from April through October at a starting pay of $16 per hour. Candidates should have a valid driver's license and commercial driver's license (CDL). A high school diploma or GED is preferred but not required.

For questions, please email careers@indot.in.gov.

Breast Center Earns Accreditation from American College of Surgeons

Posted March 24, 2021

The Reid Health Breast Center has earned its second three-year accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, a quality program administered by the American College of Surgeons.

To earn the designation, a breast center must meet NAPBC standards for a center's leadership, clinical services, research, community outreach, professional education, and quality improvement for patients. A site visit every three years is included in the process.

"Breast disease impacts women and families at all stages of life. This accreditation confirms our focus on excellence as yet another example of Reid's commitment to the highest quality care." -- Joshua French, M.D., general surgeon and Chair of Reid Health's Breast Program Committee

"Breast disease impacts women and families at all stages of life," said Joshua French, M.D., general surgeon and Chair of Reid Health's Breast Program Committee. "This accreditation confirms our focus on excellence as yet another example of Reid's commitment to the highest quality care."

Accreditation by the NAPBC is given to those centers that strive to provide the best possible care to patients with breast cancer. Patients at the Reid Health Breast Center have access to:

  • Comprehensive care, including a full range of state-of-the-art services,
  • A multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best treatment options, and
  • Information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options.

"We're very proud of the hard work provided by the Reid Health Breast Center team," said Gene Ditullio, Director of Radiology Services for Reid Health. "This accreditation is a reflection of their dedication to providing high-quality care to the communities that we serve."

The NAPBC represents a group of national, professional organizations dedicated to quality of care for patients with diseases of the breast. Its board membership includes professionals from more than 20 national organizations that represent the full spectrum of breast care. For more information, visit facs.org/quality-programs/napbc.

COVID-19 Testing Moving to Chester Boulevard Location

Posted March 23, 2021

Reid Health is shifting its drive-up COVID-19 testing operations from the Reid Orthopedic Center to the newly established Reid Health Lab - 1200 Chester Blvd. facility.

The move will take effect on Monday, March 29. Hours for testing at the new location will remain the same as they are now, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Switching sites will make room for an upcoming remodeling project at the Reid Orthopedic Center.

"Although we're moving to a new location, we're pleased to still be able to offer our patients the convenience of being able to get tested while staying in their car," said Monica Schlichter, Musculoskeletal Service Line Director for Reid Health, "and our new facility has the added benefit of being more centrally located within Richmond.

"We'll continue to offer the same great service at our new site as we've always done at the Reid Orthopedic Center."

Anyone concerned they might have COVID-19 or who needs proof of a negative result can be tested for the virus without the need of a doctor's order. Both PCR and rapid antigen tests are available by calling Reid Central Scheduling at (765) 983-3358.

The move will take effect on Monday, March 29. Hours for testing at the new location will remain the same as they are now, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Drive-thru testing will be done at the new facility at 1200 Chester Blvd. in Richmond. Patients will be able to pull up, get checked in and have their nose swabbed all without having to get out of their car.

To qualify for a rapid test, a person must be symptomatic. Results typically are available in about 15 minutes. Anyone who gets a negative result is asked to return within a few days to have a PCR test done if symptoms persist.

Those who are not symptomatic but need proof of a negative result will get a PCR test. Turnaround for that test is usually about one day. Results can be found in a patient's MyChart account without having to wait on a phone call.

Rapid antigen and PCR tests detect components of the virus, indicating a current or recent infection. Rapid antigen tests can have more false positives and negatives than the PCR test.

PCR results can remain positive up to 90 days after infection even though people are not acutely ill or contagious after the first two weeks or so. Because of that, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend retesting with a PCR exam within that 90-day window.

COVID-19 testing will be billed to insurers, but patients should check with their carriers to see if their coverage includes the tests.

IDOH Adds Pregnancy to List of Conditions Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccination

Posted March 22, 2021

Those who are pregnant now can be vaccinated for COVID-19 after the Indiana Department of Health this week expanded its eligibility list for getting the shot.

The IDOH has made it a priority to vaccinate people with certain medical conditions that put them at higher risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19. The full list of those conditions can be found on the state's website at ourshot.in.gov.

In a call Wednesday with hospital leaders from around the state, Dr. Lindsay Weaver, Chief Medical Officer for the IDOH, said medical studies now show babies of vaccinated moms have immunizing antibodies to the virus.

"We recommend that all pregnant women consider getting vaccinated and have a discussion with their doctors about what is the best timing of it during their pregnancy," Dr. Weaver said.

She also mentioned all the medical professional societies -- including the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Society for Maternal and Fetal Medicine, and the American Academy of Pediatrics -- endorse COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy.

"This is great news for all of our soon-to-be-mothers," said Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs for Reid Health. "COVID represents a risk to the health of both the mother and the baby, and now we can protect both from that possibility."

"We recommend that all pregnant women consider getting vaccinated and have a discussion with their doctors about what is the best timing of it during their pregnancy." -- Dr. Lindsay Weaver, Chief Medical Officer for the Indiana Department of Health

To be vaccinated, a healthcare provider must first submit a patient's information to the IDOH. The patient then will receive a text message and/or email with a unique link that can be used to sign up for a vaccine appointment. A letter with more details also will be sent to the patient.

Once either the message or letter has been received, patients who need help setting up an appointment can call Reid Health's Kuhlman Center Vaccine Clinic at (765) 935-8484 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Those who are 16-17 years old will need to sign up for sites such as the Kuhlman Center that are administering the Pfizer vaccine. The Moderna vaccine is authorized for use by those 18 and older.

Patients should touch base with their provider to ensure their medical treatment won't interfere with the vaccine and that the provider has their correct email and cell phone number or the contact information of someone who can help the patient.

Senator Braun Staff Virtual Mobile Office Hour

Posted March 22, 2021

The Office of Senator Mike Braun will be hosting a virtual Mobile Office Hour for constituents in your community. Staff from our office will be available to speak with constituents virtually during the office hour time frame below. To accommodate as many constituents as possible each meeting will need to be no longer than 10 minutes in length. If you require additional time, our staff will follow up with you to ensure your issue or concern is fully addressed.

We are asking anyone wishing to attend the virtual Mobile Office to RSVP and work with our staff to schedule a time to discuss how our office can be of assistance. You may do so by emailing Regional Director Jerry Alexander at Jerry_alexander@braun.senate.gov.

Please see below for details:

  • Date: Friday, March 26, 2021
  • Time: 2:00pm - 4:00PM
  • Location: Virtual meeting. Meeting details and link to join will be sent to you with the confirmation of your RSVP.

If you have an opinion regarding legislation before the Senate or a policy concern, you can always contact the Senator directly by visiting our website.

If you need immediate assistance with a federal agency, please complete, print, and sign the attached Privacy Release Form. You may send it to the Senator's state office by mail at 115 N. Pennsylvania Street, Suite 100, Indianapolis, IN 46204 or via email to braun_casework@braun.senate.gov.

25,000 Vaccine Doses Given But It's Still 'Too Soon to Declare Victory'

Posted March 19, 2021

Reid Health administered its 25,000th COVID-19 vaccination dose Thursday, but the pace of appointments at the health system's Kuhlman Center Vaccine Clinic has slowed as the state's age eligibility has dropped.

The surge of new registrations that once greeted each announcement that a new group could receive the vaccine has become a more muted response.

"Although it's wonderful that more and more people are getting vaccinated, it's too soon to declare victory and burn our masks," said Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs for Reid Health. "Herd immunity is hard to define, but we are still far from it.

"To return to our normal lives, we need many more people of all ages to get the vaccine."

Reid's community vaccination clinic at the Kuhlman Center on the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Richmond is open 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

Appointments should be scheduled through the state website, ourshot.in.gov, using either the Firefox or Chrome web browser. After an appointment has been made, a link will be sent to complete the registration. That information doesn't have to be filled out before arriving for the scheduled vaccination but doing so ahead of time will speed up the process.

If you need help getting an appointment, you can register directly with the Kuhlman Center Vaccine Clinic by calling (765) 935-8484 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

The Indiana Department of Health also has designated 211 as a call line for assistance, but Reid has been made aware at least some local sites aren't showing for 211 staff as having available appointments. Patients should specifically ask for the Kuhlman Center if 211 staff don't initially offer it as an option.

"Herd immunity is hard to define, but we are still far from it. To return to our normal lives, we need many more people of all ages to get the vaccine." -- Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs

Reid has been designated a host site by the IDOH with responsibility for helping to vaccinate Wayne, Randolph, Union, and Fayette counties.

County health departments in those areas also are offering vaccinations through their own clinics. Those are located at:

  • Wayne County: 601 E. Main St., Richmond
  • Randolph County: 1885 U.S. 27, Winchester
  • Union County: 6 W. South St., Liberty
  • Fayette County: 401 Central Ave., Connersville

According to the IDOH, those now eligible to receive the vaccine include:

  • Any Hoosier age 45 and older;
  • Healthcare workers who live in Indiana and who have face-to-face interactions with patients or contact with infectious materials in a healthcare setting;
  • First responders who are firefighters, police officers or sheriff's deputies, Emergency Medical Services, reservists or correctional officers who live in Indiana and who are regularly called to the scene of an emergency to give medical aid; and
  • Those with certain medical conditions that put them more at risk for becoming severely ill from COVID-19. A full list of those conditions can be found on the IDOH website.

Only those who live in Indiana are eligible to be vaccinated in the state. Ohio residents should visit coronavirus.ohio.gov to learn more about how to get vaccinated in their home counties.

For those individuals who might need help getting to the Kuhlman Center, family members should assist with scheduling to ensure transportation will be available at the time of the appointment.

The City of Richmond is providing no-charge bus service to the Kuhlman Center. To schedule a ride, patients will need to call (765) 983-7227 or (765) 983-7301. Bus operation hours are 6:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Paratransit also will provide rides to the clinic Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Once on site, patients will find directional signs and the phone number to call upon their arrival, (765) 935-8484.

IU East Legislative Forums Offers Virtual Discussion

Posted March 18, 2021

Indiana University East Legislative Forums will be virtual this spring. Senator Jeff Raatz and Representatives Brad Barrett and Tom Saunders will talk with the community about the 2021 Indiana General Assembly and any legislation of interest live from the Whitewater Community Television (WCTV) studio.

The Legislative Forum is at 8 a.m. on Friday, March 19. The forums are free and open to the public to watch on WGTV Channel 11 (Comcast Cable) and IU East Facebook Live at http//www.iue.edu/facebook.

After the discussion, the forum will then open for a question-and-answer period with the virtual audience. Community members may submit questions for response through the comments section on IU East Facebook Live during the live broadcast.

Mengie Parker, associate dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, will moderate the Legislative Forum.

The next Legislative Forum will be held virtually at 8 a.m. on Friday, April 16.

The Legislative Forums will be available to view later through Video on Demand at https://wgtv.viebit.com.

For more information, contact Amber Hall, events coordinator, at aschepma@iue.edu.

IU East to Host In-Person New Student Orientations

Posted March 17, 2021

Supplied Photo:  IU East is planning to host in-person New Student Orientations beginning in April.
IU East is planning to host in-person New Student Orientations beginning in April.

Indiana University East will welcome the Class of 2025 in-person beginning this spring with the start of New Student Orientations, hosted by the Office of Admissions.

IU East is preparing for a fall 2021 semester that will return to mostly normal operations, meaning more events and classes will be in-person, including sessions for New Student Orientation. The sessions begin mid-April and continue through August. The schedule will soon be available for incoming freshmen students at iue.edu/nso.

In 2020, the Office of Admissions offered virtual orientation sessions for incoming freshmen students because of the COVID-19 pandemic. IU East is looking forward to welcoming newly admitted students to campus in person.

Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Michelle Malott said many of the high school seniors planning to attend IU East in fall 2021 have visited the campus and completed the application process virtually, just as the Class of 2024 did the spring before. This spring, in-person campus tours have been available to individual prospective students by appointment.

"New Student Orientation may well be the first time many of our new students will physically be on-campus, and we are very excited to welcome the Class of 2025 in-person," Malott said. "While IU East has adjusted to the pandemic and continued to offer students a virtual experience to visit campus and to become familiar with the academic programs and experiences they will have as a Red Wolf, the in-person experience provides a certain level of familiarity and comfort with faculty, staff and current students."

Indiana University and IU East adapted to the challenges of the pandemic to continue offering students a quality education in a safe environment. This will continue with New Student Orientations as well. The sessions have a limited number of participants, with each student attending the session accompanied by one parent or support person. Masks must be worn while on campus.

Carrie Reisner, assistant vice chancellor for Student Engagement, said the measures were necessary to continue to move toward a more normal semester in the fall.

"To ensure everyone's safety, this year's event will be smaller and more intimate. However, students will still get to meet a wide variety of campus personnel that support students academically and help them feel connected, such as the Office of Student Success, Career Services, Campus Life, our Math and Writing Centers, and Academic Support Programs," Reisner said. "We look forward to welcoming the Class of 2025!"

Molly Vanderpool, executive director for Admissions, Recruitment and Transitions at IU East, said New Student Orientation is an important event for incoming freshmen as they prepare for a successful start to their college experience.

"Orientation is the time when our new students really become familiar with the campus," Vanderpool said. "The sessions provide students with the opportunity for a smooth transition as they begin their college career."

Reisner added the in-person orientation sessions are more than a campus tour. The sessions are a basic introduction to the campus departments and services that work to help students be successful.

"We are thrilled to be able to offer new students an on-campus orientation experience this summer," Reisner said. "We have always valued the ability to personally connect with students for important steps like advising and registration, as well as critical tasks like setting up user accounts and meeting with financial aid."

During orientation, students get to know their peers and meet their academic advisors. They become familiar with the campus while completing important tasks to register, learn about academic support programs, get information on financial aid, and more.

Following orientation, incoming students are prepared to start their college career. New students will also have an opportunity to attend an in-person Extreme Summer JUMPSTART, a college prep program offered by the Office of Academic Support prior to the start of the fall semester.

To culminate the start of college events for the Class of 2025, the students will be invited to attend First Year Convocation. The traditional event is a ceremonial beginning to a new student's academic experience at IU East, where students recite the IU Promise, receive their IU pin and sign their class book. More information about the convocation will be provided at New Student Orientation.

"Within the next five months there's going to be so much to celebrate for the Class of 2025. Right now their thoughts are focused on completing high school and celebrating their accomplishments with their families and friends," Malott said. "We're here to help make their transition to college as smooth as possible so they are ready for fall 2021."

DNR Recreation and Fishing Guidebooks Are Available

Posted March 17, 2021

Your guide to Indiana's best values in outdoor recreation is available now at on.IN.gov/recguide.

And your guide to Indiana fishing is available now at wildlife.IN.gov/2347.htm.

Free printed copies of each are available at local retail outlets, state parks, lakes and other DNR properties all over the Hoosier state.

The DNR's 2021 Indiana Recreation Guide is the one-stop source for information on state parks, state forests, lakes, fish & wildlife areas, nature preserves, state park inns, and other DNR properties.

This year's guides also offer advice on responsible recreation and what it means to be a courteous guest when visiting DNR properties.

Annual entrance passes for state park properties can be purchased in person at the gatehouse or offices of state park properties during business hours, at the Indiana Government Center South in Indianapolis during business hours, or at innsgifts.com.

Indiana resident annual entrance passes cost $50. For individuals 65 years old or older, the price is $25. Annual passes for vehicles with out-of-state license plates cost $70. Normal daily gate fees for residents at most properties are $7 per in-state vehicle. For more information on Indiana state park properties, visit stateparks.IN.gov.

Fishing licenses can be purchased and printed at INHuntFish.com. They can also be purchased at retailers, county clerks and most DNR properties throughout the state.

To view more DNR news releases, please see dnr.IN.gov.

COVID-19 Visitor Policy Expanded; Respiratory Clinic Discontinued

Posted March 10, 2021

With low COVID-19 positivity rates throughout Reid Health's service area, the health system is making changes to expand visitation and discontinue its Respiratory Clinic and hotline.

Effective at 7 a.m. Friday, March 12, patients in the hospital who are not positive for or suspected to have COVID-19 can have two visitors per day.

"We want to make sure our patients and families can have the personal connections they need," said Craig Kinyon, Reid Health President/CEO. "The current state of reduced spread in our area, along with an increase in people who are vaccinated, means we can make these measured changes while maintaining a safe environment in which we can continue to meet our communities' healthcare needs."

In some situations, patients may have three visitors. Those include acute rehabilitation and open-heart patients when it's necessary for family teaching or training, as well as patients who require extra assistance because of mobility, reorienting or confusion, general patient safety, interpretation, court-ordered, or healthcare decision making.

Exceptions to this policy are made for end-of-life situations in all settings, including hospice. Those situations are managed by the house supervisor.

A "No Visitor" policy will remain in place for patients under isolation precautions who are COVID-19 positive or are suspected to have the virus, except for end-of-life situations.

At physician offices and outpatient services including outpatient surgery, patients may bring two companions to an appointment.

"The current state of reduced spread in our area, along with an increase in people who are vaccinated, means we can make these measured changes while maintaining a safe environment in which we can continue to meet our communities' healthcare needs." -- Craig Kinyon, Reid Health President/CEO

Pediatric Rehab remains unchanged because of the small waiting area. Parents may come in to drop off their child and return for pickup when therapy is complete.

Visitors and companions:

  • Must be at least 14 years old with an exception at the Reid Health Pavilion for siblings;
  • Must not have COVID-19 symptoms or an elevated temperature (greater than or equal to 99.6 degrees) or have had COVID-19 symptoms or been directly exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the past 14 days;
  • Must agree to wear a mask or facial covering that covers both their mouth and nose at all times, including while in the patient's room;
  • Must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer often, including upon entry and exit from the patient's room;
  • Must socially distance 6 feet; and
  • Should remain in the patient's room -- except to get food inside the hospital and then return to the room -- or to exit for the day.

Visitors and companions are now free to leave and return as they desire. Anyone who is not able to comply with these restrictions and responsibilities may be asked to leave.

Respiratory Clinic, Hotline Discontinued

The lower positivity rates also mean changes are coming for Reid's Respiratory Clinic and its COVID-19 hotline.

A year ago, Reid established a separate clinic to handle possible COVID-19 cases. Urgent Care temporarily moved from its usual location at 1501 Chester Blvd. in Richmond before returning to that site in June while remaining apart from the Respiratory Clinic.

Now both the hotline and the clinic are ceasing operations.

On Monday, March 15, patients will be able to seek respiratory services from either their primary care provider or one of four Reid Urgent Care locations -- Richmond, Connersville, and Eaton.

Anyone with questions about COVID-19 can visit Reid's website for FAQs and daily updates on the reidhealth.org/safe information page.

Reid's community vaccination clinic at the Kuhlman Center on the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Richmond remains open 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

One must schedule an appointment through the state website, ourshot.in.gov, using either the Firefox or Chrome web browser. After an appointment has been made, a link will be sent to complete the registration. That information doesn't have to be filled out before arriving for the scheduled vaccination but doing so ahead of time will speed up the process.

You also can register directly with the vaccination clinic by calling (765) 935-8484 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Reid staff will assist you.

IU East Alumna Is Model for Service Learning, Will Lead Online Forum

Posted March 10, 2021

Supplied Photo: Katelyn Brown, D.D.S.
Katelyn Brown, D.D.S.

Katelyn Brown bonded with service-learning while she was pursuing her dreams.

Through helping young students realize theirs.

Through helping with community needs.

Through promoting service-learning.

And that strong bond has been a blessing for Indiana University East: Ann Tobin is the passionate service-learning liaison between students and community needs. Brown is the consummate model for the Center for Service-Learning. She is a biochemistry and Spanish graduate who recently returned to Richmond as a dentist -- and is ready to help the university and the community again.

"College is not just for classes. It's also about getting involved," Brown believes.

That involvement could include tutoring or mentoring K-12 students through service-learning. It could include inspiring young boys and girls or helping to bridge the gaps between residents who speak English as a second language.

"A number of community organizations and schools come to the Center for Service-Learning requesting help from our students," Tobin said.

Frankly, there is no shortage of potential service-learning projects for IU East students. "I couldn't list all of the services," Tobin jokes.

One question she repeatedly has heard is: "Can you help our ESL students?"

Brown discovered a passion as a volunteer for reaching people who speak English as a second language. She chose to continue Spanish at IU East to address that language gap.

"The part I enjoy is working with children," Brown said.

In that regard, she helped the Center for Service-Learning start a K-12 tutoring program for the community.

Her first service-learning experience was at Girls Inc. of Wayne County. According to the program's web site, it is designed for girls in grades one through eight.: "(It) delivers nine core programs that inspire girls to be strong, smart and bold."

Brown will soon take on another educational and inspirational role -- as keynote speaker in an online forum titled "Pathways to a Bright Future."

Other IU East leaders will also provide information and inspiration for prospective students during the event on Zoom that is scheduled from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 11.

The target groups are middle school and high school students and their parents, but anyone is encouraged to attend.

"This workshop is to motivate them toward their goals ... to realize their dreams," Tobin said.

Brown approached Tobin about helping out soon after starting as a student at IU East. The Greenville, Ohio, native had a gap in classes on Tuesdays and Thursday.

Well, ask and you shall receive.

Brown did hundreds of hours of service-learning work through her undergraduate years.

She found that many Spanish-speaking people were having hard times getting connected.

Language was a definite barrier. She found that students were facing challenges in daily activities. Spanish-speaking people often have hard times accessing health care or being able to talk to doctors and nurses.

Brown knew she could help by learning to speak Spanish, but it wasn't easy for her at first: "I was really bad at it," she jokes. "Now, I am technically fluent. I can get by."

She found an underserved community of parents and students who thirsted for communications and understanding. "They are grateful ... These kids are amazing," Brown said. "Speaking Spanish is an asset, not a liability".

Being bilingual is considered a definite asset in her new job as an associate dentist in the dental office of Jesse Wood, D.D.S., at 1717 Chester Blvd. in Richmond. She joined the office in July 2020 after earning her doctorate from the IU School of Dentistry.

Conveniently, Brown's workplace is only six blocks from campus. "I always wanted to be back here," she said. "The community connections make you want to come back."

She also enjoys being in a smaller town that has rural roots, more like Greenville, Ohio, than Indianapolis.

Her positive service-learning history makes her want to inspire others to use IU East as a springboard to success.

"I am excited to be involved," Brown said about being the keynote speaker for "Pathways to a Bright Future."

Upcoming speakers for "Pathways to a Bright Future" speakers feature:

  • Katelyn Brown, D.D.S., will talk about her dream of becoming a dentist, her path from high school to IU East, to the IU School of Dentistry, and to her career in Richmond.
  • Rachel Page, assistant director of Admissions, will focus on the many majors at IU East and preparation for careers that students have as goals as well as what Admissions looks for in a prospective student.
  • Brittney Chesher, associate director of Financial Aid and Scholarships at IU East, will talk about ways to pay for college and answer questions.
  • Kate Marling, 21st Century Scholar specialist, will present an overview of 21st Century Scholars and provide valuable resources.
  • Liz Ferris, associate director of Student Success, will talk about the student support that is available, including tutoring and mentoring, and about the transition from high school to college and college to career.

Reid Health President/CEO Featured in Leadership Video Series

Posted March 9, 2021

Reid Health President/CEO Craig Kinyon talks change and technology in the healthcare industry, how the Reid team has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and more in a video series that spotlights industry leaders across the country.

Supplied Photo: Reid President/CEO Craig KinyonKinyon is featured in the Senior Leaders Perspective series from Vizient, "the largest member-driven, healthcare performance improvement company in the country," according to Vizient's website.

