Oct 29, 2012

Meeting of the Rotary Club of Eureka
October 29, 2012

It sure was nice to see everyone at our 16th meeting of the 2012-2013 year.  I arrived at about 11:45am and there were only a few people there…but, after turning around a few times and clicking my ruby boots together, chanting “there’s no place like home”, the venue filled up nicely.  After sitting down and getting fully caught up on the Giant’s World Series victory (YEAH!), we were called to order for the flag ceremony, and what a surprise we got.  Jamie Carroll, who is with Rotoract and was a former Exchange Student of ours, gave us a rousing rendition of “America the Beautiful”.  It was truly splendid, and she got a well deserved round of applause.  Next, for the invocation Ron Pierre came up, and reminding us all of the pounding “perfect storm” Sandy was delivering back east, read a nice prayer dedicated to storms.  Thank you Ron!

We had a good turnout of visiting Rotarians this week.  Kathy Miller, who is President-elect for the Southwest club was there, as were Mike Brown from Fortuna, Liana Simpson with the Old Town club, and Patty Needham also from the Southwest club. 

Not to be outdone, we had a great group of visiting guests as well.  Jay Reed introduced us to several people from his office, Michael Boreing, Patty Needham, and Heidi (forgive me, I didn’t get her last name).  In addition, Eric Bergel introduced the new student body President of Eureka High, Ben Ross, and former President Izzy Piland.  It was great to welcome them all to break bread with us.

We had two birthdays announced, Lane Strope whose annual special day is the 25th of October, and Doug Lanning who celebrates his naming day on the 27th of October.  We also had three birthday celebrants at the head table – Jana Jones, who graces us each October 3rd, Steve Lafferty whose birthday is the 3rd of October, and Bruce Smith whose day is the 18th of October.

There were no membership or personal anniversaries announced this week.

So let’s now look at the announcements – we had a fair number to share.

First, Steve Justus announced the VA Connect concert, which will be sharing lifetime photos of local veterans and musically celebrating their lives with the Eureka Symphony playing an Aaron Copeland Suite. Tickets are $12 for adults, and $5 for kids.

Second, the Eureka High Interact club is newly invigorated.  It advertised Interact during the Chalk on the Walk at Eureka High before homecoming.  They’ve volunteered at the Freshwater School Festival to carve pumpkins which they then delivered to Timber Ridge.  They are gearing up to help the Toys for Tots and Food for People programs.  They’re also unveiling a Facebook page soon.

Third, Lost Coast Rotaract was very successful during the Arts in Line event on October 21st, raising about $2000 for an international project in the Tibetan region, and this is very opportune given the recent earthquake there.  In addition they had 40 exchange students (including our own two, Franco and Larissa) who participated in the Spirit and Spirits haunting and imbibing event in Old Town that raised an additional $2000 for Helsey Guide at the Clark Museum.

Fourth, Sally Arnot announced that Arts Alive is having a ribbon cutting ceremony for the garden the Eureka Heritage Society restored at 315 2nd Street in Eureka, at 6pm, on Saturday, November 3rd.

Fifth, another reminder that the Beautification Project for the northerly interior gateway to Eureka is happening on Saturday, November 3rd, at 9am.  We need as many hands on deck as we can get to help with weeding and bark, says Jill McDonald.

Sixth, we learned that Ron Pierre was recently honored for his work helping Service Members and their families.  He’s helped over 300 families over the last year or so.  In any case, he was named the National Ombudsman of the Year in Washington, DC, recently, and received the award from the Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta.  In addition, around the same time he was promoted so that now he is the Ombudsman for the Western 14 states.  Finally, at the award ceremony he was given an award of $250, Ron graciously declared that he wants that to go towards two Paul Harris related funds.  Thank you Ron, and well done!

Seventh, and the highlight of the announcements, our esteemed President, Nancy Dean, made a declaration around our annual Vocational Service Month award.  This award is in recognition of the Rotarian who exemplifies the Four Way Test and the Rotary Code of Conduct in their vocational life and who has made a contribution to the vocational development in the Club or community.

In a surprise and loudly applauded announcement, Dean declared that the Board had unanimously decided that this award be renamed in the name of our newly departed and much beloved member, Rotarian Scott Guild.  So, henceforth, this award will be known as Scott Guild Vocational Service award.  In his many years as a coach to local girls basketball, and as an instructor at Humboldt State University, Scott gained a well-deserved reputation as a “by the book” type of man.  Scott also provided numerous internships for HSU students at his firm.  So, with his daughter Katelyn currently in South Carolina, and his son down in San Diego, it was fitting that the Managing Partner of his firm Aalfs & Evans, Michael Boreing, accept the award on behalf of Scott’s family with some of the other partners of the firm present.

