IU Health Arnett Physicians welcomes neurosurgeon Garrett J. Jackson, MD

Indiana University Health Arnett Physicians is pleased to welcome Garrett J. Jackson, MD, to IU Health Arnett Neurosurgery located at 3750 Landmark Drive, Suite B in Lafayette.

Dr. Jackson grew up in West Lafayette. After completing his neurological surgery residency, Dr. Jackson returned home to practice within his community. He believes in a patient-centered approach and works toward conservative treatment modalities in order to avoid surgical intervention whenever possible. Dr. Jackson works in conjunction with therapists, chiropractors and pain specialists and can treat a wide range of conditions of the brain, spine and peripheral nervous system.

Dr. Jackson completed his residency at the University of West Virginia and is a graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine.

Outside of medicine his interests include fly fishing, hunting and traveling. He and his wife Bethany have three children.

IU Health Arnett Neurosurgery providers specialize in the evaluation and treatment of all brain, spine and nerve-related conditions. Our neurosurgeons, evaluate, access and provide treatment for a variety of conditions such as:

  • Adult hydrocephalus
  • Brain tumors
  • Carotid artery stenosis
  • Carpal and cubital tunnel surgery
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Cervical disc replacement
  • Chiari malformation
  • Cranial and spinal trauma
  • Degenerative disorders of the spine
  • General neurosurgery
  • Herniated discs
  • Pituitary tumors
  • Spinal deformity
  • Spinal fusion
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spinal tumors
  • Vagal nerve stimulators

From Disney theme park to Disney theme: Husband-wife stitch colorful surgery caps

David Wortman’s mom taught him to sew. Now he and his wife are using that talent to stitch together colorful surgery caps for young patients.

By IU Health Senior Journalist T.J. Banes, tfender1@iuhealth.org

When Stephanie Lang’s little girl Taylor, had ear tube surgery at IU Health Eagle Highlands she wore a colorful pink cap into the operating room. A couple that is grandparents and just happens to work in the operating room lovingly made the cap.

“I’ve always wanted to thank them. It’s the little things that make a difference when a child is going through surgery,” said Stephanie Lang, a nurse at IU Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.

What many patients and parents don’t know is there is a story behind those colorful caps – worn both by patients and operating room staff members at the IU Health Eagle Highlands Outpatient Center.

David Wortman, who has been a certified operating room technologist for 23 years, grew up in Orlando, Fla. His mom Jeanne Hunter worked as a seamstress for the Walt Disney World theme park and now sews together wedding dresses and prom gowns.

“The Disney costumes would come already assembled but if something needed adjusted or mended, that was mom’s job,” said David Wortman. “She also walked the steps of the rides and checked costumes to make sure they were up to standard.”

He learned to sew by watching his mom. When he began his career as a surgical technician, he asked if she could sew some colorful caps.

“She got a pattern from a store but they were basically shower caps. Most of the women wear the caps with bands across them to hold up their hair so we had to figure out the rest. It’s been an evolution to where we are today,” said Wortman. In addition to providing caps for pediatric patients and surgical staff members, he ships the caps all over the country – as far away as the United Kingdom.

On any given day, young patients come in for a variety of procedures – including ears, nose and throat – under the care of IU Health Dr. Scott Phillips. To help ease their anxiety, they are encouraged to choose a colorful surgical cap.

When David married Kathy four years ago they purchased a Brother sewing machine and she too learned to sew the caps. Together they have eight children ages 10-28 and two grandsons so they know a little bit about what patterns can make a child’s eyes light up.

Fabrics include bright hearts, ice cream cones, sports teams, Snoopy, Star Wars, Mario, Harry Potter and of course Disney Princesses, including the popular “Frozen” characters. Kathy Wortman, who works in sterile processing at IU Health Eagle Highlands, spends about three nights a week sewing the caps. There’s something a little personal about the process. When her daughter was nine-months-old, she was a patient at Riley Hospital – in the care of Dr. Laurie Ackerman. She underwent surgery for Craniosynostosis, a birth defect where there bones of the baby’s skull join prematurely.

