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Kallas ’14 Appreciating Program’s Diversity

Jimmy Kallas ’14 – Today was another great day for me taking part in the Chicago Urban Experience program. At Benito Juarez Community Academy today was a half day for the students, this meant that class periods were only 23 minutes long.  Because of this my host teacher Mr. Mich spent most of the class periods for housekeeping purposes, but also allowed for me to introduce myself to the students and answer any questions they had for me.  This was a fun part of the day especially when I filled the students in on the fact that I go to one of only three all-male institutions in the United States.

After the half day in school myself and the other Wabash students spent the other half of the day at a teacher workshop at the Field Museum.  This was another awesome experience as we learned how to apply object based learning in the classroom.  We also explored the task of planning an educational field trip, where the main takeaway was that to have a successful field trip it is more than just showing up and having a day off.  To plan a good educational field trip takes a lot of work and prior planning including cross-curriculum activities.  My favorite part of the day after we finished the workshop was that we got to explore the museum on our own. One of my favorite exhibits was Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex, which is the largest and best preserved T-Rex specimen ever found. 

Today was another wonderful day that I was able to experience because of the Wabash Teacher Education program, not only have I learned endless teaching strategies but I have been able to experience multiple cultures that are rarely seen in Crawfordsville.  This has been a great experience and I am upset that it will be ending in two short days.

Speakers Cover Future Health Market

Patrick Bryant ’16 – The inaugural Health Care Immersion Program is wrapping up, and it’s hard to believe what’s been discussed, learned, and questioned over the past three days.  Wednesday, we had the opportunity to hear three perspectives on the future of the healthcare market.

Our first speaker Wednesday was Dr. John Miller ’76. This week, we’ve heard often that costs go down when the focus is on preventive care, being proactive rather than focusing on more reactive, curative care. Thanks in part to his efforts, small things like a youth soccer league, or larger initiatives in implementation of an in-house clinic and primary care physician at a local company make Henry County a more wellness-conscious place to live. Offering short-term incentives (bonuses for maintaining a weight or blood pressure level), could be indicative of a larger model that will be implemented by employers as the market continues to evolve.

For lunch and a talk, we traveled to Lilly to meet with Mike Haugh ’86, Managing Director for Corporate Strategy. From a perspective of business development, Mr. Haugh said new technology and use of genomics to look at DNA sequencing, will allow providers to medicate and proceed based on possible gene mutations.  Finding companies that can find financial viability in such markets of the ACA era could possibly lead to more conglomerates and fewer small(er) companies in the industry.

The final speaker of the day, and program, was Jim Miller ’80, a consulting manager for IMA Consulting. His experience is in the revenue cycle of insurance payers.  Miller said the battle will be uphill for the opening of the insurance policy exchange market which is set to open in October. He said the government is looking to emphasize preventive care but also a “continuance of care” with the primary care provider.

All in all, the experience has been informative and worthwhile. I want to take this opportunity to thank Betsy Knott for her leadership and Dr. Frank Howland for his guidance and expertise. I want to thank the other speakers who made a point to take time with those of us interested either in practicing medicine or looking from a business perspective. Thanks in large part to the financial generosity of Wabash alumni, my classmates and I leave this experience enthusiastic and motivated.

Gallivan ’16 Appreciates Seeing Health Future

Max Gallivan ’16 – So the Affordable Care Act comes around and throws everyone for a loop. Now what? As a freshman aspiring to get into Med School, it is important to know where health care is heading so I can adapt and thrive. Today really opened my eyes to the future and what I need to do to prepare.

We started the day by talking to John Miller ’76 of New Castle Family and Internal Medicine. Though he is mainly a primary care physician, his focus and passion is on improving wellness programs in health care, to insure people are actually healthy and not just free of disease. He referred to Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements by Tom Rath and Jim Harter, which focuses on a holistic sense of well being to insure a quality life. From making good career choices to hanging out with friends, the book offers good advice for how to improve your life and hopefully prevent unhealthy lifestyles that cause people to have stress related illnesses that plague hospitals today. Miller then showed us what his hospital system is doing to encourage wellness and the impact it has brought to his community.

