It has been 140 years since Mary Thomas became the first woman admitted to what was then the Indiana Medical College and focused her life s work on diseases of women and children. Recently, however, a new national emphasis on women's health is emerging.
In the past two years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has named 12 universities as National Centers of Excellence in Women s Health, including the University of Michigan, Ohio State, UCLA Yale -- and our own Indiana University School of Medicine. In January, HHS officials visited our center. Housed in the Regenstrief Institute for Health Care, the center will be a community resource locally and statewide through collaborations with Wishard Health System Clinics, the Indiana State Department of Health, the Indianapolis Foundation, and many others.
This month, representatives from the 12 centers will meet to discuss ways to work together toward developing models for improving women's health. Research, public education, integrated health services, encouraging women s involvement on boards of health-related agencies, and enhancing women s ability to advance in the medical profession are among the topics.
The IU center, developed and directed by Assistant Dean and Professor of Medicine Rose S. Fife, M.D., has already, with assistance from our Women's Studies Program and Office for Women at IUPUI . . .
Developed new graduate and undergraduate curricula in women's health
Surveyed IUPUI s research coordinators to improve recruitment and retention of women for clinical trials in health research
Developed a leadership plan to increase the number of women on the medical school faculty. Currently, only about 15 percent of tenured faculty are women.
Three IUPUI faculty deeply committed to improving health care across Indiana and around the world were honored this month at the IU Founders Day ceremony.
George K. Stookey of the IU School of Dentistry was named Distinguished Professor, the university's most prestigious academic rank. He is a professor of preventative and community dentistry and director of the Oral Health Research Institute at IUPUI, which among other things helped develop the formula for Crest, the first fluoride toothpaste.
He has been a leader nationally and internationally in promoting the use of stannous fluoride in preventing tooth decay. He helped the School of Dentistry earn millions in research funding, including its first major grant from the National Institutes of Health.
Sandra Burgener, associate professor of nursing at the IU School of Nursing, and Dr. Amy D. Shapiro, associate professor of pediatrics of the IU School of Medicine, each received the university-wide W. George Pinnell Award for Outstanding Service.
In 1994, with fellow nursing professor Su Moore, Sandy founded the Shalom Wellness Center at Broadway United Methodist Church in the Mapleton-Fall Creek neighborhood. This nurse-managed, church-based clinic offers health care to the area's poor and homeless for a nominal fee and often free-of-charge. The center has since been awarded funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to open two other clinics at inner-city churches. The centers this year will serve an estimated 2,500 patients.
Last month, the centers were honored as a national model by finishing third out of 219 nominees for the Monroe E. Trout Premier Cares Awards.
Amy Shapiro, a nationally recognized expert in hematology, is the founder and medical director of the Indiana Hemophilia Comprehensive Center at Riley Hospital for Children, known as one of the country's premiere treatment facilities for bleeding-disorders. She established a network of outreach clinics across Indiana and developed a pricing program that cuts the cost of expensive blood-clotting agents used by people with hemophilia.
Colleagues locally and nationally also praise her work with Indiana's Amish population. Shapiro established a health clinic in Middlebury to help address undiagnosed and untreated hemophilia and dental health problems within the Amish community.
Beginning with academic year 1998-1999, we are inaugurating a new Honors Program for IUPUI. Part of our University College, home to all incoming students, the Honors Program will offer a minimum of 20 scholarships to students who enter with SAT scores of at least 1180 or who graduate in the top 15 percent of their high school class. The faculty will offer courses designed not only to address students intellectual interests but also to support their transition to university study.
Financial assistance, especially in the form of scholarships, is especially important for IUPUI students, many of whom struggle to complete an education while balancing many other demands. Fully half of all IUPUI undergraduates receive some form of assistance.
University College is also setting up a New Generation Scholarship at IUPUI, offered to prospective students who are the first in their immediate families to attend college. Surveys show that as many as 62 percent of our students count themselves as first-generation students.
The Honors Program and New Generation scholarships are among the items to which IUPUI employees can contribute during the IUPUI Campus Campaign this year.
IU School of Medicine faculty, staff, and students will take turns as singers, dancers, and musicians at the seventh annual Evening of the Arts performance, April 8, 7:30 p.m., at the University Place Conference Center. Tickets are $7. Proceeds will purchase medical supplies for the Wheeler Mission, Salvation Army Clinic, Horizon House, Gennesaret Free Clinic, Good News Mission, and St. Thomas Clinic in Franklin. Call 317-274-7173 for details.
Inducted into the IUPUI Athletic Hall of Fame this month were:
Jesse Bingham, a physical education major and member of the men's basketball team from 1985 to 1989. He was named second-team All-American by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) his senior year.
Karen Knox, pitcher for the women's softball team, 1987 to 1990, a former NAIA All-American who cut short her athletic career at IUPUI to earn a degree in veterinary medicine.
Jeff Vessely, recently appointed IUPUI's student ombudsman, has been a golf and basketball coach, director of sports information, and director of intramural and recreational sports at IUPUI. He received a bachelor s degree in physical education from IUPUI in 1973.
While we don't put much stock in nonscientific rankings of colleges and universities by the popular press, we thought it notable that several IUPUI schools were listed in U.S. News & World Report among the nation's best graduate school programs.
The program in nonprofit management at the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs-Indianapolis was ranked 10th in the nation. U.S. News considers the IUPUI program, begun in 1992 in cooperation with IU's Center on Philanthropy, an academic leader in one of the fastest-growing specialities among graduate programs in public affairs.
The health law program at the IU School of Law-Indianapolis was ranked 9th-best. About 100 students a year take health law courses and 50 a year participate in the Health Law Society, a student organization begun in 1991.
The IU School of Nursing, based at IUPUI, was rated the nation's 12th-best nursing school, up from 14th in the 1997 rankings, and the IU School of Medicine's primary care program ranked 20th.
I was honored to join Robert L. Everitt and Cleveland A. Lewis as a recipient of the Maynard K. Hine Medal at the 25th annual IUPUI Alumni Leadership Dinner last month.
Bob Everitt, first vice president and trust counsel for NBD Bank, is a graduate of the IU School of Law-Indianapolis and chaired the planned-giving component of the IU School of Medicine s highly successful capital campaign. He has served on the law school alumni association Board of Directors and is a member of the medical school Dean s Council.
Cleveland Lewis, senior industrial engineer at General Motor's Allison Transmission Division, is a graduate of the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI. He now serves on the school's alumni association Board of Directors and is an associate faculty member in the school's Minority Engineering and Advancement Program.
My warm thanks go to the alumni leadership for this recognition as well as to all the previous recipients for their own special contributions to IUPUI's growth and development.