"The Senior Leaders Perspective video series features discussions with select, noted healthcare executives, who share their views and experiences in their current roles as well as over the course of their healthcare leadership career," said Thomas Spindler, Group Senior Vice President for the company.

"Executives are identified and approached based on several considerations, including leadership, being a critical thinker in terms of healthcare delivery now and in the future, and respect among peers."

Kinyon appreciated the opportunity to discuss the Reid Health story.

"I'm very grateful Vizient reached out to provide this chance to share with others all the wonderful work being done by our team," Kinyon said. "As I say in the video, we are second to none in the services we provide to our communities."

Singles Interaction, Inc.

Posted March 9, 2021

Supplied Newsletter: March 2021 Singles Interaction

If you are 21 years of age or better and single, divorced, widow or widower, Singles' Interaction invites you to join them on Friday nights. Come to the Eagles Lodge, 75 South 12th Street, Richmond (membership not required) and meet other single people in the Richmond area.

Come, socialize, dance, and enjoy yourself!

LifeStream Services Announces Rebrand, Reflects Continued Commitment to Serve

Posted March 9, 2021

Graphic: LifeStream Rebrand ImageYORKTOWN, IN - LifeStream Services, East Central Indiana's Aging and Disability Resource Center and Area Agency on Aging, has undergone a rebrand to its visual identity and mission that reflects the dedication to service and support for older adults, people with disabilities and their loved ones.

"It's been more than 20 years since we've updated LifeStream's logo and other visual elements of the brand," shared Jenny Hamilton, President and CEO of LifeStream Services. "I've been a part of LifeStream for over 20 years, so I've seen firsthand the changes we've gone through and changes to the aging industry in general. Updating our brand and visual identity enhances our place in the community and reaffirms LifeStream has the area's aging expert."

The new logo and tagline was developed through a collaborative process with Whitinger Strategic Services. The outcome is a refreshing new look that celebrates the joy of life and meeting people at every part of their journey. Whether an individual is a vibrant 65-year-old who is looking to become more active in their community or an 80-year-old who is no longer able to drive and needs help with transportation, LifeStream Services is dedicated to providing the right information, resources and support for improving quality of life for older adults and people with disabilities.

Logo: LifeStream"Having the opportunity to work with an organization like LifeStream Services on such an important project is a true honor, and our team understood the lasting impact our work would have," stated Whitinger Strategic Services Managing Director, Richard Crist. "The project began with a comprehensive review of all branding and communication tools used by LifeStream. The information from this review and LifeStream's strategic plan provided direction for the creative design phase and subsequent implementation throughout all of LifeStream's brand materials."

Creative development was led by WSS Creative Director, Lucas Tetrault. "In our meeting with the team from LifeStream, it was clear that this rebrand was going to be special. We could tell right away that this new look had to have energy, a new "life" about it that spoke not only to the people that LifeStream served but those who are friends and family of those same loved ones," state Tetrault. "We wanted the logo to be approachable, relatable and familiar while still looking fresh and unique. The result is a combination of a woodmark and an actual mark in order to achieve a variety of ideas. The main idea we wanted to bring across is the JOY of LIFE. The flowing text and the almost whimsical nature of the drawn serifs add the energy we were after. The checkmark promotes several ideas that we felt captured what LifeStream is about."

In addition to a new look, LifeStream also updated its mission, vision and values to reflect continued commitment to providing the highest quality of assistance and care for older adults and people with disabilities in an ever-changing landscape.

  • Mission: Provide the right information, resources and support for improving quality of life and maintaining independence for older adults and those with disabilities.
  • Vision: In the region we serve, individuals are living lives of quality, choice and independence.

  • Values:
    • Respect: Above all else, we treat any individual – regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age or disability – as they wish to be treated; with a focus on representing the community we serve and seeking out diversity in all forms.
    • Compassion: We provide person centered services that enable us to create genuine connections with those we serve.
    • Collaboration: We bring people, organizations and resources together to close gaps and meet needs.
    • Excellence: We consistently deliver high impact services to maximize our impact on the community, staff, payers, and the bottom line through innovation, compliance, performance and quality.

LifeStream will be rolling out the new brand over the next few months. Those interested in learning more about LifeStream and exploring the new brand should visit lifestreaminc.org.

Reid Now Offers Walk-In Urgent Services for Orthopedic Patients

Posted March 9, 2021

Supplied Photo:  Dorothy Lollanthin, P.A.Beginning Wednesday, March 10, Reid Health will expand its orthopedic services with new walk-in availability three days of the week at the Reid Orthopedic Center.

Care for musculoskeletal issues -- those dealing with the muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons -- will be available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday at the center, 1400 Highland Road in Richmond.

"We are committed to making our patients a priority by providing immediate access and extended hours that are convenient for our patients" said Monica Schlichter, Musculoskeletal Service Line Director for Reid Health. "We don't want you to have to wait. If you are in pain, we want to take care of you today."

Care will be provided by Dorothy Lollathin, P.A., who has more than 15 years of orthopedics experience.

"I won't say I've seen it all, but I've seen a lot," she said. "I am blessed and honored for the opportunity to add my skills and knowledge to Reid's outstanding orthopedic team."

"We don't want you to have to wait. If you are in pain, we want to take care of you today." -- Monica Schlichter, Musculoskeletal Service Line Director

The walk-in service is perfect for student-athletes who might be injured during a practice or competition, someone who falls and hurts themselves, or someone suffering from pain in joints according to Schlichter.

"Instead of going to the regular Urgent Care or the Emergency Department and having to be referred to the Reid Orthopedic Center, patients will be able to use this service instead," she said. "It's one less stop for the patient."

Anyone with questions about the new walk-in service can call Reid Orthopedic Center at (765) 962-4444.

MRL Presents Inspire. Create. Connect. A Community Art Show

Posted March 4, 2021

Supplied Graphic: MRL Community Art ShowMorrisson-Reeves Library is offering regional artisans the opportunity to participate in the library's first-ever community art show. Inspire, Create, Connect. A Community Art Show is a community-based, non-competitive show promoting inclusivity and creativity. Artisans are asked to showcase their creativity and the unique individuality through art.

The idea of a community art show to be held at the library came from a vision created by MRL staffer and artist Silus Massoff. "Amidst the negatives associated with this pandemic, quarantine also prompted a wave of revitalized and new creativity in those that may not have considered themselves creatives prior to COVID-19," Silus said. "This show seeks to showcase that new creativity as well as the creatives that have resided in our community since well before 2020. We want to celebrate creativity in the face of adversity and provide a positive outlet for reconnection amongst members of our community."

This all-inclusive art show welcomes all ages and levels of experience. MRL especially encourages first-timers to display art in the show. Artworks will be on display in the library during the month of May 2021. An online gallery will be produced for digital art submissions. There is no entry fee to submit art into the exhibit. More information on the art show and the submission process is available at MRLinfo.org/Art-Show

MRL is accepting works of art and digital submissions. All forms of digital art, 2-D art (up to 20" x 30") plus a limited number of 3-D works will be accepted into the art show. See the library's website for more details about 2-D framing requirements and the limited showcase space for 3-D artwork. This is an ALL-AGES art show so submissions must meet community-friendly guidelines to be accepted for public display in the library.

For more information, please contact Jenie Lahmann at 765-966-8291 or email at Lahmann@MRLinfo.org

Timeline for Art Show

April 1

Deadline for Application to display art in the show. There is no fee to submit artwork.

Click to Apply Online

Print the application.

April 12-15

Both shipped and hand-delivered artwork to arrive at Morrisson-Reeves Library

Virtual submissions accepted by emailing smassoff@mrlinfo.org

May 1 through June 5

The length of time the show will be open for viewing. Open during regular business hours of the library.

Adulting 101 Offers Three Virtual Sessions This Spring

Posted March 4, 2021

Graphic: Adulting 101Adulting 101 is back this spring with three virtual sessions to explore common themes during uncommon times, where staying healthy and staying home have become the new normal.

The monthly sessions are at 6 p.m. on Zoom. Registration for the event is required at iueadulting101.eventbrite.com.

Sessions for this spring will focus discussion on taxes, personal investments and the housing market.

Terry Wiesehan, director of Alumni Affairs at Indiana University East, said the series is available to alumni and community members.

"The presentations offer adults information they can use in their life," Wiesehan said. "We've covered topics ranging in finances to networking to work and life balance."

Guest speakers for the presentations will be announced at a later date.

Adulting 101 is a partnership with HYPE and the IU East School of Business and Economics. The series is presented by the IU Alumni Association East Region Chapter.

First Bank Richmond sponsors the Adulting 101 series.

HYPE (Helping Young Professionals Engage) is a committee of the Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce. HYPE helps young professionals, ages 21 to 40, to engage in the community by offering social and professional development opportunities.

Adulting 101 was first launched in the fall of 2018 by Oi Lin Cheung, associate professor of finance and director of the Center for Business and Economic Research for the School of Business and Economics. Cheung secured a Sustaining Talent-Engaging Partners (STEP) grant through the "Building a Bright Future" project and partnered with the Office of External Affairs to organize monthly events to help young professionals build a bright financial future.

Upcoming Schedule for Adulting 101

  • Time: 6 p.m.
  • RSVP: iueadulting101.eventbrite.com
  • Crush your Taxes: Learn the ins and outs of your taxes - Thursday, March 25
  • How to (hopefully) be a Millionaire: Learn the details on personal investments - Thursday, April 29
  • Do I stay or do I go?: Buying and Selling homes in the current market - Thursday, May 27

IU East Regional Writers Series Presents Memoirist Angela Palm

Posted March 4, 2021

Supplied Photo: Angela  PalmIndiana University East presents "Regional Writers Series: A Reading with Memoirist Angela Palm," from 7-8 p.m. on Thursday, March 18, on IU East Facebook Live. The event is free and open to the public. Viewer discretion is advised.

The Regional Writers Series is presented by the IU East School of Humanities and Social Sciences to bring both established and emerging writers of significance to campus for workshops and public readings.

Raised in the rural Midwest, Palm earned a B.A. in English Literature and a B.S. in Criminal Justice at Saint Joseph's College. Palm is the author of Riverine: A Memoir from Anywhere but Here, recipient of the 2014 Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize (Graywolf Press, August 2016). Riverine was short-listed for the Vermont Book Award and the Indiana Author Award/Emerging Author Award. It was an Indie Next selection, winner of the 2014 Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, a Kirkus Best Book of 2016, and a Powerful Memoir by Powerful Women selected by Oprah. Palm is the editor of a book featuring work by Vermont writers, called Please Do Not Remove (Wind Ridge Books, 2014).

Palm has taught creative writing workshops and classes at Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Champlain College, New England Young Writers' Conference, The Kentucky Women Writers' Conference, The Writers' Barn, The Porch (Nashville), Writers for Recovery, and The Renegade Writers' Collective and is the recipient of a Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Fellowship in narrative nonfiction and a 2019 creation grant from the Vermont Arts Council.

Palm has worked as assistant manager at Parent University, an education program for New Americans and refugees. She is on the Board of Directors of the Vermont Young Writers Project, works as a writing and editorial consultant at Boston's Grub Street writing center, and volunteers with Amnesty International. She currently works as director of Strategic Communications at &Partners, a digital design agency dedicated to creating social impact through ethical civic technology.

Her writing has appeared in or is forthcoming in Creative Nonfiction, Tin House, Longreads, Ecotone, Passages North, At Length Magazine, Ep;phany, Brevity, DIAGRAM, Essay Daily, Paper Darts, Green Mountains Review, apt, SmokeLong Quarterly, Hippocampus Magazine, Midwestern Gothic, Little Fiction, Big Truths, Sundog Lit, and elsewhere. Her work has also been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in fiction and nonfiction, a Derringer Award, Best of the Net, and the Best Short Fictions anthology.

This event is sponsored by the IU East School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Mindful Explorations, courtesy of the William H. and Jean R. Reller Endowment.

For more information, contact Brian Brodeur, Ph.D., assistance professor of English, at bbrodeur@iue.edu.

The "Let's Talk" Returns This March for Its 10th Season

Posted March 4, 2021

This spring, the Let's Talk series will focus three episodes on topics surrounding COVID-19 and domestic violence and abuse.

Now in its 10th season, the series will be streamed from Indiana University East's Facebook Premiere and is available to watch on WCTV Channel 20. The series is hosted by the IU East School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Chera LaForge, associate professor of political science at IU East, is the moderator for the series.

Rosalie Aldrich, John and Corinne Graf Professor and chair for the Department of Communication Studies at IU East, organizes the Let's Talk series.

"The Let's Talk series started because I am passionate about community health," Aldrich said. "It is my hope that through the Let's Talk series we are bringing valuable information on a variety of health topics to Wayne County viewers. I am very proud to celebrate the 10th year of Let's Talk and would like to thank all of the past and present planning committee members, expert speakers, discussion moderators, and WCTV staff."

The goal of the series is to provide an interactive forum for students, faculty and staff and members of the community to discuss current health topics and concerns.

The first episode will air at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 9. The discussion, "COVID and Schools," includes speakers Karen Clark, Ed.D., R.N., dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences and director of the Center for Health Promotion at IU East; Matthew Hicks, Ph.D., superintendent of Northeastern Schools; and George Philhower, Ph.D., superintendent of Western Wayne Schools.

Beth Trammell, associate professor of psychology at IU East, is one of the speakers for the series on March 16 focused on the topic, "Parenting during COVID." This discussion will provide support for parents during the pandemic, Trammell said.

"As we are continuing to do our best as parents, sometimes it can feel overwhelming and lonely - like we can never do enough to support our kids," Trammell said. "Experts on the panel will share strategies for managing our emotions, as well as the emotions of our kids. In addition, practical tips for helping kids through the ups and downs of ever-changing school situations and managing expectations for increased screen time. Tune in to gather helpful information if you are a parent or caregiver of kids no matter their age!"

The series topic for April 6 is "Domestic Violence and Abuse." This episode will include Tracy Amyx, deputy Sexual Misconduct and Title IX coordinator and director of Affirmative Action/EEOC Officer at IU East, Scott E. Dunning, Chief of Police for the Indiana University Police Department-East; and Jennifer Claypoole, L.C.S.W., director of Behavioral Health at IU East.

Amyx said the episode will provide viewers with a diverse dicussion from resources available to how to support victims.

"Dating and domestic violence affects all communities and does not discriminate regardless of gender, race, age, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, religion or nationality. The impact of interpersonal violence can cross generations and last a lifetime," Amyx said. "Being aware of resources, recognizing warning signs of a potentially vulnerable relationship, and understanding ways to support victims are crucial in helping break this devastating cycle of violence."

Upcoming Schedule for "Let's Talk"

  • Topic: COVID and Schools
  • 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 9
  • Speakers
    • Karen Clark, Ed.D, R.N., Dean for the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, director for the Center for Health Promotion, IU East
    • Matthew Hicks, Ph.D., Superintendent for Northeastern Schools
    • George Philhower, Ph.D., Superintendent for Western Wayne Schools
  • Topic: Parenting during COVID
  • 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 16
  • Speakers:
    • Beth Trammell, Ph.D., HSPP, Director, M.A. in Mental Health Counseling Program and associate professor of psychology, IU East
    • Debra Browning, parent educator, Birth to Five
    • Cindy Isaacs, parent educator, Birth to Five
  • Topic: Domestic Violence and Abuse
  • 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 6
  • Speakers:
    • Tracy Amyx, Deputy Sexual Misconduct and Title IX coordinator and director of Affirmative Action/EEOC Officer at IU East
    • Scott E. Dunning, Chief of Police for the Indiana University Police Department-East
    • Jennifer Claypoole, L.C.S.W., director of Behavioral Health at IU East

Free Throw-athon Connects Red Wolves with Community

Posted March 4, 2021

In a school year filled with obstacles, the Indiana University East women's basketball team found a way to make a difference by raising over $1,600 for Reid BRAvo!.

Supplied Photo: Freshman guard Caitlin McEldowney shoots a free throw. The women's basketball team raised over $1,600 with its inaugural Free Throw-athon on February 26 at Lingle Court.  McEldowney,  of Versailles, Ohio, made 95 of 100 free throws.
Freshman guard Caitlin McEldowney shoots a free throw. The women's basketball team raised over $1,600 with its inaugural Free Throw-athon on February 26 at Lingle Court. McEldowney, of Versailles, Ohio, made 95 of 100 free throws.
Supplied PHoto: Junior guard Aliyssa Neal of Morgantown, West Virginia, participates in the inaugural Red Wolves Free Throw-athon on February 26.
Junior guard Aliyssa Neal of Morgantown, West Virginia, participates in the inaugural Red Wolves Free Throw-athon on February 26.

The inaugural IU East Women's Basketball Free Throw-athon took place February 26 at Lingle Court. The Free Throw-athon supported Reid BRAvo! BRAvo! is a Reid Foundation initiative that brings joy to the serious matter of breast cancer. BRAvo! events raise funds to provide free digital mammograms for uninsured women and financial assistance for patients in need.

Official contributions to the Free Throw-athon totaled $1,626 as of March 1.

"We wanted to do something, because it is important for us to stay involved and because we have players who have been affected by this in some way or another," said IU East Coach Tiffani Selhorst. "This is something that is near and dear to my heart as well, so we wanted to do something and be sure we did something that had a direct benefit for the community."

Each IU East player shot 100 free throws, with sponsor donations based on free throws made. The event was streamed live on Stretch Internet. Student broadcaster Travis Lang, a communications major at IU East, provided commentary for the Free Throw-athon. Lang is from Liberty, Indiana.

The Free Throw-athon gave the Red Wolves a chance to take part in a difference-making basketball event despite COVID-related developments that made it unfeasible for the team to play games in the second half of the season.

"I'm glad we were able to to have something where we could raise money and still play basketball even without playing games," said IU East junior Addie Brown. "Having a relative and family friend who battled breast cancer, this event means a lot to me."

Brown helped to organize the free throw-athon. She a communications major from Oxford, Ohio. Brown works with the Office of External Affairs on the university's social media. Jeremy Dickenson of Centerville, Indiana, created the graphics for the Free Throw-athon. He is a fine arts major with a graphic design concentration, and he also works for External Affairs.

It's not too late to contribute to the cause.

Free Throw-athon donations can be made directly to ReidBRAvo! at reidbravo.org/donate. Please make your donation on behalf of the IU East Women's Basketball Free Throw-athon. Click the "Other" tab to donate a specific amount.

Donate a dollar amount based a Red Wolf player's free throws made. For example, if your Red Wolf player made 90 free throws and you have pledged 10 cents per made free throw, you would make a donation of $9 to ReidBRAvo! Or, consider a donation of $3.41 in recognition of the IU East women's basketball program's team GPA from the 2020 fall semester. Any donation makes a difference.

Results from the Free Throw-athon are below.

  • Tia Tolbert - 89 for 100
  • Caitlin McEldowney - 95 for 100
  • Paige Gregory - 85 for 100
  • Megan Harlow - 79 for 100
  • Addie Brown - 93 for 100
  • Kennedy Griffin - 94 for 100
  • Bree Bransford - 84 for 100
  • Tori Campbell - 88 for 100
  • Kami McEldowney - 90 for 100
  • Aliyssa Neal - 92 for 100

20,000th COVID-19 Vaccine Dose Given; Capacity Remains for Much More

Posted March 3, 2021

Reid Health officials are celebrating a new milestone for their COVID-19 vaccination efforts, but they would like to be doing much more.

The health system administered its 20,000th vaccine dose Tuesday, reaching the milestone some two and a half months after vaccinations began in mid-December.

But Reid has the supplies and capacity at its public vaccination clinic to give many more shots a day than it has been.

"While we're happy to have given as many vaccinations as we have so far, we'd love to be much busier," said Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs for

Reid Health. "We have the resources in place. We just need more people to sign up to be vaccinated."

Reid's public vaccination clinic at the Kuhlman Center on the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Richmond is open 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

One must schedule an appointment through the state website, ourshot.in.gov, using either the Firefox or Chrome web browser. After an appointment has been made, a link will be sent to complete the registration. That information doesn't have to be filled out before arriving for the scheduled vaccination but doing so ahead of time will speed up the process.

You also can register directly with the Kuhlman Center Vaccine Clinic by calling (765) 935-8484 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Reid staff will assist you.

"While we're happy to have given as many vaccinations as we have so far, we'd love to be much busier. We have the resources in place. We just need more people to sign up to be vaccinated." -- Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs

The Indiana Department of Health also has designated 211 as a call line for assistance, but Reid has been made aware at least some local sites aren't showing for 211 staff as having available appointments. Patients should specifically ask for the Kuhlman Center if 211 staff don't initially offer it as an option.

The Wayne County Health Department is operating its own COVID-19 vaccination clinic, but its schedule usually is full for days, if not weeks, at a time while same-day appointments often are available at the Kuhlman Center. Callers to the Kuhlman Center clinic also can register for appointments at the Wayne County Health Department's site if they are available and it's more convenient for them.

Reid has been designated a host site by the IDOH with responsibility for helping to vaccinate Wayne, Randolph, Union, and Fayette counties.

County health departments in those areas also are offering vaccinations through their own clinics. Those are located at:

  • Wayne County: 601 E. Main St., Richmond
  • Randolph County: 1885 U.S. 27, Winchester
  • Union County: 6 W. South St., Liberty
  • Fayette County: 401 Central Ave., Connersville

According to the IDOH, those now eligible to receive the vaccine include:

  • Any Hoosier age 55 and older;
  • Healthcare workers who live in Indiana and who have face-to-face interactions with patients or contact with infectious materials in a healthcare setting; and
  • First responders who are firefighters, police officers or sheriff's deputies, Emergency Medical Services, reservists or correctional officers who live in Indiana and who are regularly called to the scene of an emergency to give medical aid.

Only those who live in Indiana are eligible to be vaccinated in the state. Ohio residents should visit coronavirus.ohio.gov to learn more about how to get vaccinated in their home counties.

The Wayne County Health Department is operating its own COVID-19 vaccination clinic, but its schedule usually is full for days, if not weeks, at a time while same-day appointments often are available at the Kuhlman Center.

For those individuals who might need help getting to the Kuhlman Center, family members should assist with scheduling to ensure transportation will be available at the time of the appointment.

The City of Richmond is providing no-charge bus service to the Kuhlman Center. To schedule a ride, patients will need to call (765) 983-7227 or (765) 983-7301. Bus operation hours are 6:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Paratransit also will provide rides to the clinic Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Once on site, patients will find directional signs and a phone number to call upon their arrival, (765) 935-8484.

Standby list now available
Reid Health also is now accepting signups for a standby list for vaccinations.

Each vial of the vaccine holds multiple doses. Once a vial is thawed, it must be used within a certain period or the unused portion has to be discarded.

Each day, Reid pharmacy staff match scheduled appointments with the vaccine allotment and thaw the appropriate number of vials. Cancellations or no-shows can result in leftover doses.

Near the end of each clinic, staff will evaluate the number of vaccine doses left. If it appears there are "extra" doses that otherwise would be wasted, staff will refer to the standby waitlist.

To be added to the list, you must sign up on the Reid Health website. Calls will begin 1-2 hours before the clinic closes. To receive the vaccine, you must be an Indiana resident and must be able to get to the Kuhlman Center within 30 minutes of receiving the call.

Those who meet current state guidelines to receive the vaccine should schedule an appointment rather than sign up for Reid's standby list.

The list will be used in a manner consistent with guidance from the Indiana Department of Health. Signing up for this standby list does NOT guarantee you will receive a call or the COVID-19 vaccine.

Those with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine can call Reid Health's hotline at (765) 965-4200, and they can visit the FAQ section of the Reid website.

IU East Students Join International Teams to Create Solutions for Business Challenges

Posted March 3, 2021

"Despite different cultures and time zones, we were all able to work perfectly in sync and positively every step of the way." -- Adrian Calderon, IU East

That reflection is about the X-Culture Global Collaboration Project that annually includes a dozen or more students from Indiana University East.

