News Releases

Reid Health Police Chief-Led Group Gains International Recognition

Posted August 10, 2020

The Indiana chapter of the International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety (IAHSS) -- headed by Reid Health Police Department Chief Randy Kolentus -- has been recognized as a Chapter of Distinction by the international organization.

IAHSS cites the Indiana group for its demonstrated initiative and innovation in promoting healthcare security professionalism and furthering the goals of IAHSS.

Kolentus has led the state chapter since 2014, noting that it has been involved in developing and improving training for healthcare security and police officers, working on legislative issues relating to security for healthcare organizations and increasing networking among state healthcare security departments.

"The IAHSS provides several levels of training and certifications that relate directly to healthcare security," Kolentus said. "This training has proven very valuable to all Indiana hospitals with these formalized universal certifications that many Indiana hospitals have utilized for their security teams. Annual and regional training opportunities have created opportunities for Indiana members to learn from and see how needs are met in other areas of the country which may benefit them."

Jennifer Ehlers, Vice President/Chief Quality Officer, said Kolentus has been instrumental in the growth and expansion of the Indiana chapter. "His leadership has not only had a positive impact on Reid's officers, but all officers serving healthcare entities throughout the state. We are proud and thankful for his dedicated service."

Though not a direct goal of the international organization, the chapter has been involved in state legislation making it possible for hospitals and health systems to form police departments to better handle security issues - something Reid Health did early this year.

Kolentus said the group is also working to develop a police academy training curriculum more specific to the needs of healthcare police officers.

LifeStream Services Seeks "Friendly Callers"

Posted August 5, 2020

Volunteer program to help senior citizens who are experiencing isolation.

Older adults who are experiencing increased feelings of isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic can now sign up to receive a friendly call from LifeStream Services. The Friendly Caller program pairs volunteers with isolated older adults to simply enjoy conversation and ease feelings of loneliness.

Loneliness and social isolation in older adults is linked to a number of serious health conditions and an increased risk of developing dementia. These issues may be exacerbated during the pandemic. A simple conversation on the phone, can go a long way in improving the quality of life for older adults who are feeling lonely or simply need someone to talk to.

Older adults who are experiencing isolation and would enjoy receiving calls from a LifeStream Friendly Caller can sign up by calling 800-589-1121. Those interested in volunteering as a Friendly Caller can fill out the volunteer application found at or contact Laura Bray, Volunteer Services Administrator, at 765-759-3372 or Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older and enjoy talking on the phone and having conversation.

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 and follow on Facebook at

Pandemic Bright Spot: Telehealth Option May Remain Expanded

Posted August 4, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic brought plenty of challenges and potentially long-term changes to how care is delivered. One change for the positive is bringing rave reviews from providers and patients - the expansion of telehealth.

"I've discovered my patients have been pleasantly surprised at just how easy telehealth can be," says Jason Casselman, D.O., Reid Allergy. "With only a click of a link, they can be connected to a video visit with me. I have a feeling many will want to continue using telehealth."

Patient reviews of the service back that up. "I love the telehealth option. Everything was handled promptly and professionally," said one. Others said they appreciated being able to avoid coming into an office during the pandemic. "It was a positive experience technically and medically. I am grateful for the telehealth option during the coronavirus pandemic."

Before COVID-19, Reid Health telehealth was available for urgent care visits only through the Reid HealthNOW application. When the federal Department of Health & Human Services lifted restrictions on rules for providing and covering telehealth because of COVID-19, patients were able to have visits for primary and specialty care to avoid going out in public and therefore reduce the risk of COVID.

The visits also can help:

  • Overcome transportation obstacles for patients who don't drive
  • Keep patients from having to drive in inclement weather
  • Eliminate travel time to and from appointments
  • Reduce the need for cancelling appointments when unexpected issues arise - for example, a parent with an appointment who needs to stay home with a child would be able to avoid rescheduling their visit.

Not only did patients like being able to stay home and still receive care, many physicians who had not used telehealth before also found it a great tool for seeing patients.

"People bank virtually, shop virtually, socialize virtually, attend church virtually and go to school virtually. As such, having a virtual telehealth visit isn't as nearly foreign for patients as it is sometimes for providers." -- Jordan Raynor, M.D., neurology

Jordan Raynor, M.D., neurology, was quite familiar with telehealth from previous experience. "Studies have shown telehealth to have clinical merit in many areas of neurology, so I was willing to be an early adaptor." He says his patients really like the option, though "obviously it works better for some patients than others."

Some of his patients with limited mobility appreciate not having to come to his office for appointments. "Be it stroke, Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis, sometimes getting out of the house for a doctor's appointment is the hardest part of the visit." Dr. Raynor says almost all patients can use telehealth at least some of the time, including high acuity patients.

