Couple commemorates special occasions, one milestone at a time

As the days go by, this Southern Indiana couple strives to make each one count even when they are spending time in the hospital.

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

There are two versions of Jose Moreno’s birthday. One was in February, when he turned 46, and the other was in late August when he received a stem cell transplant.

On both dates, and many days in between, his wife, Gina, is right by his side. Earlier this month, they celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in a hospital room at IU Health Simon Cancer Center. They ordered carryout food, the nurses on the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit hung a banner outside Moreno’s hospital room, and provided a special dessert.

Their journey with IU Health began in January when Moreno was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. He has been in the care of Dr. Seyed Hamid Sayar, who specializes in hematology. Several rounds of chemotherapy led up to the day he received his stem cell transplant.

A white board in his room marks the occasion with the words, “Happy New Birthday. Let’s Cell-ebrate.” His wife wrote in a social media post to family and friends: “Today at 11 a.m. Jose will get his new cells and his chance to keep living. It’s hard to believe without treatment he would have been gone in six months.”

A bone marrow transplant provides Moreno with healthy replacement cells. After the procedure, Gina Moreno, referred to her husband as “Superman,” for all he has been through.

Moreno gives his wife credit for helping him every step of the way. They also appreciate the kindness of friends in their hometown of Lyons, Ind.

Jose was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and moved to Bloomfield, Ind. in 1994. The Morenos’ love story began four years later. “He was a waiter at a Mexican restaurant. I came in to eat and that was all there was,” said Gina. “He didn’t speak any English so we spent a lot of time sitting at a table practicing.” As the years went by, the couple bought a house in Lyons and had three children. They also have a grandchild.

Jose, who is known as “Alfredo” to his friends, followed his dreams and opened a Mexican restaurant called “Cinco de Mayo.”

“The restaurant is kind of a gathering place for our community,” said Gina. In February, hundreds of friends joined a Facebook page, “Wear Orange for Alfredo’s birthday.” Orange is the color representing leukemia.

And now, with his new birthday, those same friends continue to rally around the couple with prayers and words of support.

Arnett’s piano man

“Music goes deep—it’s a healing thing, which is needed in a hospital,” shares Kim Pike, the piano man of IU Health Arnett Hospital.

The piano is a new addition to the Banyan area of IU Health Arnett Hospital, something Pike has desired for the past few years. The piano was a donation from his church of 13 years, The Gathering Point (formerly Dayton United Methodist).

“It was a nice gesture on the church’s part,” shares Pike. “It came from a practice room.”

When it was gifted to him, he knew the perfect spot. “It was a bit of a selfish choice—I wanted to have access to a piano here so I could play music. So they gifted it to me, and I gifted it to IU Health.”

Pike has worked for IU Health for the eight years. After a varied career in marketing and sales, Pike relocated to Lafayette from Pennsylvania 18 years ago to be near his daughter and grandsons.

“I did not want to miss out on watching my grandsons grow, and now both have graduated and become adults,” shares Pike.

Pike started his career at IU Health Arnett as a lab courier. It was the perfect job for a retiree looking to keep busy. Pike would often carry around a portable keyboard and dress in appropriate attire for each holiday. At each stop he would entertain team members with a Christmas tune or an Irish blessing.

“Music can change a mood. It can uplift and bring a smile. It can lighten the load,” shares Pike who has been dubbed the singing courier.

Four years ago, he went back to full time work in supply chain. Supplies come in daily from Indianapolis on a skid and need to be broken down and distributed throughout the hospital. Once the skids are broken down, Pike is responsible for the first floor, stocking supplies for the Emergency department and Intensive Observation unit.

Pike’s day at the hospital starts at 6 am. Often, he hears music from another team member playing the piano at the end of their overnight shift as he starts his day shift. Pike will play for 15 minutes during his lunch break each day. Sometimes he will play at the end of his shift.

“It is a gift, and I like to share that gift,” shares Pike on why he plays. “It is a relaxing fun activity.”