Calderon was one of those participants for two months during the fall semester.

But, first, a little about the X-Culture Project: Think cohorts of students who must work virtually to solve a business challenge, a real one faced by a real company around the world.

Each IU East student was randomly connected with five to seven others to form a

team of international students. Their first mission was to figure out ways to meet virtually and when.

IU East has taken part in the project for several years under the leadership of Arkadiusz Mironko, assistant professor of management. "Depending on the semester, between 12 to 20 take part," he said. "The entire International Business Environment course participates."

Every participant from IU East has successfully completed the course, he notes.

Both undergraduates and graduates (master's or MBAs) can take part, but are paired with their peers, Mironko said.

The teams choose from among five to seven challenges in which they are expected to present a plan on how businesses can find new markets or attractions.

"One of the first team tasks is to select the challenge they want to work on," Mironko said.

The project also serves as a worldwide competition in which IU East students have finished well through the years, he said. Winning teams receive a $1,000 cash prize and the possibilities of earning after-market commissions.

X-Culture participants have tackled projects in recent years for a range of companies, including one that makes educational toys in Lithuania and one that produces chocolates in Colombia.

Other groups worked to help develop a business expansion for a U.S. company into the African nations of Egypt, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan.

"X-Culture is designed to be an exercise, not a test," notes promotional material found online. "This is how you learn through experience, not how we test your knowledge. This means that our primary concern is your participation and effort."

Large numbers of past participants stay in touch, something that is encouraged by X-Culture -- a partnership of business professors from around the world.

The program boasts that about 6,000 students from more than 70 countries participate every semester.

Mironko said IU East students meet their teammates via email at first and decide how and when to communicate. The participants in Ashton Werling's group communicated on Facebook's WhatsApp Messenger and also met for video conferences on Zoom at 4 p.m. Thursdays and 6 a.m. Sundays.

"X-Culture was a very good experience for me overall," says Werling of Richmond. "I feel like I got a quick look at what it is like to work for a multinational corporation. One thing that slightly surprised me was how helpful and hardworking all of my teammates were."

Fellow IU East student Kaitlyn Howe of Rushville said, "My experience with X-Culture was all in all a good one."

And Calderon from Richmond, adds: "The X-Culture Program was not only memorable, but as practical as it was enjoyable."

Werling, Howe and Calderon are all majoring in business administration at IU East.

The program turned out positively for the three, but it wasn't always easy. "At first, it was very difficult to find a time and day to meet with everyone. But, this didn't stop us from trying," Howe said. "Even though we had people from all over and all different types of time zones, it made it a good challenge. This has taught me a lot with life in general. Patience is key."

Calderon agrees about the challenges in getting everyone together: "We were able to compromise and work together. We continued to surprise each other with our efforts and ideas, and ended up being a great team of international students. I enjoyed this program very much, and would not mind doing it again if given the opportunity."

For more comments from the students, see the following:

Kaitlyn Howe: "I like to generally work ahead on things and with not being able to do this a whole lot without others' insight on what we were doing on each section, it helped me to understand that some days you may have to wake up early or stay up later to get what needs done. I really enjoyed the project and learning about the company we did as well."

Adrian Calderon: "Prior to starting it and meeting my teammates, my main feelings were a mix of intimidation and uncertainty, given there were so many parts to it that I never had experience in before as well as a whole team of global students that I did not know whatsoever. ... After our first meeting and delegation of roles and assignments for each section of the case, all of those previous worries subsided and the true meaning of X-Culture took effect."

Ashton Werling: "I am usually not a huge fan of group projects because we all know those people who don't pull their weights in projects or just simply do not do anything at all. With us being on a seven-person team and everyone living in different parts of the world, I thought for sure that there would be slackers. However, all of my teammates were very helpful and friendly and everyone did their part with no confrontation at all. ... for the most part. our team handled time-zone differences pretty well and we were able to communicate, coordinate, and work well together."

IU East Plans for Face-to-Face Fall 2021

Posted March 1, 2021

Indiana University East is planning to see more students in the classroom for face-to-face instruction, and on campus, for the fall 2021 semester.

Supplied Photo: Students wearing masks at Springwood Hall, IU East.
IU East plans for face-to-face fall 2021.

IU East Chancellor Kathy Girten said that returning to more normal operations in the fall semester will provide more opportunities for students, faculty and staff. "We are planning for fall semester that will be similar to the fall 2019 semester. It will be exciting to see a busy campus with engaging programs and activities happening on a daily basis."

The IU East fall semester will begin on August 23, 2021.

Michelle Malottt, executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, said many faculty and students are looking forward to returning to campus. "For nearly a year we have looked forward to a time when we could come back together. We anticipate this being a real possibility by August. It will be nice to see more students on campus, in classrooms and participating in activities and programs. We're here to serve students and we've missed seeing them on campus."

While many students haven't been on campus during the pandemic, Malott said that IU East found innovative and creative ways to keep students connected. At the onset of the pandemic, faculty worked tirelessly to move in-person courses to an online format while also providing outstanding virtual experiences for all IU East students. "I am continually impressed by our faculty. They are dedicated to quality teaching and learning but also care about our students' well-being. I believe this is one of the reasons we are so successful," said Mallot.

According to Malott, the past year also brought about innovation in virtual instruction and inspired new ways to engage with students in online platforms. IU East recognized that students needed a sense of normalcy, including the opportunity to celebrate accomplishments and achievements. IU East kept many of its milestone celebrations for students by offering virtual celebrations, and recognition ceremonies. Support for academics, technology, mental health and food insecurity were maintained during the pandemic.

While moving forward with plans for the fall, IU East will continue to implement some of these new practices, which help strengthen connections to its distance education students and further integrate the online and face-to-face student populations.

The campus is also preparing to welcome more people for events. In doing so, however, IU East will remain dedicated to its efforts to make the campus a safe and healthy environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors. "Maintaining the health and safety of campus community will remain the number one priority. While we are excited to return to campus - we will do so in manner that keeps us safe," said Girten.

Part of the fall planning includes introducing incoming freshmen students to the IU East campus, registering those students for classes and completing New Student Orientation.

Molly Vanderpool, executive director for Recruitment and Transitions, Admissions at IU East, said the plan for more students to be on-campus in the fall is appealing to potential high school students who are considering IU East.

"Many of our incoming freshmen and new students want to be on campus and have what they consider to be a traditional college experience," Vanderpool said. "We want them to have that too. We look forward to welcoming our new students to the Pack this year, and can't wait to see them in person."

Now as IU East plans for a fall that will look very different compared to the previous year, the campus is dedicated to continuing its efforts to help make the campus a safe and healthy environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors.

"Before the pandemic, IU East was a leader in online education, and though the past year has brought challenges, it has also made us even stronger," Girten said. "IU East, like so many others in our communities near and far, has been waiting a year to be together again. We can't wait!"

Transition to Police Department More Than Halfway Complete

Posted March 1, 2021

Supplied Photo: Reid Health Officers GraduationWith Friday's graduation of four more officers from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, the Reid Health Police Department has crossed the halfway point in its transition from a security team.

Officers Jeremy Hicks, David Jones, Jeramiah Lawson, and Dillon Pitcher this week completed their eight weeks of training at the academy, bringing Reid's total number of certified police officers to 13.

The quartet is the second group of Reid security staff to go through the academy and become certified officers. Reid's Chief of Police, Randy Kolentus, hopes to send another three to four team members to training in May.

"At this point, our transition is moving along very well," he said. "We are getting officers from the Richmond and Connersville's campuses into and through the academy, and they are all doing very well.

"We are sending officers from each shift to help balance our police officer/security officer mix until all have completed the academy."

Supplied Photo:  Reid Health newest graduates of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, Officers Jeramiah Lawson, Jeremy Hicks, Dillon Pitcher, and David Jones, were sworn in on Dec. 28.
Reid Health newest graduates of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, Officers Jeramiah Lawson, Jeremy Hicks, Dillon Pitcher, and David Jones, were sworn in on Dec. 28.

Another nine team members will need to undergo training at the academy before the transition to a police department is complete.

"As we move forward, all officers will be required to complete additional annual training as police officers," Kolentus said.

"Hospital/healthcare police departments are very different from traditional police departments, and all the officers here at Reid Health understand that. Our officers work with all Reid staff, patients, visitors, and customers to support them and keep them safe."

Early last year, Reid began to transform its security team to a police department, joining other health systems around the state. The move is intended to enhance the security and safety of those who use Reid services.

"At this point, our transition is moving along very well. We are getting officers from the Richmond and Connersville's campuses into and through the academy, and they are all doing very well." -- Randy Kolentus, Reid Health Chief of Police

The change reflects the growth of the health system and the accompanying increase in the need for police assistance. When the move to establish the department first was announced, Kolentus noted the Richmond Police Department responded to Reid calls almost 900 times in 2019.

The former Security Department has grown from nine officers in 2016 to 23 team members today as Reid's geographic footprint has increased and its number of staff has risen to some 3,400 people.

"I've very proud of our entire Police Department team," said Jennifer Ehlers, Reid Health Vice President/Chief Quality Officer. "We have outstanding officers who provide exceptional service to our patients, their families, and our staff."

Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County Name Mika Parks as 2021 Youth of the Year

Posted February 25, 2021

Supplied Photo:  BGCWC-2021-Youth-of-the-Year-Mika-Parks
BGCWC 2021 Youth of the Year, Mika Parks

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County named Mika Parks as their 2021 Youth of the Year. Parks is a sophomore at Richmond High School and has been a member of BGCWC for 10 years.

"I am grateful for each Club program that I have participated in and the staff the have pushed me to be the person I am today," Parks said of her experience as a Club member. "Without the Club, I would be an entirely different person."

Parks hopes to serve as a role model an example for younger members as Youth of the Year. She also looks forward to having a platform where she can serve as an advocate and collaborator. In addition to the award, Parks will receive a $1,000 scholarship and advance to compete for Indiana State Youth of the Year.

"Her persevering nature, kind disposition, and overall love for the Boys & Girls Clubs serve our mission well," Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County Education Coordinator Amanda Williams said of Parks.

"[Parks] is involved with her church and a mentor to her peers," Test Intermediate School Teacher Jill Roberts wrote recommending Parks for Youth of the Year. "Whenever someone is struggling, she is the first to offer them support and encouragement."

Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club Member can receive. It is the Boys & Girls Club's signature effort to foster a new generation of leaders, fully prepared to live and lead in a diverse, global, and integrated world economy.

Supplied Photo:  YOY-Candidates-Mika-Parks,-Carly-Phillips,-Hanna-Reynolds,-JJ-Henry,-and-Gavin-Brown-(Madlynn-McDaniel-not-pictured)
YOY-Candidates: Mika-Parks,-Carly-Phillips,-Hanna-Reynolds,-JJ-Henry,-and-Gavin-Brown-(Madlynn-McDaniel-not-pictured)

Parks was selected from a group of six competitors by a panel of judges after a rigorous review process. Competition consisted of an application with a personal essay and résumé, a panel interview, and a speech made via Zoom due to Coronavirus restrictions.

"The Youth of the Year competition solidifies our confidence in the immeasurable impact the Boys & Girls Clubs have on the lives of the youth of Wayne County," Board Member and Panel Judge Monica Koechlein noted. "It's such a pleasure to spend time with each candidate."

The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. Members of the Club, ages 6-18, have access to dedicated, trained professionals who provide guidance in adopting healthy lifestyles and pursuing educational objectives. Currently, the Club serves over 3,000 youth at four locations: the Jeffers, McDaniel, Central, and Hagerstown units and during the summer at our 168-acre Camp Guy located on the Whitewater River. Since 1957, the Club has been striving to equip young people with the skills they need to succeed in life. For more information, visit www.bgcrichmond.org.

IU East Welcomes Graduates to In-Person Commencement Ceremony

Posted February 23, 2021

Indiana University East plans to host an in-person Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 14. The event will be held outdoor on the IU East campus and in accordance with COVID-19 protocols. Although Commencement attendance will be limited to graduates only, family and friends may join the celebration via live stream.

Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie informed graduates of the plans for the Commencement Ceremony in an email today.

IU East Chancellor Kathy Girten said the campus is working with Indiana University, the IU Medical Response Team and Wayne County Health Department to plan for the Commencement Ceremony.

"Our 2020 and 2021 graduates have faced unprecedented obstacles during the COVID-10 pandemic, and IU East is committed to working diligently with IU and the health department to provide a safe and healthy event to recognize the hard work and perseverance of our graduates to earn their degrees," Girten said.

IU East and IU is continually monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, and all plans are subject to change based on the public health outlook in each community. The university is committed to keeping its campuses safe, and will communicate directly with graduates if plans change.

Graduates who completed their degree in December 2019, 2020, and during the spring and summer 2021 semesters are invited to attend the Commencement Ceremony.

"The Commencement Ceremony is a special event steeped in tradition to celebrate our graduates and their accomplishments," said Terry Wiesehan, director of Alumni Affairs at IU East. "We are excited to recognize our graduates and welcome the Class of 2021 to the alumni family."

In order to attend the ceremony, graduates must indicate their interest in attending commencement at http://go.iu.edu/grad2021 and reserve a spot to attend ahead of time. IU East will determine the best outdoor space to provide ample space for graduates to physically distance, and a time for the event, based on the number of reservations. Participating graduates will be required to undergo specific COVID-19 testing.

Graduates who cannot attend the Commencement Ceremony will be recognized and can join the celebrations virtually through IU East's social media @iueast or by using the hashtags #iueast, #iuegrad20 and #IUEgrad21.

Graduates planning to attend the Commencement Ceremony should be aware of the following:

  • The Commencement Ceremony will celebrate the accomplishments of December 2019, May 2020, August 2020, and all May and August 2021 graduates.
  • Graduates planning to attend the ceremony must reserve a spot to attend ahead of time, and indicate their interest in attending. Visit http://go.iu.edu/grad2021.
  • Graduates will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing in order to attend.
  • All IU public safety protocols, including wearing a mask and physically distancing, must be followed during commencement
  • Commencement Ceremony details for time, location, and live stream will be announced at a later time.
  • Information for cap and gown rental is available for the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 at iue.edu/commencement.

For updates and information, visit iue.edu/commencement.

Ivy Tech Community College Names Dr. Lori Handy as Interim Chancellor at its Richmond Campus

Posted February 23, 2021

Ivy Tech Community College has named Dr. Lori Handy as interim chancellor for the Richmond campus, effective March 1. Dr. Handy currently serves as vice chancellor and campus operating officer at Ivy Tech's Indianapolis Campus and has been with Ivy Tech for 14 years.

"I am thrilled to serve as Interim Chancellor for the Richmond service area during this time of transition." said Dr. Handy. "I look forward to working with the amazing faculty, staff, students, and community to continue the great work of the campus."

In her current position, Dr. Handy provides operational leadership for the Indianapolis campus's service area, which covers nine counties and includes eight locations. She also leads the Workforce and Careers team through partnership development, ensuring area business and industry training needs are met. During her more than ten years with the Indianapolis campus, Dr. Handy served in a variety of previous roles including dean of the School of Business and director of Financial Aid.

She began her career in higher education 17 years ago with Indiana State University, serving as distance learning coordinator. Dr. Handy joined Ivy Tech's Bloomington campus in 2006, serving in several positions within student affairs. Before working in higher education, she spent 9 years in the manufacturing industry, as both a supervisor and quality engineer for Cummins Inc.

"Dr. Handy's extensive experience and leadership at both our Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses will ensure a strong continuity of operations and support for the Richmond campus as we search for the next chancellor" said President Sue Ellspermann.

The college will perform a national search for the Richmond chancellor position after Dr. Stacy Atkinson left the role to assume the same position at the college's newly named Hamilton County campus.

Dr. Handy is active in the Indianapolis community, serving on numerous community committees, including Town of Plainfield Educational Partnership, Indy Achieves Promise Program, Shelby Advantage Advisory Board, and the Board for Fathers and Families Center. She has chaired and served on several regional and statewide Ivy Tech initiative committees.

A lifelong resident of Indiana, Dr. Handy holds a Ph.D. from Indiana State University in Educational Leadership, a Masters of Business Administration from Indiana University, and a Bachelor of Science in Operations Management, Marketing, and Distribution from Indiana University.

Help Feed Homebound Seniors in Wayne County

Posted February 22, 2021

LifeStream Services is in need of volunteers to assist in bagging food to be delivered to homebound senior citizens in the Wayne County area. LifeStream Services currently partners with Gateway Hunger Relief Center and Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana to deliver fresh produce and pantry items to homebound seniors in Centerville and Cambridge City. The program will soon expand to the Richmond area.

Volunteers are needed twice per month to help bag the food items to be delivered. The Cambridge City and Centerville bagging is stationed at Gateway Hunger Relief Center located at 715 Sheridan St. Richmond, IN 47374. The Richmond bagging location and details will be announced soon.

Those who are interested in volunteering should contact Micole Leverette, LifeStream's Community Services Assistant, by calling 765-759-1121 or email mleverette@lifestreaminc.org. Learn more and apply to be a volunteer at lifestreaminc.org/support/volunteer.

Red Wolves Women's Basketball Raising Donations for Reid Bravo! for This Year's Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign

Posted February 22, 2021

Help the Indiana University East women's basketball program make a "nothing but net" difference in the fight against women's cancers in the inaugural Free Throw-athon!

The inaugural IU East Women's Basketball Free Throw-athon will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, February 26. The event will be broadcast live.

The Free Throw-athon will support Reid BRAvo! BRAvo! is a Reid Foundation initiative that brings joy to the serious matter of breast cancer. BRAvo! events raise funds to provide free digital mammograms for uninsured women and financial assistance for patients in need.

Red Wolf fans can sponsor a player or multiple players in the Free Throw-athon. Each player will shoot 100 free throws. Pledge to donate a dollar amount based on free throws made. For example, if your Red Wolf player makes 90 free throws and you have pledged 10 cents per made free throw, you would make a donation of $9 to Reid BRAvo!

Donations can be made directly to Reid BRAvo! at reidbravo.org/donate. Please make your donation on behalf of the IU East Women's Basketball Free Throw-athon. Click the "Other" tab to donate a specific amount.

Any donation makes a difference. Consider an early donation of $3.41 in recognition of the IU East women's basketball program's team GPA from the 2020 fall semester.

Watch the Free Throw-athon live at 2 p.m. on Friday, February 26, at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/iue/.

Keep up on the Free Throw-athon on social media @iueast, @iueredwolves and @redwolveswbb.

Girls Inc. Receives Donation, Despite ATHENA Event Cancellations

Posted February 19, 2021

Despite the pandemic-forced cancellation of the Wayne County ATHENA Leadership Awards for the second year in a row, a $3,000 donation was recently presented to Girls Inc. of Wayne County on behalf of sponsors Indiana University East and Wayne Bank.

Supplied Photo: 3 women with oversize check in front of Girls, Inc. sign.
Wayne County ATHENA Leadership Awards present a donation to Girls, Inc. on behalf of sponsors Indiana University East and Wayne Bank. Girls Inc. of Wayne County Executive Director Marcy Crull received the donation from (left) JoAnn Spurlock, vice president and director of operations at Wayne Bank, and (right) Paula Kay King, director of Gift Development at IU East.

"We believe it is even more important to give back in support of such non-profit organizations during these challenging times," said Paula Kay King, director of Gift Development at IU East. She and JoAnn Spurlock, vice president and director of operations with Wayne Bank, presented the funds to the organization on Friday.

IU East and Wayne Bank have partnered to bring the event to the community since 2014, recognizing a diverse group of community leaders. The 2020 event, scheduled in early summer, was also cancelled because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Marcy Crull, Girls Inc. executive director, said her organization's work continues through the pandemic.

"Girls Inc. appreciates our partnership with ATHENA and the support they have given to Girls Inc. over the years," Crull said. "2020 brought new challenges to the girls and families we serve. Our work could not pause. We had to adapt, shift how we could provide our services, and continue to focus on our mission. Partners like ATHENA help make our work possible - to inspire ALL Girls to be strong, smart, and bold."

The ATHENA Leadership Award® is presented to exemplary leaders who have achieved excellence in their business or profession, served the community in a meaningful way, and -- most importantly - actively assisted women achieve their full leadership potential. These leaders motivate, inspire and create positive change in the community. Previous recipients include Mary Jo Clark, Jackie Carberry, Kim Poinsett, Angie Dickman, Janis Buhl-Macy, and Melissa Vance.

The ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award actively supports and celebrates the ATHENA mission of supporting, developing and honoring women leaders, inspiring women to achieve their full potential. Nominees are 18-35, and are emerging women leaders who demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession. Previous recipients include Jessie Pilewski and Ashley Sieb.

This was to be the first year for the ATHENA Organizational Leadership Award. Nominees will be businesses or organizations who create an organizational culture that encourages women employees to achieve their full leadership potential or gives back to the larger community of women and girls by providing and-or supporting leadership development opportunities and initiatives.

"Although we are not able to host the ATHENA Awards this year, we encourage our community to take note of all the amazing people and organizations who continue to support, develop and honor women leaders. We hope to see a record-breaking number of nominations in 2022," Spurlock said.

Proceeds from the event have equally benefitted the Women's Fund of Wayne County and Girls, Inc., and the Boys & Girls Club.

For more information on Wayne County ATHENA Leadership Awards, visit waynecoathena.com.

Reid Health Now at 15,000 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses and Counting

Posted February 18, 2021

The milestones are coming faster than ever before as Reid Health administered its 15,000th COVID-19 vaccination dose Monday.

Reid began administering the vaccine for a four-county area on Dec. 17. It took five weeks to reach the 5,000-dose mark, but since then, the pace at which milestones have been met has accelerated.

It took only 15 days to go from 5,000 to 10,000 doses given out. This latest plateau was gained in just 12 days.

"Obviously, this is wonderful news," said Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs for Reid Health. "The faster we can get everyone vaccinated, the faster we can return to our normal lives."

Over the past week, Reid has averaged administering some 539 doses a day at its public vaccination clinic at the Kuhlman Center on the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Richmond.

Reid has been designated a host site by the Indiana State Department of Health with responsibility for helping to vaccinate Wayne, Randolph, Union, and Fayette counties.

County health departments in those areas also are offering vaccinations through their own clinics. Those are located at:

  • Wayne County: 601 E. Main St., Richmond
  • Randolph County: 1885 U.S. 27, Winchester
  • Union County: 6 W. South St., Liberty
  • Fayette County: 401 Central Ave., Connersville

According to the ISDH, those now eligible to receive the vaccine include:

  • Any Hoosier age 65 and older;
  • Healthcare workers who live or work in Indiana and have face-to-face interactions with patients or contact with infectious materials in a healthcare setting; and
  • First responders who are firefighters, police officers or sheriff's deputies, Emergency Medical Services, reservists or correctional officers who live or work in Indiana and who are regularly called to the scene of an emergency to give medical aid.

Patients must schedule a visit through the state website, ourshot.in.gov, using either the Firefox or Chrome web browser.

"Obviously, this is wonderful news. The faster we can get everyone vaccinated, the faster we can return to our normal lives." -- Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs

Reid's clinic at the Kuhlman Center is open 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

The state has designated 211 as a call line for assistance, but Reid has been made aware at least some local sites aren't showing for 211 staff as having available appointments. Patients should specifically ask for the Kuhlman Center if 211 staff don't initially offer it as an option.

If you still can't schedule an appointment at the Kuhlman Center through 211, please call (765) 935-8484 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For those individuals who might need help getting to the Kuhlman Center, family members should assist with scheduling to ensure transportation will be available at the time of the appointment.