After the talk, we took the refreshing walk to Eli Lilly & Company. Though we could have spent hours on end admiring how thriving the company is, we had the privilege of talking and having lunch with Mike Haugh ’86, one of the main Corporate Strategists of the company. After being introduced to how the company works and how it thrives despite the long process of FDA approval and the fight against generic companies, Haugh shifted his focus to how the company is adapting to the future of our world. Though the ACA is causing them to shift their business model, the real impact of change is coming from a rapid growth in biological technology we have seen in the past few years. With genomics allowing people to find out what drugs and treatments will work best with their specific genome, drugs will begin to become patient specific and will be more valuable because they have a higher chance of working. With the amazing advancement of apps that can perform EKGs and ultrasounds, patients will have easier access with diagnostics and will be more accountable for their own health. This will change the role of physicians and health care specialists by focusing on a joint interpretation of a patient’s results instead of providing the services that produce the results.  This change in how health care will run was an eye opener, and a great start at how to look at my future that I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else.

We ended the day by returning to the hospital and talking with Jim Miller ’80 from IMA Consulting. His talk enlightened us on how insurance and government program like Medicare and Medicaid work and then focused on the nuts and bolts of the ACA and what will actually change in health care. Though no one is quite sure how the act is going to affect the entire health care system, it was easy to see the trend that most of our speakers are seeing: a focus on large hospitals and a shift to preventative care. The focus on the quality of service instead of quantity forces health care professionals to improve services so patients have little to no complications while still finding a way to make money without overloading patients with treatments and diagnostics.

It’ll be interesting to see where the future will take us. I’m glad this program has tried to prepare me for the ride. I encourage all those striving to be a part of health care to get informed and prepare themselves for the arduous road ahead of us, by either taking part in this wonderful program in the future or by reading the many sources out there.

Exploring Different Class Schedules

JT Miller ’14 - So today marks the halfway point of our experience in downtown Chicago.  We have spent three days in our classrooms, and have been exposed to a number of new things, not only during the school day.  Today was a half day at Benito Juarez Community Academy.  Each class period was 23 minutes long, and they skipped home room.  The overall theme of the today was that it was a “Benchmark Recovery” day.  Now let me explain what that means.
Juarez utilizes a unique system that they call the Benchmark System.  In the math department they are supposed to cover a total of 40 benchmarks split up among the 4 quarters.   A benchmark is an academic skill that the students need to learn by the end of the year.  A few examples from geometry include being able to calculate area and perimeter, and being able to identify angles, circles, and lines. These are all basic standards that you would expect to find in every high school geometry class. 
This is where the system becomes unique.  Each student is assessed in every benchmark. These assessments are short, one page test containing 3-6 problems.  However, the students must show proficiency in each benchmark twice.  If they fail the assessment, then they have the ability to retake a different version of it at some point later in the year.  They have until the end of the year to show proficiency in each benchmark. 
The school used the shortened class periods today to provide students with the chance to make up the benchmarks that they had failed.  However, I don’t feel like all of the students took advantage of this opportunity.  In each of the 4 classes I was in, at most 5 of the 25 students made an attempt to improve a previous benchmark. 
This is a much different system than I have ever experienced in a high school, and I am looking forward to seeing it in action more later this week.

Goddard ’15 Finds Insight in HCIP

Seton Goddard ’15 – Even though we have only been in Indianapolis discussing and learning about healthcare for two days, we have had a whirlwind experience. After hearing from people who practice medicine, people who lead healthcare institutions, and people who work closely with both of those groups of professionals, we have gained a wide variety of perspectives. Across all of these areas of healthcare, we have learned about many of the challenges that hospitals, physicians, and patients have faced and will face in the future. And of course, because of legislation like the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare industry has been presented with new challenges that require healthcare professionals to reconsider how they can best address some of these challenges while maintaining high quality care, broad access, and affordability.

One of the people we talked with today who shared his facility’s challenges was Dr. Bernie Emkes ‘70 at St. Vincent Hospital on 86th Street in Indianapolis. Dr. Emkes, who began in a family practice role with St. Vincent, is now serving in an administrative role. He offered us a tour of both St. Vincent and the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital, which provided a significant amount of history on St. Vincent’s role in Indiana healthcare, particularly as one of the first Catholic healthcare organizations to serve Indiana. He also took some time to share some of his concerns about the future of healthcare, and he also discussed some of the things that different organizations have to done to be proactive and ahead of the curve.