Pike learned piano at age 12 from his mother, He plays the piano by ear; he cannot read music. His church will send him YouTube links of songs for the next week, and he learns the song from there. At home, along with his mother’s original acoustic piano, he has an electronic Yamaha and several smaller keyboards.

“I play for other people,” shares Pike. His reward is when children and adults come stand at the rails around the Banyan to enjoy the entertainment and relax for a while.

Enjoy some music by Kim Pike:

Trauma team helps patient attend loved one’s funeral

Following a serious car accident, a North Vernon woman found special assistance from her IU Health trauma team.

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

They had been side-by-side for 33 years. But on July 6, Virginia Simmons found herself alone at IU Health Methodist Hospital.

At 1:20 in the afternoon, Simmons was a passenger in a car driven by her longtime companion, Elmer Hall, 73. According to a report by the Jennings County Sheriff’s Office, Hall’s 2006 GMC Envoy was traveling southbound and ran off the county road, striking a tree. The report said that a medical issue was the cause of Hall’s accident. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Simmons, 73, said Hall suffered a heart attack. He was retired from the construction business. He became acquainted with Simmons when he helped install an air conditioner in her home.

“We’ve just always been together. It’s never been any other way,” said Simmons.

She was transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital where she said she suffered bumps and bruises and a shattered hip. She remained hospitalized for several days where she was in the care of a team of providers that included Nurse Navigator Katie Watson, Nurse Practitioner Leann Guerra, Case Manager Alicia Sommers, and Trauma Surgeon and Medical Director, Dr. Peter Hammer.

When arrangements were made for Hall’s funeral on July 12, Hammer worked with IU Health LifeLine to secure transportation for Simmons.

“I contacted the LifeLine Medical Director to see what the feasibility was of having them transport Mrs. Simmons and played go between for our clinical team and LifeLine leadership” said Dr. Hammer.

The day of Hall’s services at Dove-Sharp & Rudicel Funeral Home, LifeLine team members Director, Christopher Oberg, and EMTs, Nicholas Madden & Travis Jarret helped transport Simmons to North Vernon. She was accompanied by Watson, and IU Health chaplain for trauma services, Thomas McDorr.

“We’d discussed different ways to get her to the funeral. She needed medical supervision and I said, ‘I’d go,’” said Watson. The group departed at about 11:30 a.m. and returned around 6:00 p.m. “Knowing it would be a long drive down and back, I offered to go to provide emotional support if needed,” said McDorr.

Simmons was in a wheelchair and was beginning to work with the rehab team at IU Health in preparation for her discharge. She is now in a rehabilitation facility and said she is able to get up and walk.

“Being able to go to his funeral, meant the world to me. It wasn’t closure because you never reach closure but it helped to be with family and friends,” said Simmons.

Rehab team collaborates to help patient communicate with caregivers

At first they knew the patient could not convey his thoughts and feelings but they were not sure why. It took a team to evaluate the situation. Together they came up with a plan.

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

Sitting in a chair in the surgical progressive care unit of IU Health University Hospital, Daniel Preuss says four words: “Can you help me?”

He was uncomfortable in his chair and wanted to readjust. His nurse calls for physical therapy and in minutes, Preuss’ fingers are flying across a small letter board. Preuss, 24, came to IU Health to be treated for lymphoma.

In critical condition, Preuss was hospitalized for 60 days, and in a coma for a month. As his condition began to improve, a ventilator and tracheotomy limited his ability to verbalize his needs, said Elizabeth Dimick, occupational therapist.

“His arms were so weak that he also could not use them to point or gesture to what he needed. He would verbalize his needs when he figured out someone was in the room when they touched him,” said Dimick. He became frustrated.

That was when Preuss’ team of rehabilitation specialists came together to design a plan that would help with communication.

That team included Dimick, Jamie Pulliza, manager of adult speech language pathology, Stephanie Roberts, speech pathologist, Dr. Laura Prince, who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation, Christa Kaeser, physical therapist, and Megan O’Brien, speech pathologist.