The City of Richmond now is providing no-charge bus service to the Kuhlman Center. To schedule a ride, patients will need to call (765) 983-7227 or (765) 983-7301. The service will run every hour at 25 minutes after with the first stop being at 7:25 a.m. and the last pickup at 5:25 p.m. Paratransit also will provide rides to the clinic daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Once on site, patients will find directional signs and a phone number to call upon their arrival, (765) 935-8484.

After a visit has been scheduled, patients will be sent a link to complete their registration. That information doesn't have to be filled out before arriving for their scheduled vaccination but doing so ahead of time will speed up the process.

Only those who live or work in Indiana are eligible to be vaccinated in the state. Ohio residents who don't work in Indiana should visit coronavirus.ohio.gov to learn more about how to get vaccinated in their home counties.

Those with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine can call Reid Health's hotline at (765) 965-4200, and they can visit the FAQ section of the Reid website.

IU East Students Take Lead in Ongoing Mitigation Testing

Posted February 16, 2021

Indiana University East students are playing a vital role in the ongoing COVID-19 mitigation testing, staffing the program and gaining helpful and even positive experience in the process.

While everyone is eager for the unprecedented pandemic to take its place in history, the students are making the best of the situation with hands-on work to further prepare them for future careers.

Supplied Image: Students in front of tables.
IU East student Nolan Blair welcomes faculty, staff and students to the campus' COVID-19 Mitigation Testing each week in the Whitewater Hall lobby. Blair assists each person as they sign in for testing.

"I see this as an opportunity to gain experience in healthcare before actually starting my career," said Regan Blinn, a freshman majoring in nursing with a minor in women's and gender studies. "I am learning the significant amount of effort it takes from everyone to keep a group of people safe, like the students and faculty on campus."

Carla Griffin, administrative assistant in the Office of External Affairs, was tasked with setting up and overseeing the program because of previous experience in infectious disease research. She spent four years as a research specialist in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Department at Emory University in Atlanta.

"Setting up testing, hiring and attending meetings took additional hours but the goal was to hire quality people who would run the testing without much direct oversight," Griffin said, noting that she rarely goes on site now during the ongoing testing being handled almost exclusively by students.

She said the program is giving the student workers valuable experience in a variety of areas, including how to deal with people in high-stress situations.

"Learning how to assist others, especially stressed individuals, is a skill for life," Griffin said.

Supplied Image: Female student, wearing a mask, holds medical tubes.
Taylor Reiber is the second stop for faculty, staff and students at Mitigation Testing. Reiber directs participants to choose a pair of gloves and how to open the test tube used for the mitigation test.

Mitigation testing began in late August, with more than 200 staff and students being tested each week since. The number of tests are expected to increase to over 500 per week in February as Indiana University increases its testing capacity. The tests are specific to those who are asymptomatic to capture and quarantine those who may have the virus but not be experiencing symptoms. Griffin said approximately 50 tests have been found to be positive, with an average of two to three each week. Those individuals experiencing symptoms are directed to schedule a symptomatic test through a site also conducted on campus.

When a test is positive, the person hears from a contact tracer on next steps.

Besides getting to be on campus and involved during a time when most things are done remotely, Blinn cites a direct benefit of doing something that directly connects with her career plans. She also appreciates how kind most of the people doing the mandatory testing are "even though they may be frustrated at the same time." The hands-on work has increased her motivation for a healthcare career.

"I'm more excited to do my part in the future because of this experience," Blinn said.

Being in school to become a nurse during a pandemic could bring second thoughts to some because of the impact of COVID on direct caregivers.

"Studying to be a nurse during a pandemic is pretty intimidating. But I'm more than happy I am able to work and do what I can to help during this," Blinn said. She hopes to work as a nurse immediately after graduating and eventually return to graduate school to become a nurse practitioner specializing in women's health.

Supplied Image: Zachery Honeycutt provides direction on the last steps of mitigation testing at IU East.
Zachery Honeycutt provides direction on the last steps of mitigation testing at IU East.

Zachery Honeycutt, a senior majoring in biochemistry, has worked with the program since it started. He recently learned that he was accepted into Indiana University's School of Dentistry. The work is excellent experience for his field.

"It is extremely helpful since I have been practicing proper protocol and safety precautions working with biohazard material. It has been similar to working in the labs in classes," Honeycutt said.

The experience of practicing proper safety protocols is invaluable for his future plans.

"The most significant thing I am learning is how to handle COVID restrictions and follow safety measures," Honeycutt said.

One very hands-on post Honeycutt often works involves the people being tested getting their saliva into a tube. He makes sure the person has enough saliva in their tube, helps with getting it capped when needed and ensures everything is prepared for shipping to a lab.

"I try to make the testing experience as positive as possible for everyone," Honeycutt said.

Nolan Dean Blair, a sophomore who is switching his major from sociology to a communications major as he is wishing to pursue a career in journalism, began working mitigation when the program launched. He said the job has helped polish skills in communication and customer support. He sees his growth as a communicator as perhaps the most significant part of the learning experience. Blair is responsible for registering each participate and is the first person they encounter each visit.

"Interacting with so many people gives me an opportunity to understand a wide range of people," Blair said. "And this will help with my degree because I will gain better communicative skills."

He appreciates the fact that while people doing the testing are not thrilled to have to do it, they understand the importance of the program and are nice to the student staff. "I gain inspiration from everyone who comes here."

Taylor Reiber is a senior majoring in biochemistry. She began working the program in September. She appreciates being able to interact with many people at a time when there isn't much opportunity to do so because of the dangers of COVID.

"With this job, I was still able to interact with many of the staff and student body. And I am super thankful for that opportunity," Reiber said.

The experience further prepares her for a plan to pursue a career in medicine. "The most significant thing I am learning from this experience is the majority of people want to do the right thing and be tested to help and protect the population." She's also learned a lot about faculty and students in the process. "Many of these people not only help the students during the school year, but they also help many more with some of them being foster parents or providing homes for foreign exchange students."

The experience has verified her choice of a future in medicine.

"I was already planning to go into the medical field. This experience has helped solidify that dream," Reiber said.

Abigail Davis, a freshman elementary education major, began working with the mitigation project soon after it began. She serves as a backup worker in case another student worker is off. It's been an "eye-opening experience. It is a weirdly intimate process," she said, describing the testing that involves collecting saliva in a tube. "But it is also extremely humbling to see people from all walks of life participating in the tests," Davis said. She is gaining valuable experience in the process, including "the importance of teamwork in disasters."

Though her future isn't in medicine, the testing experience during a pandemic "is something that I will keep with me forever." It has also underscored with her the importance of doing the right thing to protect yourself and others. "Everyone needs to be doing their part to get us through this pandemic. I highly encourage everyone to wear their masks and to practice social distancing," Davis said.

Griffin said the student team has truly stepped up to play important roles in the mitigation program.

"IU has chosen a smart path to protect the campus community by shining a light on one of the more elusive aspects of this virus - the people who have it, don't know it and are spreading it. When we know who has it, we can limit or slow the spread. Using mitigation metrics, IU campuses are some of the safest places in the State of Indiana."

Behind the Mask: Meet the students who greet you at Mitigation Testing IU East students work more than 20 hours a week to oversee the COVID-19 Mitigation Testing. Meet the students who the campus community interacts with while completing a mitigation test in Whitewater Hall.

Supplied Photo: Nolan Blair Supplied Photo: Regan Blinn Supplied Photo: Zachery Honeycutt
Nolan Blair is from Richmond, Indiana. He is a sophomore at IU East. He is currently a sociology major but will soon change his major to communication studies. Regan Blinn is from Arcanum, Ohio. She is a freshman and plans to major in nursing. Zachery Honeycutt is from Richmond, Indiana. He is a senior biochemistry major.
Supplied Photo:  Taylor Reiber Supplied Photo:  Abigail Davis Supplied Photo:  Terei Norman
Taylor Reiber is from Winchester, Indiana. She is a senior majoring in biochemistry. Abby Davis is a freshman from Centerville, Indiana. Davis is an elementary education major. She is a backup student worker for mitigation testing at IU East. Terei Norman is a junior nursing major at IU East. Norman lives in Fountain City, Indiana. She is also a backup student worker for mitigation testing on campus.

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics Consolidated to Central Location

Posted February 9, 2021

Reid Health is transferring its COVID-19 vaccination operations to a single, central location.

Starting next week, the health system will only have open the public COVID vaccination clinic at the Kuhlman Center on the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Richmond. The satellite sites in Lynn and Connersville will be closed.

Both have been open one day a week since Reid Health began administering vaccines in mid-December. First-dose appointments at those locations stopped a few weeks ago to allow for their eventual closures. Since then, only second-dose appointments have been scheduled at those sites.

The clinic at the Kuhlman Center (861 N. Salisbury Road) has the capacity to handle several hundred vaccinations a day, more than could be done at either the Lynn or Connersville locations.

"The process at our Kuhlman Center clinic has been going smoothly since its launch last month," said Billie Kester, Vice President of Continuum of Care for Reid Health. "We encourage everyone who is eligible to schedule an appointment and get vaccinated."

Those who have used the Kuhlman Center site have praised the staff working there and the overall experience.

"Everything was incredibly well-organized, people were friendly and professional, social distancing and masking were being observed, and every chair was cleaned as soon as it was vacated," one person wrote in a letter to Reid. "Thank you for leading such an incredibly dedicated, caring and compassionate group of people who clearly love and support our community in everything that they do."

"The process at our Kuhlman Center clinic has been going smoothly since its launch last month. We encourage everyone who is eligible to schedule an appointment and get vaccinated." -- Billie Kester, Vice President of Continuum of Care

Reid has been designated a host site by the Indiana State Department of Health with responsibility for helping to vaccinate Wayne, Randolph, Union and Fayette counties.

County health departments in those areas also are offering vaccinations through their own clinics. Those are located at:

  • Wayne County: 601 E. Main St., Richmond
  • Randolph County: 1885 U.S. 27, Winchester
  • Union County: 6 W. South St., Liberty
  • Fayette County: 401 Central Ave., Connersville

The ISDH recently lowered the age limit for vaccinations. Those now eligible include:

  • Any Hoosier age 65 and older;
  • Healthcare workers who live or work in Indiana and have face-to-face interactions with patients or contact with infectious materials in a healthcare setting; and
  • First responders who are firefighters, police officers or sheriff's deputies, Emergency Medical Services, reservists or correctional officers who live or work in Indiana and who are regularly called to the scene of an emergency to give medical aid.

Patients must schedule a visit through the state website, ourshot.in.gov, using either the Firefox or Chrome web browser.

Reid's clinic at the Kuhlman Center is open 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

The state has designated 211 as a call line for assistance, but Reid has been made aware at least some local sites aren't showing for 211 staff as having available appointments. Patients should specifically ask for the Kuhlman Center if 211 staff don't initially list it as an option.

If you still can't schedule an appointment at the Kuhlman Center through 211, please call 765-935-8484 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"Everything was incredibly well-organized, people were friendly and professional, social distancing and masking were being observed, and every chair was cleaned as soon as it was vacated. Thank you for leading such an incredibly dedicated, caring and compassionate group of people who clearly love and support our community in everything that they do." -- Kuhlman Center vaccination clinic patient

For those individuals who might need help getting to the Kuhlman Center, family members should assist with scheduling to ensure transportation will be available at the time of the appointment.

Once on site, patients will find directional signs and a phone number to call upon their arrival, 765-935-8484.

After a visit has been scheduled, patients will be sent a link to complete their registration. That information doesn't have to be filled out before arriving for their scheduled vaccination but doing so ahead of time will speed up the process.

Only those who live or work in Indiana are eligible to be vaccinated in the state. Ohio residents who don't work in Indiana should visit coronavirus.ohio.gov to learn more about how to get vaccinated in their home counties.

Those with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine can call Reid Health's hotline at 765-965-4200, and they can visit the FAQ section of the Reid website.

Wayne County Foundation Announces 2021 Spring Grant Cycle

Posted February 9, 2021

The Wayne County Foundation is pleased to announce the schedule for its 2021 Spring Grant Cycle. This is an opportunity for charitable organizations to receive funding for projects, programs and initiatives that help improve the quality of life and enhance the spirit of the Wayne County community.

Applications for the cycle must be submitted through the Foundation's online application portal. The application will open on Thursday, February 25 and close on Monday, March 22, 2021. The Foundation expects to award up to $100,000 from its unrestricted funds and over $190,000 from various Field of Interest Funds in this cycle.

Field of Interest Funds support applications that address needs and opportunities related to: animal welfare, the arts, education and literacy, the environment, and human service assistance. The Foundation will also accept human service-related applications for funds that benefit the Hagerstown community.

While all nonprofits are encouraged to attend the Grant Information Meeting, first-time applicants and those who have not been successful with a previous online application should consider their attendance a prerequisite before applying. In an effort to keep our valuable community partners safe, the meetings will be held via Zoom on Wednesday, February 24 at 12:00 pm and Thursday, February 25 at 2:00 pm. Please find the RSVP link and other pertinent information at WayneCountyFoundation.org/Spring-Grant-Cycle.

Additional information is available by calling the Foundation office at 765-962-1638 or emailing lisa@waynecountyfoundation.org.

Hoosier High School Students Invited to Pitch Entrepreneurial, Innovative Business Ideas

Posted February 9, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 8, 2021) – Applications for the 2021 Innovate WithIN™ pitch competition, a statewide initiative hosted by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and the STARTedUP Foundation, are open to high school students across Indiana. Applications opened earlier this year, and student teams are encouraged to continue submitting video pitches before Feb. 28.

"Innovate WithIN™ gets Hoosier students plugged in to Indiana's thriving and engaged entrepreneurial community," said Governor Eric J. Holcomb. "This program fosters a pioneering spirit among our leaders of tomorrow, and every year I'm amazed by the innovative ideas these students pitch and the hard work they put into their business plans."

Innovate WithIN™, which is in its fourth year, gives Hoosier students the opportunity to create their own business plans and showcase entrepreneurial ideas throughout the state. The overall winners of the state competition will each receive a $10,000 cash prize, $10,000 toward one year of in-state tuition, college scholarship award opportunities, internship opportunities, mentoring services and more.

Participants are invited to work individually or in small groups to submit an innovative idea for a business, product, service or venture. Students will then receive feedback from experienced professionals while competing against like-minded youth from across Indiana through three rounds:

  • Round One: Video pitch submissions due Feb. 28
  • Round Two: Virtual regional pitch competitions hosted from April 19 to April 30
  • Final Round: State pitch competition for regional finalists hosted in June

New this year, all participating students will have access to a brief, online companion course, and regional winners will participate in a virtual bootcamp to help students hone their ideas and prepare for their state pitch presentations. In addition, regional winners will also receive guided counseling from the Indiana Small Business Development Center (Indiana SBDC) to help refine their business model and pitch, and receive no-cost market research.

The overall winners of last year's competition, Megan Jones, Joshua Breitsprecher and Abigale Haluska won first place representing Hobart High School, creating the Remedy Glove, an innovative therapeutic glove equipped with vibration, compression and heating features. The team came up with its idea after seeing friends and family members struggle with arthritis that restricted common everyday tasks. The group, along with all of the final 11 teams, received mentoring services through the STARTedUP Foundation, which focuses on engaging students and teachers through innovation and entrepreneurship in the classroom.

"Our goal is to create a statewide ecosystem of support to help equip the next generation of entrepreneurs by encouraging students to see problems as opportunities," said Don Wettrick, founder and CEO of STARTedUP. "It's been amazing to see the variety of community and industry partners who have come together to assist the students as they bring their ideas to life."

In 2020, Innovate WithIN™ drew 152 online applications from 419 Hoosier students at 50 high schools. Students can submit applications and learn more details about the program at InnovateWithIN.org.

National publication shines spotlight on Reid Health's Jeff Cook

Posted February 9, 2021

One of Reid Health's own is featured in a national publication.

Jeff Cook, Director of Engineering and Environmental Services, is the subject of an article in the latest edition of American Builders Quarterly.

The publication "is a network of executives that highlights leaders in every phase and facet of the built world," according to its website. "We provide a platform for modern leaders to share important stories and incredible achievements."

Cook said American Builders Quarterly reached out to him based on his activities with the American Society for Health Care Engineering and its Indiana chapter as well as his LinkedIn profile.

"I am very humbled that ABQ sought me out to do a story not about me but my teams," he said. "I also am very proud of the teams that I get to serve with. Engineering and Environmental Services are nothing short of superstars. What they do daily at all times and in all weather conditions is often missed.

"Like a Major League shortstop getting a hard line drive one-hopper and turning in midair to make the throw to first, we all think we can do that until we try. My teams make it happen every time."

Cook's praise goes beyond the team members he oversees, pointing to the vital work done throughout the Reid Health system over the past year as the pandemic has continued on.

"This is not just limited to Engineering and Environmental Services. It's the entire Reid team," he said. "We have worked this last year through COVID as a true team. Whatever, whenever there is a need, someone steps up to fill the gap."

Surge in Appointments Pushes Reid Health Past 10,000th COVID-19 Vaccine Dose Milestone

Posted February 5, 2021

With the Indiana State Department of Health lowering the age limit for COVID-19 vaccinations this week, Reid Health has seen a surge in appointments and reached its 10,000th dose given since vaccinations began in mid-December.

Reid passed the milestone Wednesday at its public mass vaccination clinic at the Kuhlman Center on the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Richmond. An average of about 414 doses a day have been given out by Reid over the past week.

"This is another step toward the end of the pandemic," said Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs for Reid Health. "There's still more to be done. Many more people will need to be vaccinated before we can return to normal life, but each milestone gets us that much closer to our goal."

The ISDH announced Monday it had lowered the age limit for vaccinations. Those now eligible include:

  • Any Hoosier age 65 and older;
  • Healthcare workers who live or work in Indiana and have face-to-face interactions with patients or contact with infectious materials in a healthcare setting; and
  • First responders who are firefighters, police officers or sheriff's deputies, Emergency Medical Services, reservists or correctional officers who live or work in Indiana and who are regularly called to the scene of an emergency to give medical aid.

Anyone who meets one of those criteria is eligible to be vaccinated at Reid's Kuhlman Center clinic.

Patients must schedule a visit through the state website, ourshot.in.gov, using either the Firefox or Chrome web browser. Hours at the Kuhlman Center (861 N. Salisbury Road) are 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

The state has designated 211 as a call line for assistance, but Reid has been made aware at least some local sites aren't showing for 211 staff as having available appointments. Patients should specifically ask for the Kuhlman Center if 211 staff don't initially list it as an option.

If you still can't schedule an appointment at the Kuhlman Center through 211, please call 765-935-8484 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"This is another step toward the end of the pandemic. There's still more to be done. Many more people will need to be vaccinated before we can return to normal life, but each milestone gets us that much closer to our goal." -- Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs

For those individuals who might need help getting to their vaccination, family members should assist with scheduling to ensure transportation will be available at the time of the appointment.

Once on site, patients will find directional signs and a phone number to call upon their arrival.

Reid has been designated a host site by the ISDH with responsibility for helping to vaccinate Wayne, Randolph, Union and Fayette counties. Each county's health department also is offering vaccinations at clinics of their own. Those are located at:

  • Wayne County: 601 E. Main St., Richmond
  • Randolph County: 1885 U.S. 27, Winchester
  • Union County: 6 W. South St., Liberty
  • Fayette County: 401 Central Ave., Connersville

After a visit has been scheduled, patients will be sent a link to complete their registration. That information doesn't have to be filled out before arriving for their scheduled vaccination but doing so ahead of time will speed up the process.

Only those who live or work in Indiana are eligible to be vaccinated in the state. Ohio residents who don't work in Indiana should visit coronavirus.ohio.gov to learn more about how to get vaccinated in their home counties.

Those with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine can call Reid Health's hotline at 765-965-4200 and they can visit the FAQ section of the Reid website.

Neighborhood Health Center Expands Despite COVID-19 Challenges

Posted February 5, 2021

While at a glance it would seem 2020 was a year of simple survival for Neighborhood Health Center (NHC), a look back proves much was still accomplished despite the ongoing and unprecedented challenges of COVID-19.

Supplied Photo:  Carrie Miles, CEO
Carrie Miles, CEO
Carrie Miles, CEO, said while COVID-19 certainly affected her staff and how patient care was handled, 2020 was still a year in which:

  • The patients served almost doubled from 2,360 to 4,157 with the addition of a second Union County location in late 2019
  • The number of patient visits doubled from 2019
  • Title X services were started
  • Remote patient monitoring program was implemented
  • Spanish translation program was launched
  • And virtual visit capability was launched sooner than expected to handle the pandemic

"It was a big year. We essentially doubled everything," Miles said. "We were able to serve nearly twice as many patients, had more than twice the patient visits over 2019. We added Title X services, which means we are able to provide birth control, sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment, and pregnancy testing regardless of the patient's ability to pay."

Another service that COVID-19 helped expedite is remote patient monitoring, with 62 remote units in patients' homes as of January. This service was not available in 2019 and was made possible by a FCC COVID Telemedicine Grant. She said the monitoring service helps keep our highest risk patient's conditions in better control by catching problems early and reducing the risk of having complications or hospitalizations.

She said another great addition, funded with the help of a grant from Wayne County Foundation, is a Spanish interpreter service. The service using a certified medical translator assisted more than 80 Latino patients. "We knew from our 2019 data that there was a great need, and we are thrilled with how well this has taken off despite a global pandemic."

The NHC providers adapted quickly to the virtual visit and telemedicine platforms that became a necessity because of COVID. "We really take pride in that personal connection with our patients. Trying to make those connections virtually was a challenge. But our teams quickly rose to that challenge and have maintained our high patient satisfaction standards. Our staff has done whatever it takes to ensure our patients are cared for throughout this entire pandemic. They are the true heroes in all this."

Another improvement for patients was expanded access to help with insurance coverage and options. A Claim Aid representative now works full-time between the two locations and assisted 451 patients with obtaining life changing insurance coverage. "We saw the demand for this rise dramatically with so many of our patients either out of work or living with reduced income," Miles shared.

More growth is expected this year, with two new behavioral health providers starting within the next two months. "One will work in Richmond and one in Union County," Miles said. "We will continue to work with community partners to ensure we are not duplicating services. We will continue to do all we can to improve healthcare and healthcare access in the region we serve."

Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County Hononrs Outstanding Supporters

Posted February 2, 2021

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County presented awards to several board members, supporters, and partners in honor of their on-going efforts to positively impact the lives of the youth of Wayne County.

Valerie Ray was given the Bob Rosa President's Award, which is presented to an individual that has provided valuable service to the organization and is selected at the current Board President's discretion in honor and memory of Bob Rosa, who served on the Board of Directors for many years. Ray was chosen for this award due to her leadership on BGCWC's expansion task force and chairing the Resource Development Team. Ray is a past president of the Club and previously received the Board member of the Year Award.

Ahaus Tool and Engineering, a long-time family-owned business exemplifies a commitment to the community, were presented with the Earl and Kathryn Mayer Award, given to a corporate or foundation supporter whose contributions have significantly impacted the lives of Wayne County youth through their partnership with the Boys & Girls Club. Ahaus' owners have been members of BGCWC's board and have been long-time corporate sponsors. In addition, Ahaus Tool and Engineering has found multiple other ways to provide support, including working with Club members on the "Canstruction" Project and providing tours for members to learn about their business. Recently, they have provided guidance and support for the "Code In Class" program that teaches computer coding to some of BGCWC's youngest members.

Joe Seger was celebrated as the Rookie Board Member of the Year for his perfect attendance at meetings and his service on several committees and at the JM Hutton Golf Classic. Seger's children are Club Members, and he has personally supported BGCWC's work at their Central Unit through his role as the lead pastor at Central United Methodist Church. Last February, the Church hosted a Boys & Girls Club Day Church Service featuring Club Members and sponsored a 20th Anniversary Celebration at Central.