Following that, we headed to Tx:Team, where Scott Benedict ’98 serves as the Vice President of Finance. He too emphasized the importance of being “ahead of the curve” and expanding access to care in innovative ways. He and Chief Executive Officer Carroll Nelligan talked about their work with employers to establish therapy-based preventative approaches healthcare that reduce the healthcare costs that are often absorbed by employers when their employees need treatment.  To do this, they have established wellness centers within the facilities of various companies around the country where employees can receive preventative treatment and occupational healthcare.

Despite many of the challenges that were presented, it became clear that within the healthcare industry, there has never been a more important time for innovation and critical thinking. It also became clear that as the people who will soon be entering the field, we are the people who will have a responsibility to grapple with these challenges. More importantly, though, we are the people who have a responsibility to understand more deeply the importance of providing the best possible care to as many individuals as possible.

Through my participation in the Healthcare Immersion Program, my understanding has been furthered, and I am confident that this week has been and will continue to play a fundamental role in how I’ll think about these challenges going forward as a future healthcare professional. Given these considerations, I owe a huge “thank you” to the alumni who have offered their time and resources to make this program possible, the Lilly Endowment, Betsy Knott, Dr. Frank Howland, and all of the other participants whose perspectives and opinions have broadened our discussions on these important issues.

Children’s Hospital Impresses Koutsopatriy ’16

Ivan Koutsopatriy ‘16 – Healthcare. That one word has a lot packed into it. In the United States healthcare is a very complex system that currently has many issues. I am aspiring to go to medical school and acquire an M.D./PhD; changes in healthcare will impact me heavily. From what I have been learning on this immersion trip, these changes are going to affect everyone in this country.

So far I have heard the business end of healthcare from a hospital manager’s perspective, a practitioner owned hospital’s perspective, a medical director of a hospital, and a medium sized healthcare related business’ perspective. It has been busy and fruitful with the knowledge that I have had the privilege of acquiring. I think the Affordable Care Act is a complicated beast that I still don’t feel I have a grasp on, even after almost two days of discussing it. I like the open discussion method of presenting that our speakers have conducted with us, it allows for us to really get involved in the conversation.

My favorite experience today was Dr.Bernie Emkes giving us a tour of the St. Vincent and Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital. He allowed us to stand in on a “huddle” that the hospital leadership gets together and has every morning at 8:30. We walked in a few minutes late. From what I gathered the huddle is a meeting where everyone attending stands and discusses the bad and good that has happened in the hospital since the previous huddle session, and what actions to take to improve on the bad. The session ended with a prayer and I was thankful to have been able to experience the huddle.

Dr.Emkes introduced us to many individuals within the hospital who were more than happy to shake our hands with a smile and wish us a pleasant rest of the day as we continued on our tour. Everyone was friendly and welcoming. We were even fortunate enough to meet a Wabash graduate in the emergency room, Dr.Jason Little ’92. Dr. Little told us a little about what it is like working as an emergency doctor there. The willingness of Wabash alumni to help out current students is inspiring.

After our tour of the magnificent hospital we then went to a meeting room on the eighth floor of St.Vincent. We discussed some of what is going on with healthcare with Dr.Emkes. I have learned a lot about healthcare and some of what is going on currently.  I am hungry to find out more. This trip has been an enjoyable one thus far. I want to thank the Alumni for making this trip possible, and for some of the luxurious accommodations that we are indulging in.

Today we went to Bru burger bar for dinner. I am not from around Indianapolis and I have not been to Indianapolis more times than I can count on one hand. I appreciate the chance to indulge in some of the local flavor. Dr.Barney Niezer, Dr.Frank Kolisek, Dr. Bernie Emkes, Scott Benedict and Tx:Team deserve a thank you for taking time out of their busy schedules to indulge us with their wisdom and knowledge.  I want to thank Betsy Knott and Frank Howland for their leadership, time, and effort in this opportunity that they set up for us.

