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January 2008

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Vol. 2007-2008 No. 6

Hear about health care at home

The health care environment is complex, and its intricacies can be difficult to navigate. Changing demographics mean that growing numbers of retirees want to make sound health care choices. At our next meeting, Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 2 p.m. at the Peterson Room of the IU Foundation, you can learn about trends affecting health care at home and about resources available in Bloomington. Our speaker will be Ellen Surburg, BSN, RN, director of Bloomington Hospital’s Home Health and Hospice.

Ellen Surburg has been a nurse at Bloom-ington Hospital since 1981 and involved in Hospice since 1990. A graduate of IU’s School of Nursing, she leads nurses, rehab therapists, and other professionals who care for more than 250 patients in nine counties in south central Indiana. She is a board member of the Indiana Association of Home and Hospice care and a member of the Quality and Standards Committee of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. She is certified in hospice and palliative nursing and in home care and hospice management.

Please join us for an informative program that all of us — who play important roles as neighbors, friends, relatives, and interested parties in this fascinating game called life — will find useful and timely.

—Marge Belisle

While you’re marking your calendar...

Remember that the Annuitants Association doesn’t meet in March. Our next meeting will be at the IU Foundation on April 9 at 2 p.m., with Karen Hanson, provost of IU Bloomington.

Health care for those who need it

“Creating something out of nothing to help people in need”: That’s how Rajih Haddawi, M.D., described his work as the driving force behind the Monroe County chapter of Volunteers in Medicine, which opened its doors in April 2007. He spoke at the January 9 meeting of the Annuitants Association at the IU Foundation.

VIM is a community-owned, community-operated, community-financed free medical clinic. “It is not socialized medicine,” Raj said, “but a means of helping working people who can’t afford health insurance.”

Volunteers in Medicine was first established in Hilton Head, S.C. To date 58 clinics have been established nationwide. The local chapter, one of three in Indiana (the others are in Indianapolis and Columbus), was No. 52. Each chapter is unique, but each provides a culture of caring because each is operated by volunteers. Part of that culture of care includes telephoning clients to remind them of their appointments. Even then, 30 percent of patients miss their appointments and receive a follow-up call.
Raj shared with his approximately 60 listeners the reasons a Volunteers in Medicine chapter is needed locally:

From the get-go Bloomington Hospital has strongly supported VIM. It has offered space (the old CHAP clinic), three full-time staff members, ancillary services and specialty support (MRIs, heart catheterization, etc.), and fundraising support through the hospital foundation. Nearly 300 health professionals have volunteered, and Southern Indiana Pediatrics and the IU School of Optometry are active partners.

One little-known reason that licensed health care providers are willing to volunteer is the Federal Tort Claim Act, which provides them protection from malpractice suits when they volunteer their services in free clinics. VIM gives health professionals the opportunity to practice what Raj described as “medicine the old way, with little paperwork and no litigation.”

Why do people come to VIM? In 2007 the top three diagnoses were heart-related issues (including hypertension), diabetes, and anxiety/depression. Overall, 89 percent of patients come from Monroe County, 11 percent from Owen; 53 percent are female. By ethnicity, 2 percent are Asian, 3 percent African American, 6 percent Latino. Major pharmaceutical companies provide up to 90 days’ free drugs for clients. VIM fills an average of 139 prescriptions daily and estimates the value of donated medical services from April through November at $325,000.

Elizabeth Sturgeon, executive director of daily operations for VIM, answered questions. Transportation issues, she said, are major. VIM provides bus tickets to some clients, and free transportation from Owen County is available for others.

What will be the impact of the Healthy Indiana Plan, which targets exactly the same population? Elizabeth said VIM personnel are helping patients apply for HIP, but, because the state has capped HIP at 120,000 of the 500,000 Hoosiers who meet the income qualifications, Volunteers in Medicine is still very much needed.

Elizabeth told two stories of lives changed by VIM. A man with a mental illness requires psychotropic drugs that cost $15,000 for a 90-day supply. Getting these drugs free of charge makes it possible for him to hold down a job. In another case, an incapacitated woman lost her job and her home. She had back surgery through VIM and now is able to work.

Elizabeth identified space as the clinic’s primary need. She said some IU students, especially graduate students, are patients. Jim Weigand, a VIM board member, volunteered that statistics show 2,500 IU employees qualify for VIM services. Volunteers from the IU School of Nursing are important to the clinic’s operation.
Two after-the-meeting questions garnered additional information. Asked about a sliding scale of payment, Elizabeth explained that the clinic, if it charged at all, would lose its eligibility for some programs. As for dental treatment, she said that two retired dentists, Tony Kenworthy and Richard Leyda, volunteer at VIM. They examine clients, whom they refer to one among a wide array of local dentists willing to provide dental care free of charge.