Telehealth allows easier access to services, improves outreach and can also lower the cost of care. "While the current telehealth changes are temporary, Health & Human Services appears to have recognized the public's positive response to telehealth. Medicare is reviewing telehealth use data to decide if the flexibilities should be extended, so hopefully we see these changes become permanent."

Telehealth has especially high patient satisfaction numbers because of the convenience it offers, said Randi Whitesel, Director of Telehealth/Occupational Medicine for Reid Health. She believes the success of the service during the pandemic increases the chances the expansion will become more permanent.

Another option introduced during the pandemic is a remote patient monitoring option that is an app that patients can download on their smart phone. The app reminds patients to check their temperature and asks questions about any symptoms. The information is monitored by staff during the hours of the Respiratory Clinic, creating a great way to track the health of patients who may be sick but not requiring hospitalization.

Lacie Burge, NP, says most of her patients were eager to try telehealth for visits because of the pandemic. "My patients have enjoyed having the option of seeing their provider amidst a busy work day, instead of taking a vacation day or half day. Now they can see me on their morning break or lunch. For this reason, I believe this has helped to increase patient compliance."

She says younger patients are generally more receptive, but has found the older population who were more at risk with COVID-19 like such visits when appropriate.

Andrew Deitsch, M.D., says he and most of his patients prefer in-person visits, though some appreciated the option because of the pandemic. "There is just something important to being in a room with someone and having the opportunity to lay on hands if needed. Personal and full care is difficult through a computer screen."

Telehealth provided him some insight, however, not available in office visits, he said. "It was helpful for me to see the setup of the home of a patient who was having mobility issues."

Dr. Raynor expects telehealth will become a tool in the overall care process, with patients having a mix of in-person and online appointments. He also believes patients may sometimes be more receptive than providers accustomed to seeing patients in person.

Protocols Announced for Area Arts Organizations

Posted August 3, 2020

Supplied Photo: Adult and child work on painting craft project.After a thorough review of guidelines set forth by Center for Disease Control and a consultation with Wayne County Health Department, a collective of Richmond arts organizations, including DIVA, Richmond Art Museum, Richmond Civic Theatre, Richmond Community Orchestra, Richmond Shakespeare Festival, Richmond Symphony Orchestra and Starr Gennett Foundation have agreed on protocols for offering live performances and events into late summer and throughout the fall.

As we face many of the same concerns around opening our doors and the significant cross-over in audience members, it is only natural that we work together to present consistent plans for fall programming and the continuance of live performances, demonstrations and events. Due to the fluidity of the situation, our plans and procedures may change, but we believe in the importance of collaborative efforts during these uncertain times.

Looking to late summer and into the fall, we are re-envisioning activities that prioritize the safety and protection of staff, artists, volunteers and patrons. Protocols include enhanced cleaning, staff training in COVID safety procedures, required masking and social distancing of those on site at events, and reservations to monitor attendance, comply with reduced maximum occupancy limits and facilitate contact tracing.

Our organizations hope to return this fall with programming in line with anticipated restrictions, including but not limited to: revised schedules with the possibility of fewer rearranged or rescheduled events and performances, a reduced number of artist participants, and a lowered number in attendance to ensure proper social distancing.

While this situation remains fluid and creates uncertainty, we must work to finalize viable plans to ensure the fulfillment of our missions in creating cultural experiences that benefit the community.

2nd Annual JOY Games Set for September

Posted August 3, 2020

Featuring three fun-fill days of games for older adults.

LifeStream Services, Reid Health Alliance Medicare, The Leland Legacy, and Richmond Senior Community Center are bringing back JOY (Just Older Youth) Games for the second year. The event, previously known as Area 9 Senior Games, features three days of fun-filled activities for adults over the age of 55 to enjoy.

The JOY Games will be held on September 22, 23, and 24 at various locations throughout Richmond including Jack Elstro Plaza, Clear Creek Park, Highland Lake Golf Course, and Richmond Senior Community Center.

Day 1 of JOY Games will offer food trucks at Jack Elstro Plaza. Food trucks will be open to the public to enjoy and JOY Games participants will receive a voucher to redeem at the food trucks for lunch.

Those who are 55 and older can participate in activities including pickleball, corn hole, fitness classes, bingo, chair volleyball, golf scramble, fishing tournament and much more. The cost to participate is just $10 and includes as many activities that you'd like to participate in, as well as the opportunity to enjoy lunch, awards, and a t-shirt. There is an additional $25 fee for those who plan to participate in the golf scramble.