“We were in the hospital for six days and we learned then that the small things added up to make us feel more comfortable. Patients can choose to go anywhere so if we can make a small difference then why wouldn’t we? Something as simple as a Star Wars character can help take away some of the fear. Even if the child doesn’t remember, the parent will,” said Kathy.

The surgery caps have also sparked interest among team members – many hoping to express personality and interests through their headgear. Nurse Renee Greer wears a head wrap with symbols for autism, in honor of her 17-year-old son. Surgical technologist Barbara Mahlman wears a Southwest print that matches a skirt, the Wortmans made for her granddaughter. Darryl Chapman wears a reversible cap – one side shows his love for IU sports and the other shows equal love for the University of Michigan. Some team members wear bacon-covered fabric; others wear cowboy patterns.

“They spark conversation – about sports teams, movies and specific interests and they’re not so clinical so it helps ease tension in the OR,” said David.

The machine-washable caps are also believed to be more effective in preventing airborne contamination in the operating room than the disposable caps. A study by Riley Hospital Surgeon Troy Markel, presented to the American College of Surgeons revealed that cloth skullcaps outperformed bouffant-style disposable hats in terms of significantly lower microbial shedding in a sterile field.

“I always swore I’d never sew because I didn’t think I had the patience for it,” said Kathy. “Now it’s all about the kids. We love kids and it would be my hope that every child has a cap that means something to them, something to show their personality.”

I’ve Quit Smoking. What’s Next for Me?

Congratulations! You made a life-changing decision when you decided to quit smoking.

But let’s not sugar-coat it—sticking to your commitment is hard. Most people who smoke become addicted to nicotine, the drug in tobacco. When you quit, your body goes through withdrawal, the process of your body and brain getting used to life without nicotine.

Withdrawal is different for everyone. It’s uncomfortable but doesn’t cause any health dangers. Getting through it is one of the best decisions you can make for your health. It means you’ve successfully quit smoking. Over time as you and your body adjust to your new, former-smoker life, symptoms fade. Some of the most common symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Cravings for cigarettes
  • Feeling down or sad
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritable‚ on edge‚ or grouchy
  • Brain fog
  • Feeling restless and jumpy
  • Slower heart rate
  • Hungrier

“Will I ever stop craving a cigarette?”

Cravings are typically the toughest symptom to deal with and are also the longest-lasting. The physical desire for a cigarette’s addictive nicotine is powerful. The psychological desire is too.

It takes three to four days for nicotine to leave your body. Those days can be the toughest because that’s when cravings hit, and hit hard. It can take 10 to 20 minutes for a craving to pass. But being prepared sets you up to know how to handle them.

Some days you may feel like you’re in a game of whack-a-mole with challenges popping up at every turn. Get support. Talk with your doctor about nicotine replacement medications. Replace smoking a cigarette with something else to strengthen your resolve until the craving passes.

Hard work pays off

Here’s the reality—after the cheering about your decision and the adrenaline rush of making a healthy lifestyle change dies down, you’re going to be doing the day-to-day (sometimes minute-by-minute) work of changing a habit.

When you’d do anything for a cigarette, focusing on the benefits of quitting may be the last thing on your mind. Give it a go anyway. Keep a running list of how will you spend the:

  • Money not spent on cigarettes
  • Time not spent outside on a smoke break
  • Time and money not spent on being sick
  • Extra energy from feeling healthier

Yes, cravings for a cigarette hit right away when you quit smoking, but improvements in your health do too. Within minutes, in fact, continuing for the rest of your life. Pretty good return on the investment in yourself.

IU Health Foundation grants $60,000 to Bedford, Bloomington, Paoli and Morgan County

The IU Health Foundation announced the funding of six projects in south central Indiana totaling $60,000. The grants were made through the Foundation’s new regional grants program, which supports health projects statewide while ensuring that dollars contributed locally fund local needs.

