Notes from July 22 ZOOM Meeting

More than 50 Rotarians gathered on the Zoom call shortly after noon to check in and socialize. At 12:29, Lori Walters provided the “Zoom Etiquette” for the members. She encouraged everyone to use their video during the meetings to continue our fellowship. At 12:32, President Joanne Pierson rang the bell to start the official meeting. President Pierson introduced Tom Strode on his piano, who led the members in singing “God Bless America.” Jody Tull provided the Inspirational message with a one-minute mindful moment and deep breathing exercises. She talked about giving thanks and being grateful for all things.

President Pierson introduced a video showing the 2020 American Choral Directors Association Southern Conference — Junior High Honors Choir singing “Be the Change.” She then welcomed all of our members in attendance (77 people by then). She also thanked our set up team consisting of Lori Walters, John White, Sara Maddock, Jim Egerdal; our photographer, Fred Beutler, Reporter, Kathy Waugh and attendance takers, Daphne Schallbetter and Lauren Heinonen. Additional thanks went to Tom Strode for playing the piano and Richard Ingram for providing the video. Recent birthdays were also acknowledged.

Announcements from the President

  • Dues are WAY overdue. If you haven’t paid, get it done.
  • Lauren Heinonen featured in the August Rotarian magazine
  • Barbara Niess-May featured in The Brick Magazine

Membership Engagement

Norma Sarkar provided a Membership update. As of June 30, we have 266 active members and 85 members still owe dues for 2020-2021. Our current budget is based upon 260 members plus 10 new members.

In July 2016, our membership was 326 Rotarians. During those three years we lost 106 existing members and readmitted 8. We inducted 70 members but lost 18. The most common reason given for leaving (40%) is “business pressures.” Exit interviews are given for all who choose to leave.

The membership action plan for 2020-2021 consists of identifying a membership chair and additional membership committee members. They need you on the 2nd Wednesday of the month to join them!

RCAA members who do not attend ZOOM meetings will be contacted, as well as Rotary alumni, members who have resigned and former Rotaractors. The plan also consists of increasing efforts to promote diversity through membership, speakers and projects with diverse organizations.

CALL TO ACTION for all Rotary Members:

  • Every member of RCAA is an important part of our Membership Efforts
  • Be Visible – wear your Rotary items
  • Be Positive about being a member
  • Promote RCAA efforts
  • Share your RCAA experience – invite others to meetings
  • Share the RCAA website
  • Share the Harpoon
  • Fall class nominations are due September 14, 2020

Read more here


Special guest “Francesca!” told us about our new Summer Fundraiser on August 17th

The Virtual Italian Mid-Summer Festival will be held on August 17, 2020 at 7:00PM so please SAVE THE DATE. A take-out, order-ahead meal will be provided by Paesano’s and will include wine options. The evening incorporates a Zoom wine talk by Paesano’s owner Michael Roddy and former wine director, Chaad Thomas. Profits from this summer festival will support RCAA projects. Francesca says “Grazie” to the committee!



Guest Speaker – Aditya Pandey, M.D., UM Dept. of Neurosurgery

Tim Johnson introduced today’s speaker, Aditya Pandey – who is a neurosurgeon and an associate professor of Neurological Surgery, Otolaryngology and Radiology at the University of Michigan. He is one of two neurosurgeons in the Ann Arbor region who are trained to perform both open surgeries and endovascular radiological procedures when treating brain blood vessel related diseases. His topic today was about “Transformative Brain Bleed Treatment: Innovating to Improve Patient Outcomes and Save Lives.” One year ago today, our own Jody Tull suffered a massive stroke. Her care and treatment were led by Dr. Pandey.

Dr. Pandey thanked Jody and her family for helping to propel their work on brain bleeds. He passionately shared with us how devastating a brain bleed can be on a person. To provide a specific example, Dr. Pandey talked about a 48 year old mom/wife who presented with a ruptured aneurysm. She was hospitalized for a month, but her treatment and care went on for many months. Her journey was amazing, and she was fortunate.

To deliver the best surgical and medical care is to understand why brain injury occurs and sometimes worsens. The Michigan Neurosurgeon team is leading efforts in providing the treatments of brain. They continue to research the best “next steps” to care for the brain when a bleed occurs. The first world brain bleed conference took place in Ann Arbor in 2005. We hosted the same conference in 2017. It’s a world conference representing many parts of the world. Interestingly, brain bleeds are more prevalent in Asian Nations.

Some statistics of bleeding in the brain from ruptured brain aneurysms:

  • US – 35,000
  • World – 500,000
  • 2/3 in of these are in third world nations who do not have sufficient medical capabilities to treat
  • There may be one neurosurgeon for 1 million people.

Many brain bleeds continue to swell and add pressure even when the blood clot is removed successfully. In this case, toxins are released in the brain and cause build-up of fluid. The individuals will suffer from confusion and stroke-like systems. After 20 years of work, it was determined that the culprit seems to be that when the red blood cells streams out into the brain, eventually, that red blood cell dies. When that cell dies, its inner contents are released in the brain. Also, medications are typically prescribed post-surgery. Iron in these medications has been shown to increase swelling as well.

The conclusion is that iron is the bad actor. Medications that binds iron (reverses the effects) and reduces inflammation are now being prescribed. These medicines (Deferoxamine, Minocycline, Conoidin A, CD47 blocking Ab) are improving the lives of those affected from bleeding in the brain throughout the world.

The goal and next steps are to understand the role of these promising medical therapies. This will occur through randomized controlled trials in combination with multiple other centers. Costs for this run from $7 – 20 million dollars funded by the Federal Government. The majority of the costs is related to getting patients these supplies. The potential of these medications can transform brain bleeds around the world. The medication must show preliminary data that the medical therapies have promise for positive results. The Dept. of Neurosurgery has been supporting time of faculty in these trials as to reduce costs ($300,000 to $500,000).

To learn more about brain bleed research, contact Kirsten Petriches, Assistant Director of Development, Neurosciences,


Next Week’s Speaker

Jimena Loveluck, Washtenaw County Health Officer will be speaking on “Washtenaw County Covid-19 Status”


President Pierson closed today’s meeting with a quote form Samuel Taylor Coleridge: “He is the best physician who is the most ingenious inspirer of hope.”  She rang the bell at 1:30 but many people stayed on the line for Q&A with Dr. Pandey.