For more information on registration or sponsorship, please contact Micole Leverette, Community Services Assistant, at 765-759-1121 or Registration and sponsorship is also available online at

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 and follow on Facebook at

MRL and Libraries Worldwide Investigate Conspiracies in Largest Digital Book Club

Posted July 30, 2020

Rousing page-turner "The Darwin Affair" ebook now available for reading and discussion with global audience

Morrisson-Reeves Library patrons are joining millions of others around the globe in reading a historical fiction thriller ebook and audiobook during Big Library Read, the world's largest digital book club. From August 3 -17, readers can borrow and read Tim Mason's "intellectually stimulating and viscerally exciting" The Darwin Affair from their public library. MRL readers can solve the mystery from home – with a valid library card and no waiting – by visiting or downloading the Libby app. Readers can then discuss online at

Supplied Flyer: The Darwin AffairBig Library Read is available in over 22,000 libraries around the world, including more than 90 percent of public libraries in North America, which has resulted in extensive online conversations during past programs. The program is facilitated by OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for popular ebooks, audiobooks and magazines.

Historical fiction novel The Darwin Affair takes place in London during June 1860. When an assassination attempt is made on Queen Victoria, and a petty thief is gruesomely murdered moments later, Detective Inspector Charles Field quickly surmises that these crimes are connected to an even more sinister plot. Soon, Field's investigation exposes a shocking conspiracy in which the publication of Charles Darwin's controversial On the Origin of Species sets off a string of murders, arson, kidnapping, and the pursuit of a madman named the Chorister. As he edges closer to the Chorister, Field uncovers dark secrets that were meant to remain forever hidden. Tim Mason has created a rousing page-turner that both Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would relish and envy.

Big Library Read is an international reading program that connects millions of readers around the world with an ebook through public libraries. The Darwin Affair is the 22 nd selection of this program which began in 2013 and takes place three times per year. Readers can join an online discussion about the book at This free program runs for three weeks and only requires a Morrisson-Reeves Library card and 4 digital PIN to get started. Get a library card today by signing up at or by stopping in the library.

The Darwin Affair was published by Algonquin Books and can be read on all major computers and devices through Libby or, including iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phones and tablets and Chromebook™ without waitlists or holds. Through Libby, readers can also "send to Kindle®" [US libraries only]. The title will automatically expire at the end of the lending period, and there are no late fees.

To join the discussion, learn about past Big Library Read titles and download Libby, visit

Vented Masks Not Effective Against COVID-19

Posted July 30, 2020

When it comes to protecting yourself and others from COVID-19 by wearing a mask, Reid Health officials are alerting patients and visitors that some types do not work - so they are not allowed in a health system facility.

Supplied Flyer: Acceptable/Unacceptable Masks
Click to open or visit for a downloadable copy

"We are joining other national health systems such as the Mayo Clinic to let community members know that masks with exhalation valves are not an effective, acceptable form of protection," said Jennifer Ehlers, Vice President and Chief Quality Officer at Reid Health. Though most cloth and other types of masks are OK, masks with exhalation valves allow unfiltered air to be exhaled, increasing the chance of exposing others to the virus.

"In general, masks are effective because they help prevent the likelihood of someone breathing out the virus, as well as reduce the risk of someone inhaling contaminated air," Ehlers said.

Acceptable masks include homemade cloth masks, surgical or procedural masks, dust masks and N-95 masks that are not vented.

Reid Health door screeners at all locations, besides checking for other potential symptoms, will also not allow anyone to enter a Reid facility wearing a vented mask. The screeners will provide an approved mask in those cases.

Ehlers noted that the trend in positive cases and hospitalizations with positive or presumed positive COVID has been going up again at Reid Health. As of Thursday, the number was back to 34 hospitalized after hitting a low in the teens in early July.

"This means we cannot let down our guard - COVID-19 is still very much a reality in our area, so mask up!"

Visit for a downloadable copy of this flyer.

Reid Health in Connersville One Year Later: Progress, More to Come

Posted July 28, 2020

A year after Reid Health assumed ownership of the assets of the former Fayette Regional Health System, improvements have been made to many of the facilities and sustainable services have been maintained or even expanded.

"We hear constantly from patients and their loved ones that they are so glad that Reid is in the community," said Brandon Glover, who as manager of the Reid Health - Connersville Emergency Department has witnessed many improvements firsthand. From new stretchers, and cardiac monitors, computers and an updated medical record system, Reid Health continues to invest in the emergency department and all its other facilities in the Connersville community. More EMS personnel and board-certified ER physicians have also been added. And a process to seek accreditation as a Stroke Ready emergency facility is under way.

