News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

April 2, 2014

Readers’ Forum: April 3, 2014

Program will have an impact

This letter is in response to the front-page article last week concerning the health ranking of the State of Indiana and the 92 Individual counties formulated by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Ten years ago, the federal government reviewed national data on potential physician shortages and recognized a looming crisis. They appealed to medical schools to consider increasing their enrollment.

A meeting of the Indiana University School of Medicine leadership, faculty and clinicians was held at the Lugar Center for Rural Health at Union Hospital to discuss this disparity.

It was evident that the greatest need for physicians was in the rural areas of the state where the majority of these counties were designated as Health Provider Shortage Areas by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A decision was made by the Dean to develop a Rural Medicine Program as part of the medical school’s expansion, modeled after a visit to the University of Illinois’s rural program enjoying 25 years of success.

These students were interviewed in Terre Haute on their desire to return to their rural roots. The first class of Rural Medical students enrolled on the Terre Haute campus in 2008 with the majority of their four years spent in the Wabash Valley with special emphasis and training on the challenges and rewards of a rural practice.

The first class of graduates will complete their residencies in 2015 and begin to serve rural Indiana. To date, a total of 72 medical students are now enrolled in the Rural Medicine Program. Studies reveal the economic impact of a rural physician, creating an average of 22 jobs in the community they call home.

We can be proud of this innovative program to serve those in greatest need in our state. In the future, they will impact our ranking and improve the health of Indiana.

— Dr. Jim Turner, Medical Director, Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health at Union Hospital, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine

Candidate would serve county well

Lucky Reddy has been working with local small business clients for years. She understands the needs and demands of small business owners as they must balance their families with their companies. She provides solutions and guidance to the challenges they face.

In addition, I have had the pleasure of working with Lucky on numerous events and causes in the Vigo County area, and in the six years I have known her she supports virtually every cause in the area, whether it is walking for a cause or raising money for various charitable organizations. Lucky illustrates integrity, a love for community in all she does and would serve the residents of Vigo County extremely well as judge.

— Heather Strohm, Business consultant, columnist,

Terre Haute

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