Minutes of 3/12/15: ‘Famous Names In Medicine’

Picture 3Meeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush
March 12, 2015

Attending (13): Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Rommel Tolentino, Jim Leyhane, A.J. Amato, Dick Drumm, Debbie Rodriguez, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Ray Hannan, Carole Spencer, Stewart Wagner, Charlie Foote. (3 no-shows among the reservations)

Guests (1): Assistant District Governor Bob Van Alstine.

PROGRAM: “Famous Names In Medicine”

Dr. Rommel Tolentino presented another of his informative medical history programs, this one titled “Famous Names In Medicine.”

Rommel spoke about the instances of men being “honored” by having diseases and other medical conditions named after them. He highlighted three of them associated with commonly-known maladies.

• Lou Gehrig’s disease (also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,   or ALS):

Rommel explained the facts, such as a survival rate of only three to four years after diagnosis. It is more common in men and the average age of diagnosis is 55- to 65. One famous long-term survivor is the scientist Stephen Hawking, who now is 74. ALS received its now-common name when New York Yankees baseball star Lou Gehrig, a much-admired athlete, was diagnosed in 1939 and the disease became more commonly known.

• Parkinson’s disease, which affects nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine.

Symptoms include muscle rigidity, tremors, and changes in speech and gait. After diagnosis, treatments can help relieve symptoms, but there is no cure.disease. The average onset is about age 60. There is no known cure, but it is treatable to help ease some symptoms. In 1817, the English physician James Parkinson published an essay on six cases of what he called the “shaking disease.” His name came to be most associated with the condition.

• Alzheimer’s disease.

Seventy percent of the risk is genetic, and usually appears at about age 65 or older when abnormal “tangles” are found in the brain. The German psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer studied the first person so-diagnosed with this brain degenerative condition.


ADG VISIT — Murray Forth, presiding in place of President Bill Dowd, welcomed Assistant District Governor Bob Van Alstine. Bob commended us for our 55th Charter Anniversary Dinner, which he attended. He reminded us that the next Presidents-Elect Training Session (PETS) is scheduled for March 13 -14 in Syracuse as a multi-district event. He also said the District Grant Seminar will be held on April 11 in the Curtis Lumber Co. executive conference room in Ballston Spa. He reminded us that two members of the club must attend if the club wishes to be eligible for grants in the 2015-16 Rotary Year. And, he reminded us that the annual District 7190 Conference will be held May 15-17 at various venues in Schoharie County.

FINANCIAL REPORT — Treasurer Murray reported that the Charter Anniversary Dinner netted the club approximately $950. And, he reported that the final winter simulator golf tournament netted $ 1,080, with $110 from the 50/50 raffle going to Ronald McDonald House. He thanked all who helped with both the dinner and the golf tournament.

COMMUNITY SERVICE GRANTS — The club has made $4,000 available in recent education-related grants.

(1.) Rensselaer City Schools Superintendent Sally Shields called Bill Dowd to report receipt of the club’s $3,000 grant check that will underwrite the after-school “I-Ready” tutoring program for third graders. She said a formal thank-you will be forthcoming.

(2.) The board approved a $1,000 grant to the “We the People” program. The cost to the club is only $500, since three members have made individual pledges totaling $500. Of course, anyone else is welcome to contribute. The only “string” attached to the grant is that the Columbia High School student on the team must make a presentation to the club on May 14 as part of our after-dinner program schedule.

(Explanation of the “We the People” effort: A team of 10 high school students from throughout the Capital Region, including one each from Columbia, Averill Park and Troy, recently became the first Upstate team in 28 years to win the New York State championship in the competition officially titled “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution,” which spotlights students’ knowledge of the Constitution of the United States. That qualified the team for the national event in Washington, DC. They have set an overall fundraising goal of $15,000 to pay for travel, lodging and other expenses, which is necessary because Congress dropped funding of the event several years ago. The competition is run by the Center for Civic Education.)

AWARD — At the Charter Dinner, District Governor Dave Hennel presented the club with a certificate honoring its 55 years of service. A copy of it can be seen on the club website.

BOARD MEETING — We will hold a board meeting immediately following the March 19 meeting. If you have any items you would like to call to the board’s attention, please do so before that date.

PROGRAM SCHEDULE —  We’re lagging badly on scheduling after-dinner programs. Please line up your assigned dates ASAP and get the information to Bill. If you have forgotten your date, simply check the club website under EVENTS. If for some reason you will be unable to fulfill that commitment to the club, please let Bill know that ASAP so he can attempt to fill the date.

NEXT MEETING — 6:15 p.m. Thursday, March 19, at Quigley’s. The speaker will be Dr. John Mathews of the humanitarian organizationDoctors Without Borders.


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