"We made it clear a year ago that we were committed to keeping sustainable services available for our patients and families in the Connersville area," said Craig Kinyon, Reid Health President/CEO. "We are pleased at the progress we have made in this first year. From high quality emergency care to medical practices, urgent care, radiology services and access to specialists, we continue to evaluate and invest in services for the Connersville area."

Angie Dickman, Reid Health Vice President, said stabilizing and improving emergency care in Connersville was one of the most significant and vital priorities. "We also stabilized outpatient services." The emergency department began with an average of 300 patients a month and the temporary use of paper records to an average today of 900 who now benefit from Epic, one of the top electronic record systems.

Randy Kirk, Vice President/Reid Health Foundation President, also noted the Fayette Regional Health System Foundation board's decision to dissolve and transfer its remaining assets to Reid Health Foundation. "We are pleased and humbled by the trust this represents in our organization and our commitment to continue to invest in philanthropic support in our Connersville facilities."

When 1941 Virginia Avenue became Reid Health - Connersville, and other locations became Reid Health Care Pavilion, Reid HealthWorks and Primary & Specialty Care - Virginia Avenue there were approximately 280 employees at these facilities. Today, there are 312, with approximately 440 Reid Health system team members living in Connersville and Fayette County overall.

The many upgrades and improvements for the Emergency Department include:

  • Hiring five permanent Emergency Medicine Board-Certified physicians
  • Completely re-equipping the department with new stretchers, cardiac monitors, defibrillators, ultrasound machines and other equipment
  • Addition of RN case managers to assist with patient needs
  • Major upgrade from initial paper charting to the Epic medical record system

Elsewhere, other improvements, changes and offerings in the past year include:

  • Recruiting Christi Holmes, M.D., pediatrician, a Connersville native who is seeing patients at Whitewater Valley Primary Care; and Jordan Parrett, M.D., emergency physician and Connersville native, who will be seeing patients in the Connersville ED this fall
  • Restoring outpatient lab and radiology services
  • Substantial investment to improve the information services technology in Connersville locations
  • Purchasing a new vehicle for Reid Health Police Department in Connersville and providing officers more equipment, training and support
  • Continued support and investment by Reid Health Community Benefit with grants and funding support for programs including launching the new Wellness Wednesdays event held the first Wednesday of each month at the Fayette Senior Center; providing more than $57,000 in grants to community organizations in 2019, bringing the five-year total for the county to more than $322,000; hosting the Reid Healthier Community Day last August, attended by about 600 community members; distributing 40 cases of water during the 2019 summer heat advisory; and donating hats, gloves and scarves to elementary schools
  • Restoring cardiopulmonary rehabilitation services
  • Continuing outpatient physical therapy and restoring occupational therapy
  • Improvements to the existing cafeteria, renamed Conners Post Café at 1941 Virginia Ave.
  • Maintaining inpatient and residential adolescent behavioral health at the Care Pavilion, which was also provided two new vehicles and has had some preliminary remodeling with more under way or scheduled in the next year
  • Extensive improvements to HealthWorks Fitness Center, including installing new flooring and exercise equipment, and replacing the parking lot, new classes, and a new member registration system
  • Updates to other parking lots and landscaping at the newly acquired locations
  • Removal of blighted buildings around the 1941 Virginia Ave. campus, also creating more green space.
  • Adding a new ambulance to support transfers from the ED to other facilities
  • Adding specialty services outreach including oncology and podiatry, with sleep lab in the planning stages

"We appreciate the positive reception from the community through our efforts to maintain as many sustainable healthcare services as possible," Dickman said. "We remain committed to continuing to grow services appropriately to meet the needs of the entire region, including Fayette and surrounding counties."

Cambridge City Family Medicine Relocation: Room to Grow

Posted July 28, 2020

Cambridge City Family Medicine's new home at 1154 South State Road 1, Suite 1, scheduled to open Aug. 3, brings more space and room for future expansion of services for patients in the long-time community medical practice. It also reopens with a new name - Reid Primary & Specialty Care - Cambridge City.

The practice is moving into what was the Alco and CVS building. James Bertsch, D.O., says the new location expands to 18 patient rooms from the previous seven. "We are looking forward to what the new facility will provide for the community."

The practice reopens with a new name - Reid Primary & Specialty Care - Cambridge City.

Dr. Bertsch has practiced in Cambridge City for more than 40 years, and Ramona Orschell, NP, has been in the practice for more than 20.

The practice will now be housed in about 18,000 square feet. Dr. Bertsch notes the new location provides room for the practice to grow over the next decade, something his former location in one of the city's historic properties just didn't have the space to handle.

The extra room means the practice can eventually add X-ray and lab services. The new location also makes the possibility of adding specialist appointments as an option in the future.

