News Releases

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.

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