“Regional grants empower IU Health team members to improve the health of individuals, communities and our state,” said Crystal Hinson Miller, IU Health Foundation president and IU Health chief philanthropy officer. “The grants serve as a great example of the way the IU Health Foundation leverages the power of philanthropy to improve the health of Hoosiers.”

The awarded grants are:

IU Health Bedford Hospital:

• $7,500 for evidence-based programs to reduce tobacco use, low-activity levels and teen pregnancy in Lawrence County.

• $2,500 for the Look Good Feel Better program, which provides workshops and support for women in cancer treatment.

IU Health Bloomington Hospital:

• $15,000 to continue and expand the Coordinated School Health Support in Bloomington and its goal of improving students’ cognitive, physical, social and emotional development.

• $15,000 for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) training for nine emergency room nurses. More nurses with this specialized training will help victims and place SANE nurses in the emergency room 24 hours a day.

IU Health Morgan:

• $10,000 to expand Community Health Support in Eminence, located in rural Morgan County, through an existing partnership with Eminence Christian Church, Eminence Schools and IU Health Morgan. The grant will support health screenings, community education activities and healthy food on weekends for schoolchildren.

IU Health Paoli Hospital:

• $10,000 for community programs to reduce tobacco use, support injury prevention (such as child car-seat inspection and safe-sleep education) and implement wellness screenings to identify those at risk for diabetes, hypertension and coronary artery disease.

For information about how philanthropy supports south central Indiana communities, contact Diane Buzzell or visit iuhealthfoundation.org.

New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 11

New IU Health Methodist Hospital nurse Rachel Ketelaar starts to feel very independent in her 11th week.


  • A very tough day. I had a patient who was delirious and needed to be closely attended to for his own safety and the safety of his caregivers. It was so sad because his family members kept saying he was acting nothing like his normal self. I spent most of the day making sure the patient was safe. We worried he would fall out of bed. Probably the most mentally draining day I’ve had so far. Sometime nurses have to go through a lot.


  • I feel quite independent this week. I am doing much of the work myself, including giving medications, charting, discharging and transferring patients. When I began working with my preceptor, Ty would demonstrate tasks, observe as I completed them, and answer my hundreds of questions. Now, I delegate tasks to Ty so we can get everything done and still ask her lots of questions.
When I began working under a preceptor, Ty (on the right) had to tell me everything to do. Now she has me delegating tasks (thought I still ask plenty of questions).


  • Today I met with my manager, preceptor, and clinical educator to discuss how these past 11 weeks have gone and if I am ready to be on my own. We discussed my strengths and areas that I need to continue to improve. We talked about who to go to if I need help. I feel very supported and encouraged that others see that I am ready to be on my own and am qualified to be a nurse.
  • We have 3 new nurses on my unit. It’s crazy that I’m not the newest nurse right now and it’s so encouraging to see how far I have come. Just 10 weeks ago, I didn’t know where the linen was or where I could find a bandage. Now, I’m able to show them where these things are.
  • Also, my patient who was difficult on Monday was feeling much better and no longer delirious. He remembered me and thanked me for caring for him. It made the craziness of Monday a little better and reminded me that even the hardest patients can be thankful for acts of kindness.

Read more:

New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 1
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 2
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 3
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 4
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 5
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 6
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 7
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 8
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 9
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 10
New Nurse: Rachel’s Story – Week 11

Apply Yourself – Being a nurse at Indiana University Health means building a professional nursing career designed by you, with competitive benefits and a culture that embraces your unique strengths and supports your personal and professional goals. If you are seeking an organization where you can engage professionally, develop clinical expertise, embrace learning, foster new relationships and fuel your spirit of inquiry, apply today.