Also housed in the new location are bays for Reid Health's ambulances serving that region. Ryan Williams, Director EMS, Forensics and Trauma Services, said the station will provide a great space for the crews and ambulances. "The EMS station has a home-like feel much like an apartment," Williams said. It includes space for meal preparation, a wellness area and showers. "The new station most importantly allows the ambulance to be more centrally located in the area for which we are responsible."

The 27,000 square foot building houses CVS Pharmacy, which will remain in its space.

"It's a smart move," Dr. Bertsch said when the move was announced, referring to an increasing demand for health care services in the Cambridge City area.

Positive COVID-19 Cases Trending Up in Younger Population

Posted July 28, 2020

As COVID-19 positive cases in the region seem to be heading upwards again, the cases are trending to a younger age group who may not be having as severe illness, according to a physician leader at Reid Health.

Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs at Reid Health, has tracked COVID-19 world, regional and local trends since the pandemic began. While concerned about the increases in numbers, he does note one good thing so far - the severity of illness seems to be lessened and the death rate is remaining stable or even trending downward.

"There are often exceptions to the trends depending on the country or even the state when looking at the United States," Dr. Huth said. "And this certainly does not mean we can let up in the precautions such as masking, hand-washing and social distancing," he said, noting the risk of the younger age group infecting their older and-or immune-compromised friends and family members.

He said over the last five months and particularly in July, the infection rate inpeople 20 to 29 has increased from less than eight percent of positives to 29 percent. Older age groups have generally declined, with the exception for people age 60-69, going from 20 percent to 43 percent of positive cases.

Some possible reasons:

  • Younger adults socializing more without paying attention to masking and social distancing, which may also be true of healthy adults in the 60-69 group
  • Older adults are generally being better protected, including those in nursing homes and long-term care facilities because of strict adherence to precautions.

"Scientific studies are proving masking is an effective tool in hindering the spread of COVID-19." -- Dr. Thomas Huth

The data from Reid Health -- though it shows a recent trend upward in the number of confirmed or suspected inpatients in COVID-19 containment areas - does not show a parallel increase in the number of COVID patients in Critical Care or on ventilators. It does show hospitalizations are weighted toward older patients with big jumps in ages 50-59, 60-69 and over 80.

At the highest point in late March, Reid Health logged 64 patients in COVID-19 containment areas. The number slowly trended into the 50s, 40s and 30s before hitting a low of 11 in early July before starting to go up again. In the last week, the numbers have gone up to a high of 28 on the 20th; as of Friday, had dropped to 22.

Christine Stinson, Wayne County Health Department Director, said she believes one reason the local picture still shows some improvement despite the increase in positive cases is due to area long-term care facilities and nursing homes doing a good job with precautions, visitor restrictions and testing.

Because of an increase in positive tests, Indiana and Ohio are implementing mandatory masking inside buildings and in public spaces where social distancing can't be accomplished. Dr. Huth and Stinson strongly recommend all guidelines be followed to try to keep another wave of illness from occurring.

"Scientific studies are proving masking is an effective tool in hindering the spread of COVID-19," Dr. Huth said. "Since it is becoming clearer this disease spreads through respiratory droplets and even vapor, and that masking is very effective at capturing droplets and reducing the distance vapors travel."

Grants: More Than $150,000 to Promote Physical Activity, Good Nutrition & Weight

Posted July 28, 2020

Reid Health Community Benefit is awarding $150,378 in grants for 25 programs throughout Reid Health's service area. These programs are designed to improve health by encouraging physical activity, good nutrition and healthy weight control.

The grants represent the second awards of two grant cycles for this year. Grants, along with other Community Benefit outreach, aim to promote health and wellness in our communities, and to target prioritized health needs in our service area. A committee of Reid Health's governing board and community members reviews grant requests. The grants are awarded as part of the health system's efforts as a mission-driven, not-for-profit organization. The work of Reid Health Community Benefit provides millions of dollars of support to our communities each year.