“I admit that when Megan (O’Brien) called me to discuss the case I was momentarily taken aback on how to help this patient because his situation was unique,” said Pulliza. “We looped in two of our speech language pathology colleagues who specialize in neurologic deficits, Andrea Schaeff and Jill Stewart.

Plans began to formulate once the team realized that Pruess has significant visual and hearing impairments. The acute loss was a result of his initial diagnosis and its effect on his central nervous system said O’Brien, who has been with IU Health for nine months. “His hearing is limited to high pitched sounds but he can’t discriminate speech sounds,” she said.

The team members first wrote with their fingertips on Preuss’ palm. One hand squeeze meant, “Yes;” two squeezes, meant, “No.”

“The consistency in how we all write letters, orientation of his palm and the accuracy of him interpreting our ‘handwriting’ was becoming taxing on him and extremely frustrating,” said Dimick. Then the team discussed the patient’s strengths and decided to try a modified letter board. Preuss did not know Braille, but he could feel shapes of letters.

He quickly responded to questions and statements about his care.

“He adapted so readily that they could not keep up the pace communicating with him. There were many tears shed during the process,” said Pulliza. The tears were a result of frustration and joy.

In the end, determination and persistence triumphed.

As Kaeser worked to reposition Pruess in the comfort of his hospital bed, she gave credit to the young man in her care.

“He has been so patient through all of this,” she said. As he began to communicate, his team members saw his mood and interactions shift. He began smiling and joking. He went from being lonely and afraid to recognizing the advocacy of his care team.

Kaeser first met Pruess when he was in medical intensive care. “He asked if I was his mother and I wrote on his hand that I was his physical therapist and his mother would be here soon.”

It was when the team members were searching online for special devices to communicate with Pruess that Kaeser looked at the changeable letter board on her desk. A lightbulb went off and suddenly the team had a solution.

“I feel like he trusts me and I needed to stay with him when he moved to progressive care,” said Kaeser, who has been with IU Health for 10 years. “This is a first. I’ve never had a patient with dual sensory impairments. Writing on his hand and seeing him respond was probably one of the coolest things I’ve done as a physical therapist,” she said. “I feel like without all of us working together and collaborating we would never haver reached this point and this is no doubt, one of the most important things I’ve experienced in acute patient care.”

LifeCare team among first in the state to distribute Monkeypox vaccine

By Molly Zimmick, IU Health Adult Academic Health Center Senior Communications Associate

During the week of July 25, the IU Health LifeCare clinic became one of the first departments in the IU Health system and across the state to receive the Monkeypox vaccine from the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH). Since then, LifeCare team members have continued distribution of vaccines for vulnerable patient populations, improving the health of Hoosiers.

When the vaccines became available, LifeCare Manager Kyle Bonham says the team “immediately went to work, proactively calling our patients who were most at risk to get our limited supply of the vaccine in the arms of those who needed it most.” In Indiana, demographics of those impacted by Monkeypox illustrate that LifeCare patients are among the greatest risk for contracting the virus. However, Bonham says, “Viruses don’t discriminate, and anyone can contract Monkeypox through skin-to-skin contact or prolonged face-to-face interaction with a person with Monkeypox.” Bonham continues by saying the team is “motivated to continue distributing vaccines, reducing their patients’ risk of contracting the virus and keeping individuals healthy.”

Adapting to changing work environments and implementing new care strategies isn’t new to the LifeCare team. At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, the LifeCare Clinic saw large patient volumes for vaccinations. “For us, the Monkeypox public health emergency feels very reminiscent of the first year of COVID,” says Bonham. “We saw a public health emergency caused by a virus that led to rapid and constant change to processes, quickly-evolving scientific understanding of the impacts, brand new vaccines and treatments and helping manage the impact to our patients lives.”

The LifeCare team is proud to be a trusted medical provider and takes pride in the positive relationships they build with patients. “Our team has come together to provide excellent, high-quality care, in a manner that is compassionate, judgement-free, and in a way that we hope reduces the stigma that already exists about this virus,” says Bonham. “That type of care is at the heart of LifeCare’s mission and represents our purpose every single day.”

