Dillon ’16 Enjoying Health Care Immersion

Kennis Dillon ’16 – As the first day of the Health Care Immersion Program (HCIP), both of the speakers offered very valuable information. They presented a side of healthcare that isn’t readily focused on by those pursuing a career in medicine — the financial/business side.

Mr. Niezer has had a plethora of experience running hospitals as Chief Operating officer where as Dr. Kolisek has worked as the president of Ortho-Indy — a small and private orthopedics center in Indianapolis. I learned from Mr. Niezer about the various incentives and motivations that may drive hospitals to shift geographic location, or how larger corporations monopolize hospitals in order to turn a profit. He outlined the example of three Fort Wayne hospitals in specific cases where the business side and desire to make profits, override mission and non-profit organizations. However he seemed to present a case that caters more to practicing physicians. Thankfully our next speaker was able to shed a bright light on patient-surgeon interactions.

Dr. Frank Kolisek provided a more in-depth analysis of how surgeons interact and decide how to charge patients depending on what type of health insurance coverage they have. I appreciated his openness and honesty about common practice when prescribing specific tests and how much doctors normally charge on bills. To my surprise I learned how remarkable the discount patients under Medicare receive when it comes time to pay their hospital bill. I feel that as a physician the opinions of how little Medicare pays doctors may have been slightly biased but this doesn’t make his claims untrue. It is only the first day of the first year this HCIP has been enacted, that this has set a very high marker for how future speakers present their information on specific issues related to health care.

Tomorrow I look forward to moving outside of the hotel meeting room and being around a physician in an actual hospital setting which is something I have not been able to do in the Pre-Health Society on campus. This wide array of opportunities should spark plenty of faculty and student support in years to come.

Oetting ’15 Calls HCIP Eye Opening

Kasey Oetting ’15 – The first day of the Health Care Immersion Program (HCIP) was an informative day and a great experience to start off the program. First, we heard from Mr. Barney Niezer, the practice manager for NE Indiana Urology in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In his seminar, he discussed an overview of the Fort Wayne healthcare system. The second speaker of the day was Dr. Frank Kolisek, the President of OrthoIndy. He talked to us a lot about the Affordable Care Act which was recently put into place by the government.

A common theme that we discussed dealt with for profit and not-for-profit hospitals. A for-profit hospital tends to work with physicians more effectively by incorporating them into the everyday decisions and strategic planning of the hospital and tend to be run in a more efficient manner. That is because the physicians are able to have more say in what the hospital should do and the finances associated with those decisions. A not-for-profit hospital is more worried about the ethical issues with their decisions which regard the hospital well-being. Not-for-profit hospitals tend to have missions that deal with offering healthcare to the community and the people in the community who can’t afford it.

A second reoccurring theme dealt with the recent legislation, Affordable Care Act. The effect of this legislation on the income and overall money brought into the hospital and the private practices resulted in a drastic cut. One of the biggest problems with the ACA is that no one really knows what is in it and what all the parameters are that it offers up. That leads to both sides starting to really worry about the effects of the ACA on every industry, not just the healthcare system. The problem the country must solve regarding healthcare is that the patients want everything, the providers want to offer everything, and the insurance companies don’t want to pay for anything.

One suggestion was to make the patient more responsible for the costs associated with healthcare. By doing so, they would not want to get extra tests done that the doctor tells them they do not need because they realize that the brunt of the cost will fall on them and not the insurance company. In the healthcare system today, people spend so much money because in all reality those people are not spending their own money. The money they are spending comes from insurance companies, forcing the costs to land mostly on the hospitals and the businesses offering the insurance.

Overall, today was a very informative and eye opening day as to how the healthcare system in America truly operates. I am looking forward to the rest of the week with our visit to Eli Lilly and also the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital.

Goodman ’12 Experiencing Diversity

Andrew Goodman ’12 – Having grown up in Aurora, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago, I felt fairly comfortable with this trip and knowing we would be fully immersed in the windy city culture.  I was, however, unfamiliar with the prospect of teaching at a predominately black school.  I woke up at 6:30 this morning nonetheless ready to teach.
We had a dry run of how to get to our school yesterday and got extremely lost along the bus route.  But today we were prepared.  The school is well organized with security and faculty strategically placed throughout the halls to ensure student safety. The metal detectors caught me a bit off guard too when I had to scan my backpack through the machine. 
I was placed in a freshman biology class today in which they were learning about natural selection.  My duties today consisted of primarily observing and helping distribute papers.  Later this week I will be working with Mr. Roberts (class of ’05) on designing worksheets appropriate for lower-achieving cohorts of students.
I am very fortunate to have been extended the opportunity to participate in this amazing week-long trip.  We have seen some incredible things including a day trip to the outdoor market.  The culture was primarily Hispanic and we were fully immersed in it. 
 Sunday night we went to dinner at Trufalo’s Italian restaurant and met some alumni from the Chicago.  It was a great time talking about education and learning about what all this week will be. 
Tomorrow after school, some of us will be attending the Cubs game in Wrigley Field and maybe a bar or two.  This week is looking bright and I believe I will remember it for a long time.