The grants include:

  • Amigos Latino Center: $2,200 for the Annual Amigos Health Fair.
  • Birth to Five: $10,000 to support the Parents as Teachers program.
  • Boys & Girls Club: $10,000 to support Clubfit programming.
  • Centerstone: $3,780 for supplies and equipment for cooking classes for kids.
  • Christian Charities: $10,500 to support a temperature controlled food distribution trailer.
  • Communities in Schools of Wayne County: $7,500 for the purchase of food to distribute to students in Richmond and Wayne County schools.
  • Cope Environmental Center: $5,000 for Cope Wellness Program.
  • Connersville Parks & Recreation: $3,900 to seal and stripe basketball courts at four Connersville parks.
  • Council on Rural Service Programs: $2,950 to provide Darke County Ohio youth access to a summer running program and fitness challenge.
  • Gateway Hunger Relief Center: $10,000 to help fund personnel for program expansion.
  • Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana: $7,500 for Produce Hope to add more fresh fruits and vegetables to four counties in the region.
  • Golay Center: $6,000 to purchase a new treadmill.
  • Hope Center: $5,000 to support the Healthy With Hope program with funding for infant formula.
  • Indiana Women in Need (IWIN): $3,456 to support the Pink Portions food delivery program to cancer patients in need.
  • Richmond Parks & Recreation: $7,500 for playground equipment for Starr Park.
  • Richmond Pickleball: $9,215 for additional lighting for courts in Clear Creek Park to allow longer daily use of the courts.
  • Richmond Youth Football League: $3,000 to fund protection devices for helmets.
  • Servants at Work (SAWs): $5,000 to provide residential ramps in Reid's service area.
  • The Dayton Foundation (New Paris Park): $5,923 for basketball rims and nets at New Paris Park.
  • Thump Jumpers: $3,937 for purchase of 1,500 jump ropes to be distributed at school presentations.
  • Union/Modoc Schools: $4,854 to support take-home food program for students at Union Elementary in Randolph County.
  • Wayne County Cardinal Greenway: $10,868 to support the bike loaner program and new bike repair stations on the trail.
  • Wayne County Food Council: $1,500 to cover speakers fees for the Food Summit and Hunger Dinner.
  • Wood Block Press: $1,995 to support the Mary Scott Park Orchard project.
  • YMCA of Greater Dayton: $8,800 for the Diabetes Prevention and Livestrong programs.

Community benefit is defined as programs or activities that improve access to health services, enhance public health, advance increased health knowledge, and/or relieves the government burden to improve health. It is the basis of the tax-exempt status of not-for-profit hospitals, and ensures that tax-exempt hospitals are meeting the health needs of their communities while demonstrating transparency and accountability to those they serve.

In addition to grants, Reid Health Community Benefit supports various programs focused on community health, specifically in the areas of Mental Health and Substance Misuse, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Weight, and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES). To learn more about Reid Health's commitment to our communities, and the initiatives of Community Benefit, please review the Community Health Needs Assessment and Implementation Plans at or

Fayette group transfers assets to Reid Health Foundation

Posted July 28, 2020

When the former Fayette Regional Health System no longer existed, the Foundation that supported it faced a major decision - what should be done with the Foundation's assets?

Jim McNally, who chaired the Fayette Regional Health System Foundation Board for 12 years, said the Reid Health Foundation was the best fit. "The board wanted to do everything possible to support the new, local healthcare initiative," McNally says.

The new journey began in the summer of 2019 when Reid Health purchased the majority of the assets of the former Fayette system and announced plans to maintain as many sustainable services in the community as possible. The process to dissolve the Foundation and transfer assets of approximately $750,000 was completed this summer.

McNally and Melanie Caldwell, another longtime member of the Fayette Regional Foundation, and several of their board members met with Reid Health Foundation representatives in Summer 2019 to begin exploring options.

"Reid Foundation was willing to acknowledge Fayette's existing funds and will spend those funds for their stated purpose in what was the Fayette Regional Health System area," McNally said.

Randy Kirk, Reid Health Vice President/Foundation President, said his board appreciated the fact that the Fayette group had other options in dissolving the organization, yet chose to roll the assets to Reid Health Foundation with a goal of targeting programs in Connersville with funds going forward. "We are humbled and very grateful for their decision. We look forward to developing new relationships in the Connersville area and continuing its legacy of healthcare philanthropy."

McNally and Caldwell were also invited and joined the Reid Health Foundation board. Plans are being developed for a way to honor the Fayette Foundation's history with a display in the Reid Health - Connersville facility at 1941 Virginia Ave.

"After the announcement of the sale of Fayette Regional Health System assets, the community was very grateful for Reid Health's investment and the decision to continue offering healthcare in the community," McNally said.

"I would like to thank everyone at Reid Health involved in the decision to continue offering healthcare in our community. In addition, I would like to thank all Fayette Regional Health System Foundation Board members and the Reid Foundation team," McNally said. "On behalf of the Fayette Regional Health System Foundation Board I would like to express how grateful we are for Reid Health's presence in our community and we are committed to support Reid Health into the future."

ESR Announces First Cohort for New Degree About Peace, Social Transformation

Posted July 28, 2020

The Earlham School of Religion has formed the first class of a new master's degree program designed for students pursuing ministries of social change.