Derek White was named Board Member of the Year. White is a 20-year veteran of the BGCWC Board of Directors and got his start at the Club as a member while growing up in Richmond. As the Executive Director of the Richmond Housing Authority, he has always been a supporter of the Club. White served on the Resource Development Committee and the Scholarship Committee in 2020. White also championed the conversations that led to the development of a new BGCWC location which will help revitalize a neighborhood and will bring fresh opportunities for BGCWC and the community.

Garry Kleer was presented with the Richard E. Jeffers Legacy Award, a new award in honor of the late Richard E. "Jeff" Jeffers, who was a driving force in the success of BGCWC over the last 20 years. This award is presented to an individual who embodies Jeffers' spirit and goal of providing opportunities for children. Kleer is a past President of BGCWC's Board of Directors and serves as Board Development Chair.

Paul Lingle was honored with the Man and Youth Award, the highest award given by BGCWC. This award is in recognition of service that is extraordinary, often over a long period of time. Lingle is a long-serving member of the Board of Trustees, known to be a successful businessman and a community philanthropist. Lingle was a major donor for capital campaigns and has been an individual and corporate sponsor for many years. Most recently, Lingle and his wife Pat gave a major pledge to help fund the Paul and Pat Lingle Learning Center.

The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. Members of the Club, ages 6-18, have access to dedicated, trained professionals who provide guidance in adopting healthy lifestyles and pursuing educational objectives. Currently, the Club serves over 3,000 youth at four locations: the Jeffers, McDaniel, Central, and Hagerstown units and during the summer at our 168-acre Camp Guy located on the Whitewater River. Since 1957, the Club has been striving to equip young people with the skills they need to succeed in life. For more information, visit www.bgcrichmond.org.

Reid Health Makes Monoclonal Antibody Treatment for COVID-19 Available to Long-Term Care Facilities

Posted February 2, 2021

Shelli Ross was on a conference call with other leaders of local long-term care facilities when Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs for Reid Health, made an offer she couldn't pass up.

"He had reached out a few weeks before about Reid's monoclonal antibody infusion treatment for some of those people who have COVID-19," the executive director of Arbor Trace in Richmond said. "He asked on the call if anyone was interested in having a Reid team come to their facility to administer the infusion, and I said yes.

"I sent him a text, and they were here within an hour and a half. It was a super quick turnaround."

Reid Health created two monoclonal antibody infusion clinics in early November, one in Richmond on the main campus and the other at Reid Health -- Connersville.

The drug used in the treatment, bamlanivimab, had received Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help treat COVID-19 patients who are considered high risk for developing severe illness from the virus.

Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced molecules that can restore, enhance, or mimic the immune system's attack on cells. Bamlanivimab is designed to block viral attachment and entry into human cells, neutralizing the virus.

"The goal is to treat these patients as soon as symptoms arise to keep them from progressing from mild illness to needing hospitalization," said Amy Slonaker, RN, MSN, Director of Oncology/Infusion Therapy. "The aim is to administer the medication within one to 10 days after symptoms develop. The earlier the better."

Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced molecules that can restore, enhance, or mimic the immune system's attack on cells. Bamlanivimab is designed to block viral attachment and entry into human cells, neutralizing the virus.

When given to non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients, bamlanivimab may reduce the amount of virus in the body, symptoms and the risk of hospitalizations and emergency room visits.

Residents of long-term care facilities fall within the high-risk category that make them perfect candidates for the treatment but getting them to one of Reid's two clinics proved to be a challenge.

"Transportation is the biggest barrier," Ross said. "Secondly, they don't feel well and they're elderly, so if they stay in house, it's just a much better situation for them."

To that end, Reid began offering to bring the monoclonal antibody infusion program to residents.

"Scheduled infusions at our Richmond and Connersville hospital locations present access issues for those in residential facilities," Huth said. "To make this treatment more readily available, we're taking the show on the road."

"The goal is to treat these patients as soon as symptoms arise to keep them from progressing from mild illness to needing hospitalization." -- Amy Slonaker, RN, MSN, Director of Oncology/Infusion Therapy

Reid Health has been reaching out to long-term care facilities to set up relationships before they have COVID-19 cases, making it easier to respond when needed. The health system also has developed a tool kit for facilities to make the process smoother, including information for staff, residents and families; flow sheets for infusion nurses to follow; an order form that helps to establish a resident qualifies for treatment and starts the process to provide treatment to that person; and a services agreement between Reid and the facility.

The process to receive treatment is simple. If a patient has tested positive for COVID-19, their physician or provider can send a referral with an order to Reid Central Scheduling to be set up for treatment at their long-term care facility or one of Reid's two clinics.

Those with questions about monoclonal antibody infusions can call Reid's COVID-19 hotline at 765-965-4200 Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. They also can go to Reid's website at reidhealth.org/monoclonal-antibody-treatment.

COVID-19 Vaccination Age Limit Lowered to 65

Posted February 1, 2021

Hoosiers between the ages of 65 and 69 now have been added to the list of those who are eligible to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

The Indiana State Department of Health announced Monday it had lowered the age limit for vaccinations, which previously had been set at 70. Those now eligible include:

  • Any Hoosier age 65 and older;
  • Healthcare workers who live or work in Indiana and have face-to-face interactions with patients or contact with infectious materials in a healthcare setting; and
  • First responders who are firefighters, police officers or sheriff's deputies, Emergency Medical Services, reservists or correctional officers who live or work in Indiana and who are regularly called to the scene of an emergency to give medical aid.
  • More people will be added to the list by the ISDH as adequate supplies from manufacturers are received.

"This is excellent news," said Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs for Reid Health. "The state continues to make its way through our most vulnerable populations, those who are most at risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

"I encourage everyone who is eligible to schedule an appointment to be vaccinated. Do it to keep yourself and your loved ones safe."

Patients must schedule a visit through the state website, ourshot.in.gov, using either the Firefox or Chrome web browser.

Reid Health is operating a mass vaccination clinic at the Kuhlman Center on the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Richmond (861 N. Salisbury Road). Hours there are 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. Same-day appointments are available, but to ensure there's an adequate vaccine supply on hand, walk-ins won't be accepted.

The state has designated 211 as a call line for assistance, but Reid has been made aware at least some local sites aren't showing for 211 staff as having available appointments. If you encounter this issue and need help scheduling a vaccination at the Kuhlman Center, please call 765-935-8484 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Appointments are available. The capacity for vaccinating at that location is several hundred per day.

"I encourage everyone who is eligible to schedule an appointment to be vaccinated. Do it to keep yourself and your loved ones safe." -- Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs

For those individuals who might need help getting to the Kuhlman Center, family members should assist with scheduling to ensure transportation will be available at the time of the appointment.

Once on site, patients will find directional signs and a phone number to call upon their arrival.

Reid has been designated a host site by the ISDH with responsibility for helping to vaccinate Wayne, Randolph, Union and Fayette counties. Each county's health department also is offering vaccinations.

Each of the four county health departments are operating vaccine clinics of their own. Those are located at:

  • Wayne County: 601 E. Main St., Richmond
  • Randolph County: 1885 U.S. 27, Winchester
  • Union County: 6 W. South St., Liberty
  • Fayette County: 401 Central Ave., Connersville

After a visit has been scheduled, patients will be sent a link to complete their registration. That information doesn't have to be filled out before arriving for their scheduled vaccination but doing so ahead of time will speed up the process.

Only those who live or work in Indiana are eligible to be vaccinated in the state. Ohio residents who don't work in Indiana should visit coronavirus.ohio.gov to learn more about how to get vaccinated in their home counties.

Those with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine can call Reid Health's hotline at 765-965-4200 and they can visit the FAQ section of the Reid website.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County Executive Director Earns Lifetime Achivement Award

Posted February 2, 2021

Supplied Photo:  Bruce Daggy
Bruce Daggy, Executive Director
Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County
The Indiana Youth Services Association awarded Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County Executive Director Bruce Daggy their 2020 IYSA Lifetime Achievement Award. This award was given in recognition of a life spent dedicated to service impacting kids, teens, and youth in their community.

When Daggy was first hired as Executive Director in 1993, BGCWC had a budget of $162,825, one location, and four staff members. Under Daggy's leadership they have grown to a nearly $2,000,000 budget with four locations and 63 employees. Daggy's legacy will ripple on for many years to come through the thousands of youth that he has influenced.

Supplied Photo: Lifetime Achievement AwardIYSA usually hosts an Annual Business Meeting where awards such as Daggy's Lifetime Achievement would be presented. Unfortunately, this past year's event in December had to be canceled due to safety and city restrictions around COVID-19 in Indianapolis, IN. Although the event had to be cancelled, IYSA still wanted to recognize the award winners. Each winner was presented their award and video tapped to capture their reactions. You can view Daggy's presentation and reaction on IYSA's YouTube page or at BGCWC's Facebook page.

The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. Members of the Club, ages 6-18, have access to dedicated, trained professionals who provide guidance in adopting healthy lifestyles and pursuing educational objectives. Currently, the Club serves over 3,000 youth at four locations: the Jeffers, McDaniel, Central, and Hagerstown units and during the summer at our 168-acre Camp Guy located on the Whitewater River. Since 1957, the Club has been striving to equip young people with the skills they need to succeed in life. For more information, visit www.bgcrichmond.org.

Ivy Tech Richmond Congratulates Chancellor Dr. Stacy Atkinson in New Role

Posted February 2, 2021

Supplied Photo:  Dr. Stacy Atkinson
Dr. Stacy Atkinson
Ivy Tech Community College has named Dr. Stacy Atkinson as chancellor for the new Hamilton County campus, effective March 1, 2021. Atkinson currently serves as chancellor of the Richmond campus and Connersville site. In 2017, she moved from the executive director of Strategic Initiatives role with Systems Office to serve as vice chancellor of Academic Affairs at the Richmond campus. In 2019, she served as interim chancellor and was later named as chancellor after a national search.

"On behalf of the Regional Board Trustees Richmond, we would like to congratulate Dr. Stacy Atkinson on her new appointment, as it is a position particularly made for her. We know that this new position will be springboard for even more progressive triumphs." said Kevin L. Handley Sr. Ivy Tech Richmond Campus Board Chair.

The College recently announced its Hamilton County location in Noblesville would become its 19th full-service campus with expanded programming to meet the needs of Hamilton County students, employers, and community. Hamilton County is the state's fourth-largest and fastest-growing county, with Ivy Tech enrollment at the location already exceeding that of several full-service campuses.

"Hamilton County has a tremendous amount of opportunity for partnerships in the name of the current and future workforce," said Atkinson. "Starting up a new campus speaks to my skills and tremendous passion for the organization and its mission. I am truly humbled to be leading the efforts and am enthusiastic for the success of Hamilton County."

Atkinson started her time at Ivy Tech in January 2015. She has served in various roles at the College including early childhood adjunct instructor for the Muncie campus (prior to joining Ivy Tech full-time) and senior instructional designer with the Center for Instructional Technology. She is a certified SIMPLEX Creative Problem Solving trainer, facilitator, and coach. As part of her work when serving as the executive director of Strategic Initiatives, Atkinson was heavily involved in the development of Ivy Tech's strategic plan in 2017.

During her time as Chancellor, Atkinson understood the needs of the local community and worked to develop strong relationships with four-year partners. Most notably, she was instrumental in developing an articulation agreement with Earlham College, which allows Ivy Tech students who have earned an associate degree in biology, chemistry, computer science, business administration, psychology, or human services to transfer to Earlham as juniors knowing every credit they have taken will count toward their degree requirements.

"Dr. Atkinson brings the skill of an experienced chancellor, as well as an energy, innovative spirit, and leadership to establish the academic and workforce programs which will meet the needs of Hamilton County students, employers, and communities," said Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann. "Further, Dr. Atkinson will engage as a CEO and academic leader to ensure speed and agility in all of our partnerships and endeavors."

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degree and short-term certificate programs, and trainings that align to the needs of the community. The College also offers courses and associate degree programs that seamlessly transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a Bachelor's degree.

Adjustments Made to COVID-19 Visitor Restrictions

Posted February 2, 2021

Beginning Thursday, January 28th, Reid Health will allow a limited number of visitors on its main campus and at physician offices.

In November, the health system's visitation policy was greatly restricted in response to a surge in COVID-19 cases that broke records for patients being treated with the virus.

With positivity rates trending down, a limited number of visitors will again be allowed to visit or accompany their loved one to their appointments.

"This updated policy allows us to continue offering a safe environment in which we can serve the healthcare needs of our communities while ensuring our patients and families can have the personal connections they need," said Craig Kinyon, Reid Health President/CEO.

Effective at 7 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, patients in the hospital who are not positive for or suspected to have COVID-19 can have one visitor per day.

In some situations, patients may have two visitors. Those include:

  • Acute rehabilitation and open heart patients when it's necessary for family teaching or training;
  • Maternity patients;
  • Minor patients; and
  • Patients who require extra assistance because of mobility, reorienting or confusion, general patient safety, interpretation, court-ordered, or healthcare decision making.

Exceptions to this policy are made for end-of-life situations in all settings, including hospice. These situations are managed by the house supervisor.

A "No Visitor" policy will remain in place for patients who are COVID-19 positive or are suspected to have the virus, except for end-of-life situations.

"This updated policy allows us to continue offering a safe environment in which we can serve the healthcare needs of our communities while ensuring our patients and families can have the personal connections they need," -- Craig Kinyon, Reid Health President/CEO

At physician offices and outpatient services including outpatient surgery, patients may bring one companion to an appointment. Two will be allowed for minors having outpatient surgery or an invasive procedure, new mom post-delivery appointments, and for residents at Reid Health Care Pavilion provided one of the two is the patient's parent or guardian.

Pediatric Rehab remains unchanged because of the small waiting area. Parents may come in to drop off their child and return to pick up their child when therapy is complete.

Visitors and companions:

  • Must be at least 14 years old;
  • Must not have COVID-19 symptoms or an elevated temperature (greater than or equal to 99.6 degrees) or have been directly exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the past 14 days;
  • Must agree to wear a mask or facial covering that covers both their mouth and nose at all times, including while in the patient's room;
  • Must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer often, including upon entry and exit from the patient's room;
  • Must socially distance 6 feet;
  • Should remain in the patient's room -- except to get food inside the hospital and then return to the room -- or to exit for the day; and
  • If a visitor needs to leave the hospital during their visit, they may not return on the same day.

Anyone who is not able to comply with these restrictions and responsibilities may be asked to leave.

Those with questions about COVID-19 can call Reid's hotline at 765-965-4200 Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For FAQs and daily updates, visit the reidhealth.org/safe information page.

Reid Health Acquires Former Kmart Property in Connersville

Posted January 26, 2021

Reid Health has acquired the former Kmart property in Connersville and has begun demolition of the building to remedy a long-standing eyesore until a new use for the site is identified.

The former Kmart at 2500 Park Road has been empty for more than a decade. Years of neglect left it in a total state of disrepair.

"The building is an eyesore and a hazard," said Jeff Cook, Director of Engineering and Environmental Services for Reid Health. "There is nothing salvageable in there."

The news that Reid bought the property with plans to tear down the building was welcomed by Brian Durham, Executive Director of the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce.

"I was fortunate -- or unfortunate -- to visit the building in 2017. The ceiling had collapsed, the walls were falling, what was left inside had molded and there was water all over the floor from busted pipes. It was a mess," he said.

"I am just glad that three years later one of the biggest community partners, Reid Health, is making the investment to clean up and remediate the property. The Chamber is committed to helping in any way that we can."

Although Reid has no definite plans for the location at this time, buying the site for future use is the latest sign that the health system's commitment to the community hasn't wavered since acquiring Fayette Regional Health System in 2019.

"From the beginning, we have emphasized how deeply committed we are to the Connersville area," said Craig Kinyon, Reid Health President/CEO. "We will continue to assess additional and sustainable services we can provide to support the healthcare needs of the people we serve in the region."

COVID-19 Rapid and Antibody Testing Now Available Without a Doctor's Order

Posted January 25, 2021

Anyone concerned they might have COVID-19 or who needs proof of a negative test now can be tested for the virus at Reid Orthopedics Center without the need of a doctor's order and without having to leave their vehicle.

Both rapid antigen and normal PCR tests are available by calling Reid Central Scheduling at (765) 983-3358. Testing is done 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the center, 1400 Highland Road in Richmond.

To qualify for a rapid test, a person must be symptomatic. Results typically are available in about 15 minutes. Anyone who gets a negative result is asked to return within a few days to have a PCR test done if symptoms persist.

Those who are not symptomatic but need proof of a negative result will get a PCR test. Turnaround for that test is usually about one day. Results can be found in a patient's MyChart account without having to wait on a phone call.

All COVID-19 testing at the Reid Orthopedics Center is drive-thru testing. Patients can pull up, get checked in and have their nose swabbed all without having to get out of their car.

"We're pleased to be able to offer this safe and convenient way to be tested for COVID-19," said Angie Dickman, Reid Health Vice President. "Although we always encourage a virtual or in-person visit with a provider prior to testing if you have symptoms, we recognize that's not always an option for people. Others simply need a test for travel or to return to school or work."

Reid also is offering COVID-19 antibody tests at its lab locations such as the Patient Care Center on the main campus (1100 Reid Parkway), at Reid Health Laboratory (1350 Chester Blvd. in Richmond), at Reid Health Laboratory - Cambridge City (1154 S. State Road 1 in Cambridge City) and at Reid Health Laboratory - Connersville (1475 E. State Road 44 in Connersville).

"We're pleased to be able to offer this safe and convenient way to be tested for COVID-19. Although we always encourage a virtual or in-person visit with a provider prior to testing if you have symptoms, we recognize that's not always an option for people. Others simply need a test for travel or to return to school or work." -- Angie Dickman, Reid Health Vice President

Rapid antigen and PCR tests detect components of the virus, indicating a current or recent infection. Rapid antigen tests can have more false positives and negatives than the PCR test.

PCR results can remain positive up to 90 days after infection even though people are not acutely ill or contagious after the first two weeks or so. Because of that, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend retesting with a PCR exam within that 90-day window.

The antibody test, on the other hand, is a blood test looking to see if the patient's immune system made antibodies in response to a past exposure to the virus, perhaps without the patient ever showing symptoms. It also can indicate an antibody response in those who've received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Having an antibody response doesn't necessarily mean someone is immune to the virus. It simply indicates your immune system has "seen" components of COVID-19, either from viral infection or vaccination.

Results from the antibody test typically are available within the same day.

COVID-19 testing will be billed to insurers, but patients should check with their carriers to see if their coverage includes the tests. A PCR test costs $166.25, rapid antigen $50 and antibody $65.

Reid also will continue to host convalescent plasma blood drives on Fridays this month. The health system has partnered with Community Blood Center Dayton in their COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Program.

Those who were tested, diagnosed and fully recovered from COVID-19 or have tested positive for its antibodies can visit GivingBlood.org or call (937) 461-3220 to register. First-time donors must have proof of a positive test for the virus.

New federal guidelines now allow convalescent plasma donors who have received the COVID-19 vaccine to continue donating. There is no deferral or delay in donating any blood component after receiving the vaccine.

The drives will be held 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Fridays on the sixth floor of the inpatient tower at Reid Health.

Those with questions about COVID-19 testing or symptoms can call Reid's hotline at 765-965-4200 Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

State Accepting Nominations for Governor's Century, Half Century Business Awards

Posted January 25, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 25, 2021) – The state of Indiana is currently accepting nominations for the Governor's Century and Half Century Business Awards, which honor Hoosier businesses that have remained in operation for at least 100 or 50 years, respectively, and have demonstrated a commitment to serving the community.

Applications are due March 31, 2021. Qualifying criteria is as follows:

  • The business must have had continuous operations in Indiana for more than 50 or 100 years by Dec. 31, 2020.
  • The business must have participated in the same line of work for the duration of its operations. If different, an explanation of the evolution into the current business must be provided on the nomination form.
  • The business must have had its base in the state of Indiana since it was founded.
  • The business must recognize, acknowledge and agree that it is in full compliance with the Indiana Secretary of State, Department of Revenue and the Department of Workforce Development by signing the application.
  • The business must not have previously received a Century or Half Century award from the state of Indiana. Previous Half Century award recipients may qualify for a Century award.
  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Due diligence and application acceptance begin this month.

Eligible companies are encouraged to complete the online application. Please visit the Indiana Economic Development Corporation website for additional details.

Reid Health Administers Its 5,000th COVID-19 Vaccine Dose

Posted January 21, 2021

Reid Health this week reached and quickly exceeded a milestone in its COVID-19 vaccination efforts, administering its 5,000th dose on Tuesday.

All told, the health system had given out 5,557 doses since vaccinations began in mid-December through the end of the day Tuesday, according to statistics from the Indiana State Department of Health.

"With each milestone we achieve, we move that much closer to getting back to some measure of normalcy," said Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs for Reid Health. "We're encouraged to see the community respond so well to the opportunity to get vaccinated, and we hope many others will join them in the days and months ahead."

Reid, designated a host site by the Indiana State Department of Health, opened its new mass vaccination site Tuesday at the Kuhlman Center on the Wayne County Fairgrounds, replacing the previous Richmond location at the Medical Office Building on the main Reid campus.

The new site greatly expanded the health system's capacity for distributing the vaccine to the community. On its first day of operation, 725 doses were administered at the Kuhlman Center clinic. That's more than three times the average number that had been given out each day previously at Reid's other locations.

Hours at the Kuhlman Center (861 N. Salisbury Road) are 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. Once on site, patients will find directional signs and a phone number to call upon their arrival.

Any Hoosier age 70 and older as well as healthcare workers and first responders are eligible to be vaccinated for free at this time. The Indiana State Department of Health plans to open vaccinations to more people as supplies from manufacturers become available.

Patients must schedule a visit through the state website, ourshot.in.gov, using either the Firefox or Chrome web browser. Those who need help to set up an appointment may call 211, and that staff can complete the necessary work over the phone.

"With each milestone we achieve, we move that much closer to getting back to some measure of normalcy. We're encouraged to see the community respond so well to the opportunity to get vaccinated, and we hope many others will join them in the days and months ahead." -- Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs

After an appointment has been scheduled, patients will be sent a link to complete their registration. That information doesn't have to be filled out before arriving for their scheduled vaccination but doing so ahead of time will speed up the process.

Only those who live or work in Indiana are eligible to be vaccinated at the Kuhlman Center. Ohio residents who don't work in Indiana should visit coronavirus.ohio.gov to learn more about how to get vaccinated in their home counties.

The Wayne County Health Department also is operating a vaccination clinic at the former Elder-Beerman building in downtown Richmond. Patients should be sure to note which site they're signing up for as they register and then go to that same location for their scheduled appointment.

Full vaccination requires two shots, with the second coming either 21 or 28 days after the first, depending on which manufacturer's vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) a patient initially receives. A second appointment will be scheduled while waiting out a required 15-minute observation time during the first visit.

Reid also continues to operate vaccination clinics in Lynn and Connersville for those who already have scheduled their second appointment. First shots no longer are available at those sites.

Those with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine can call Reid Health's hotline at 765-965-4200 Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. They also can visit the FAQ section of the Reid website.

Reid Physician, His Wife Named Cambridge City Citizens of the Year

Posted January 19, 2021

A surprise waited under the Christmas tree for James Bertsch and his wife, Norma, this year.

But it wasn't a present from Santa. This came courtesy of the Cambridge City Evening Kiwanis.

Supplied Photo: Dr. James and Norma Bertsch
Norma and Dr. James Bertsch were named the 2020 Cambridge City Evening Kiwanis Citizens of the Year.

