Meeting notes for April 17, 2019

After Members were greeted by Norma Sarkar taking reservations for the Irene Butter presentation on April 24 and Nancy Harrison and Agnes Reading inviting them to Moms, Motors and a Meal, President Greg rang the starting bell and the meeting settled into the business of the day. Norma Sarkar delivered the inspiration, a poem by Art Holst. “Where is Heaven?” was published in 2005. Don Devine and Tom Strode celebrated the season, leading us singing April Showers and Wait ’til the Sun Shines, Nellie.

President Greg celebrated birthdays from last week and this. Lynda Carter had pointed out to him that there are no birthdays on April 17 but volunteered that it is the anniversary (15th) of her truck, Bart – Bad A** Red Truck. No seriousness after that!

Joanne Pierson announced that Rotaract is looking for new blood as well as seasoned Rotarians (sic) and will be meeting next week at 1:30pm. The Program and Polio committees were meeting at 1:30pm today.

Nancy Harrison woke up anyone who had snoozed off by honking an antique car horn. She reminded us that 2019 Spring Fling, aka Moms, Motors and a Meal, will be Sunday May 12 at the Ypsilanti Heritage Automotive Museum. Nancy underscored the historic significance of Ypsilanti in automotive history and Southeast Michigan. All are welcome. Browsing the museum and learning about the cars will be capped off with a buffet supper by Sidetrack. The event is 4:00 – 7:00 pm, the cost is $30.00 per person, $10.00 for children under 12. There will be a cash bar for beer and wine. Reservations must be paid by April 30 and are available at lunch or via

President Ashish reminded us to notify Norma if we are coming to the meeting next week. The meeting will be in Weber’s Grand Ballroom.  The public is invited to hear Dr. Irene Butter’s address as she receives the Robert S. Northrup Humanitarian Award.  Knowing how many people will attend will make the afternoon go smoothly and reflect well on Rotary.  Norma’s address is

Dave Anderson gave a very personal and moving memorial to our member John Debbink, who died in March.  John was a wonderful, thoughtful friend who cared deeply for friends and colleagues.  He is missed by all who knew him.

Notes from the Program

Dennis Powers introduced our Speaker, Dr. Adam Marks.  Dr. Marks has a handful of titles at Michigan Medicine in geriatric and pediatric care and is  Medical Director of Arbor Palliative Care.  His clinical interests include palliative care education, symptom management at the end of life, effective communication strategies around end-of-life care, outpatient palliative care delivery, and clinical ethics.

Click Here to download  Dr. Marks’s power point presentation.

Dr. Marks talked about the shifting trends in medical care, a history he is very familiar with as his grandfather and father are both physicians.  He traced the evolution of practice from home visits and deep personal interactions through the migration to clinics and hospital settings.  He cited the medical advances of the last generations, noting that we are living 30 years longer, but we  are living with chronic disease.  Medical practice has shifted from curing disease to managing it.

Now the questions is, what do patients with serious illness really want?  All too often, the patient’s expressed request for deescalation is not honored.  Aggressive treatments and higher spending do not lead to better outcomes; often conservative treatment results in longer, more comfortable life for the patient and gives family and friends time to come to terms with inevitability.

Dr. Marks talked out the importance of having conversations with family and close friends, a Patient Advocate, and a Living Will.  These are hard conversations to have. There are many issues to discuss – medical treatments, financial considerations, who needs to know these things.  He recommends as a good place to get ideas and encouragement to make these painful times easier for the patient, family and friends.

President Greg closed the meeting with a quote from Mark Twain: “Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”