Free flu shots, plus, day of the Newt 

Free flu shots

On Saturday, Oct. 21 from 9 to 11 a.m., Community Home Health Services, part of Community Health Network, will hold its second annual drive-in flu shot clinic at Community Regional Cancer Care, 7229 Clearvista Drive, on the Community Hospital North campus. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that high-risk individuals receive the flu vaccine during the fall months to maximize its effectiveness. High-risk individuals include people aged 65 years or older; people of any age with chronic diseases of the heart, lungs or kidneys; anyone with diabetes, immunosuppression or severe forms of anemia; pregnant women; children 6 months and older (children under the age of 12 must have a doctor’s order).

Flu vaccines can be given to anyone who wants to reduce the risk of getting the flu. No appointment is necessary for the drive-in flu shot clinic and the cost is $25 per vaccine (cash or checks accepted). Persons with Medicare Part B must present their Medicare card and Community Home Health Services will bill Medicare for the cost of the shot for them. It is advised that participants wear loose clothing so nurses can access the upper arm area. 

For more information, call 800-777-7775, or view the complete flu clinic schedule on Proceeds from this year’s flu clinics will benefit CHHS patients.

City sewer plan

The city’s agreement with state and federal agencies on a 20-year plan to reduce raw sewage overflows was formalized last week with the filing of a consent decree in U.S. District Court.

With the filing of the decree, a civil rights complaint filed in October 1999 against the city also will be dropped by Hoosier Environmental Council, Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis, Mapleton-Fall Creek Neighborhood Association, Sierra Club and Improving Kids’ Environment.

The filing asks the federal court to accept the settlement reached earlier this year among the city, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

“This agreement demonstrates the city’s commitment to protecting public health and improving the quality of life along the White River and our neighborhood waterways,” Mayor Bart Peterson said. “Reaching this settlement avoids lengthy and costly litigation and allows us to continue our focus on resolving this long-standing problem.”

Under the consent decree, the city has agreed to invest:

• $1.73 billion by December 2025 to significantly reduce raw sewage overflows from the combined sewer system;

• $50.4 million by December 2015 to eliminate chronic overflows from seven locations in the separate, sanitary sewer system;

• $3.5 million by December 2010 on supplemental environmental projects to eliminate septic systems in the Epler-Meridian and Banta-Southport neighborhoods.

The city also will pay cash fines for past violations of $588,900 to U.S. EPA and $58,890 to IDEM to settle the complaint. Potentially larger fines were offset by the city’s commitment to put dollars toward projects that will improve water quality.

Home grown grads

According to a recent study, Indiana University now has nearly 490,000 living graduates worldwide, more than 250,000 of whom live in Indiana, the school said today.

A total of 489,909 living persons hold Indiana University degrees granted through May 2006, according to a release by IU. IU ranks third among U.S. colleges and universities in the total number of living graduates, according to the 2005 Council of Alumni Association Executives. More than 50 percent of Indiana’s physicians, 64 percent of optometrists, 40 percent of nurses, 35 percent of teachers, 75 percent of lawyers and 90 percent of dentists are IU graduates, the school said.

Newt in town

Former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Newt Gingrich will share his thoughts on America’s health care system during the 2006 OneAmerica Business Lecture on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 3 p.m. in the Hilbert Circle Theatre, 45 Monument Circle.

As an author, Gingrich has published 10 books, including Winning the Future: A 21st Century Contract with America, Contract With America and To Renew America. He is also the author of Saving Lives and Saving Money, his vision for how to transform health and health care into a 21st century system that is centered on the individual and is prevention-focused, knowledge-intense and innovation-rich.

Widely recognized in some circles for his commitment to a better system of health for all Americans, Gingrich believes his leadership helped save Medicare from bankruptcy, prompted FDA reform to help the seriously ill and initiated a new focus on research, prevention and wellness. Currently, Gingrich serves with former Sen. Bob Kerry as co-chairman of the National Commission for Quality Long-term Care.

Book sales and autographing will occur following the lecture from 4-5 p.m. The free public lecture is presented by OneAmerica and the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library Foundation.

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