Norma and Dr. James Bertsch were named the 2020 Cambridge City Evening Kiwanis Citizens of the Year. For 60 years, the organization has honored at least one person with its Citizen of the Year award, typically given in a surprise announcement during a large community event. But those plans had to be altered this year thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead, the plaque was wrapped and placed under the Bertsch family tree like any other gift.

During a family gathering the day after Christmas, the couple opened the box to find the award inside announcing their selection as the 2020 honorees.

"(The award is) an acknowledgement that there's at least some people who think you worked hard and should be honored in some way," Dr. Bertsch said. "My wife is a big part of it. Everything that we've done we've done together."

Bertsch, D.O., and his wife set up his practice in the town in 1977. They also own and operate the Building 125 antique store in Cambridge City and have been involved in historic preservation efforts in the community. For 40 years, they operated a prize-winning dairy farm.

"I can't think of a more deserving couple," said Billie Kester, Vice President for Continuum of Care at Reid Health. "They are very dedicated to the community and to their fellow residents."

Both grew up on local farms and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1966. After they married two years later, the couple moved to Vincennes so Dr. Bertsch could attend college. His original plan was to become a veterinarian, but he was inspired to go in a different direction by the couple's family doctor, Richard Keys.

"What we found was he was the busiest guy in town, but when you got in there, he didn't rush through. If you needed two minutes or 22 minutes, that's what you got," Dr. Bertsch said.

An internship took the couple to the Dayton, Ohio, area where Dr. Bertsch eventually practiced for a short time.

"I thought that's where I wanted to be," he said, "but then the other doctors left and I thought if ever there was a time to make a change, now's that time."

The family returned to Cambridge City and has stayed ever since.

"This honor makes official what everyone in Cambridge City has known for a long time -- that Dr. Bertsch is a great leader and advocate for the community. His colleagues at Reid Health are very proud of him!" -- Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs

"Taking care of the people that take care of you. What more can you ask for?", Dr. Bertsch said. "Home is home. I wouldn't change a thing."

He joined Reid Health in 2013 and now is part of Reid Primary and Specialty Care - Cambridge City at 1154 S. State Road 1.

"It's meant more than I can describe because I never anticipated it would be this nice or this good," Dr. Bertsch said of joining Reid.

"Had I known then what I know now, I would have done this years ago. I'm very appreciative of Reid Health. I couldn't have been treated any better."

For Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs at Reid, the award given to the Bertsch family simply affirms the high esteem in which the couple already is held in the community.

"This honor makes official what everyone in Cambridge City has known for a long time - that Dr. Bertsch is a great leader and advocate for the community," Dr. Huth said. "His colleagues at Reid Health are very proud of him!"

"This is a wonderful honor for Dr. Bertsch and Norma. Their love for their community, positive attitudes and their dedication to community service have been an inspiration to many." -- Craig Kinyon, Reid Health President/CEO

That includes Rohit Bawa, M.D., Reid ENT and chair of the Reid Health Physician Associates Network Operating Council.

"I have known Dr. Bertsch as a colleague for more than 25 years, and he is a very hard-working and amazing physician and an asset to Cambridge City, Wayne County and Reid Health," Dr. Bawa said. "He truly deserves this honor."

Craig Kinyon, Reid Health President/CEO, said the Bertsch family has the qualities that make them ideal recipients of the award.

"This is a wonderful honor for Dr. Bertsch and Norma," he said. "Their love for their community, positive attitudes and their dedication to community service have been an inspiration to many.

"Cambridge City certainly has two stellar people as their Citizens of the Year who dearly love their community and the people they serve with."

Reid Health Set to Open New COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Site

Posted January 17, 2021

Reid Health's new COVID-19 mass vaccination site will open Tuesday at the Kuhlman Center on the Wayne County Fairgrounds, expanding the health system's capacity for distributing the vaccine to the community.
Supplied Photo: Setup for Mass Vaccination Site at the Kuhlman Center

Since mid-January, Reid has operated three clinics with one each in Richmond, Lynn and Connersville. The new site at the Kuhlman Center in Richmond replaces the previous one that had been operating out of the Medical Office Building on the main Reid campus.

"This will be a game-changer for us," said Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs for Reid Health. "Our previous main vaccination site was limited in its capacity as to how many patients could be seen at any one time. With this new location, we will be able to vaccinate as many people as we can get vaccine for."

Operating hours at the Kuhlman Center (861 N. Salisbury Road) will be 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. Once on site, patients will find directional signs and a phone number to call upon their arrival.

Supplied Photo:  Chairs spaced apart in the empty Kuhlman Center.Initial setup includes the capability to vaccinate six patients at a time, but that can be expanded should the need arise in the future.

The Lynn and Connersville locations will remain open for a few more weeks to complete second doses of the vaccine for those who already have scheduled their visits. First-shot appointments no longer are available at those sites.

Consolidating Reid's efforts at one location isn't anticipated to impact the ease with which patients have been able to get their shots so far.

"Those who received their vaccinations at the three original sites have commented on how smoothly the process went, and we anticipate that won't change now that we are set up at the Kuhlman Center," said Billie Kester, Vice President for Continuum of Care for Reid Health.

Any Hoosier age 70 and older as well as healthcare workers and first responders are eligible to be vaccinated for free at this time. The Indiana State Department of Health plans to open vaccinations to more people as supplies from manufacturers become available.

Patients must schedule a visit through the state website, ourshot.in.gov, using either the Firefox or Chrome web browser. Those who need help to set up an appointment may call 211, and that staff can complete the necessary work over the phone.

After an appointment has been scheduled, patients will be sent a link to complete their registration. That information doesn't have to be filled out before arriving for their scheduled vaccination but doing so ahead of time will speed up the process.

"This will be a game-changer for us. ... With this new location, we will be able to vaccinate as many people as we can get vaccine for." -- Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs

Only those who live or work in Indiana are eligible to be vaccinated at the Kuhlman Center. Ohio residents who don't work in Indiana should visit coronavirus.ohio.gov to learn more about how to get vaccinated in their home counties.

The Wayne County Health Department also is operating a vaccination clinic at the former Elder-Beerman building in downtown Richmond. Patients should be sure to note which site they're signing up for as they register and then go to that same location for their scheduled appointment.

Full vaccination requires two shots, with the second coming either 21 or 28 days after the first, depending on which manufacturer's vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) a patient initially receives. A second appointment will be scheduled while waiting out a required 15-minute observation time during the first visit.

Also during that observation time, patients will be given information about v-safe, a phone app provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to track after-vaccination symptoms.

Some side effects such as headaches, fever and muscle pains have been reported during trials for the vaccines, mostly coming after the second of the two injections. It's normal for vaccines to cause such symptoms, which are a sign that the body is building immunity to the virus.

"The app is a good way to monitor for possible reactions that might occur later," Dr. Huth said. "It's a very simple process. It takes about 30 seconds to complete each day."

Those with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine can call Reid Health's hotline at 765-965-4200 Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. They also can visit the FAQ section of the Reid website.

Pro Tennis Player Writes Kids' Book for Honors Thesis

Posted January 17, 2021

You might say that professional tennis player Ruan Roelofse has served up a love-love online learning experience through Indiana University East.

Supplied Photo:  Ruan Roelofse
Ruan Roelofse

In tennis, that's like a perfect 6-0, 6-0 victory.

In tennis and education, that's like hitting an ace with his senior project.

The online business student from Cape Town, South Africa, co-wrote a children's book for his honors thesis -- a work that was released this January.

The book is a short biography, taking Roelofse from childhood to a long professional career. His accomplishments include playing in Davis Cup matches and winning four ATP Challenger doubles titles.

The book, which is aimed at third-grade level, also touches on learning basics that range from math and spelling to working hard and eating right. It also includes some fun facts, such as Cape Town and Richmond are 8,305 miles apart.

"Learning with Ruan" is co-authored by Tim Scales, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and the Center for Economic Education and senior lecturer at IU East.

The book is available starting this January with a cover price of $16.95.

Roelofse's story starts at age 4 with his parents -- An-mare and Leon -- suspending a sock that held a tennis ball off the roof of their home so he could learn how to strike it.

Roelofse progressed quickly under the tutelage of his mom. He started playing competitively at 7 and won his first tournament at 10.

The 31-year-old has been playing as a professional through most of his adult life. He lives in Atlanta and plans on moving to Florida in January.

His world includes travel, tight budgets and practices for up to seven hours each day. He also likes to play golf, to hike and to visit coffee shops. In fact, his entrepreneurial dream is to run his own coffee shop after his career is over.

Roelofse's world also has included taking online classes at IU East.

Supplied Photo:  Tim Scales
Tim Scales

Last summer, he took the Personal Finance class led by Scales.

Roelofse enjoyed the experience so much that he emailed Scales a couple weeks after the class ended to ask if he would mentor him on his senior honors thesis.

Scales suggested applying for Kickstarter, a funding mechanism that he advises often as a teaching tool.

Say what? Roelofse first thought. "I had never done anything like this before ... until Tim and I started talking about Kickstarter."

The online funding concept exists to help bring creative projects to life. For more information, visit kickstarter.com.

Roelofse's first project idea was to raise about $10,000 to hire a coach -- something he's never been able to afford.

That was refused by Kickstarter, as are many requests following a review process, according to Scales.

The two then discussed other creative ways to experience Kickstarter.

"Tim and I were exchanging ideas," Roelofse says. "He asked if I had ever considered writing a book."

The answer was no. But that quickly turned into a yes when Roelofse considered how his experiences could help teach good values to children: "We went from there," he explains. "I like working with kids."

Kickstarter said yes, too, to the book idea that would tell a positive life story while also offering educational components.

The book zoomed from idea to reality in about a month. Roelofse raised more than $1,000 above his goal of $2,300. His experience is a "great way to learn about Kickstarter," Scales says. "With the new experience and knowledge, he can apply for another."

Roelofse wrote text, gathered photographs and connected almost daily by phone or with Zoom with Scales, who compiled the pieces and worked with Kids At Heart Publishing of Milton, Indiana.

Scales had met owner Shelley Davis before at an open house. "It was a perfect opportunity for Ruan and it worked out perfectly to help a local business," Scales says.

The book material came together smoothly. "I just asked him a few questions and he would give the information. It started leading into the story," Scales explains.

"The initial ideas were easy," Roelofse says. "The experience has been good for me."

He credits Scales with pushing him to be creative and to make the book happen. "Tim has been really good to work with," Roelofse continues. "He gave very good advice and was very impactful."

The positive feelings are mutual: "Ruan has gone above and beyond with his project," Scales says. "His learning has exceeded all expectations and the project impact is yet to come."

They received a proof of the book in the second week of December. They presented their book at a virtual academic conference held January 6-8. Now they plan to take it into classrooms.

Roelofse values the connections he's made through the online program: "It's been enjoyable," he says, but he misses connecting with faculty and students in person. "I wish it wasn't all online."

He is looking forward to May, when he plans to visit the campus in Richmond, to attend graduation, to visit with Scales and a few elementary school teachers with the book. He is on track to earn a bachelor's degree in business administration and a minor in entrepreneurship.

Roelofse is another example of IU East's highly successful connection with professional tennis organizations -- the ATP for men and WTA for women -- that help pay for players to take online classes.

Graduates include ATP professional tennis player Rajeev Ram, and eight WTA tennis players, including Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens.

Scales said many of the players know each other even if they live in different parts of the country -- or world.

"It's a small world," he says. "They are super-dedicated, but have to be flexible. Each of them is excited to share in the teaching and learning experience."

INDOT to host virtual career fair on January 20

Posted January 14, 2021

Supplied Photo: hands on laptop at deskThe Indiana Department of Transportation is hosting a virtual career fair on Wednesday, January 20 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. eastern time. Anyone interested in learning more about employment at INDOT is invited to attend, and registration is not required.

The career fair will feature an overview of the agency, benefits of working for INDOT, and positions currently available. Featured jobs will include highway maintenance technicians, equipment mechanics, construction engineers and project inspectors, and seasonal positions.

The event will be held via Microsoft Teams, an online video conferencing application for both desktop and mobile devices. While a Teams account is not needed to join the event, those who plan to participate may download the Microsoft Teams application in advance here. The app is required if joining from a mobile device, but attendees can choose to join on the web instead using Edge, Chrome, or Firefox if using a desktop.

The live event can be accessed online at this link on January 20. Those planning to attend should save this email, as they will need to click that link to join the event.

Learn more about employment opportunities and see a full listing of job opportunities at INDOT here.

Five Additional Small Businesses Get Relief

Posted January 14, 2021

In June of 2020, Center City Development Corporation in partnership with the City of Richmond, announced that eight Main Street District businesses had received relief from the first round of grants awarded through funds made possible by the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA). In September of 2020, fourteen more small business received relief from the second round of the COVID-19 Response Grant.

This grant program, offered by OCRA, was developed to help retain low to moderate income jobs by providing operational capital and support for remote work. OCRA was able to provide this opportunity by redirecting their Community Development Block Grant funds to assist with COVID-19. This redirect of funds was in response to Governor Holcomb's Executive Order 20-05, which called for additional actions to protect and support Hoosiers across the state.

Center City Development Corporation, in partnership with the City of Richmond, is pleased to announce that they have continued their efforts to support local businesses through this pandemic with five final small businesses being awarded grants through this initiative. This last round of grant awards totaled $48,500. Of those businesses, 40% were women-owned and microenterprises.

Grant recipients in this final round included:

  • Armstrong Cleaners & Formal wear $10,000
  • Lyons Insurance & Real Estate, Inc. $9,250
  • Paint the Towne LLC $10,000
  • Smarrelli General Contractor, Inc. $9,250
  • Tarot Tattoo $10,000

Center City Development Corporation continues to evaluate additional ways in which they can support local small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as continue to enrich Richmond's downtown by coordinating and collaborating with city government, property owners, and business owners to create economic prosperity, community development and a vibrant center city. This effort continues even during these unprecedented times. For details on programs or opportunities through Center City Development Corporation, visit: richmondinnovates.com

The City of Richmond, Center City Development Corporation, and the entire community want to continue to extend our deep gratitude to Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and OCRA for this funding opportunity to support Richmond's recovery.

COVID-19 vaccine clinics in Lynn, Connersville will remain open

Posted January 12, 2021

Graphic:  Bandage with text: "It's our shot, Hoosiers" Reid Health's COVID-19 vaccine clinics in Lynn and Connersville will remain open next week as the Richmond location moves to the Wayne County Fairgrounds.

Initially, plans called for the sites in Randolph and Fayette counties to close this week, but after further discussion with county health officials in those areas, arrangements were made to continue staffing those locations.

The Indiana State Department of Health late last week expanded the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations to Hoosiers age 80 and older. Keeping the clinics in Lynn and Connersville open will help Reid and the local health departments continue collaborating to better serve those who are now eligible for vaccination.

"We recognize that many in the older age groups have transportation challenges, plus winter weather could affect travel at any time," said Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs for Reid Health. "Therefore, we feel it's important to continue serving this population closer to home."

Reid is operating three COVID-19 vaccination clinics with one each in Richmond, Lynn and Connersville.

Both the Lynn and Connersville locations will remain open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. one day of the week, Tuesdays in Lynn (at Family & Occupational Medicine, 428 S. Main St.) and Wednesdays in Connersville (at Reid HealthWorks, 3542 Western Ave.).

The Richmond site in Suite 140 of the Medical Office Building on the main Reid campus (1100 Reid Parkway) is open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday this week as well as 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

That clinic will move to the Kuhlman Center on the Wayne County Fairgrounds (861 N. Salisbury Road) on Tuesday, Jan. 19. Once there, the site's hours will be 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

Each site's operating hours will be reevaluated as the state's vaccine rollout continues. It's expected the next demographic groups to become eligible will be those age 70 and older followed by those who are 60 and up.

Dr. Thomas Huth (left) was the first person in Wayne County to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17. Vaccinations began in December with Phase 1A, which has included first responders and healthcare workers who have in-person contact with patients or infectious material.

Now, the first members of the general public -- those age 80 or older -- can be vaccinated for free as Phase 1B begins.

"This is an important milestone in our fight against COVID-19," said Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs for Reid Health. "These are members of our community who are most at-risk for the virus. The vaccine provides another level of protection to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe."

Patients must schedule a visit through the state website, ourshot.in.gov, using either the Firefox or Chrome web browser. Those who need help to set up an appointment may call 211, and that staff can complete the necessary registration over the phone.

The Wayne County Health Department also is operating a vaccination clinic at the former Elder-Beerman building in downtown Richmond. Patients should be sure to note which site they're signing up for as they register and then go to that same location for their scheduled appointment.

Full vaccination requires two shots, with the second coming either 21 or 28 days after the first, depending on which manufacturer's vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) a patient initially receives. A second appointment will be scheduled while waiting out the required 15-minute observation time during the first visit.

Because Pfizer and Moderna vaccines don't use a live virus, they can't give anyone COVID-19, but it will take a few weeks for the body to build up immunity after vaccination, so it's possible someone could become infected just before or after getting the shot and still get sick.

"There have been remarkably few serious adverse effects. Most people should not be apprehensive about taking it." -- Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs

The vaccines have proven to be at least 94% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 illness in adults, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity.

Some side effects such as headaches, fever and muscle pains have been reported during trials for the vaccines, mostly coming after the second of the two injections. It's normal for vaccines to cause such symptoms, which are a sign that the body is building immunity to the virus.

"There have been remarkably few serious adverse effects," Dr. Huth said. "Most people should not be apprehensive about taking it."

A few people around the country have had serious allergic reactions, usually those with a history of severe allergies to certain medications, Dr. Huth notes. For that reason, people with severe allergies should consult their doctors about whether they can take the shot.

Those with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine can call Reid Health's hotline at 765-965-4200 Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. They also can visit the FAQ section of the Reid website.

COVID-19 Vaccinations Now Available to Those 80 and Older

Posted January 11, 2021

Graphic:  Bandage with text: "It's our shot, Hoosiers" The Indiana State Department of Health has moved into Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout, offering vaccines to Hoosiers age 80 or older.

"This is an important milestone in our fight against COVID-19," said Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs for Reid Health. "These are members of our community who are most at-risk for the virus. The vaccine provides another level of protection to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe."

Vaccinations began in December with Phase 1A, which has included first responders and healthcare workers who have in-person contact with patients or infectious material.

Now, the first members of the general public -- those age 80 or older -- can be vaccinated for free.

To do so, patients must schedule a visit through the state website, ourshot.in.gov, using either the Firefox or Chrome web browser. Those who need help to set up an appointment may call 211, and that staff can complete the necessary registration over the phone.

Dr. Thomas Huth (left) was the first person in Wayne County to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17. Reid Health currently is operating three COVID-19 vaccination clinics with one each in Richmond, Connersville and Lynn, but changes are coming next week.

The Richmond site in Suite 140 of the Medical Office Building on the main Reid campus (1100 Reid Parkway) is open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday this week as well as 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

Both the Connersville and Lynn locations are open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. one day of the week, Tuesday in Lynn (at Family & Occupational Medicine, 428 S. Main St.) and Wednesday in Connersville (at Reid HealthWorks, 3542 Western Ave.).

This will be the final week for the Connersville and Lynn sites while Reid will move its public vaccination location in Richmond to the Kuhlman Center on the Wayne County Fairgrounds starting Jan. 19. New hours at that site will 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Wayne County Health Department also is operating a vaccination clinic at the former Elder-Beerman building in downtown Richmond. Patients should be sure to note which site they're signing up for as they register and then go to that same location for their scheduled appointment.

Once on site, patients will find directional signs and a phone number to call upon their arrival.

Full vaccination requires two shots, with the second coming either 21 or 28 days after the first, depending on which manufacturer's vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) a patient initially receives. A second appointment will be scheduled while waiting out the required 15-minute observation time during the first visit.

Because Pfizer and Moderna vaccines don't use a live virus, they can't give anyone COVID-19, but it will take a few weeks for the body to build up immunity after vaccination, so it's possible someone could become infected just before or after getting the shot and still get sick.

"There have been remarkably few serious adverse effects. Most people should not be apprehensive about taking it." -- Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs

The vaccines have proven to be at least 94% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 illness in adults, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity.

Some side effects such as headaches, fever and muscle pains have been reported during trials for the vaccines, mostly coming after the second of the two injections. It's normal for vaccines to cause such symptoms, which are a sign that the body is building immunity to the virus.

"There have been remarkably few serious adverse effects," Dr. Huth said. "Most people should not be apprehensive about taking it."

A few people around the country have had serious allergic reactions, usually those with a history of severe allergies to certain medications, Dr. Huth notes. For that reason, people with severe allergies should consult their doctors about whether they can take the shot.

Those with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine can call Reid Health's hotline at 765-965-4200 Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. They also can visit the FAQ section of the Reid website.

State Funding Available to Help Small Businesses with Growth & Improvement Projects

Posted January 11, 2021

Eligible small businesses may apply for up to $15,000 to support app or technology development, business management systems, grant writing services and more

INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 11, 2021) – The Indiana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) today announced applications are open for the Indiana Technical Assistance Program (INTAP) through Feb. 15, 2021. This statewide initiative connects small businesses with critical professional assistance to complete growth and improvement projects.

"INTAP helps businesses grow and thrive, especially in underserved communities, by helping them complete critical company projects they might not otherwise be able to pursue," said Indiana SBDC State Director David Watkins. "We've had clients utilize this program for a variety of professional assistance, everything from prototype development to business management systems. I strongly encourage small business owners to learn more about this program and see how it could help take their business to the next level."

Through INTAP, eligible small businesses may apply for up to $15,000 to complete projects that require specialized assistance or technical expertise such as app or technology development, intellectual property legal assistance and grant writing assistance for the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs. The program is administered by Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington's Cook Center for Entrepreneurship, which houses the South Central Indiana SBDC regional office.

"Ivy Tech Community College is pleased to support the Indiana Technical Assistance Program through our relationship with the Indiana SBDC at our host site at our Bloomington campus," said Jennie Vaughan, chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington. "This is an important program that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship leading to jobs and investment across the state of Indiana. As a leader in entrepreneurship education, we help build the skills necessary to launch and grow small businesses, and this program aligns perfectly with our mission to help communities innovate and support their workforce development needs."

INTAP has assisted 60 businesses with completing projects since the program was launched in 2017. To be eligible for INTAP, Indiana small businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Be or become an Indiana SBDC client,
  • Be registered to do business in Indiana,
  • Be able to complete the project within five months and before Dec. 31, 2021, and
  • Be able to demonstrate a positive impact after completion, including but not limited to new job creation, increased production or sales, or new market expansion.

Indiana companies are encouraged to learn more about eligibility requirements and submit applications online.

Success Story: Life sciences startup Karyosoft leverages INTAP to partner with software development team to develop genomics data management platform

Central Indiana SBDC client Karyosoft, a Carmel-based genomics data science startup, transforms genomics data to fuel innovations in microbiome research. The company utilized the program in 2018 and 2019 by working with a software development team to develop Karyosoft's intelligence data management platform, Loci, which increased customer demand and sales, allowing the company to expand its team, creating up to 18 new, high-wage jobs in Indiana by the end of 2023. To support its growth, the company also utilized several resources available to Indiana entrepreneurs, including the Purdue Foundry, gBETA program and Elevate Ventures.

The Indiana SBDC, which is a program of the IEDC, provides small businesses and entrepreneurs with expert guidance and resources on how to start and grow a business, including strategy development, business planning and valuation, export assistance and market research. For more information on resources and programs for small businesses, visit isbdc.org. To become a client of the Indiana SBDC, contact the regional office nearest you.

Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship Deadline Approaching

Posted January 11, 2021

Students have until January 31 to apply for $7,500 scholarships and other teaching stipends.