Nine students, including two recent graduates from Earlham's undergraduate college, have enrolled in the launch of the Master of Arts in Peace and Social Transformation degree. The 12-month, 36-credit residential program combines coursework and a culminating practicum or internship based on the student's interests in the areas of social justice, public service or interfaith work. The program will use a cohort model, in which a group of students will take the same sequence of classes together throughout their studies.

"We see this program as an important outgrowth of our mission that will broaden our appeal to students who are seeking a seminary education but not necessarily looking to become a pastor or pursue vocations in academic ministry," said Matt Hisrich, dean of the Earlham School of Religion.

"We have designed this program with these students in mind," he notes. "Earning a master's degree in one year is an attractive option."

The program shares several courses with ESR's Master of Divinity program. Courses in theology, Biblical studies, and interfaith dialogue or contextual theology provide grounding in the religious heritage and critical tools for understanding and compassionately engaging a complex, often oppressive society. Students will have the opportunity to develop peace and justice skills and to specialize their ministry through out-of-the-classroom experiences with partnering organizations in the local community or with an organization identified by students elsewhere in the world.

"This professional master's degree provides a unique and focused opportunity for our students to explore the connection between spirituality, justice and peacemaking," said ESR Professor of Peace and Justice Studies Lonnie Valentine, who is leading the program. "Graduates will have a foundation of spiritual self-understanding to ground their justice work so that they may help heal the world that so needs our care."

Students enrolled in the inaugural cohort are from five states — Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York – and three countries — Kenya, Congo and Mexico. They bring extensive experience with activism, service and interfaith work at organizations like the Friends Committee on National Legislation and Quaker Voluntary Service.

"When we announced the new degree program last fall we had a strong response from prospective students," said Julie Dishman, ESR's director of recruitment and admissions. "Little did we know the uncertainty and turmoil 2020 would bring, but now this program feels even more relevant as we prepare for the arrival of the first cohort."

Dishman is especially pleased with the "array of gifts and experiences" these students are bringing and their expected contributions to a program focused on social transformation. "It feels like the right time and the right place," she said.

ESR is offering full-tuition scholarships to all enrollees in the first cohort. Scholarships for future cohorts will be determined based on interest.

Enrollment for the program's second cohort begins spring 2021. For more information about this degree program, please contact Julie Dishman at

New Program Available to Help Hoosier Small Businesses Build Online Presence

Posted July 28, 2020

Indiana SBDC, IU Kelley School of Business partner to provide direct technical support, assist small businesses in expanding online capabilities & sales

INDIANAPOLIS (July 22, 2020) – The Indiana Small Business Development Center (Indiana SBDC) announced today a new partnership with the Indiana University Kelley School of Business to support the long-term economic recovery of Hoosier small businesses and entrepreneurs. Through a new program, eligible companies may apply for no-cost assistance to help establish or increase their online presence through website development, e-commerce support and other digital tools and services.

"As a state, we're focused on encouraging long-term planning and investments to propel Indiana's economy into the future," Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger said. "With this new partnership, the Indiana SBDC will continue increasing its support for Hoosier small businesses and entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 pandemic, improving access to critical tools and resources to help companies adapt to new markets and enhance their competitiveness by growing their online presence."

The Indiana SBDC and Kelley launched Project HOPE to support Indiana small businesses negatively affected by COVID-19. Under the program, Kelley students and recent graduates are offered paid internships to assist eligible companies in expanding their online presence, solving technology issues or providing new digital capabilities. The projects, which include creating or modifying websites, building e-commerce platforms, improving cybersecurity frameworks, migrating data, and more, are overseen by faculty members and completed within two weeks.

To be eligible, Indiana small businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an Indiana SBDC client,
  • Have been in business as of February 15, 2020, and
  • Be able to demonstrate a negative impact from COVID-19.

"Since our founding 100 years ago, our school has believed we have a responsibility to support the Indiana business community," said Idalene Kesner, dean of the Kelley School and the Frank P. Popoff Chair of Strategic Management. "Due to the COVID-19 situation, the need for support is greater today than ever before. Our dedicated faculty and engaged students are ready to apply their expertise and skills to help our state in its efforts to recover from the pandemic."

To date, more than 75 student interns have participated in Project HOPE, providing more than 8,000 hours of direct technical support to 97 small businesses in 28 counties. Along with these services, student interns provide training and education to enable small businesses to operate the new technology or tool following the conclusion of the project. All work is conducted virtually to ensure the health and safety of Hoosiers. Indiana companies are encouraged to submit applications online.

