From philanthropy director to donor: Diane Buzzell sees giving from both sides now

“It was like all the air was sucked out of the room for just an instant.” That’s how IU Health Foundation South Central Region Philanthropy Director Diane Buzzell describes the moment she learned she had breast cancer. Now that she’s caught her breath, Diane is ready to do what she’s helped so many other IU Health patients and families do: give back.

As a way to show her gratitude for the care she received during her breast cancer journey, Buzzell has made a $10,000 gift in support of cancer care in the south central region. Her gift will also name a flagpole in front of the new Indiana University Regional Academic Health Center at IU Health Bloomington in honor of her parents—a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, and a breast cancer survivor.

Diane Buzzell’s parents

Well aware of her family history of cancer—breast cancer in particular—Buzzell wasn’t surprised by the diagnosis, but she was caught off guard by when it happened, saying she expected it later in life. Still, Buzzell knew from her work that she was in good hands. “Because I’ve talked to so many patients who have had cancer and later became donors, it helped me wrap my head around what was going on a little bit quicker,” she says. “I had heard all these wonderful stories of patients who relied on IU Health for breast cancer care—and had wonderful things to say about their care.”

Easing Buzzell’s mind further after the diagnosis was knowing she wouldn’t have to travel far from home to receive the highest quality of care. As a Bloomington resident, she had many IU Health facilities to choose from near her home—including IU Health Bloomington, IU Health Bedford Radiology and the IU Health Olcott Nurse Navigation program, a philanthropy-funded service that offers nurse navigators to help patients and their loved ones understand and manage the complex emotional and physical challenges of cancer.

Buzzell’s care team

That knowledge helped Diane return to some semblance of normalcy, even as she spoke at a cancer-related fundraising event the same night as her diagnosis. With her wife by her side, Diane remained focused on what her son called, “the best worst news.” Cancer, yes, but found early, at stage zero. “Stage zero can only be detected through a diagnostic mammogram,” she says, “which is why it’s so important to not just have one but to do so regularly.”

To treat her cancer, Buzzell underwent a lumpectomy, followed by placement of the revolutionary SAVI brachytherapy device, which delivers radiation internally to eradicate the cancer with minimal side effects.

Throughout her experience, Buzzell was grateful for the expertise of her physicians and treatment team, but even more so for their compassion. From a radiologist who wrapped her in warm blankets during treatment to her Olcott center nurse navigator, Buzzell now sees the power of philanthropy from the other side.

“We have been the beneficiary of other people’s philanthropy,” she says. “I kind of knew what to expect, because I’ve heard so many patient stories. But I can see how it must feel for somebody who doesn’t know what it’s like, to have this wonderful nurse navigator come in and say, ‘I’m here for you. What can I answer? What can I tell you?’ To know that you’ve got somebody there when you don’t know what to expect—it’s pretty remarkable.”

Now, Buzzell looks forward to sharing the news of her gift with her parents. “I am who I am because of them,” she says. Her gift celebrates them and marks an important time in her life—when she got the opportunity to see the impact of the work she does in action. “I saw what it was like to feel that the IU Health system cares about you. I understand now.”

If you’d like to support cancer care in south-central Indiana, contact IU Health Foundation Development Officer Emily Trinkle at 812.345.5625 or IU Health Foundation Philanthropy Director Diane Buzzell at 812.322.4129.

Notice of Email Security Incident

Ciox Health (“Ciox”), a vendor to IU Health, contracts with healthcare organizations to provide health information management services. Ciox places a high value on maintaining the privacy and security of the information they maintain for their customers. Regrettably, this notice concerns an incident that may have involved some of that information. While Ciox has no indication that anyone’s information has been misused, this notice explains the incident, outlines the measures they have taken in response, and steps individuals can take.

What Happened?

An unauthorized person accessed one Ciox employee’s email account between June 24, 2021 and July 2, 2021, and during that time may have downloaded emails and attachments in the account. Ciox reviewed the account’s contents to determine whether sensitive information was contained in the account. On September 24, 2021, Ciox learned that some emails and attachments in the employee’s email account contained limited patient information related to billing and/or other customer service requests. The review was completed on November 2, 2021 and confirmed the full scope of affected individuals whose information was contained in the account and the covered entities to which their information related.

Between November 23 and December 3, 2021, Ciox began the process of notifying their healthcare provider customers of this incident. Since then, Ciox has worked with IU Health to notify the affected individuals whose information was identified by the review.

What Information Was Involved?