High-achieving students in high school or college who are planning to teach in the State of Indiana for at least five years can apply for a $7,500 scholarship per year of college (up to $30,000 total) through the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship program.

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education is encouraging students to act swiftly, as there are only 200 scholarships availabl

e and the deadline to apply is January 31, 2021. Interested students should apply at ScholarTrack.IN.gov.

To qualify for the scholarship, students must have either graduated in the top 20 percent of their high school class or earned a score in the top 20th percentile on the SAT (1220) or ACT (26). To continue earning the scholarship in college, students must earn a 3.0 cumulative GPA and complete at least 30 credit hours per year. Current college students who apply must be able to use the scholarship for at least two full academic years.

"The Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship is designed to help future educators fund their education and provide Indiana students with motivated, quality teachers," said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. "We look forward to the positive impact these educators will have on their students and on Indiana's teacher pipeline."

The Commission will review all applications and notify applicants of their scholarship status via email by March 19, 2021.

A total of 367 students applied for the 2020-21 Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship, with applications from 213 high schools in 82 of Indiana's 92 counties. Over 83% of applicants were Indiana high school seniors with the remainder comprised of current college students.

Former Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma authored legislation that created the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship, which received bipartisan support during the 2016 legislative session. While the majority of the inaugural 2017 cohort will graduate this spring, more than 40 scholarship recipients have already become licensed teachers.

Visit www.LearnMoreIndiana.org/NextTeacher for more information on how to apply and follow #NextTeacher on social media. Questions may be directed to NextTeacher@che.in.gov.

Teacher stipend applications closing soon

Applications for two additional teacher scholarships will also close on January 31. They are:

For questions about state financial aid, students can contact the Indiana Commission for Higher Education by phone at 888-528-4719 or via email at awards@che.in.gov.

INDOT Provides Insight on Pre-Treatment of State Roadways

Posted January 5, 2021

Supplied Photo:  Brine stripes on highway.In addition to the Indiana Department of Transportation's snow and ice removal operations during winter storm events, the agency also pre-treats roadways with brine solution prior to winter weather if conditions allow. This typically occurs 24 to 48 hours before precipitation begins to give time for crews to apply brine solution and time for it to dry and adhere to the surface of the road. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about pre-treatment of state roadways.

INDOT Brine

What is brine?

Salt brine is an anti-icing solution made up of water and 23.3 percent salt that is used to prevent snow and ice from bonding to pavement. Brine is effective at temperatures as low as -5 degrees Fahrenheit and can be mixed with other chemicals to lower the freezing point if necessary. Compared to salt, brine is fairly inexpensive at just pennies on the dollar. Brine solution also stays in place better and longer than salt crystals because it is applied as a liquid and stays where it is directed. Solid salt crystals can bounce off the road as they are spread along a route.

Why does INDOT pre-treat roadways?

INDOT pre-treats roadways ahead of winter weather to prevent snow and ice from bonding to pavement and creating slick spots. Pre-treatment occurs 24 to 48 hours prior to a weather event, even when temperatures are above freezing to provide an extra layer of protection, which makes clean-up easier once precipitation starts to fall. Brining also is used as a preventative measure for frost and/or freezing fog that occurs when temperatures, high humidity, low cloud cover, and low wind can create hazardous conditions, especially on elevated surfaces and bridges.

How long does it take to pre-treat roadways?

Individual snow routes are typically 1 1/2 to three hours in length. It takes an INDOT unit approximately 12 to 16 hours to complete all routes prior to a storm.

Does rain wash away brine after it's been applied?

If temperatures are above freezing as a weather system approaches, rain may fall before changing to snow or ice. Light rain (amounts up to 0.4 inch) will not wash away brine from a surface if it has had time to completely dry and adhere to the roadway. Forecasted rain totals are taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to pre-treat.

How is the decision made to pre-treat roads?

Prior to a weather event, INDOT utilizes a Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS) that provides weather forecasts, pavement temperatures and recommendations on treating various surfaces. During an event, INDOT relies on reports from the field in addition to forecasts and MDSS when making treatment decisions. Predictions of accumulating snow and ice are main reasons why INDOT may pre-treat a roadway, but freezing fog and heavy frost are also scenarios where pre-treatment is effective. Supplied Photo:  Supplied Photo:  Back of brine tanker truck.

INDOT Brine Truck

This is general information regarding pre-treatment of state roadways and may vary slightly depending upon specific conditions in a geographic area. In addition, bridges, overpasses and elevated surfaces may be treated more heavily as they tend to freeze first. For more information about INDOT winter operations, visit www.indotwinterops.com.

Stay Informed

Get updates on INDOT projects and programs via:

Virtual Fitness Program Offered Through LifeStream Services

Posted January 5, 2021

LifeStream Services is offering a new exercise program for older adults. Geri-Fit® is a 45-minute video-led strength training exercise class. Enrollment is open to older adults of all ages and fitness levels. The program is available virtually where participants can download the exercise videos to perform from the comfort and safety of their homes.

Maintaining a healthy exercise routine has a variety of benefits for older adults. The Geri-Fit® program can increase muscular strength, improve balance and coordination, boost motor skills and reaction time, enhance flexibility and gait, lessen arthritic conditions, and help manage chronic disease.

Those interested in learning more about Geri-Fit® or participating virtually should visit lifestreaminc.org/wellness or call LifeStream at 800-589-1121.

LifeStream is an Area Agency on Aging that works to improve the quality of life for people at risk of losing their independence. LifeStream serves over 19,000 seniors and people with disabilities throughout 12 counties in Indiana including Blackford, Delaware, Fayette, Franklin, Grant, Henry, Jay, Madison, Randolph, Rush, Union, and Wayne. Programs and services include care management, transportation, in-home care, Senior Cafes, home-delivered meals, guardianships, caregiver support, home modifications, information and assistance, volunteer opportunities and more. For more about the organization call (800) 589-1121 or visit online at www.lifestreaminc.org and follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lifestreamservices.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day "Virtual Celebration"

Posted January 3, 2021

Supplied Flyer:  2021 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration

Join Townsend Community Center, Inc. on Facebook or Zoom for a virtual celebration, featuring Dr. Deon Jefferson, Founder/Sr. Pastor of Freedom Life Center in McDounough, GA on Monday, January 18th at 12:00 p.m.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1056955401398371/

White House Correspondent April Ryan to Be the Keynote Speaker at MLK Jr. Day Celebration Event

Posted January 14, 2021

Supplied Photo: April RyanApril Ryan, a political analyst for CNN and a longtime White House correspondent, will be the keynote speaker for a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day event presented by Earlham College, Indiana University East, and the Richmond chapter of the NAACP.

The virtual event begins at 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17, with a keynote titled "We are not makers of history. We are made of history." A question-and-answer session will follow at 7:45 p.m.

The talk will be delivered on Zoom and is free and open to the public.

Registration is available at https://go.iu.edu/3wt4.

"April Ryan is well known and respected. Her fight to bring transparency to the White House and free flow of information to the public has been inspirational to many," said Yemi Mahoney, chief diversity officer and special assistant to the chancellor at IU East.

"Given the fact that her position as a White House Correspondent has afforded her unusual insight into how the nation's last four presidents have approached political struggles and issues of race and identity, I believe April's address will be insightful and timely," she said. "Now, on what will be the eve of the 35th anniversary of the first MLK Jr. Day, she will reflect on King's legacy, our nation's current inequalities and the role we can all play to help keep his dream alive."

Ryan recently finished her tenure as the White House Correspondent and Washington Bureau Chief for the American Urban Radio Networks, a position she has held since the Bill Clinton administration. As the only Black reporter covering urban issues from the White House, her stories and insights reached millions of listeners on about 300 radio stations across the country and the "Fabric of America" news blog. She currently appears almost daily on CNN as a political analyst and has been featured in Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and Elle magazines.

She is the author of award-winning books, including The Presidency in Black and White and At Mama's Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White. In the latter, Ryan looks at race relations through the lessons and wisdom that mothers have given their children. Her most recent book is Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House.

Ryan has served on the White House Correspondents Association board, one of only three African Americans to do so in the 100-year history of the organization. She is also a member of the National Press Club. In 2015, Ryan was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for outstanding literary work by a debut author. She was the recipient of the National Council of Negro Women Mary McLeod Bethune Trailblazer Award in 2016. In 2019, she was named an honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta, Incorporated. She was recognized as the 2019 Freedom of the Press Award Winner by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Wayne County Health Department, Indiana Department of Health Parter to Offer Free Covid-19 Testing

Posted January 3, 2021

The Indiana Department of Health and the Wayne County Health Department are partnering to hold a free DRIVE THRU TESTING CLINIC for COVID-19.

The clinic will be held from Tuesday, January 5th to Saturday, January 9th 9:00AM-6:00PM At the Wayne County Fair Grounds, Kuhlman Center located at 861 Salisbury RD, Richmond, IN 47374.

Testing will be available to all members of the public regardless of symptoms. Children as young as 2 years of age can be tested with parental consent.

"We are excited to bring a drive thru testing site to Wayne County. We have seen our daily numbers of testing decreasing in the past few weeks. It is important to be testing for surveillance purposes, so you have an accurate assessment of true transmission within our community", explained Dr. David Jetmore, the Health Officer for Wayne County.

Hoosiers will not be charged for testing and insurance is not required. If you have private health insurance, please bring that information with you.

Get To Know Reid Health's New Chief of Staff

Posted January 3, 2021

Supplied Photo:  Joseph Clemente, M.D., new chief of staff
Joseph Clemente, M.D., new chief of staff

Joseph Clemente, M.D., is taking over as the new chief of the medical staff at Reid Health, beginning a two-year term now that Jennifer Bales, M.D., has finished her time in the position.

"My goal is to continue the strong history of staff and administration dialogue and collegial work that Dr. Bales started," Dr. Clemente said. "Even with the difficulties of the pandemic, I know our medical staff has never been more interested, involved and integrated into the Reid system as they are now.

"We, as medical providers, have an active voice in the future of Reid. It is our duty to participate in medical staff work."

Born in Manila, Philippines, Dr. Clemente immigrated to the United States in 1977 at the age of 5. He grew up in Richmond, attending Westview Elementary and Dennis Middle School before graduating from Richmond High in 1989.

Dr. Clemente joined Reid Health in 2001 as a private practice OB-GYN physician as part of GYN, Ltd. He then moved to Reid OB-GYN in 2015.

In addition to serving as vice chief of staff for the past two years, Dr. Clemente previously has been the vice chief and chief of the OB-GYN section, chair of the Credentials Committee and a member of the Medical Care Evaluation Committee.

He is a current member of the ROSE Surgical Value Analysis Committee, Physician Engagement and Resilience Committee, Network Operating Council Quality Committee, and Leadership Council. He also received the Resident Physician Teaching Award in 2018.

Dr. Clemente attends St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish and is a past member of the Seton Catholic Schools Board of Directors. He has been a fellow of the American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecologists since 2004.

Married for 15 years to Jules Clemente, a physical therapist at Reid, the couple live in Richmond with their twin daughters.

First Baby of 2021 Arrives Well Ahead of Her Due Date

Posted January 3, 2021

Supplied Photo:  Christina Sparkman and baby Aurora
Christina Sparkman and baby Aurora

It didn't hit Christina Sparkman until a few hours after she had been admitted on New Year's Eve that she might end up having Reid Health's first baby of 2021.

It wasn't supposed to be that way. Sparkman, of Richmond, wasn't due to give birth until Jan. 18, but she ended up being admitted after a doctor's appointment on New Year's Eve morning led to concerns about the baby's health.

Instead of going home as had been the original plan, Sparkman was taken to the Family Birthing Center. After a few hours, it began to dawn on her that she might have a New Year's baby and she held out hope that things would work out that way.

Sparkman got her wish when her labor was induced the next morning. After about five hours, Aurora arrived healthy at 1:06 p.m. on New Year's Day, 20 inches long and weighing 7 pounds, 7.9 ounces. This is Sparkman's first child.

"It feels like it's come to me naturally," she said of the motherhood experience so far. "It's magical."

Reid Health EMS Begins Ambulance Service in Union County

Posted January 3, 2021

Reid Health is expanding its emergency ambulance service, becoming the provider for Union County as of Jan. 1.

"We plan to be an active partner in the community supporting local events and school functions as well as working closely with the volunteer fire departments to provide EMS education to enhance the care provided to Union County residents and those who visit the area," said Ryan Williams, Director of EMS, Forensics and Trauma Services for Reid Health.

Union County solicited bids for its emergency ambulance service in August, and Reid was awarded the contract in early September.

"We wanted to have a presence in Union County and wanted to be able to provide quality care to all its citizens and visitors," Williams said. "Having the opportunity to serve the community through our ambulance service was a great way to bring the Reid brand back to Union County."

The ambulance and its crew will be stationed at 950 N. Market St. in Liberty, the same location as the Neighborhood Health Clinic. There will be one Advanced Life Support ambulance staffed with one paramedic and one EMT at all times. A second ambulance will be available during high volume periods such as special events and summer weekends when more people visit Brookville Lake.

"We plan to be an active partner in the community supporting local events and school functions as well as working closely with the volunteer fire departments to provide EMS education to enhance the care provided to Union County residents and those who visit the area," -- Ryan Williams, Reid Health Director of EMS, Forensics and Trauma Services

Reid began providing emergency ambulance services in 2019 when it was awarded the contract for western Wayne County after the county's initial request for bids went without a provider for that area.

"We are thrilled to be able to expand our service to the Union County area," said Misti Foust-Cofield, Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer at Reid Health. "We look forward to providing the same level of quality care to Union County as we have in western Wayne County over the past two years."

The health system also is growing its transportation services capabilities, adding another ambulance to its fleet in response to concerns caused by COVID-19 and an increase in patients with mental health needs. Reid also has open positions for paramedics and EMTs.

Because the pandemic has created limited capacity for healthcare providers across the state, patients must be taken further away than usual when they need resources that aren't available at Reid.

"Our ambulances often are traveling several hundred miles a day, which limits the number of patients that one ambulance is able to move," Williams said. "An additional vehicle will help with that issue."

Latest Reid Health Police Officers Sworn In

Posted December 29, 2020

Four more Reid Health Police Department officers are on their way to the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in January after a formal swearing-in ceremony Monday.

Supplied Photo: Police Officers being sworn in at Reid HealthOfficers Jeremy Hicks, David Jones, Jeramiah Lawson and Dillon Pitcher will be the second class of Reid officers to be sent to the academy, following in the footsteps of four others who graduated earlier this month.

This latest group will take part in the eight-week course and return to Reid in March as certified police officers.

The ceremony brings the total number of people to be sworn in since the department's creation in February to 14, according to Randy Kolentus, Chief of Police for Reid. The first five officers to join the department had previous law enforcement experience and therefore didn't need to attend the academy.

"This is another big step for our planned transition to a full police department," Kolentus said. "This still leaves us 11 officers who we will send to the academy, hopefully several more of them yet in 2021."

In early 2020, Reid Health transformed its security team to a police department, joining other health systems around the state. The move is intended to enhance the security and safety of the patients, visitors, staff and community members who use Reid services.

The change reflects the growth of the health system and the accompanying increase in the need for police assistance. When the move to establish the department first was announced, Kolentus noted the Richmond Police Department responded to Reid calls almost 900 times in 2019.

"I'm very proud of these gentlemen. While they have a lot of hard work in front of them at the academy, I have no doubt they will all be successful!" -- Jennifer Ehlers, Reid Health Vice President/Chief Quality Officer

Becoming a police force means increased training and certifications for Reid's security staff. It also provides officers with arrest authority and allows them to deal more effectively with an increasing number of potentially violent incidents.

The former Security Department has grown from nine officers in 2016 to more than twice that today as Reid's geographic footprint has increased and its number of team members has risen to some 3,400.

"We appreciate all of the officers and their loved ones who came out today to celebrate," said Jennifer Ehlers, Reid Health Vice President/Chief Quality Officer. "I'm very proud of these gentlemen. While they have a lot of hard work in front of them at the academy, I have no doubt they will all be successful!"

Reid Health 5-star rated for stroke care third year in a row

Posted December 29, 2020

Reid Health is 5-star rated for stroke outcomes according to new research released by Healthgrades, a leading resource connecting consumers, physicians and health systems.

Every year, Healthgrades evaluates hospital performance at nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide for 32 of the most common inpatient procedures and conditions using Medicare data.

This analysis shows patients treated at hospitals receiving a 5-star rating have a lower risk of dying and a lower risk of experiencing one or more complications during a hospital stay than if they were treated at hospitals receiving a 1-star rating in that procedure or condition. From 2017 through 2019, if all hospitals as a group performed similarly to hospitals receiving 5-stars as a group, on average, 218,785 lives potentially could have been saved and complications in 148,681 patients potentially could have been avoided.*

From 2017-2019, patients treated for stroke in hospitals with 5-stars for in-hospital mortality have, on average, a 53.4% lower risk of dying than if they were treated in hospitals with 1-star for in-house mortality.*

Reid Health earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period.

"Hospital quality has never been more important, and consumers are becoming more aware of the importance of researching where they receive care before they visit a hospital for a specific procedure or condition," said Brad Bowman, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Healthgrades. "Hospitals that receive a Healthgrades 5-star rating for Stroke demonstrate exceptional outcomes and their ability to provide quality care for patients."

Misti Foust-Cofield, Reid Health Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer, said the health system has been dedicated to excellence in stroke care, with the rating reflecting the success of those efforts. "Our team has also been recognized by the American Heart Association recently," she said. "We are unwavering in our commitment to provide the most appropriate treatment to our stroke patients."

Reid Health received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award earlier this year. The award recognizes the hospital's commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Reid Health earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients also should receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, and other care transition interventions.

Reid Health is designated as a Primary Stroke Center featuring a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department.

"We are unwavering in our commitment to provide the most appropriate treatment to our stroke patients." -- Misti Foust-Cofield, Reid Health Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer

Earlier this year, Reid Health - Connersville Emergency Department also was granted a three-year certification as a Stroke Ready Center by Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP), the nation's original independent, accreditation program. Certification confirms stroke care at Reid Health - Connersville is providing high quality care as determined by an independent, external process of evaluation.

The certification for the Connersville location came at the same time the Reid Health Primary Stroke Center also was reaccredited for another three years.

For its analysis, Healthgrades evaluated approximately 45 million Medicare inpatient records for nearly 4,500 short-term acute care hospitals nationwide to assess hospital performance in 32 common conditions and procedures, and evaluated outcomes in appendectomy and bariatric surgery using all-payer data provided by 16 states. Healthgrades recognizes a hospital's quality achievements for cohort-specific performance, specialty area performance, and overall clinical quality. Individual procedure or condition cohorts are designated as 5-star (statistically significantly better than expected), 3-star (not statistically different from expected) and 1-star (statistically significantly worse than expected). The complete Healthgrades 2021 Report to the Nation and detailed study methodology, can be found at https://partners.healthgrades.com/healthgrades-quality-solutions/healthgrades-quality-awards/.

* Statistics are based on Healthgrades analysis of MedPAR data for years 2017 through 2019 and represent three-year estimates for Medicare patients only. For appendectomy and bariatric surgery, Healthgrades used inpatient data from 16 states that provide all-payer data for years 2016 through 2018.

Community Generates Over $1.8 Million in 2020 Challenge Match

Posted December 22, 2020

The Wayne County Foundation announced today detailed results of its 2020 Challenge Match. Forty-nine local organizations collectively raised $1.57 million from generous donors in a nine-day period this November. This amount, plus the Foundation match, represents over $1.83 million in total contributed benefit to the community.

The Challenge Match was an opportunity for participating organizations to share up to $265,000 from the Foundation, based on qualifying gifts they received from the community in a designated match period. 2020 marked the ninth time the program has been offered.

"Our community is incredibly generous," said Rebecca Gilliam, executive director of the Foundation. "This was the largest Challenge Match to date in terms of the number of dollars raised. Clearly, this remains an incredibly effective tool to help local not-for-profit organizations promote themselves in the community and raise critical operating dollars."

"We especially want to thank our Match Partners," Gilliam said. "The Match Partners included the Doxpop Charitable Giving Fund, First Bank Community Fund, Fund for Tomorrow, Second Chance Fund, and the Wayne Bank and Trust Community Fund. Their contributions really led the way and enabled more organizations to participate."

The participating organizations and the amounts they received from the community and the Foundation are as follows:

Supplied Graphic:  2020 Wayne County Foundation Challenge Match Results

"Many people have told us how much they appreciate the Foundation's role in promoting this kind of giving," Gilliam said. "But we're the ones who need to be saying thanks. The participating organizations, our Match Partners, the media outlets that helped promote the program, and especially all of the donors who gave so generously are the ones who make the Challenge Match a success. They are the ones who make it all possible."

Wayne County Foundation Announces Lilly Endowment Community Scholars

Posted December 22, 2020

The Wayne County Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of two area high school seniors who will receive the prestigious Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship.

Michael Davis and Alexis Worl were chosen from a pool of 90 applicants from throughout Wayne County. Each recipient will receive a four-year, full-tuition scholarship and $900 annual stipend for required books and equipment to attend an accredited public or private nonprofit college or university in Indiana.

Michael is a senior at Centerville-Abington High School. At the end of his junior year he had a 4.36 GPA and plans to graduate with an Academic Honors diploma. Michael has participated in National Honor Society, Chess Club, Swimming, Golf, Model Legislature, and Experimental Aircraft Association. He served in several leadership positions, including Class President, Flight Sergeant in Civil Air Patrol, Captain of the Soccer and Academic Teams. Michael plans to attend Purdue University and study Aeronautical Engineering Technology. He is the son of Mike and Alyssa Davis.

Alexis, a senior at Lincoln High School, completed her junior year with a 4.30 GPA and plans to graduate with an Academic Honors diploma. Alexis has participated in Cheerleading, Golf, National Honor Society, Key Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She has held several leadership positions within these activities. Alexis plans to attend Butler University and major in Psychology. She is the daughter of Richai Morgan and Daniel Worl.

"The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship is an amazing opportunity for students to continue their education after high school, without incurring the debt most students experience," said Lisa Bates, the Foundation's program officer.

The primary purposes of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program are 1) to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana; 2) to increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities; and 3) to encourage and support the efforts of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with Indiana business, governmental, educational, nonprofit and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state.

Since 1998, 51 students have been awarded Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships through the Wayne County Foundation. This year's awardees will be recognized, at the Wayne County Foundation's Annual Report to the Community dinner in June, 2021.

The Facts About the Coronavirus Vaccine

Posted December 22, 2020

As distribution of the first COVID-19 vaccine approaches, there is one thing Reid Health's top medical professionals want to make perfectly clear: They believe the vaccine is safe.

Development came at a historic pace, but the normal processes and trials still took place. The speed was greatly aided by previous research into coronaviruses and the priority placed on the project by the U.S. government, according to Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs at Reid Health.

Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Emergency Use Authorization doesn't change the vaccine's status as an investigational drug, "we know that they are laser-focused on the safety data from the more than 20,000 people who have already received the vaccine," Dr. Huth said. "There have been remarkably few serious adverse effects."

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the first to use messenger RNA (mRNA), but researchers have been studying the technology for decades, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Previous work has been done on potential mRNA vaccines for flu, Zika, rabies, and more. mRNA also has been used to trigger the immune system to target specific cancer cells.

According to clinical trials reviewed and investigated by the FDA, the Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective and the Moderna vaccine is 94.1% effective. Both results are significantly higher than those for many other vaccinations previously produced for other diseases, including seasonal influenza.

The FDA has given the Pfizer vaccine Emergency Use Authorization, which means it can be distributed under certain limits during the public health emergency, until the authorization is rescinded or until the vaccine receives full approval through the normal process.

