SPOKES VOL.LXIX NO.25 January 12, 2021 

President Thompson welcomed everyone, and we opened with the  “Pledge of Allegiance", followed by Art Ayers’ invocation
GUESTS: Dorothy Lockwood

+ January 21st is the date for our next Rotary-sponsored Thursday  Night Supper at the First Congregational Church. It would appear  that we have enough volunteers to serve. Thank You! 

+ Take note of the LMC email regarding MLK,Jr. activities. 

+ Bill Roberts is working on completing our slate of February  programs. 

+ Our Rotary Board will meet today following our regular  meeting. 

+ Rosalie Plechaty described the United Way Challenge-a 21 day challenge set to begin on January 18th. Participants will receive a thought-provoking email each morning, which may challenge the  way we think about various topics. It may help us to become  better people. To sign-up, visit the United Way website.


+ Prior to our “relief”, Bob saluted Rosalie for developing a board game featuring South Haven, based upon Monopoly. The game, SouthHaven-OPOLY, was sold locally and raised $11,481 to benefit  the next SHOUT project. GREAT WORK, Rosalie! 

Today’s comedy graphic was of actor, comedian, writer, producer,  and musician, Steve Martin. He came to the public’s notice in  the 1960s, as a writer for The Smothers Brothers Comedy HourThe Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, and The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour.

Today’s comic scenario involved a convict who had served 19  years of a 20-year sentence. He came before the parole board and  said he wanted out NOW...He would provide anything they wanted  to know; he would even “rat” on his mother to gain his freedom.  The parole board cast their votes, and every member voted to  grant his freedom, EXCEPT ONE, who happened to be a former  English teacher. Questioned as to why she voted no, she replied, ”You CANNOT end a sentence with a proposition”.

HAPPY BUCKS- Tom Ruesink 

- Paul Hix will be celebrating a birthday this week. 

+ Mike Livovich indicated that his son-in-law and granddaughter  will be celebrating birthdays. 

+ Deb Davidson’s granddaughter, Sophia, will be celebrating her  6th birthday on Friday. 

+ Art Ayers was surprised that Larry Wittkop hadn’t mentioned  that the University of Michigan’s men’s and women’s basketball  teams were BOTH undefeated. Larry’s response: “Miracles DO  happen”! 

+ Surprised that no one mentioned anything about last night’s  Alabama-Ohio State National Championship Game. Perhaps I  shouldn’t have been surprised. 

+ Larry Wittkop led us in a special rendition of “Happy  Birthday, I Just Washed My Hands”. 


+Tom selected Dorothy Lockwood to pick the first winning number.  She chose #28, and Paul Hix was the lucky recipient. Dorothy then chose #14, which put a smile on Korky Ingersoll’s face. 

Enjoy your “winnings”!! If you fail to receive them, see Stuart!

PROGRAM: “Telemedicine in Southwestern Michigan”  Speaker- Dr. Richard Swanson 
Telemedicine is “an umbrella term referring to virtual activities which provide continuing medical education, training,  and patient portals. It is a method of providing medical care at  a distance, which includes audio-visual or audio care only. 

Why Is Telemedicine Necessary?
+ Twenty percent of the U.S. population (60 million) live in rural areas. 

+ Rural populations have difficulty accessing healthcare. + Rural populations have higher rates of chronic diseases,  higher death rates and delayed diagnosis of cancers and other diseases.  

+ COVID-19 presented symptoms which needed immediate  treatment. 

+ The higher rates of chronic illness placed rural  populations at high risk. 

+ Patients were faced with “Stay at Home” orders, and  appointments with providers dropped by 89% in March, 2020. + Telemedicine “stepped in”, in April, 2020, and telehealth  visits increased by 87%. 

+ Even with telemedicine, poorer populations, including  Blacks and Hispanics, often don’t have internet access.
+ Better means of enrolling these people were necessary. 
What Are the Benefits of Telemedicine? 

+ Provides healthcare without social distancing concerns;  thus, decreasing exposure chances. 
+ Decreases episodic demands on ERs 
+ Reduces the use of PPE by healthcare workers  + Maintains continuity of care + Increases participation in healthcare for those who are  medically or socially vulnerable.
+ Can help preserve the patient-provider relationship  during lockdowns 

What Are the Uses of Telemedicine? 
+ Allows screening of patients who may have symptoms of  COVID-19, freeing up ERs
+ Provides low-risk care for non-COVID-19 patients 
+ By providing low-risk care, it prevents chronic health  patients from deteriorating and needing hospital care.
+ Provides access for extremely rural patients, such as  Native Americans and isolated scientific stations

Richard took questions from our membership, which included such  topics as are listed below: 

+ Bronson, Lakeland, and Holland Hospitals all are involved and  make great use of telemedicine. 
+ The Rotary Health Initiative, to be introduced at today’s  Board meeting, will be an effort to secure funding for the  purchase of equipment to be used in telemedicine. ALL of the  aforementioned facilities need money for such equipment. The  great percentage of the equipment purchased will be shared from  patient to patient.

+ Much of the money would be spent on monitoring equipment, in  an effort to keep people out of the hospital.
+ Telemedicine is not going to go away. The need will expand.
+ There have been studies related to the quality of care being  received and, although there are many variables, most felt they  were being served very well.
+ Patients will learn to connect to the services through the  efforts of home-health nurses and the hiring of college  students.
President Thompson thanked Richard for his insightful  presentation and, on behalf of our club, he’ll be presenting Richard with a gift card from one of South Haven’s many fine  restaurants. 
A reminder that our club Social Hour is held on Thursdays at  10am. Mark Odland will be sending the link to the meeting for  those who can attend.
Next Week’s Meeting (January 19
Our speaker will be Jenna Otten from the Southwest Michigan  American Red Cross.

We adjourned with the Four-Way Test. Respectfully submitted, 

Art Ayers, Seasonal Editarian