Demonstrating the IU Health values, the team continues to work closely with the IDOH to distribute vaccinations and increase accessibility to vaccines for patients in need.

For helpful resources, FAQs and more information about Monkeypox, visit this link.

Watch a short video about the spread of Monkeypox in Indiana here.

Supporting the next generation of doctors in east-central Indiana

Imagine being accepted into medical school as a high school senior and that you’ll graduate debt-free.

Sound too good to be true?

With philanthropic support, this educational pathway could be in the not-so-distant future for students interested in medicine, thanks to the B/MD Pathway program at Ball State University (BSU). This highly competitive program guarantees incoming BSU freshmen admission to Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) in Muncie upon completing their bachelor’s degree.

Since the program’s launch in 2020, philanthropy—including support from Indiana University Health Foundation—has helped B/MD expand its reach and recruit more students, who are currently undergraduates. But Derron Bishop, associate dean, IUSM-Muncie and B/MD program manager, hopes future donor support will be made available to fund scholarships for B/MD students.

Derron Bishop, associate dean, IUSM-Muncie and B/MD program manager

“My long-term goal is to guarantee these kids that they’ll leave medical school with little or no educational debt,” he said. “And I want to explore how we can get them out the med school door sooner.”

For students hesitant about exploring careers in medicine because of its steep price tag, B/MD could be a pathway for more Hoosiers to become physicians without having to take on hundreds of thousands of dollars in student debt.

In fact, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the average medical school debt among students attending a public school in 2021 was $194,280. Seventy-four percent of medical students at a public college said they had education debt, and 14% of medical students attending a public school said they had at least $300,000 in average medical school debt and premedical debt combined.

“It’s expensive,” said Bishop. “But who can really put a price on the gift of education? Providing that gift is the ultimate form of philanthropy.”

A gift to B/MD may seem like it’s only supporting college students, but Bishop assures prospective donors that it is actually an investment in the future of healthcare, especially at IU Health hospitals in east-central Indiana, which is a major priority for B/MD.

“That really is the main reason we developed the program,” said Bishop. “I know that if I can get a somewhat local person, and we can train them here, their odds of staying in the community are substantially above average.”

One of those recruits is Sydney Cook, a Ball State sophomore from Yorktown, Ind, who is a B/MD student studying pre-medical preparation and biology.

“B/MD was made for me,” Cook said. “Because I grew up near Muncie, this program lets me go to Ball State and be immersed in medical school, all right in my own backyard.”

Sydney Cook, Ball State sophomore

Now, Cook’s backyard has expanded to include not only BSU, but IUSM-Muncie and IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, all of which are within walking distance to one another.

“IUSM-Muncie lives on IU Health Ball’s medical campus, and BSU is literally across the street,” said Bishop. “There’s this natural synergy that we have just from the geography of being close by.”

That proximity perk is something Cook and her fellow students have already taken advantage of, as it enables them to attend medical school lectures from time to time, brush shoulders with BSU, IUSM and IU Health leaders, meet current medical students, explore research opportunities and get hands on experience in the clinical setting.

To guarantee that medical school seat, Cook has to keep at least a 3.5 GPA, graduate with her BS and pass the MCAT. Once she does though, she’ll have a major advantage over other incoming medical students at IUSM-Muncie. Her experience in B/MD will have already introduced her to the coursework, the IU Health physicians in the community, the IUSM faculty and the campus.

“It’s almost like the fifth year of school instead of the first year of medical school,” said Bishop. “It’s a continuation of everything they’ve been working towards in B/MD.”

And what Cook is working towards is a career as a doctor in her hometown.

“I want to help grow the physician population in Muncie, and I want to be part of the reason Muncie becomes a healthier and stronger community,” she said. “I’m going to be part of the next generation of doctors in east-central Indiana, and hopefully, IU Health.”