Moderna also has applied for Emergency Use Authorization for its version of the vaccine.

"We know that they are laser-focused on the safety data from the more than 20,000 people who have already received the vaccine. There have been remarkably few serious adverse effects." -- Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs

Traditional vaccines put a weakened or inactive virus in the body, but mRNA vaccines teach cells how to make a harmless protein unique to the virus that triggers the immune system. That response then produces antibodies and provides protection from getting infected by exposure to the real virus.

In other words, the vaccine makes the body falsely believe it has been exposed to COVID-19 to trigger cells to react and produce the crucial antibodies that will protect against an actual virus infection. The process takes a few weeks to accumulate enough antibodies to help protect a person from getting the disease.

After the harmless protein is made, the cells break down the mRNA instructions and get rid of them. The mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cells where the DNA is kept nor interacts with the DNA in any way.

Because the vaccines don't use a live virus, they can't give you COVID-19, but it will take a few weeks for the body to build up immunity after vaccination, so it's possible someone could become infected just before or after getting the shot and still get sick.

"The vaccine causes only one very specific virus protein to be produced. It does not produce all of the virus' proteins, and it cannot assemble whole virus," Dr. Huth said. "So there is no potential for the vaccine to cause COVID-19 infection."

Some side effects such as headaches, fever, and muscle pains have been reported during trials for the vaccine, mostly coming after the second of the required two injections. It's normal for vaccines to cause such symptoms, which are a sign that the body is building immunity to the virus.

"Having this vaccine is an important step toward turning the corner in the pandemic. There is no reason anyone should be apprehensive about taking it." -- Dr. Huth

The vaccine has been authorized for people ages 16 and older. Anyone who has had a previous severe reaction to vaccinations or intramuscular injections can take the vaccine but will be observed for 30 minutes - instead of the usual 15 for everyone else - after getting the shot.

Trials did not include those who are pregnant or breast-feeding, but the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine has advocated for pregnant or lactating women to be immunized. Those in either category who are considering getting the vaccine should consult their doctors first.

"Having this vaccine is an important step toward turning the corner in the pandemic," Dr. Huth said. "There is no reason anyone should be apprehensive about taking it."

Vaccinations in Indiana will be done in several phases with the first wave (Phase 1A) being frontline healthcare workers, including those at long-term care facilities. Those who are most at-risk to be hard hit by the disease will be targeted in Phase 1B followed by anyone who is at a higher risk for transmission because of their working or living conditions in Phase 2. That would include those in correctional facilities, group homes or shelters, or essential workers who cannot socially distance as part of their jobs.

The general public then comes in Phase 3.

Sources: Pfizer and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Reid Health Distributes First Coronavirus Vaccinations

Posted December 22, 2020

Supplied Photo:  Dr. David Jetmore (from left), Dr. Jennifer Bales, Dr. Annuradha Bhandari and Dr. Thomas Huth were the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at Reid Health.The first healthcare workers in east-central Indiana have been vaccinated against COVID-19, marking a critical turning point in the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Four people were inoculated during a special event Thursday evening at Reid Health ahead of the Friday morning opening of one of three vaccination clinics that will be operated by the health system as part of the first wave of distributions.

"To have this vaccine available in a matter of months is a historic achievement. It represents an important milestone on the path toward a time that more closely resembles life before COVID," said Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs for Reid Health.

"But the vaccine's arrival doesn't mean we can let our guard down. We still have a long way to go to turn this pandemic around."

Dr. Huth was the first in Wayne County to receive the vaccine Thursday along with David Jetmore, M.D., Wayne County Health Officer; Annuradha Bhandari, M.D., Reid Medical Associates; and Jennifer Bales, M.D., Chief of Staff and Emergency Physician.

Vaccinations in Indiana will be done in several phases with the first, Phase 1A, being frontline healthcare workers, including those at long-term care facilities.

Those who are most at-risk to be hard hit by the disease will be targeted in Phase 1B, according to Indiana's interim draft vaccine allocation plan. They will be followed by anyone who is at a higher risk for transmission because of their working or living conditions in Phase 2. That would include those in correctional facilities, group homes or shelters, or essential workers who cannot socially distance as part of their jobs.

The general public then will come in Phase 3.

"No one need be apprehensive about taking this vaccine." -- Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs

"It will take a while to get enough people vaccinated, and in the meantime, we all must continue to wear our masks, maintain social distancing, wash our hands and avoid large crowds," Dr. Jetmore said.

"We do these things not only for our own wellbeing but for the wellbeing of our vulnerable loved ones, friends, neighbors, and coworkers."

Reid this week received a shipment of 975 doses of the Pfizer version of the COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA recently gave that vaccine Emergency Use Authorization, which means it can be distributed under certain limits during the public health emergency, until the authorization is rescinded or until the vaccine receives full approval through the normal process.

"Although the development of this vaccine came at an accelerated pace, we can be confident it is safe. The trials and testing processes were not compromised," Dr. Huth said.

"No one need be apprehensive about taking this vaccine."

Because the vaccine doesn't use a live virus, it can't give anyone COVID-19, but it will take a few weeks for the body to build up immunity after vaccination, so it's possible someone could become infected just before or after getting the shot and still get sick.

Some side effects such as headaches, fever, and muscle pains have been reported during trials for the vaccine, mostly coming after the second of the required two injections. It's normal for vaccines to cause such symptoms, which are a sign that the body is building immunity to the virus.

Those with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine can call Reid Health's hotline at 765-965-4200 Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Take a First Day Hike on New Year's Day

Posted December 29, 2020

Welcome 2021 with an Indiana DNR tradition — a First Day Hike on Jan. 1.

First Day Hikes are a healthy way to start the new year and provide a chance to get outside, exercise, and enjoy nature.Supplied Graphic:  1st Day Hike

In past years, Indiana state parks, reservoirs and state forests have offered organized hikes led by park staff and volunteers. These hikes have become a tradition for thousands of Hoosiers.

This year, in response to the need to practice social distancing and keep group sizes to those within your personal "bubble", the DNR has created hiking opportunities that allow you to be your own tour guide.

After you decide which state park, reservoir, or state forest you plan to visit for a hike, stop by your site of choice to pick up your Indiana First Day Hike sticker. Stickers will be available at the entrance gates at Pokagon, Chain O'Lakes, Turkey Run, and Shades state parks, and at Cataract Falls State Recreation Area (SRA); at the nature center at Indiana Dunes State Park; and outside all other state park and reservoir property offices.

The state forest properties — Salamonie River, Clark, Greene-Sullivan, Yellowwood, Morgan-Monroe, Owen-Putnam, Ferdinand, Pike, Jackson-Washington, Martin, and Harrison-Crawford state forests, and Deam Lake and Starve Hollow SRAs will also participate. All will have stickers available outside their office.

Wear your sticker proudly during your hike and be ready to say Happy New Year to your fellow hikers on the trail.

Choose your favorite trail and look for a "resolution sign" at each trailhead. These signs will propose different new year's resolutions you might consider.

Snap a photo of yourself with the sign, then take a hike. Share your resolution and/or your hike photos on the Indiana State Parks Facebook page at facebook.com/INdnrstateparksandreservoirs or on the Division of Forestry Facebook page at facebook.com/INdnrforestry and use either #FirstDayHikeIN, #FindYourResolution, or #IHikedTheFirstDay to allow your images to be found so you can be included in the drawing for prizes.

The DNR will randomly select participants from those who post to win park passes, inn and camping gift cards, and more.

Make sure to bundle up, bring a warm drink and snack, and remember to wear your mask if you'll be going on a popular or narrow trail where maintaining social distancing is a challenge.

If you are not able to visit a state park, reservoir or state forest for a First Day Hike, check out a virtual First Day Hike video on the Indiana State Parks Facebook page on New Year's Day and enjoy the hiking experiences of others.

This annual event is organized by Indiana State Parks in cooperation with America's State Parks (stateparks.org and facebook.com/Americas-State-Parks-205324976548604). Hikes and virtual opportunities will take place in many of the 50 states.

First Day Hikes originated more than 20 years ago at Blue Hills Reservation, a state park in Milton, Massachusetts. The program was launched to foster healthy lifestyles and promote year-round recreation at state parks.

See additional details and great ideas for fitness and hiking challenges on the DNR's Healthy Parks, Healthy People page at dnr.IN.gov/healthy.

To view all DNR news releases, please see dnr.IN.gov.

Latest Reid Health Police Officers Sworn In

Posted December 29, 2020

Four more Reid Health Police Department officers are on their way to the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in January after a formal swearing-in ceremony Monday.

Supplied Photo: Police Officers being sworn in at Reid HealthOfficers Jeremy Hicks, David Jones, Jeramiah Lawson and Dillon Pitcher will be the second class of Reid officers to be sent to the academy, following in the footsteps of four others who graduated earlier this month.

This latest group will take part in the eight-week course and return to Reid in March as certified police officers.

The ceremony brings the total number of people to be sworn in since the department's creation in February to 14, according to Randy Kolentus, Chief of Police for Reid. The first five officers to join the department had previous law enforcement experience and therefore didn't need to attend the academy.

"This is another big step for our planned transition to a full police department," Kolentus said. "This still leaves us 11 officers who we will send to the academy, hopefully several more of them yet in 2021."

In early 2020, Reid Health transformed its security team to a police department, joining other health systems around the state. The move is intended to enhance the security and safety of the patients, visitors, staff and community members who use Reid services.

The change reflects the growth of the health system and the accompanying increase in the need for police assistance. When the move to establish the department first was announced, Kolentus noted the Richmond Police Department responded to Reid calls almost 900 times in 2019.

"I'm very proud of these gentlemen. While they have a lot of hard work in front of them at the academy, I have no doubt they will all be successful!" -- Jennifer Ehlers, Reid Health Vice President/Chief Quality Officer

Becoming a police force means increased training and certifications for Reid's security staff. It also provides officers with arrest authority and allows them to deal more effectively with an increasing number of potentially violent incidents.

The former Security Department has grown from nine officers in 2016 to more than twice that today as Reid's geographic footprint has increased and its number of team members has risen to some 3,400.

"We appreciate all of the officers and their loved ones who came out today to celebrate," said Jennifer Ehlers, Reid Health Vice President/Chief Quality Officer. "I'm very proud of these gentlemen. While they have a lot of hard work in front of them at the academy, I have no doubt they will all be successful!"

Reid Health 5-star rated for stroke care third year in a row

Posted December 29, 2020

Reid Health is 5-star rated for stroke outcomes according to new research released by Healthgrades, a leading resource connecting consumers, physicians and health systems.

Every year, Healthgrades evaluates hospital performance at nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide for 32 of the most common inpatient procedures and conditions using Medicare data.

This analysis shows patients treated at hospitals receiving a 5-star rating have a lower risk of dying and a lower risk of experiencing one or more complications during a hospital stay than if they were treated at hospitals receiving a 1-star rating in that procedure or condition. From 2017 through 2019, if all hospitals as a group performed similarly to hospitals receiving 5-stars as a group, on average, 218,785 lives potentially could have been saved and complications in 148,681 patients potentially could have been avoided.*

From 2017-2019, patients treated for stroke in hospitals with 5-stars for in-hospital mortality have, on average, a 53.4% lower risk of dying than if they were treated in hospitals with 1-star for in-house mortality.*

Reid Health earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period.

"Hospital quality has never been more important, and consumers are becoming more aware of the importance of researching where they receive care before they visit a hospital for a specific procedure or condition," said Brad Bowman, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Healthgrades. "Hospitals that receive a Healthgrades 5-star rating for Stroke demonstrate exceptional outcomes and their ability to provide quality care for patients."

Misti Foust-Cofield, Reid Health Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer, said the health system has been dedicated to excellence in stroke care, with the rating reflecting the success of those efforts. "Our team has also been recognized by the American Heart Association recently," she said. "We are unwavering in our commitment to provide the most appropriate treatment to our stroke patients."

Reid Health received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award earlier this year. The award recognizes the hospital's commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Reid Health earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients also should receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, and other care transition interventions.

Reid Health is designated as a Primary Stroke Center featuring a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department.

"We are unwavering in our commitment to provide the most appropriate treatment to our stroke patients." -- Misti Foust-Cofield, Reid Health Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer

Earlier this year, Reid Health - Connersville Emergency Department also was granted a three-year certification as a Stroke Ready Center by Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP), the nation's original independent, accreditation program. Certification confirms stroke care at Reid Health - Connersville is providing high quality care as determined by an independent, external process of evaluation.

The certification for the Connersville location came at the same time the Reid Health Primary Stroke Center also was reaccredited for another three years.

For its analysis, Healthgrades evaluated approximately 45 million Medicare inpatient records for nearly 4,500 short-term acute care hospitals nationwide to assess hospital performance in 32 common conditions and procedures, and evaluated outcomes in appendectomy and bariatric surgery using all-payer data provided by 16 states. Healthgrades recognizes a hospital's quality achievements for cohort-specific performance, specialty area performance, and overall clinical quality. Individual procedure or condition cohorts are designated as 5-star (statistically significantly better than expected), 3-star (not statistically different from expected) and 1-star (statistically significantly worse than expected). The complete Healthgrades 2021 Report to the Nation and detailed study methodology, can be found at https://partners.healthgrades.com/healthgrades-quality-solutions/healthgrades-quality-awards/.

* Statistics are based on Healthgrades analysis of MedPAR data for years 2017 through 2019 and represent three-year estimates for Medicare patients only. For appendectomy and bariatric surgery, Healthgrades used inpatient data from 16 states that provide all-payer data for years 2016 through 2018.

Community Generates Over $1.8 Million in 2020 Challenge Match

Posted December 22, 2020

The Wayne County Foundation announced today detailed results of its 2020 Challenge Match. Forty-nine local organizations collectively raised $1.57 million from generous donors in a nine-day period this November. This amount, plus the Foundation match, represents over $1.83 million in total contributed benefit to the community.

The Challenge Match was an opportunity for participating organizations to share up to $265,000 from the Foundation, based on qualifying gifts they received from the community in a designated match period. 2020 marked the ninth time the program has been offered.

"Our community is incredibly generous," said Rebecca Gilliam, executive director of the Foundation. "This was the largest Challenge Match to date in terms of the number of dollars raised. Clearly, this remains an incredibly effective tool to help local not-for-profit organizations promote themselves in the community and raise critical operating dollars."

"We especially want to thank our Match Partners," Gilliam said. "The Match Partners included the Doxpop Charitable Giving Fund, First Bank Community Fund, Fund for Tomorrow, Second Chance Fund, and the Wayne Bank and Trust Community Fund. Their contributions really led the way and enabled more organizations to participate."

The participating organizations and the amounts they received from the community and the Foundation are as follows:

Supplied Graphic:  2020 Wayne County Foundation Challenge Match Results

"Many people have told us how much they appreciate the Foundation's role in promoting this kind of giving," Gilliam said. "But we're the ones who need to be saying thanks. The participating organizations, our Match Partners, the media outlets that helped promote the program, and especially all of the donors who gave so generously are the ones who make the Challenge Match a success. They are the ones who make it all possible."

Wayne County Foundation Announces Lilly Endowment Community Scholars

Posted December 22, 2020

The Wayne County Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of two area high school seniors who will receive the prestigious Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship.

Michael Davis and Alexis Worl were chosen from a pool of 90 applicants from throughout Wayne County. Each recipient will receive a four-year, full-tuition scholarship and $900 annual stipend for required books and equipment to attend an accredited public or private nonprofit college or university in Indiana.

Michael is a senior at Centerville-Abington High School. At the end of his junior year he had a 4.36 GPA and plans to graduate with an Academic Honors diploma. Michael has participated in National Honor Society, Chess Club, Swimming, Golf, Model Legislature, and Experimental Aircraft Association. He served in several leadership positions, including Class President, Flight Sergeant in Civil Air Patrol, Captain of the Soccer and Academic Teams. Michael plans to attend Purdue University and study Aeronautical Engineering Technology. He is the son of Mike and Alyssa Davis.

Alexis, a senior at Lincoln High School, completed her junior year with a 4.30 GPA and plans to graduate with an Academic Honors diploma. Alexis has participated in Cheerleading, Golf, National Honor Society, Key Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She has held several leadership positions within these activities. Alexis plans to attend Butler University and major in Psychology. She is the daughter of Richai Morgan and Daniel Worl.

"The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship is an amazing opportunity for students to continue their education after high school, without incurring the debt most students experience," said Lisa Bates, the Foundation's program officer.

The primary purposes of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program are 1) to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana; 2) to increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities; and 3) to encourage and support the efforts of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with Indiana business, governmental, educational, nonprofit and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state.

Since 1998, 51 students have been awarded Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships through the Wayne County Foundation. This year's awardees will be recognized, at the Wayne County Foundation's Annual Report to the Community dinner in June, 2021.

The Facts About the Coronavirus Vaccine

Posted December 22, 2020

As distribution of the first COVID-19 vaccine approaches, there is one thing Reid Health's top medical professionals want to make perfectly clear: They believe the vaccine is safe.

Development came at a historic pace, but the normal processes and trials still took place. The speed was greatly aided by previous research into coronaviruses and the priority placed on the project by the U.S. government, according to Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs at Reid Health.

Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Emergency Use Authorization doesn't change the vaccine's status as an investigational drug, "we know that they are laser-focused on the safety data from the more than 20,000 people who have already received the vaccine," Dr. Huth said. "There have been remarkably few serious adverse effects."

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the first to use messenger RNA (mRNA), but researchers have been studying the technology for decades, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Previous work has been done on potential mRNA vaccines for flu, Zika, rabies, and more. mRNA also has been used to trigger the immune system to target specific cancer cells.

According to clinical trials reviewed and investigated by the FDA, the Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective and the Moderna vaccine is 94.1% effective. Both results are significantly higher than those for many other vaccinations previously produced for other diseases, including seasonal influenza.

The FDA has given the Pfizer vaccine Emergency Use Authorization, which means it can be distributed under certain limits during the public health emergency, until the authorization is rescinded or until the vaccine receives full approval through the normal process.

Moderna also has applied for Emergency Use Authorization for its version of the vaccine.

"We know that they are laser-focused on the safety data from the more than 20,000 people who have already received the vaccine. There have been remarkably few serious adverse effects." -- Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs

Traditional vaccines put a weakened or inactive virus in the body, but mRNA vaccines teach cells how to make a harmless protein unique to the virus that triggers the immune system. That response then produces antibodies and provides protection from getting infected by exposure to the real virus.

In other words, the vaccine makes the body falsely believe it has been exposed to COVID-19 to trigger cells to react and produce the crucial antibodies that will protect against an actual virus infection. The process takes a few weeks to accumulate enough antibodies to help protect a person from getting the disease.

After the harmless protein is made, the cells break down the mRNA instructions and get rid of them. The mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cells where the DNA is kept nor interacts with the DNA in any way.

Because the vaccines don't use a live virus, they can't give you COVID-19, but it will take a few weeks for the body to build up immunity after vaccination, so it's possible someone could become infected just before or after getting the shot and still get sick.

"The vaccine causes only one very specific virus protein to be produced. It does not produce all of the virus' proteins, and it cannot assemble whole virus," Dr. Huth said. "So there is no potential for the vaccine to cause COVID-19 infection."

Some side effects such as headaches, fever, and muscle pains have been reported during trials for the vaccine, mostly coming after the second of the required two injections. It's normal for vaccines to cause such symptoms, which are a sign that the body is building immunity to the virus.

"Having this vaccine is an important step toward turning the corner in the pandemic. There is no reason anyone should be apprehensive about taking it." -- Dr. Huth

The vaccine has been authorized for people ages 16 and older. Anyone who has had a previous severe reaction to vaccinations or intramuscular injections can take the vaccine but will be observed for 30 minutes - instead of the usual 15 for everyone else - after getting the shot.

Trials did not include those who are pregnant or breast-feeding, but the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine has advocated for pregnant or lactating women to be immunized. Those in either category who are considering getting the vaccine should consult their doctors first.

"Having this vaccine is an important step toward turning the corner in the pandemic," Dr. Huth said. "There is no reason anyone should be apprehensive about taking it."

Vaccinations in Indiana will be done in several phases with the first wave (Phase 1A) being frontline healthcare workers, including those at long-term care facilities. Those who are most at-risk to be hard hit by the disease will be targeted in Phase 1B followed by anyone who is at a higher risk for transmission because of their working or living conditions in Phase 2. That would include those in correctional facilities, group homes or shelters, or essential workers who cannot socially distance as part of their jobs.

The general public then comes in Phase 3.

Sources: Pfizer and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Reid Health Distributes First Coronavirus Vaccinations

Posted December 22, 2020

Supplied Photo:  Dr. David Jetmore (from left), Dr. Jennifer Bales, Dr. Annuradha Bhandari and Dr. Thomas Huth were the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at Reid Health.The first healthcare workers in east-central Indiana have been vaccinated against COVID-19, marking a critical turning point in the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Four people were inoculated during a special event Thursday evening at Reid Health ahead of the Friday morning opening of one of three vaccination clinics that will be operated by the health system as part of the first wave of distributions.

"To have this vaccine available in a matter of months is a historic achievement. It represents an important milestone on the path toward a time that more closely resembles life before COVID," said Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs for Reid Health.

"But the vaccine's arrival doesn't mean we can let our guard down. We still have a long way to go to turn this pandemic around."

Dr. Huth was the first in Wayne County to receive the vaccine Thursday along with David Jetmore, M.D., Wayne County Health Officer; Annuradha Bhandari, M.D., Reid Medical Associates; and Jennifer Bales, M.D., Chief of Staff and Emergency Physician.

Vaccinations in Indiana will be done in several phases with the first, Phase 1A, being frontline healthcare workers, including those at long-term care facilities.

Those who are most at-risk to be hard hit by the disease will be targeted in Phase 1B, according to Indiana's interim draft vaccine allocation plan. They will be followed by anyone who is at a higher risk for transmission because of their working or living conditions in Phase 2. That would include those in correctional facilities, group homes or shelters, or essential workers who cannot socially distance as part of their jobs.

The general public then will come in Phase 3.

"No one need be apprehensive about taking this vaccine." -- Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs

"It will take a while to get enough people vaccinated, and in the meantime, we all must continue to wear our masks, maintain social distancing, wash our hands and avoid large crowds," Dr. Jetmore said.

"We do these things not only for our own wellbeing but for the wellbeing of our vulnerable loved ones, friends, neighbors, and coworkers."

Reid this week received a shipment of 975 doses of the Pfizer version of the COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA recently gave that vaccine Emergency Use Authorization, which means it can be distributed under certain limits during the public health emergency, until the authorization is rescinded or until the vaccine receives full approval through the normal process.

"Although the development of this vaccine came at an accelerated pace, we can be confident it is safe. The trials and testing processes were not compromised," Dr. Huth said.

"No one need be apprehensive about taking this vaccine."

Because the vaccine doesn't use a live virus, it can't give anyone COVID-19, but it will take a few weeks for the body to build up immunity after vaccination, so it's possible someone could become infected just before or after getting the shot and still get sick.

Some side effects such as headaches, fever, and muscle pains have been reported during trials for the vaccine, mostly coming after the second of the required two injections. It's normal for vaccines to cause such symptoms, which are a sign that the body is building immunity to the virus.

Those with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine can call Reid Health's hotline at 765-965-4200 Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

News Archives

FacebookYouTubeFlickrTwitter

WayNet is Sponsored by:
Reid Health
We R Richmond - Richmond Community Schools
Morrisson-Reeves Library
City of Richmond, Indiana

Featured Member

Robin Henry

Community Photo

More Photos:
Wayne County | WayNet Albums

Did You Know?

Richmond is home to TWO Egyptian mummies. One is located at the Wayne County Historical Museum and one is located at the Joseph Moore Museum on the Earlham College campus.