Bruce Rupp then came up to introduce the first recipient of the Scott Guild Vocational Service award, Greg Williston.  Greg has served the community in many roles including Eureka Chamber of Commerce (2013 in-coming President), Youth Ambassador Program leader, Adopt-A-Street Program supervising youth volunteers, Eureka Open Space, Parks and Recreation Commissioner, and organizing the volunteer work on the Rotary project at Cloney Field (Eureka High).  Greg also serves currently on our club’s Youth Exchange Committee and is hosting Franco, our exchange student from Chile this year.   Greg was quite humble in accepting the award while again honoring Scott Guild.

Next, Bruce Rupp came up again to introduce us to this week’s speakers, Kathy Miller of Economic Fuel, and Susi Huschle with the Humboldt County Office of Education, who serves as the College & Career Resources Coordinator.  The theme of their presentation was the Decade of Difference. 

Kathy Miller started with a brief introduction of Youth Exchange and its plans for next year.  Next she discussed the Economic Fuel program, which started in 2006, and which has been extremely successful at seeing kids fulfill on graduating from high school and then go on to successful attend college. By 2007, in the program started by Chuck Smith, the local Economic Fuel won an award for the number of participants who graduated from high school, and the percentage that then went on to college.

Susi Huschle then came up and gave us whirlwind presentation on the Decade of Difference. It looked like she could have provided a lot more information, if only she had more time.  In any case, the Decade of Difference is all about planning for the future of our children, making sure as many of them not only graduate from high school, but who then go on to college.  One of the important goals of this program is to see our kids come back to Humboldt after they’ve completed their college education.  The various programs associated with Decade of Difference currently serve 64% of students in our county.

One of the key messages Susi shared with us is the concept that there’s not just one way to win.  Going to college is just one avenue, but it’s not the only one. However, regardless of the path they follow, gaining the skills needed to get good long term employment is key.  Back in 1960, of all jobs the jobs available, only 60% required unskilled labor.  By contrast in 2000 about 65% of all job required skilled labor.  Relative to these numbers, and to put them in perspective with high school graduation and college, out of every 20 high school students, 6 drop out, 6 graduate and immediately go to work, 8 go to college but only 4 of those graduates in 5 years, and only 2 of those actually win a job their college education prepared them for.  The bottom line is that gaining the skills necessary to get good employment is key.

In the final portion of her presentation Susi talked about her role as a College and Career Resources Coordinator.  They have lots of tools available, and some of the programs she mentioned included:  Student Planners and Career Counselors for kids in 7th to 12th grades; the online Navigator & HUB websites; Career Mentorships; Middle School Career Camp; and Cal-SOAP (Student Opportunity & Access Program).

In a closing comment Susi declared that there are many ways to connect with our young students, and it’s never too early to start.  Participation in community panels, offering internships, Job Shadowing, Career Mentorship, and even just straight forward financial support are all needed. 

What Susi and Kathy shared is definitely food for thought, and even better, a call to action!

The Rotary Club was very grateful to hear from Kathy Miller and Susi Huschle. The club had them sign a book for our library project. 

Presented in Rotary Service by Bruce Smith

Oct 22, 2012

Meeting of the Rotary Club of Eureka
October 22, 2012

When I left my home this morning it was pouring.  With a hat and rain coat it was just another late fall day in Humboldt County.  On my drive to our luncheon there were rain clouds out, but the sun was peeking through.  Again, another case of situation normal on the North Coast.  I know, I know – you’re probably wondering whether our weather person and President, Nancy Dean, had predicted this on again and off again weather, but she was mum on the subject on arrival to the fifteenth meeting of the 2012-2013 year. It was nice to see Bob Prior, one of our long term members (1974) and a Paul Harris fellow lead us in the flag salute – which started right on time.  Next, former President and Paul Harris Fellow Carlton Nielsen read a nice invocation, with special note and prayers for Don Leonard who, we are happy to hear, is recovering nicely from unexpected heart surgery.

While there were no student guests announced at the meeting this week, but we did hear from our own exchange student Franco Calleja, who announced he’s off to San Francisco to see the sights, check out accommodations at Alcatraz, and do his best to cheer on the Oakland Raiders to a hopeful win this weekend.

We had one visiting Rotarian, Paul McGinty, who is with St. Joseph’s Hospital, and hails from the South West Rotary Club of Eureka.  We also had two guests that were introduced. First, our own Christine Witt introduced Cassandra Wagner, who handles scholarships for Humboldt Area Foundation.  Second, Christian Hill introduced Dr. Eric Gerdes, our guest speaker and the ED Medical Director for St. Joseph’s Hospital.

