Cobblestone donation

Members of the Cobblestone Ladies Golf Association presented a check for over $18,000 to Northeast Indiana Cancer Services after a record-breaking charity golf outing.

The Whitley County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center has added a new perk for its members.

Through a partnership with Lifestyle Health Plans, the chamber will now offer health care plans for all members, especially for small businesses and local nonprofits. Any chamber member with at least two full-time employees qualifies for these benefits.

Per the chamber announcement, the health care plan includes “consumer-driven incentives,” such as deductibles and cashback credits for wellness activity as well as free lab services and telemedicine.

“Being able to provide insurance benefits such as the Lifestyle Health Plan offers a competitive advantage for our members as they seek and retain employees in the current job market,” Jennifer Romano, executive director of the chamber, said in a statement. “We believe this option will be attractive to our members. This is yet another reason why it makes good business sense to be a member of the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center.”

Information sessions for members interested in receiving this health care plan will take place at 8 a.m. Aug. 8, and 3:30 p.m. Aug. 20. The sessions will take place in the chamber office at 128 W. Van Buren St. RSVPs can be sent to office@whitleychamber.com.

Parkview Health to fund Ivy Tech nursing instructor

Parkview Health has agreed to fund a full-time nursing instructor for Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne.

The hope is to increase the number of trained and registered nurses living and working in northeast Indiana, which is currently experiencing a nurse shortage. This agreement will allow for 30 more Ivy Tech nursing students.

“The nationwide nursing shortage is impacting health care employers everywhere, including northeast Indiana,” Dena Jacquay, chief community and human resources officer for Parkview, said in a statement. “We are excited to partner with Ivy Tech on this unique approach to nursing education and look forward to playing a role in preparing area nurses to provide quality care for our community.”

A hole-in-one for Cancer Services

Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana scored big recently after receiving a donation of $18,085 from the Cobblestone Ladies Golf Association.

The chunk of change from this year’s annual Swing for Cancer Golf Outing was the largest in the event’s 23-year existence. This donation will allow for Cancer Services to provide financial assistance to patients as well as host emotional support and educational sessions for local cancer patients.

Over the past nine years, per Cancer Services, Cobblestone has donated an estimated $95,000 to the organization.

Tobacco cessation items now perscription-free

Starting Aug. 1, smoking cessation products will become readily available to the public without a prescription.

The standing order was issued by state health commissioner Dr. Kris Box at the behest of Gov. Eric Holcomb. Indiana is only the 12th state to end prescription requirements for products that help people quit tobacco products, according to the announcement from the Indiana State Department of Health.

Additional action against tobacco use followed the order when Dr. Jennifer Walthall, secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, announced plans to help specifically expectant mothers that smoke. Walthall advised that Indiana Medicaid will remove copays on tobacco cessation products for pregnant women up to one year postpartum.

Indiana Medicaid, according to Walthall, will also give reimbursements to providers that offer tobacco cessation counseling to pregnant women.

“One of our main priorities is reducing the smoking rate of our expectant moms, and we know they will respond positively,” Box said. “Studies show that women are more likely to quit smoking during pregnancy because they want to give their baby the best possible start in life. Quitting tobacco will improve maternal health and send us farther down the path to achieving Governor Holcomb’s goal of being best in the Midwest in infant mortality by 2024.”

Bowen to give 1-year update on center

The Bowen Center will host a news conference July 30 to give an update on the impact its Recovery Center has had in its first year of operation as well as speak on the opioid crisis as a whole.

The news conference will begin at 1:30 p.m. July 30 at 1415 Directors Row, Fort Wayne. We’ll bring you a report after the event.

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 cboulrisse@kpcmedia.com or call 260-426-2640, ext. 3307.

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