News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 15, 2013

The Faces of Health Care: Union Hospital grants Weinbaum, Baur awards

Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A local physician and a mentor to resident physicians are the two recipients of the 2013 Weinbaum and Baur Awards to be presented on Nov. 16 at the “Great Gala — Celebrating Great Leaders in Healthcare.”

Dr. Russel Coutinho, a neonatologist at Union Hospital since 2005, will be presented with the Weinbaum Award. The Baur Award will be presented to Vicki Miller, residency coordinator in the Family Medicine Residency Program.

The Union Hospital Foundation is presenting the revitalized event as black tie/creative black tie optional at the Sycamore Banquet Center on the Indiana State University campus.

Invitations have gone out for the gala, and the 1920s theme encourages folks to wear their “glad rags” for an evening of “putting on the ritz.” The public is invited to participate in the event and submit nominations for the awards.

“This is the first time that we have asked the community to participate in the Weinbaum and Baur nominations,” Foundation executive director Joel Harbaugh told the Tribune-Star. “We were pleased with the results, particularly as it involved Union’s physicians.”

Presented annually, the Weinbaum and Baur Awards are the most prestigious honors the foundation gives.

Coutinho’s efforts to bring innovative equipment and technology to the hospital have led the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to be recognized throughout the region for its superior and compassionate care. His colleagues emphasize his compassion for Union Hospital patients and families and praise his efforts in initiating the Volleyball for the Small fundraising event that provides support for NICU families.

The most recent Volleyball for the Small event — a high school volleyball competition promoted by team members and their schools — exceeded its prior fundraising efforts.

Miller began her career at Union Hospital in 1972, working in the general office. She has been with the residency program since it started in 1976, and has mentored 169 graduates of the three-year residency program. She now assists with 21 residents in the program.

“I get to work with an amazing group of people,” Miller said. “We have an awesome residency program, and I get to meet the candidates, schedule their visits and make sure things go as planned.”

She also keeps track of the residency rotations and conferences that each participant is required to have, making sure each completes the family medicine training program to be eligible for certification by the American Board of Family Medicine.

Miller said she was completely caught off guard by her nomination and selection for the award.

“I appreciate it more than I can put into words,” she said recently. “It is an honor to be recognized. It truly is.”

Miller said she began working at the hospital 40 years ago and was given the opportunity to move into her current position by leaders who saw her potential. She has been married 38 years, and has two adult sons and three grandchildren.

The Union Hospital Foundation established the Weinbaum Award to recognize distinguished contributions to Union Hospital and its mission by a member of the medical and dental staff. It is named for Dr. Jack Weinbaum, a pathologist who made an important difference in Union Hospital’s ability to meet patients’ needs during his 33-year tenure from 1955 to 1988.

He played a role in the development of the Terre Haute Center for Medical Education, which is now the IU School of Medicine in Terre Haute, and he had a founding role in the first voluntary donor blood bank, which is now the Central Indiana Regional Blood Bank. Weinbaum also promoted a system of medical care for indigent people.

The award is presented to a member of the medical staff of Union Hospital or Union Hospital Clinton who has provided outstanding service to the practice of medicine at either hospital as demonstrated by leadership to establish innovative or new services, leadership to improve the quality of care provided to patients of the hospital, and leadership to provide education to the medical and dental staff or hospital personnel.

The foundation established the Baur Award to recognize exceptional leadership and contributions by persons who serve as employees or volunteers of the Union Hospital Health Group.

The Baur Award is named in memory of Sister Johanna Baur, who served as the first head nurse and first superintendent of Union Hospital from 1896 to 1902. Baur also organized the Union Hospital School of Nursing in 1900 to ensure a quality supply of trained nurses for the hospital.

The award is given to a person who serves in one of these roles who has provided outstanding service as evidenced by contribution of time and expertise to improve patient care or other aspects of the hospital’s service to their respective communities, contributions to establish new programs or services and leadership of the operations and management of Union Hospital.

Tickets for the gala event are $100 per person or $800 per table. Guest arrival begins at 6 p.m., with social hour at 6:30 p.m., followed by the dinner and awards presentation at 7:30 p.m., and a celebration at 8:30 p.m.

“We’ve sold out more than half of the available tables, and the invitations just went out,” said Carolyne Holcomb, the foundation’s special events coordinator and development assistant. “Usually, this is a serious formal event, but this year we have a lot of different features to make it fun as well.”

A four-person committee has been brainstorming the event since January, Holcomb said, and came up with the 1920s theme, including Big Band music of the era by the First Impressions Band and photo opportunities with a 1928 Packard.

The program includes a page with 1920s lingo so attendees will be “hip-to-the-jive of the era,” and not a “prune pit.”

Reservations for the event are requested by Oct. 25. Seating is limited, and guest reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254.

“Great Gala — Celebrating Great Leaders in Healthcare”

• Nov. 16 at the Sycamore Banquet Center on the Indiana State University campus.

• Tickets are $100 per person or $800 per table.

• Social hour is at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner and awards presentation at 7:30 p.m., and celebration at 8:30 p.m.

n Reservations due by Oct. 25.

• n For more information, visit or call the Union Hospital Foundation at 812-238-7534.

Weinbaum Award Recipients

1992 — William Scully, M.D.

1993 — Robert Miessel, M.D.

1994 — James Buechler, M.D.

1995 — Robert Haerr, M.D.

1996 — James Cristee, M.D.

1997 — Harry Keffer, M.D.

1998 — Sisir Dhar, M.D.

1999 — Richard Mayrose, M.D.

2000 — Karla Zody, M.D.

2001 — Randy Stevens, M.D.

2002 — Juan Correa, M.D.

2002 — Robert Cantillo, M.D.

2003 — Shanti Patel, M.D.

2004 — James Turner, D.O.

2005 — Bashar Kashlan, M.D.

2006 — Ron Leach, M.D.

2007 — Kathleen Stienstra, M.D.

2008 — Steven McDonald, M.D.

2009 — Eric Bennett, M.D.

2010 — Ann Wendecker, D.O.

2011 — J. Lewis Stoelting, M.D.

2012 — John Franklin Swaim ,M.D.

Baur Award Recipients

1992 — Delores Macke, R.N.

1993 — Frances Westrup

1994 — Mary Ann Craig

1995 — Jane Miller, R.N.

1996 — Norma Shaw, R.N.

1997 — Esten Fuson

1998 — Margie Bopp

1999 — Bill Malloy

2000 — Sue Hoopengarner, R.N.

2001 — Jackie Fox

2002 — Pam Winans

2003 — Glenda Mann, R.N.

2004 — Myrna Dienhart, R.N.

2005 — Sandy Thompson, R.N.

2006 — John Chironna Jr., Ph.D.

2007 — Neva McFarland

2008 — Susan Grutza

2009 — Frederick Bauer

2010 — Trudy Rupska

2011 — Susan Cross

2012 — Laurice Newlin