If you’d like to support workforce and education development initiatives like B/MD in east-central Indiana, contact IU Health Foundation Philanthropy Director Brad Edmondson at 765.747.3420.

Crispus Attucks fellows are IU Health’s healthcare heroes of tomorrow

Sixteen-year-old Karla Bravo doesn’t graduate from high school until 2024, yet she already has a job offer from Indiana University Health.

That’s because Bravo is part of an elite group of young people participating in the philanthropy-powered IU Health Fellowship at Crispus Attucks High School (CAHS)—a program that guarantees Fellows an IU Health medical assistant or patient care tech position upon completing the fellowship and graduating from high school.

But completing the program is no easy feat. It requires time, dedication and ambition—three areas which Bravo, an aspiring pediatrician, is committed to.

“I have big goals,” Bravo said. “I know I have a bright future ahead.”

Following the competitive application process, Bravo was admitted to the program in 2021 as a rising sophomore and agreed to spend the next two summers exploring careers in patient care, research and administrative support. Funded in part by a generous grant from the Lily Endowment, as well as support from IU Health Foundation, the fellowship gives CAHS students hands-on experience in healthcare—everything from bedside care to business and data management.

It also gives IU Health the opportunity to create a pipeline of young professionals and direct them towards rewarding and well-paying jobs in healthcare.

“This program serves so many needs in our community,” said Program Manager Andrea Russell. “It cultivates talent and diversifies our workforce, which ultimately improves the landscape of healthcare in Indiana.”

Andrea Russell, program manager, Mosaic Center for Work, Life and Learning

This past summer, Bravo finished her first year of the six-week internship program, which included two weeks at IU Health Foundation learning about the inner workings of a nonprofit.

“I had never heard the word ‘philanthropy’ before,” said Bravo, “but now I’ve been exposed to an entirely new side of healthcare that I didn’t even know existed.”

She brushed shoulders with everyone at the Foundation—from development officers and grant writers to donor relations experts and executive leaders. These opportunities for enrichment provided Bravo with an understanding of philanthropic work as it relates to business strategy, building donor portfolios, finance, communications and stewardship, as well as knowledge of programs that are funded by philanthropic dollars.

“Now I understand the significant role philanthropy plays in the healthcare system and for the betterment of Indiana and its residents,” Bravo shared.

Next year, through the fellowship program, Bravo will participate in another immersive, multi-week internship experience aligned with her specific career goals. Along the way, she will also have the opportunity to earn five industry-recognized certifications, as well as 29 dual credits from Ivy Tech Community College that aligns with a healthcare specialist associates degree.

Upon completing her degree, Bravo will be the first in her family to graduate from college.

“When individuals have access to resources, they are able to invest in themselves,” said Russell. “Programs like this fellowship open doors for young people in our community—doors they might not be able to open on their own.”

What’s the key to unlocking those doors for our future physicians, nurses, researchers and therapists? Russell said it’s philanthropy.

“Supporting workforce development opportunities like this fellowship is more than an investment in a program,” she said. “It’s an investment in the lives of these students, and their families and their communities. It’s an investment in the future of Indiana.”

If you’d like to support professional development and education advancement programs like the IU Health Fellowship at Crispus Attucks High School, contact IU Health Foundation Regional Grants Director Karissa Hulse at 317.289.9365.

Building an international pipeline of talent to IU Health

Every month, three to five nurses from around the world pack their bags and set sail for a new adventure at Indiana University Health.

But these skilled healthcare workers are not your average “travel nurses”—they are caregivers in IU Health’s International Nursing Program (INP)—a workforce development program that recruits nurses from other countries to work at IU Health Methodist and University hospitals for a minimum of three years.

The program, which launched in 2019, was designed to help fill staffing gaps created by Indiana’s statewide nursing shortage, as well as increase diversity among caregivers at the downtown Indianapolis hospitals.

And in just four years, that global talent pipeline has helped IU Health recruit 59 nurses from countries including the Philippines and Kenya.

The result? A team of healthcare professionals who more closely mirror IU Health’s diverse patient population, as nearly 50% of Marion County residents are minorities.