Heather Allan, in charge of VIM fundraising, said an endowment for VIM is being set up through the Bloomington Hospital and already exists through the Community Foundation, which has given VIM two grants. NAP credits, which offer state tax advantages, will be available around July 1.

President Bob Ensman welcomed people and thanked the providers of delectable goodies: Sandra Churchill, Marge Hattin, Anna Hennessy, Shirley Pugh, and Tally Weigand. Program chair Nancy White introduced the speakers.

United Way update -- 3.7% to go!

The overall goal for IU Annuitants in the United Way campaign is $95,198.87. (That goal is set by a United Way committee.) So far annuitants have pledged $91,706.49 or 96.3% of the goal. If four additional annuitants each pledge $875, we will surpass our goal.

To date we have 154 donors, including a large number of Vanguards (those who pledge at least $1,000 annually), although the exact number is not yet available. The IU campaign has reached 94.3% of its goal, a total of $631,938.52. There is still time to send in a pledge. If you have questions, please call Harriet Pfister at 339-3364.

Emeriti House to host art exhibit

The opening reception for the Emeriti House mixed media art exhibit will be Friday, March 28, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. If you have work you would like to submit, be it photography, graphic arts, jewelry, pottery, or woodworking, or if you have questions about the process, please contact John Woodcock at, 339-2741. The art exhibit will run from Friday, March 28, through Friday, April 25. Submissions will be due in early March for jurying.

The Emeriti Center, at 1015 E. Atwater, is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Emeriti House programs are free and open to all IU faculty and librarian retirees, the spouses, partners, widows, and widowers of retirees, and their guests. Ramp access is available for those with disability. If you have questions, call Emeriti House at 855-3773 or send an e-mail to

Parking is one block east, at the Atwater Parking Garage, for those with IU “A” permits. (Please note that pay parking is no longer available at this garage.) For those with IU Disabled permits, there is parking available along the alleyway directly behind the Emeriti House.

The following programs will take place at 4 p.m. and are open to all annuitants:

Jan. 30 - M. Nazif Shahrani, Central Eurasian studies, "Afghanistan"
Feb. 6 - Panel on "Privatizing IU" - Patrick Brantlinger, English; Peter Kaczmarczyk, Communications Workers of America Local 4730; Milton Fisk, philosophy
Feb. 13 - Patten Lecturer Martha Nussbaum, philosophy/law, University of Chicago
Feb. 20 - Ken Johnston, English, Mellon Fellowship recipient
Feb. 27 - Jim Naremore, communication and culture

Directory correction

Hats off to database manager Gerald Marker, who compiled the directory mailed with the December issue of Newswatch. Please send corrections to him at Please change the e-mail address of Frieda Hoffman in your directory to

A book for basketball season

Even if you’re not a basketball fan, a book you will enjoy is Getting Open: The Unknown Story of Bill Garrett and the Integration of College Basketball. In 1947, the same year Jackie Robinson broke the color line in major league baseball, a young man from Shelbyville, Ind., integrated big-time college basketball. It wasn’t easy.

The book’s author, Tom Graham, grew up in Shelbyville and graduated from Indiana University. He and his research assistant, his daughter, Rachel Graham Cody, spent seven years interviewing people and conducting exhaustive research. The result is a mesmerizing study of race relations, Indiana history, college athletics, and the inner workings of college administrations.
The Grahams tell a David-and-Goliath story of tiny Shelbyville’s winning the state tournament with a team that started three black players, Bill Garrett among them. Garrett was Indiana’s 1947 Mr. Basketball, but an unwritten agreement among the coaches of major university programs meant no Big Ten school would recruit him.

With meticulous, disinterested research, the Grahams document just how difficult it was for Garrett to play at IU. President Herman Wells had to deal with political reality – a conservative state legislature and a board of trustees whose president, Ora Wildermuth, adamantly opposed integration. Nor can the carefully orchestrated pressure Wells put on coach Branch McCracken be attributed solely to the president’s lack of prejudice. Black leaders, specifically the executive director of Indianapolis’s influential Senate Avenue YMCA, put pressure on Wells, and the threat of lawsuits was very real.

Like Jackie Robinson before him, Garrett was the right man to blaze the trail of racial equality. He never lost his temper and for three years was Indiana’s leading scorer and rebounder. McCracken observed years later that Garrett was “an exceptional guy. He handled discrimination on the floor and off the floor without changing expression.”

You can borrow the book from the Monroe County Public Library, or you can buy your copy at one of our local bookstores.
– J.S.