IU Health Foundation grants $126,000 to benefit patients in Carmel, Tipton, Fishers and Avon

The IU Health Foundation announced the funding of 13 projects in Indianapolis suburbs totaling $126,000. The grants were made with $80,000 from the Foundation’s new regional grants program and $46,000 from donors who have given to Area of Greatest Need funds.

“Regional grants empower IU Health team members to improve the health of individuals, communities and our state,” said Crystal Hinson Miller, IU Health Foundation president and IU Health chief philanthropy officer. “This regional grants program is a new opportunity for our Indianapolis Suburban Region to leverage the power of philanthropy, and honors donors’ intentions by ensuring that dollars contributed locally fund local needs.”

The awarded grants are:

  • $31,500 for a maternal/newborn simulator that will be used to train first responders, nurses and other team members in how to recognize and respond to complications during childbirth that can lead to mother or child deaths. This is in response to Indiana having one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the U.S.
  • $20,000 for state-of-the-art equipment used to do compressions during resuscitation at IU Health Saxony Hospital.
  • $15,000 to create additional programming to support and encourage team members’ self-care and well-being.
  • $10,000 for labor and delivery room training plus tools, including birthing stools, aromatherapy and speakers, to decrease the overall rate of cesarean deliveries at IU Health West Hospital.
  • $10,000 to train and certify therapists in pelvic floor therapy, a growing type of therapy that helps with bowel and bladder issues, which have increased due to the aging population.
  • $8,700 for equipment at IU Health Tipton Hospital to support speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy for patient rehabilitation. The equipment will support the team’s work in assisting patients after strokes, with wound care, vestibular therapy and general rehabilitation.
  • $8,500 for virtual reality headsets that patients can use during infusion treatments and oncology appointments at the IU Health Joe & Shelly Schwarz Cancer Center. Patients receiving chemotherapy must often sit from three to six hours, which can cause them to become anxious, bored, agitated and withdrawn. Virtual reality allows patients to be “transported” to more soothing settings.
  • $8,000 for team members to participate in the Resilience in Stressful Events (RISE) training, which teaches how to provide peer-to-peer support for staff involved in adverse patient events, stressful situations or patient-related injuries. The program will launch at IU Health North Hospital.
  • $5,000 for training and aromatherapy materials at IU Health West Hospital to help manage team members’ stress levels so they can provide more focused patient care.
  • $3,600 to build a concrete sidewalk connecting IU Health Tipton Hospital with a community walking path, improving access to the hospital and giving everyone more room to exercise.
  • $2,600 to pilot a food pantry for team members at IU Health West Hospital.
  • $2,050 for iPads at IU Health Tipton Hospital to be used by patients working to reduce their tobacco use. The iPads will allow patients to review educational materials at their own pace and allow rehab staff to know whether materials have been reviewed.
  • $1,050 for iPads in the cancer and infusion services department at IU Health Tipton Hospital. They will be used by patients to review educational materials and will allow staff to track what information patients have seen. In addition, patients can use the iPads to distract themselves during tedious treatment.

For information about how philanthropy supports suburban Indianapolis communities, contact Heather Perdue at hperdue@iuhealth.org or visit iuhealthfoundation.org.

$1.25M grant funds renovations at Methodist and University

The Indiana University Health Foundation announces a grant of $1,251,775 to fund renovations throughout the IU Health adult Academic Health Center (AHC). The grant will fund the modernization of public spaces while piloting patient-centric design concepts that may be used in the AHC project.

The funds will be used to renovate both the surgery outpatient waiting room and the primary care clinic waiting room at IU Health University Hospital, as well as the critical care waiting rooms at IU Health Methodist Hospital. The locations were determined by team member and patient feedback.

While the renovation designs have yet to be finalized, the goal is to create a welcoming environment that sets the tone for compassionate care, enhances comfort for patients and families, and ultimately, improves patient wellness. Construction will begin no later than this summer.