The information involved included patient names, provider names, dates of birth, and/or dates of service. In limited instances, the information involved may have also included Social Security numbers or driver’s license numbers, health insurance information, and/or clinical or treatment information.

What Ciox Is Doing?

Data privacy and security are among Ciox’s highest priorities, and they have extensive measures in place to protect information entrusted to them. To help prevent similar incidents from happening in the future, they are implementing additional procedures to further strengthen their email security and are providing enhanced cybersecurity training to their employees. They also have been working with their customers to notify individuals whose information was contained in the email account.

What You Can Do

Ciox believes that the account access occurred for purposes of sending phishing emails to individuals unrelated to Ciox, not to access patient information. Still, they wanted to notify individuals of this incident and assure them they take this incident very seriously. As a precaution, they recommend individuals review statements received from their healthcare providers and health insurers. If they see charges for services they did not receive, they should contact the provider or insurer immediately. For the limited number of individuals whose Social Security number or driver’s license number was contained in the email account, Ciox is offering complimentary credit monitoring and identity protection services.

For More Information

Ciox began notifying affected individuals on Dec. 30, 2021 and will continue to do so as their customers provide them with contact information. For that purpose, Ciox has established a dedicated call center to answer any questions individuals have about the incident. If you believe you are affected or have questions about the incident, please call 1.855.618.3107, toll-free, Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., Eastern Time, excluding some major U.S. holidays.

Virtual Art Studio, Art Therapist Welcome Patient from Georgia

By IU Health Senior Journalist, T.J. Banes,

He arrived in early December and will remain in the hospital throughout the holidays. Minter Garvin Jr. is 800 miles away from home.

He came to IU Health Simon Cancer Center, known for the successful treatment of testicular cancer – germ cell tumors – using a mix of high-dose chemotherapies and peripheral stem cell transplant.

After a 13-hour drive, he was settled into the bone marrow unit at IU Health University Hospital and was introduced to a new art therapy program.

A Virtual Art Studio is offered each Wednesday to patients in the unit. The initiative is part of IU Health’s CompleteLife Program focusing on holistic healing. In addition to art, certified professionals offer patients complimentary massage, music, and yoga therapy.

“The virtual art studio model of creating and conversing serves to connect patients who may otherwise feel isolated in their rooms,” said art therapist Heidi Moffatt. It’s especially important for those patients who come from far away. Garvin and his wife, Neccy, traveled from Folkston, Ga. He is the second in a line of “Minter Garvins” – all living within a mile of each other. The Garvins have three adult children back home.

“This is all so different for us. We come from a small town with five stoplights and the whole community has rallied around us,” said Neccy. Folkston is the county seat for Charlton County, and home to about 2,500 residents. The town is known for the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and eco-tours including bird watching, hiking, kayaking and canoeing swamp adventures. It’s about an hour north of Jacksonville, Fla.

On their drive to Indianapolis, the Garvins took photos in Atlanta – home to Minter’s favorite baseball team – the Atlanta Braves. Once in Indianapolis they took photos of Lucas Oil Stadium and the IUPUI campus. It was a journey that began 10 months ago when Gavin was first diagnosed with testicular cancer.

They arrived in Indianapolis on December 5. Moffatt delivered an art bag donated by the Riley Cheer Guild, filled with markers, colored pencils, a drawing pencil, oil pastels, and an individual-size sculpting media. The Riley Cheer Guild was founded in 1924. The volunteer-based program supports hospital programs that provide comfort to adult and pediatric patients and their caregivers.

“The visual art studio invites open creating so patients use the kit given to them as they wish and when they feel up to it,” said Moffatt. She may offer a prompt for those who want more direction, such as a word like “nourishment.” Participants keep a journal encouraging them to reflect on their work. Participants log in to the hour-long studio with their personal cell phone or tablet at 2 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Patients have sketched, colored, doodled, written poems, and written journal entries, said Moffatt. They are invited to share as much or as little of their work with the group as they wish. “Sometimes individuals attend to get their mind off of their healthcare and get creative; other times individuals may choose to focus on their treatment progress in the company of other patients. There is no right or wrong way to participate, and no experience is required,” she said.

For Garvin, 52, the introduction to art therapy is unexplored territory – similar to his journey to Indiana. “After everything I’ve been through, I’m open to anything,” he said. Until his cancer diagnosis, he had barely been sick a day in his life.

The American Cancer Society estimates about 9,470 new cases of testicular cancer in the United States this year; about one in every 250 males will develop testicular cancer in their lifetime. The average age of diagnosis is 33. It is typically a disease of young and middle-aged men.