“Research shows that patients of diverse backgrounds have better outcomes with registered nurses of their own race or ethnicity,” said Amanda Noth-Matchett, IU Health associate chief nursing officer. “This means the more varied our nurse population at IU Health, the better care we can provide for our patients from vulnerable groups.”

To ease their transition from home to Indiana, INP relies on support from Shearwater Health, a clinical solutions organization that helps the nurses find housing and transportation in Indianapolis. Shearwater also helps the nurses finalize their immigration documents and equips them with tools they need to excel in an American work environment, including English language training.

Because Shearwater handles the logistics of INP, Noth-Matchett and her team can focus their efforts on creating a welcoming onboarding experience. Much of that includes a specialized orientation, assigning each cohort a nurse mentor on the unit, an overview of IU Health processes and equipment, and lessons about the patient population.

“We want them to feel like they are immediately part of our community,” Noth-Matchett said.

To help expand this initiative, INP was recently awarded a $167,104 grant from IU Health Foundation to onboard a “cultural concierge” who will support INP nurses in their new roles and be their main contact for community resources. This person will also coordinate events and team outings to help socialize and familiarize them with the Hoosier state—and ensure they have a meaningful experience.

Amanda Noth-Matchett, IU Health associate chief nursing officer

Noth-Matchett hopes such experiences inspire the nurses to stay in Indiana after their contracts are up.

“That is the ultimate goal of this program,” she said.” We hope to retain these nurses as permanent team members.”

Securing INP caregivers as full-time IU Health nurses will help IU Health advance its goal of creating a more diversified workforce and continue to be a place where many voices and perspectives come together to improve the health of Indiana communities.

“Every time we increase the diversity at our hospitals, we become a stronger care team,” said Noth-Matchett. “The more nurses we onboard who have different experiences, exposures and resources to tap in to, it benefits us all and most importantly, helps provide more holistic care to our patients.”

If you’d like to support professional development and education advancement programs in your community, contact IU Health Foundation Senior Development Officer Leigh Ann Erickson at 317.373.0142.

Patriotic repurposer: She was giving back to the hospital before she was a patient

<p><em><strong>She can turn a Ball jar lid into a red, white, and blue coaster. She loves sewing and all sorts of craft projects. So when Ethel Terrel became a patient, she was thrilled to learn about art therapy.</strong></em><br></p>
<p><em>By IU Health Senior Journalist, T.J. Banes, </em><a href=””></a></p>
<p>As soon as she begins talking, the West Virginia accent heightens the charm of Ethel Terrel’s stories. She was born and raised in the Appalachian state and moved to Florida later in life. </p>
<p>Thirty-seven years ago Terrel moved to Salem, Ind., and she brought with her a rich heritage that included life skills passed down from one generation to the next. </p>
<p>She was raised the oldest of eight children and began cooking when she was in elementary school. She also learned at an early age to make do with what she had. </p>
<figure><img src=”{asset:2845480:url||}” data-image=”2845480″ style=”opacity: 1;”></figure>
<p>The mother of two sons, and grandmother to five, Terrel is known for her beef and noodles, apple pie, broccoli-cauliflower salad, Italian cream cake and carrot cake made from baby food. She once single-handedly catered a wedding for 300 people and served up a delicious bourbon chicken. She also cooks meals for those who are homeless in her community. </p>
<p>She loves scouring thrift shops and secondhand stores for castoff items that she can make into something new. She’s turned a green bean can into a decorative wall hanging, a cheese board into a welcome sign, and a stick of wood into a firecracker. She especially loves patriotic themes and has painted numerous red, white, and blue ornaments. </p>
<p>“I’ve always loved to make something out of nothing,” said Terrel, 74. She doesn’t sell anything but loves to give away her creations to friends and family members. </p>
<p>Back in her Washington County log home, Terrel baked cakes to take to the hospital emergency department. She also sewed 400 masks and 75 scrub caps for four different hospitals when the pandemic broke out. </p>
<p>“It’s my mission. There’s nothing I’d rather do,” said Terrel. </p>
<p>It was a year ago June when she went in for blood work, that Terrel learned she had excess protein in her blood. Another test six months later showed an additional increase. More tests followed and in December 2021 she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell, a plasma cell. </p>
<p>“I didn’t feel bad at all. I clean four or five houses all week and I wasn’t a bit tired,” said </p>
<p>Terrel. After several rounds of chemotherapy, she came to IU Health where she has been in the care of <a href=”″>Dr. Sherif Farag</a> and <a href=”″>Dr. Mohammad Abu Zaid</a>. After undergoing a bone marrow transplant she is passing the time working with IU Health Art Therapist Heidi Moffatt. </p>
<p>In one recent session, she dipped marbles into colorful paints and rolled them across the paper to create an abstract piece of art. The work sits in her hospital window. Art therapy is part of the CompleteLife Program at IU Health that attends to holistic healing – the mind, body and spirit. In addition to art, patients may take part in music, massage, and yoga therapy. </p>
<p>CompleteLife is accepting original works from patients, caregivers and staff members to exhibit in the Fifth Annual Art Show. The theme for this year’s show is “Finding Calm in the Chaos.” The show will be on display in IU Health Simon Cancer Center & University Hospital Sept. 19-30 and the Harrison Center for the Arts, Oct. 7-31. All levels of artists are encouraged to participate. To learn more <a href=””>click here</a> or call 317-944-0301.</p>
<p>“I love that there is an art therapy program here. It helps keep me occupied when I can’t be at home doing crafts,” said Terrel. She plans to enter one of her projects in the art show. She is especially fond of working with silk transfers and Mod Podge and learns a lot of her techniques from craft shows. </p>