Yang ’15 Says HCIP is ‘Eye-Opener’

Hongli Yang ’15 – Today we visited Dr. Bernie Emkes ’70 of St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital. After a brief introduction on the history of St. Vincent Hospital, Dr. Emkes showed us around the main building and Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital. I am really amazed by the amount of care the hospital provides to its patients. The word “care” does not only exist in the core value of the hospital. Every morning, the administrators gather in a room and hold a 15-min safety huddle. They reflect on yesterday’s performance and come up with measures to improve the operations. Moreover, we noticed a lot of details that exhibit the hospital’s commitment to offer every patient great experience: the nurses are somewhat “specialized” so that they are proficient in their practice; the ER is able to finish the test in a short time; and the layout and setup in Children’s Hospital are comfortable and personalized for kids.

In addition, we get to understand the challenges and opportunities in health care from Dr. Emkes’s angle. The American health care system has deep-rooted issues. It is a four-player game: the complicated way doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and patients are connected makes it hard to understand what is actually going on. And the Affordable Care Act just adds to the mystery. For the first time, I learned about patient engagement. Some patients comprise the efficiency and quality of health care by not following the doctor’s order. Thus, we need new approaches to reduce unnecessary hospital visits. The medical resources are limited and we do not want to waste them. Therefore, we need to get patients more responsible for their action. Besides, we are happy to see new opportunities that would help us transform the health care industry. “Telemedicine”, the combination of technology and health care, has a very promising outlook to improve the efficiency and quality of health care. And other technologies are similarly tempting.

The Health Care Immersion Program has been an eye opener for me.  And I really enjoyed the first-hand exposure to various health care professionals. As an Economics major, this immersion program has greatly shaped my view of the health care system. Health care is related to every one, and this “liberal arts” approach to life has made me more informed about our world and better prepared for future challenges. I am really thankful for this opportunity and I hope that more Wabash men take part and benefit from this program.

First Days in Marburg Intense, Exciting

Kurt Miller ’16 – We arrived safely in Marburg Germany the morning of May 5th to find beautiful weather and welcoming host families awaiting us. The group, all near a comatose state of sleep deprivation due to jet lag, eagerly took a step into a new country many had never visited before. Dr. Tucker and Dr. Redding guided us to the “Sprachschule,” or language school, where we learned more about the itinerary and the host families we’d be staying with.

After meeting and discussing the day’s plans, we embarked into Marburg and our immersion trip began. Our first order of business was meeting with our host families and dropping off our luggage. Some Wabash students are staying within easy walking distance of the language school. Others had their host families pick them up with a car. My host ‘mom,’ Ms. Suarez, a Cuban immigrant and artist who speaks little English, quickly welcomed me into her home, showed me my room for the next two weeks, and offered me a bicycle for my own personal use. Her son, a 16-year-old trilingual student, is the only other person in the house with knowledge of English. Although it is only the second day, my host family’s hospitality got the trip off to a great start, and I look forward to getting to know them better.

On Monday morning, we began our first lesson at the “Sprachschule”. Starting at 8:15, we received a lesson from Herr Mueller, who reviewed with us the geography of Germany and the history of Marburg. The entire lesson was in German and while I sometimes struggled to keep up, I already can tell my proficiency in German is greatly increasing. After language class, we had some time on our own to find lunch and then our group met up with Professors Tucker and Redding at the major church in the city, the Elisabethkirche or St. Elisabeth Church, built by the Teutonic Knights in the 13th century. We learned that the Elisabethkirche was the first purely Gothic church built in Germany.

From there, we went to a nearby chapel erected in 1270 and still standing! It was a beautiful old site of pilgrimage with graves dating back to the early Middle Ages all around it. We then moved on to tour the city and discovered that scenes from The Brothers Grimm fairy tales are placed all around the city for people to find. We ended our introductory tour of the city at the Marktplatz, or market square, in the heart of historic Marburg. After that, we had some free time and we eagerly explored the city further on our own. All of us are looking forward to a good night’s sleep and are happy the trip started off so well!