After 20 cycles of chemotherapy at a hospital in Jacksonville, Fla. Garvin learned the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes. That’s when he was referred to Indianapolis and IU Health Simon Cancer Center. He is in the care of oncologist Dr. Nasser Hanna.

Garvin received the first half of his stem cell transplant on December 15 – a day referred to as his “second birthday.” As he passes the time, he listens to holiday music and knows that when he feels up to it, there’s art therapy waiting.

Holidays in the hospital: Finding light in the darkness

Each day brings new challenges. Those who care for the sickest of patients during the long-lasting pandemic are giving their all. And as they give, they look for light in the darkness.

By IU Health Senior Journalist, T.J. Banes,

On the same unit that has treated some of the sickest patients diagnosed with COVID-19, there’s a holiday tree. Nurses and other team members decorated the tree with recycled resources including pressure cuffs and rubber blood draw tourniquets.

The crowning jewel on the tree located in IU Health’s Methodist Hospital 8E is a star with the face of Dr. Rajat Kapoor. Those who work with him, refer to Dr. Kapoor as their “favorite intensivist,” and “a shining star.” An intensivist is a board-certified physician who provides special care for those who are critically ill. Team members say Dr. Kapoor has been a consummate encourager in the fight against a pandemic that has changed the world of healthcare.

“Some of the things I like about Dr. Kapoor are his knowledge, his compassion, gentleness, and his collaborative approach. He listens to the nursing staff and really takes into consideration our concerns. He also listens to his patients – that’s a big one,” said nurse Monica Hammerly.

Another nurse said, “I’ve thought about how hard Dr. Kapoor has worked for so long and yet he remains so optimistic – almost annoyingly optimistic at times – but it rubs off on those he works with.”

Medical journals, professional publications, and media outlets have reported Dr. Kapoor’s countless efforts since the start of the pandemic. As a critical care pulmonologist and Medical Director for Respiratory Care Services at IU Health, Dr. Kapoor has been recognized for his efficiency and responsiveness in the face of dire need.

Consider that Dr. Kapoor was instrumental in:

  • Implementing systems to track and distribute necessary equipment and supplies including ventilators and the use of those supplies by all IU Health facilities.
  • Balancing hospital staffing that included reducing elective procedures and reassigning team members to the greatest areas of need.
  • Educating hospital staff to ensure that the quality and safety of patients is maintained in all circumstances.

What many people did not see was the depth and breadth of Dr. Kapoor’s leadership efforts. He earned his medical degree from Maulana Azad Medical College, India; completed his residency at the University of Illinois; and a fellowship at Detroit Medical Center, Wayne State University. In 2018, he earned his Physician MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Two years later, Dr. Kapoor began working at IU Health and combined experience in the ICU with his business background to face the challenges of COVID-19.

As the number of cases grew and the beds began to fill, Dr. Kapoor gathered team members for daily huddles updating them on key changes and initiatives. Staff training increased to meet the demands. Team members say they are encouraged to offer ideas on ways to improve operations, work more efficiently, and manage patient needs.

“As I cared for sick COVID patients three days in a row, I allowed myself to be optimistic because that’s what Dr. Kapoor would do,” said one nurse. “In the middle of this war, he was always optimistic.”

For Dr. Kapoor, “the war” is not over and he plans to keep putting his best foot forward.

Recent data suggests a forecast of 550-575 infected patients in hospitals around the state by New Year’s Day. At IU Health Hospitals, there are more than 400 COVID-19 patients. Total hospitalizations throughout the state have doubled in the past month making Indiana among the top states in the country for COVID-19 hospitalizations. Add to that an increase in volume of other patient illness, and IU Health now has a record 70 percent of all staffed inpatient beds throughout the state.

To help provide some relief, Indiana National Guard troops have partnered with the Indiana Department of Health, bringing trained medics to work alongside IU Health team members.

Those caring for the increase patient load are tired. They are frustrated. And they are searching for light in the darkness.

“How has COVID changed me? As a person there’s an understanding that things can change and they can change quickly. The disease itself has made all of us more humble and forced us to look at things differently. Professionally, we’ve done a lot of research and collaborations, not just nationally, but also internationally that have resulted in some fairly fruitful studies,” said Dr. Kapoor.

“As for being a shining star, I think recognition is helpful to everyone,” he said. “These days there’s so much negativity and we’re here for the long haul so that means celebrating every little thing – from sending a patient home after a long hospitalization to providing meals for team members. It’s not easy but we do what we can to stay optimistic day in and day out.”