Fort Wayne residents are encouraged to get tested on National HIV Testing Day on June 27.

Despite increased awareness and access to testing, an estimated 1.1 million people are living with HIV and a predicted one out of seven people are unaware of their HIV status, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Everyone should know their HIV status,” Kathy Thornson, director of HIV/STD Prevention for the Allen County Department of Health, said. “Getting tested is easier than ever, and for anyone living with undiagnosed HIV it’s the first step in maintaining a healthy life and reducing its spread.”

Walgreens and the health department have teamed up to provide free and confidential “rapid” tests. The results of the tests will take less than an hour to come back, and no appointment is required.

The testing will take place from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Walgreens located at 110 E. Creighton Ave. If unable to attend this testing day, confidential testing can also be done by appointment Monday through Friday in the Allen County Department of Health Medical Annex at 4813 New Haven Ave. There are also offsite clinics at 519 Oxford St., open 1:30-3:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, and the Creigthon Ave. Walgreens from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. every Wednesday.

PHP partners with Care to Care

Physicians Health Plan of Northern Indiana has forged a bond with Care to Care, establishing them as the insurance company’s sole provider for radiology benefit management services.

This partnership will help patients connect with imaging services to help them and their doctors make informed health and medical decisions.

“Our goal at PHP is to improve efficiency and lower costs for our members, all while getting them the services they need more quickly by enabling a much faster exchange of information. Partnering with Care to Care will aid in this effort,” Dr. James Wehrenberg, PHP’s medical director, said in a statement.

A new vision of global service

Eyeglass World, which has a location on 333 E Coliseum Blvd, in Fort Wayne, has announced its new outreach initiative, Made Locally, Given Globally. The retailer has committed to donating one pair of glasses to the visually impaired in a disadvantaged community for every pair bought by a local customer.

Per Bob Stein, National Vision‘s chief philanthropic officer, there is a “global vision crisis,” where over a billion people need some sort of vision correction equipment, which is easier said than done in many impoverished countries.

“At Eyeglass World, we are on a constant quest to create the world’s happiest customers,” Jacqueline Grove, senior vice president of retail operations for Eyeglass World, said in a statement. “…They want to know that the company they buy from is invested in making a difference in the world. ‘Made Locally, Given Globally’ is just one more reason we believe customers should trust Eyeglass World with their eye care and eyewear needs.”

The pilot program prior to its wide launch saw 11,000 pairs of glasses donated, per Eyeglass World’s announcement, and distributed through organizations like RestoringVision.

Premier Nursing thinking big to help students

Premier Nursing Academy, which got its start in Fort Wayne and has since expanded to other parts of the state, is celebrating its growth and opportunities granted to Hoosier students.

With a new parent company, Thruline, in the mix, Premier is eyeing the national stage for its “enrollment to employment” model which allows for students to gain the necessary knowledge and certifications to transition seamlessly into the career world.

“We believe this is the way secondary education should be,” Chris Palevich, Premier’s president, said in a statement. “We are educating applicants on what’s being hired for and developing our programs around those employers.”

Ortho Hospital makes top 100 list by Healthgrades

Lutheran Health Network‘s Orthopedic Hospital has made the list of the 100 top orthopedic surgery and joint replacement hospitals in the country by Healthgrades, an online resource for data on physicians and hospitals.

The hospital was reportedly the only Indiana hospital included in the online study’s 2019 Report to the Nation, per LHN’s announcement.

“Our ability as a hospital to demonstrate excellence in surgical care and patient safety sends an important message about our entire team’s total commitment to quality,” Dr. Jerald Cooper, medical director of outpatient services at The Orthopedic Hospital, said in a statement. “We are pleased that the hard work and accomplishments of our employees, providers and members of the leadership team have been validated in this way.”

The Orthopedic Hospital has also been identified as a recipient of a five-star rating for total knee and hip replacements as well as spinal fusion surgery, per LHN.

Chelsea Boulrisse is an experienced reporter who primarily covers health care and the medical device industry. You can send information for her weekly column to or call 260-426-2640, ext. 3310.

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