The downtown campus joins other IU Health locations statewide in benefiting from the new regional grants program, which was introduced last year by the IU Health Foundation. This program supports health projects statewide while ensuring that dollars contributed locally fund local needs.

For information about how philanthropy supports the AHC, contact Nick Oyler, IU Health Foundation chief development officer at noyler2@iuhealth.org or visit iuhealthfoundation.org.

Northern Indiana woman pioneers groundbreaking procedure for emphysema

Marie Weiss suffered with emphysema for 15 years. And then she learned about a new procedure performed by IU Health pulmonologist Dr. Robert Weller.

By IU Health Senior Journalist T.J. Banes, tfender1@iuhealth.org

Eight months ago Marie Weiss walked into IU Health Methodist Hospital supported by a walker – an oxygen tank in tow. It was something she had grown accustomed to after an emphysema diagnosis 15 years ago.

Last week she re-entered the hospital without the support of a walker or oxygen – a big smile on her face and new hope for her future. She is the first patient at IU Health to receive a non-evasive procedure known as endobronchial valve treatment.

Emphysema, a type of chronic obstructive disease (COPD) causes the alveolar space in the lung to lose elasticity and enlargement. The result is patients suffer breathlessness and fatigue which typically means they are less active.

“We could never make a reservation or an appointment ahead of time because we never knew how she’d feel. Sometimes we’d get to that date and she wouldn’t feel like going out. It was very confining,” said Dan Weiss, her husband of 22 years.

Marie Weiss began smoking at the age of 14 and continued until the age of 50. She said that, along with her work in a smoke-filled office at a steel factory attributed to her ill health. She was diagnosed with emphysema in her 40s.

“I was sick a lot and constantly on antibiotics and Prednisone at least twice a month. I was staying out of the hospital because I was proactive but everything was difficult – even daily care,” said Weiss. It was when she went to another hospital inquiring about lung reduction surgery that she learned about Dr. Robert Weller and the endobronchial valve treatment – a less invasive procedure than lung volume reduction surgery.

In lung volume reduction surgery a patient’s chest is cut open to remove the diseased portion of the lung. Endobronchial valves replicate the effects of that procedure without requiring incisions, by allowing the most diseased portions of the lung to collapse. In June 2018 the FDA approved the valve procedure as the first bronchoscopic treatment for emphysema in the United States. The actual valve looks like a small earring and is about the size of a dime.

Weiss underwent the procedure in July, under the care of Dr. Weller. He is one of five pulmonologists at IU Health Physicians who perform the procedure. Others in his group include Dr. Damien Patel, Dr. Aliya Noor, Dr. Francis Sheski, and Dr. Christopher M. Kniese.

The procedure isn’t for everyone.

Weiss underwent pretesting that included a 6-minute walk and thin section CT scanning to determine pulmonary functioning and anatomy of the lobes for exact valve placement.

“The upfront testing is a refined selection process to analyze the fissure between the upper and lower lung to determine who makes a good candidate,” said Dr. Weller. “We turn down roughly four candidates a year.” Weiss is one of the success stories.

“It’s very gratifying to see her now,” said Weller. “We went into medicine to help people and the reality is some we can and some we can’t. With emphysema we got used to the fact that gains would be marginal, not dramatic with the exception of lung transplant. This is not a cure but it’s a procedure to make life easier.”

Since her procedure Weiss has felt better than she has in years. She keeps an oxygen tank close by when she heads to the grocery store or on appointments but it’s what her husband now calls a “security blanket” rather than a lifeline. She continues with pulmonary rehabilitation to strengthen her lungs and will have regular check ups.

Her two children and grandchildren live hours away from her Munster home and until now Weiss hesitated to travel.

“This isn’t about vacations or trips; this is about family. Now I feel comfortable traveling and I’m not afraid. Dr. Weller has helped me with that confidence. He is very careful and conscientious,” said Weiss. “It’s been great for her to have the freedom – not being tied to a 50-foot plastic tube to breathe,” added her husband.