Current ’11: Joining Chicago Experience

Adam Current ’11 – Waking up today was unlike any other day of my life. Coming from a small town of 6,000–that’s one stoplight per 6,000–I’m not used to hearing the frequent roll of the above ground train.  hank goodness for ear plugs! Where was I?
As I stepped out into the crisp air, dressed and ready to teach, the first thing I noticed was the sounds — not the buildings. In the cornfields, sound dissipates as it travels, unimpeded. Here, however, the skyscrapers themselves create a soundscape of metal and glass, as the sounds of traffic and people bounce like an echo chamber. As a sidenote, they trap smells as well, but that would constitute another post.  
School, school, I was supposed to blog about my school, right? Kenwood Academy is a 7-12 school located here in the humble realm of Chicago. Demographically, it is a complete reversal of the Fountain or Montgomery County areas. At those schools, the African American population is typically measured as numbers on your hand and not percentages. Today, I was fortunate enough to feel what it is like to be a minority. That may sound weird, but it is weird in a good way.  
The students were very friendly. In many ways, teenagers are teenagers, and the only major difference was the culture itself. Okay, that is a major difference. I’m still not used to watching students go through a metal detector when walking in. As a native of a cornfield, that was a major shock. Otherwise, they are so friendly that I wonder why a metal detector is necessary.  
I have to be honest that my mind is foggy.  I am writing this at 10:07 local time, or 11:07 Indiana time, which means bed.  (After student teaching, bed was typically 10:30 if I could help it.)  Tonight we ate at a Polish Buffet, and I fell asleep on the bus ride back.

Thompson ’14: Great Start in Chicago

Bobby Thompson ’14 – My first day in Chicago was quite the experience. We haven’t even been to the schools, yet it was still a day to remember. My day in Chicago started with a beautiful run on the beach with a temperature of a crisp and relaxing 60 degrees. As a group we went to the Maxwell Market, which is a street that gets shut down every Sunday to sell various items. Of those items I chose to buy a soccer jersey and an authentic orchata, which is a classic, Hispanic, milk and cinnamon based drink. From there we experienced travel in the big city by taking the subway and city buses to our various schools to see what it would be like traveling the rest of the week.

Bobby Thompson ’14 with Mike Beemer

Once back in our room, we all gathered for a little fun in the game room, where I became the ping pong champion of the hostel. After that we went to dinner at Tufano’s, a phenomenal Italian restaurant. We were treated to an amazing five course meal. In attendance was Mike Beemer, who is a grandchild of Caleb Mills. Mr. Beemer and I talked for hours about what Wabash is like. my future goals, and how his scholarship that I receive has been so beneficial to me. Mr. Beemer and his wife donate money to Wabash every year so one lucky man can receive a scholarship in his name. This year, I was that lucky man. It is reasons like these that make Wabash so great. To be able to meet the man who helps pay for my education was a great honor. I talked with Mr. Beemer and his wife for most of the night, great people.

I have always known that Wabash has great faculty and staff, but tonight I realized that the education department does not get enough credit. Dr. Pittard, Dr. Seltzer, Mr. Welch, and Dr. Iazzeto do not get enough recognition for the work they put into this trip. This trip to Chicago takes a lot of planning and is very well thought out by these great teachers. I really applaud there effort and look forward to teaching this week and showing them what I have learned these past few years. The experience will be a great one, the memories will last forever, and this will be an experience I will never forget. I am very excited for this experience and hope to make the most of it. I am sure my fellow Wallies will have the same enthusiasm as I do throughout the week.

Night Dives Highlight for Waller ’14

Cameron Waller ’14 – On day five of our trip to South Water Caye, Belize we started the day off by touring the Smithsonian Research Institute.  While the tour may have been a little long winded, I learned a lot about the facility and the work that goes on there.

After departing from the Smithsonian, we traveled to Whale Schol, a patch reef, to snorkel and observe the environment and the animals in it.  This was one of the best patch reefs we visited during our trip.  The corals, sponges, and other invertebrates were extremely plentiful.  At one point, I was able to swim into the reef where the water was only three feet deep, and I was completely surrounded by corals and sponges of all colors.  While under the water here, I had a school of at least thirty angel fish swim in front of me like I wasn’t even there.  This was amazing.  The blue color of the angel fish was so bright, and the yellow accent made it even more majestic.

We had the afternoon off to catch up on our journals, do some research, relax, and play sand volleyball.  The competition of the volleyball games became fairly competitive.