Six questions to ponder about pelvic physical therapy

Maybe you don’t even know what pelvic physical therapy is. Maybe your physician has suggested it, but you’re too shy to learn more. Here is some information to help.

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

The patients range from women experiencing bladder and sexual issues after child birth or pregnancy, to men with pelvic pain and bladder leakage. Many patients are too embarrassed to talk openly about their issues with their physician.

Lauren Habig, IU Health Physical Therapist in Rehabilitation Services offers answers to some of the most important questions. Habig has been a physical therapist with IU Health for 10 years.

“I went into PT because I wanted an active job and I wanted to help promote healthy lifestyles and help people continue to live their daily lives without pain,” sad Habig. She also has an undergraduate degree in kinesiology and played high school sports, and was part of a downhill ski team in college.

Q: What is “Pelvic Floor Therapy?”
It’s a specialization of physical therapy that focuses on improving bladder, bowel, and sexual function. Pelvic floor physical therapy examines the pelvic floor – an area made up of muscles that support the bowel, bladder, and reproductive tracts. These muscles can be weak or tight similar to any other muscles of the body.

Q: What does a physical therapist do for pelvic pain?
Treatments are similar to physical therapy for any area of pain or dysfunction but we specialize in assessment and treatment of the pelvic floor muscles. Treatments consist of manual therapy, biofeedback, functional activities, and bowel and bladder training.

Q: What should patients expect on a first visit to physical therapy?
There is an initial evaluation consisting of a conversation focusing on functional impairments, bowel, bladder, and sexual health. A therapist may also want to know about your diet and exercise habits. If a patient is comfortable, the therapist may perform an internal exam of the pelvic floor muscles.

Q: How many physical therapy sessions are generally needed?
We typically see patients once a week but we individualize each plan. We will develop a plan consisting of home exercise, pain management and bladder and bowel training.

Q: What types of conditions would require pelvic physical therapy?
A: Some conditions include: Leaking urine, frequent urination, pain during sexual activity, pelvic pain, bowel incontinence or constipation, post prostate, pelvic or abdominal surgery.

Q: Are most of the patients women?
A: We do see a lot of women who experience issues related to pelvic floor dysfunction, but we see all genders ranging from teenagers to older adults.