We had two birthdays announced, Lane Strope whose annual special day is the 25th of October, and Doug Lanning who celebrates his naming day on the 27th of October.  We also had two other birthday boys who were sitting at the head table – Steve Lafferty whose birthday is the 3rd of October, and Bruce Smith whose day is the 18th of October.

There were no membership or personal anniversaries announced this week.

There were a healthy number of announcements made this week, so let’s get right to it.

Lost Coast Rotaractraised $1800 for their international fund raiser.  Also, the have another fund raiser this weekend, the Spirits and Spirits tour of the haunts of Old Town; tickets for this event can be obtained at the Old Town branch of Ramones.

We were reminded that October is still Vocational Service Month.  The club will be giving recognition and presenting a gift to the Rotarian who best exemplifies the Four Way Test and the Rotary Code of Conduct in their vocational life and who has made a vocational contribution to the Club or community.  If you know of any Rotarian who you feel meets these criteria please send President Dean or any Board Member their name and a short description of how they meet the criteria.  The presentation will occur at our luncheon next week on October 29th.

World Polio Day is October 24th.  We are right on the brink of eliminating this disease worldwide, so give some thought, prayers and any effort you can provide to make this so.

John Bradley and Mindy Bussman are asking for help with Backpacks this Thursday.

Don’t forget, our annual Christmas Party is coming up soon on December 15th at the Ingomar Club, so mark this on your calendars if you haven’t already done so!

The Beautification Project for the northerly interior gateway to Eureka is happening on Saturday, November 3rd, at 9am.  We need as many hands on deck as we can get to help with weeding and bark, says Jill McDonald.

Carol Rische introduced Fatima Naylor and Shayla Burbich, who represent Families Advocating Autism Now (www.faanclub.org). They received a grant of $575 from our club, and they wanted to thank us for that, and tell us of the important services this group offer – one important one being Sensory Screening.   

Autism is much more common than most people are aware of. Steve Justus, for one, stood up with great heart to tell us of his personal experience of this in his family, and called around the room for others who had experienced this in their family or circle of friends – a number of hands went up.  Autism is a growing phenomenon and our Club is proud to support these efforts.

President Dean then handed out some rainsticks.  One went to Sally Arnot who was fined for being absent recently, as she has been spending time in Willow Creek over the summer with her son’s family and her two young grandchildren.  Sally then insisted on paying a double fine so she could get two rainsticks – one for each grandchild.  Way to go Sally!   

Another rainstick went to Jim Davis who has been absent due to his travels.

Christian Hill then introduced our speaker for the day – Dr. Eric Gerdes, who is St. Joseph’s ED Medical Director, who essentially wanted to give us an update on the new Tower, which is now scheduled to open on November 11th, as well as provide information on some of the challenges the hospital and medical profession are facing.

Eric shared with us that the hospital currently only has nine beds in the Emergency Department (ER), and these beds are mostly in shared rooms only separated by curtains.  The ER currently sees about 25,000 patients per year of which 17,000 are urgent care cases.  With the opening of the new Tower, they expect the ER department will be able to handle 44,000 patients per year, and there will now be 20 private emergency rooms.

One interesting method Dr. Gerdes used to inform us was to ask a series of survey like questions which he used to make a number of points, and to point out how we all need more and better information to both understand the issues, and to have any chance of truly addressing them.  For example, he asked what percent of total medical costs are being used for ER services.  The numbers ranged from 2% to 47%.  The answer was just 2%, which many found surprising.

The most relevant issue for ER departments is Patient Flow.  You need to move the patients through the system, and the more efficiently you can do this, the more service you can provide. One measure hospitals use is how many people Left Without Being Seen (LWBS). In February 2011 that number was 7.2%, while the national average at that time was 5.0%.  So, in June of 2011 St. Josephs and Dr. Gerdes introduced a program to address this, the key component of which is a preliminary Rapid Medical Evaluation (RME) which allows each patient to be more properly routed through the system.  The effects of these efforts has been that the LWBS ratio has dropped to 2% at our local St. Josephs ER, and their target is to get that down to 1%.

Dr. Gerdes then shared a number of other very interesting statistics, such as Time to Provide services, Turn Around Time to discharge, Turn Around Time to admit, Door to Admission times, and then a series of core measures the hospital is using to track patients who come to ER. He also spent some time talking about the new Cath Lab.

One of the startling statistics is how much time it takes for patients to move through the system, with times ranging from 153 minutes for one measure, and 339 at the other end of the spectrum.  This often leads to questions as to what is taking so much time.  The reality is that with new laws & regulations, the efforts needed to process claims with insurers and Medicare/Medicaid, and efforts to improve the charting (documenting all efforts made for a patient) needed to address these changes, doctors and nurses are spending ever increasing amounts of times doing reports and charts.  Even with new computer systems these efforts are still draining more time than they used to.