That night, we snorkeled out to the patch reef just off the south shore of the island.  This was our second trip night snorkeling.  This time around, the group handled it much better.  Not as many of the guys were screaming like girls as we entered the pitch black water.  While out in the patch reef, we saw a Caribbean Reef Octopus, two Caribbean Reef squids, a manta ray, lion fish, and other organisms.  Once we all gathered, we turned off all our flashlights and witnessed bio luminescence in the ocean.  The fish and other organisms in the water contained proteins within their bodies that fluoresced when no light was present.  The ocean glowed a gorgeous baby blue color.  This would have been the best part of the night snorkel if it were not for the two foot wide sting ray that swam 18 inches underneath me on the way in to the shore.  This sting ray was a cliche silver color and was so incredibly close to me that I could see every detail.  Night snorkeling was a once in a lifetime experience, and it was one of the highlights of the trip.

Traveling Adventures and Arrival in Belize

Michael Del Busto ’15 – My Sunday started with two of my classmates pounding on my front door to wake me up. I had slept through my two alarms, but luckily my classmates made sure I didn’t miss the van to the airport. After quickly throwing clothes on and running out of the door to catch the bus (reminded me of my high school days), I got settled, and we were on our way. The van ride to the airport seemed to take forever because I was so excited to travel. But eventually we got to the airport, and we checked in. We were on our way!

After three flights, a second bus ride, and a boat ride, we arrived at International Zoological Expedition, IZE, in South Water Caye in Belize.  Belize was full of life and lush, verdant hills and planes. Immediately upon arrival, we went and snorkeled on the southside of the island. We saw and identified many invertebrate life forms we had studied in class: donkey dung sea cucumber, various corals, and sea stars. It was awesome to be able to apply what we had learned in the classroom to the real world. It gave me great perspective on the interactions between different invertebrates. After our adventure, we washed up and ate a delicious dinner of fried shrimp and rice.

The sun was setting so we headed down to the dock with flashlights to look at more invertebrates. In the shadowy waters, we saw more invertebrates such as sea urchins, octopus, and sea hares. After a full day of travel, we were quite tired and went to the bar on the island where we tried a great local beer, Belikin. We talked with the bartender, Mike, and discussed much about the culture of Belize including sports, food, and politics. It was interesting to hear other people’s opinions on these topics and then compare them to my own beliefs. It definitely created some critical thinking.

The first day of the trip was exhausting, but also exhilarating. Belize should definitely be on everyone’s list of places to visit. You’d better Belize it!

Wren ’14 Realizes Impact of Immersion

Luke Wren ’14 –  What a day! Today was the last full day here on South Water Caye. I think everyone is pretty sad we have to leave tomorrow morning. This morning started out with a boat ride to Man-o-War Caye, which was a very small island whose only inhabitants were a large population of frigate birds. It is the tail end of their mating season so many males had their bright red pouches inflated, trying to attract females.

After a quick visit here, we stopped and snorkeled over a sinkhole. The hole wasn’t extremely deep, but my ears were thankful I didn’t go to the bottom. We did see some rather large starfish, and a couple of large stingray resting at the bottom. One of our guides, named Ishmael, would swim to the bottom and pick up conch shells. This was a rather impressive feat. After this, we snorkeled the west side of the barrier reef near Tobacco Caye, a near by island. The weather was perfect for a relaxing and fun snorkel.

The water was calm, the tide was weak, and the sun was bright. This allowed for clear water and the reef to be illuminated, showing off the bright colors of the underwater world we surveyed. After this snorkel our pre lunch day was over, and we went back to the island we called home to eat and finish our research projects. Lunch was of course terrific, and started like every meal with a cook coming out and with her high-pitched Belizean accented voice would say, “Excuse me, lunch is ready”. This was the gunshot that started the race to the food. I am proud to say there were no injuries in the dining area, and no quarrels broke out amongst the Wabash Men. I do believe I saw a sigh of relief of the cooks face when she realized this was our third to last meal on the island. I think they were happy to see us go, since we probably tested their culinary skills, by inhaling delicious item after item.

After lunch we had free time to finish up and organize our research information, which were the presented before and after dinner. These presentations turned out very well, and there was a wide variety of invertebrate biology covered. We learned everything from geographical and speciation data of snails, and sea urchins to how to discover fuzzy chitons in relative depths of seawater. After the presentations most people packed for tomorrows journey, and then headed down to the dock and bar to spend one last night with the workers. Everyone on the island was friendly and had a great sense of humor. That is one thing they cannot teach in the classroom, the cultural knowledge and anecdotes provided by the locals. I learned as much from them as I learned about biology, and coral reef habitats. I will remember many things from this trip, including what not to touch on a coral reef snorkel, but I think that with every immersion trip comes a different type of knowledge. I can sit and read about Belize or coral reefs in a book, but I cannot experience these things without seeing them first hand and interacting with the people who live there.