Black-owned small business partners with Indiana SBDC & Kelley to launch state-of-the-art website Nicole Kearney is the vitner and owner of Indianapolis-based boutique winery Sip & Share Wines, which produces a diverse collection of artisanal vegan wines. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Kearney has shifted gears to meet the changing needs of her small business, developing an online strategy to reach new and existing customers. With the help of the student interns, Sip & Share Wines launched a new website equipped with improved functionality for novice and experienced wine drinkers and an e-commerce platform designed to bolster the company's online sales.

The Indiana SBDC, which is a program of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, approved $150,000 in federal funding provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration through the CARES Act to support the statewide launch of Project HOPE. To learn more about COVID-19 resources and no-cost counseling available to Indiana entrepreneurs and small businesses, visit

About Indiana SBDC

The Indiana Small Business Development Center (Indiana SBDC) is a program of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, which leads the state of Indiana's economic development efforts. The Indiana SBDC helps entrepreneurs launch, grow and locate businesses in the state, providing entrepreneurs with expert guidance and resources on how to start and grow a business. With a network of 10 regional offices through the state, the Indiana SBDC creates a positive and measurable impact on the formation, growth and sustainability of Indiana's small businesses.

The Indiana SBDC is funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. For more information about the Indiana SBDC, visit

LifeStream's Healthy Aging Expo to Offer a Unique Drive-Thru Experience

Posted July 28, 2020

Event adapted to practice safe social distancing

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, LifeStream Services has adapted the annual Healthy Aging Expo to practice safe social distancing. The event will now be held as a drive-thru in which older adults are invited to drive-thru to receive a complimentary lunch, goodie bag, and greetings from their favorite local vendors.

The Drive-Thru Healthy Aging Expo will be held on August 13 from 11:00am to 1:00pm at the Kuhlman Center parking lot located at 861 N. Salisbury Rd. Richmond, IN 47374. Attendees will enter through the Crow Road entrance. The Healthy Aging Expo is presented by Reid Health Alliance Medicare , The Leland Legacy, Kicks96, 101.7 The Point, and The Legend 95.3.

We are currently accepting sponsorship and tailgate reservations from organizations who wish to promote their company through August 3. Those interested in sponsoring or tailgating should contact Micole Leverette, Community Services Assistant, by calling 765-759-1121 or emailing

Learn more at

Special thank you to the Healthy Aging Expo Presenting Sponsor Reid Health Alliance Medicare. Additional support provided by Community Hospital of Anderson, Healing Hands Home Health, Henry Community Health, and Natco Credit Union.

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 and follow on Facebook at

Singles Interaction, Inc.

Posted July 27, 2020

Supplied Newsletter: Singles Interaction, Inc. August 2020

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!

Wayne County Foundation Opens Application for 2021 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship

Posted July 27, 2020

The Wayne County Foundation online application for the 2021 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship will open on Saturday, August 1, 2020. The scholarship is open to Wayne County residents who will graduate from a Wayne County high school no later than June 30, 2021 with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship is the 'crown jewel' of all of the awards administered by the Foundation. It pays full-tuition, required fees and a $900 book stipend for four years. Recipients may attend any public or private, Indiana four-year college or university, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Recipients must pursue undergraduate study in a baccalaureate program on a full-time basis.

The scholarship will be awarded to two students based on the following criteria: Academic Performance, Statement of Future Plans, Extracurricular Activities/Work Experience, Recommendations, Overcoming Adversity, Community Service, and Financial Need.

All interested individuals should visit the Foundation's website for a link to the Foundation's online application platform. The deadline to submit an application is by noon on Monday, August 31.

Wayne County Foundation 2020 Challenge Match Program

Posted July 27, 2020

The Wayne County Foundation Challenge Match program is an opportunity for participating not-for-profit organizations to cultivate new donors and encourage increased giving from current contributors, especially for general operating support. In the last eight years, the Challenge Match has helped 72 organizations raise over $9.73 million, including $1.58 million from the Foundation.

Any charitable not-for-profit organization, school, or government agency in Wayne County that has had a prior application history with the Foundation is eligible to apply. The Foundation will not hold an information meeting this year as there are no changes to the program.

New applicants or those not selected previously should contact the Foundation's Program Officer, Lisa Bates, to schedule a meeting at or 765-962-1638. The online application will open on Friday, July 24, 2020 and close on Friday, August 14, 2020. This year, the Challenge Match Program will be held from November 2 to November 10. Visit our website for more information.

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Richmond was long known as "The Rose City" due to being home to Hills' Roses. Founder, E. G. Hill, was a gifted rose hybridizer, and introduced countless roses to the world. Hills' was once known as the largest grower of roses under glass. Hill Floral Products stopped growing roses in 1995.