One bright spot to note is that nationwide the percentage of ER Board Certified doctors in ER departments is only 55%, but St. Josephs can now happily boast that 100% of their ER doctors are certified.

One major challenge that our local medical system faces is that only 6% of doctors surveyed will typically even consider moving to smaller communities with populations of 50,000 or less. To put that into perspective, of those screen for interest in local positions, and 71 who were ultimately interviewed for positions at St. Josephs ER department, only 5 have accepted.  Dr. Gerdes would still like to find 1 or 2 more doctors for his team, but it’s a real challenge.

A number of recent surveys put this issue in even more stark relief.  Of 13,500 doctors surveyed, given all the various obstacles they face, 60% say they would like to retire from the profession. Even among those who are under 40 years of age, 47% say they would like to retire.  All of this points to some other worrying numbers. Currently the nationwide shortage of doctors is estimated at 13,700, and it is further estimated that by 2015 the shortage will be 62,900, and by 2020 the shortage will rise to about 91,500.  Given all of these challenges, and the improvements the new tower at the hospital will offer our community, we have a much improved chance of meeting the challenges we face, but there is still a lot of work to do and this will only increase as we move forward in time.

The Rotary Club was very grateful to hear from Dr. Gerdes. The club had him sign a  book for our library project.  Nancy then closed the meeting, reminding once again that next week was dark.

Presented in Rotary Service by Bruce Smith

Oct 15, 2012

Meeting of the Rotary Club of Eureka
October 15, 2012

The Flag salute was lead by Past President and multiple PHF Pat Folkins   The invocation was offered by Bill McAuley with special thoughts for Don Leonard who is recovering from surgery at Stanford Hospital.

Birthdays:  Dana Jones (16th), Bruce Smith (18th)

Anniversaries:  Wedding – Dick and Debbie Storre       Club – Roy Frostenson 4 years

Student Guests
Our Exchange Students Larrisa (Germany) and Franco (Chile) updated us on what’s they’ve been doing  since our last meeting.

The Rotary Foundation District Dinner was Saturday (Oct. 13) in Fortuna.  President Nancy and Past President Bert Campton attending to represent the Club – they were the only ones there representing the Club so President Nancy took Past President Bert’s suggestion and allowed everyone who didn’t make to the Dinner to make a Foundation donation by putting ten bucks on the table.

At the Foundation Dinner we received three District awards for:
    1) Community Service 
    2) Innovation and 
    3) Distinguished Club

The Innovation award was for our establishing the 501(c)3 1923 Fund and our use of it for the Honor Flight Program.  President Nancy announced we will be using the account again in support of the Boy Scouts and their fund-raiser to buy and install a potable water system at Camp Riggs Johnston on the Elk River – it will allow them to use the showers the Club donated to them previously.

October is Vocational Awareness Month and we’ll be giving an award at the end of the month to a club member who exemplifies Rotary and Vocational Service – Still time to get your nominations in to President Nancy

New Board of Director Members:  Congrats to our newest board members who will serve a two year term starting next year:  Mike Downey, Alicia Cox, Jeff Leonard and John Harper.  Thanks for your service.

President Nancy has a grandson’s wedding to attend this weekend so she auctioned off – for 30 bucks – two 50 yard line seats to this week’s HSU home football game.  She also offered her tickets for this Saturday’s Rotaract fund-raiser at the Arkley Center to anyone wanting to attend the event.

SMALL GRANTS:  Carol Rische presented our first round of Small Grant awards for this Rotary Year.

$2,000 was awarded to the Humboldt Library Foundation for their “Buy a Book Campaign” – our grand will be used specifically to buy books for teens and young adults
 $1,000 to HSU Softball for the purchase of a new pitching machine for the team

President Nancy traded in her Sunshine Hat for a Rainy Day one and then recognized Carol Rische with a coveted rain stick for her recent month long trip to Europe.

The program, in keeping with October’s vocational theme, was a presentation about the Eureka non-profit YouthAbility which is aimed at helping disadvantaged youths between the ages of 16 and 24, teaching them job skills and helping to make them self-sustaining.  

YouthAbility Board Member Margaret Wheeler and Vance Café Manager Dixie Callahan told us about the program which began in 2006 and runs the Angels of Hope Thrift Store in Arcata and the Vance Café in Eureka.

Respectfully submitted,
Roy Frostenson

Oct 8, 2012

Meeting of the Rotary Club of Eureka
October 8, 2012

The club was dark in observance of Columbus Day.