This was a fantastic trip and I, for one, don’t quite want to travel back to fine city of Crawfordsville just yet. Maybe God is looking down on us and will send a (small) storm, which will “force” us to stay in paradise just a little longer.

Kitley ’13 Writes on Snorkeling View

Weston Kitley ’13 – The country of Belize, which is a true tropical paradise, also is a place for immense educational opportunities. This trip has offered an extreme opportunity for the group to learn about a coral reef, its preservation and the life that depends on the reef. In this blog I will give a primary account of our daily activities, as well as interesting organisms that we were graced to see. We started by traveling to Carrie Bow Caye, which is where the Smithsonian field station exists. A wonderful woman gave our group a thorough history and tour of the island and the field station.

She explained how researchers had little time to conduct their research, how hard of a daily grind it was to live on a tropical island, and how their facility functioned. Shortly after the tour the group traced to Whale Shoal, which is a patch reef. The reef seemed very healthy and thriving. The group saw a tremendous amount of life here, like on all reefs. We saw many species of coral, and many other invertebrates. There were also some neat vertebrates, such as a shark, a manta ray and the invasive lionfish.

In the afternoon, the group was given the opportunity to conduct its own individual research. Some went to a patch reef off the south of South Water Caye, and others went to the intertidal zones off the north end. I originally went to the north end, completely my research and then traveled to the south to snorkel with the others. In this instance, the group saw a plethora of vertebrates and invertebrates. I was able to see Caribbean reef squid and octopus, beautiful Queen Conch, and some crabs. Speaking of vertebrates, a sea turtle and spotted eagle ray decided to bless us with their presence.

In the evening we traveled to the same patch reef for a night snorkel. As always the night snorkel proved to be highly rewarding! Many squid and octopus emerged, as well as eels, crabs and many other types of organisms. The high light of this swim was easily the bioluminescence. At night some small copepods in the water emit light when agitated. The group circled up, turned off their lights and treaded water. Soon we all could see little lights in the water below.

The reef shows you how many other organisms live on the planet, and how diverse they truly can be! Traveling to such a place gives students a great chance to absorb a magnificent amount of knowledge and experience on such a vital part of the planet! Thank you to all who helped give us this opportunity to travel to a place with so much to offer.

Zimmerman ’14 on a Deep Dive Off Coast

Wes Zimmerman ‘14 – Today marked the second full day that we Wabash men spent on the beautiful island of South Water Caye, Belize. Our day began pretty similarly to that of yesterday – with a morning snorkel. However, this time was a much different excursion than yesterday’s. Previously, we only snorkeled off the shore of our island in a lagoon area, a turtle grass area, and a small patch reef no more than 200 meters off the beach.

Today we adventured a couple of miles off shore to a different patch reef via boat and our guide Ishmael. It was quite intimidating jumping into the water that far off shore; none of us knew whether to expect great ocean depths or something less drastic. It turned out that the area remained a pretty consistent 10-12 feet in depth and was not much different than the previous patch reef we explored. The view within the crystal clear waters of Belize was spectacular. The patch reef was teeming with life and beautifully colored scenery. The coral reef in the area was brilliantly colored as shades of orange, yellow, purple, brown, red and many others were frequently displayed in the area. Beyond the scenery, we were able to witness many of the same organisms we had spent the last six weeks discussing in class. We were able to identify various types of sea anemone, feather duster worms, lobsters, flamingo tongue (snails), and many other organisms.

Following lunch, our group ventured off to the north side of the island to an intertidal zone. This was a rocky area that experienced severe climate change throughout the day due to changing tides. We arrived in the area during a high tide and were able to witness many different organisms that can handle such a harsh environment. The organisms included many types of snail, sea urchin, sea hare, spaghetti worms, hydroids, and even a few crabs. Following our brief introduction to the area (we will be returning here tomorrow during low tide) we helped clean up the island a bit by picking up garbage that littered the coastline.

Finally, at night we embarked on a night snorkeling adventure. This began as a truly eerie experience that developed into the highlight of the trip to this point. Using our standard snorkeling gear (flippers, snorkels, and goggles) along with a simple flashlight we took off to snorkel the lagoon off the south side of the island. It was a breathtaking experience to say the least. We witnessed several different types of organisms at night like a box jellyfish and a moray eel. The moray eel was a beautiful bright green and was a truly astonishing organism to see in person.

So far the trip has been an experience of a lifetime and I am truly thankful to be a part of it. I would like to thank both Wabash College and Dr. Eric Wetzel for the opportunity to experience such an amazing trip and to develop new friendships and lifelong memories.