Sheridan ’14 Watches Robinson ’04 Teach

Jacob Sheridan ’14 – Today was our second full day in Chicago and my second day at Rauner College Prep. Coming from the small town of Culver, IN, whose population of approximately 1,400, adapting to the life in Chicago has been a great learning experience. I am starting to get a hang of the public transit system. To get to school I walk from our hostel at 24 E. Congress to the LaSalle stop of the Blue Line subway. I take the train to the Chicago/Milwaukee stop and from there walk the few remaining blocks to Rauner.
Rauner is a charter school that prides itself on their high college acceptance rate. Although the school is relatively small, it still is a large change from my own high school experience. Rauner is predominantly composed of Hispanic and African American students, which is a vast change from my high school experience, which was predominantly white. Another difference was that the physical classrooms were smaller than I am used to, but this made sense once learned that Rauner’s building had once been an elementary school. The final major difference was that of the block schedule. In my experience as a student in high school, I had seven, 55-minute periods, but in Rauner’s block schedule, the students have three to four 90-minute classes, as well as, an advisory period before and after the regular school day.
My host teacher, Ms. Richling, and her junior level U.S. History class have been very welcoming to me. Today, because Ms. Richling only met with her AP students, who were going to be doing their final preparation for the AP test, I spent most of the day in other classrooms at Rauner. The Rauner school overall is very welcoming to guests, in fact, the students know to greet and welcome in guests who present themselves at the door. Today, I was able to observe three classrooms in addition to Ms. Richling’s. First I observed Jeremy Robinson’s Junior Literature class who spent class time reading John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.
Mr. Robinson is a Wabash alumnus who did not do the education track at Wabash, but went into Teach for America and is now in his seventh year at Rauner. I found Mr. Robinson’s technique of classroom management and his ability to motivate students absolutely phenomenal and he was more than willing to mentor to his fellow Wallies.
I also was able to observe in a freshman and sophomore literature classes, where I observed other great teaching ability. Rauner has a very impressive teaching staff.  Because I have been able to observe a variety of classes in a single day, I was able to see a rudimentary development from the freshman students who clearly acted like freshman to the junior students who had clearly developed and matured since their freshman days. It makes me wonder how I acted as a high school freshman.
Overall, the EDU 330 has offered me a brief experience of the life in Chicago and specifically into the high school experience within an urban setting. I expect the week will continue to provide many lessons to be learned both for the students I am observing and for myself. Tonight, a group of us will be going to the Cubs vs. Cardinals game and that should also be a fun experience.

Overly ’16 Learning Teaching Mechanics

Mitch Overly ’16 – Once again I was enthralled and amazed by Rauner. Today was my second day at Rauner and I’m constantly surprised by the quality of teaching that takes place here. They truly do care for the students and under the tight spaces and limited resources the faculty has to work with, they certainly do an exceptional job.

Today I observed and interacted with my co-teacher, Mrs. Yohpe, who is a wonderful teacher. There were three quality aspects of teaching that specifically caught my eye today at Rauner. The first quality that I observed from Mrs. Yohpe as well as from another English teacher was the use of student’s own work as examples. I find this to be an extremely useful tool for teachers to use because it’s extremely relevant to the students. The students will immediately be more interested in the examples because it’s their own work being discussed. It’s extremely applicable because they can immediately take the criticism and feedback from the teacher and students and use it to correct their work.

The second aspect of teaching that I observed at Rauner today was the use of schedule. Here at Rauner they run on a block schedule and the two English classes I am co-teaching run 90 minutes long. 90 minutes can be exceptionally long for anyone let alone a bunch of rowdy high schoolers. The technique that Mrs. Yohpe and I discussed prior to class and which I have seen the last two days is to make activities that last between 15 and 20 minutes. You don’t necessarily have to change subject content but Mrs. Yohpe and I discussed the advantages of changing activities because the kids won’t become complacent and the transition periods remove any complacency that may take place in the students.

The last aspect of teaching that I really liked about Mrs. Yohpe’s class schedule was the emphasis on time for students to do their work in class. Often times, teachers can assign mountains of work to strictly do at home. However, the problems arise when the students don’t understand the material they are working on and then they are stuck at home with no resources to aid them. However, if you structure time to at least start assignments in class the students can raise questions while the teacher is right there in the room with them. Questions can be answered and ambiguity can be defined.